News Stories

MakerBot wows with Mass-Market 3D Printer

One of the most fun things we saw at CES was the MakerBot booth, where the three founders of this growing company were demoing an inexpensive, open source 3D printer.

MakerBot-CupcakeThe MakerBot CupCake CNC uses ABS plastic to print virtually any 3D shape, from whistles to Han Solo’s face encased in carbonite.  The MakerBot comes in kit form that they say takes two people two days to assemble.  An active online community shares design models and user support, and it prints from widely available open-source software.

The MakerBot measures 12x12x18-inches, and is made out of laser-cut quarter-inch plywood.  The kit sells for $950.

Wacom previews Unlimited Multi-touch Screen

Wacom is offering an interactive demo of its unlimited multi-touch screen prototype.

wacomThe system uses a 21-inch LCD monitor and version 1.8 of Nuiteq’s Snowflake Suite software running on Windows 7.

The company confirmed that it is in talks about visual effects and animation, as well as casinos, as potential applications.  It also could find applications for meeting and collaborative tasks.  “In the future, this could also be larger and something everyone could collaborate with,” said company spokesperson Doug Little.

The technology is at least a year away from shipping, he said.


Data & Analytics Project

The Storytelling Cipher: Mapping Precise Story and Character Mechanics to Box Office Returns

Our Data & Analytics Project held “The Storytelling Cipher: Mapping Stories & Characters to Box Office Revenue” Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

This study leverages the Dramatic taxonomy of film narrative to infer which scene-level character and story attributes generate more box office returns, by genre. We are extending this study to ads and movie trailers.

The project researchers used machine learning to map 70+ story attributes for 300 films to their box office returns to extract which story mechanics or character features in film generated the most revenue. This was the first time granular story and character mechanics have been used to predict box office returns, which opens up many avenues to make more data-driven creative and development decisions throughout the industry.

What’s a good story? The question has been hanging without a scientific answer since the dawn of man. It seems that a story’s lack of clear mathematical structure and universal taxonomy would relegate such classification of stories to the qualitative – and highly subjective- empire of critics and … people.

Until now.

The event presented results from the research, discussed applications for the development and creative process, and outlined next steps.

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