Sunday, February 28, 2010

Get out the 3D glasses time...again

It's 3-D glasses 3D time again:

ofc a top secret project I'm working on... Slight deadline for this one, so I gotta move my arse mdotstrange style on this little project...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's a wrap!!!!

It's a wrap!

The final planned shot for "Tales From the Afternow" is finished, and I'm in the process of writing an avi master and making a divx encode to watch.

Final shot, Loosely modeled on the Oshawa harbour pier

Of course, typically, there will be some screwups, but that's why I render in layers so that errors are relatively easy to fix (or hide)

Now the audio is nowhere near done, the rantradio lads are going to be taking care of that (so for once I'm not actually doing *everything* on a production) This also means it may be a while before I can release this, as I have no intention of doing a "sneak" audio mix of my own or releasing anything that's only half arsed done with a bare narration track.

Visually, the 'polygon sketch' style is like over 9000 times better than the visual style I used for Archon Defender. The whole idea of which is to capture the feel of 'concept art' in animated form. The loosely defined rawness of which is often better looking (in my opinion) than the 'final' product.

And it's shortly on to my next project: a short music video in 3D-glasses-3D ;D (The whole Idea of which is to determine how difficult and / or worthwhile it is to animate in 3D-glasses-3D )

I should also go though my scene files and start saving all the objects and sets to re-use in the future. I did recycle a bunch of stuff from Archon Defender, which cut down on the development time, although I had to add the sketch effect and change all the materials to my updated 'color light sensitive' method as well. The new actor characters I created for this are going to be used again as well.

...Oh yes, guess who I ended up cutting out of my film again :(

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Book of the Indeterminate Time Interval

'One Step From Earth" by Harry Harrison (1970)
is a classic example of the golden age of sci-fi writing, the days of the monthly pulp trade publications like Analog or Isaac Azimov's Science Fiction Magazine which you can come across quite easily at your local used book store or by rummaging through your uncle's basement. I got this little gem for $2 at a used book fair they were holding in the cafeteria at my old call center job and it was worth every penny.

The book is an anthology of related short stories centering around the common theme of a teleportation technology in which enables one to step between two 'matter transmitter' screens, which can be placed at arbitrary points in the universe. Harrison explores the implications of this in a number of ways, illustrating the effect this technology would have on personal relations, warfare, cultural development, crime and criminal investigation, as well as the evolution of the human race.

This is one case in which you can judge a book by it's cover, and in this case the book delivers spacemen, mech tanks, a robot, and cavemen, in equal portions. What more could you want? How about a cop chase though multiple dimension portals. Yup, in there too.

The stories are easily digested (reading in bits as I did, between bouts of having to actually do my job on the phone) and the concepts are built upon from story to story, and set in a coherent and diverse world that Harrison has created. This is one that you can eat up cover to cover in an afternoon or a couple hours commute on the bus or train, and you won't want to put it down once you start.

So go scrounge around your local used book store, or alternatively sites like ebay or amazon regularly have used copies available fairly cheaply.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Best Animated Feature" Award - DIY Film Fest 2010

Archon Defender was recently announced as 'Best Animated Feature' at the DIY Film Festival 2010 in Hollywood CA. Along with Film, the DIY Convention also supports independent music, authors, and creative arts of all types at

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Grab bag of recent awesomeness

From the Awesomeness in Filmmaking department:

Machinima has established itself as the unappreciated underdog of filmmaking, at least amongst the 3D purist complaineys. To everyone else who sees it's potential to streamline and facilitate creativity, it's definitely something to check into. Not to mention the tool development is community driven (much like Blender). Arguably, Avatar was filmed in a machinima fashion, though with a couple of coats of CGI to cover it up.

I've never played Portal, or World of Warcraft, but this is the coolest shit recently:

From the Whose responsible this!?!? department:

These guys:

have got more than their 15 minutes of fame recently up here on teh intarwebs. Fake or real, they're still entertaining, and at risk of becoming the next internet meme. I will begrudgingly watch any video with Yo-Landi Vi$$er in it, but only under duress.

From the So old skool we failed grade 9 twelve times department:

Server seems to be sending a lot of Dutch rap acts my way lately.
For some reason the music industry doesn't want me to be able to embed this video here.

Head over to youtube to find out what Run DMC sees when they close their eyes at night.

That video goes hand in hand with this track, in my opinion: ( your bass bins I'm tellin' ya...)

Again, the label are being a bunch of complaineys and don't want me to be able to embed the official video here, so again check it out on youtube...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super fancy 3D glasses 3D

Grab your old red/blue 3D glasses:

"hey it's one of them's fancy three dee analgraphics"

I've been experimenting with stereo 3D setup in 3D max, as well as a way of being able to quickly preview the 3D image in after effects (as neither program currently natively supports 3D glasses type 3D) Not that I'm a big fan of having to wear 3D glasses... I'm still waiting for no-glasses direct view monitor screens to become common (ie cheap) So for the time being, it's either el cheapo analgraphics glasses (which I have a new shiny pair coming in the mail thanks to ebay and people who have donated to my paypal accounts.) or lcd shutter glasses, which I don't have. Or staring cross eyed at the screen, which is worse than having to wear red/blue glasses.

Now the above image is pretty much the best I've managed to come up with in terms of color. The color channels of the original left/right pair are desaturated by 75%, before dropping the Green and Blue channel for the right eye and the Red channel for the left eye. Then it's a simple matter of aligning the two views so the 3D effect is mainly centered on the 'zero' plane of the screen. The compression Blogger uses here really screws up the 3D effect, and I have yet to try a divx encode of this. But this method doesn't throw away any of the image, the full color left and right images can be generated out of 3Dmax and comped in after effects just as usual, and when better 3D display methods become available (or I get shutter glasses...) then a better 3D print can be made with the original 3D L/R masters.

I still don't like the idea of having to do a whole feature film in 3D wearing red/blue glasses though :(

The cross-eyes version if you like:

Edit: Louis Marcoux' Blog has a good series of tutorials describing everything you'll ever need to know about stereoscopic 3D production with info specific to 3D max but applicable to any 3D application.