3D animation is undergoing a revolution. Graphic ability is improving. GPU-powered render pipelines like OctaneRender are visualizing remarkable photorealistic imagery in near-realtime. Meanwhile, mainstream games like Until Dawn and the Assassin’s Creed series are investing in cinematic approaches where player-passive cutsceens have taken over large sections of the game experience….
There is a crossover between “traditional” 3D renderers and game engines. I’ve been searching for an online community to explore and discuss this, and not finding it I’m going to propose what I would like to see in such a community.
The Problem with Existing Communities
- game engine and render communities have different end-goals
- game engine and render communities use different tools
- game engine and render communities actually hostile to each other
- “Mechinima” communities are gamer-oriented, existing in specific social game worlds
Why render communities reject game engines
- Game engine software is complicated and code-oriented
- Graphic quality must be compromised to work in realtime
- Gamer Community can be hostile, misogynist, and territorial
- End-goal is an edited video at cinema quality
Why render communities should look at game engines
- Software is FREE and competitive with expansive features
- Assets are highly re-useable and can have attached behaviors
- Game Engines have “asset stores” with ready-to-use props, figures, environments, visualFX, and motion capture clips
- Even simple GUI menus are opportunities for new forms of storytelling and worldbuilding.
Why gamers hate “cinematics”
- Linear timeline drastically reduces game play options
- it’s “cheating” by taking away meaningful involvement with the player.
- it’s contrary to current trends in “open world” and networked combat gaming
- Hollywood is trying to make games terrible. There is no benefit to a gamer community but selling picks and shovels to an outsider group that will dilute the knowledge base.
Advantages to video delivery over games
- Consistent quality, regardless of viewer hardware
- robust web delivery across mobile, touch, and console platforms
- some forms of interactivity can be streamed dynamically through HTML5 or a shell app
- Sophisticated video markets, short festivals, and venues.
- Longevity of archival format
Reasons to have a unique community for animators using game engines
- Discuss realtime tools, performance and capture hardware, and workflow (articles)
- Share news, useful links, technologies, and examples (blog)
- Ask questions and get advice (forum)
- Explore niche distribution models (festivals, events, social channels)
- Develop a creative vernacular for artistic context and discussion to advance the medium
Realms of Discussion
- Capturing Realtime – screen recording, rendering-to-disk, and GPU-sending
- Character Animation, Motion Capture, and Live Puppeting
- Animated Matte Backgrounds, Compositing, Virtual Sets, Post-process Pipeline
- Dynamic Camera – recreating cinema effects, editing, and motion
- Non-linear Narratives – stop to smell the roses vs the Butterfly Effect
- Programming Chance – randomized choice, stochastic timing, and artificial biology