Saturday, December 15, 2012

CALL FOR ENTRIES: 20th Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart

The Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart (ITFS) will take place for the 20th time! ITFS is regarded as one of the biggest and most important festivals for animated film around the world. Around 80,000 viewers and approximately 2,500 accredited people attended the festival last year. This year they are open for Machinima Movies as well!!
Places are in the category Cartoons for Teens (Competition for short films, series, animes, machinimas and cut scenes from computer games). This category focuses on youths aged between 12 and 18 and shows the best animated series, animes and cut scenes from computer games.
Competitions is still open for submission until January 15, 2013 (EXTENDED DEADLINE!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

2012 Machinima Expo

The 2012 Machinima Expo will take place this weekend
November 16.-18. online and in Second Life.
Detailed Program Schedule and List of Screeners

at the Machinima Expo Website

Second Life Festival site:
Midnight Manhattan Reverie in Second Life 
Machinima Expo livestream: The Machinima Expo

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dragon Age: Bladedancers

Philipp Schiefelbein, winner of last year's Bitfilm Machinima Award with his movie Tales of Crusade , just released the first two parts of his new series "Bladedancers".
Made with the Dragon Age:Origins Toolset this new movies again show his amazing skills making Machinima with this toolset. 

"The web series „Bladedancers" is about the life and rise of the kidnapped assassin siblings, Jaldan and Aluria. Over the time they regain their memories of their previous life's and seal the downfall of the ruthless clan."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Valve's Source Filmmaker Now in Open Beta

Source Filmmaker is now available for everyone. Found a link to download it in my Source Games list on Steam today. Now downloading.
Just found this was announced officially yesterday. "July 10, 2012 – Valve, creator of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the open beta release of Source Filmmaker (SFM), for free, to everyone."
Download, infos,tutorials etc. on

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Kinect Real-time 3D Model Reconstruction

I just came across a interesting article in the German computer magazine c't. Just a while ago Microsoft Research Lab showed how to get a 3D scan from an object or scenery with the Kinect. Now the Austrian company PROFACTOR released their software ReconstructMe which allows us to play around with that technology as well. With this software now Real-time 3D Model Reconstruction is in our hands. Having a decent graphics card it even allows 3D capturing in real-time. And it is free for non-commercial use. Export formats include .obj and .3ds. I made a short test and scan of one of my favourite objects and then imported the scan into Blender. It's still some work to use this in a machinima movie project. The model data has a high polygon count, which has to be reduced and so far there in no texturing data grabbed.

ReconstructMe capturing the object:

Captured object imported into Blender:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blender and Kinect again

In my previous post I introduced my first experiments with Blender and Kinect using Blender Game Engine. I've revisited the project and added some parts I have researched a while ago. So this time I have added a softbody mesh which is controlled by the Kinect as well (hand movements) and added live video/webcam.
I think Blender is the only (free) tool out that allows us having a softbody mesh to be rendered in real-time with live video/webcam feed and now with Kinect support.
This opens a whole new world for Machinima puppetry. Now it just need's some code for networking. It would be nice to be able to control multiple characters/objects by different users (Kinects) and to stream the webcam/video over the net.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Blender and Kinect

Having played around with the Kinect already for some time and using it as an input device to control some of my favourite tools (Processing, vvvv, and Supercollider), I was excited to see NI Mate released .
NI Mate is a small but powerful software that takes real-time motion capture data from a Kinect or other supported device and turns it into two industry standard protocols: OSC (Open Sound Control) and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). And they have showed already how to use it to control characters in Blender.
I joined their Beta program, but unfortunately it didn't work with the drivers I have installed (SensorKinect, OpenNI or NITE). Uninstalling and updating it with their versions of the drivers was not an option since I fear of some of my other applications might no longer work. So I looked at their Blender examples and after a weekend of Python coding and testing I finally got my own Kinect Blender setup to work. It uses OSCeleton as middleware to convert the Kinect sceleton to OSC data which are then sent to Blender. Although NI Mate is more advanced, OSCeleton is simple and Open Source. I've read that NI Mate maybe will become a commercial product after the Beta.
Now lets welcome the "Kinect Blender Bunny". This example was rendered in realtime using the Blender Game Engine.

It's still a long way to use this for a machinima movie project, but I'm excited to have this technology ready to be used. Controlling a 3D character in realtime with markerless motion capture is amazing.