This week, Ricky, Phil and Damien discuss Torn Seas – a feature made with Unreal Engine, by Richard Boisvert. We don’t often review feature-length films on this show, not least because few are brave enough to make them, and we talk about that aspect a bit too. Overall, we were impressed by this film but we also have a few suggestions to consider.
YouTube Version of this Episode
Show Notes & Links
Torn Seas – a feature made with Unreal Engine, by Richard Boisvert, released 26 March 2023 –
Dynamo Dream – Salad Mug by Ian Hubert, Episode 1 –
This week we share with you a couple of notable RTs (of the UnTwitter kind) and a Dynamo Dream or two. Enjoy!
Who can believe it but Rooster Teeth is now 20 years old. Its come a very long way from its RVB days, not all of it good, but its still rolling. Indeed, RT is now also in the same stable as the final remains of Machinima.com (RIP). Ben Grussi and I dedicated a chapter to the RT story in our book Pioneers in Machinima (2021) and one thing we noted was its resilience to change over the years, so here’s wishing them all the best for the next turn on their roundabout too –
Another long-time favorite on our podcast is the RT Music (formerly RT Machinima) team. This month, I’d like to share their Elden Ring Rap with you (released 12 Mar 2022). Its definitely worth watching the video, not only are these guys great at writing some toe-tappers but they also do a pretty good job of showing off their machinima skills too –
Finally this week, Ian Hubert has released two episodes of his Dynamo Dream live action/VFX series (our feature image for this post). We covered the first episode of this stunning series on the podcast back in August 2021 (audio only) but what’s quite incredible about the release of Eps 2 and 3 in such quick succession is frankly the speed at which he’s been able to release them… and of course they’re very good if ever so slightly absurdist.
A Single Point in Space – Dynamo Dream, Ep 2 (released 23 Mar 2023) –
A Pete Episode – Dynamo Dream, Ep 3 (released 6 Apr 2023) –
Next week, we have some more selections to share with you too but if you find something you’d like us to do a full review of on the podcast, do share it.
Made in the still developing game Star Citizen, this week’s film is a large-scale production showing 97 players creating a complex battle scene. The film is called Sandstorm by Wailander. In this episode of the podcast, Ricky, Phil and Damien discuss the extent to which machinima is about showing off the game vs telling a story, what the role of the director is in game-based machinima productions and, of course, take a deep dive into the history of machinima in the process. They also reflect on just how wealthy (with in-game currency) the creators of this work actually have to be!
This week, our review is a roundup of new releases, some tools and tuts that add realism to productions and some interesting new tools announced for moviemakers everywhere, irrespective of creative engine preference.
Blender has released version 3.5, with an astonishing hair toolset. See the overview here –
UE5 editor for Fortnite has been released – UEFN is a PC application for designing, developing, and publishing games and experiences directly into Fortnite. You can see the release launch at GDC here –
Reallusion has released an astonishing range of 3D motions and characters for Actorcore, called Run For Your Life. Its not cheap but then again it may well be the only action set you ever need. Here’s a a demo reel –
Facegood’s Avatary (made in China) has released a desktop facial mocap system with some basic functionality for free. Here’s a nice little overview of what this version of it can do –
The quality of modelling continues to astound – I’m still blown away by Unreal’s Substrate materials system, although you need an epic system to render no doubt –
However, there are a few other releases that we’ll share with you this month too. Firstly, the UE Crashes course – not just any ole course, of course, but one where you can see how to animate ‘epic’ car crashes in UE5 (is that too many puns… sure it is) –
Secondly, Taichi Kobayashi has developed a stunning Cliffwood Village – a large-scale and beautifully detailed 3D model for UE5 –
Finally, William Faucher’s use of Reality Captures’ tech to create an arctic environment for UE5 is also something stunning to see. Check out his overview of the creative process here –
An interesting development is the release of what’s being badged as The Movies mark II, called Blockbuster Inc in which “You will take total control of your very own movie studio. You will be able to construct all the facilities, hire and manage all sorts of employees and stars with the aim to produce the most prolific films and TV” (Super Sly Fox, developer). Its not yet been released, but you can find the holding page on Steam here.
Big news of the month is that Moviestorm‘s long awaited previsualisation software, FirstStage (although they need a new intro vid on their YouTube channel asap), is finally out of beta with ver 32 (our cover image for this post) –
This will surely be a useful tool for all those major creative projects, whatever the final engine used may be including film, TV and video as well as 3D environment engine-based, and it is very reasonably priced at $10/month per user (non-commercial). For those with short memories, Moviestorm (its creator channel is here fyi) launched originally in 2007 at the First European Machinima Festival as I recall and became a platform that many used to create content long before the likes of Reallusion’s iClone and Source Filmmaker got a wider foothold. One of my all-time favourites made in Moviestorm was IceAxe’s (aka Iain Friar) Clockwork (2008), a retelling of that classic tale by Anthony Burgess –
What will be interesting, however, is how it will compete with the in-engine toolsets being developed along similar lines, for example, Matt Workman’s UE Cine Tracer which delivers a similar experience. Of course, there are also individual tools, such as this camera crane by Cinematography Database for UE5 –
This week, Ricky, Phil and Damien begin with an brief discussion of the roles AI is being used for to restore old machinimas, and in particular the very exciting upcoming release Phil will be doing of old Machiniplex films – more on that in due course!
The film discussion centres on After War by RG Studios and their approach to telling a story without moving a camera in the Half Life 2 world.
YouTube Version of this Episode
Show Notes & Links
Hitpaw video enhancer AI, subscription information here
Machiniplex, no longer exists as a platform/website, but the link on the archive is here for the moment!
This week’s film by RG Studios, released on 3 March 2023 –