If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that Valve doesn't yet have enough money. I have it on good authority that at least three members of their staff still have some of their original teeth, and not solid diamond replacements like their colleagues. Hopefully licensing out the Source engine and associated tools to director Shane Acker, the chap behind the pretty but blathering computer-animated movie 9, will help bring those poor devs the priceless nashers they deserve. Deep is Acker's next project, and it's being animated by Irish outfit Brown Bag Films who reckon that using Source as opposed to traditional rendering entails "high-quality production value at a fraction of the time and cost."
'Underwater Western' Deep chronicles a near-future wherein the majority of humanity has moved underwater to avoid some manner of surface danger, and it looks a little something like this.
As for Source's involvement, here's the skinny: "Valve has provided the "DEEP" team with new tools and technologies based on the developer's Source game engine. The tools enable flexible cinematography and editing, a simplified character animation process and economical lighting, sound and visual effects. Render time is cut to nearly nil, enabling rapid revisions to animation, which brings dramatic savings in time and money over traditional production."
Question is whether it looks as nice'n'sharp as traditional, super-slow rendering. Whaddaya think? Here's another trailer to mull over.
You can find a little more detail about Deep's story, staff and production over here.
This isn't Valve's first foray into the moving pictures industry, of course. Why, as of today they're also distributing Indie Game: The Movie via Steam. Next month they'll be announcing that Half-Life 3 is actually Star Wars VII, you mark my words.