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Monday, June 11, 2012

En garde! New swordfighting pack available!

It’s been a long time in the works, involving a whole load of rewritten code in areas we didn’t expect, and a complete new version of Moviestorm, but finally the sword fighting pack is here!  The pack includes two characters, the swordsman and swordswoman, a collection of swords and shields, and a huge collection of animations (see below). And, to recreate that authentic Ren Faire atmosphere, there’s a medieval tent and flagpoles.

You can buy the pack for 2000MSP, or if you only need it for a short time, you can rent it for 200MSP a month.

To help you get the best from the pack, here’s a short video tutorial introducing you to what it can do.

Get it from the marketplace now!

For best effect, we recommend combining it with the medieval packs from Moddingstorm, which include more costumes, hairstyles, beards, horses and a castle. They’re available together as the Medieval Addon Collection, which saves you roughly 25% over buying them individually.

What You Get

Props and set objects:
Medieval Flagpole - 4 variations of flags which flutter in the wind.
Shield01 - metal and wood - two round shields and two kite shields.
Medieval Tent - with or without porch.
Sword - seven sword variations, and some extra future sword variations.

Characters:
Swashbuckling Costumes made of cloth and leather.
Fantasy Swordswoman 01
Fantasy Swordsman 01
Accessory versions of the sword and shield props.

Animations:
Using a sword as a held prop
Block 1
Block 2
Block 3
Catch Sword
Catch sword upright
DIE 1
DIE 2
DIE 3
Decapitate
DodgeMiddle
Draw
Draw from behind
HoldHigh
HoldLow
HoldToNose
Overhead
PointForward
PointHigh
Sheath
Sheath on back
Slash Side
Slash Side Dodge
Slash1
Slash2
SoloBlocks
SoloSwings
StabFloor
StabStomach
Stop holding high
Stop holding low
Stop holding overhead
Stop holding to nose
Stop pointing forwards
Stop pointing high
ThroatDie
Throw Sword
Throw sword upright
Twirl Right
Twirl Left and Right repeatedly
Twirl Left then Right
Two Handed Chop
Two Handed Grasp
Two Handed Lower
Two Handed Raise
Two Handed Return

Animations:
With two characters each using a sword as a held prop, then doing an ‘Interact/Sword Fight’ with each other.
A advances and B retreats
A attacks from high then low
A attacks from right then left
A attacks then is stabbed through by B’s riposte
A beats on B’s blade and moves forward
A feints and moves forward
A spin kicks B to ground - B gets up
A stabs through B’s stomach
A strikes from left
A strikes from overhead
A strikes from right
A’s stab is deflected by B
A’s vertical slash is dodged by B
Both retreat
Circle
Clash swords and struggle

Get it from the marketplace now!

(1) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Friday, June 01, 2012

Jubilee Special - get Moviestorm for half price

imageThis weekend, the UK is marking the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, so the whole country is taking four days off work to participate in street parties and other spontaneous outpourings of patriotism.

This means there will be minimal technical support during the holiday period. We’re sorry for any inconvenience, and we’ll deal with any non-urgent issues when we return on Wednesday, June 6.

However, we’re also offering Moviestorm Max at half price throughout the entire long weekend!

You’ll get the full Moviestorm animation suite, plus 39 content packs, plus the Modder’s Workshop, and you’ll get a saving of over $110 on the regular price (or £75 / €100)!  Packs include everything you need to make action films, sci-fi movies, video blogs, documentaries, comedies, romance, drama, cop shows - combined with the modding tools and third party mods, you can make whatever you can imagine!

Use coupon code JUBILEE at the checkout  to claim your 50% discount.

Offer valid today, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Does not apply to rentals - only to purchase. Applies to boxed and download product.

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Friday, May 25, 2012

Weekend special - Kids Shows bundle at 35% off

This weekend - buy the Kids Shows bundle for 35% off, and you’ll get Moviestorm for life for less than the price of a one-year license. That’s under $50 for a complete movie-making suite plus the modder’s workshop and 12 extra content packs!

Create visually engaging videos made for, or by, the kids! Whether 3D cartoon worlds, a message from Santa, a spooky Halloween tale or starring in your own Song Contest, you’ll soon be enjoying making your movies as much as others enjoy watching them.

Use coupon code K35 at the checkout - applies to both online and box purchases.

Offer closes May 28.

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Friday, May 18, 2012

Weekend special - Music video bundle at 35% off

This weekend - buy the Music Video bundle for 35% off, and you’ll get Moviestorm for life for less than the price of a one-year license. That’s under $50 for a complete movie-making suite plus the modder’s workshop and 12 extra content packs!

Create explosive laser-lit stadium shows, get personal in small venues or the recording studio, get funky in clubs or go for karaoke at home. So whether its rock, dance or classical; singing, dancing or playing; just add music, make your music video and be the star!

Use coupon code SOUNDS at the checkout - applies to both online and box purchases.

Offer closes May 21.

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Monday, May 14, 2012

Using Moviestorm to teach Games Design in Ohio

imageJohn Bowditch teaches Digital game design and game development at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.  He recently started using Moviestorm to enable students to create storyboards and pre-visualize game levels. “It may seem odd to use a film-making tool in a games course,” explains John, “but it’s actually very useful.  It helps with level design, world creation, and character creation, as well as the more obvious applications to cut-scenes and visual effects.” 

He discovered Moviestorm in an unusual way. “One Friday evening, I was watching a behind the scenes featurette about the movie Battle: Los Angeles, and they mentioned Moviestorm. I was blown away by the concept and checked it out. The price was irresistible, so I bought it right away. By the end of the weekend I had completely adopted it.”

John’s students took to Moviestorm rapidly.  “I was surprised at how easily they picked it up and found features I had not found. Some of them learned formally by using the online tutorials, but most of them figured it out by tinkering.  It was pretty native for them from the beginning. They weren’t in the least discouraged by the fact that it doesn’t look as good as what they can do with Maya, ZBrush or the other high-end tools they use. They realized from the start that the purpose of this tool is not for production ready, “Blu-ray quality” distribution.  They know it’s a pre-production tool.  In this regard, they find it irreplaceable: it saves them hours of pre-production work and truly helps them prepare their games more effectively.”

image

Moviestorm has now become an essential part of the course methodology. “Almost every game cut-scene and complex playable action sequence is first tested in Moviestorm, with students working both individually or collaboratively. It has removed the need to create storyboards and time consuming pre-viz models.  It is a perfect tool to because it bridges a wide divide for both games and film.  Historically, if you wanted to pre-visualize a shot or series of shots, the minimalist approach would be to draw storyboards. The alternative would be modeling and animating a scene from scratch.  The gap between storyboarding and creating a 3D animation from scratch is enormous, but Moviestorm is the best of both scenarios.  It requires a minimal amount of effort yet produces, and often exceeds, the quality of 3D animated pre-visualizations. We are now planning on expanding its use to other classes.”

John is keen to stress the benefits for teachers as well as students. “Using Moviestorm has saved me at least four hours of lecture time.  That’s 5% of my course that I can now devote to other areas, so the return on investment is clear to me. If you’re teaching a course like mine, just play with it for an hour.  The amount of applications you can use this software for will become evident to you quite quickly.”

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Friday, May 11, 2012

Weekend special - Factual TV at 35% off

This weekend - buy the Factual TV bundle for 35% off, and you’ll get Moviestorm for life for less than the price of a one-year license. That’s under $50 for a complete movie-making suite plus the modder’s workshop and 11 extra content packs!

Create news bulletins, live reports, chat shows, press conferences, or simply a video blog from your bedroom. So if you have something to say, choose from a limitless range of characters, create sets from TV studios to the Oval Office and tell the world!.

Use coupon code MAKENEWS at the checkout - applies to both online and box purchases.

Offer closes May 14.

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Friday, May 04, 2012

Get 50% off Moviestorm Max this weekend

This weekend ONLY: use coupon code MAYMAX to get 50% off your purchase of Moviestorm Max.

You’ll get the full Moviestorm animation suite, plus 39 content packs, plus the Modder’s Workshop, and you’ll get a saving of over $110 on the regular price (or £75 / €100)!

Offer valid today, Saturday & Sunday and Monday (and if you’re quick, Tuesday morning before we get into work).

Does not apply to rentals - only to purchase. Applies to boxed and download product.

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Joseph Kwong - THE END IS NIGHt

Machinimator Craig Harbison runs a contest each year called the Passion Competition, which challenges creators working with any machinima tool to create films on the theme of “Passion”. This year’s challenge was to make a film showcasing the struggle between GOOD and EVIL, RIGHT and WRONG. The winner was Joseph Kwong, with his movie Scion, created with The Movies (below).

Scion from JosephKw on Vimeo.

As part of his prize, Joseph won a copy of Moviestorm. His debut Moviestorm piece was this stunning action-oriented film, THE END IS NIGHt. We were amazed by what he created on his very first foray into Moviestorm, and asked him to tell us about himself and his work.  (Skip to the end to see the full movie.)

image

Joseph’s been a filmmaker for about as long as he can remember. “I’ve always been interested in films, perhaps because I now Iive in Hollywood,” he says, “but actually my fascination goes back to even when I was a toddler. My mother told me that I frequently interrupted her bedtime stories by interjecting what I thought would’ve been better endings, or more exciting conflicts, and in other words had a knack for telling my own version of the tales. When I went to my first summer camp and discovered the joy of campfire stories, I was in narrative heaven. Even after I returned from those outings, I would gather some friends up, sequester ourselves in the school’s “lost and found” room, close the door and turn off the lights, and then whip out a flashlight and commence a session of indoor campfire tales. This love of the story later progressed to audio tales with dialogue and sound effects recorded on tape, and then onto short films on video. I even dabbled with claymation and stop-motion animated action figures with a super 8 film camera. Years later, this eventually led to my pursuit of a creative writing degree in college. Although I enjoyed writing, I found visual media to be the most rewarding since I was able to convey my ideas and vision through not only words, but sight and sound.”

However, he still found himself frustrated with the limitations of what he could do with the time and budget available, and started looking for other ways to create films. “It wasn’t until I came across machinima software that I was able to create my own visions in a quick and cost-efficient manner.” Machinima gave him an immediate success. His first machinima film was one of the 12 winners (out of 3,033 entries) in the 2006 Warrington Film Festival in England. Encouraged by this, he went on to create dozens of short films which ended up being screened in film festivals around the world in such esteemed venues as Paris, Geneva, as well as in the U.S.

“The freedom of Moviestorm allowed me to let my creative vision flow”

This still didn’t satisfy him, though, and he wanted to make more ambitious films. “Although I became well-acquainted with the machinima software I worked with, I was also very aware of its severe limitations. So when my friend and fellow machinimator John Norton (aka Nahton) informed me of a new, dedicated animation tool being developed, I looked into Moviestorm immediately. However, my computer configuration at that time did not allow me to run the Moviestorm program, and so I continued working with my old software. It wasn’t until I won the grand prize in the 2011 Passion Competition, and was awarded the complete Moviestorm package as a prize, that I was able to finally try out this software (which works well with my new computer setup).”
imageHis first Moviestorm film wasn’t something he deliberately set out to create. “The entire film was the result of a spontaneous desire to see what this new program could do,” he laughs. “I had no intention of actually creating a film - I had no script nor even an outline. I just ran the program, watched a brief introductory overview tutorial, and felt I had enough knowledge to shoot a simple scene at least. Due to the user-friendly nature of the software, that simple scene grew into a simple act, and finally into a complete eighteen minute film. I created this movie in my leisure time starting in late December 2011 and finished tweaking it in March, 2012.” The entire film is filmed with Moviestorm with no post-production touches.

He also found himself working in an entirely new way, shooting the film in chronological order starting from the first scene until the final frame. “I have never attempted or even dreamed of creating a film in this manner. Due to the limitations of my previous software, I always needed to plot out my shots, and storyboard the more complex scenes, and then figure out if I could feasibly shoot what I had in mind. The freedom of Moviestorm allowed me to let my creative vision flow and to actually transpose the images from my mind onto the screen.”

“I felt proficient with Moviestorm after my first evening working with it”

Two things made this creative freedom possible: the ease of use of Moviestorm, and the supportive community of filmmakers. “The best thing about my newfound filmmaking tool is the intuitive ease and logical layout of the program. I no longer needed to memorize the often haphazard names of animation scenes; all I need do is select a virtual actor/actress, then right click on the object or actor I wish him/her to interact with. A submenu of the available actions appears and I make my selection. I felt proficient with Moviestorm just after my first evening working with it - if even that long, and the results were, in a word, satisfying. I was again in narrative heaven. I did, at times, come across actions which I wish were available for the virtual characters to perform. For example, I needed one of the actors to pick up a fire extinguisher and put out a blaze. However, that option was not available with my “out-of-the-box” program. Fortunately there exists an extensive community of Moviestorm users (which I learned were affectionately termed “Moviestormers”) who are ready and more-than-able to assist their fellow animators. I approached one (Nahton) who promptly proceeded to create the prop I required, along with a variety of animations to go with it. Problem solved. Film completed.”
imageHe is currently re-rendering the film in a 3D format and planning his next production. “I always had a love of 3D movies, and am thrilled at the ease in which I can craft one with Moviestorm,” he says. “In fact, I have my heart set on filming all my future Moviestorm films in a 3D format. I’m working on three more stories which came to me while working with this software (one a satirical comedy, another a science fiction mystery, and finally a horror piece.”

That sounds like an ambitious task, and Joseph agrees. “I always have more stories than I have time to actually film, so I am currently working with another Moviestormer, Lucinda McNary (aka Lucindamc123) to create a full feature-length animated film. I wrote the screenplay, and I left her the task of directing and producing it. The film, Vautrin, is based on a true story, and Lucinda recently informed me it is halfway completed. I am eager to see her realization of my vision.”

“Stop contemplating making films and simply make them”

Joseph’s passion for filmmaking is clear, and he loves to encourage others to try it for themselves. “I have friends and family who watch my films and then express their desire to create movies and share their stories. I tell them they can, and with relative ease now with machinima programs. They just have to stop contemplating about making films and simply make them. It only gets better.”

We look forward to seeing more work from this extraordinarily talented filmmaker.

 

THE END IS NIGHt from JosephKw on Vimeo.

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Teachers & students - get Moviestorm for just $20!

For the next week, we’re offering a one-year licence Moviestorm to teachers and students for the unprecedented price of $20 / £12.50 / €15. 

It’s already heavily discounted for educational users, but we’re adding a further 66% off for the next seven days.

This deal includes Moviestorm and 39 content packs - that works out at less than 32 pence or 50 cents per pack.  It has everything you need to make a huge variety of movies suitable for a wide range of coursework - take a look at some of the ways Moviestorm can be used in schools and colleges, and download free lesson plans here. It’s perfect for media courses and for many other mainstream subjects as well including arts, sciences and humanities, and has been used by students of all ages from elementary and primary schools right up to universities and colleges worldwide.

Use coupon code LEARN at the checkout. Offer closes May 2nd 2012.

Note: this offer applies to single user licenses only, not to site licenses. There’s more information on site licenses here.

Teachers: tell your students! Students: tell your friends!

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Moviestorm for journalists - an intern’s view

Tara May Cox, studying at Broadcast Journalism at Bournemouth University in the south of the UK, spent the Easter holiday working with Moviestorm, focusing on understanding how this type of tool can be of relevance to journalists. After the Easter break, she wrote an article for Media Magazine’s ‘play and participation’ online supplement. She notes that “the digital revolution of the 21st century has meant a rise in media-literate public, especially the younger generation, but Moviestorm offers a different experience entirely than simply filming on your iPhone,” and that “with such a versatile animation concept, anything seems possible.”

Download the magazine (PDF)

Tara also created a video blog about her experiences.  She comments that “Moviestorm enabled me to create my own animation video-blog, something which could well become a welcome trend in the journalism and media industry. The software reminded me of The Sims, but was much more versatile, and I could do things such as lip-sync my audio clips to my character and have them present to me from the other side of the computer screen. I could also add a screen onto which I could embed video, and could make my character gesture to the video while it showed me the videos I had chosen. What I liked most about the software was that it was an excellent representation of an animated presentation, and for someone like me who gets nervous at presentations to big crowds of people; Moviestorm could be an innovative new tool in the business world.”

(Courtesy of Tara May Cox)

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

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