The MachinExpo promo has been a joyful experience, as all our projects have been in the past. We were honored by Ricky Grove and Phil Rice to be asked to provide a promo for their event.
We brainstormed several idea paths for the story. Working to keep the promo to a reasonable length (instead of the massive expansions we tend to lend towards). It is an open season on ideas. Many screwy ideas tend to lend themselves to new approaches and in the end, Kate produced a tight script which allowed for many different approaches.
Apart from a change in venue for MachinExpo from Montreal to Second Life, the choice of Machinima engines proved to be a challenging time. Just as we were beginning the process, new massive updates were in appearing in the community for Moviestorm and iClone Pro. So a quickly we tried to get up to speed so as to be able to use the new technology being offered.
We at Pineapple Pictures believe that not one Machinima engine may suit all our needs. In this case we focused on four engines, iClone Pro 3, ZenCub3d, Moviestorm and Second Life. With those in hand we began to cast the engines to the characters and sets. ZenCub3d provided our Professor Pugh character and when we needed some additional props and motions, Billy Chang and his team delivered the goods in lightning speed.
Each Machinima engine was chosen for their strengths. Moviestorm has a strong music video side. iClone allows us to easily incorporate Visual Effects and strange characters. ZenCub3d provides a unique look into human characters.
Using extensive greenscreen and bluescreen backdrops, we were able in Sony Vegas to blend multiple layers of video into a cohesive whole. Sony Vegas has the ability to use many tracks of video and sound. So we preferred to edit on first generation video material and build the entire film into a complete version. This allowed us to render the film visuals and sound into a second generation format. What that allows us is as clean a copy of the original material as possible.
To the first time Machinima filmmaker, we cannot stress strongly enough that all the engine should be reviewed and used. Each has a free version which allows a filmmaker to test the waters. And each has good tutorials for learning the programs. And as our good friend Tom Jantol has espoused in his discussion regarding Anymation, many other programs, designed for other uses can and should be incorporated into a film.
With Machinima, we have discovered that the only limitation is truly your imagination.
Character Voices by Dan Stanton
Written, Produced and Directed by Kate Fosk and Michael R. Joyce
A Pineapple Pictures presentation http://www.pinechunks.blogspot.com