Tuesday 20 May 2008

svn stat

As suggested by Anthony I ran StatSVN against the entire moviestorm repository. 90 minutes later and we have a wonderful graph:

Now this is everything, not just code, but makes for interesting viewing. I've taken the names out in the name of decency, but I can reveal that the top green line is Ben_S, Capin' Dave is Pink, and twak the second green line.

Now ben manages his massive line-change rate by endlessly editing all our xml structures. But Dave is a coder and has written 300K lines of code - the length of the entire code base. I've written another 250K (altho mostly UI twaddle, so it doesn't count). I think we've written the code base two or three times over since we've started. That's quite some code churn!

Something to mention here is that number of lines does not map onto how hard we work or how good the work is. It's certainly not indicative of quality, and quite possibly inversely proportional quality. It's an interesting metric that seems to be fairly constant for each person - does that mean some people can do the same quantity of work with fewer lines of code?

In other graph-related news - the most likely time for us to commit stuff to the repository is 4pm on a Friday - "quick it's the weekend, commit it, cheese it and hope someone else fixes it before I get in on monday" ;)

Those long tails are what singles startups out from the crowd - no option but to get it done.

Monday 19 May 2008

I'm gonna rearrange your face!

You push, you pull, and you can make people's heads behave like plasticine.

don't try this on your little sister. No, really, don't. We are highly trained professionals who are licensed to smush people's faces around. (Except, as previously noted, Mark.)

If we ask Johnnie nicely, he'll do us a video of this using a proper Moviestorm face later in the week. Morphs are getting closer...

Being John Machinima

Machinima. Machinima machinima? Machinima! Machinima machinima machinima.

Commercials really are the short film art form of today, where up and coming directors get to put all of their skill and artistry into a single minute of motion picture genius. Think of the stunning ads for the Bravia, or the Guinness ad with the giant domino, or the Honda ad with the Goldberg machine. Well, the machinima world is clearly no exception. Check out Sam "Zuckerman" Midwood's promo for the Overcast, made using the Moviestorm Sci-Fi pack, and based on a classic moment from Being John Malkovich. Superbly made, and the most unexpected use of the SF pack yet!

Thursday 15 May 2008

moviestorm vcs - 10K commits

The 10,000 (or 10K or 10^4) commit to our code/data repository happened over lunch.

Was slightly disappointed by the lack of balloons. But it proves, once and for all, who the best coder is. It was even a legitimate commit, not just to grab the top spot ;)

We keep all our changes in a big repository (SVN) so we can see each other's changes and blame them when things go wrong. Ten thousand sets of changes have been added since it started at the end of July 06.

Aren't you the new bloke?

We know artists are always reticent to show anyone what they're working on until it's completely finished, so we waited until Xav wasn't looking and grabbed a few work-in-progress shots of the upcoming male heads. These are the 3DS Max versions of the new heads, not the final Moviestorm versions, but they give you a reasonably good idea of where we're going. (They come out quite big if you click on them, and you can really see how they're constructed.)

Here we have the young black male, both with and without textures...

... and this is an older male, prior to texturing.

And here's a white male with different textures. If you look closely, the top shot shows you some of Mitch's annotations suggesting minor changes to Xav's initial version.

With luck, we'll get you a few screenshots of these guys on-set next week, and you can see exactly what they'll look like in your movies.

Monday 12 May 2008

The Moviestorm surgery team

When we wrote the job description for Moviestorm programmers, "cosmetic surgeon" wasn't one of the required life skills. As you can see, Mark probably shouldn't be let loose with a real woman and a scalpel. (To be fair, that's probably true of most people, not just Mark.) So, putting aside any considerations as to whether this constitutes an improvement in the beauty stakes, here's the first look at the head morph tools. These aren't different meshes, they're the same mesh after undergoing Mark's tender ministrations.

She's had quite a lengthy procedure, with surgery lasting, oooh, maybe two whole minutes. Changed chin, nose job, eyebrow lift, altered cheekbones and even - though you can hardly see it in this shot - ears pulled back.

Now we need to tweak our head models to use the new morphing technology, and then we can get an actual artist to create some good-looking shots and show off what you'll be able to do. I'm just hoping I can make a Danny Trejo type character - as Robert Rodriguez says, "he's got a face for hi-definition"!

What's that you say? When's it going to be released? Sssshhhh! When QA says it's ready, that's when. Don't ask me. Dick Swayze has the Power.

Thursday 8 May 2008

Instant City

Someone asked me for my old degree project, an architecture generating thingumy. While I was playing with it I realised it was trivial drop it into moviestorm....so a quick video later and we have:

A giant disclaimer is that (if it ever makes it) this feature is a long way from prime time. However it did get me thinking about the MaMBu, and the kind of fun things we could do with Moviestorm. In the next video "jButton2" (not quite a MaMbu) generates a city every time it's clicked.

Thursday 1 May 2008

Moviestorm goes Eurovision

Last week we showed you Ben's little clip of the new singing animations. This week, we're proud to present Layla's test clip of what has to be the most garish performance arena ever.

That's not green screen or post-production. Those flashing lights on the floors and walls and the overhead thingies are all Moviestorm. (We've got pink ones and blue ones and purple ones too.)

In my mind, I'm hearing 1990s Eastern European entries for the Eurovision song contest, and really wishing I wasn't. That's got to be worse than hearing Tom Jones singing Delilah. Hasn't it? I'm now also seriously wishing I hadn't just publicly confessed to knowing what 1990s Eurovision songs sounded like.

Listen, I won't be watching it this year, I really, really won't. Not even if someone comes over on May 24 with several bottles of cheap wine and a huge bag full of snacks. Oh, now look what you made me do, Layla! Lordi were cool, OK?