Team Fortress for iClone

All the Team Fortress characters, freely available in .max format, and ready to load up in 3DS Max…

I tested one of the characters, saved it from Max as an .fbx, and then successfully opened it with textures intact using 3Dxchange 4 Pro. Very low poly, and it even seemed to have a couple of animations embedded…

I’m not a fan of the game, so I didn’t take the conversion any further. But someone else might want to convert them all for iClone, and with correctly segmented and named Perform animations attached. The texture resolution could probably also be increased, and detail added.

Even if you don’t want the characters, there are some cool low-poly guns and accessories. For non-profit fan-movies only, of course.

DepicT! – 90 second film competition

Can you do it in 90 seconds? DepicT! is a super-short filmmaking competition that…

“challenges filmmakers on any budget from anywhere in the world to create tiny gems of under 90 seconds — distinctive, imaginative and engaging.”

Deadline: 6th September 2010. DepicT! is run by the Encounters International Film Festival, which is held at the Bristol Watershed arts centre in the UK.

Metropia

In a dreary Kafkaesque grey world, a little guy uncovers the plans of an evil mega-corporation … vast global conspiracy … /yawn/. The story is by all accounts nothing to write home about, but the unusual method of animation used in Metropia is getting some attention…

It seems it was made in Photoshop and After Effects, using alpha-channel cut-outs for scenery and for devising complex layered characters…

“A typical Metropia character contains over 80 [2D] layers that can be animated and controlled”

Quite an achievement. But, considering the method, I guess it’s not a surprise that it took six years to make.

LuxRender

A free external high-quality renderer for your Blender…

LuxRender [makes] realistic images of photographic quality. LuxRender is free software – both for personal and commercial use […] The program runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. […] LuxRender is an external rendering program and relies on exporter scripts that export a scene from a 3d modelling program […] The primary exporter is LuxBlend, which tightly integrates LuxRender with Blender.”

The only (major) drawback…

“tends to take longer than other rendering approaches”

Another free alternative is YafaRay. There may be others, I didn’t look too hard.

The pictures these ray-tracing engines make certainly lovely, and they’re nice to have at the “free” price-point, and all that — but after iClone, can anyone go back to three-day renders to get a few seconds of animation?