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Tales of Virtual Combat - Episode 1 / Segment 13 of 15

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Published on Sep 30, 2011

PROJECT DESCRIPTION & HISTORY: Tales of Virtual Combat (hereafter referred to as ToVC) is a derivative mockumentary born from the concept of an animated (13-26 week) documentary series that I originally intended as a proposal to certain cable television networks that specialize in world history programming. However, at the beginning of 2011, I reluctantly retired my full-service production company (of nearly a quarter century) prior to creating the pilot episode. The primary difference between the original concept and ToVC is the subject matter. Whereas the "series" was based on factual, untold -- or even obscure -- military engagements of interest (of which there are a multitude), ToVC is purely fictional story telling on my part, featuring "virtual combatants" in the place of animated renditions of actual flesh and blood participants.

As a now semi-retired producer / filmmaker / screenwriter of some three decades, I found it difficult to simply leave this concept untested. That's when coincidence intervened. I came across a unique proprietary 3D graphics engine (created by an independent software developer) that intrigued me. Their CMx2 engine was remarkably accurate in its history and extremely comprehensive in its presentation. Even though CMx2 is actually a PC game engine (or more accurately, a detailed battle simulator) rather than a CGI platform, I was still quite impressed by its graphical depth and control interface. Such features as its motion capture; simulated Newtonian physics; object and space displacement mapping and manipulation; and programmable AI prompted the "evolutionary" idea for ToVC.

The premise behind ToVC's creation was quite simple. Could I produce an animated program that resembles a television documentary series using a game engine exclusively (avoiding use of my CGI capabilities)? Could this be accomplished utilizing ONLY a high-end personal computer and a couple of basic multimedia tools freely available via the Internet? This was my motivation. The end result is the no frills, cinema-style, feature-length mockumentary now cued-up on your computer. You be the judge.

Production Note: ToVC was created without the use of modding tools of any kind (simply the inherent CMx2 software), no Adobe After Effects or any other signal processing aids, and was post-produced using a consumer-grade editor (no assistance from my Sony, Velocity or Avid professional edit suites). I believe this is what is referred to as Pure Machine Cinema (Machinima). BTW, I'm a producer / filmmaker NOT professional voice-over talent. Fair Warning! The narrative is mine. No critique is necessary. The verdict is already in!

Your mission -- should you choose to accept it -- is to attempt to watch this behemoth 200-minute production in its entirety. It is a "highly-detailed" account of a fictional, yet plausible, battle that takes place shortly after D-Day in Normandy, France. The story is told from the perspective of both combatants and includes such things as personal interviews, backstory, prologue, epilogue, order of battle and, of course, the Main Event.

I HOPE YOU ENJOY THE PRESENTATION. If not, that's okay too. After all, this ToVC scenario was designed, built, scripted, filmed and edited over the course of several months and many hundreds of hours of effort simply to satisfy my own curiosity and amusement. Besides, I always finish what I start...no matter how mammoth the project!

"Dedicated to the Greatest Generation and all the soldiers, sailors and airmen (like my Dad) who fought and sacrificed in history's greatest conflagration...which was in no way VIRTUAL".


Patrick T. Ware
Producer / Director / Filmmaker / DP / Screenwriter / Editor / Steadicam Operator


PRODUCTION CREDITS:

3D Graphics Engine: CMx2 Technology, Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy (version 1.0) - Copyright 2010 Battlefront.com, Inc. / www.battlefront.com/normandy

Digital Acquisition Software: FRAPS / www.fraps.com

Virtual Dialogue Transcription: imTranslator / www.imtranslator.net

Music Score: Partners In Rhyme / www.partnersinrhyme.com


Copyright 2011 - Patrick T. Ware
ToVC and HSI are registered trademarks.

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