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Questions For Machinima Makers

iiimeeiiimee Posts: 402 Member
edited July 2016 in Video Haven
Hey, just curious about a few things...

First, just so I know what you do personally, please tell me if you do music vids, movies, etc. XD Knowing what you do personally might help me get more clear answers.

How long do your Machinima videos last? Do you plan them out frame-by-frame, or just go with the flow and see what happens?

Do any of you make your own poses? What do you use to create them? Are they animated, or do you only create still ones for yourself?

What tricks do you use for getting clips of your sims talking? Do you just adjust their moods and start conversations? Do you use animations? Also, it'd help me if you specified if you do voice-overs or not for this answer, since I'm sure a lot of voice-over machinima makers have different tactics than machinima makers who do music videos or subtitled machinimas videos.

What tricks do you use for getting clips of your sims running?

Are there any mods or CC you couldn't live without when making machinima? They don't have to be the regular mods or CC- If you need very specific ones feel free to list them here.

Have any of you movie-makers done intro or outro songs? What rules do you use for deciding what songs to use? Have any of your videos ever been taken down for copyright infringement, and have you used copyrighted music? Where do you get your sound effects and music anyway?

Again, for movie-makers: Where do you look for voice actors if you use them? What qualities do you look for in a voice actor? Have you ever had a voice actor cancel mid-story, and if so, what did you do?

Are there any tips you'd give new machinima makers?
Post edited by iiimee on
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Comments

  • JellysimwichJellysimwich Posts: 778 Member
    @iiimee I'll try to answer what I can from my own experience. I'm not an expert but I've been doing machinima since 2007, and through trial-n-error, I've figured out what works and doesn't work for me.

    How long do your machinima videos last? This varies depending on whether it's a still machinima or animated machinima. My still machinimas are between 5 to 10 minutes. My animated machinimas are about 3 to 5 minutes. (These are definitely more demanding, in my opinion.)

    Do you plan them out frame-by-frame, or just go with the flow and see what happens? I wing a lot of my stuff, but, I always have an idea in the back of my head of what I'm wanting - a very clear idea.

    Do any of you make your own poses? What do you use to create them? Are they animated, or do you only create still ones for yourself? Yes, I have made both still poses and animations using Blender.

    What tricks do you use for getting clips of your sims talking? Do you just adjust their moods and start conversations? Do you use animations? Despite having made quite a few poses and some animations for myself, I have not actually utilised any of them in my projects. As of now, I trigger actions and snap screenies as I see the emotion or reaction I want. It can be time consuming and does take some good timing, but, it works.

    What tricks do you use for getting clips of your sims running? Lock on your sim to track them as they run.

    Are there any mods or CC you couldn't live without when making machinima? For my Sims 4 machinimas, I have not used any poses or animations, so there are no mods that I can't live without. But, I do use pose player for both poses and animations when competing in model comps. So I'd say, download pose player is a must for sure.

    Have any of you movie-makers done intro or outro songs? What rules do you use for deciding what songs to use? Have any of your videos ever been taken down for copyright infringement, and have you used copyrighted music? Where do you get your sound effects and music anyway? This is a tricky one. When I started making machinima almost 10 years ago, YouTube wasn't so strict about copyright infringement, and I was able to use all kinds of music and sound effects without being flagged for violating copyright. Now, YouTube will automatically discover videos that use copyrighted content when you upload them, and you'll get a warning, which you can contest if you have permission from the rightful owner. Sometimes your video will still upload but the following can happen; muted video, not viewable to the public, video removed, or banning if you get so many strikes against your account for repeat offenses. These days, I don't risk it, I use free music, which you can find just about anywhere with a Google search.

    Again, for movie-makers: Where do you look for voice actors if you use them? What qualities do you look for in a voice actor? Have you ever had a voice actor cancel mid-story, and if so, what did you do? I haven't used voice actors. So no good insight on this.

    Are there any tips you'd give new machinima makers? Have fun and just go for it!

    You can checkout my machinimas at my channel here: Jellysimwich :) Happy simming x
  • iiimeeiiimee Posts: 402 Member
    @iiimee I'll try to answer what I can from my own experience. I'm not an expert but I've been doing machinima since 2007, and through trial-n-error, I've figured out what works and doesn't work for me.

    How long do your machinima videos last? This varies depending on whether it's a still machinima or animated machinima. My still machinimas are between 5 to 10 minutes. My animated machinimas are about 3 to 5 minutes. (These are definitely more demanding, in my opinion.)

    Do you plan them out frame-by-frame, or just go with the flow and see what happens? I wing a lot of my stuff, but, I always have an idea in the back of my head of what I'm wanting - a very clear idea.

    Do any of you make your own poses? What do you use to create them? Are they animated, or do you only create still ones for yourself? Yes, I have made both still poses and animations using Blender.

    What tricks do you use for getting clips of your sims talking? Do you just adjust their moods and start conversations? Do you use animations? Despite having made quite a few poses and some animations for myself, I have not actually utilised any of them in my projects. As of now, I trigger actions and snap screenies as I see the emotion or reaction I want. It can be time consuming and does take some good timing, but, it works.

    What tricks do you use for getting clips of your sims running? Lock on your sim to track them as they run.

    Are there any mods or CC you couldn't live without when making machinima? For my Sims 4 machinimas, I have not used any poses or animations, so there are no mods that I can't live without. But, I do use pose player for both poses and animations when competing in model comps. So I'd say, download pose player is a must for sure.

    Have any of you movie-makers done intro or outro songs? What rules do you use for deciding what songs to use? Have any of your videos ever been taken down for copyright infringement, and have you used copyrighted music? Where do you get your sound effects and music anyway? This is a tricky one. When I started making machinima almost 10 years ago, YouTube wasn't so strict about copyright infringement, and I was able to use all kinds of music and sound effects without being flagged for violating copyright. Now, YouTube will automatically discover videos that use copyrighted content when you upload them, and you'll get a warning, which you can contest if you have permission from the rightful owner. Sometimes your video will still upload but the following can happen; muted video, not viewable to the public, video removed, or banning if you get so many strikes against your account for repeat offenses. These days, I don't risk it, I use free music, which you can find just about anywhere with a Google search.

    Again, for movie-makers: Where do you look for voice actors if you use them? What qualities do you look for in a voice actor? Have you ever had a voice actor cancel mid-story, and if so, what did you do? I haven't used voice actors. So no good insight on this.

    Are there any tips you'd give new machinima makers? Have fun and just go for it!

    You can checkout my machinimas at my channel here: Jellysimwich :) Happy simming x

    ^_^ Thanks! Hey, if you have time, could you help me figure out how to make in-game animations and poses with the blender? I've downloaded that and tried to read tutorials but I've only found confusing CAS tutorials for it. Also, I do have some pose and animation ideas I want to put into the game for a machinima, but I'm not sure if you think I should make it a full animation or frame-by-frame... Thanks!
    Read At The Sim's Library
  • GLEichholzGLEichholz Posts: 129 Member
    Immee, over at SimsFilmfest we have a machinima festival that takes place twice a year. The website has a directory of voice actors as well as a place to post for voice actors.

    Mods for making machinima - the UI extended cheats (available at ModtheSims) and Andrew's Pose Player (over at S4S studios)
  • allharlowseveallharlowseve Posts: 107 Member
    Hi there, my name is All Harlow's Eve on youtube and I make sims 4 series. So they're individual episodes, which is relatively different from movies and music videos.

    I'm rebranding my channel so I've just started a new youtube voice over series and I plan on making each episode approximately 20-25 episodes in length. I know to some that may be long, but it's what works best for the story I have written so I'm gonna stick with it. I take my series very seriously and I prefer to plan everything out in great depth. I've written 3 episodes of season 1 prior to filming anything and I've rewritten the episodes a few times so they all flow together nicely. I also prefer to make storyboards so I know what shots I want to take for each scene. I create characters, build locations, write episodes, and plan it all out before I start. I find this works best because if you just "go with the flow" you may end up writing yourself into a hole and just end up making it more difficult for yourself. This is just a personal opinion, just do whatever works best for you!

    I do not make any of my own poses, but I do have experience with Blender. I just find there's already so many amazing poses and animations out there that I can just get creative with what's out there. Like I once used an animation of a sim jumping into bed and then reversed the same animation of the sim in my video editor to make it look like they climbed out of bed. You just have to think outside the box!

    So I'm working on a voice over series and I use animations to get my sims to talk. I rarely use in game animations unless it's for something like a basic walk. There are SO many generic speaking animations out there, especially on youtube. A creator I really like for animations is BROKENSims.

    I really don't have any tricks to get clips of my sims running, they usually run if you give them a far enough distance so I'll just set up camera angles where I know they'll pass by so I can record them. If you're interested though, there are running animations which may be easier to capture on camera.

    I prefer not to use a lot of script mods in my game just because I already have so much CC installed and it takes a while to start up. Though I do have 3 specific mods I could not live with out: Andrew's Pose Player (I mainly use animations so this is a requirement), NoBlu and No Glo (two lighting mods that make your game and videos so much prettier). I could not live without all my CC, it makes everything look so much more realistic.

    Okay so I'm kind of the worst with copy written music as I kinda just use a small portion of a song in my video and then pray it doesn't get taken down. Or I'll find covers on youtube of the songs I want to use and use those instead. Another option is to find original songs on youtube, I specifically love Miki Ratsula for this as she creates gorgeous music that sounds studio produced. For sound effects, you can download royalty free sound effects from many different websites and this is what I usually do. I find they're not quite as strict on sound effects as they are on music.

    For me personally, along with many other youtube based machinima makers, I upload a short casting call video to youtube. This is helpful to get the word out about your channel and notify your subscribers about an upcoming film, series, etc. A simple formula for a casting call video includes these aspects: List of Characters, the lines for each character you want people to record for their audition (this is usually 2-5, I stick with 3, lines that potential voice actors audition with), an e-mail they can send their auditions to, and a due date for the auditions to be in by if applicable. I also upload a casting call to castingcall.club which is a hub for Voice Actors and Machinima directors to interact and hold auditions. I can't like anything as I'm a new member, but feel free to check out The Key Sims 4 Voice Over Series Casting Call if you want to see an example of a casting call. I tend to look for voice actors who can display a wide array of emotions. This is why sometimes picking the perfect audition lines is the most vital step. I've never had someone cancel mid-story (thank goodness). Also if you don't think someone displayed the right emotion on an audition line or maybe you want to give them new lines to record so you can see what else they can do, feel free! I e-mail so many people who audition back with additional lines because I need to know if they're capable of doing a variety of emotions.

    Overall, my advice is this. STAY ORGANIZED. Especially if you plan on doing a voice over series or film. Document who has auditioned and what you liked or didn't like about their voice and if you have an idea of who they could be good at playing. This will save you SO much time in the long run. Especially if you have 40 people auditioning. Also, if you wanna look professional, download a free script writing program like Celtx to format your films or videos properly. This looks good to your voice actors and they'll want to stay on the project if they see you're committed. Also, DO NOT get ahead of yourself. I've done this so many times. Don't open a casting call if you have not fleshed out the idea of the series/film, the characters, etc. It can make voice actors not want to audition for any of your future projects if you're known for cancelling your projects mid-way through. And as someone who voice acts, THIS HAS HAPPENED TO ME SEVERAL TIMES. Even AFTER I have received a role and it is very disheartening. I hope all of this was helpful. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask! I love talking about this stuff.
  • ThatOne26ThatOne26 Posts: 2 New Member
    Hey i was wondering how do you add text to your machininma videos
  • NovaBelladonnaNovaBelladonna Posts: 58 Member
    > @ThatOne26 said:
    > Hey i was wondering how do you add text to your machininma videos

    I've just downloaded Open Shot, a free video editor, and that lets you add text to your videos, however I'm not overally keen on the style of text in Open Shot so far (but maybe I'll learn more about it as I go along and find a way of making the text more attractive). I'm sure most video editors allow you to add text so look at some reviews and maybe even consider buying more proffessional software if you can afford it.

    > @allharlowseve said:
    > Hi there, my name is All Harlow's Eve on youtube and I make sims 4 series. So they're individual episodes, which is relatively different from movies and music videos.

    Just subscribed, it looks very well organised and proffessional! It took me ages to make the most basic machinima style video only a few minutes long, 20 minutes sounds exhausting. Good luck with your series!


    -----------------------------------------------------------

    I'm not allowed a signiture yet apparently
    Youtube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCmFyY60q4J0PJNKCePjVG8g
    Twitter: twitter.com/NovaBelladonna
    For a let's play about a vampire who wants to take over the world, check out my YouTube channel!
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmFyY60q4J0PJNKCePjVG8g
  • SimmervilleSimmerville Posts: 6,950 Member
    edited October 2018
    @iiimee how is your machinima going? Couldn't find you on youtube.

    I'm doing a little machinima, too, really like the detailed way of @allharlowseve . I'm doing a little RL acting and have some understanding of how important it is to plan beforehand.

    I do have one question, as I am having problems making a seated sim talk into the camera. I used to have a conversation partner seated facing the sim to be filmed, then position the cam between them. But lately this is no longer working well, it feels like something changed technically, there is no good chat option that is not requiring sim to stand up. And - of a sudden, the not-seen sim seems to chat a lot more on top of the filmed sim, I really miss a way to mute the not-seen sim.

    Is there another way? Talking to a mirror would require the mirror object to be invisible, otherwise it blocks the view. Does anyone know if such an invisible mirror exists? Hm, no mirror allow the sim to sit down anyway... maybe the vanity table object could do it, never tried to practice speech on that object while seated.

    Assuming most of you guys use poses and then add the sound later. I would prefer the real game play as it's syncs better.
    Post edited by Simmerville on
    Simmerville on Youtube | My blog is updated weekly: Simmerville's Sims
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  • DDirectorDDirector Posts: 34 Member
    How long do your Machinima videos last? Do you plan them out frame-by-frame, or just go with the flow and see what happens?

    My machinimas are about 30 minutes (or two divided about 15 minutes). I have always a general plot, but not always all scenes. Sometimes I need a little bit improvisation.

    Do any of you make your own poses? What do you use to create them? Are they animated, or do you only create still ones for yourself?

    Yes, I do. I use blender. I create them for myself.

    What tricks do you use for getting clips of your sims talking? Do you just adjust their moods and start conversations? Do you use animations? Also, it'd help me if you specified if you do voice-overs or not for this answer, since I'm sure a lot of voice-over machinima makers have different tactics than machinima makers who do music videos or subtitled machinimas videos.

    I create animations or adjust their moods and start conversation.

    Are there any mods or CC you couldn't live without when making machinima? They don't have to be the regular mods or CC- If you need very specific ones feel free to list them here.

    "Mc Command Center" and "Pose Player"

    Have any of you movie-makers done intro or outro songs? What rules do you use for deciding what songs to use? Have any of your videos ever been taken down for copyright infringement, and have you used copyrighted music? Where do you get your sound effects and music anyway?

    Not been taken down for copyright, just part of video has been deleted. Since that moment i use music from "youtube library".

    Again, for movie-makers: Where do you look for voice actors if you use them? What qualities do you look for in a voice actor? Have you ever had a voice actor cancel mid-story, and if so, what did you do?

    Me and my friends... or "Ivona". :)

    Are there any tips you'd give new machinima makers?

    Start working on it. Record scenes with "camera mode" (TAB) and don't worry if your first video is too bad.

    @Simmerville

    "Insane" (Erratic) trait. Sims can talk to and tell a story to themselves.
  • SimmervilleSimmerville Posts: 6,950 Member
    DDirector wrote: »
    @Simmerville

    "Insane" (Erratic) trait. Sims can talk to and tell a story to themselves.

    Thanks @DDirector - that's gold! :)
    Simmerville on Youtube | My blog is updated weekly: Simmerville's Sims
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  • MachinimaCenterMachinimaCenter Posts: 3 New Member
    Hello! We're a group named Machinima center. It's really good that your curious about that. I hope you understand more about machinimas by reading this article.


    ** How long do your Machinima videos last?
    It usually depends on your story. If it has a real story with a strong content, it usually will be longer than 15 minutes. But if it is a machinima made look like a music video, it will be less than 6 minutes.

    ** Do you plan them out frame-by-frame, or just go with the flow and see what happens?
    We plan them out frame-by-frame. But first of all, we should have a clear idea about each shot before recording. Additionally, as sims aren't made in a way to do whatever you want in your shot, you should be really patient. First of all, you need to think which unique action leads to unique reaction. For example, for crying you should have your sim mourn on a grave (as an action) and then they cry (as a reaction) and you should hide the thing that caused your sim to have that reaction in your recording. For example, about mourning on a grave and crying you should make the grave small and record in a way that the grave won't be visible (like hiding it using your own sim!).

    ** Do any of you make your own poses? What do you use to create them? Are they animated, or do you only create still ones for yourself?
    I personally do not make any poses and I use the base poses from the game. But if I need, I will probably download one and give credits :)

    ** What tricks do you use for getting clips of your sims talking? Do you just adjust their moods and start conversations? Do you use animations?
    Well, the answer would be pretty complicated :) First of all, imagine we want to have two sims talk (Sims A and Sims B). If we want to have Sims B talk, we select sims A and click on Sims B, choose a normal interaction and once it's finished, OFTEN sims B starts talking depending on the mood that he/she has! And about emotions, there are different cheats for that. Also personally, I usually use the base animations for talking.

    ** Also, it'd help me if you specified if you do voice-overs or not for this answer, since I'm sure a lot of voice-over machinima makers have different tactics than machinima makers who do music videos or subtitled machinimas videos.
    About voice-overs, your right it is slightly different. First of all, you should have two sims talk (according to the guide), choose a right view (which usually if sims B is talking, having a view from Sims A's shoulder would give you a nice shot! And also, using the elements in the scene are good ideas, like having a view from top of a tree, or a light in the street!) and then start recording as long as the sims B is talking. Then shorten the shot according to time that sentences need!

    ** What tricks do you use for getting clips of your sims running?
    According to the base animations from the sims 4, you have two options. FIRST OPTION: Have your sim run normally (which would be like when they want to go for a judge). In my opinion, this animation is not really nice but it also depends on the emotion that your sim has on that scene of the movie! SECOND OPTION: This one is a bit hard. I usually start a fire in the house! I create two sims (Sims A is the one who starts the fire in the house and Sims B is the one that I need him/her for running). Once the house is on fire (using Sims A help), you can have Sim B run fearfully in the current neighborhood! This sort of animation would be good for shots that you want to create a fearful or action atmosphere. If you do not feel comfortable with the animation yet, try downloading some poses.

    ** Are there any mods or CC you couldn't live without when making machinima? They don't have to be the regular mods or CC- If you need very specific ones feel free to list them here.
    Well, once I added Seasons expedition pack, all of my cheats stopped working :( And I was really disappointed since it is really necessary for making machinimas. But I found UI cheats mod. This mod is great :) It saved me! You can adjust their needs (And once you adjust, you will have the emotion you want. For example, if you adjust the social to be -100, your sim will be very sad and have the emotion you want!) You can also use the mod to have time pass quickly. If you adjust their energy to be -90 and tell them to go to bed, time passes quickly and it will be the one you want, for example the afternoon or evening :)

    ** Have any of you movie-makers done intro or outro songs? What rules do you use for deciding what songs to use? Have any of your videos ever been taken down for copyright infringement, and have you used copyrighted music? Where do you get your sound effects and music anyway?
    About this one, I might not be able to guide well (since I posted my first machinima on YouTube about FOUR hours ago!!!) But about this one, you should be really strict! Remember that each site which provides musics/songs to download, have its own privacy and policy. And YouTube is really strict on that one! And about sound effects, Sims 4 has some good sound effects (if you adjust the audio settings, you can record the sound effect you want). But since it doesn't have all of the sound effects you're looking for, again this time you should be really strict about each site you download the sound effect from!
    I usually get my sound effects from: Soundbible and Soundjay and FesliyanStudios
    And I usually get my music from: FesliyanStudios

    ** Again, for movie-makers: Where do you look for voice actors if you use them? What qualities do you look for in a voice actor? Have you ever had a voice actor cancel mid-story, and if so, what did you do?
    About this one, I use my family's help to record voices. But if you search you will find some sites that provide the voice actors you look for. In my opinion, a good voice actor is a voice actor that transfers the emotion smoothly and with a great tone. But in some cases you might not be able to add voice actors. My suggestion is to record your base sims' voices and adjust them to be connected with the talking shot you've gotten (especially its time). And then add the subtitle.

    ** Are there any tips you'd give new machinima makers?
    Making machinimas is basically hard and needs a lot of time. So you shouldn't decide too quickly! Think about your story first and come up with an exciting story (in my opinion, one of its signs is that according to what your characters' personality is, they must have a logical reason behind their reactions during the movie.). Try thinking about each shot you want to record (I think if you want brilliant shots or unique shots, you could try watching some machinimas first. And you can be inspired by watching machinimas of the KING of machinima makers, Remi Marocelli!!!). Generally, don't do things quickly. Think about each level and if it's going to take a long time, just let it take a long time because the final project will be nicer! And finally, just make machinimas and have fun :)

    I hope, we could help :)
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