Mar
11

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FMOD Goes Indie Free

FMOD_Logo

FMOD Studio, one of the go-to tools for creating audio content in game environments, are making their tools completely free for independent game developers. The previous licensing structure was based largely on whether your use was commercial or not, but now Firelight Technologies – the company that makes FMOD – have announced its next generation audio content creation tools will now be free to all. Though no dollar amount was confirmed in the official press release, it is reported that only those titles with a budget in excess of $100K will have to pay.

FMOD Press Relase
fmod.org

Mar
10

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The Sound Design of The Banner Saga

Banner-Saga

Guest Contribution by Michael Theiler of Kpow Audio

TheBannerSaga_OpeningImage.jpg

We always knew The Banner Saga was going to be something special. First contact with the guys behind it was so positive and just easy. Our meetings and emails hit all the rights notes creatively so much so we just knew it was going to be an exhilarating ride. We weren’t wrong. Working on a project with such rich creativity and depth behind it, paired with the encouragement and trust the team showed, buoyed us, and heightened our commitment to the project.

There were a few key areas we concentrated on when it came to the sound design of The Banner Saga. We wanted to pay particular attention to the ambiences of the locations in the game – to make them real and evocative and never distract the player from the game. We wanted to make sure the banner, which is always with you but changes in length depending on how the player is progressing, had gravitas and importance without overwhelming the player. Likewise for the scenes where travelling by cart is depicted, the cart sounds were incredibly important as they were the sounds of the population traversing vast distances, fleeing from a dark force. We needed the fighting sounds to be gritty and real, and for their special abilities to have a different sound to them. We wanted the fighters to feel like they were pulling their strength and concentration for their actions from an internal well of ancient power. Finally we wanted the UI to not draw too much attention to itself, to feel solid and real but distinct from the other in-game sounds. Read More

How About a Sound Ideaboard/Storyboard?

Storyboard
Storyboard

Photo by flickr user James Whatley. Used under Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Guest Contribution by Randy Thom

During pre-production on a film it’s common practice to gather lots and lots of still photographic images, and video as well, that might relate to the story. The stills are often displayed on walls for everyone preparing the film to see and talk about. It’s basically an “idea board.” The purpose of gathering these images is to stimulate thinking about the way the film should look, or about some other element of the story taking shape. Shots of potential locations for shooting, or locations evocative of those in the story, images of objects and props, shots of people similar to those in the story, animals, food, vehicles, landscapes, structures, etc. are compiled as concrete starting points of reference for constructing the look of the movie. Eventually a storyboard artist will draw images representing almost every shot in the film. It’s a way to help the filmmakers pre-visualize how each shot will be designed.

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Mar
6

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Creating a Unified Voice

HandsIn
HandsIn

Image by flickr user woodleywonderworks. Used under Creative Commons license.

This article is not what I originally intended. I started it, nearly completed it and then decided to rewrite it from a different angle. It’s core subject remains intact, speaking to our collaborators…the people who hire us to make their pieces of media “sound good.” Whether we work in film, television, games, mobile applications, interactive art installations or any other existing or emerging medium, the majority of us work in service to another. Many a sound professional can be found lamenting the working situation they find themselves in; proclaiming, “ if only…”

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news

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