Here’s an update of what’s going on:
VIDEO RELEASES FOR JANUARY:
Civil Protection: The Christmas episode is practically done, it’s primarily just sound editing left. While I could delay until December of this year, I’d rather just release it as soon as possible, even though it’s late.
Freeman’s Mind: You can expect at least 2, maybe 3 episodes this month.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION:
While I’ll be continuing Freeman’s Mind, my goal for this year is to create a really great movie. I have an idea for one I’ve been interested in doing for a long time. I’m still writing the script to it, but I have a pretty solid idea of what I want it to be. It’s going to be a feature-length movie and take place in a medieval fantasy environment. It will be a comedy / adventure / mystery movie. I was originally going to attempt this in the Source engine, but after my experience on the last CP episode, I’m going to use something else now. It’s my hope to finish this movie sometime this year, though I can’t promise anything. It depends on how long it will take for me to learn new software, animate everything, and get all the assets I need. The help I’ll need will depend a lot on what software I use. Right now the only position I know 100% that I’ll need help with is a creature modeler / animator.
NEW SOFTWARE / ENGINE:
Due to my frustration with the upcoming CP episode, I’m about ready to abandon the Source engine for anything more complicated than Freeman’s Mind. Unfortunately, I still don’t know what software I’ll be using instead. I was originally leaning towards the program iClone, though someone has recently made some compelling arguments for the Unreal 3 engine. If I want to port over the many assets available for Source (one of the areas it really shines in) I’ll likely need an array of programs. I’m still open to suggestions, but please don’t recommend software if you haven’t used it yourself. In my experience, there’s a world of difference between what software is theoretically capable of, and what a non-programmer can actually do with it; kind of like Linux. I’ve made a list of features I’m looking for to help clarify things:
Ross’s wishlist of features for animation software / engine:
-Support for importing motion capture .BVH data*
-Support for lip sync and facial expressions (preferably finding a facial expression capture solution)*
-Ability to create new humanoid characters with facial flexes and be able to modify things like proportions and clothing without it being an enormous undertaking*
-Ability to export footage frame-by-frame (as opposed to real-time)
-Ability to export with motion blur OR at very high framerates
-Some sort of physics engine
-lighting quality at least as good as Source’s
-ability to keyframe object / character movements
-some system that can automate standard movements of characters, like walking and running, including on non-level terrain
-some procedure for importing models and textures from the Source engine
-some procedure for converting Source engine map architecture + textures to compatible format OR robust mapping community for new engine / software
-decent camera controls
-Reasonably low bugs
*very important category, it’s not even worth me considering an engine without some solution for this first
So that’s what I’ll be up to in case you’re wondering what’s taking so long. Check back later this month for more videos!