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    • Bridge, Occipital’s Mixed-Reality Headset for iPhone

      Occipital, maker of the Structure Sensor 3D scanner for iPhone and iPads, has announced a headset designed to mount their infra-red depth scanner and an iPhone ...

    • Topogun2

      TopoGun is a stand-alone resurfacing, and maps baking application. The resurfacing functions in TopoGun will help you modify and/or recreate the edgeflow of you...

    • NeoFur for Unity

      Neoglyphic Entertainment Launches NeoFur for Unity: 20% Launch Sale for December 2016. The award-winning NeoFur plugin to create dynamic, realistic fur and fuzz...

    • Wrap3

      Wrap3 changes the way you process 3D-scan data. When working with a large set of similar objects like human scans Wrap makes it possible to take an existing bas...

    • Rokoko Smartsuit Pro

      Rokoko has announced limited pre-orders for the Smartsuit Pro, a 19-sensor athletic suit for wireless motion capture. The suit was developed under a kickstarter...

    • Manuel Bastioni Laboratory

      Manuel Bastioni Laboratory is a free and open source advanced tool to turn your Blender in a powerful laboratory for 3d humanoids creation. Models include a sta...

    • Xenko Game Engine

      Xenko is an upcoming C# game engine aiming at the future of technology. http://xenko.com...

    • Unigine 2

      UNIGINE is designed to handle virtual worlds of unprecedented scale without limits. Unigine features 64-bit double precision math (instead of regular 32-bit flo...

    • Unity 5.5 & Beyond: Graphics Demos

      Live demonstrations of a handful of upcoming Unity graphic improvements, including shader instancing with Apple’s Metal, an Image Sequencer Tool that impo...

    • Unite 2016 Keynote

      Unity Keynote speech at Unite Los Angeles 2016 is now live. Announcements have included a demonstration of new image effects, temporal anti-aliasing, and OTOY&#...

    • Unreal 4.13 released

      Unreal Engine 4.13 has arrived! In this version you’ll find numerous improvements across the board. Many new rendering features have been added, such as m...

    • Autodesk Stingray 1.4

      Stingray 1.4 brings many new workflows to game makers and design visualization professionals. Stingray connectivity with Autodesk 3D animation tools is better t...

Procedural Animation in Unity3D: video blog

Procedural animation, camera movement, head and eye targets (wip). Lip sync is by SALSA.
Recorded live (no postwork besides video compression) image filters are the amazing Kino Effects.

Cutscene Artist: recent posts

Bridge, Occipital’s Mixed-Reality Headset for iPhone

Bridge, Occipital’s Mixed-Reality Headset for iPhone

Occipital, maker of the Structure Sensor 3D scanner for iPhone and iPads, has announced a headset designed to mount their infra-red depth scanner and an iPhone running their Bridge Engine software to combine realtime camera data and room-scale motion-tracking with virtual reality environments.

iPhones are generally viewed as lagging behind the VR trend, with no official VR support from Apple, slower hardware and relatively lower-density screens. However Bridge promises to leapfrog over the rest of mobile VR with it’s “6 Degrees-of-Freedom” positional tracking (mobile-based VR typically only provides rotational tracking), which allows the wearer to move freely around the room untethered to a more powerful desktop computer.

Bridge is expected in March of 2017, and comes with or without the Structure Sensor, in case you already own one.
https://bridge.occipital.com

Cinemachine, procedural camera rig for Unity is now free!

Cinemachine, procedural camera rig for Unity is now free!

Cinemachine is unified procedural camera system for AAA games, film pre-visualization and virtual cinematography eSports solutions. Originally released last year, Cinemation was bought by Unity and the base rig is now free on the Asset Store.

Cinemachine’s CEO, Adam Myhill, has joined Unity as Head of Cinematics.

Cinemachine Base Rig includes these components:
Composer – cinematically tracks and composes whatever target you define, be it an object or bone in your character. It’s a smart camera operator which procedurally films the actions based on your direction of where you want it on screen.
Transposer – mount cameras to objects with real-time offset tuning and per-axis dampening controls
Noise multi-channel Perlin noise function which allows you to create anything from handheld behaviors to speed vibrations and everything in-between
Blender – define how any camera blends from one shot to the next. Easily create huge camera state machine setups for in-game cameras.
Priority Assign a priority to cameras and have the highest priority shot be used in any given situation.

Cinemachine can be seen in the cinematics of Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

Xenko Game Engine

Xenko Game Engine

Xenko is an upcoming C# game engine aiming at the future of technology.

http://xenko.com

Topogun2

Topogun2

TopoGun is a stand-alone resurfacing, and maps baking application. The resurfacing functions in TopoGun will help you modify and/or recreate the edgeflow of your digital 3D models. The maps baking functions, will help you bake various types of texture maps from your high resolution 3D models and then allow you to apply them to your newly created optimized meshes. These texture maps contain information that will help you recover the appearance and features of the original high resolution mesh.

TopoGun is a standalone application available for Windows, OS X, and Linux operating systems. TopoGun licenses are cross-platform and after buying one, TopoGun can be installed on any of these operating systems. Topogun is $100
http://www.topogun.com

Sonder

Neth Nom, an animator who has worked at Pixar, Rhythm & Hues, Sony, and Disney, is behind a new cg short film called Sonder that has adopted the Unity game engine for rendering.

Sonder is being made by around 60 artists, with Nom and producer Sara Sampson orchestrating the work. Although Maya is the principal animation tool, the director said that Unity was chosen for rendering “to push this technology so that viewers can no longer distinguish between a film that was made in Hollywood versus a film that was made in a game engine.”

…read more on CARTOON BREW

http://www.sondershortfilm.com

Storytron – Interactive Storytelling

Storytron – Interactive Storytelling

I spent the day digging into Chris Crawford’s theoretical lectures on generative fiction, finally arriving at Storytron, the procedural narrative engine he wrote in java. I feel like I’ve stumbled on an Aladdin’s cave!

Based on his earlier software Erasmatron and a precursor to his current effort Siboot – Crawford has spent the last quarter century working on the concept, with origins going back as far as the 8-bit game Gossip he made for Atari in the 1980s. Storytron was his ambitious, quixotic stroytelling platform that promised to revolutionize interactivity to an artform, allowing authors to put the human condition at the center of the action and demanding players utilize social intelligence over puzzle-solving and shooting things.

Not only does he describe the abstract concepts of what makes a narrative game more interesting (“people, not things”), he lays out the nuts and bolts of a turn-based procedural story generator where characters act according to their own motives, reacting to crises as they arise, and influencing other characters.

i-nuke-iran1

Authors were to define the actions and consequences, and create characters and locations suitable to any genre; ultimately creating the rules of each story world. At the heart of the software lies an event loop that manages a single dramatic action, assigns roles to all available actors and determines each character’s reactions, and progresses time incrementally – all the while keeping track of every character interaction, every emotion, every prop and location.

Drama Loop

Each Event contains a Verb that defines a single action and assigns roles to the Actors who are present: participants and witnesses, protagonists and victims.

– Roles
–– the conditions under which an Actor may assume a Role
–– the emotional reactions of the Actor taking that Role
–– a group of Options for that Actor for reacting to the Event

– each Option specifies:
–– which WordSockets will be used construct the sentence for that Option
–– the rules for what words will be chosen to fill those WordSockets
–– the Inclination of the Actor towards executing that Option

Reaction Cycle

Then each witnessing Actor cycles through the available roles and assumes one of them if appropriate, choosing the Option highest in the list according to their Inclination (current variables). This Option is added to the Actor’s list of Plans, and will be executed in its own cycle as a later Event by the engine. The reacting Actor can also suffer Consequences: ie, be injured, die, have their reputation besmirched, etc….

Events can be Highjacked by a Role if the conditions are met by one of the Actors. Plans can be prioritized, delayed, or aborted. Characters not only keep track of their own inclinations, but also have Attributes that can be perceived by other Actors — and these perceived values are not necessarily the same as the actual values. Characters have their own opinions.

Once each Actor has accepted a role and decided on their Plan, the Event loop ends. The engine calls the next Event loop based on the urgency of pending Events, and the process starts over again.

Meanwhile the engine tracks the opinions actors have of each other, which will influence their reactions to future Events. Whether a character lies or tells the truth, another character’s perception of his honesty may be more influencial than the actual truth.

Scripts are used to break down social situations into simple mathematical formulas. Not every situation triggers a visible reaction from the Actor. Often a brief facial expression is the only clue to what they are thinking. An Actor may create a Plan that requires immediate action, or create a plan for a later time and place. If Mary sees Tom fighting with Bill, she may decide to intervene or wait and tell Joan about it later.

Some events are witnessed by everyone on the Stage, while others are exchanged “cheek by jowl” only between the Actors directly involved. Some events reflect the private mental state of an Actor, and others are completely “under the hood” making changes to the story without the Actors’ knowledge. Actors can travel to other Stages (locations) either through boredom or to accomplish a Plan, and become involved in the Events there.

Deikto: a toy language

Maybe the most ambitious aspect of Storytron is an elaborate linguistic system that pastes together complete sentences with wordsockets, Mad-Libs style. Each defined Verb action references a subject and direct object, usually an Actor and another Actor or Object assigned at runtime, plus helper words to flesh out the sentences. Remarkably the sentence strings can be chained to convey complex relationships and ideas. An Actor can report earlier events to a character who was not there, or an actor can try to influence the actions of other characters by lying, threatening, or bargaining. More on Deikto…

t-f01-a

An omniscient, non-Actor named Fate acts as a kind of narrator and deus ex machina, opening the story with “Once upon a time”, describing the Stage and announcing the arrival and departure of characters. Fate acts as a Greek chorus to comment on the unfolding action, and ultimately deciding when the story should end once the goal of certain variables has been maintained for a set amount of time, ie: living happily ever after.

This modular approach to story creation allows any number of Actors to be replaced with players. The Options that would normally be served by the engine based on a hierarchy of roles and reactions are presented to the player as a list of choices. The engine doesn’t actually need a player and can generate an entire story procedurally.

Crawford’s Folly

Ultimately Storytron was so complex that few people could understand it, much less master the interlocking systems to create a complete story world. Crawford is amazingly candid in his online lectures and interviews. Mercurial in his references and brutally honest with his opinions, he relates the shortcomings of the game industry to grasp his larger vision, and his disappointment in games praised for their graphics over their artistic content, as well as his own inability to inspire a revolution. It’s easy to see how he became a polarizing figure, ultimately walking away from the profitable gaming industry to pursue broader truths.

Although in many of his lectures Crawford gleefully criticizes the game industry for focusing on a niche market of hardcore male gamers – the results of a narrow profit-oriented evolution and lack of sophistication – he has also worked to manifest his own ideas into a working “game”, although he is loath to call it a game. Storytron is the applied science to Crawford’s grand theories, attempting to slay his five metaphorical dragons of interactive game design:

1. facial Micro-expressions to communicate real emotions
2. Character personality models: Goodness, Honesty, and Dominance
3. Linguistics
4. Narrative engine/ AI
5. Integrated Design Environment

Crawford readily admits he hasn’t solved the issues, but only pioneered into unexplored territory. Although Storytron is now offline (in a medically induced coma, as he says on the website), he freely offers up his theories, and has scaled back his ambition to a much smaller project focused on one specific story and a simplified language of picticons used to communicate between characters. Still he leaves his many journals and diaries for the next generation, like a treasure map to undiscovered cities of gold.