In a day or two the VW Conference in New York starts. Last october, in the San Jose edition, we had CSI creator Anthony Zuiker as one of the Keynote speakers on the CSI:NY & Second Life mashup. Although we had high anticipations, the actual numbers flocking to Second Life after the show aired were largely disappointing.
Well, the VW Conference is back, and so is CSI. Nic Mitham from KZero puts it nicely:
Well, it’s back with the second part of the story and being aired tonight on CBS. On a related note, it is me or does the timing here seem a little spooky? First episode - just after VW Fall, second episode the night before day one of the NY show. Maybe someone should investigate that.
During the VW Conference in October Zuiker said the plan was to air the second episode in February, but somehow that was delayed. Some even speculated it was cancelled, but yesterday I read this at one of the Electric Sheep blogs;
Tomorrow, at 10, CBS will air the long awaited conclusion to Down the Rabbit Hole and wrap up the story of everybody’s favorite cyberceleb turned killer, Venus.
If you saw last week’s teaser for tomorrow’s episode, then aside from hearing an interesting cover of “Back in the New York Groove” you saw a few machinima shots in the trailer (including the one above.) But, while we can’t really give away any plot points, we can say – there’s more than you saw in the promo.
What’s different about this time though, is that we have some awesome behind the scenes pics we’ll be posting and linking to (courtesy of Damien Fate) explaining how we did some of the shots and showing what went into making them.
A little digging brought me to the official press release:
ELECTRIC SHEEP COMPANY’S MACHINIMA ANIMATORS WRAP UP THE “CSI: NY” Virtual World Killer Mystery
Primetime CBS Series Offers A Glimpse Into The Future Of 3D Animation Using Electric Sheep’s Machinima
March 31, 2008 — NEW YORK, NY —
CBS drama CSI:NY and the Electric Sheep Company partner to wrap up the Virtual
World killer plot line in the upcoming episode “DOA for a Day” on CSI:NY,
Wednesday, April 2 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
The first part of the episode titled, “Down The Rabbit Hole” which originally aired, Wednesday, October 24th will re-air this Wednesday, March 26 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
In “DOA for a Day” the CSI’s, working with an anonymous tip, travel to an abandoned warehouse and back into the virtual 3D computer world where they hope to find one of the city’s most-wanted criminals.
The Electric Sheep Company, a leading virtual world services company, was hired to supply the animation for both episodes. The machinima was produced by the former ILL Clan, machinima pioneers acquired by the Electric Sheep Company in January 2007 to head their machinima animation division.
“Speed is what distinguishes machinima from all other forms of animation,” says machinima animation director Kerria Seabrooke. “In spite of the extremely tight deadline, we still had time to focus on details such as seamless animations, the richness of color, the flow of fabric, the metallic reflection on a gun, which bring the virtual world into the realm of high-end 3D animation.”
Machinima (machine + cinema) animation differs from traditional 3D animation because it is similar to shooting film or TV. It’s shot in real time without the long rendering times that traditional 3D computer animation requires. The real-time aspect of machinima animation was very important on this project, as there was a two-week turnaround time from script to completed animation.
In addition to the animation, an ongoing cross platform experience was created last fall in the virtual world of Second Life by the Electric Sheep Company in conjunction with CBS and Anthony E. Zuiker (creator of the CSI Franchise). The experience includes a virtual lab where users can recreate the experiments and tests from the show as they solve one crime per month.