Valve releases Source Filmmaker

Valve has released Source Filmmaker, the in-engine film creation tool it has used to produce over 50 animated shorts, including the Team Fortress 2 Meet The Team trailers.The free tool is currently in closed beta, but will be made available to the public later this year via Steam.Among other things, SFM allows filmmakers to capture motion – by running characters through the world in firstperson – insert clip motion, or animate characters from scratch. There's also a facial animation system that allows for "feature-film quality lip-sync".

Unity 4 announced

Unity 4 announced

Unity Technologies today announced the latest iteration of its development platform, Unity 4. While prior versions have ushered in all manner of changes to the popular tool, version 4 marks an important shift in its positioning away from the exclusive preserve of independent developers and into the realms of big-budget, professional-level engines.

Disney releases first Wreck-It Ralph trailer

Disney releases first Wreck-It Ralph trailer

Disney has released the first trailer for its upcoming videogame-themed animated movie, Wreck-It Ralph.The film centres around Ralph who, bored with his lot in life as the bad guy in the titular game, escapes the confines of his cabinet to become a hero in firstperson shooter Hero's Duty.Along the way, he meets a litany of new and familiar faces, including Bowser, Robotnik, and Pac-Man's Blinky at a Bad Anonymous meeting. We're not quite sure what Zangief is doing at that particular gathering, though.[youtube:vf4r5q8-aWo]

Studio Profile: Aardman Digital

Studio Profile: Aardman Digital

You might expect Aardman’s headquarters to be more in keeping with the quaint British idiom of its animations – some sort of cobblestone-and-thatch structure, maybe, cluttered with eccentric machines and questionable taxidermy, topped with a giant tea-cosy. Instead, its offices are rather more dazzling – the sheer glass frontage gives way to a long, multi-level hall of wood and metal, which towers and tapers away. It’s like an Imperial Star Destroyer made out of negative space, and full of the most wonderful toys.

GDC 2012: David Cage shows new tech demo

GDC 2012: David Cage shows new tech demo

A pretty android lady with an existential crisis was the subject of Quantic Dream’s latest tech showcase, demonstrated to a packed hall at GDC. Like The Casting, Quantic Dream’s 2006 demo reel, it wasn’t indicative of the Heavy Rain developer’s current project; indeed, it’s a year old. The flashy new engine that supports it has moved from version one to three in that time – although the video on show today hardly looks worse for it, illustrating just how much juice there is to be squeezed from PlayStation 3.

GDC 2012: Nintendo licenses Autodesk for Wii U

Autodesk has announced a licence agreement with Nintendo that will enable developers of Wii U games to use its Gameware technology, which has been used in more than a thousand games to date.Announced at GDC in San Francisco, the deal gives Nintendo and its licensed developers access to popular UI solution Autodesk Scaleform, the Autodesk Kynapse AI middleware, and Autodesk HumanIK, used for interactive character animation.