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36 comments

Will there be a plot? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427046)

Will there be a plot, or is plot considered something 'shiny' dreamed up by 'mere marketers'?

Re:Will there be a plot? (3, Insightful)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427138)

If you read the history of Pixar, their first films were animation for the sake of animation. They found themselves fast forwarding through their own work out of shear boredom. They quickly realized no motion picture will work without a real plot.

Re:Will there be a plot? (NOPE) (1)

Required Snark (1702878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427158)

Not really. The series is about characters in a video game.

So the fanboys don't care what it's about; they'll love it not mater what, and talk about how cool the technology is, and endlessly discuss if the motion capture and rendering details. It's kind of like going to a golf game and talking about nothing but who made the golf balls, clubs and shoes while not caring about the score.

No actual entertainment will take place. Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Will there be a plot? (NOPE) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35427172)

No actual entertainment will take place.

So in other words, exactly like going to a golf game.

Re:Will there be a plot? (NOPE) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35427500)

Perhaps if you go to a golf game as a spectator. If you go to play, golf is immensely fun and relaxing.

Re:Will there be a plot? (NOPE) (1)

Virtual_Raider (52165) | more than 3 years ago | (#35446710)

(...) It's kind of like going to a golf game and talking about nothing but who made the golf balls, clubs and shoes while not caring about the score.

No actual entertainment will take place. Nothing to see here, move along.

So, nobody could possibly enjoy socializing and just having a chat. For "real" entertainment to occur people must conform to rigid parameters. I guess I don't enjoy any "real" entertainment either when I watch a bad movie solely for the purpose of ripping it to pieces with friends, I should just watch it silently and without distraction. I think not.

Re:Will there be a plot? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427336)

if they took the time for making a plot they could be inspired to use the time to do the animations.
now they'd also need to find dancers and gymnastics, instead of just the guy who could define how the said dancers and gymnastics should move.

but as an art project.. well, it's a good learning project at least. but very boring in the sense that kinect isn't exactly rocket science nor does it prove anything new to be possible.

Wrong weaponry dynamics? (4, Insightful)

snikulin (889460) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427096)

The gun is supposedly heavy. The body shields and the helmets are too.
In the video I see dynamics of a Styrofoam toys.
And it's not about this particular video.
Now-days I see wrong dynamics in almost all of multi-million mega-busters too.
In my time [insert a lengthy rant here]

Re:Wrong weaponry dynamics? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35427102)

In your day Charlie Chaplin still had to wear a real suit. We know ...

Re:Wrong weaponry dynamics? (1)

internettoughguy (1478741) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427130)

The gun is supposedly heavy. The body shields and the helmets are too.
In the video I see dynamics of a Styrofoam toys.
And it's not about this particular video.
Now-days I see wrong dynamics in almost all of multi-million mega-busters too.
In my time [insert a lengthy rant here]

Just poor miming skills on the part of the actors, although they kind of get a way with because its done in a video game "style". They could use something like Endorphin [naturalmotion.com] to add a bit of weight/dynamics to their movements though.

Re:Wrong weaponry dynamics? (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427154)

And the voice acting and writing is bad, too. I mean, painful.

This is the time where the clever animators need to get on the phone and call all their friends who got degrees in English or theater, if they have any ambition at all.

Re:Wrong weaponry dynamics? (1)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427166)

Which could be solved by having the actors wear real weights while they're doing the motion capture. Not that they'll do it, of course.

Re:Wrong weaponry dynamics? (2)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427854)

Which could be solved by having the actors wear real weights while they're doing the motion capture. Not that they'll do it, of course.

What about having them wear real muscles? In the times when swords and shields were used, everything was hard work for everyone, man, woman, and child.

Before breakfast could be served, the house wife had to knead dough to make bread. The little boy had to go to the well and bring a bucket of water. Meanwhile the husband was milking the cow. Day to day life was an endless iron pumping for everyone.

I have a friend who has an uncle in Spain who makes replicas of medieval battle axes. They weigh up to 30 kilos. Try swinging one of those "naturally" with your 21st century muscles.

Re:Wrong weaponry dynamics? (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429246)

I doubt 11th century muscles were swinging 30kg/60lb "battle axes". Even the Huscarl axes was nowhere close to 60lbs. (Here's a hint: they didn't fight with 20lb swords either.)

Re:Wrong weaponry dynamics? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#35432134)

<videogame>It's POWERED armor!</videogame>

Ye olde power-assisted armor trick for videogames - always a nice way to explain away all the excessive weight and such.

Of course, the dynamics change a lot in non-intuitive ways because unfortunately, *mass* is still there...

Re:Wrong weaponry dynamics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35428220)

The most obvious problem is not the weight they wear, but the way they flail around with their weapons. They don't actually have anything in their hands when they mocap - they should just strap 1 or two hammers and a grip to a broomstick to fix this.

Re:Wrong weaponry dynamics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35427896)

Don't forget that "futuristic" design nowadays means "add greebles and glowing bits", often with fancy flimsy parts folding out of nowhere. Compare the mechanical designs of, say, Syd Mead or Aramaki Shinji (ok, so Aramaki is a terrible director, point still stands), with something from the Transformers movies or Mass Effect. The former are big balls of greebles flung about the screen with wild abandon, and the latter is either fancy glowy fold-out guns or designs cribbed wholesale from Mead [blogspot.com].

Open-source--but Maya? (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427178)

a new animated series is now in development that incorporates many open source middleware and wrappers [...] the Kinect, OpenNI, Brekel, MotionBuilder and Maya.

Maya? Not the open-source Blender [blender.org]?

Re:Open-source--but Maya? (4, Informative)

LetterRip (30937) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427356)

Maya? Not the open-source Blender?

The important part was Motionbuilder. Right now Blender doesn't have the tools for dealing with motion capture to give 'clean' results from mocap data. Thus until such time as our tools for mocap improve Blender won't be a suitable choice. Maya can import easily the files output by Maya.

What's missing? (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427782)

What's missing in Blender. You can easily create animation keyframes from Python scripts? If they went such great lengths to integrate an opensource middleware, I don't think it would be hard to make it work in Blender. What cleaning tools do you need beside a sliding window average?

Animated Series Uses Kinect For Motion Capture (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427456)

They must be pretty poor...

Re:Animated Series Uses Kinect For Motion Capture (2)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427590)

That's not required. They may simply have seen an opportunity to save money and took it. As long as they don't save on story (haven't got sound at work, so I can't hear whether they did that.) I am cool with that.

Significant change in VR content creation needed. (3, Interesting)

boorack (1345877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427486)

I hope it will spark a significant change in video game / VR content creation. Contemporary technology went great lengths in core engine / content display / etc. but costs of creating interactive 3D content / VR worlds is still prohibitive. That significant cost propably limits innovation: if production of a single title with decent graphics costs XXmm$, there is very little incentive to risk targeting other than usual/well tested audience (mostly teens) ?

I hope to see video game/VR industry equipping with tools lowering their costs to the point where high quality 3D content creation will be accessible / easy to use for small studios / artists, so they will be to use it to convey a wide range of stories just like film makers are doing it. Kinect is a good step in this direction.

Widely available inexpensive and easy to use content creation tools coupled with widely available 3D engines can transform this field into what film making is today (exluding MPAA). Kinect can do magic in this regard !

Que Cease And Desist... (2)

cyclomedia (882859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427726)

I'm wondering how long before they are sued because at least one of their techniques is patented, seems like the sort of thing that would be teeming with IP.

Re:Que Cease And Desist... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35428548)

Dear Cyclomedia,

Cease and desist from writing "que" when you mean "cue".

Yours,

A. Spelling-Lawyer

So many lawyers, so little time ... (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35435272)

Cease and desist from writing "que" when you mean "cue".

Maybe there were so many lawyers that they had to get in line.

Game Animations? (1)

Redlazer (786403) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427740)

Will this enable someone to convert human movement into game animations?

Or am I tripping here?

Re:Game Animations? (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427804)

As long as it's made compatible with conventional mocap interfaces there's no problem. Game companies have been using motion capturing for years (with a lot of cleanup of the recorded data).

Re:Game Animations? (3, Informative)

chenjeru (916013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35428186)

Yes, but Kinect mocap data is very low quality in comparison to what most studios use for professional production. Also, the skeleton tracking doesn't include rotations of the head, feet or hands. On top of this, it doesn't track props, fingers or faces so it is quite limited. If you watched the video you hear the narrator talking about the Kinect getting them 70% there with lots of tweaking (he specifically mentioned adding head animation). The great advantage with Kinect, of course, is cost.

For high end work, equipment from Vicon or Motion Analysis is the way to go. I use a 24 camera Vicon T160 system daily at Motek Entertainment, which is also where Brekel works. He's developed the plugin for which allows the Kinect to stream skeleton data directly into Motionbuilder.

Re:Game Animations? (1)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429062)

Yes, but Kinect mocap data is very low quality in comparison to what most studios use for professional production. Also, the skeleton tracking doesn't include rotations of the head, feet or hands. On top of this, it doesn't track props, fingers or faces so it is quite limited. If you watched the video you hear the narrator talking about the Kinect getting them 70% there with lots of tweaking (he specifically mentioned adding head animation).

So for the next release, you put red and green stickers on the left and right sides of everything, so the software can tell which side it's seeing. (Hey, maybe I should patent this idea!)

I'm disappointed that there were no links to the software in the story. Google turns up some open source motion capture software, but everything I've found so far predates the Kinect. Anyone know what they're using? (I haven't watched the video yet, so maybe it'll be there.)

Something's off here (0)

Zorque (894011) | more than 3 years ago | (#35428356)

At first I thought the stiff motion was due to poor motion capture, but then I realized that the guys are moving really stiffly. It looks unnatural, but somehow it's actually the actors' fault rather than the technology's.

Re:Something's off here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35438788)

(P.S. Whoever modded this redundant: you're really stupid! There weren't any comments preceding this that said anything remotely similar. Look up the word redundant, you drooling retard.)

Animation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35428708)

No one in the animation industry thinks much of motion capture. The resulting animation is always corpse-looking. That's great for animating corpses and corpse-like hobbits, I suppose.

One more case (1)

Illogical Spock (1058270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35433972)

This is one more case where the technology is giving ordinary people the capabilities to create very good content, and slowly shifting the power from the big entertainment corporations to these people. Somebody can tell it already happened (youtube, torrent LEGAL distribution, etc), but I believe we are just seeing the beginning of it. Yes, I know that Hollywood still have fat-asses computers and crews to do prettier and more real animations and stuff, but the majority of their plots is awful. With a good plot it's possible to compensate the graphic quality difference and make something people will watch and like more than Holywood stuff.

There are others out there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35436880)

Looks like there are true believers out there who are using opensource technologies from A to Z to produce web series, considering Maya and MotionBuilder are definitely NOT opensource in my book (although Maya runs on linux).

There are not enough details at this point (I monitor the site from time to time), but a company called Impossible 3D uses Blender 3D and Gimp with some form of MOCAP to produce an animated SCI-FI web series (they seem to mention something coming out in 2011 in many languages). Actually, their early work (shown on youtube) look promising! If you type "paradoxa 3D" and click on the green icon/preview.

Web site is at: http://www.impossible3d.com

The future looks sweet for web series in the coming years... nice article!

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