Where is the hobby/obsession that is machinima/anymation heading?
We've come a long way from the original screen captures from first person shooters; a long way from sappy and crappy toilet humour Halo/Half-Life/Counter-Strike etc comedy shorts. With the plethora of software available today, where does this seem to be leading?
Increased control of every aspect of a machinima production and better graphics/animations seems to be the way forward; already, iClone and Moviestorm are leaping ahead in the "do as thou wilt" areas; with better avatar graphics and smoother animations, they will soon be streets ahead of most of the "none-propriatory" software that's available, and leading us firmly into the Third Age of home 3d animation movies.
So, what waits around the corner? Each age has it's casualties (The Movies, for example, died effectively stillborn; woefully unsupported by its makers due to terrible marketing decisions, it would now be a dusty relic if not for the dedication of a small band of modders, writers, directors and voice actors who have injected it with energy and life and kept it going, even 3 years after it first appeared, with no sign of it stopping, but sooner or later it will be left by the wayside as better tools appear), but each age also has it's stars (currently iClone and Moviestorm). What's the next thing that may be lurking round the corner?
Who knows? Accessibility is a big thing to pursue, I feel; the more accessible something is, the more likely it will be that people will become involved in it. Make something too esoteric and only the die-hards will stick with it; TM was very good in this aspect of it's design, in that it was very easy to get started without hours and hours of paging through the manual to find out how to do stuff. Personally, if I had the time to delve into iC or MS, I probably would be away now, plinking at shorts and learning the program. Unfortunately, at the moment I have far too much on my plate to devote the time to learning a new suite of tools at this point. I'd love to get cracking on these programs, but the lack of time prevents me doing so right now.
A slight hindrance to me picking them up is the need to "swot up" a lot on the intricasies of the new engines (I'm an old Luddite and if I have to spend more than 10 minutes to get something working, I tend to not bother with it). I'd love both of these to be more user-friendly than they are (not that they're exactly rocket science to figure out at the moment, but "Luddite" here :P); time is a luxury I don't have a lot of, unfortunately, even though I don't sleep and have no life, but I'll get there in the end.
Anyway, enough pontificating from me; I have ten million things to do and only 1 pair of hands, so enough waffle... on with the work!