Monday, August 31, 2009

Animating with iClone

Work on my first iClone short is in full swing; the title is "Let the Fun begin" and it's about.... nah, I'm not sayin' - you didn't really expect that, did you? :p I'm just extremely superstitious about talking too much about my stories before I release them - and always afraid I'd give away too much...

Currently, I'm trying to bend the iClone animations features, especially pre-formed or collected moves and fiddling with bones; to my will. That's not easy - every bone-move change you make has an influence on everthing that comes thereafter... with results which sometimes have me giggling, at other times pulling my hair in frustration... and I still haven't found out how to make a character shake his head in a simple "no" movement. Nodding is no problem, but shaking? I'd be grateful for any hint as to how accomplish that!

Another thing that I find hard to get rid of is the foot-sliding, or "moonwalking". Maybe that will be easier to get rid off once I have more experience with the program - at the moment I am able, with a lot of fiddling and trial and error, to get rid of most of it - but not all..... thank the goddess that I'm not a foot-shot fetishist.. :D (at least not for this movie!)

Despite the extra time spent on these things, work is progressing nicely. I have always been a fan of learning by doing, and it has always been easier for me to try to make scenes fit to a definite vision I have in mind, instead of just playing around for learning purposes. Besides I think the story will be fun to watch - it's back to the roots, so to speak... ;)

Below is a screenie of a scene which I think came out very well. More news soon!

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Exciting times!

This month so far had a lot of exciting things happening:

The MachinExpo 2009 is accepting submissions now - don't forget to submit your movies! I'm looking very much forward to the event in Second Life in November - hopefully it will be at a time when I can attend (sometimes it sucks to be on a european timezone.. :p).

Trace Sanderson
and Kate Fosk have created a fascinating new site for grown-up Machinima - visit Fallopian, were you'll find movies and directors showcased who are as far away from the general Machinima clich├ęs - lots of guns, explosions, game-related jokes - as you can imagine... and maybe even farther! :) Thank you Trace and Kate!

There's also a new group on Vimeo - Women in Machinima - also created by Trace and Kate - every female Machinima creator is invited to add their films to it, regardless of the engine it was created with! To quote Trace: "Let's celebrate women in machinima!" And there's a lot to celebrate, I think. :)

I'm also really excited that Chat Noir - Kate Lee and Sherwin Liu - are back in the machinima making 'business' - they have gotten their teeth into Moviestorm and released a wonderful one-minute film (made for the Filminute 2009) called Darren, and are currently working on a big project - I can hardly wait to see it!
They also have a brand-new blog 'In the Mind's Eyes of the Black Cats', where, apart from posting about their filming process, interesting, mind-stimulating discussions can be joined. Love it! :)

Me, I'm enjoying my holiday - and I finally got iClone 3 Pro, which means I'm trying to learn everything I can about it. Which is quite a lot - iClone offers loads of possibilities and because of that, has quite a learning curve. For me, it isn't really intuitive, so I do a lot of reading and watching tutorials, hoping to get into it a bit before iClone 4 hits the market - the new features that are being revealed right now are what decided me to try the program again and though my progress is slow (compared to the ease with which Moviestorm came to me), I'm glad I did.
I've even begun to work on an iClone shortie - but it will take me some time to finish that yet... it still needs some more hair-pulling, set-building, learning and ranting. ;)
I'm looking forward to at some time combining iClone and Moviestorm material....

Anyway, here's the set I'm building right now...

Exciting times!
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