I'm creating an animation studio today


No, it is. Pretty much the best designed and most supported via community, with the best libraries (especially for science and math stuff). At least out of the languages I’ve personally programmed in. Just new to it. Also haven’t used an interpreted language in a while. I’ve been in management too long!

Anyway, had no choice initially as Python was chosen as the scripting language for Blender and Maya (along with MEL for Maya, but that’s proprietary).


So it creates the animation file itself. The animation file is like the master project or whatever and keeps track of where everything is, what kind of lighting we are using, the position of everything, even stuff like are we using ray-tracing, what’s the unit of measurement we are using as units (mm or ft), all that stuff. That stuff is all saved in a project file. For example with the program Blender they are in a .blend file. If you make an animation at home, anything from a simple text appearing on screen and moving around to The LEGO Movie it’s in that .blend file. So if some studio gave you that .blend file (if they used Blender, they all use different stuff but Maya by Autodesk is the market leader for COTS animation software suites) you could open it up at home and render that yourself or tweak it to your heart’s content. You have to be a little careful though because each shot is individually composited with depth of field, the camera angle, backdrop, etc. Replacing a character model or changing the lighting (even the direction the light is going) is no big problem. Changing the animation subtly or zooming the camera in or out or up or down or whatever is no big problem either within reasons. But if you say swing the camera around 180• you’re going try seriously screw up the framing and original composition of the shot. Not to mention the background, if the AI did not expect a 180• shot. The tricks you use for something as simple as the backdrop changes drastically. A 180• shot requires a correctly mapped torus shaped background (curved and long). Also if you have a complicated background that whole thing is now out of whack. In those cases it’s better to have the AI redo the the shot (which takes it 1 second) according to those new parameters, then tweak the new shot. Or you could have it build the shot every which way, and then you go watch them all pick the best one you like, deleting the rest. Either way, they computer doesn’t care.

You have to be a little careful about the animation file itself for obvious reasons. It would contain all of the models, and artwork, etc. You’d transfer that securely back and forth.

Another cool idea I had is that a studio could send me an animation file they created, I could take a copy and then run this against it. It could make all kinds of interesting changes to that file then we send it back q d forth like that and collaborate.

This is a little more complicated though because you have to read all of the information via the API. I haven’t tried that yet but so far I’ve only gone the one way, “pushed” I formation from my program into the animation program. I’ve never read it the other way, I’m not even sure you can do that.


So some talentless jerk was shown some animation done by an AI and it offended his delicate artistic sensibilities.

Just kidding, it was Miyazaki:

Damn. I really respect him. But I obviously completely disagree with him. If he didn’t like this, he’s gonna hate me!


Please tell me you’re doing better than zombies flopping around by their heads.


Miyazaki comes from a story driven, humanist viewpoint, and no one should be surprised by his reaction who are familiar with his work.

But then, who cares if he doesn’t appreciate what they’ve done. They’ll go on to sell it to games, and improve it to work in other applications (perhaps robotics?). But I’m struggling to see the technology produce a ‘Totoro’ movie that my three year old will want to watch thirty times, so I think Miyazaki’s opinion isn’t misplaced for what he makes.


It’s alive! Two days ago I got the screenplay parsing program working. It can now take a screenplay and make an animatic/storyboard from it. I’m writing a short film screenplay right now to test it.

So now we’ve automated animation, the next step is to automate object creation. For now though, that’s the stop-gap, art asset creation. We still have to do that manually (or you can use the primitives the AI has access to by default). Oh, also rendering time. I can’t change that, it depends on your lighting quality, textures, number of polygons on screen, etc.

I’ll whip up a video and post it. Let me get the lighting rigs and background finished, and then I’ll start cranking out videos.

Anyone have a screenplay or teleplay laying around they want to see a movie made from? I could use it to train the AI and see how close to your vision it creates.

Another idea I had was to go look for old screenplays or watch a movie I like and kind of write down the screenplay from the movie. The latter way I can specify shot types and make the “remake” look visually identical to the original. Might be fun.

All-Purpose Writing Thread!

Oh c’mon, you absolutely have to!


I wrote a short fan fictionny screenplay many years ago that never came to anything. I don’t think there’s any specific IP violations…as long as you’re sure to call them “laser swords”. It’s noir-ish. Would you be interested?



Fuck, now Nick Cage is taking roles in Guap’s autonomously written movies? That guy’s got no standards at all.


Don’t talk about Guap like that.


Townies might finally see the light of day!


I slapped a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International” license on after taking another clean-up pass at an old “lightsaber noir.” It’s on dropbox now, and basically you can do whatever you want with it, as long as you attribute it to moi. It’s in Word, I suppose if you want I could put it in Final Draft. It’s called The Two-Timer.

I also thought, if you want content that is basically scripts to test your algorithms, find radio plays that are in the public domain and use their transcripts (as long as their transcripts are also in the public domain). Or scripts from much older plays on Project Gutenberg.


Thanks, and thanks for the advice on source material.


So the CEO of a games company just invited me to demo this thing at E3. Holy cow, no pressure! He told me “Let’s meet Monday in LA.” Ok. “At the Staples Center.” Ok. “At E3.” What?!?

Squee! Maybe next year I’ll have my own booth. I hope he’s impressed, it could open a lot of doors.


Good luck!!


What do you have to show?


A really crappy demo and a lot of energy and passion! But yeah, it’s a prototype and doesn’t flow well yet, I’m working on it. Will never have time to change any code by next week, I’ll have to write a screenplay that shows it off a bit.


Well crunched and the demo is a little better now. Man this is exciting.


Best of luck. Knock 'em dead.