life babble – animation tool idea

find myself daydreaming a lot about animation tools.

initially: why has no one made a “tweening” application? People still pay fine artists to craft key frames, then send off to korea for cheap slave labor on the fill in. often with costly/time-consuming mistakes.

I’m guessing nobody’s had “that spark” of inspiration to nail it for software. So i daydream about putting in a 3d model for each character/object, which the software would use a reference. then you’d apply extereme states to it, represented by emotions.
Imagine the wolf whistle, where parts stretch and eyes pop out. isn’t this just emoting through some exteme distortions? … maybe not. maybe it’s foolish to think the artist could embue, or even identify, what the various distortions mean to them.

eh. still. i think i could.

So i got to daydreaming about how to bring it to market. Contact old friends at NaturalPoint? maybe, but they’re hardware obsessed so they likely wouldn’t be that interested. they’d like suggest adding it on to daz3d rather than going alone. Which made me think : if going as an addon, why not add on to Garry’s mod? why not leverage the source engine? they already have many compelling animation helpers/blenders. plus, valve is investigating signlanguage for Half-Life3 so maybe they’re already looking into the idea of switching between spoken dialogue and signed dialogue on the fly. And sign language has so much displayed emotion, you’d think it has to be a feature in their system. (likely already is to some degree, seems like all face animation tools have simplistic/lame sliders for emotion. just a question of whether they have “that spark” for these sliders/tools.)

Which got me thinking that Left4Dead3 would be an ideal launching ground. A way to prove “it’s a sequel that offers something new”. By bundling in a tool that lets you make simple movies. They could use it to launch the tool (since valve is incredibly good at making short movies). and the game is already setup to have unique characters. and you could basically add a slider for “make the zombies attack.” and “make the environment more scary”. (which are just some interesting examples of going beyond character animation to environment/antagonist and mood animation).

side tracked for a while wondering if someone could make a system that chopped up audio, and (maybe with a little coaching) figured out how to deliver new audio. Aren’t government agencies already all over this? wee see simplistic shit in tv shows where they have to cut and paste, but that seems to me sooOOOooo 1985.
hmm. so i wondered about feeding in all the existing L4D dialogue (already conveniently separated out by character) and just helping the program learn when someone is being sarcastic. or angry. or scared. or funny. which made me wonder if you could feed in dialog from old dead actors. (for some reason i’m obsessed with the idea of resurrecting Ricardo Montalbon as a young action hero). I have a character for my L4D3 idea which is basically an aged mariachi (ala desperado, in 40 years), and would clearly be basing it on Ricardo.

anywho. I find myself wondering about software interface look and feel. and tricks for actually improving the tools i’ve used. And it’s all probably a bit beyond my skills (?). but thought i should write it down before i get distracted.

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