Skip to main content

Filmmaker Toolbox: Machinima, Moviestorm, and Myst

Independent filmmakers, visual artists, and composers are starting to use machinima more and more in serious artistic pursuits. Machinima, animation using video game engines, has matured considerably in the last few years to something for Fanboys of Quake and World of Warcraft to a viable way of making an affordable feature length animated film.There are several machinima software options available to the aspiring machinima filmmaker. As a musician that wanted to make an opera using machinima, I found that Moviestorm, a UK-based machinima platform, was easy to use and affordable. Below you can see a rough cut of Baby Machine from Libertaria: The Virtual Opera.

As you can see from the clip, I was able to create a quick sci-fi machinima scene without too much of a learning curve. Some Moviestorm animators have made great headway in making incredible original mods and new animations for the characters. One of the drawbacks of Moviestorm is that initially you are limited by the options available with the sets you purchase. 

Moviestorm machinima and traditional video game machinima rely on "real time" animation. In other words, instead of animating the characters frame by frame by hand, you "direct" virtual puppets (or actors). You set up parameters and give them directions like "Sit on chair" or "scratch your nose". The puppet then acts out the actions. The more animations and parameters available the better which is why it is suggested that machinima MS animators learn modding (making their own puppets and animations) or buy 3rd party software. I was lucky enough to have Lucinda McNary on my Libertaria animation team from Two Moon Graphics. She created incredible mods for the project and has done so for many other indie filmmakers.

For those that want more control over their animation but don't really want to spend the money or time learning Maya, you can use a program called Poser. It is much more complicated than Moviestorm but less difficult than Maya. Once again you can rely on 3rd party software if you are short on time. 

I have to mention one more program that I love to use. Bryce was the original program for the video game "Myst".

Bryce is an excellent program that creates convincing virtual landscapes. I use Bryce to create complex textures that I then use on primitives in Moviestorm and Poser. I have created some stunning artwork using the programs in tandem. 

If you are an independent filmmaker, visual artist, or musician that wants to find an affordable and easy-to-learn way to create convincing animations for your projects, you need to check out machinima. Read more about MACHINIMA in the articles below! And don't forget to comment!
Enhanced by Zemanta


Popular posts from this blog

Top 10 Mistakes When Writing for Percussion

Top 10 Mistakes When Writing for Percussionby Sabrina Young
10. Indicating the wrong mallets for an instrument.Brass mallets on vibes? Try a hammer on a violin!

9. Writing the glockenspiel part as heard.You shouldn't have to climb a ladder of leger lines to read a glock part. Keep it in the staff.

8. When in doubt, adding more suspended cymbal.This is a huge mistake made by arrangers. Yep, cymbals add automatic intensity to a piece, but so can a bass drum roll, a rousing hand drum part, exciting mallet licks, or a hundred other combinations. Well-written percussion parts stand out in the band and church repertoire.

7. Better means more complicated, right?This is my main mistake. A percussion part can be simple enough for a middle school, but it is the ability to use the different tone colors of the percussion palette properly that indicates a maturity in writing, not that impossible part for the timpanist that has them playing timpani, gong, crash cymbals, and triangle in the span of…

Music Industry Insider: 50 Ways to Make Money as a Musician

50 Ways to Make Money as a MusicianWant to have a musical career but not sure how to make money as a musician in today's market? Well, first you need to redefine your goals as a musician and realize that like any job, being a musician involves a lot of work, perseverance, and talent. And in today's Digital Age, you need to be able to combine your skills to help you make a living as a musician. You will probably need to select at least a dozen forms of income and micro-incomes in order to make a full time living as a musician or choose a primary steady gig and add on other projects (what most musicians have done for centuries). 

Each method of making money has a $, $$, $$$ or S for work that will make you a little pocket money ($), possibly significant money - hundreds to thousands ($$), at least part time or possible full time work ($$$), or is steady work (S). Notice that none of these options involve making millions of dollars so you can drive around in a diamond-crusted limo…

Top 5 Tips Submitting Your Indie Film to Film Festival in 2019

Top 5 Tips for Film Festival Submissions in 2019 You just finished your film! So now what? Sure, you can show your friends and family, even put it up on YouTube. But why don't you try getting it out to a much wider audience? Indie filmmakers and student filmmakers can have their movies shown around the globe at film festivals.

Film festivals run the gamut of red carpet affairs like Sundance and Cannes to more local events, online festivals, and university-led events. For example, in Buffalo, there are a number of incredible film festivals like the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival (a local film fest that has a special love for all horror and science fiction), the NCCC Film and Animation (a great venue for students and local film networking), and other film festivals like the Buffalo International Film Festival and the 48 hour Film Festival. 

The 48 Hour Film Festival is a worldwide phenomenon where filmmakers get together and create a film in, you guessed it, 48 hours! Best of …