Bedroom filmmaking

As some of you know, I taught some free videography classes for local kids recently. I was lucky to have some very smart students who would easily pick up the various notions about modern filmmaking. One of them is even using After Effects for his home movies using complex effects like gunshots and explosions. So I kept thinking tonight about how some of these kids could “make it” to the industry when and if they decide to follow such a profession.

We were discussing with JBQ a few weeks ago that there’s a huge opportunity for full length movies made using 3D gaming engines. The technology is nearly there (game companies already use them to create intro & cut scenes), but what is lacking is visual editors that would make it easy for non-technical users to put together a scene. Also, a universal 3D object format would be required, so directors/editors can simply download a needed prop and use it directly.

Audio technology would probably need a bigger push than the 3D engine though, as computerized voices would not only need to sound natural, but to also have support for accentuation or moods.

Of course, some would point to Blender 3D or Maya 3D to create an animated movie, but these tools are very difficult to use, and they require to almost create or control everything from scratch. On an existing 3D gaming engine with a proper front-end instead, a lot of the movie-making elements would be built-in, and much simpler to use. It would be a step beyond what current 3D design apps do.

Personally, I think we’re 5-10 years away from a commercial release of such a solution, but I think it’s coming. If there are so many successful bedroom musicians around after the maturation of computer music software, then movie-making without leaving the bedroom is also possible.

5 Comments »

Ivan wrote on February 8th, 2012 at 11:45 PM PST:

You are right about the potential. I have a student at our school, 13 years old, with a real talent for still photography. I have now forwarded her a link to Lightroom 4beta. I’m very curious about how this will impact/improve her photography even more. The sky is the limit, I hope…


CRFilms wrote on February 9th, 2012 at 11:17 AM PST:

Rooster Teeth have made about 150+ episodes and 9 movies worth of footage using the Halo 1-3 game engines. With the 7th season they started using CG to render action scenes that couldn’t be done in the game engine and took their vids to another level. They’re the best that’s currently out there.

First Episode: http://roosterteeth.com/archive/?id=88&v=more&s=1

Season 9 Trailer: http://roosterteeth.com/archive/?id=3016&v=more

Watching from start to finish is a good example of the evolution of a studio. They’ve come a long way. And they’ve gone from a bunch of friends doing it in their bedroom to doing this full time with a dozen plus employees.


CRFilms wrote on February 9th, 2012 at 9:55 PM PST:

The Rooster Teeth guys even influenced the development of Halo. Bungie put a “Theater Mode” in Halo 3 that saved your played games and allowed you to re-watch the game from almost any angle. Allowing you to do virtual tracking shots and other camera moves that they couldn’t do before.

The PS3 game Uncharted or Uncharted 2 even put in lip syncing capabilities in their theater mode and was considered the most advanced Theater Mode of it’s time, but hardly anybody made any vids with that game.

More and more games are doing Theater Mode now. I made this using Call of Duty: Black Ops theater mode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKIXZgpzjN0


Ian wrote on February 10th, 2012 at 5:51 PM PST:

Check out Moviestorm ( http://www.moviestorm.co.uk/), it’s pretty much the thing you write about. It’s great aside from the fact that the graphic looks dated. There is more software like this but none of it looks stunning. While we’re on the subject, on monday I will be releasing a music video made for my band using Moviestorm (and HV40 :).

Here’s my first short Moviestorm film, also with some music from myself and my band.


horace wrote on February 12th, 2012 at 2:57 PM PST:

blender has a built-in game engine. it could be the ideal machinima tool if someone worked on some python scripts for that purpose.


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