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Machinima Animation Activities

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As a production technique, Machinima 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.

There are many different Machinima genres - narrative, documentary, advertising, news clips, educational and more. We are going to explore a few.

Activity One

  1. Take a few minutes to explore the following Machinima channels or The Movies. A note of cation, there is sometimes language, violence and adult themes in machinima like any other video production, so always preview videos for appropriateness before you bring them into a classroom.
  2. Review the video below - what game engine was used to create this machinima.

Activity Two

Some games have built in movie-making capabilities, like The Sims 2 which has a built-in movie making feature. If you haven't guessed yet "The Highwayman" was made using Sims 2.

The use of 3D game engines in games like Quake II, Unreal and Battlefield 1942 are examples of video games which are currently used to create machinima. Some games allow the creators to add custom-built sets, special effects, graphics, sound (including real voices) and music into games.

Since we don't have access to any gaming engines or extra software we are going to simplify the process of creation a little bit. We can use screen recording software to record any information that appears on our computer screen. We can add audio, transitions and other effects in MovieMaker 2.

  1. Experiment with free screen recording software such as Windows Media Encoder or Camstudio. You can also use the Screen Recorder in the Smartboard software.
  2. Record any application, game or even your desktop as a short story, poem or anything other than an instructional tutorial.


Kahootz - Kahootz is a powerful set of 3D multimedia tools that allows students and teachers to be creators, designers, inventors and storytellers. Kahootz is also an active, online community. Kahootz students and teachers can publish their work and exchange, share, collaborate, de-construct and explore with other schools in the Kahootz community.

The Movies - A simulation game which helps the game player to create and produce machinima, which the can post online.

Game Cam - Records real-time in-game movies with sound and many extra features.

Celtx - Media Pre-Production Software for screen writing.

yWriter - yWriter is a free novel writing program for authors. It allows you to break your novel into chapters and scenes within chapters. You can reorder scenes using drag and drop, and you can print out a number of reports (summary, synopsis, scene list, work schedule). Gives you a running word count per scene and chapter, and the built-in editor auto-saves your work.

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