Edge of Remorse
Following the leads from both my Machinima for Dummies book and the plugs from the Return's site I found myself at Riot Films the makers of Edge of Remorse which won 2 Machinima Film Festival awards. Edge of Remorse is at Machinima.Com or you can get it via xfire.
[EoR poster from the x-fire site]
The film shows another way of working with WoW and still manages to tell a short narrative for us. The soundtrack by Scott Buckley is great and has to do even more work here as there is no dialogue at all. Strangly, given the awards, citations and build-up for this short I was expecting better. Though there is definately some very nice post-production work in play and the music is great - there are other things that bring things down a notch. There is often a reliance on closeups that look like they would be used to convey emotion (going by the score) but just end up with a character looking blandly about the place. This is definately one of the limitations of the WoW engine as a tool for this sort of thing.
I hadnt actually watched the work of Hugh one of my authors of the Machinima for Dummies book. So I threw the CD in, but lo there is only Eps 7 and 13 on it - eeeaaaarrggghh :-)
So it was off to Bloodspell.com instead which has the whole 800MB monster that it is. Bloodspell is also at Machinima.com of streaming the whole thing is better. I will have to work out a sane way to grab the whole thing for myself and others - where/when to download it :-)
I watched through the opening sequences and there is certainly plenty of class. The audio is great again (definitive trend here for the classy machinima) and the story looks like it will be interesting based around creating magic from blood. Using the original Neverwinter Nights engine puts it behind in the beauty stakes, but it will be interesting to see if that matters once we get into the characters and the narrative being told.
For a sneak peek, check out the trailer of Bloodspell - it gives the idea without the big download.
I found The folk at the ARCH via this vid [Hybrid Machinima Experiment: Architectural Science Fiction - see embed below] on Youtube where they blend Second Life and a real location to great effect. Their site (and work) is very SL-centric really, but does delve into some interesting things. I will have to check out this and other advances in SL in the coming months - FBE presence building perhaps, maybe even some kind of BIM link.
[Youtube vid showing integration of SL and real locations by The ARCH]
Digital Urban's SL London
Following things from 'the ARCH' brought me back to those amazing folk at Digital Urban. Check out the clever work they are doing bringing 3D models of 3million+ buildings from London into the Second Life environment. I like the way the data reads in and then the geometry spins into existance, and hopefully the future will allow a larger chunk to be seen at once. Their project has been captured in a little youtube vid for us all to admire even if we dont dive into SL:
[youtube vid from the Digital Urban site showing their London models inside SL]