Field Guide to New Media for the Performing Arts

Live Movies : A Field Guide to New Media for the Performing Arts (PDF, 12Mb. 2006) is a free 252-page ebook of theory, history, and case-studies. It should be quite useful for any university students writing essays about the blending of staged performance and interactive new media. Innovative stage-design and event-design is, of course, another area of creative production in which iClone users could deploy their talents.

Originally given away free (it was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts), the website for the book has since completely vanished from the web. It’s also not listed on Amazon U.S. or U.K. So I have to assume it’s “abandonware”, and that I can link to it at what appears to be the book’s last remaining location. If you’re interested, then grab it while you can.

Copying text from the PDF is disabled, but if students need to quote from the book in an essay then just use Microsoft OneNote thus…

Open OneNote, then: “Insert” / “Screen Clipping” / capture your paragraph as an image / then right click on the auto-inserted image, and click on “Copy Text from Picture”. The text is captured, made editable, and sent to your Windows clipboard.

If you’re interested in this book you may also be interested in Animata, free open-source software for real-time theatre animation. Judging by the videos, it’s “real-time motion capture and transfer, without the dots” (using eyesweb and Proce55ing)…

Reverse Shadow Theatre from gabor papp on Vimeo.

Those interested in the technical details behind using this sort of software for controlling shadow-play puppets might be interested in this technical paper (PDF link).

All Film Board of Canada short animations, free

Fed up with sifting through all the cruft on YouTube to find the best short animations? The Film Board of Canada has always had a reputation for excellent short films and children’s films, although often imbued with a certain leftist worldview. Now they’ve put all of their films online at one site. There are nearly 200 animated shorts of the highest quality, to keep you entertained and inspired over the remaining winter months.

And if you get tired of animation, there are over 500 short documentaries.

“I can haz freebie cats?”

Herding cats. Difficult in the real world, and even more difficult when you’re chasing the free 3D felines. So here’s my short time-saving guide.

White Tiger has the best, a nice iClone freebie small cat (sitting only). It’s low-poly and is done as an iProp with eight animations.

If you’re green-screening animated cats using Poser video, there are also some useful freebies for the retail DAZ Millenium Cat — such as running cat animations and walking cat animations.

And if you’re looking to bone a cat in 3DS Max, there’s a free domestic cat model (unboned) here. This 3DS model mesh, although it looks bad in the preview picture, is actually rather nice and is royalty-free for non-commercial use, because it was created by the French public-funded GAMMA project. GAMMA’s huge Animals directory is here — it’d be great to see the best of these 1,400 free royalty-free low-poly animals all converted for iClone! That’s right, they have 1,400+ free 3D animals, many made from scans!

You could also combine these parts to build some great (if un-boned and un-animated) sci-fi monsters or weird organic structures for an alien planet. Take a look at the base section of the lobster and around 400 insects, for instance. Their use of “$$” doesn’t mean some models are behind a paywall, but take care if you’re planning to use these animals as props in a film you may one day be paid something for. The GAMMA animals are royalty-free only for use in non-commercial projects.

And also for Max users who want to make their own basic cat, there’s a entry-level tutorial on how to model a cartoonish cat shape from a simple box in 15 relatively easy steps.

European Entrepreneurship Video Award

Now open for entries, the European Entrepreneurship Video Award 2010. Simply produce a short video (one to two minutes, animation or camera-based work) that addresses the following questions: What is entrepreneurship about? What could encourage people to become entrepreneurs? What could counteract old prejudices and offer new visions of entrepreneurship?

Prizes of up to 3,333 Euros (about $4,700) will be awarded to the winners. There are also special prizes reserved for film-makers aged 25 or younger. Entry is not limited to schools and universities — business and management schools, members of business networks and associations, entrepreneurs and professionals, and intellectuals are all are invited to portray their own experiences in the field of entrepreneurship. Deadline: 9th April 2010. Full details can be obtained at the competition website.

Creative Commons photo by Rachael Voorhees.