S4 E103 Longest Walkable Distances (in a game) | UE: The Alchemist's Confession (Nov 2023)

Ricky Grove 00:35
Hello, everyone. I'm Ricky Grove and you are watching and listening to And Now For Something Completely Machinima podcast. This is our second week and we're featuring Tracy's picks, which are quite interesting and fun. Tracy, tell us about them. Absolutely.

Tracy Harwood 00:57
Before we start though, have we got a bit of news that you want to show. Okay, sure. Well, I found a really fun little, little video. It's not actually well, it's not really a machinima thing, but it's, it's a really interesting I'd call it a fractal. But it's not even a fractal. It's it's a visualisation of pi as an irrational number, but it's absolutely mesmerising and it's detail if you ever want to have something on in the background whilst you're doing anything, you've got to play this video. So I'll say no more. Just have a little look at it because it's the detail and it's stunning. And it just, you could just watch it and go to sleep with it.

Ricky Grove 01:46
It's amazing. They're all frak, fractal images.

Tracy Harwood 01:49
No, it's not fractal is that it's a it's perpetual pie. And, and the music that it plays to, it's just stunning. I'll just, I'll just say no more, you'll just watch it, I'll put a link to it, and you'll enjoy it.

Ricky Grove 02:03
I saw a really interesting link in our Millanote board, which we used to organise. It was a link to a video that featured all of the G Man's speeches from the Half Life series. I've always thought the actor playing G Man was particularly good at coming up with his own unique style. And watching them all in a row is fascinating. And it also was quite a walk down memory lane because I played Half Life so many different times. It's like etched in the back of my mind. So watching them all again was quite good. Whoever put this together did a really nice job. And it took a lot of effort. So but we'll put a link to it in our show notes. So you can if you're interested in watching that you can check it out.

Phil Rice 02:48
Ricky, was it the same voice actor throughout the entirety of the Half Life games? I

Ricky Grove 02:54
think it was, I think it was I'm not

Phil Rice 02:59
sure is a signature sound like that. That accent and tone that he has. It's unmistakable if you've heard it, you know, there's nothing that sounds quite like

Ricky Grove 03:09
the actor is particularly good because what he does is he he creates a certain speaking irregular rhythm where he gets... it's funny, you would you would think somebody who is a chief antagonist and, you know, in an animated story or something like that would speak with force. You know what I mean? They would be clear that would be good look at the Joker in Batman Series. But this actor decided to give the G Man almost a speech impediment, as if he gets caught in certain words, and he gets stuck. And he has to force his way through them as if he has some sort of learning disability. It's fascinating. It's absolutely fascinating, because completely the opposite of of what you would expect. Which interestingly, it was one of the things that you study, when you study acting in depth as you learn how to play opposites. So that you this particular character, everybody would expect them to be, you know, so much of acting in characterization, all based on Roman and Greek models, you know, and so when people identify that character, they have certain expectations. So you play opposite those expectations to create interest for yourself and for the viewer. Well he that's what he does in this, this this sort of getting caught up in words and the sibilant s that he uses all the way through it. That creates such a focus on him that you think what's going on with this guy, you know, so in addition to his dramatic moments and scenes in visual look, there's a verbal quality to it that is so fascinating and interesting. So if you want to learn about that and see what that is check out these videos are great.

Damien Valentine 05:03
I just looked it up. It is the same voice actor throughout the two games and the I thought so I thought, well, his name is Mike Shapiro. And he's done lots of voices per the Valve games.

Ricky Grove 05:16
Yeah, he's good. He's really, really good.

Phil Rice 05:21
It's such an iconic character, too. I mean, even beyond the voice the whole way in the Half Life narrative, that they built up this sense of mystery around him before he said a word. Now, you'd see him and you couldn't get to him, you know, and get someone behind a closed door. Right. Right. Wonderful intrigue, I think he was loosely based on I have to think he was loosely based on the cigarette smoking man from X Files. You know, this, this character who's behind the scenes and knows all that's going on is in league with the real bad guys. I assume that I've always assumed that was an inspiration. I don't know. But I agree. This guy, in many ways is more memorable than, then that character was great stuff.

Tracy Harwood 06:06
Shall I talk about films and

Ricky Grove 06:08
we you have two choices. Let's talk about the first one.

Tracy Harwood 06:12
Absolutely. So my Yeah, two choices. The first one is actually probably one of the longest we've picked this month, but it's called the Longest Walkable Distances in a Video Game, Map Size Comparison. And it's by How Big is The Map, this guy or gal does all all videos based on some kind of analysis in a similar sort of vein to this absolutely astonishing video. It's I think it's about 12 or 13 minutes long, I can't remember exactly now. But in the film, what he's doing is walking across 120 video game maps, and he shares a snapshot from each of the, each of the maps that he's walking across, he starts with the shorter ones. 55 minutes is sort of the beginning sort of size of it. Cyberpunk 2077, is that is one of those sort of early ones that I picked up and then they get longer and the ones that I picked out are Fallout 4 an hour and 10 minutes. World of Warcraft Azeroth an hour and 20 minutes. GTA San Andreas an hour and 34 minutes. Second Life's biggest continent, two hours and 30 minutes. Plus, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, their biggest map, three hours and 10 minutes, Elden Ring three hours and 20 minutes. Elder Scrolls Online almost five hours. Just Cause eight hours. No Man's Sky on one planet walked around almost 30 hours. And and then he said how many other planets are there? So you can go on for a while if you've got

Phil Rice 08:02
something like 18 billion, I think Yeah. Ridiculous.

Tracy Harwood 08:06
And then Space Engineers, 50 hours and some other that he's still walking and apparently he's never even got

Phil Rice 08:14
more space station. Yeah, yeah. Well, mine. Something. Yeah, Minecraft is infinite? Of course.

Tracy Harwood 08:20
Absolutely. So there were immediately some things that struck me about this, first of all, how astonishingly diverse these games are, and how beautiful and complex these maps are, and the assets in the games. And secondly, adding this lot together in terms of the time it took him to do all this walking. I mean, it's longer than I've got left to live, I think. Just a quick tot up. I reckoned it was about four months of playing the game about playing these games, assuming a kind of an average man's working week time, which I guess wouldn't necessarily be the case here. But then, you know, I couldn't figure out some of them. I guess he just sampled and then extrapolated based on whatever information he could kind of glean from it. And then he's obviously got to stitch them together. There's a quite impressive editing with these as well. He's got a really interesting, original music piece that he's put to it as well. I mean, I have to say top marks for effort, it was absolutely astonishing to see it. And then another aspect to this, which which I thought was really so much fun. Was the way that he just hinted at the soundscape from the game underneath that music. And that's because it's the music that takes you on the journey, but it's all these sound pieces underneath it that sort of just give you a hint of what he's done. And there's real humour in it as well, I think at one point he gets attacked by a couple of ravaging monsters. He gets attacked by a bear. He walks through a yard of pigs. And then he turns into a Barbie character. And he's kind of walking, crawling, creeping, and then just, you know, he's just doing the same thing in each of these. He's kind of taking the scenery and along the way, and you see his journey through the, you know, through everything like the crosshairs of a gun to some kind of weaponry to another character that's following him and he's black, or he's white, or he's female. He's a child. He's a criminal. He's a law man. He's a soldier. He's alone. And he's with others. I just thought that was, that was kind of wonderful. He always got estimated, yeah, then solve it. And I think there was there was another aspect to it that really stood out to me, as well as looking at some of the comments on it. I mean, really, really interesting that there was one person that whose comments were really sort of struck a chord. Guy's name's Nanagrip in the in the, in the comments. And he says, I live in a, in a tiny island in the Pacific that has less than 200 square kilometres total landmass. And he says then when he experiences games with larger maps and his island, well, it kind of blew him away. And his Pacific Island is Palau. And I thought, You know what, these games are just so empowering and astonishing in the way that they have been developed and the power of the storytelling and the, the range of experiences that they offer is just so inspiring, in, in really so many ways. So I was just, yeah, just amazed by this. Really, it was one of those things that I didn't intend to watch because I thought, it's not going to be that interesting. But I, I really got really into this and really enjoyed what it what it showed me for, for a whole range of different reasons. What did you guys think?

Phil Rice 12:07
I didn't recognise I didn't recognise half of these games. That was neither struck. Yes. Yeah. I like some of them. I had just not even heard of others. I've heard of the franchise, but like, I didn't know they were still. Well, actually, I don't know when that Metal Gear Solid game. That was one of them. I don't know when that was made. But I mean, I thought that was like, something from way back, you know. So there's, first of all, it opened my eyes to my goodness, there's a whole world of really big games that, you know, in the course of a normal life, you just don't experience them all. But the thing that really, I started pondering as it was going through was with each of these worlds, these huge worlds all the artistry that went into making them down from from the textures to the modelling to the I'm assuming that all of these except maybe some of the you know, really early games have some kind of elaborate soundscape. NPC interactions, random events, animals, I mean, yeah, there were several the the animal scenes really got me going too, but like it just I just started getting overwhelmed by oh my gosh, there's all these games with hundreds of square miles in some cases 1000s that by the end of it, when it gets to Minecraft, which Minecraft was the winner of that video, we watched, I think early this year, that was just largest maps, not the walkthroughs but just maps. And of course Minecraft wins because it's infinite. But to me Minecraft was the least impressive even though it was at the end. Because Minecraft. There's a fixed set of textures and almost almost everything is made of these very simple blocks. And it's procedurally generated. That wasn't impressive anymore. What was impressive is these giant worlds. You know, Starfield probably would have been interesting to see where it ranked on here if it had been made prior if it had been released prior to this video being made, which I think the video was made about two months ago. Starfield is about Starfield was released. I think just shy of two months ago, if I'm not mistaken. But anyway, just all the the texture, artistry and conceiving of ideas of how to lay out these worlds and all that just so many incredibly talented people involved in all these different games at all these different companies, it's just it's really, really impressive. I mean, it's that's where my mind went. had to just the with the I started thinking about man how much work this is. Because these aren't just most of these are not procedurally generated. And I'm sure that they're using shortcuts where they can and okay, like we could reuse this building here because it's 300 miles away, so who cares? But still, that's a lot of work a lot of times. And this of course, wasn't wasn't even close to every game. I mean, they started with Cyberpunk, I think I think cyberpunk was the very first one, and it was 50 minutes to walk through. So think about how many games there are that are just slightly didn't make that bar. Right. Oh, it's just, it's just, it's just amazing what a lot of talents people are out there. And at least at the time, these were made gainfully employed, talented. Yes. That's pretty interesting stuff. So yeah, yeah, I actually enjoyed thinking about the worlds being shown to us. As much as I enjoyed the video itself, you know, yeah. So, yeah. Oh, that's great. I'm glad you picked it.

Ricky Grove 16:11
Yeah, you know, I'm so happy that I'm a part of this podcast, because this is the kind of thing that I would just bypass me to look at, I would look at it. And I'd say nah, not interested in that. And Tracy's insistence on letting making us look at it more closely. So great, because on the surface, the goal is just simply to give you information about gaming, which is, hey, I'm going to wall use this thing to walk, we're going to walk across these different games in what's the biggest and what's what, you know, start from the least, and go all the way to the biggest that's on the surface. But underneath, there's all kinds of things going on, for what, for example, it talks about walking, the idea of walking is something that it has been in our culture for a long time, it has its own meaning, for example, you walk in nature throws walking in nature, to gain some sort of spiritual balance, walking in an urban setting. So we all have these assumptions about walking. So that fits in under the surface there. And then the each game changes that content of that walking. So you think, Okay, I'm gonna go off for a walk, and I'm gonna really going to enjoy myself. And instead you get attacked by a ferocious bear. Because you're walking, you know what I mean? So there was a lot of unintentional humour in it simply because you think, well, we're gonna go out for this lyrical and quiet, contemplative walk, you know, and then putting them in the context of all of these game worlds made it even more special, you know, the difference between walking in real life, and walking in game world is quite funny, and strange and interesting. Game worlds, I think, I have been one of the most fascinating things for me, because I've always had the theory that game worlds have taken the place of novels for people. Because when you read a big novel, you sort of get involved in the whole world of it, especially in fantasy. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is a huge epic novel with massive distances and paths and everything. And all of that's much easier to access when you're actually inside of the novel. You know what I mean? And it's one of the reasons why it's been so appealing to young people in particular, because it's so much easier to do. Now fighting and all of that stuff, you know, you could do all of that. But I've always been in love with open world games. And I was also impressed like you were Phil with the incredible variety, the way things look and feel. And then as you pointed out, Tracy, the shifting identity of view of you as the walker, suddenly your this tough punk walking through town between these cars, cars are stopping and then another one, you're walking down this fantasy world and you're in this cyberpunk science fiction world, it just was so immensely fun and unexpectedly so even though it's repetitious, there's nothing boring about it at all. If you're paying attention, you're drawn into it. And it's a weird kind of quest. There's almost like a quest element to it. My quest is to get onto the other side of this world. This stupid quest almost like Buster Keaton, you know what I mean? I'm gonna get to the other side of this world. So I thought it was a marvellous choice and very provocative and and it made me think a lot, it made me laugh. I was also oftentimes sort of touched by little moments. And it just fantastic. I really, really enjoyed it.

Damien Valentine 20:12
So as I said last week, it made me want to play Cyberpunk 2077. I was surprised when that came up with the first game, because I would have thought the game was in that was

Phil Rice 20:23
bigger than I was two.

Damien Valentine 20:26
So yeah, maybe we'll play the game and try walking across the game world itself, just a time to myself doing it just to see. But then I started thinking about, if you do that you go start at one end, and just walk across imagine all the things you're going to see. Because it's not just going to be one particular type of environment you see all the way through, what you see is going to evolve and change. Like in Cyberpunk, for example, you've got the city in the middle of the game world, and it's completely surrounded by desert. To start, you started off in the desert, and you'd walk and as you get closer to the city, the buildings get bigger. And then you get to the edge of the city. And you've got the sort of rundown suburbs, and you go through the centre of the city with all the huge skyscrapers, and you go through an industrial bid with with a variety, yeah. And then you get out the other side, and then you're back in the desert, and you go all the way to the other end. And in the desert, there's not just sand, and there's actually things out there to see as well. So I'm quite intrigued by the idea to sitting down and walking through a game wild. So I might try it at some point. Yeah,

Phil Rice 21:35
well, yes, please record it, or stream it if you do. All right. I'm telling you, you never know what it's, it's like when someone tells you bring your camera. And when you're going somewhere interesting, you just never know what you're gonna see, record the whole thing, if you can.

Damien Valentine 21:52
And then like you and like you and, Ricky, I think about the design that we're into this, because if you're walking in a straight line, you're gonna see all these things, but you're not seeing everything else, but it's there. And the same in this video, especially walked through the game while in a straight line. But they're not seeing the other things that are there. But you still get a sense of scale, because you know, it's out there. Even if you can't see it, you know, someone had to create all this extra stuff in place in the world, or develop the code to certain the game could generate stuff to put in the world. It didn't just appear by itself. So he has a huge amount of work went through all of this.

Ricky Grove 22:37
Now, even considering the what they call the LOD, which is the level of detail. Yeah, rather than having stuff that's far away, rendered fully, like it is close to you, they have level of detail so that if you look far away, that detail is as much simpler. But as you get closer the level of detail changes so that it becomes more and more believable, more specific, the texture resolution gets higher, and everything, the fact that they're able to orchestrate that using coding is just fascinating to me, as

Damien Valentine 23:17
someone who had to create those, that object in different detail levels as well, exactly. So you have the highest quality tree with all the leaves that move in the wind, and you get them to a medium one, which still looks like a tree, and then you get sort of a smaller, lower detail one, and then you get the very basic one, which is just a stick with a bit of green. Yep, stuck on it, which you'll never see up close. But in the distance, it just looks like a tree, which is all it needs to. Someone had to create all of those and make sure they were all consistent with each other. So the tree doesn't suddenly wildly change shape as you get closer

Ricky Grove 23:51
to it. The transitions between them. That was fun look, as you're walking in this film, thinking about the technology behind putting it together.

Damien Valentine 24:01
And some of these games are pretty old as well. That was it. Daggerfall, which is about a 30 year old game, I think. Right? You got a glimpse of that. And that's a huge game worlds. Its bigger than the more recent Elder Scrolls games. And yeah, this was probably released on the floppy disk.

Tracy Harwood 24:20
Yeah. He not only made ones where he's walking across them, but he also makes films of a similar nature where he's running. He's sprinting. He's driving. And then he's also read. I mean, there's loads on his channel, you want to have a look at them. They're just absolutely astonishing. He's also done them by categorization and things like ages and different types of games. I mean, he must have the most astonishing collection of games that you you just can't imagine and you're right to go back to the mid 90s From what I could see. Wow, just incredible.

Ricky Grove 24:59
Fascinating. Okay, so you had a second choice. The Alchemisti's Confession. What is that? Well,

Tracy Harwood 25:05
this is a complete contrast in so many ways to the, that that film we've just been talking about. And the first thing to say is the, the contrast extends to the time that it took to make it because, you know, months on the other one, this one took just five days to make. And the quality of it, to me is absolutely astonishing. And of course, you know, it's made in an Unreal Engine. It's made by a guy that's got lots and lots of chops using Unreal Engine, we've reviewed some of his work before, in fact, you'll remember Baby Outlaw was also by Cory Williams. And also, do you remember the Teflon Sega and Blue series that we looked at? Looked at some months, if not a couple of years ago now as well. He's made also a how he made it on the video as well, you can see him recording it and he did it in a single take. It's absolutely a stunning. Well, it just blew me away. When I watched this, it was, you know, in terms of the way that he produced produced it, and how it how it took only five days, he put as he was making it a couple of screencaps on LinkedIn, and was immediately kind of contacted by a couple of folks one being Mark Otim who is as a sound designer, and another chaps called Angel Roche Jr. who has produced the original score for it. And they they literally collaborated over a period of five days and produce this. I think the editing is stunning. It's the voice acting that really captured my attention with it, if I'm honest, it was just just just amazing. I thought that I thought the different components of the animation are really well captured the you know, the the movement of it, that it was the steely eye in the in the in the character that I thought was, was it. Well, I mean, that just draws you in. But the other thing that drew me in a little bit was the saliva in the mouth of the character, as well as that kind of magical essence and the scenery, and that gratuitous little bug that he kind of made reference to, which seems to be a trick that Unreal Engine folks like to do. But all of it together to me just sort of summed up the the kind of the horror, and the abomination of the scene. And the abomination is, is a word that he actually uses. And to me therefore these two films that I picked this this week, really, you know, they go from the ridiculous to the sublime. And I actually I quite liked the contrast between the two and the fact that there is this, this this total contrast, but I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to share it with you because it was another one that was released only a couple of weeks ago. What did you think that was?

Ricky Grove 28:35
Well, thank you. Thank you for sharing it. I'm glad I watched it. I think it really goes from the ridiculous to the supine, meaning that I was sound asleep during most of it. Oh, I think it shows the the problem that I've seen over and over and over again by people who have really high quality technical skills, but have no idea how to write. High production values, low writing values. We've seen this many many, many times in the our picks. And I you know, this is again, this is my take. I don't want to I'm not trying to ruin your experience Tracy because I know you really liked the film and I appreciated the high production values. The lip sync is fantastic in it the look of the characters, the whole feel of the thing is done. But in terms of the writing, it shows that it was made in five days, because there's so many questions that are left unanswered. Who is this character talking to? If he's confessing? Why would someone who has such a high ego to try that out I'll chemical formula be willing to say that he or she was wrong? So often characters don't speak to the point of what the the author's trying to say they talk around it. So rather than this character saying I'd made this terrible mistake, I fell. When have you thought of a major dramatic character saying that I made, I was wrong. I made this mistake. It's a cautionary tale, though. What they do as they justify their actions. They come up with excuses. And they say, I did this. And it was somebody else's fault. It was the universe's fault, it was God's fault. It was a demons fault. It was the alchemise fall. So speaking, he spoke too much on the point, which shows me that the writer doesn't really understand how to write character. Now, if you don't think of those things, I think it's perfectly possible. But I can't help but not think of those things. And so what it does is it takes me completely out of the realism of it doesn't make any sense whatsoever. And what I do is I admire the filmmaking itself, which I very, very much admire. But I think the the creators of this if he wants to become a better filmmaker, and a deeper filmmaker is going to have to think about his writing. Because the writing was just not very good at all. But I really am glad I watched it. And I love that. You're right, the contrast between the two pieces is really excellent. And it show also shows that Unreal, really is the tool of choice. If you want to make high quality machinima it's just gorgeous. But that was my take on it. Really

Tracy Harwood 31:46
great. Points. Thank you, Ricky. Really good. Really interesting.

Phil Rice 31:50
Ricky, Ricky, Ricky, you gotta stop stealing my notes. Yeah, as a as a technical demo, this is virtually unparalleled. It puts iClone and Character Creator 4 in a really good light, like, the mocap and everything. And that the look of it. Just great. The voice, the quality of the tone of the voice. Fantastic. Yep. Just gorgeous, gorgeous work. But the writing just so on the nose.

Ricky Grove 32:35
That was the phrase that I hadn't forgotten. I

Phil Rice 32:37
had the same. I had the same reaction. I kind of I don't know, when when you're when you're either a writer or an appreciator of good writing, you can't help but think of this as something that could have done instead. And, and, of course, Ricky came up with just some perfect dramatic solutions, you know, it would have been 1000 times more compelling. If he was talking around the point instead of addressing it straight on. Absolutely. Ricky, me, of course, I can't help but think well, this could have been saved as comedy. In that, go ahead. Go ahead and deliver the speech all completely on the nose, you know, and I am I am the you know, I've done all these things. And now there's a heavy cost. Now, I can't get laid. Don't look at me. I'm hideous. You know, it's been tacked on the end, it would have delivered it but ya know. So super impressive visually. And maybe that was the main intent. You know, if this guy is putting this out there for the purpose of seeking a career in design, then, boom, call this guy. I mean, wow. Great stuff. But if this was intended to be a great short film, then yeah, I would say maybe 10 days on the writing and then five on the production might have been a good idea. Maybe more. And it's such a short piece. It's like, Well, why would it take that long? Well? What's that? I? Oh, it totally is. Yeah, yeah. It's not I don't know if it's harder. I mean, writing a novel is that's yeah. Wow. But as I mean, Ricky's partner Lisa. Sure would be the first say writing short form is no joke, either. You know, it's hard. And this is ultra short form. This is not short story. Right. This is one monologue. Yeah. It's hard. So anyway, that yeah, I basically, you know, I hate to say Yeah, me too what Ricky said. But that's, that's really that's my notes other than the potential comedy ending, but yeah, it it's not quite where it needed to be for writing to to grip me. It's

Ricky Grove 35:25
almost as if he decided to write the idea of the character instead of a real character. So you have this character, he's an alchemist, he made this terrible mistake. And now he regrets it. And he's giving a warning to other alchemists or people that want to dabble with it. That's an idea. That's the

Phil Rice 35:47
story, right? But the delivery, but the character a character would never come. Yeah, that story could be conveyed without the character saying, I'm a bad person, I did a wrong thing. And this is the consequence. So don't do that. No, you could illustrate that.

Ricky Grove 36:07
You get the idea for much more effective character. Yes, exactly. You have a dramatic character who conveys the idea, but doesn't tell you what the idea is.

Phil Rice 36:17
Yeah, I agree. So wonderful pic because it's very eye opening in terms of the the beauty of it the the detail. Oh, man, it is super, super impressive. sound wise, music wise, visually,

Ricky Grove 36:33
the mood of that of that thing. The low visual look fantastic.

Phil Rice 36:39
Yeah, top top notch. I,

Damien Valentine 36:42
I watched it and I thought that the story is not necessarily that the focus of creating this video. It's all about the technical side of it and making it and then I watched the behind the scenes video as well, which is very interesting to see how he did it. The impression I got from that was he found the character model and wanted to do something with it. So he put together this short monologue as a way to play around this character model that he's bought from the Unreal, Epic content store, whatever they call it, I don't remember. And it over into it, iClone. And they did the motion capture for it. And he did the facial motion capture as a separate thing. In the behind the scenes, you've got the final video, you got him standing in the room with the mocap gear on. And then you've got a close up of the creature's face, and then the close up of his face. And it's all playing synced up so you can see all four at the same time. Now, one of the things I can write with iClone is always really fun, obviously really improved the facial motion capture for iClone, because when they first released that plugin, I tried the free trial of it. And it was so glitchy and it needs a lot of correction work, I thought it's easier just to start manually do it from scratch by hands. That is to do the motion capture with the webcam. So I never invested in that plugin. But watching this there's come a long way since then, because it looks so much smoother, so much better. It didn't look over the top, it didn't look glitchy or, you know twitching, mouth movements and that kind of stuff. But watching his live performance as well, he's got a very expressive face, which is obviously key to doing this because his face is moving more than the creature's face. And the creatures faces looking natural the way that like the when you see him talking. It looks right for that creature. But when you see that the actor doing it is really over the top to get that same result.

Phil Rice 38:52
It's almost akin to a theatre performer, I would think you know, yeah, you have to over overemphasise, those get the

Ricky Grove 39:00
lift the energy a bit in order to project what you're doing out all

Phil Rice 39:04
the makeup for stage. Stage performance is intended to amplify as well, because the people at the back need to see it too, similar similar skill set I bet.

Damien Valentine 39:14
So it's worth watching that behind the scenes video because it's it's the same act as the actual video, maybe a couple of seconds before we talked about what he's about to do. So it doesn't take a long time, but it's very interesting to see that process. From the technical side, I was really impressed. And you'll see I use iClone for myself. So I'm kind of intrigued to learn more about what he did, making this for my films. Yeah. But yeah, I've really enjoyed it for that. And it's for educational. The story. Not not, it wasn't terrible. It's just not memorable. Yeah. I don't think it's meant to be I think the process is meant to be about sounds like this creature. But she did an excellent job with it. however, you

Ricky Grove 40:00
know, when you present it as a film with a story and a character, you open yourself up to criticism based on your work, you know, if he had put a warning in the front and says what I wanted to do is to show you all the great technical skills I have. I'm not a very good writer. So forgive me if the character isn't as good. Now, he didn't do that. He gave you a thing, but I think you're right. I think that's what his focus on. But I complain about that I say too often technical, highly skilled, technical people, they play to their strengths, which I guess if you're using it as a calling card, it's good. But wouldn't you want to work on what it is you're not so skilled on?

Phil Rice 40:45
To get better at it? Or collaborate with someone who is exactly hire somebody to do it? We've run into this how many times with regard to there'll be one element of, of production that's, that's below the par of the others? Sound is often it, you know, sound design is often forgotten. And it really is it for I think, for a lot of filmmakers getting into this, it's a blind spot until someone calls your attention to it. And it's like, oh, yeah, oh, yeah. And I had blind spots when I started. And thankfully, I had had had friends who weren't afraid to say something. And I learned I learned more from those than I did from any tutorial. So Right. Yeah.

Ricky Grove 41:30
So if you learn anything listeners to this particular podcast is that you can create a beautiful and gorgeous looking work. But if you don't put some effort into your writing, and your story its not going to be as resonant as it could. And it'll do just a calling card for you. But if hell if you get a million dollar job out of it, it's like, who cares?

Phil Rice 41:56
I mean, the perfect example of that, that everyone can relate to is Red versus Blue. Oh, yeah. Just focused on the visual beauty and not on the writing. And it's true. Exactly. You see what happened? District 9, the

Damien Valentine 42:10
it's film, it's a cautionary tale. The film offers an effects test. I think it's a five minute video with a spaceship in the sky over the right. Yeah. And you got the funding to make a full feature length movie out of it. And that's what he did.

Ricky Grove 42:30
I was always impressed. I was always impressed with M Dot Strange, his method, he would focus exclusively on story. Before he even began production. He would have a working, polished script, before he even began putting all the things together. And I think that's a good idea. But I don't want to belabour this point, we've made it pretty clear already. I thought you had excellent choices this month, Tracy and they were very provocative and interesting, full of fun and interesting ideas.

Tracy Harwood 43:01
Really enjoyed the discussion. Thank you, all of you. It's really great. Thank you.

Ricky Grove 43:05
Sure. Thanks. All right, folks. That's it. We want you to talk to us. You know, we said a lot of stuff. Do you think we're nuts... send a talk at completely machinima.com We want your comments. Tell me I'm nut. That's what I want to hear. Of course, you have to justify it or else I'll kick your ass. But that's okay. Love you all take care. Thank you, Tracy, Damien, Phil. I'm Ricky Grove. And we're signing off check out our show notes with Tracy puts together at completely machinima.com Thank you and we'll see you next week. Bye. Bye.

Phil Rice 43:44
Bye bye.

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