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Wednesday
Jun012011

Animation Magazine Pitch Party!

The Tenth Annual Animation Magazine Pitch Party contest is going on now through (better get busy) June 10th and offers Reallusion members and storytellers worldwide the chance to pitch their story to industry pros and finally knock Trey Parker and Matt Stone off their high-horses.  Well, maybe you'll just get a shot to make it big.  Good enough?  We thought so too and that's why Reallusion and Animation Magazine have partnered to encourage iClone and CrazyTalk filmmakers to prepare their pitch!  The contest requires you purchase and submit a 1/6 page ad for inclusion in the upcoming Animation Magazine Pitch Party issue.   Animation Magazine has extended a special offer of $50 OFF their 1/6 page, Pitch Party ad for Reallusion members.  Get the full details and know more over at Animation Magazine's Pitch Party Contest page.

 Reallusion and Animation Magazine have an exciting summer planned with events and contests. 

  • In June we will launch a special spotlight opportunity to have your movie and art featured in a full page within Animation Magazine... details coming soon. 
  • We are joining Animation Magazine at Comic-Con San Diego this year to showcase CrazyTalk Animator July 23-24. 

"The partnership between Reallusion and Animation Magazine connects our storytelling community to AM's media portal for all-access industry coverage, careers and green-light opportunities.  Our partnership is in the spirit of the independent animator and encourages citizen directors to bring new and innovative works from groundbreaking studios." John Martin, Reallusion

Stay-tuned for more upcoming contests and events with Reallusion and Animation Magazine.

 

Monday
Mar212011

Intel, Visualize This! podcast interview with Reallusion's John Martin


Monday
Mar212011

"There be Monsters!" iClone film finds festival success

Interview with writer and film-maker, Tom Weston.

Award winning writer, Tom Weston, moves into the director’s chair for the animated adaptation of his short story, There be Monsters! Tom’s previous work includes the screenplay, fission, which was selected as a finalist at the 2008 London Independent Film Festival, and which is scheduled to be published as a novel in early 2011. Tom’s other works include the Urban Fantasy novels, First Night and The Elf of Luxembourg, collectively known as The Alex and Jackie Adventures. Currently, Tom is writing the third book in the series, titled, Feathered: being a fairy tale. For more information, visit Tom at his web site, http://www.tom-weston.com.

When did you first get involved with iClone?

 We go way back – to version 1.5, I think. In fact, it’s almost like I’ve come full circle now, because the reason I got iClone in the first place was because I had a script for a ghost story, which I thought would make for a nice little animated film and we took a look at everything which was on the market back then to see if a film could be made without a budget or army of animators -iClone was the only one that came close for a neophyte such as me.We didn’t make the film, but I did use iClone to make a short test animation of the film’s ending. And it was seeing the beauty of that animation that made me realize the story I was trying to tell was much bigger than I had first imagined. So I shelved my plans for a rewrite of the story. That story became my first novel, First Night. But I think it was seeing that test animation fromiClone which inspired me to write a better story.

So you set aside iClone and turned to writing?

Turned to writing, yes; set aside iClone, no. What I try to do is

tell stories. Today, there are several platforms for telling stories: the printed word, sound, visuals. I named my production company tom weston media, so that I wouldn’t be limited as a writer. For me, it’s ‘Here is the story and here is the appropriate platform for telling that story.

I should point out that in the interim, we found iClone to be a really versatile piece of software. We began using it for all manner of projects – business cards, posters, web menus. The book cover design for First Night was created in iClone. We wanted to create a Boston skyline based on the locations featured in the book, rather than the real thing; so we downloaded models of individual buildings from the Google 3D Warehouse and created our own skyline in iClone. The software worked really well for that.

And with There be Monsters! you found iClone to be the appropriate platform for the story?

The story came first, but as soon as I had written it, I knew that it would be the first animation to come out of the company and I knew that iClone was still the only software we could seriously consider.

Why is that?

We do keep tabs on the software out there - we have several in house, so we know the pros and cons of most of them, but iClone remains the only one which allows me to work as a director on a film set would work; to think in terms of characters and costumes, sets and camera angles. With the competition, it’s as if I need a PhD in physics just to create a still image, let alone an animation. And then there is the rendering time.

Rendering time?

I don’t know how iClone works its magic, but the real-time rendering is amazing. To be able to create a scene - and it may be a 30 second scene - but to do that in real time, to run the animation, make a change in lighting, run it again, make a change to the camera, move a character,  add a prop, change a costume, whatever – to do all that in real time and then be able to say ‘OK that’s a wrap, print it’ – and to do all that in a fraction of the time it takes the competition to render a single frame – I’m impressed.

But as you said, all software has pros and cons. Do you feel you that using iClone was a compromise on There be Monsters!

I’ve seen work produced by various software packages. Some of it is amazing – well beyond my capabilities – but I think that credit for that must also go to the artists. I’ve seen equally stunning work produced from iClone. Great art is dependent on the artist, not the tools. I think a lot of people, when they use software, whether it’s iClone or not, underestimate the artistry and assume that it is simple to duplicate. And they get frustrated when they don’t.

When it came to There be Monsters! we chose to go in a different direction. We were never going to emulate the animation or photorealism of a Pixar full length feature. We just don’t have the artists, the budget or the time, even if we had the software. If I had wanted to create that type of animation I could never have even started the project.

Instead, we played to iClone’s strengths. In iClone, we were able to create the characters and sets very quickly. We were also able to use iClone to create the Storyboards. And then we were able to turn the Storyboards directly into animations, with no wasted effort.

Production Stills (Facebook)

There be Monsters! is a 9 minute animation. How long did it take to produce?

Our narrator, Tony Impieri, finished the voice-over of the story in April, 2010. I had done some preliminary work on the characters and sets before then, but no animation because I wanted his interpretation of the story to set the tone. We wrapped up the project in November, 2010 and started to submit to the Film Festivals in January. So in total, the project took about 7 months. We were juggling this project with a couple of others, so the actual real-time effort spent on the film is less than that.

I assembled the animation, but I would like to point out that in the time-frame allowed to us, nothing would have been possible without having off-the-shelf models and motions available to us from Reallusion and Reallusion’s community of content providers such as Alley, Bigboss and Shygirl. Having those resources at hand were indispensible. And as I indicated, the content providers are the real artists in the world of There be Monsters! so I take my hat off to them. This is their animation as much as mine.

There be Monsters! will now be screened at several film festivals.

Yes, we got the ball rolling with an acceptance to the 2011 Worldkids International Film Festival in Mumbai, India. What’s really exciting about that is that There be Monsters! will also be shown to children around India as part of the Worldkids Foundation’s ‘Lessons in the Dark’ program.

Closer to home, There be Monsters! will have its world premiere right here in my home town of Boston, on April 16th at the Loews Cineplex / AMC on Tremont Street, as part of the Boston International Film Festival, April 15th to 24th. So I am even more excited about that.

And then I’ll be making a trip to the west coast and Santa Monica for the Edgemar Short Film Festival on April 28th to May 1st at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica, California.

If anyone reading this is going to be attending those festivals, and whichever others we are lucky enough to be selected for, I’d love to hook up and talk iClone.

Monday
Mar142011

Game Developers Conference 2011

Reallusion & Intel partner for the 25th Anniversary Game Developers Conference ~ San Francisco, CA - March 1-4 

GDC had a booming turnout with major releases and news from top title makers and console creators.  The show floor was packed with lines to see the Nintendo 3DS (yep, it's rad), live talks from Intel and famous game engine and developer middleware from Autodesk, Havok and Speedtree.


Intel featured Reallusion, Autodesk and even Lady Gaga remixer, Justin Lassen.  The technology buzz inside the booth included new rendering achievements with Intel Sandy Bridge, exciting real-time special effects from Confetti, Havok Destruction & Cloth and live podcasts from Intel Software Network TV show, 'Visualize This!,' hosted by Arti Gupta.  John Martin joined Arti for a podcast interview that will be posted soon.
The Intel Visibly Smart theater gave Reallusion's John Martin the stage for a talk about 2D animation for game designers and the new powertools for simplified animation in CrazyTalk Animator.  John discussed the shifting size of game studios and increasing development platforms that is now creating an environment for faster production and cost effective solutions. 

 

"CrazyTalk Animator equips game studios with a simplified solution for animation creation without the cost of a hefty license or commercial fees.  CrazyTalk Animator's tools provide a complete 2D animation solution for gamemakers and with 2D sidescroller and platform games on the rise, 2D is back with a force.," said John to the gathering of game developers during the Intel demo and tech talk.

The 2011 Game Developers Conference website

Intel GDC website

Intel Sandy Bridge Core

Wednesday
Jan262011

Google SketchUp Contest Winners Announced

Monday
Jan242011

Contact 2011 - iClone Screenplay Contest

If the pen is mightier than the sword, then your keyboard should be well up to the battle for humanity's survival.  Dramatic?  Exactly!  Wolf and Dulci kick off 2011 with a supernova screenplay competition.  You write the screenplay and the winner gets their movie made into a epic iClone adventure.  Read on for details... 

Wednesday
Jan192011

How to create PRO video intros with iClone: Tutorial by SmallWStudios

SmallWStudio's provides a great tutorial on how to create cool cut-out video effects in iClone.

Wednesday
Dec012010

SchoolTube partners with Reallusion

Reallusion is proud to announce the launch of our training videos and spotlight movies on the student-safe, SchoolTube.com.  Now the comprehensive video guide for students and teachers to learn and experience real-time animation is live with a special channel: http://www.schooltube.com/user/Reallusion

SchoolTube.com is the nation's largest K-12 moderated video sharing website that provides students and educators with a safe and FREE video sharing website that is exclusively endorsed by leading education associations.

Thursday
Nov252010

CrazyTalk Animator - The Next Level of 2D Animation


Reallusion is proud to announce the release of CrazyTalk Animator the 10 Anniversary Edition of the acclaimed 2D animation technology famous for turning any image into animated actors.  There's many new features to explore in CrazyTalk Animator adding a full production solution to CrazyTalk's facial animation tools. 

http://www.reallusion.com/crazytalk/Animator/

CrazyTalk Animator allows you to combine your actors on the stage with props, special effects, text and scenery to set up your scenes and record all the action with the live camera. Ultimate precision editing and animation is provided by CrazyTalk Animator's time-line with deep access to every character and prop in the scene.

CrazyTalk Animator FEATURES:
1. Fast Drag-&-Drop Scene Build-up & Animation
2. Easily Create Full-body Actors from Photos
3. Flexible Character Composer for Cartoon Design
4. Precise 2D Sprite Editor for Ultimate Actor Performance
5. Real-time Actor Animation Puppeteering & Auto Lip-Sync
6 Complete 2D Animation with Actors, Props, SFX & Real 3D Camera

 

Sunday
Nov212010

iClone film wins Warcraftmovies.com contest!

What do you get when you combine Warcraft, iClone and a pinch of Borderlands style in a digital theatrical visualization of Warcraft?  If you are iClone user, Recsiem then you get 500€ ($683) for this awesome film.   Warcraftmovies.com hosted the Bloodline Champions Teaser contest.  Congratulatons, Recsiem!  

1st Place (500€) Winner

http://warcraftmovies.com/movieview.p...

Soundtrack:
E.S. Posthumus - Ebla
Audiomachine - Akkadian Empire

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