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Buddy of DoQ: Thoughts on Life, Machinima, and Everything
Buddy of DoQ: Thoughts on Life, Machinima, and Everything
New Blog. New Heading. 
Friday, December 4, 2009, 10:35 PM - Machinima
Posted by Buddy of DoQ
Nearly half a decade ago I took up a bit of blogging to tell a tale from the lowly perspective of a guy who finally landed a job teaching what he loved most. Machinima. A lot has happened since I took up the blog in 2005 as can be read here; sometimes a bit boldly in the archived text, and sometimes hidden between the posts. The old is out, and the new is in! I'm starting this blog over, and gearing it back to a production log, as I originally intended it to be.

But, before we do that, how about some highlights?

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Buddy of DoQ: A Machinima Production Log
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The old blog is staying right where it is, for archival reasons, so please update your links!
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Buddy’s Month with Torque 3D 
Thursday, September 3, 2009, 10:37 PM - Machinima
Posted by Buddy of DoQ
About a month and a half ago I did something rather silly, given my situation. (see: every other post from this year) I went out and purchased a rather expensive seat to play with the up and coming Torque 3D while it’s still in beta. (Currently at beta 5) Since I’m no stranger to the Torque engine, which has had two other incarnations over the years, I was granted a sizable discount. While I’ve been a side-lines supporter of Torque since I first discovered it, I have never really taken a cold-hard attempt at using it. The reason for that is simple, it wasn’t very artist friendly, and I’m no programmer!

Times have changed.

Torque not only now has the abilities to rival Crysis and Unreal 3 graphically, but importing assets 2d, 3d, and moving, is easy as hitting file-save. The engine instantly converts your standard collada 3D files (.DAE) into a game-ready format, complete with animations. (It includes a tool to help you organize them as well!)

So, we’ve got real-time lights and shadows, art that can be instantly updated in-game as you hit save in Photoshop, and a super machinima friendly license. Not a shabby deal, right?

Well there are TWO major caveats to contend with. First, is the most obvious: If you want all the fancy features and the source code you have to pony up 1000 bucks. Not exactly the bargain-bin deal the engine used to be. Sans-source and advance lighting, it will be a more palatable $250, but you really do lose out on some of the engines strongest elements.

Secondly, this is an engine, not a game your building left of. There are very few built in measures to make everything you want possible without some sort of Torque Script or C++ work on your part. If you’re like me, you’ll just figure out a way to trick the viewer with the art, but for the mathematically inclined, you’ll be able to txt-logic your way into anything you need or want.

Enough talking, how about some screen shots?







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Hail. 
Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 09:20 AM - Machinima
Posted by Buddy of DoQ
I had exactly one day to play this month, when the tears dried I had this:


Hail. from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.

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Combining the Elements 
Friday, January 30, 2009, 03:33 PM - Machinima
Posted by Buddy of DoQ
Lets make a short list of your favorite movies, say, the top 4 or 5. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you.

Done?

Cool, what do you have?

Here’s what I came up with:

5) Indiana Jones (1-3)
4) Nausicaa
3) Jurassic Park
2) Seven Samurai
1) Big Trouble in Little China


There’s a clear trend in the movies I picked, they’re ripe with adventure and a bit of otherworldly awe. Not for everyone to be sure, but these movies somehow combine all of the elements of cinema to present to us a seamless alternate reality. I think just about anybody could walk away from these films and “get it.” They might not go and buy the DVD, but for 2 hours they’ll have believe in something more than the uncomfortable seats, stale popcorn, and blurry screen laid out before them. They will have become a part of the world presented to them. Why?

Indiana Jones isn’t just a film that stars Harrison Ford, no, no, no! It’s an authentic adventure that by the second act has you fully acknowledging the existence and even the perils of the good Dr. Jones. And by the closing scene of Nausicaa, you’re so captured by Miyazaki’s world, that you’ve even forgotten that you’re watching an animation.

These are perfect examples of films that took great pains to reach out to us, to lure us in, and make us believe in them. Each frame, every scene, and even the selection of actors are taken into account by the filmmakers. They know if they don’t hit each detail just right, that the audience will not accept the world they are trying to create.

Now for a side by side!

Lets take a look at Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, both are most excellent actors who often co-star in films; films which often make a great deal of cash monies at the box office.

You’ve Got Mail. If you remember this film at all, it’s likely because you saw the original with James Stewart and wished they had let a good thing be. This is not a horrible movie, not by any means. You could sit down and watch this thing and have a great time. But you know you’re just watching a movie with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. There’s nothing else to it. There’s no magic, no spark, and that attention to the cinematic presentation is lacking and the elements do not combine.

Now take a look at Joe vs. the Volcano. Same actors, basically the same love story, but by the end of this particular feature, you’re genuinely touched! You feel empathy for Joe Banks and his quest for… holy shit, did you see what happened? I just called Tom Hanks Joe! I don’t even remember what his characters’ name was in You’ve Got Mail!

Where do you pinpoint the difference? I would love to say it was the simple fact that I enjoy adventure flicks more than regular romantic comedies, but there’s a lot more to it as Sleepless in Seattle can attest. So what makes a movie good? Memorable? What is it that the audience wants to gain from your work?

I believe that it’s trust.

How do you gain trust from anyone? You have to work for it, you have to present yourself clearly and consistently, you must never waiver from your promises, and you must always give more than you take.

For filmmakers, that means you have to trust your audience first. Trust them to be able to enjoy your film regardless of it’s medium, to understand the plot and dialogue. So you must never dumb it down for the lowest denominator! You will want to leave plenty for those folks to chew on, but never hold their hand. They don’t wash them after using the toilet you know!

So, is skillfully combining the elements something that can be taught and learned? Or do you have to be born to ride? I don’t know for sure, but I’ve seen people grow, and artists evolve. Perhaps, as so long as you truly wish to believe, and trust in your own films… “if you build it, they will come.”

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Movie Night! 
Monday, January 12, 2009, 02:45 PM - Machinima
Posted by Buddy of DoQ
After a bit of a nudge (shove, really) I started digging around my collection of videos, new & old, and started uploading them to Viemo! Something that's been far too long on that old todo list. Far too long...



Machinima
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Rise. from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


Diet Cola from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


Fake Science from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


Retro Cop vs The Living Dead from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.

Student
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Freakin' Zombie Samurai from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


Alien Eyes from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


The Money Case from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.

For Fun
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The Miss-Adventures of Thudman from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


Slither TV Spot from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


Yard Wars from Brian Mayberry on Vimeo.


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