Machinima Artists Guild

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The Learning Curve team created this Machinima film as part of the Education Media Design and Technology Master of Science degree program at Full Sail Univer...

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Comment by Hypatia Pickens on October 28, 2011 at 5:27pm

Hey, Jackie, you have a wonderful computer rig.  If you have Adobe Creative Suite, I strongly recommend Premiere Pro for editing.  As I'm sure you know, it has several options for export including HD Vimeo and HD YouTube. You should definitely shoot your film using FRAPS--it's got the best fps, and it's relatively cheap (don't use the "free" version: it's essentially a demo).  In FRAPS, you have the option of hiding the cursor (I saw it moving around in your film in a few clips).  You asked about Space Navs... made by 3DConnexion (??--away from my rig); they come in two sizes: small (cheaper and good for limited space) and large (I might get the latter--I like the weight).  

   Thanks for joining our community!  It's great to hear from someone who has is working on her Master's Thesis in machinima film.  This video of yours is a wonderful example of teamwork, and you and I could share some valuable information, since I'll be teaching machinima again next semester, this time with, I hope, a great deal more expertise than I did a year ago. ;)  For instance, how up to date were the computers at your university?  Did you teacher expect you to download SL on your personal computers?  I had difficulty in this respect, partly because SL kept coming out with new versions that the PCs in our IT center kept "wiping" every night, not to mention the then superior Emerald (turned Phoenix) and an increasingly exasperated set of technicians who didn't hide their annoyance, who felt that I was demanding, who seemed to think: well these kids all have Mac laptops, don't they?  SL can fry your simple laptop in no time.

   (PS: my students produced three films of varying quality, but all of them are precious to me.  For their privacy, I haven't subjected them to the public, but I have shown them when I speak at colloquia about the importance of machinima as a genre growing in respectability and critical interest.  BRAVA!)

Comment by cisko vandeverre on October 28, 2011 at 4:29am

we had this issues regarding capture size / player window / upload formats / spaceNavigator etc.
pls search our forum and blog database and u will find some answers.

don't hasitate to ask a specific Q when ur stucked .-)


Comment by Jackie Lefko on October 27, 2011 at 7:06pm
Thanks Chick Aeon.  Actually I have both MAC and PC (HP, 19" screen, 2T, Windows7, Adobe Creative Suite). It is Sweet. I am leaning toward using my PC. I like my MAC but my PC works better with Second Life.  I noticed that Celestial Elf used FRAPS for recording.  I have FRAPS too but have not experimented with it yet. Well, I will jump in with what I have (after I get my Space Navigator) and see what you think. I am glad I joined this community.  What a great group of individuals. Thanks a bunch!
Comment by Chic Aeon on October 27, 2011 at 6:42pm

I believe cisko was saying the same thing I did but in more technical and lofty terms. If not, I am sure he will explain further when he gets on.


So widescreen typically means setting your viewer window before capturing your video to a 16:9 ratio -- so I set at 1600 x 900. Others depending on their monitor might use bigger and if your computer can't handle that large of a window when recording you could do 800 x 450 etc. Just the same 16:9 height to width. That is the "capture size" part of the equation.


The render qualities and coding (I BELIEVE) is referring to your export settings when you publish your video. Try and use a high definition choice if you can. This makes for LARGE files to upload, but it is the only way to have your video clear. I don't have a MAC, but I suspect iMovie has a high quality output choice. You can take the same edited movie file you have and try exporting it in different ways. You can then upload to YouTube or wherever and check to see how things play there. You don't need to have the videos "public", just choose to keep them private in the settings area.



Comment by Jackie Lefko on October 27, 2011 at 6:31pm

Hi Everyone, Thank you so much for your feedback.  You confirmed I have a lot to learn.  Didn't quick know what Cisko meant by "recommend also to make some exercises in capture size-format and renderqualities-codings."  Please explain.  Also, which Space Navigator do you recommend? I plan to purchase it for the next project. Great tip Chic Aeon about the 3D widescreen output format.

In terms of production tools, we used ScreenFlow, SnapZ Pro and iMovie primarily.  Basicly a Mac setup.


Jackie Lefko

Comment by Natascha Randt on October 27, 2011 at 12:51pm
Reminds me of my first steps in machinima. I always remember the first time I saw my and my friends avatars in my very first video. Was a great feeling:) Technique is one thing but it is nothing without ideas and creativity. Looking forward to your next project.
Comment by Chic Aeon on October 27, 2011 at 11:13am

Nice storyline and good acting. Basic AOs for everyone would have been good; there are plenty of free ones around and then folks wouldn't have been standing in noob stance so much *smile*. That distracted me away from the story.

As others mentioned the export quality is not up to par. Suspect that whatever program you are using (even Windows Movie Maker which I used at the beginning) lets you export in higher definition. This version looks like some of the default settings which just don't work for internet stream these days. Also and for the future, unless there is a reason to produce in the older style TV ratio, most films are produced (filmed for and exported) in widescreen which fits YouTube, Vimeo etc.  I didn't know this at the beginning and had lots of "letterbox" videos :D.  We all learn as we go along, and this was an impressive first work for your team.  Good job!

Comment by cisko vandeverre on October 27, 2011 at 8:49am

its a fine start .-)

recommend also to make some exercises in capture size-format and renderqualities-codings.
what production tools r u using?

looking forward to the next production

Comment by Celestial Elf on October 27, 2011 at 3:30am

Hi Jacqueline, recommend you explore exporting your film at HD settings, the 3D Space Navigator mouse which would allow greater variety of pan, zoom and moving camera shots, and the windlight settings for more color.

very good telephone lipsynch, not so good for tj haha, nice to have variety of people and their voices, good sense of developing story and use of music support.

For a student film it showed good promise :)

Comment by Jackie Lefko on October 26, 2011 at 8:37pm

Hi Fellow Machinima filmmakers,

I received several welcome messages from the community and invite to post something. So, I decided to share the student film my team produced as part of our Master's program.  I was the film editor as you will see in the credits. It was through this program I was introduced to Second Life and later to Machinima.  Needless to say, I was hooked.  I have produced projects in MovieStorm and have used some of the Reallusion products.  But, I have been active in Second Life since being introduced and decided it was time to focus or Second LIfe for upcoming Machinima projects. I am working on a project now and hope to finish it soon.  I usually take my time because to me, it is all about the story. So, as you view this film, remember it is a student film and our first.  So, be kind!

Jacqueline (Avatar: Jackie Lefko)



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