Arti Gupta had the chance to talk to John Martin, vice president of marketing for Reallusion, this year on the floor of GDC.

Arti Gupta: So tell us about Reallusion.

John Martin: Reallusion is a 3D PC software animation company. All of our technology deals with animating at home for consumers as well as in the studio for professionals. We have a wide spectrum of users, all working with the disciplines of facial animation, 3D animation and filmmaking.

A.G.: Reallusion has a number of products that deal with photo editing, video conversion and 3D animation. Tell us how these products help in game development or in creating quality media.

J.M.: Our products are what you would typically find within the toolbox of lots of different types of game developers, and we fall into the middleware area. Users can utilize our animation products to create animation for content for games for everything from pre-vis on the early side of development to being able to bring storyboards or animatics to life.

Going from that, we have other utilities like the video conversion software, called popVideo, that allow you to take blue-screen or green-screen video and composite that as transparent video. And it goes all the way down to mobile development, for iPhone, where we've taken a lot of our digital imaging technology into the mobile devices for photo editing on the go.

We give game developers tools for fast, efficient animation, whether it's professional animators or giving non-animators the power to bring something to life.

A.G.: You also have a social networking site called City. Can you tell us what City is and how it helps developers?

J.M.: Reallusion City is all about developers. It's a user-generated content community. It's also a place for users of Reallusion products to come and be social with one another as well, and learn about what other people are making.

The whole content community is driven by our users. It stems from people who are professionals working in studios to people who are just getting started with animation and 3D design. But they all have a level playing field where they can publish their products and sell them to other users.

Maybe one person excels at costume design for our 3D actors, so they may sell textures for costumes. Someone else may be on the pro end doing custom 3D models, so they might make a custom rig and sell that body style on Reallusion City as well. It's a place where users can congregate and share their content if they'd like. There's free content as well, but the real idea is to let the users drive the content they would like to see.

A.G.: So City is like a social network site, but you're also looking at it to get ideas for how to build your products?

J.M.: We look at everything to help us improve our products, and this is certainly one of the things we are extending an ear to as well. But this is really about the developers. This gives them a platform to manage their own stores, they upload their own products.

A.G.: And you allow them to sell products as well, right?

Absolutely. We have something that's very similar to the Xbox Live Marketplace system. You have points; we call them Digital Access Points. Those points you buy as a pack and you can come in and spend those as you like to buy content.

What is unique about our store is that we have a lot of try-and-buy content. This is great for the user community because people can experience their products to find out how well they'll fit inside their production, prior to purchase. So when they purchase, it is an extremely loyal purchase.

It's a chance to experience the content, learn about what's new, talk with other designers, share ideas. We have people who are scriptwriters who are meeting up with filmmakers and movies are getting made.

A.G.: That's a real social network.

J.M.: That's right!

Twitter: @ihavenet


Arti Gupta has worked on software-engineering projects as a developer, architect and project and product manager for more than 10 years. Now she does community management for game development on the Intel Software Network site [disclosure: Intel is the sponsor of this website]. Gupta likes reading, traveling and spending time with her family. Follow her on Twitter: @artigupta.


Article: Copyright © iHaveNet

Video Games: Chatting With John Martin of Reallusion