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What is Machinima?

From Wikipedia:

Machinima a portmanteau of machine cinema or machine animation, is both a collection of associated production techniques and a film genre defined by those techniques. As a production technique, the term concerns the rendering of computer-generated imagery (CGI) using real-time, interactive (game) 3D engines, as opposed to high-end and complex 3D animation software used by professionals. Engines from first person shooter and role-playing simulation video games are typically used. Consequently, the rendering can be done in real-time using PCs (either using the computer of the creator or the viewer), rather than with complex 3D engines using huge render farms. As a film genre, the term refers to movies created by the techniques described above.

From the Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences:
(Who actually recognizes the Best films annually at the American Museum of the Moving Image in NY)

Machinima (muh-sheen-eh-mah) is filmmaking within a real-time, 3D virtual environment, often using 3D video-game technologies.
In an expanded definition, it is the convergence of filmmaking, animation and game development. Machinima is real-world filmmaking techniques applied within an interactive virtual space where characters and events can be either controlled by humans, scripts or artificial intelligence.
By combining the techniques of filmmaking, animation production and the technology of real-time 3D game engines, Machinima makes for a very cost- and time-efficient way to produce films, with a large amount of creative control.


  • Red vs. Blue
    Hugely popular Halo series that is now in its fifth season.
    Rome: Total War recreation of historic battle from the Gallic Wars.


Using a basic video screen capture, a user can render out as many scenes of video game play as desired:

You can find some good, basic video screen captures for macs Here
Consider Copernicus.

For today's demo, we'll be using Second Life


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