machinima podcast

S3 E54 Film Review: ALONE by Playard Studios (Nov 2022)

Tracy Harwood Podcast Episodes November 25, 2022 2 Comments

This week covers a reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s classic poem Alone, read by Shane Morris (audio used is from the BEKNOWN channel) with visuals by Playard Studios. The film uses Unreal Engine’s metahuman and  NVIDIA Omniverse ‘s Audio-to-Face and there are some impressive introspective looks achieved with the process… among a few other things we comment on, not least being Ricky’s experience of reading poetry.



YouTube Version of this Episode

Show Notes & Links

ALONE film, released on 26 October 2022

Beknown channel reading by Shane Morris on YouTube.

Nvidia Omniverse’s Audio to Face

Unreal Engine’s Metahuman

How to read a poem, tips and hints by the Academy of American Poets

Fests & Contests Update (Nov 2022)

Tracy Harwood Blog November 21, 2022 Leave a reply

There are a growing number of ‘challenges’ that we’ve been finding over the last few months – many are opportunities to learn new tools or use assets created by studios such as MacInnes Studio. They are also incentivised with some great prizes, generally involving something offered by the contest organizer, such as that by Kitbash3D we link to in this post. This week, we were however light on actual live contests to call out, but have found someone who is always in the know, Winbush!

Mission to Minerva (deadline 2 Dec 2022)

Kitbash3D’s challenge is for you to contribute to the development of a new galaxy! On their website, they state: ‘Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to build a settlement on a planet within the galaxy. What will yours look like?’ Their ultimate aim is to outsource all the creatie work to their community, combining artworks contests participants submit. There are online tutorials to assist, where they show you how to use Kitbash3D in Blender and Unreal Engine 5, and your work can be either concept are or animation. Entry into the contest couldn’t be simpler: you just need to share on social media (Twitter, FB, IG, Artstation) and use the hashtag #KB3Dchallenge. Winners will be announced on 20 December and there are some great prizes, sponsored by the likes off Unreal, Nvidia, CG Spectrum, WACOM, The Gnoman Workshop, The Rookies and ArtStation (platforms). Entry details and more info here.

Pug Forest Challenge

This contest has already wrapped – but there are now a few of this type of thing emerging – challenges which give you an asset to play with for a period of time, a submission guideline process, and some fabulous prizes – all geared towards incentivising you to learn a new toolset, this one being UE5! So if you need the incentivisation to motivate you – its definitely worth looking out for these. Jonathan Winbush is also one of those folks whose tutorials are legendary in the UE5 community, so even if you don’t want to enter, this is someone to follow.

McInnes Studios’ Mood Scene Challenge

John McInnes recently announced the winners of his Mood Scene challenge contest that we reported on back in August – we must say, the winners have certainly delivered some amazing moods. Check the show reel out here –

S3 E53 Film Reviews: The Remnants & So Palpatine Needs Padme Dead… (Nov 2022)

Tracy Harwood Podcast Episodes November 17, 2022 Leave a reply

This week we have two great films to share with you courtesy of Damien. Our main film is The Remnants by Stan Petruk, a disturbing tale of the aftermath of some global disaster created as part of Reallusion’s Pitch and Produce programme. Our bonus film is a Mobile Short treat, So Palpatine Needs Padme Dead…[LEGO Edition] by Cinematic Series Gaming. Its astonishing what can be packed into 60 seconds!



YouTube Version of this Episode

Show Notes & Links

The Remnants by Stan Petruk (released 7 June 2022)

This film has all the hallmarks of an Eastern European style that we’ve talked about before – remember Irradiation by Sava Zivkovic (S1 E22, October 2021) and The Ship by Mednios (S1 E2, March 2021)?

There’s a nice description of Stan’s pipeline to create the film and the tools he’s used on 80.lv here and his comments about using Character Creator are on Reallusion’s website here. Below is also a nice video explainer by Stan.

So Palpatine Needs Padme Dead…[LEGO Edition] by Cinematic Gaming Series (released 29 Sept 2022)

Enjoy, and as ever, feedback and suggestions welcome!

Credits –
Speakers: Ricky Grove, Damien Valentine,Tracy Harwood, Phil Rice
Editor/Producer: Damien Valentine
Music: Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au CC 00

Projects Update (Nov 2022)

Tracy Harwood Blog November 14, 2022 Leave a reply

This week, we take a look at some interesting projects we’ve found in our monthly search of the inter-web for all things machinima / virtual production / real-time. We bring you projects using Web3, made with a HUGE cast, mix virtual and real, and 2D and 3D animation styles

Crip Ya Enthusiasm by SnoopDogg (rel 16 Oct 2022)

Apart from the typical SnoopDogg lingo, which you either love or loathe, this is an interesting short made in Unreal Engine 5. It is not so much interesting because it is a music video by a self-confessed creative tech lover with a novel storytelling approach to putting his content out, but because it is being distrubted through Snoop’s new Web3 platform called Astro Project as a gamified experience or, to use his term, a ‘metaverse music video’. The characters used in the video have been made available on the platform’s marketplace as NFTs and other creators are being encouraged to create and share content through the platform to unlock exclusive content and hosted events. Anyone buying the characters can do anything they like with them, include them in their own creative works for example, using the blockchain tech embedded in their creation and distribution. So, whether you like the content or not, its the platform process used that is particularly interesting in this project.

As with all things NFTs, it is worth noting that really, its success is only as good as the marketing effort through which you can achieve decent audiences in order to manipulate the market parameters. Obviously SnoopDogg has an upper hand on this.

SAPIENS by Lukas Klosel (rel 7 July 2022)

This is a cinematic short about the impact on man on our planet. Its a very provocative film, which does include some disturbing scenes (so if you’re sensitive, you may want to miss watching this one). We’re not exactly sure what creative tools have been used in this one, and the description doesn’t say, but certainly there’s a fair amount of post-production as well as mixing of real and virtual content so there’s bound to have been some use of virtual production tools. We include it though because of the way it mixes virtual and real scenes, how it portrays its focal story through visual concepts (and lens focus) and clever use of sound design.

Sandstorm by Wailander (rel 13 May 2022)

A more traditional machinima made in Star Citizen, this has some great dynamics, played out by the 97 players involved in shooting the scenes included in the finished video. Its an incredibly complex set of scenes with many participants involved in portraying the details of the rather loosely defined plot. Its creative goal, however, wasn’t so much to tell a story as to bring together as many different players as it could. We certainly think it delivered on, drawing in organizations from five different countries (France, USA, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany) and portraying as accurately as it could how fighting unfolds in this expansive engine. The story is held together with a front end briefing against which they do periodic updates. The credits section alone is something to just take a look at. The final scene intimates a continuing saga and we look forward to seeing that and perhaps more of a story integrated into the fighting action too.

Roborovski by Rick Pearce (rel 2020)

Too sentimental for Ricky perhaps, but certainly not one for Nemo-loving children, this is short that mixes 2D and 3D animation styles very effectively. Made in Unreal Engine 4.21, primarily used in order to test the creative pipeline in the engine, the film won Flickerfest’s best animation award in 2020. It was made by Pearce’s Spectre Studio and funded by Screen Australia, so it is by no means a naive creative endeavour. The video is above in the title link, but here’s a behind the scenes look at the making of the film, which is particularly interesting too.

The Walker by AFK – The Webseries (Rel 5 Aug 2022)

Finally, this month, a revisit to a little bit of old-style fun made in Unreal Engine 5, invoking all those great memories of RVB Series 1 (Rooster Teeth, for those in the know). In this short, some incredibly well done Star Wars comedy voice-acting, told through the suits of the Empire’s Snow Troopers, located deep in the bowels of an ATAT. Enjoy!

S3 E52 Film Review: Metaverse Music Video by JSFilmz (Nov 2022)

Tracy Harwood Podcast Episodes November 9, 2022 Leave a reply

This week’s pick is a 360 music video – a ‘metaverse’ video – by a creator we’ve been following all year, Jae Solina aka JSFilmz. The film has been created in UE5 and includes some nifty mocap, great dance moves and some interesting lighting effects. Hear what the team have to say about the film and format and let us have your comments too!



YouTube Version of this Episode

Show Notes and Links

Metaverse Music Video, released 10 Sept 2022 (note, the video can be viewed as a VR experience or a 360 video) – where is the Batman Easter Egg?!!!

Our discussion on Friedrich Kirschner’s immersive machinima, person2184, in THIS episode

Nightmare Puppeteer allows 360 filmmaking – check out the engine on Steam HERE

Key questions: what new language might be needed for machinima story vs experience creators to get the most out of VR/360 formats?

Credits –

Speakers: Ricky Grove, Damien Valentine, Tracy Harwood (MIA Phil Rice, courtesy of Hurricane Ian)
Producer/Editor: Damien Valentine
Music: Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au CC 00