This week’s Projects Update on machinima, virtual production and content creation:
One of the most interesting creative projects we’ve seen so far using MidJourney, a creative AI generator is the The Crow (by Glenn Marshall Neural Art). Here the generator has been used to recreate a version of the ballet performance portrayed in the short film, Painted (by Duncan McDowall and Dorotea Saykaly). Stunning to say the least and we recommend you play it at least once side-by-side against the original performance too for added insight.
We’re so impressed with the potential of AI generators, whether that’s DALL-E, MidJourney, Stable Diffusion or any of the others that are now emerging, that we’re going to dedicate a special episode of the podcast to the subject next month, so watch out for that!
Jim Henson Company
Jim Henson Company is using real-time animation on their new show, Earth to Ned. Characters are created with Unreal (its the AI in the background) but JHC has been so impressed with the workflow and no post production requirement that it is looking to use the virtual production method more. What’s interesting is the level of feedback in the process that guests experience – they are not aware of the puppeteering in the background, just the virtual actor on the screen, performing naturalistically in real-time! We’ve not seen much of this kind of machinima before although actually Hugh Hancock did some very early work on this and of course Rooster Teeth have done live performances using similar techniques. We can certainly expect to see a lot more of it, particularly for interactive theatre, VR and AR.
Half Life 3
Half Life 3 was never going to be like the originals? This article on Tech Radar is interesting: the author (Phil Iwanuik) contends the Half Life franchise remakes would never be like the originals because the extreme attention to the world of HL created so much pressure the Valve team could never live up to it. We’re not sure about that, but it’s an interesting idea.
A very impressive MMO has launched using the Dune world, currently in beta, Dune: Awakening. Here’s the trailer – we’re looking forward to seeing machinima made with this –
Dungeons & Dragons?
What does Dungeons and Dragons, typically a game played around a table, have to do with machinima? There’s been a rise in popularity of web based shows where people play the game and act out scenes. This group (Corridor Crew) is using Unreal Engine 5 for virtual production (not quite The Mandalorian but sort of similar) to put their actors, real-time, into the environments of their adventure. Check it out here –