Movie makers let loose, in time for UK election

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A cutting-edge 3D movie-making app is allowing would-be political satirists to create lavish clips on their computers in the run-up to the election…

Developers of Muvizu (pronounced Movie Zoo) are launching their software today with a special UK election pack featuring Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and even Nick Griffin, so users can direct the political players as they wish, before broadcasting their efforts on YouTube.

Muvizu political characters

Muvizu puts the main political players at your mercy
(l-r: Alistair Darling, Harriet Harman, Alex Salmond, David Cameron, Gordon Brown,
Nick Clegg, Nick Griffin, Boris Johnson)

The groundbreaking program allows anyone to direct a clip using simplified animation and dialogue controls, opening up a previously complicated and prohibitively expensive process that required serious hardware, to anyone with a laptop.

In just a few clicks, users can generate professional-looking comedy clips, corporate product demonstrations or even mini-movies by choosing a set and dropping in pre-designed characters who then lip-sync to the audio provided by the user.

Teams of directors can collaborate on the same movie via the website, which already boasts over 1,000 members, who can also use the site to network, list their production skills and comment on each others’ work. You can see their efforts to date on the YouTube Muvizu UK Election Channel, here:

Muvizu was the brainchild of the animation and software teams at DA Group, and Matthew Karas, original architect of the BBC’s News website. Matthew recruited Vince Ryan, who was instrumental in building The Electronic Telegraph, the UK’s first serious news website.

Matthew says “With Vince and my years of working in news media, we were very gratified to see how many of the users were making political satire. Vince and the Glasgow team have now created a special kit for the election. With the ability to publish straight to YouTube, it is easier for anyone to burst the balloons of pomposity that will inevitably flood our media, than ever before”.

The website provides full tuition to enable users with no prior experience to churn out eye-popping visual clips in minutes, its ease of use and simplicity noted by The Register website as “one of the most impressive new technologies I’ve seen in the past few years”.

A competition to find the best contribution while the program was in development was won by the user jonbez for “My Precious”, which can be viewed here:

Requirements to use Muvizu 3D:

  • It uses Epic’s Unreal3 engine, so a 3D card
  • A broadband connection
  • A PC (or a Mac that can run Windows)