7th Columnist


Red Vs Blue: The Animated Series
August 30, 2008, 2:01 pm
Filed under: Gaming, Halo, Machinima, Movies, News, PAX, Rooster Teeth

Wowser. Didn’t see this coming.

Rooster Teeth Productions, the guys behind Red Vs Blue, gave a short preview of an all new RvB during their PAX panel yesterday. Apparently set after the events of the currently running Reconstruction (though concrete details are sketchy), this is a brand new series following the exploits of Red and Blue team with a extra special twist… it’s animated!

Rooster Teeth are yet to update their website with the release, but we expect further details to follow soon. Leaving behind the traditional machinima approach and contraints of Halo 3 in favour of a more saturday morning anime style, this is a totally new direction for the RT guys. It looks incredible, and judging by the response of the crowd during the show, is set to be a sure fire hit.

What do you think? Have they gone too far, leaving behind their roots within the community, or are fully animated hand gestures just what the doctor ordered for this hapless troop of marines?

**UPDATE**

According to reports from PAX the new animated cartoon series is due to air following episode 19 of RvB: Reconstruction.

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Machinimendations – RvB: Reconstruction
July 1, 2008, 3:27 pm
Filed under: Gaming, Halo 2, Halo 3, Machinima, Machinimendations, Movies, News

Roosterteeth Productions have just released the fifth chapter of Reconstruction, the follow up to their award winning series Red Vs Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles.

If you’ve not yet seen the series, then you owe it to yourself to go take a look. With production values rivalling that of your average TV show and an awesomely compelling narrative, Reconstruction serves as a great entry point for anyone who missed out on the colossal five series’ of Red Vs Blue that came before it.

What’s it all about?

Picking up where the Xbox Live mini-series: Recovery One left off, Reconstruction follows the exploits of Agent Washington, a freelancer sent to investigate a mysterious attack on Outpost 17-B by an entity known only as the “Meta” – an enemy which has been steadily killing off members of Project Freelancer, stealing their partner A.I.’s and making off with their armour upgrades.

Whilst pursuing a lead, Washington is sent to Blood Gulch to gather information about the infamous Omega A.I. believed to have been recently acquired by the Meta. There he meets the survivors of The Blood Gulch Chronicles and is forced to work alongside them as he attempts to unravel the mystery at hand.

Got Trailer?

When and where?

Episodes are released every monday over at the Rooster Teeth website with special extended cuts available exclusively to sponsors ($10) of the show.

Machinimendation?

Original and best, the Rooster Teeth guys have once again come up trumps and you’ll be hard pressed to find a more polished Halo machinima series than this. You don’t need your partner A.I. to tell you to go watch. We just did.

Got a machinima series/video you’d like to see featured here? Let us know via the contact page. Alternatively, you could go one better and upload and share it with the community over at 7th Columnist Colonies.



Machinima Green Screen Tools
June 23, 2008, 4:04 pm
Filed under: Custom, Downloads, Gaming, Halo 3, Machinima, Movies, Multiplayer, News

Good news for Halo 3 machinimators today, as iGuardian has managed to create the perfect green screen setup for chroma keying. Using his technique you’ll be able to effectively place your characters over any backdrop just like George Lucas and his boys over at Industrial Light & Magic.

Basically, what he’s done is managed to get a teleporter set up to whisk you off to the outer limits of multiplayer map, Guardian. The process is simple enough, and once completed you’ll be treated to nothing but green… in terms of backdrop, perfect for some green screen compositing. He’s even put together this handy tutorial video showing how it’s done:

Simple eh? Hat’s off to iGuardian for coming up with and executing this idea. I’ve no doubt it’ll prove invaluable to many an ambitious machinimator out there. How long before we see a Halo weather report?

The forged map variant is available to download here. Go grab it and make something cool!



New Map Tours RvB Style
December 11, 2007, 2:47 pm
Filed under: Downloads, Machinima, Multiplayer, New Content, News

So the first batch of Halo 3 downloadable content has arrived and can be grabbed via Xbox Live Marketplace today for a mere 800 points.

For those of you wanting to check ’em out before you open your virtual wallets, those cheeky chaps over at RoosterTeeth have put together a special episode of Red Vs. Blue, focusing solely on the three new maps; Standoff, Rat’s Nest and Foundry and can also be found on Marketplace (for free). That said… you’re already here, so why not watch it below eh?

Remember, these maps will become freely available to all in the spring (right before the second batch are released), so if Christmas has put heavy strain on your bank account, worry not, as you’ll get them eventually.

See you online for some Spartan Soccer.

*UPDATE*

The RvB guys also made a small video for the Spike TV Video Game Awards that aired the other night. Both videos are now available for all via their site.



7th Columnist TV
October 12, 2007, 6:53 pm
Filed under: Gaming, Halo, Halo 3, Machinima, New Content, News

Big news guys. You ready?

Some of you may have noticed a new navigation button up there on the right hand side of this page, excitingly labelled 7thC TV.

Well, I’d like to take this opportunity to unveil the newest feature of the 7th Columnist, coming to you in the shape of exactly that… 7th Columnist TV!
That’s right, you can now waste hours upon end watching Halo related broadcasting 24/7 in that unique 7th Columnist flavour.

It’s still in it’s infancy right now, but you can expect it to grow pretty fast as much more is added to the channel. Everything from special 7th Columnist shows and interviews, to our very own weekly 7th Army Challenges (of which there’ll be more news on very soon), Machinima videos and of course your best saved films and clips.

In the future there’ll even be 100% LIVE shows taking place, that you’ll be able to tune into and view… and hell, maybe even be a part of!

The current TV listings can be viewed in our forum here.

If you’ve got anything of your own that you’d perhaps like featured on the channel, please drop us a line via the contact page with links (youtube will do, but obviously the higher the quality the better) and we’ll see what we can sort out… alternatively you can always upload your submission to the Video Vaults and I’ll pull them from there. Remember though, any submission MUST be your own content.

I’m really excited about this new feature and hope you all eventually enjoy it as much as I have these past few days struggling to make it happen.

So go take a look – Turn on, tune in and frag out.



Halo 3 Machinima Woes
September 27, 2007, 11:41 pm
Filed under: Gaming, Halo, Halo 3, Machinima, News

<rant>

There’s been a lot of excitement surrounding Bungie’s new saved films feature implemented for Halo 3, not only from those wanting to relive glory moments from their favourite battles, but also from the thriving machinima community that has manifested since the first game launched all those years ago. Thanks to a handy little exploit (aiming directly at the ground) it was possible to lower the weapons of characters, whilst keeping their heads up, and simulate talking with a wiggle of an analogue stick. Series’ such as Red Vs. Blue and Fire Team Charlie made great use of this feature to craft epic serial adventures, essentially online cartoons set in the world of Halo, to great acclaim.

By the time Halo 2 launched, Halo machinima was really flying. Everyone wanted a piece of the action due to the ease at which it could be created. Bungie, aware of the success of Halo in this area decided to make things a little easier for the fans. They gave us a button. No more were we required to aim at the floor to lower our guns (making it incredibly difficult to control the characters), instead a simple press down on the d-pad or (when out of grenades) holding of the left trigger, would make your character lower his weapon. Perfect for filming purposes.

So in walks Halo 3. With it’s freely detachable camera allowing for great viewing angles and cutting out the need for any letterboxing, it’s slowmo and multiple perspectives, not to mention the fact that every game is stored, saving plenty of precious hard drive space. Then there’s Forge. Giving players the ability to remodel maps and set scenes as they see fit, another perfect tool for any budding filmmaker. It looked as though machinimakers were getting more than they could ever wish for, with Bungie fully on side to help them create the epic features they’ve all been wanting to.

As it turns out, pressing down on the d-pad this time around does nothing. Nor does holding the the left trigger when out of grenades.

To lower a character’s weapon in Halo 3 you have to do is this:

Hold down left bumper, right bumper, left analogue stick, down on the d-pad and the A button… AT THE SAME TIME… for three seconds!

It’s a ridiculous feat in itself that feels as clumsy as pulling off a ‘fatality’ in Mortal Kombat. Worse yet, the feature can only be used in system link and local play, NOT over Xbox Live where many machinima pieces (This Spartan Life, for example) are filmed due to the ease of using ‘actors’ from anywhere in the world.

Machinimakers are furious. I’m furious. As this seems to not only be an incredible wasted opportunity on Bungie’s part, but also a massive step backwards in terms of usability for wannabe filmmakers – in a game literally rammed full of features seemingly created to make things easier.

Over the years the Halo community has produced some astonishingly good pieces of machinima and really helped propel the medium forwards. Sure, we shouldn’t expect all this from developers at all, but with machinima playing such a huge part in Halo from day one… we do.

So Bungie if you’re listening, you have to fix this. We need this to work over live and we need it to be a simpler process to lower the weapons as we play. Fix that… and Halo 3 will truly be the perfect game we all thought it would be. Otherwise, shame on you for taking away one of the best things about our beloved community.

</rant>

**UPDATE**

Swap d-pad down for d-pad up and you’ll be given global coordinates and look vectors for the camera, allowing you to reproduce a specific camera position for advanced shots.

**UPDATE 2**

Dark Red Productions put together a handy little machinima video eplaining how to pull the technique off.

Thanks, darkredX13.

Digg!



Halo 3 Cutscene Video
August 25, 2007, 1:17 pm
Filed under: Campaign, Gaming, Halo 3, Machinima, Movies, News

Ok people, check it out… in the first of two new videos that seemed to have originated over at TheFinalFight.com, we’ve our first proper look at one of Halo 3’s cutscenes – freshly grabbed from the Epsilon.

I think you’ll all agree it looks fantastic, and a lot grittier than before. It’s also comforting to see there’s none of that ugly pop-up texture loading we saw in Halo 2.

Over at the BBFC, where the game content has just been finally rated as a 15, it is also revealed that there are 41 minutes worth of cutscenes in Halo 3 – significantly less than in Halo 2. Don’t worry if that doesn’t sound like enough though, according to Bungie, much more of the story will unfold during gameplay this time round.

I’ve edited the video down to just showcase the cutscene, but you can grab the entire video (which also shows this footage of the Hornet) here, courtesy of Filefront.


Digg!