For more than 10 years, Pixel Valley Studio has been producing award-winning machinima animation and virtual world projects for world-class clients such as CBS, IBM, MTV, Microsoft, NBC, Spike TV, Warner Brothers, the Golf Channel and more. Named “machinima masters” by Wired Magazine, we’re renowned for being pioneers in virtual filmmaking and virtual worlds. Our services include virtual-world project consultation and maintenance, in-world experience design, construction, scripting, and avatar customization, as well as virtual promotional programs and event management, script writing, high definition editing/post FX and audio/music composition.
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The Real-time Animation Process
What we do is novel in it’s method-we make animation using real-time 3d rendering engines used in today’s high-profile computer games. This allows us to record animation live and thereby speed up the production process. And because it’s saved as a special data file by the real-time 3D engine, we can tweak everything in post: camera angles, character animation and more. A simple breakdown of our process:
3D characters are created along with their basic movement animation and props and sets are designed.
Dialogue is recorded, edited and then played back as a scratch track for the computer puppeteers who record the action live and in real-time.
Similar to traditional filmmaking, select takes are digitized and edited in non-linear editing software. Additionally, specific shots can be tweaked and refined in the real-time 3D engine with development tools to allow for more character animation, adjusting camera angles, changing characters position/action and other practices that are usually associated with the production stage.
Advantages of Real-time Animation
We can produce Machinima much faster then traditional cell animation because we shoot live. And because we can tweak the original recorded data files, we can change anything you want in post. It’s like doing a reshoot without having to call back the cast and crew.
Besides traditional episodic animation, machinima is ideal for specialized shots. If your production needs an historical recreation, animatics for a complicated effects shot, an inhouse pilot or other shots requiring animation, CGI or a quick turnaround, machinima may be the way to go. Feel free to drop us a line or call to discuss the needs of your production and we’ll see how we can help.