And Now For Something Completely Machinima

Completely Machinima 10.1 November 2021 Machinima News

November 04, 2021 Ricky Grove, Tracy Harwood, Damien Valentine, and Phil Rice Season 10 Episode 1
And Now For Something Completely Machinima
Completely Machinima 10.1 November 2021 Machinima News
Show Notes Transcript

 In this episode we discuss the latest news and tutorials all across the machinima-related universe.

Full notes for this episode are available at:
https://completelymachinima.com/2021/11/04/10-1-machinima-news-november-2021/

Phil Rice:

And now for something completely machinima Hey there and welcome to And now for something completely machinima, the podcast about machinima, real time filmmaking and other related technologies. I'm joined here. My name is Phil Rice. I'm the showrunner for today's episode and I'm joined by my co hosts, Ricky Grove.

Ricky Grove:

Hello.

Phil Rice:

Tracy Harwood

Tracy Harwood:

Good afternoon

Phil Rice:

and Damien Valentine.

Damien Valentine:

Hello there. So we, we release episodes every week, but we record them monthly. And so we do we divide our content up into different sections and today we are going to be discussing some news in the Machinima and film or video game related communities. And I guess I'll kick off. My intent today was to to focus on a tantalizing rumor that I had heard that Grand Theft Auto was going to reissue some of its games and before we even got to get in front of our microphones, Rockstar has confirmed that they are doing some sort of real re issuing of the Grand Theft Auto trilogy which for those who don't know that consists of Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft, San Andreas and Vice City, very very popular very beloved games really the games that kind of put Rockstar on the map I have a long history with the Grand Theft Auto series having played every single instance of it since the first, which the first two were these top down scrollers very primitive by today's standards but but enjoyable, and their their tendency for to build in humor and outrageous situations and and especially humor in in the audio and the radio aspects of it. That goes all the way back to their core games. We'll Grand Theft Auto 3, I first played. I only played on a PlayStation many many years ago, and just loved it. So I'd never actually though I watched a lot of machinima made in San Andreas and in Vice City. CJ Ambrosia's PEDS series comes to mind. I never actually played those games, I never owned them. But But Grand Theft Auto 3 the first where they took it to 3d and you're actually controlling a person. I played that from start to finish and Yeah. What about you guys? Do you guys have much history with with these games?

Tracy Harwood:

No. So what do you mean by Remastered? What does this mean?

Phil Rice:

I assume that is something similar to well, actually, I don't know enough about the new Diablo to know if that's a reissue or if that's a new game, Ricky, you may have to clarify that.

Ricky Grove:

It's the same identical game, it's just that they've updated the graphics, and added some things that modders have added on to make the game easier to play the mechanics of the game easier to play.

Phil Rice:

So yeah, that's that sounds very much like what Rockstar has intended for this trilogy, that there's going to be some graphical improvements. But But largely the, the gameplay and the storyline of those titles will will remain the same. I'm trying to think that there's another game that did something similar. Did World of Warcraft do do some kind of thing like that, where they reissued the game with improved graphics or something like that?

Damien Valentine:

Mass Effect did that earlier this year.

Phil Rice:

Oh, Mass Effect, of course. That's the one I was thinking of. Yeah. So that's a that's a thing. I don't know. Is that a? Is that a positive trend that developers are doing that or is that some kind of sign that the idea bin is a little bit dry? What do you think?

Ricky Grove:

No, I think it's a good sign because one of the things it does is it brings in younger and newer players into the game who have only heard it by rumor, you know, their friends say oh god when I was when I started playing Diablo two, it was this, this and this. And so they know the game by reputation, but they really want better graphics, and a better gameplay experience. And so as I've been playing Diablo two remastered, I've noticed that the community the younger members of the community are just raving about it. They just love it. And they're cool. Yeah, and many of the Dion's of the people who do tutorials and stuff are making a beginners tutorial for people who have never played Diablo which is very exciting. And they get a long list of comments saying, Wow, I never knew it was so much fun and blah, blah, blah, you know, so no, I think it's a good good sign. Of course, you know, money is at the bottom of it. So they're doing it to make money. But I think the positive side of it is it's bringing in new people to the game. Now my question for you, Phil, is it? And I think it's the most relevant question for the remaster of GTA. Are they going to include an editor in it?

Phil Rice:

That I don't know. And no one's no one's said that yet. I certainly would hope so. I mean, obviously, a big plus of these is if you make films in the GTA universe, so you know, what, either four or five, the idea of expanding that universe and having new locales if the look of this is at least comparable to what those newer titles did. You know, that could that could be very interesting, but I don't know that answer yet. Okay. Part of me will will resent if they do, because it's like, what's up with not doing that for Red Dead Redemption, what the heck is going on?

Ricky Grove:

Yeah, that how could that bleeding sore for you? You just really.

Damien Valentine:

But you start actually working around not having those tools?

Ricky Grove:

That's right.

Phil Rice:

Yeah. Yeah. That's always been the Machinima game, hasn't it? You know, I mean, what a world we're in now that our complaint is where they're not including the tools to do that stuff. Considering where machinima came from? Yeah. It's kind of kind of a strange thing.

Ricky Grove:

Ironic. Yeah. Hey, I got a question. Yeah. Quick question. There's been a lot of Windows 11 is out now. And I've been reading that some of the benefits of it is for gamers, that it makes gaming easier for the platform. Have you heard anything about it? And do you recommend up degrading now or waiting until drivers better drivers are out for various apps?

Phil Rice:

Yeah, I've heard that same thing. I've I've had, I've had a difficult time getting anyone to pin down exactly what those benefits are. It's kind of it's, it's like when you ask in an Asimov novel, and you ask a robot a question that's beyond its programming, to kind of just keep repeating the same thing, you know, well, it's better for gaming? Well, in what way? Because it's better, you know, for gaming, it's better. Better, because it's for gaming for it's better for gaming. Because just upgrade. My my, my general rule is the same as it has been, you know, since Windows 7 and earlier, and that is not yet. For me personally, I'm not going to dive in the first month that it's released. Because the the first months that a new version of Windows is released is when all the bugs get discovered by people actually using it. Yeah, I'd rather not be part of that. I'd rather not be that guinea pig. So I like to kind of just sit back and watch and, you know, watch, watch the city burn. And then later on, I go to the ashes and get a fresh look at it sometime around the first of the year when it's been in service for a few months.

Damien Valentine:

I was thinking for Windows 11 as well. I don't want to touch it until the safeties pumped down.

Phil Rice:

Yeah, I'm optimistic about it. I think I think that it's largely appears to be about optimization, and which is going to translate to better performance for anything you doing it. But I think that it being a new version. Yeah, there's going to be there's some risk there. So if you want to do it, it'd be fun. But sure, I'm not even doing that at this point.

Ricky Grove:

One ominous thing I read in a really good and gadget, video essay on it, the guy was, he is like you and I, he makes his own computers from scratch. And he said, if you're a person who's make who assembles your own computers, you're going to have to do some tweaking, because there are all sorts of security issues that you're going to have to go into the BIOS to fix in order to upgrade to Windows 11. That's too much trouble to me. Yeah.

Damien Valentine:

What am I tried to install it the other day, and he got to the installation thing. It said that his processor wasn't supported by the new security updates, right, right. And it did something to the BIOS settings which so he then had to go back and go through the BIOS to switch it back. And of course, you can't upgrade to Windows 11 And he's a bit irritated by that because he wanted to give it a Try. So he had a bit of hassle of getting back to just being able to run it windows 10. So you have to be careful if you're running some older hardware.

Ricky Grove:

Yeah. Well, I think that's, those are the bugs that Phil was talking about. Yeah, all of that stuff's gonna come out the first week. And they need to get that sorted out. So somewhere around January, February is when you should look to upgrade.

Phil Rice:

Yeah, 20 times having surveyed the field 2023. Yeah, the interesting thing about this one is the fact that I, if I understand it, right, for existing Windows 10 users, it's going to just get offered up as a no, here you go here, you know, you can upgrade for free. That's going to translate to some interesting things for people who don't know, you know, whether or not their computer is compatible, and they just see the update all do that. But as someone who works in the industry of helping people with computer problems, I can't say that I'm upset about that. That's a little bit selfish, you know,

Ricky Grove:

Microsoft is, is making available an app free app that you can download to see whether your system is your hardware collection is ready for the upgrade. Yes, you can do that. And it'll tell you what, what parts of it aren't ready, you know, so you can do that for free. You just check Microsoft Help windows 11.

Phil Rice:

And they did that for Windows 10, when Windows 10 was being released, as well. And that app is actually it was very reliable, very helpful, and very accurate. So yeah, that'd be that'd be a definitely be a good thing to do for an existing computer. Alright, Damien, I believe you have some news for us. Starting with something about citizen Khan.

Damien Valentine:

Yeah, so is, is a game I've been following. Since it was crowdfunded. And we've covered some machinima made with it over the last year, Star Citizen. So every year on the anniversary of when they were successfully funded, they do a an event called Citizen Con. And they usually held it as a real world event on the never been to one personally, but they, they do hold it a real world. And then they stream it online. So people who can't make it can still watch it. And so last year, they didn't hold it because of the pandemic. And then this year, they decided to just have a virtual event. And it reminded me very much of the machinery expose that we did towards the end of our run doing that where it's all pre recorded segments, and they just play one after the other after the other. So I thought it'd be interesting to see what they were going to announce and talk about because like I said, we've been coming mission are made with it. So it's, and there are some very impressive videos that we've seen. So it's a good platform for it. So I want to know what else is going to come that would be helpful for people making machinima I can't see that they released any details, upcoming features, that would be really helpful for people making machinima there was some new planets are gonna have been developed and began to be added soon. So that's new environments to go and check out. There's only a handful of places in the game. So this is a bigger variety. There's a couple of new spaceships coming in. So again, more content to play around with for your mission or films. And then the panels were more about how the game is being made. And there's some programming stuff, which I'm not gonna go into too much. Because to be honest, I didn't fully understand it, because it's not really my area. But if you're interested in sort of programming goes back home to season a game that's worth having listened to. But there's a panel about how they build the environments. And that is a lot there's a lot of crossover there between game development and machinima, especially if using a platform like iPhone or unreal or anything that lets you play around and build your own locations because you can see how they've been in the content, how they designed the pieces to fit together. And all the things they do to make the environment look go from just a flat piece of grounds to they should have this place with a mountain in the background and this yellow moss and all the rocks around it, and they kind of went to the how they put all that together. And so that is worth watching just to get ideas on how you know how they did it because then you can know from that and incorporate into your own films. There's a few things that that there's a sound design thing that they were talking about. I missed some of that but Ricky you might want to check that out. Okay. And Phil so Yeah, nothing really stood out as this is great new submission. No, it's just this is kind of interesting and worth checking out if you're to learn more about game design and building things. It was all done on Twitch but Each panel is now on their YouTube channel. So you don't have to watch the whole thing. If you don't want to, you can just watch the bits that are relevant. Nice. Yeah, so we're very useful. Yeah, we'll put links to that in the show notes. So you can check it out, down there.

Ricky Grove:

Thanks, Damien.

Tracy Harwood:

Yeah. Was there anything on the face over Internet Protocol stuff that they're using? You know, the facial tracking that they're using through webcam and whatnot? Was there anything on that?

Damien Valentine:

Because it didn't surprise to me that they didn't talk about it this year. But they have previously they've talked about I think they working with face where to get that. But I think it's already incorporated to the game. So it's not really new information for them to write, talk about. I do know that in the single player campaign, they're using facial motion capture with the actors for the big helmets on and the webcams, picking up this is the same technology that players have access to when they're talking multiplayer. They do go through these actors. So that's interesting to see. But they didn't show any of the single player content yesterday. So again, I have no idea how far that's coming along.

Tracy Harwood:

Okay, thanks.

Damien Valentine:

All right. And the other bit of news I had was about the Cinematic Captures Star Wars fan film contest. And there were a lot of live action entries. I haven't watched all the entries, because there's quite a few of them. I've gone to quite a lot.

Phil Rice:

Yeah.

Damien Valentine:

Yeah.

Ricky Grove:

What exactly what I hadn't heard of it. What exactly is it?

Damien Valentine:

So it's a contest by this YouTube channel called cinematic captures, and we've covered some of his videos on the channel before. Cuz he makes lots of unreal, Star Wars videos. And he decided to put together a fan film contest for people to make their own Star Wars, fan films. Yeah. And it could be live action or animated. It's entirely up to the filmmaker. And he's worked with a couple of other Youtube peoples to be the judges. And he reached out to companies like Nvidia, and I kept them with a complete list of them. But they basically sponsored the contest and provided quite a lot of prizes. So there was a contest that I entered. Sadly, I didn't win. But I don't mind winning, not winning, because the film that did win is so good that I, it's one of those ones, you don't mind losing against it. And there were a lot of entries, and I haven't had a chance to have watched all of them. But the ones I have looked at that they're really good. So it was a tough competition, which is good, because it's the challenge. And sometimes I've seen it can the ideas of things that I need to step up my game just a little bit.

Ricky Grove:

Yeah.

Tracy Harwood:

So I'm on one live action as well, when

Damien Valentine:

Yeah, there was the whole live action six prize. So I didn't pay much attention to that prize, because I wasn't so entering. But there was a live action film called old foes and it's not the one that one but what they did was there's two actors who recreated a scene from the animated series Star Wars Rebels, which is the final showdown between Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul in the desert, and you think it's gonna be this big action packed, dramatic. lightsaber duel at Star Wars is famous for its three blows? It's over in five seconds.

Ricky Grove:

Hmm.

Damien Valentine:

And is it deliberately like that? Because it's meant to be a throwback to the samurai films that were inspired George Lucas. And yeah, they don't really have elaborate sword fights. They just do it really quickly, and it's over. So they will try that with Star Wars. And there were a lot of fans who were upset because they wanted the big fight. They didn't expect it to be over so quickly. And I think it actually worked better doing it differently. Yeah,

Tracy Harwood:

so black you can't really see

Damien Valentine:

Yeah, you have to get really close to see the

Tracy Harwood:

main cast samurai sword just Yeah, Flash.

Damien Valentine:

Yeah. So it's interesting to see them taking an animated concept and then trying to do it live action. Yeah, like you said, I wish they lit it better. And in the video where they're announcing the winners, they actually say please like this better because reckon we'll just see.

Tracy Harwood:

Nobody could say but think you see that what surprised me a little bit about that competition was things like best choreography and whatnot wasn't given to an animated film was it? I think it was given to the live

Damien Valentine:

or live action one,

Tracy Harwood:

which Yeah, I think I was a little disappointed with the the dominant what I saw was dominance of live action. Even they say the best film was animated.

Damien Valentine:

Yeah. I haven't spent a lot of time watching the live action ones because my focus was on the animated stuff. There was, there was a film called convoy strike, which was, it's an animated film. And they've animated it in a way that looks like the model works that was used in the original films. But you can tell us CGI, but if Listen, it's all the ships look like the plastic in a way that that those old models were and they've got an awesome look, I've been trying to emulate myself in SDM pub. That's one of the reasons I started that project was to try and learn how to do that. And I do like that. So it's different. A lot of CGI, it's all shiny and things glow and everything that no one tries to create the old style look. So that that was an inspiring film from me. But the one that one is called fallen angel. And this is actually machinery of film because it was rendered in Unreal. And they use assets from some of EAs recent Star Wars games that fallen order and Battlefront to that to get the character models. So basically, Darth Vader goes to the tomb of Padma, and it's all raining and got all this mist coming up. And you can see in the ground, the rains, it's in the ground looks really fantastic. And the footprints and he gets ambushed by some rebel troopers and see the rain is just dripping down their faces and off their helmets. There's just so much detail into this film that I almost chose it for my pick of this month. And I'm also getting not doing that now, but we're gonna link to it in the show notes. Definitely check it out there. Because it's just such an incredibly made film. And it's the facial animation from the troopers obviously not Darth Vader so much, although he does take his helmet off. And you get to see a little bit his expressions there when he's sort of kneeling down at the tomb. And yeah, it's, it's just worth checking out. I don't wanna say too much, because you have to watch it yourself and, and see why one but it definitely, it deserved to win. So I'm glad to get the recognition. And of all the live action animated films of that contest I've seen so far, that it's better than all of the live action stuff is so good. Oh, that's great. Good. So that's my news for this month. I was gonna say about the religions lip sync contest. I was hoping to be able to announce, say who the winners were, but they haven't announced them yet. So we have to check back.

Ricky Grove:

Oh, okay. Okay. Cool.

Phil Rice:

Ricky, you've got a slew of news for us. Why don't you fill us in?

Ricky Grove:

Sure thing. I'm trying not to go on too long about it. But I do have some things I want to share with you. A couple of them interesting turned, thematically turned out to be about technical improvements, basics of filmmaking that I came across, and I'll share those as we go along. But the first news is, m dot Stranges feature film is coming out on October 27. It's called M doll. He hasn't made a feature film since 2014. And he essentially is sworn off doing feature films, because they were just too hard, too, too stressful. And he just didn't have fun making them anymore. So he quit. And he got involved in a game making a coding and unity. And the result was him teaching himself how to code and creating all sorts of games and including nightmare puppeteer, and many others well, the process of the of learning unity brought him to a new workflow for feature filmmaking, machinima style, real time filmmaking. And he cut his production time down from around 14 months of pretty much 50 hour weeks to about four months from script being done to finish product. And it's all shot in Unity. It's all real time, machinima. And one of the most interesting things that he's done with this film is releases on Steam, by the way on October 29. And then about a couple weeks later, he's gonna release it for free on YouTube and Vimeo and a couple other places. But one of the things he's done is he's added an element into when you watch the film. When you watch the film via Steam, you can stop the scene. and go into the actual 3d Ray scene itself and walk around inside the scene. Wow. You can also continue to run the scene while you're in the scene watching it. From a different perspective,

Tracy Harwood:

yeah, sounds amazing. Yeah.

Ricky Grove:

To his knowledge, he doesn't know of any other company, or Hollywood company that's made something like that before. So he's really proud of that element. He's also adding four separate soundtracks, three that he's commissioned, and one that he's done himself. And from experiencing we are the strange, which was his first feature film, which had six soundtracks, which I listened to all I watched the movie six times with each different soundtrack. And it's a different movie. With a different soundtrack. Siri, seriously. Wow. So he's, he's doing four separate soundtracks for this. Is that on

Phil Rice:

Is that on the DVD version of that, Ricky, the We Are The Strange?

Ricky Grove:

Yes, it is.

Phil Rice:

I never knew about that feature. I have the DVD from back in the day. I'm gonna, I'm gonna check that out. Yeah, I only watched it with whatever the default soundtrack is,

Ricky Grove:

oh, no, that completely changes. He's got one that's just on noise soundtrack, that it's just crazy. It's just mechanical noise. It's just crazy. But I think I'm, by the way, I'm, for this month of November, we're doing a interview with him. I did a long interview with him about Amdahl and also nightmare puppeteer. And he talks a little bit about the production process and how he ended up moving from cinema 4d models that he created himself to DAZ Studio models that were already made. In fact, he he told me that he made no original content for this film. And everything was taken. And that was part of the part of the reason why the production went so quickly, is that he was able to take stuff. And then also he could do iterations, you know, he would have he created a big render farm. And he would make adjustments and then render overnight and then work on it the next morning, while we in unity, he could make an adjustment and see it within seconds. So he could fix it up and then do things that he couldn't do before. So he's really excited. And one of the things that I noted. Now the title of this film is Amdahl, because it uses of major character, one of the central characters from We Are the strange, I think, in a way it's, it's a kind of reworking of We are the strange, but done in machinima style. And he, you know, I mentioned that to him. And he Yeah, he thought that was that was about right. So anyway, October 29, steam will have a link on it, make sure you check it out. And related to that is a walkthrough of using the Unity game engine to create movies and animated sequences. It's an updated version of a presentation it was made at Unity unite, in 2017, in Austin, Texas. It's updated for unity 20 19.2, which is one of the most recent ones. It's a really good Matthew Miller was the guy did it. And it's a really interesting introduction to how to use Unity to make machinima. It's about 30 minutes long. So it's not it doesn't take a lot of your time. And it covers all of the main spots of the production process. So if you're interested in using Unity as a way of making machinima, it's a good way to do it. Another thing that I did that I discovered on the process of making films was a really good presentation by an artist named Okay, Samurai. He's the sort of spokesperson for Adobe character creator. Excuse me, Adobe Character Animator. It, it's a 2d motion capture software that Adobe has started about three years ago, which I I got onto it immediately. And I love it. It's is grown so much, and the community has grown so much. Well, he did a YouTube presentation. It's about an hour long. And it's called the complete cartoon workflow. And it takes you from the start with the script, all the way through to the end after you've created the characters and you put it all together. Well, the latter part of the presentation isn't applicable to machinima, because it's, it's a 2d process as opposed to a 3d. But the first 15 minutes is about how to structure your project, how to create your script, how to organize your script, how to lay it out so that you can get your start work working on it, and that's the best presentation I've ever seen of that. that process and I think it's an invaluable tool for anybody who wants to make machinima film. Because it lays out how to set up your Bible for what you're working on how to structure your script, how to how to create your characters, and organize them in ways that that work in the workflow. So I recommend the complete cartoon workflow, the first 15 minutes for Adobe Character Animator, it's on YouTube, we'll put a link to it. And the last two things that I'd like to mention is there. One problem that I noticed in films, as I've been watching over the last several months, is screen direction. Now we, all of us, including the listeners to this, have been watching, watch so many films and so many television shows that we've inherently just sort of understand elements of filmmaking that we may not be able to name. So most people understand this without even knowing it. However, I think it's a good thing to review for filmmakers. And that screen direction of character enters from the left exits on the right, where do they come in next time. Because if you get it the wrong way, you're going to confuse the viewer, and they're not going to know what's going on. It's about continuity. So Jukola art community did a very nice screen direction presentation. And what they do is he draws everything, as he's explaining it. And it's really effective. So I very much recommend that. That tutorial, it's a YouTube Jukola art community. And the last piece of news I have is that it's the continuing coverage of Omniverse. Omniverse has added a particle system now to their Omniverse universe. It's a pretty neat particle system, there's a good tutorial that we'll link to on how to get started with it. And it made me think that I think one of the things that Omniverse and video Omniverse is, it's, in a way, they put it out a little too soon. They didn't put it out as a finished product, they put it out as an ongoing product. And that has advantages in that you get community response, and you get people and a lot of many people are excited about it. So there's lots of response to it. So they get ideas, and it allows them to develop in ways that if they were by themselves, they may not consider it. So I can see the advantages of it. But it makes it hard for safer machinima filmmakers, because it's still the level of difficulty is too high for most filmmakers. But I do want to report that they are growing, they are keeping their word about adding new things. And the particle system is the newest addition to it. And that's my news for this week. This month.

Phil Rice:

Yeah, that Omniverse thing is it's it's a very interesting development. I haven't gotten to, to play with it, because I don't have the right hardware for it yet. But yeah, it does. It does look very interesting. And be be encouraged to see additional developments with it.

Tracy Harwood:

Right now. No one does at the moment. They didn't do they because the RTX system is like hen's teeth to collect at the moment.

Ricky Grove:

Yes. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Challenging. Yeah.

Tracy Harwood:

Which is going to make, you know, the the way that they're trying to lock people into that, that system, because it's a platform, really, it's not a yes, it's never going to be a finished product. It's always going to be a shell for other things. But tied to the hardware, though, that all the hardware and software is the key to it.

Ricky Grove:

True, but I think Nvidia has been one of the leading companies in allowing and putting a lot of their stuff to open source and appealing to the open source community. So while there's an underlying motive for profit, there's also maybe not quite equal to it, but there's still a strong motive to share their information and to share it with the open source community.

Tracy Harwood:

And the key to its future longevity, I think is the open standards. Strategy that they've got for Yes, yes. means that it is you know, open to lots of other connecting Yes, platforms as well. So that's that's its, that's its future. But the hardware issue isn't going away at the moment, I think. No, that's what's going to restrict it for the time being. I agree, come frustrating, it will eventually become very frustrating. And what happens? That will be quite interesting.

Damien Valentine:

You could they could develop into a really powerful tool, but no one can use it because they still can't get the graphics.

Ricky Grove:

Because I can, I can tell you that when I first fired up the first version of Omniverse, it wouldn't work with the graphics card I had and I had a good card in it. I had to upgrade to an entirely new card in order to get it to work.

Tracy Harwood:

Yes, indeed. Yeah.

Phil Rice:

Okay. Well, that's our news for this episode. Thank you to my co hosts, Ricky Tracy and Damian, it's been a pleasure speaking with you, and we will talk to you next time. Bye bye