Update on “The Barrier” 2013 August 4

Not_Impressed_7102“The Barrier” project passed a milestone this week. The animation program, Xtranormal, I used for the movie shut down. I think I can complete an initial version of the movie with what I have, but I will need to find a different way to make a final version. Xtranormal needs verification from their website to output videos, and with the website shut down, I can’t do that any more.

“The Barrier”

Last week I reviewed the whole movie and found a number of things I wanted to change. I got one round of changes done by Tuesday. I reviewed what I had again and then started a second round of changes. I got most of them done before the system shut down Thursday. What I didn’t get done were nice-to-haves, not need-to-haves. I believe that I have enough to do a complete movie now.

I need to add some picture elements – mostly computer screens and a TV screen. I have a group of three scenes where I will need to build a complete background. Xtranormal didn’t have a set that was appropriate for the scenes. I used one of their sets to create the scenes, and then used a trick to get the same scene on a green screen background. That will allow me to put in a background. I don’t know how I will create the background yet.

I talked to a guy I used to work with. When I told him I was working on a movie about a transportation planner, he seemed a little sceptical. I hope other transportation planners won’t feel the same way.

Xtranormal Replacement

I spent some time investigating some of the programs that I might use to replace Xtranormal. Some are really too limited for the kind of thing I want to do. Others are much more powerful, but look like they may be quite difficult to use. I’ll do a blog post about the options later.

One big snag from my point of view is that Xtranormal had artificial voices built in. The others don’t. You need to create your own dialogue. The artificial voices are not cheap, but neither are real actors.

I plan to leave a detailed evaluation until I have “The Barrier” version 0.9 done. I will do another blog post about the options later. I have identified eight so far. There are four that look like reasonable replacements to me.

Stateplus – http://stateplus2.hackernewbies.com/

Muvizu – http://www.muvizu.com

iClone – http://www.reallusion.com/

MovieStorm – http://www.moviestorm.co.uk/

The others I found were: Carrara 8, goanimate, toonboom and powtoon. There are plenty of programs that do animation, but they are not really the same kind of thing as Xtranormal.  If you know of any other programs, please let me know.

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