IdeasTap – UK competition

UK IdeasTap film competition, for people 16-25…

“If you have a vision for a short film […] we’re offering eight IdeasTap members £5,000 funding each and expert mentoring […] Narrative, documentary, conceptual, a music video, animation – the format is up to you […] Your finished film will be no longer than five minutes long. With it, you must be proposing to do something that has not been done before, and something that you would not be able to do without the funding.”

It seems they just want the idea, not the finished movie? Deadline: Friday 16th March 2012.

iClone Creature Pack 2 – real-world goblin render

Here’s a quick real-world render that I made with 3Dfoin’s new iClone Creature Pack 2

Click on the picture for the full-size render.

You can see the level of detail in the luscious textures. You may want to tone down the Specularity / Gloss on some parts (a common problem with FBX imports to iClone). I found that doing so brought some details back into the goblin’s hair, for instance. The Goblin’s texture map is 2048px, and comes with an alternative blue version for night scenes.

There is no facial rigging / iClone skeleton rigging — you’re reliant on the packaged motions. 3Dfoin could make even more sales on these, if only he could provide a version of the more human characters (such as the Goblin) with rigged body/faces which can accept standard iClone motions and face puppeteering.

3Dfoin’s iClone Creatures Pack 2 – out now

Videogame developer 3Dfoin obviously had success with his recent iClone Creature Pack, so he’s released another one. iClone Creatures Pack 2 is available only on his site, at $39 for this week only (after the 27th Feb, normal price will be $74). These look superb, come with really “pro” animations, and the quality textures seem able to stand close-up shots (see screenshots) which is a refreshing change from the blurry “pea soup” textures we see on some iClone characters…

There would seem to be two drawbacks. Lack of facial rigging able to accept iClone facial puppetering / the inability to accept standard iClone motions. And 3Dfoin’s terms-of-use in the licence…

On the one hand, his terms of use say: “you are not permitted to market, distribute, give, transfer, sell or sublicense the product in any format with the exception of video games”.

On the other hand, he says: “The products may be used royalty free: For advertising or promotional use; For personal or commercial use; In books, magazines, multimedia, video games or animation.”

That’s confusing. But perhaps the first applies to the actual delivered file content, and the second applies to uniquely lit and posed renders of that content (allowing you to use them in comics etc)? But even so, there’s a worrying lack of clarity in the license.

Filming puppets

Film professional Steven Ritz-Barr has an interesting new article online titled: “Real-time Animation: Puppet Film Challenges – Concept to Final Edit“. He’s talking here about filming real puppets, but there seem to be some lessons to be drawn for digital iClone puppeteers…

“This article will explore the challenges inherent in conceiving, creating, and operating puppets to be filmed in real time with any puppet style or combination of operating styles. These are reflections based largely upon a direct experience with puppetry in commercial & art films/ TV in Los Angeles and Paris.”