Monthly Archives: June 2023

S3 E83 Half Life: HEV Suit (June 2023)

Tracy Harwood Podcast Episodes June 29, 2023 Leave a reply

This week, Phil has selected a short that will make all those H&S and Half Lifers smile equally… HEV Suit by  @Zapper770 … because we all need more head crabs in our lives. The film is an example of great comedy timing.

YouTube Version of this Episode

Show Notes & Links

Film, by Zapper770, released 26 April 2021

Paul Marino, director of the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences and author of one of the first books written on how to make machinima, called The Art of Machinima (2009) (actually its pretty outdated in terms of advice, but good for ‘ole’ time’s sake’!

Projects Update 2 (June 2023)

Tracy Harwood Blog June 26, 2023 Leave a reply

Megabuilds and complexity are increasingly themes being promoted by the creative tool developers, and this week’s selection highlights a few projects that demonstrate what’s possible.

Who would have even thought about building our entire universe in Minecraft, let alone actually done it? This video, released 3 October 2022, is how Chris DaCow went about the project, including his preparatory trip/fall from an aircraft (IRL) for inspiration –

Covering similar themes, MelodySheep discusses Water Worlds, released 28 April (our feature image). This is not a megabuild per se but is a good illustration of the future of inter-planetary reviews. The approach is interesting, drawing inspiration from the discoveries of the James Webb Telescope: think a combination of the style of Sagan and Attenborough –

The next film is a descriptor of a 2D game called Rain World, released in 2017. The video creator, Curious Archive, outlines why he believes this game is one of the most sophisticated and complex virtual worlds ever created. The short (22 mins) is called The Most Complex Ecosystem in any Game, released 22 December 2022…. mmm, 22 is a bit of a theme here too. I’m fairly sure Ricky will disagree on this, with his elder Elden Ring hat on, but check it out and do let us have your thoughts –

Finally, this official music video, released on 5 May, shows an expansive world to tell a visually stunning story that compliments the song. The creators unfortunately do not credit the tools that have been used, which look like Unreal Engine and Blender. The song is called Angels by Frank Polucci, lyrics by Marco Genovesi and the video is by Alex Popescu. Its another short that illustrates the diversity of creative skills now being deployed for increasingly complex visualizations –

S3 E82 Machinima by Ally Kustera (June 2023)

Tracy Harwood Podcast Episodes June 22, 2023 Leave a reply

This week’s film review looks at a work by Ally Kustera. The work artfully conveys a sense of feminism without the politics through snippets of video game character cutscenes from Lara Croft to Ellie (The Last of Us) and others in between.

YouTube Version of this Episode

Show Notes and Links

Daniel Grove’s Kitbash for Blender of Back Rooms assets here.

Ally Kustera’s Machinima, released 7 Feb 2023 –

Projects Update 1 (June 2023)

Tracy Harwood Blog June 19, 2023 Leave a reply

Not machinima but some great projects to share with you this week.

This has to be SFX rather than cinematic… right? From what I can ascertain, this new game release trailer/taster, called Off the Grid by none other than the infamous Neil Blomkamp (District 9 director), was captured with Technoprops and edited with Dynamixyz Performer –

The short is called SWITCHER, and was released on 3 May. The game will apparently be launched later in 2023 so we can check out the stunning cinematics in more detail then, and hopefully see more shorts from this world in due course.

Our next film this week is a stop-mo Samurai spectacular. Its called Hidari, being based on the work of wooden sculpture Jingoro Hidari. It is presented in the style of a ‘Japanimation’ and is promoted as a pilot for a long-form feature film although its unclear whether or when the release will happen. Its creators are attempting to devise new visual effects that make use of the wooden materials to show texture and joints and, for example, to use sawdust gushing out instead of blood when the characters are being attacked. Here’s the short, released on 8 March –

From one horror to another, this creator has re-imagined Alien as a Pixar movie using Midjourney, ElevenLabs and ChatGPT tools – yep, you read that correctly! The short is by Yellow Medusa and was released on 27 March. Its not animation, but is an interesting visualization nonetheless – maybe all horror movies should be transformed in this way, for those with a more sensitive pallet? Here’s the link –

Finally this week, Tenacious D’s hilarious music vid about video games, is a must watch and which has apparently been so already by more than 18M viewers. Its called Tenacious D – Video Games (our feature image for this post) and was a collaboration with Oney Play, released on 11 May. Enjoy –

S3 E81 Still Here (June 2023)

Tracy Harwood Podcast Episodes June 15, 2023 Leave a reply

Still Here… a chilling dystopian tale of a world devasted by climate crisis and wealth inequality. This week’s review is of a film by Guido Ekker, featured on the Film Shortage Channel (YouTube), and is one of the few shorts we’ve seen that attempts to make a point beyond pure entertainment. We identify some of the stereotypical tropes used and discuss the creative potential of machinima and virtual production for this kind of political messaging – all with our usual critical bonhomie.

YouTube Version of this Episode

Show Notes & Links

Film, released 17 April on the Film Shortage Channel, YouTube –

and also available on The Panics website here

The Orville, TV show