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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Moviestorm 1.5.3 released

Moviestorm 1.5.3, released today, is a free upgrade available to all users.

Two new features you’ll notice are the look customizer and the mini timeline.

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The look customizer gives you much more control over the ways characters can look at each other: you can look with just the eyes instead of turning the whole head, you can choose where on the other person the character is looking (eyes, head, chest, left/right hand, pelvis or feet - or top/middle/bottom of an object), and you can control the speed at which the look happens. You can even have the head looking at one target while the eyes look at another target.

This is a small change in some ways, but it’s really powerful from the dramatic and cinematic point of view. You can say a lot with a look - often much more than you can in words.  Independent control of head and eyes, combined with targeted focus points allows you to look someone up and down, checking them out, or add in shifty, surreptitious sideways glances. Characters can even keep their eyes fixed on someone while nodding their heads - with a little cunning, you can use this to create a character peering over their specs at someone. This kind of subtlety in acting adds immense depth to your animated characters, It involves a little more work for the filmmaker, but the results are well worth it.

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The mini timeline, down at the bottom right, now shows you how much of the total timeline is visible. You can also click and drag it to navigate around the master timeline. There are a few other minor changes to the timeline: for example, activities that are reduced to zero length on the timeline now show as a red square instead of a triangle. The timeline zoom is also now exponential rather than linear, letting you zoom in or out more.

Another small improvement that people have been asking for is for ceilings to cast shadows. You need to disable “Interior Lighting” if you want this effect. Another change we made to shadows is that props can have their shadows disabled. This will also stop it reducing the overall shadowmap quality if it’s near the edge of a scene. Try switching off the shadows for large backdrops, panoramas and primitives, or for large buildings or trees that are only partly visible, and you should see a big improvement in the shadows on the rest of the set.

Moviestorm 1.5.3 also includes many bug fixes and performance improvements. Whenever you add or move actions on the timeline, Moviestorm does a “retake”, which re-generates the animation sequences for the scene. Retakes are now much faster, which will improve overall speed, particularly when making tweaks to a scene. If you’ve been working with long video clips, you’ll be relieved to know that clips over 6 minutes long now display correctly on the Cutting Room timeline. And for those who like to use Moviestorm to generate screenshots or storyboards, screenshots taken in the Camera View with the snapshot button now include depth of field.

Something that anyone who makes action or horror films will appreciate is that “dead” characters are finally, properly dead and will no longer do automatic look ats or any other improvisations. We’ve also improved the skinning on several of the costumes in the base pack and some of the add-ons, and tweaked the

Modders will be pleased to note that we’ve changed the ‘Move to’ menu in the Modders’ Workshop so that you can scroll through the list of addons, and we’ve fixed the ‘Browse’ button so that it works for props that have spaces in their folder names.

Get Moviestorm 1.5.3 now

Full details in the release notes.

To get the update, just start Moviestorm as normal and press the Update button in the launcher.

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

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