The one great bugbear for Machinima creators, of course, is law. Copyright law, EULAs, and other such things.
In spite of that, I’ve felt for many years that the advantages of using game engine content at least balanced out the limitations and lawyering.
But for various reasons - some spectacular U-Turns from some of the more permissive games companies amongst them - I think the balance has tipped for me and Strange Company. It’s time we developed a new way of making films that uses technology that gives us full ownership and control of our work.
So that’s what I’m going to be blogging about for the next while, as we navigate our way through the huge landscape of commercial tools for making sets, characters, animation, and more.
Fortunately, it’s looking like it’s a very exciting time to do this. Everyone’s interested in faster content creation these days. From virtual sculpting and sewing to game-like character creation tools to procedural landscape generators like Minecraft on really good drugs, it’s a new world from the bad old days of you’ll-use-polygons-and-you’ll-like-them.
And the old lessons of Machinima - “realtime matters”, “work within your limitations”, and “think round problems, don’t chip through them” - are still as useful as ever.
Here’s a first test of a couple of simple landscape creation tools and a new renderer - what do you think? It’s not Pixar, but interestingly, the process of creating it, from scratch, is only about 15 minutes…