Okay, before we begin I have to make sure that people know that I did work for Machinima.Com back in the day and this discussion isn’t going to be talking about Machinima.com, just Machinima. So will only be mentioned vaguely Source Filmmaker.
Machinima is short for Machine Cinema, it is most commonly used to describe vides made using video games. I am not talking about game commentaries, these are like TV shows or movies that have been made with a game instead of actors and sets. They usually have voice acting, puppeteering and music from the game or other games.
Now now, this isn’t a tutorial on how to make Machinima, this is just an article explaining what it is so calm down.
Machinima has been around ever since Quake, yes Quake. But it was popularized with Halo and with the series that is still going on this day, Red vs Blue. Because Rooster Teeth went with a comical style it has become the “standard” but there are some serious shows out there too. Even thou Machinima did indeed die for many years it has come back in the form of GorillaGong, don’t ask me why it’s called that I don’t know either.
I’m not going to make this an advertisement for GorillaGong but if you’re interested in making Machinima you should go see some stuff they have, I will however list a few things that you would need to make one if you are interested but I am going to focus more on what goes into Machinima more than how to make it.
Editing isn’t nearly as big of a part of Machinima than it is with an Abridged series of an anime or a live action production it is still important. but it is extremely limited. You see, you are constantly limited by the ingame graphics, you can’t manipulate it like with anime footage or live action footage. Like for example, color correction is one of the few things you can actually do as if you resize the footage it will look weird as the pixels will get freaky.
Writing is always the key in any medium but in Machinima it’s actually the second most important, like for example. If you make Machinima with Total War then the big thing are the battles, the camera work and the animations are the biggest things in Machinima. Obviously if your Machinima is a drama then the writing is the most important but the way you use the games animations are the key to make it pleasant to see.
Sound usage is also very important, I have seen many Machinimas where the person who edits it goes for extra effort and edit almost all the sounds and music. Ingame sounds can be boring so many use music from their soundtracks or from other games, also sound effects. Like for example, I’ve seen Machinima made with Halo 3 but instead of the HORRIBLE assault rifle in it they used the BADASS sound from the first game.
Making a Machinima can be a very complicated and tedious process, it doesn’t help that different games grant different kind of perks and negatives. Like Gmod allows for good old fun, Gears of War allows for dark epic war, Halo allows for tons of stuff and Total War allows for epic battles.
Machinima has been used to recreate events such as in World of Warcraft, it has also been used in tons of different ways such as fanfiction. Fanfiction videos are actually really numerous, seriously. Not all of is that bad but still.
At the end here I have to mention Source Filmmaker, it has changed Machinima forever. You can do literally anything you want with it but it easily takes the highest amount of time, it’s hard, it’s tedious and the program itself is extremely messy right now. It’s fat and crashes all the time.