Monday, 16 August 2010

While the cat's away ...

Most of the Moviestorm team are taking a well-deserved break at the moment, but that doesn't mean the rest of us are sitting on our laurels. Everyone's favourite hard-working art guy, Chris Ollis, has this to share with you all:

Now that the dust has settled on the early access release of version 1.4 I'm taking the liberty to let slip some other stuff that we've been doin

g that should be with you shortly, and some even more exciting things from the future!

First up we've got a new and incredibly useful content pack nearing release. It may not seem like the most exciting thing we've done when you first set eyes on it, but I can guarantee every serious Moviestorm film maker will want it and it should make character driven dialogue sequences all the more impressive.

Looking further in to the future we're tackling some stuff that we've wanted to do since day one. It should also make a fair few users happy, and save a few from having to struggle with their own mods of existing animations.

Yes that's right - we've finally had some fun with swords. While Dave would like us to break this down in to all the different sword types, weights, rules and other professional standards, I'm more keen on just whipping them out and hacking away a bit :D

While on the subject of violent acts, I've also been messing around with similarly unpleasant animations in my spare time, and given a good wind I should start handing out handy little packets of jumps, falls, punches and stabbings to help Moviestorm step up a gear. I know people have been shouting for this for a while, but believe me the video footage I recorded as a template was in the can so long ago I've had to get a cinefilm converter to play it back on :D

Don't bother asking for dates, you should know by now ;P


Friday, 13 August 2010

Show us your heads!

Here's a high-speed run-through of the morphs and decals in Moviestorm 1.4, by Chris.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Moviestorm 1.4 early access - grab it now!

We've built up the suspense long enough. Now you can go and play with all the lovely new stuff in Moviestorm 1.4.

To make things 100% clear, this isn't the official release. It's an early access release which is pretty damn near complete and has all the essential new features and tools. There are a few more things we plan to add in, mostly targeted at first-time users, but we're going to put those in over the next few weeks. In the meantime, you can start using the new dressing room and head creator, the new lighting, and all the other bits and pieces. There are no tutorials for the new stuff yet, but you can probably work it out!

You need to go through a couple of steps to get the early access version, but there's full instructions on the Web site. You can stick with your current version if you want, or you can run the two side by side. If you get 1.4 now, it should be easy to upgrade to the official release when it comes out.

We really want to hear your thoughts on this release, so please tell us what you think via the forums. Most of the team are on holiday next week, so we may not respond as fast as usual, but as always, we really value your feedback. It would be really useful to find out which bits you found confusing - that will help immensely when it comes to making the new tutorials.

Have fun!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Moviestorm 1.4 is imminent

It's taken a while, but it's going to be worth the wait. We've just assembled a complete build of Moviestorm 1.4, and it's looking good. We're dealing with a few minor issues over the weekend, then we'll be putting it through its final tests on Monday & Tuesday. If all goes well, we'll release it mid-week - and then our entire programming team is taking a well-earned holiday!

Moviestorm 1.4 includes a whole bunch of new features that you're just going to love. If you've been following the dev blog, you'll have seen us getting excited about them over the last couple of months. Individually, they're pretty cool. Now that we've put them all together, though, they add up to a huge leap forward.
  • For a starters, there's a whole new dressing room, and a completely new head creator. You can morph faces in a huge variety of ways, add make-up and decals, and you can create random characters to give you inspiration or fill out your extras quickly. Oh, and we fixed those annoyingly visible neck seams. That's something we've wanted to deal with for absolutely ages!
  • There's a totally new lighting system, which gives you much better lighting and really brings out the relief in your movies. It's a tri-light system which allows you to create effects similar to the traditional three-light system used on real-life movie sets. It includes lighting presets, so you can quickly flip to day, night, or low-light scenes. You can still use the old ambient & directional system if you want, but once you've used this, you won't want to go back. There's also a new color chooser which remembers the last colors you picked, which is handy for so many reasons.
  • The help system has been completely revamped. It's now much easier to use, and links through to the video tutorials. There's also a beta of the prop info tool: press one key and it shows you what every prop on the set can do. We also made a printable cheat sheet that you can stick in front of your keyboard or on top of the screen.
  • One of the most important "under the hood" updates is the auto-save and backup system. You can store up to ten backups of each movie, which means that it's easy to experiment with a scene, decide you don't like the way it's going, and get back to a previous version.
  • And, as we promised, we worked our way through a bunch of "papercuts", those little annoying things that irritate the hell out of you. Like the save dialog, which always confused people, and now makes sense. Or the load movie screen, which you can now order by date and quickly find the last movie you worked on. And when you load a movie, it goes back to the last view you were in. And so on.
The test team keep telling us how much easier and quicker it is to use Moviestorm now, and how the new characters really allow you to get much more variety into their movies. We're really looking forward to seeing what you guys do with it. The movies you've created so far have amazed us, and we're sure that you're going to do something truly astonishing.