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Fan Productions Creating our own Trek canon!

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Old January 20 2011, 04:28 PM   #1
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Fem Trekz: A Machinima Trek Series

I may be getting a little ahead of myself, but I'm developing a recurring webshow around the Xtranormal State machinima software in conjunction with virtual backgrounds and space footage gleaned mostly from Star Trek Online.

I've been posting little skits that are mostly tech demos showing off first attempts at one approach or another and now I have a contest running to bring in more animators. So far I have one submission so far.

I'd like to throw open the gates for anyone else who wants to participate. The best place to join up would be the xtranormal-tech yahoo group.

I have a preliminary writer's bible as well as some initial episode concepts that I'd like to pursue. So this is on the cusp of becoming a real entity, but it would be a lot easier to have a group working on it than just me. I actually have other shows I'd like to get back to, so I'd like to get the ball rolling and then pass the torch off and not be so actively involved.

Right now what I need the most is someone to write some official theme music. This is what I have so far which is nothing more than a mashup.

I also could use an animator for the exterior space shots so that I'm not limited to what I can capture via Star Trek Online. Finding someone who can make a hard commitment to render footage for this project has been tough. It's been far easier to rely on my own wits.

However, I know there are a lot of people who have been doing this sort of thing for a long time and could generate the sort of generic footage I'd need for this show fairly easily (entering and exiting orbits, etc...)

Hoping to hear from you, thanks.

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Old February 24 2012, 01:22 PM   #2
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Re: Fem Trekz: A Machinima Trek Series

What a difference a year makes.

I wanted to bump this old thread because over the past year, I've been mostly immersed in enhancing the animation tools. It's hard to tell whether I worked on the tools to facilitate Fem Trekz or Fem Trekz was merely a test-bed to demo the tools. Whichever it was, I'm now at a point where I can do a much better job of it vs. how it would have been had I plowed ahead last year, both because of the enhanced tools as well as an extra year of being in the woodshed as an animator.

That being said, I've also realized that I need some help, either volunteer or paid. I have someone now on payroll to make the USS Earhart in 3DS Max, for instance. I also have the ability to import models from games into Xtranormal State, but they need some cleanup work from someone who knows how to model and texture.

So if this strikes your fancy, please contact me via PM and I'll fill you in.

The place to follow incremental production updates is now Facebook. So you might want to check that out.
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Old February 26 2012, 01:34 AM   #3
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Re: Fem Trekz: A Machinima Trek Series

I spent some free time making some HD video klingon consoles and you never even bothered to reply to me
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Old February 26 2012, 02:55 AM   #4
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Re: Fem Trekz: A Machinima Trek Series

I should have told you we were in a holding pattern so you weren't left hanging if it wasn't clear enough. And part of that lack of communication was because it was embarrassing to admit to you that I asked for your work and was not able to showcase it. The entire production was deliberately put off while I refined the toolset. At the time those screens were done I had produced a greenscreen screentest of the klingonz against backgrounds from Star Trek Online. I had a very different idea of how I was going to go about things. Now, however, not only did Butch retexture one of Xtranormal's sets, but we also have integrated a K'Tinga bridge from Bridge Commander. So things have changed a great deal, both technically and conceptually. There was no way to predict where we'd be today back then.

It changed because I wear two hats, which is to develop the show AND the toolset. So that is the see-saw that I'm on. I can not do both things at once. I have to keep switching off, and when I'm coding, then Fem Trekz gets put aside, even though ultimately it benefits from the R&D.

As the toolset expanded, I could see how Fem Trekz could be better than I originally thought. Before we brought in geometry I had discovered how to transplant meshes between different characters, which is what facilitated true Nemesis uniforms. Before that, Xtranormal released their TOS bridge, which completely changed my plans for how to handle the Earhart bridge. It's been a constantly moving target.

With all the videos down I don't think there is an appreciation for what has taken place behind the scenes. While there are things about it that makes me loyal, Xtranormal State, by itself, is really a half-baked animation platform and the only way Fem Trekz is even remotely feasible is because of the extensions I've developed and continue to develop. I say that not to ask for praise, just some semblance of understanding of the unique path this project is taking, and to acknowledge that I have in no way been twiddling my thumbs over the past year.

Not only that, since the time you made those screens I decided to exclude the Klingonz from my storyline long enough to give Butch a headstart. Yes, I used the klingonz in a couple of the demo videos, but none of those ever counted as "canon", so to speak. That's not to say I won't feature the Klingonz ever, and I may have very well contacted you again when I needed them, but I don't at the present time. I will ask Butch whether he'll use them. He has very specific ideas about look and feel and those screens were really specced out based on my ideas, not necessarily his.

I am fine admitting that it was a mistake to ask for those screens at the time that I did, and I apologize for that. If I knew production was going to be so far off in the future, I would have held off. Those are post-production screens used in the editing stage and only now is Butch starting to assemble what he considers "official" clips, and even then, he is cognizant that production methods will change when we get more sets integrated and cleaned up.

My entire timeline of when I thought I could enter official production was just totally unrealistic, but I would think that's not too uncommon in these sorts of projects. You live and learn, and nobody's perfect.
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collaboration, fan films, machinima animation, xtranormal

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