Friday, December 18, 2009

P.T.E.R. is D.O.N.E.

Last time, I showed the trailer I made for my Intro to Machinima midterm. This time, I've got the final thing done, uploaded to Youtube, ready for your viewing. Please do view it, and please do enjoy it. Immature Youtube comments about how I am a "faget" are not required, but appreciated. If you can somehow work Barrack Obama into your insult, bonus points.

Part 1

Part 2 (Yes, it is long enough for two parts. Go grab a sandwich if you must.)

I like to think that I am a really good judge of my own work. I know when I half-ass things. I'm aware when things don't work. And I can feel the difference between having to work on something and wanting to work on something. I definitely don't think I half-assed this project. I feel that it works really well in almost every area (almost). And I think that's because this wasn't a project that I was told to do. I chose to take Introduction to Machinima as an elective, and I got to choose what I would make. Even if I didn't have to make this film, I probably still would have. And I think that shows. I made this to see if I could, and I feel extremely proud of it.

I came up with this story idea last semester, I think. It was definitely sometime last spring. And originally, I was going to write the whole story as a text document (not even Word, just plain text) from the point of view of the robot, and what his CPU was "thinking". So really the whole story would look like machine output and code. I thought it would be interesting to write a story entirely in program scripts, but it was incredibly exhausting. It just wasn't fun, to write or read.

So when Machinima class came around, I dug it out of my Ideas folder and adapted it. Let this be a lesson: always put your ideas somewhere. Even if it's just a quick thought that you don't know what to do with, put it somewhere. Organize it. You never know when you might be struggling to remember that great idea you had once.

I realize that I am now rambling, which is what blogs are for, I suppose, but I'm still going to wrap this up pretty quickly. I'll end with a series of thoughts about "PTER" that I don't feel like organizing into structured prose:

-Before resorting to Second Life, this was going to be filmed in Halo 3. PTER was a monitor, Assets Protection was two characters (a Scorpion tank and a Hornet), and Clifton died from a shooter in the crowd of people (since everyone has guns in that game). It was going to be filmed in Orbital, for the most part, and Avalanche was going to be Hell. Avalanche was the reason this film ends with a snowy landscape.

-I got rid of the shooter ending for 3 reasons. 1) If you hadn't noticed, this film deals with religion. Quite a bit. If one of the religious characters gets so mad that he shoots another man, the film would suddenly be about something else: religious zealotry. I didn't want this project to imply that religious people are violent or crazy or in any way prone to shooting people. I wasn't comfortable with it. 2) When I switched from Halo 3 to Second Life, everyone lost their guns. I would have to buy one and then buy a "shot" animation and ugh- I didn't want to deal with it. 3) I wanted to cut down on the writing. The script was getting pretty long by this point, and if there's a shooter, I would have had to establish this character, and then explain what happens to the character after the shooting, and I didn't want to. Exploding welders need no motive... Or do they?

-Second Life isn't all that bad! I probably won't be spending my free time there (Second-living, if you will), by there are some incredible environments made by extraordinarily devoted people.

-I realized about a week ago that my plot follows Shakespeare's 5 act structure almost perfectly. It kind of freaked me out, and I shivered.

-Before I decided on the "PTER" story, my machinima project was going to be chess, with a story. I abandoned it because it's hard to find 3D chess games that let you zoom in. I realized I could just make it easily with a real chess board. I still want to make this.

Friday, December 4, 2009

PTER Trailer

Oh hey there, Blog. Haven't seen you in a while. I've been, um, busy. I know I shouldn't have neglected you, but things were out of my control. I started this blog as a digital place that I could access any personal projects I've worked on, a sort of unofficial portfolio I could access anywhere with an internet connection. Well, the problem is that I'm taking 15 credit hours of classes and often working 30-34 hours a week at my job, so that doesn't leave much time for personal projects, much less uploading them to the internet.

Update on projects: None. I haven't done a damn thing that isn't directly related to work or class or homework or sleeping. My schedule has literally been face-fucking me since August. The only reason I'm doing this post is because I have some time while my video renders.

Which brings me to the content of this post! I'm taking an Intro to Machinima class this semester, and the final project of the class is to, surprise, make a machinima film (machinima is cinema made with machines, like video games and software programs, by the way). I'm working on that right now, actually. For the midterm, though, we had to make a 1 - 2 minute trailer for the final project, which is what I'm presenting here.

The story has to do with robots (in the future!) that can scan microscopic chips inside of people. Then they decide if that person can go to "heaven" or "hell". It's very highbrow stuff. Very existential and analogous and a bunch of other college words that I don't know the meaning of. It's got robots, ok?

Please excuse the audio popping, terrible volume levels, and the fact that I sound more robotic than AT&T's text-to-speech program. I was recording this at 4 am with a shitty $12 Logitech Rock Band microphone.
Just... robots, ok?

P.S. Oh, and the "Coming Week 15" part refers to the 15th week of school, aka the week the finals are due. But you could probably figure that out.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that I didn't make that music. That music was created by Kevin MacLeod, whose website you can see here. Mr. MacLeod is a fantastic musician who puts out incredibly high-quality for free use on the internet, so long as you credit him. Which I forgot to do. Sorry, Kevin! I love your work!