Our forest friends

Those with the DAZ-to-iClone pipeline tools, and a hankering to do something different for the Reallusion Animal Poses competition, might be interested that the Poser Forest Animals Pack is currently on sale at a mere $10. The runtime weighs in at 222Mb, and gives you 12 animals — plus some baby variants. A few models look a little rough (the fox’s head, and the weird rabbit) but there are also some rather strong models, and of course they’re all ready-rigged…

The pack works fine in DAZ Studio. This is the Squirrel model, decimated to 29,000 faces, inside iClone. Everything except its facial-features/jaw is full flexible, and it can even can be brought into iClone with aniMate Plus animations (although most don’t suit it well)…

The ocean animals pack is also $10, should you have the patience to pose an Octopus holding 50 top hats. Note also the rather nice sea-turtle hiding away in the corner.

DAZ also have a free Safari Animals Starter pack.

Warden’s Fall

Dragon Age wasn’t a game I could get into, mainly put off by the “on-rails” nature of the gameplay, the tediously-generic fantasy world, and then the poorly-presented first quest to find the witch. But it had a strong machinima toolset. The first official backstory video has just been released, “Warden’s Fall: Part One”, made with the same toolset…

Straight to the visuals — I’ve clipped the first 38 seconds, since they won’t mean anything to those who haven’t played the game. The plot is ripped straight from the LOTR films, but otherwise it’s certainly a strong slice of machinima.

UK Creative Media Workforce Survey 2010 – open now

The UK’s national Creative Media Workforce Survey 2010 is now open for online completion…

“Whether you are an employer, an employee or a freelancer, what you tell us about your skills needs, experience of training and recruitment, future plans and working patterns will help us produce the most comprehensive profile of working life in the UK’s creative media industries. The results of the surveys will directly and quickly shape all our work, including future training support, pin-pointing skills gaps and what more we can do to make sure our industries maintain their world-class position.”

This Skillset survey is especially important this year, with a new government in power — and funding cuts looming (* – the Labour Party having bankrupted the nation for the second time in 30 years). For the first time ever, the Skillset survey will seek the views of those working in publishing. Photographers and film production freelancers (previously collected separately) will also be included for the first time. Skillset has just taken over all regional skills and training funding for film and animation in the UK, and has also recently expanded to encompass fashion and textiles. Early results from the survey will be available in the Autumn (Fall) of 2010.

* For the first wave of cuts to the arts, the £88m headline figure is made up of the £61m of cuts already sneaked into the last Budget by the previous government, plus an additional £27m to be shaved off the cost of the London Olympics. The Arts Council will have to make £19m of cuts in this year.

RSPCA animation competition

The British Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has launched this year’s animation competition. They want you to create…

“a pre-roll animation, to play before some of the videos on our site that shows the best of humanity and promotes the positive relationship between people and animals. Animals in your animation must be acting naturally, you shouldn’t dress them in clothes or portray them dancing. Your animation should be in keeping with our values and promote what we do; it should appeal to a broad audience.”

So, no /cough/ frisky sheep… but cute is probably good. Talking LOLcats are probably out, and I guess any CrazyTalk videos will be frowned on (the RSPCA has allegedly had some infiltration by animal-rightist nuts in recent years). But you might be able to re-purpose your Reallusion animal poses competition project files, sans clothes?

They only want 15 seconds, so I assume “pre-roll” is trendy new TV insider jargon for a TV channel’s animated logo (the one that gets inserted just before a programme starts). It used to be called an “ident”.

Deadline: 4th September 2010. There’s no entry fee, and there don’t seen to be any nationality restrictions.