Comic book fans eager in anticipation for the release of DC Universe Online now have something to keep them busy in the meantime. Besides reading comics of course. How about helping with some of the animation?
Sony Online Entertainment and Mass Animation, in association with Warner Bros. and DC have announced a contest taking place via the DCUO Facebook page. Fans can actually get hands-on with their favorite characters and have their animation be used to create the trailer for the game which is set to be released in 2010.
All the tools that animators will need to collaborate on this project, including a special edition of Autodesk Maya 3D Animation software, storyboards, designs and fully-rigged 3-D models will be provided to contest entrants and accessed through the Mass Animation application on the DCUO Facebook fan page. Participating animators will upload their contest submissions back to the application for viewing, voting and sharing with their friends. New to the contest this year will be the Mass Animation iPhone app, which gives people a new way to view and vote on submissions. Qualified contest winners will receive cash or other prizes. Each week, voters and a panel of judges will help determine what shots qualify as the “best” and will be eligible for voter prizes.
"By opening up the contest to gamers and involving them in asset creation, there will be a real sense of connection to the game before it even launches,” said Yair Landau, founder of Mass Animation. This sounds like a lot of fun for casual observers but a huge opportunity for those trying to break into game animation as a career.
Variety reported some further details, "Fans will also create "animation cycles" or "emotes" for game play: gestures that express emotion or personality, as when a character smiles or shakes his fist. Mass Animation emotes will be available for players' game characters but not used for DC's heroes or villains."
The contest kicks off December 7, 2009 and runs through at least February, giving contestants plenty of time to perfect their entry. This is a very cool idea and I imagine we're going to see some very impressive stuff from fans. I also expect we'll see our favorite characters doing some very lewd and indecent things when all is said and done. The internet is a scary place in case you hadn't noticed. Let's just hope no one goes and does anything really silly like making Batman smile.