“Beyond Machinima: on the Future of Interactive Cinema”

“The machinima stuff is fun, but it doesn’t look good.” … “You can’t make anything professional with it” … “We wanted to do something to deliver frames in high definition (HD) that were ready for film the minute they come out of the box in real time. Compositing and everything is done in-engine. What’s cool about the film is that everything needed to be abstract, these soft membrane-like images, and that’s really hard to do in real time. Everything [in the machanima style] looks like ‘Metal Gear’ or the ‘Unreal’ engine now, and we wanted to get away from that look in this movie. We decided to try to tackle it with a real time engine, so we built a way to do those shots.” … “we have a render farm that we can render out CG film, something like at ‘Shrek’ level, on eight Nvidia [PC graphics] cards.”

One of the most interesting areas for such media will be to create and apply shaders that render game scenes as traditional art, rather than always striving for a never-quite-believable realism simply by increasing the level of detail on the screen.