I’ll just paste from the press release…
“Edinburgh, Scotland, 21st August 1999 - Strange Company, an Edinburgh-based organization devoted to the advancement of film-making via computer-generated media, today announced a new product based on graphics technology developed for use in 3D computer games. The product, code-named LithTech Film Producer, will allow talented amateur and low-budget film makers to create high quality feature-length animated movies, as well as cutting the cost of film-making for high-end production studios. Development is scheduled to continue over the next year, with early versions of the software becoming available in 2000.
“LithTech Film Producer will use techniques developed for the computer games industry to allow film-makers to create films rivaling the output of some of the best graphics programs in the world,” says Hugh Hancock, Chairman of Strange Company. “By generating an entire film via computer animation, it is possible to do things and go places that would be impossible in low-budget live-action films. Additionally, because artists will be able to create the sequences on a relatively inexpensive home PC system, this will dramatically reduce the high-cost entry barrier that typically prevents people without major funding from working on the film of their dreams.”
At its core, LithTech Film Producer will utilize the industry-standard LithTech™ 3D real-time rendering engine developed by Monolith Productions for such hit games as Shogo: Mobile Armour Division™. The LithTech 3D™ engine has been licensed to numerous third party game developers and publishers.
LithTech Film Producer will be capable of producing realistic, smoothly-animated characters, authentic Dolby Surround Sound and high-end visuals. To the base LithTech 3D™ Engine, the Strange Company will add sophisticated camera and movement controls, scripting and programming tools to give the director control over all aspects of his production, plus a unique encoding mechanism allowing films created with LithTech Film Producer to be distributed, downloaded and viewed via the Internet.
“Although the LithTech 3D™ Engine was initially created for game development, the programs versatility should allow it to be easily adapted to other production mechanisms,” comments Monolith CEO Jason Hall. “Our agreement with Strange Company will widen LithTechs exposure and bring our technology to an entirely new audience.”
LithTech Film Producer will have a dual licensing structure for both commercial and non-commercial use. It is envisioned that aspiring film makers will be able to obtain a limited product license for non-commercial and prototyping use, under which the film maker pays a licensing fee only if his film is released for commercial purposes.
“Many people are prevented from entering the film-making world by the initial outlay it requires,” comments Hugh Hancock. “Hence, we will operate the licensing of LithTech Film Producer on two levels: whilst the full package will be sold on a standard “license fee” basis through Monolith and our trading arm, Walking Wounded, we will also be operating another scheme for low-budget film-makers.”
About Strange Company
Strange Company are an Edinburgh-based charity set up to promote, advance and educate the public about artistic projects in digital media. Previously, together with their profit-making sister company Walking Wounded, they released the ground-breaking Eschaton series of films, have released numerous freely-available film-making tools over the Internet, and are currently running an Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, “The Machinima Showcase”, to promote this new artform. For more details on Strange Company and their projects, please visit their Website at http://www.strangecompany.org/
About Monolith Productions, Inc
Monolith Productions, Inc., based in Kirkland, WA, is a game development and publishing company focused on combining uncompromising gaming content with the ultimate in high-end gaming technology. Founded by six game developers in 1995, Monolith’s passion for programming has resulted in the creation of the LithTech 3D™ Engine. This proprietary software is used in the creation of Monolith products, such as the well-received Shogo: Mobile Armor Division™, and is available for license to the wider development community, for whom Monolith is committed to delivering the software industry standard in licensing partner support. For the latest news and information on Monolith and it products, visit their Web site at http://www.lith.com .”
That’s what we’ve been doing. Well, some of it…