Wednesday, August 8, 2012

UWA machinima contest

A while ago I was asked by JayJay Zinfanwe from the University of Western Australia to be a judge in an upcoming machinima competition.  I was flattered and thought "sure I will watch a few machinima"  then discovered there were actually 91 and they ranged from 3 minutes to 30 minutes in duration.  I watched all the machinima and took notes coming up with my favorites.  These were not the winners as chosen by the judges but rather just two of my favorites which I really enjoyed and would like to share.

You can find all the winners at the UWA website.

     The first one is by Pallina60 Loon and I find it quite beautiful and poignant.  The music is perfect, and the length, the simplicity of the narrative, the technical elements and style I found to be really well done.  It is the story of a girl growing up and moving through life.

Congratulations Pallina on a fine work.

      The second work I would like to show is by Soda Lemondrop.  One of my personal dislikes in machinima is what I consider to be the misuse of technologies.  Use the strong elements and avoid the weak ones.  So for example, I almost never like the lip syncing feature for avatars.  What it unerringly does for me each time I see it used is to make me think "hmm those lips are not synced to the voice at all".   In most cases for me it will break the immersion somewhat because I find it distracting.  Some people use it fine, but in general I don't like it.  It usually looks crappy.  I mention this because in some cases people take the raw traits of a medium and use them perfectly.  The machinima by Soda Lemondrop depicts the virtual world for me.  It is quirky and funny and doesn't try to be epic and has lots of character.  There is no windlight and it has low rez ground textures... and the lip syncing is off.  Because of this choice it works for me and had it been a slick production it would have instead failed in my opinion.  I don't think I am explaining this very well but long story short I found this to be a successful work within a niche.

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