Feeds

Making Muvizu: DIY animation is here

Prepare for an inbox avalanche of animations

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Even though it's in the alpha stage, Digimania's Muvizu is one of the most impressive new technologies I've seen in the past few years. But don't take my word for it. You're going to be annoyed by Muvizu output pretty soon.

What the software - pronounced "Movie Zoo" - does is simplify 3D animation to the point that a child can do it. Or a drunk or stoned student - which is part of the target market. In doing so, Muvizu leapfrogs basic Flash creation tools, which are currently the tool of choice for stoner virals - 'Hey Mr. Taliban', say. But it also takes elements from professional and hardcore enthusiasts such as machinima software or ToonBoom, simplifies the features, and gears the software around creating a narrative very quickly. For example, take a look at this short, one-gag video:

I saw all that created - from a blank canvas - in around ten minutes. That included plenty of pauses to explain what was going on, so someone practiced with the software should take about half the time. (The voice was added using a free, online text-to-speech website).

Barry Sheridan, the lead developer, explains that the software is based around direction, not animation. "It differs from machinima in that you can jump straight into narrative; you can get to work on the movie immediately, and tweak it bit by bit."

From File, New… a character appears - blinking, and ready to animate. Slap some clothes on him, add a speech soundtrack - the eyes and mouth synchronise to lipsync automatically - and drop in a set, and you have a very quick and dirty animation. Because Muvizu uses non-destructive editing, it lends itself to an iterative process.

The harder stuff - such as adding cameras, sets and moving the characters around - has been the focus of some clever thinking. For example, you just point the mouse to where you want the character to walk; in walk mode, the mouse cursor drops a trail of dots. Changing speed and gait is easy. Adding in sets is easy, with particular attention to lighting effects. For someone wanting to do the next Tally-My-Bananas, I noticed that you can map an image on to your character's face.

Digimania is taking a community approach, where small groups can collaborate. One person may specialise in set design, another in writing jokes, another in doing voices. It looks like a jobs board. You need to join to get the software.

Sits Vac: Muvizu's Community Site

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.