Projects Update: Feb 2023
This week’s #MondayMotivation post has some more great examples of machinima and virtual production projects. We have a selection of shorts made using Unreal Engine and another entirely made in Blender, plus a couple of ‘making ofs…’ and a ‘role of…’ also worth checking out.
An artist we’ve talked about before who has created extensive work over many years in Second Life is Bryn Oh, and now she has created a nostalgic experience called Lobby Cam which is available on Steam, made using UE5. The experience is a walking tour of an extensive environment and a story told through the pages of a ripped up diary. The project has been reviewed by James Wagner Au on his blog, New World Notes here. It is described as part of a larger narrative, and here’s a video sampler of the tour produced as part of that too… an interesting approach to virtual storytelling –
Off planet, another project which contains amazing detail of other worlds is by Melody Sheep, called The Sights of Space: A Voyage to Spectacular Alien Worlds (released 29 Nov 2022). This a 30 minutes-long film of speculative depictions of space scenes based on ‘current scientific understanding’ of the Milky Way, albeit with extensive creative license. If you ever wanted to get into a new type of documentary, this is probably the one to have on your watchlist –
We were also thrilled to see what promises to be a very interesting new series launching later this year by Melody Sheep, called The Human Future, check out the trailer on the channel here.
In our next project pick, called JOYCE by GTshortStories (released 14 Dec 2022), UE5 and every available tool with it has been used to create an interesting space story. This mixes live action with some well done animation, and the integration is done really well, so its a great example to check out. Joyce is a backchatting robot exploring a facility along with Sargeant Terry Brown – there are many references to popular sci-fi tropes, so do check this one out! GTshortStories is also putting out other creative content, so check out the channel too.
Our final space project for this week is Countdown, by Andrew Klimov on the CGChannel. This is a fast paced story of a crash landing onto an alien planet, all about the crash itself, and it certainly makes you feel it. The crash is the beginning of a new series and you can find out more about that on his website here. There’s also an interesting breakdown of the filmmaking process on his Vimeo channel here.
Our next project pick goes back to the 11th Century, inspired by an Umbrian folk tale in the novel ‘E poi si fece buio’ by Matteo Bebi. It is about a dream by Imiltrude who lived in a hidden village and was sentenced to death for having caused a fire that destroyed a city. The film HIMIL is by Tiziano Fioriti and Andrea Brunetti, made using UE5 and is a fascinating first person perspective with a very well done soundscape –
Our next project pick is a Blender-made movie and another example of great storytelling, this time in a cyberpunk environment with a really nice twist in the tale. Not sure it would be Ricky’s cup of tea, to his point about emotional representation, but I certainly loved it! The story has been created by the Blender HQ team, so its by no means an indie endeavour with a team of folks behind the processes employed but definitely worth watching – check out the pace of the action and sound design in particular. The film is called Charge – Blender Open Movie (released 15 Dec 2022) and you can access the production files and making of videos for the film here.
We always love a good homage to Star Wars, and this week we have a feature from the Reallusion Magazine, which describes how iClone and the Vicon mocap system have been used to recreate that iconic ‘I am your father’ scene from the Empire Strikes Back episode. The short has been made by Luis Cepeda from Quitasueño Studios, based in the Dominican Republic, and he provides a great step-by-step guide to how the short was made with a video overview here –
Ever wondered how to use a midi controller with UE5 that lets you use the controller for all sorts of effects in real-time just with the keyboard? Well, here’s a fantastic video tutorial for you by Taiyaki Studios featuring Cory Williams –
And finally this week, we share Loralee Sundra’s video on the Internet Archive about the value of public domain films from her perspective as a Frontline Fellow at the Documentary Film Legal Clinic at UCLA School of Law. Her talk was part of the Internet Archive’s Public Domain Day 2023 celebration, held on 25 Jan 2023.