Do you dream of being a great filmmaker in Second Life? Do you like Hitchcock thriller movies or do you prefer Spielberg-style action and adventure? Are you a fan of Tim Burton's imaginative creations? Welcome to the world of Machinima, where you can take all your cinematic projects out of the drawer!
Machinima is a term created from the English words "machine" and "animation", and refers to films created by computer graphics produced through home computers, as opposed to the complex productions made through professional 3D programs.
Usually, machinimas are series or short movies produced using tools and resources available in a game.
Second Life is an environment that is conducive to the creators of Machinima because it offers tools that allow players to create their own digital resources, scenarios, and characters to record the actions they want to include in their movies. All this, with low cost and considerably reduced production time of digital animation.
Also, in Second Life there are many options for what can be called movie locations. Inworld, creators can find different immersive and interactive installations, as well as thematic islands and different environments very favorable to the setting of films.
A Machinima works exactly like an animation or film and as such needs a story with a beginning, middle, and end, for the assembly of the scenes. As in the cinema, the production of a Machinima begins by the elaboration of a script that is of great importance for the programming of the capture of the images that are made in an established order, considering the technical complexity for the taking of each scene.
In the production of a Machinima, there is the creation and construction of the characters which are used. Avatars can be modeled and characterized according to the theme and animated by means of animation mechanisms like HUDs and AOs (animation override).
In many cases, the film is scripted, dubbed and filmed by its creator, which is a perfect opportunity for people to make use of their creativity.
Join the Second Life Machinima Forum, where you can exchange ideas with Machinima creators and lovers, get business tips and see what the locals are producing.
The different types of viewer used for navigation in the Second Life virtual environment, such as Firestorm, Singularity, Imprudence or Second Life Viewer, provide a series of tools to adjust angles, lighting, focus etc. that allow for the capture of images similar to those of the cinematic camera. These viewers all offer different forms of planes and camera motion sequences.
These tools allow access to users of different capabilities and requirements, from the amateur or hobbyist to productions with a high degree of cinematic professionalism.
It offers the possibility of performing highly complex and sophisticated productions at a very low cost when compared to animated films.
While researching Machinima in Second Life, I was pleasantly surprised to find many creative artists who make their designs available for viewing.
Here are some examples of these wonderful creators of Machinima:
Songularity.org - by Romy Nayar - Sparkys (Second Life Machinima) / Billie Holiday - I'm a fool to love you
Berlin 1920s (Second Life machinima) by Pepa Cometa