Hollywood’s resort to draconian tactics like SOPA may have cost them the moral high ground.

Venture capitalist Paul Graham is already looking to fund Hollywood’s successors.

Hollywood appears to have peaked. If it were an ordinary industry (film cameras, say, or typewriters), it could look forward to a couple decades of peaceful decline. But this is not an ordinary industry. The people who run it are so mean and so politically connected that they could do a lot of damage to civil liberties and the world economy on the way down. It would therefore be a good thing if competitors hastened their demise.

That’s one reason we want to fund startups that will compete with movies and TV….

http://ycombinator.com/rfs9.html

Fortunately those successors can take advantage of technical infrastructure like the Cloud, as the chief creative officer of a small digital arts company attests.

After turning to Amazon’s Elastic Cloud Computing service for the first time to finish animation under tight deadline, [John McNeil] was impressed by how it would let him compete with bigger studios. He said, ‘Cloud computing is the first truly democratic, accessible technology that potentially gives everyone a supercomputer…it’s a game changer. I could never compete or be able to deliver something at the level of a Pixar or a Disney, given what I have at my disposal inside the walls of the studio,’ McNeil said. ‘But if I factor in the cloud, all of a sudden I can go there. And then the limitations of whether or not I can deliver something great will be on my own talent and the talent of the people that are part of the studio.’”

Meanwhile, an admission from the horse’s mouth: the movie industry’s real worry is not piracy but the loss of control.

“Miramax CEO Mike Lang has admitted to what we all suspected. The biggest worry is a distribution monopoly, not piracy. They saw what happened to the music industry with iTunes, and vowed to not lose control and be at the mercy of Apple or whoever becomes the dominant distributor. From the article: ‘Lang, whose company today debuts the Blu-Ray version of the cult classic Pulp Fiction, emphasized that people don’t necessarily want to pirate, as long as they get what they want. “Innovate or die,” should be the motive of entertainment industry companies, where it’s key to listen to customers.’”

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/10/07/0032233/Movie-Industry-Loss-of-Control-Worse-Than-Piracy.

Gabe Newell, chief of the company that brought you Half Life and Portal (and former classmate of mine, hi Gabe!), finds a comparable misunderstanding in gaming:

“In general, we [at Valve] think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the U.S. release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate’s service is more valuable. Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customers use or by creating uncertainty.”

http://games.slashdot.org/story/11/11/25/2217247/valves-gabe-newell-on-piracy-its-not-a-pricing-problem

One game company is taking control of this…loss of control?

“Indie game company tinyBuild Games, who released a platformer called No Time To Explain recently, uploaded their own game to the Pirate Bay. However, there’s a key difference between the game they uploaded and the version you can purchase: the game characters wear pirate hats, and everything else has a pirate theme. One of the company’s founders, Alex Nichiporchik, said, ‘[S]ome people are going to torrent it either way, we might as well make something funny out of it. … You can’t really stop piracy, all you can do is make it work for you and/or provide something that people actually want to pay for. For us this is humor, we like making people laugh.’”

http://games.slashdot.org/story/11/09/14/0517245/Indie-Devs-Upload-Their-Own-Game-To-The-Pirate-Bay

Wired showcases some stop-motion shorts that break the rules, including Filmmaker Tomas Mankovsky’s “Sorry I’m Late,” which plays with uses a camera on the ceiling pointed at the floor to weave objects near and far into a rambunctious narrative.

Continue reading »

Motion capture used to require actors and stunt artists to perform in a controlled studio. This radically different approach can capture a child swinging on monkeybars in a playground or a figure skater performing in an ice rink.

“Traditional motion capture techniques use cameras to meticulously record the movements of actors inside studios, enabling those movements to be translated into digital models. But by turning the cameras around — mounting almost two dozen, outward-facing cameras on the actors themselves — scientists at Disney Research Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University have shown that motion capture can occur almost anywhere — in natural environments, over large areas, and outdoors

http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/08/09/1924208/Breaking-Motion-Capture-Out-of-the-Studio

Who knew Processing could be a gateway drug to these hallucinatory animations? The distributor of this open-source library, that’s who.

toxiclibs is an independent, open source library collection for computational design tasks with Java & Processing (and soon other languages). After over 3.5 years of continuous development & refactoring, the collection consists of >25k lines of code, 270+ classes bundled into 8 libraries. The classes are purposefully kept fairly generic in order to maximize re-use in different contexts ranging from generative visuals, data visualization to architecture digital fabrication, use as teaching tool in these fields and more…

toxiclibs showreel 2010 from postspectacular on Vimeo.

Animators using open-source 3D software have begun sharing the code, data, and even tutorials on how to make technically accomplished shorts. But meanwhile, musicians wanting to share their work suffered a setback in Canada when it was revealed that industry lobbyists pressured the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (a public utility) into agreeing not to play Creative Commons-licensed music over their podcasts. Will Hollywood someday pressure theaters not to show movies made with Blender?

http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/10/02/215257/Creative-Commons-Video-Challenges-Hollywoods-Best?from=rss

A short film entitled Sintel was released by the Blender Foundation under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license (YouTube link). It was created by an international team of artists working collaboratively using a free, open source piece of 3D rendering software called Blender. No Hollywood studio was involved in its making….

“Next on our todo is wrapping up the 4-dvd box release, NTSC/PAL discs with extras and documentary, and 2 DVD-ROMs with tutorials,and all the data to reproduce the film entirely.”

Here’s a link to the CBC story:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/10/08/2346236/CBC-Bans-Use-of-Creative-Commons-Music-On-Podcasts?from=rss

Animation is all about time, right? Well, these animations demonstrate that time can be a box you can break out of, thanks to stop-action applied to simple 3d CAD files.

Continue reading »

Just look at that slimy software. It’s as though this Softimage researcher, Eric Mootz, is reverse-engineering the work of biologists who are looking at how slime molds resemble computer networks.

Continue reading »

Animator or game design wannabe? This equation is for you.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/q0mznEX_SNM/ via Byline Want your next animated short to look more real than a Bugs Bunny cartoon? Study up on the equation at the heart of every 3-D rendering package.

From Slashdot:

“Someone has gone and done it. Tobias Schneider has created a Flash player written in JavaScript targeting SVG/HTML5-capable browsers. It’s not a complete implementation yet, but it shows real promise. A few demos have been posted online. How long before HTML5/SVG next- generation browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Epiphany, and other Web-Kit based browsers completely supplant Flash and Silverlight/ Moonlight?”

The only question is, should we be investing in writing open-source Flash players that use HTML5, or just making open-source animations in HTML5 to begin with?

Flash

From Slashdot:

“Someone has gone and done it. Tobias Schneider has created a Flash player written in JavaScript targeting SVG/HTML5-capable browsers. It’s not a complete implementation yet, but it shows real promise. A few demos have been posted online. How long before HTML5/SVG next- generation browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Epiphany, and other Web-Kit based browsers completely supplant Flash and Silverlight/ Moonlight?”

The only question is, should we be investing in writing open-source Flash players that use HTML5, or just making open-source animations in HTML5 to begin with?

Flash

Bookmark this category

From Slashdot:

“Someone has gone and done it. Tobias Schneider has created a Flash player written in JavaScript targeting SVG/HTML5-capable browsers. It’s not a complete implementation yet, but it shows real promise. A few demos have been posted online. How long before HTML5/SVG next- generation browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Epiphany, and other Web-Kit based browsers completely supplant Flash and Silverlight/ Moonlight?”

The only question is, should we be investing in writing open-source Flash players that use HTML5, or just making open-source animations in HTML5 to begin with?

Flash

© 2011 UMaine NMDNet Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha