Friday, July 27, 2007

Machinima Review: Stolen Life

We seem to have a history here at of reviewing unusual
robot-related art forms. Last time it was robot poetry and today it's a
machine-made movie about machines. Stolen Life is an example of
It's an animated movie but it isn't animated in any
traditional way. It was rendered on a computer but not in the way you'd
expect. Rather than rendering the scenes one frame at a time at the
highest resolution possible in the way Hollywood does, machinima goes
the opposite direction, rendering in real time at low resolution. The
rendering is done not by specialized animation software
but by repurposing a videogame rendering engine. The upside is that
it's fast and inexpensive compared to Hollywood's method. The downside
is that it looks like, well, a video game. It doesn't look real like the
CG you see in typical theatrical movies. It looks more like the earliest
attempts at computer rendered animation such as Tron. Aside from the
unusual animation, Stolen Life has an interesting story,
a great score, and voices provided by real actors. Read on for a more
detailed review and an interview with the producer.


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