Latest News From Hugh

There’s a new version of the StrangeUtil available

There’s a new version of the StrangeUtil available! The new version squashes some bugs and adds a Script File Helper which automates the process of writing script files for mp3 decompression. The StrangeUtil, if course, is the magic mp3 decompression utility, allowing mod authors to distribute sound for their mods as mp3s within the .pak file, and have them converted on installation.

Please remember that the StrangeUtil is distributed under the GNU license! Some people have been using it in their mods without including the license agreement or the readme, which is against the license agreement. If you use StrangeUtil, please abide by the GNU regulations.

Get the new StrangeUtil from the Files page.

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Things are very much happening around here at the moment.

Well, things are very much happening around here at the moment. We’ve got a new version of StrangeUtil (the mp3 decompressor for game mods and machinima) coming up, with some bug squashes and a helper function to write script files for decompression, and we should have a neatened-up version of the StrangeSaver (possibly with Unreal Tournament support, and definitely with better Windows integration) coming up soon.

As you can see from James’ .plan update, we’re also well underway with work on LFP, and Ozymandias is going into production this week- the Web site for Ozzy should be up some time this week. I hope.

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The big news today is the opening of the Lithtech Film Producer pages

The big news today is the opening of the Lithtech Film Producer pages, accessible through our Projects or About sections. We’ve got a description of the package, some Lithtech (2) screenshots to give you idea of the image quality you’ll be able to harness, a Frequently Asked Questions list (feel free to add questions in the Forum) and more.

We hope those pages give you some idea of what to look forward to. If you’ve got any more questions or comments, please contact us or raise them on the forum!

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The LFP pages are coming along nicely

The LFP pages are coming along nicely- they’ll be appearing soon. However, see below on that.

We’re also working on our next few bigish projects, some of which you’ve heard of, some of which you haven’t. We’ve got the Ozymandias Web site in the design stages, and we should be able to put some shots from the film up soon.

Lastly, we’re going to be a little quiet for all of next week, as both Hugh and Gordon are taking a week out. The week after that, though, we’ll be back to work, and updates will be a-flowing.

See you in a little over a week…

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The LFP pages are coming along nicely

The LFP pages are coming along nicely- they’ll be appearing soon. However, see below on that.

We’re also working on our next few bigish projects, some of which you’ve heard of, some of which you haven’t. We’ve got the Ozymandias Web site in the design stages, and we should be able to put some shots from the film up soon.

Lastly, we’re going to be a little quiet for all of next week, as both Hugh and Gordon are taking a week out. The week after that, though, we’ll be back to work, and updates will be a-flowing.

See you in a little over a week…

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It’s been a hectic last week

Phew. It’s been a hectic last week. We’re currently working on the LFP (Lithtech Film Producer) pages, which should be appearing on Strange Company some time in the next week. We’re also going to be posting Strange Company’s mission statement, with any luck, and getting the Ozymandias website up and running.

We’re very pleased at the feedback we’ve received on the press release- thanks very much for all the support. We really appreciate it.

We’ve got some new articles coming up soon, dealing with a variety of issues both theoretical and practical, and yet more big news in the pipeline (both community-related and dealing with our new films). Until then…

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I’ll just paste from the press release…

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.”

Technology

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 program’s versatility should allow it to be easily adapted to other production mechanisms,” comments Monolith CEO Jason Hall. “Our agreement with Strange Company will widen LithTech’s exposure and bring our technology to an entirely new audience.”

Licensing

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…

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And the last and greatest…

And the last and greatest…

Strange Company is proud to announce the release of the new edition of part 2 of the Eschaton: Nightfall Special Edition . This Eschaton series, Nightfall, features full lip-synching and emotion modelling (courtesy of our Lippy tool) and new models, skins and animations to correct and improve Nightfall. This release will be the canonical and final Eschaton release (barring unforseen bugfixes) in the Quake II engine.

We’d like to thank ID Software, both generally for creating the Quake series of games and catalysing the growth of Machinima, and personally for their assistance over the last couple of months. We’ve enjoyed working with ID’s engines a great deal, and we wish them and their users the best in the future with Quake III and beyond.

The next time you hear from us, you’ll know what we’ve spent the last 6 months working toward.

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OK, here’s all that news we forgot to post yesterday..

D’oh. OK, here’s all that news we forgot to post yesterday… Sorry about that- as you may be able to imagine, it’s pretty damn hectic over here, but we were still dumb.If you came here expecting to be able to download StrangeSaver 2.5 and could only get 2.0, your problem is now fixed in the Files section.

Anyway, on to today’s releases… Today we announce the release of Lippy, the lip-synching utility for Quake II. Lippy allows anyone creating machinima in Quake II to fully lip-synch their characters, as well as adding emotions to their faces. It uses and automates a variation on the lip-synching procedures we talked about a while ago over in the Resources section, and will be fully demonstrated in the upcoming Nightfall: Special Edition.

Get it, again, from the Files section.

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