Friday, November 23, 2007

Parker's Piece, 10 am today:

The ice rink runs on emos!
How long has antics3d had a forum. How long have they had a flash banner on their homepage and been hosting movies? Sounds like someone heard about "user generated content"!

Both rivals are comparing themselves to Photoshop:

"This (Antics) looks like it could be the next Photoshop"
Lori Furie – Snr. VP Vfx Sony/Colombia
[quote from machinima for dummies, via Moviestorm's Ann]

Suddenly antics have discovered this "machinima" thing as they "develop and deliver 3D animation software that brings your ideas to life, giving your stories a new dimension through easy to use “point and click” software." - thats a change of focus over a few months ago, ease of use wasn't on the agenda..?! What do they have in store for the 3.0 release - tutorials? interface overhaul? jump to another OS?

Still the two arn't in competition, but there is a narrowing gap. Antics is becoming more low brow and movestorm has always avoided the loftier markets. There are a lot of other fish too fry too! The pre viz market in Cambridge betta absorb a lot orange ;)

Not that I'm biased, but I'm sitting with two ex antics employees (ok senior software monkey and founder) at 'storm HQ, and they both like spuing war stories that make the antics people sound like something between an army of PHBes and a WTF nightmare. I almost want to go work for them to find out what it's like there! Seems like they've [over||miss]-administrated staff ingenuity, productivity and morale into the floor. Still antics seem to have better raw tech even if they don't seem to known what to do with all their PhD's!

edit: Good to know that antics are in no way comparing moviestorm and antics on a regular basis:

(for the url impared, someone from was googling moviestorm antics on the 23 Nov!)

Although I will never post identifying info on individuals who view this blog, that screenshot from my logs doesn't give away anything that isn't already public. Good to know that they're running IE7. Interesting point: if they didn't have their own domain range i wouldn't have known who it was.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Install4J, the Java installer for moviestorm is just plain shoddy. If the file is truncated (say, due to incomplete download cause by the wrong type of leaves on the line) one of two things will happen. If the file is truncated near the start then it gives a "corrupt download" message. If the file is truncated elsewhere (~>10Mb) the installer starts up, displays a nice bar while it prepares its file and looks great until it throws a "Failed to install AddOn unexpected end of ZLIB input stream." message box. Really - no check for a corrupt download in this day and age?

So I wrote a doofit to verify / validate the install4j binary before it starts copying files. Will punt it up onto sourceforge, but for now here it is.

edit, tis up on sourceforge!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

First take of a mini-sketch I'm pondering

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Woo, finally !ill and new webcam (Logitech 9000) has arrived. After figuring out that it needed USB 2 to work without big compression artifacts I ran it through it's paces. It was giving nice hi res images (with quite a lot of lag - 250ms compared to quickcam-messenger's 100ms), but most exciting one calibration shot came back with exaggerated normals and really showed the skin's texture fantastically (not to mention my natty knitted jumper):Next step is to sort out some motion compensation to improve image quality over several frames. Logitech's included app that lets you replace your face with a CGI creature is cool, if flaky. This is the kind of thing that I want to reproduce (with less error) to drive puppets. An older video that is just plain cool: