24 November 2009

iClone vs Garry's Mod: Excited to Compare

We were honored to receive the jury award at MachinExpo 2009 that included full versions of iClone 4 Pro and 3DXchange from Reallusion.

It is exciting that we won this award because we were wondering how the movie making software packages out there that are being used for machinima compare to the actual games being used to create machinima and iClone 4 Pro seems to be one of the best.

Now at some point we will need to put our thoughts in on the debate over whether movies made using software solely designed for making movies should be fully considered to be in the machinima proper genre but either way the outcome is still animated films created in real time so they are definitely in the same family to say the least. It may be that there should just be sub genres for machinima so all the platforms still fall under machinima but developers can specify there area...but again this is another discussion that would take over this post.

We have never used any movie making software to create films and so it will be interesting to compare the difference between at least iClone and our working environment, Garry's Mod.

It may take us a while to get deep into iClone because we are busy with Shelf Life but eventually we hope to see how far we can take it as well. It may be that we separate the two into sub genres since the production process and techniques are so very different.

This will likely also lead into a discussion concerning how festivals are conducted and how it may be useful to separate genres considering the vast differences between production platforms.

At first glance though iClone 4 Pro appears to be a very powerful platform that perhaps opens the door to a lot of film makers.

We would like to once again thank Reallusion for sponsoring the MachinExpo 2009 and awarding us with this great software package. Also a big thanks to the organizers of the Expo for making it all possible and creating a great machinima event for the community.

05 November 2009

YouTube Partner Experiment: Doors closed

A few posts back you may remember that we were going to test out accepting an offer from YouTube to enable revenue sharing on our machinima videos. This offer came after we applied for the YouTube partner program for the second time.

We had some hesitation because even after repeatedly trying to contact Valve we received no replies from them about us joining the YouTube program. Well, we decided to go for it anyway, and here is what we got back from YouTube:

"Thanks for submitting your video(s) listed below for revenue sharing. Because you have not provided adequate documentation that you have the necessary rights to commercially use all the video material and music, we have disabled revenue sharing."

OK, now we sort of expected something along these lines even though we hoped for the best. But here is where the unfair practices kick in, you see, our video is actively being sponsored by the YouTube revenue sharing program over on the Machinima.com YouTube channel.

Yes, that is correct, YouTube says they cannot allow us to join the revenue sharing program on our channel because our videos cannot be verified but we have a video that has revenue sharing allowed on the Machinima.com YouTube channel. Here it is with ads all over it.

Machinima.com is allowed to make advertising revenue off the very same videos that we are not allowed to make advertising revenue on. Not to mention the hundreds of other machinima on Machinima.com YouTube channel that do not contain as much original content as ours.

This has nothing to do with Machinima.com and we are not trying to imply anything negative toward them, it is not their fault YouTube is not clear on what is going on here. Machinima.com is a great site and they have a great YouTube channel and they should be a YouTube partner. But if YouTube is going to let Machinima.com be a YouTube partner by using our videos then why won't they let us be a partner using our videos?

It is very defeating to say the least. It would be one thing if no machinima was ever allowed partner but that is clearly not the case. If we upload all our machinima to Machinima.com then ads will be placed all over them and Machinima.com will get all the revenue sharing but if we upload our machinima to our site, nothing.

Also, the YouTube response is a generic cut and paste denial because we said all the music was original and fully owned by us but they say "...necessary rights to commercially use all the video material and music." We could not possibly have more rights to the music. It is 100% original, created and owned by us. So there is not even any indication as to what the actual problem is so we can try to fix it.

The only assumption that can be made is that Machinima.com somehow has some sort of contract with all the game companies that all the machinima on their site use and have been given full rights to use anything they want on YouTube and has supplied that evidence to YouTube.

So that concludes our YouTube partnership experiment. YouTube will not accept our machinima without some sort of written agreement from Valve (we assume) and Valve will not respond to us in any way about anything we are doing.

Doors closed.

Where to now?