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  05-22-2009, 05:42 PM
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I just found out about a new CGI animated Terminator series that is being released on the web. It will be a 6 episode series. It takes place 2 years before the events of Terminator Salvation. I've only seen previews for it but I wanted to find out if anyone has seen an entire episode. Is it any good?

You can watch and download HD previews for it here:

It's available for download in standard defition and HD on iTunes, Amazon VOD, Playstation Network, and Xbox Live.

If I bought this, I would definitely get the HD version. I'm kinda hoping that it will come out on DVD later on.
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  05-23-2009, 03:42 PM
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Story at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124234250085921351.html

o build on the story of the coming Warner Bros. movie "Terminator Salvation," the studio chose a developing medium called "machinima" -- animated films that use graphics and characters from videogames. Starting Monday, the first of six episodes of "Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series" will be available online on iTunes, Amazon Video, and Microsoft's Xbox Live.

Set in 2016, the series focuses on Blair Williams (in the movie, the character is played by actress Moon Bloodgood), a soldier who is part of the human resistance in the battle against intelligent machines. The story follows Blair in her search for a mysterious hacker who has been disrupting her army's communications. The producers wanted to tell the tale of how humans reacted and took up arms after the intelligent machines first attacked, says Andy Shapiro, who handles new media under "Terminator Salvation" film director Joseph "McG" Nichol at Wonderland Sound and Vision. "We wanted to explore who Blair was and how she got there," he says.

Machinima series typically take elements of videogames -- such as characters and settings -- to tell new tales or to provide fresh detail on existing storylines. Other popular machinima series have used characters from best-selling games such as "Halo" and "Grand Theft Auto IV."

Actress Moon Bloodgood plays a human soldier battling against intelligent machines in the movie 'Terminator Salvation.'

"Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series" is part of a larger marketing strategy. Warner Bros. and Wonderland had talked during pre-production for the film about creating a direct-to-DVD standalone feature for "Salvation," but nothing developed. However, when the chance to create something similar with machinima arose, Warner Premiere thought it was the perfect opportunity to create a companion storyline.

Director McG calls machinima "a new way to discover voices in a writing capacity." When Wonderland started working on "Terminator Salvation," the company looked at the myriad of ways that the "Terminator" franchise could be developed and even included the videogame team on pre-production of the film.

One of the big challenges is how to get the videogame characters to look as realistic as their on-screen counterparts. Computer animation still struggles to create completely realistic human movements -- facial expressions are a particular problem. That's why most popular machinima series, such "Red Vs. Blue" featuring "Halo" characters, are comedies and are sometimes based on characters wearing headgear.

To create a drama, the animators behind "Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series" had to use cinematic sleight-of-hand. Camera angles were shifted to obscure faces and close-ups were digitally created by an animator. The directors also made use of one staple of the "Terminator" franchise: voiceovers. That way, they didn't have to show a character's lips moving. "We had to cheat a lot," says Tor Helmstein, one of the series's co-directors.

Allen DeBevoise, CEO for Machinima, Inc., an online portal for the genre as well as a popular YouTube channel, says that the work of artists in the machinima field is analogous to the early digital animated work of John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar, who was able to get everyday objects to display life and emotion, such as the desk lamp in his short "Luxo, Jr." "We're looking for our 'Lasseter' moment," Mr. DeBevoise says.
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