In software-development circles, one of the popular buzzwords used to be “RAD.” Changing the middle word slightly, I wonder if we are now on the cusp of “Rapid Animation Development,” with the most-recent version of Blender putting us at-last very close to where we have wanted to be for many years now.
To me, “RAD” means figuring out ways to leverage the capabilities of a (GLSL-capable) GPU as much as possible in the development of short films, not just games.
To me, “machinima” is a cobbled-up expression of those ideas: using game-engines as a way of doing … what Blender, now, already does in a much finer and more sophisticated way. In recent versions, what used to be “pre-visualization” has suddenly turned into full-bore GLSL rendering. We can still use the “save-screenshot” hack with GameBlender.
But… with Blender we can then subject these outputs to all kinds of down-stream processing… compositing, editing, you name it.
So, we have the potential of drastically reducing the time (and therefore the cost) of video-based production. We could maybe slash the number of “stop-action” animators needed on a project. Even if additional downstream steps are used to add computer-rendered effects to the basic shot, the ability to produce most of an image using the GPU would eliminate many days (or more) from a production pipeline.