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Machinima For Dummies

ISBN: 978-0-470-19583-3
403 pages
November 2007
Machinima For Dummies (0470195835) cover image


Use this book to learn how you can, at little or no expense, make virtually any movie using Machinima. The authors guide you from making your first Machinima movie to a grounding in both conventional filmmaking and Machinima technology that will let you tackle very complex film projects.

The book focuses on the following Machinima platforms:

  • The Sims 2: Arguably the most popular Machinima platform of all time, The Sims 2 allows you to tell stories ranging from romance to noir action.
  • World Of Warcraft: Tell your own tales of heroism in the world of Azeroth, following in the footsteps of award-winning Machinima creators and even the makers of South Park.
  • Medieval 2: Total War - This astonishing new game allows you to create Lord of the Rings-scale medieval battle films using just a home computer!
  • MovieStorm: For the first time, unleash the power of Machinima as a professional user using a fully-featured, fully-licensed commercial Machinima platform.

You'll be introduced to all aspects of Machinima production, from live filming in a game through the creation of sets, props and characters, as well as the basics of cinematography, storytelling and sound design.

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Table of Contents


Part I: Introducing Machinima.

Chapter 1. Getting to Know Machinima.

Chapter 2. Your First Machinima Movie.

Part II: Getting Serious.

Chapter 3. Filmmaking 101.

Chapter 4. Storytelling and Scriptwriting.

Chapter 5. Engines, Engines Everywhere.

Chapter 6. Making Your World: Set Design and Texturing.

Chapter 7. The Casting Couch: In-Engine Character Design in the Sims 2.

Chapter 8. Cut! Directing Machinima with The Sims 2.

Chapter 9. Get Out the Scissors: Editing Machinima.

Chapter 10. Fifteen Minutes of Fame: Distributing Your Movie.

Part III: Advanced Machinima Creation.

Chapter 11. Massively Multiplayer Machinima: World of Warcraft.

Chapter 12. Lord of the Rings on $50 - Mass Battles with Medieval II: Total War.

Chapter 13. Noise! Sound Design and Recording for a Great Film.

Chapter 14. Get It Out There! Publicizing Your Movie.

Chapter 15. You're Nicked, My Son: Machinima and the Law.

PART IV: The Final Frontier: Pro Machinima.

Chapter 16. Making Things That Don't Exist: 3D Modeling and Animation.

Chapter 17. A Storm Is Brewing: Moviestorm.

Chapter 18. Build a Better Mousetrap: Going Beyond Engine Limitations.

Chapter 19. Pro Machinima?

Part V: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 20. Ten Machinima Films You Must Watch.

Chapter 21. Ten Ways to Ruin Your Machinima Movie.

Chapter 22. Ten Machinima Sites to Bookmark.

Appendix: About the DVD.


End-User License Agreement.

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Author Information

Hugh Hancock, one of the two people who coined the word Machinima in 1999, has worked in the medium for more than a decade running Strange Company (www.Strangecompany.org), the world's oldest professional Machinima production company. He was lectured on Machinima on three continents, had his work shown on five (we're still waiting or Antarctica), had his films featured in Entertainment Weekly, on Suicide Girls (www.suicidegirls.com) and in The New York Times, and produced machinima films for the BBC, BAFTA, Electronic Arts, and many others. In 2007, he was awarded the first Award for Outstanding Contribution to Machinima by the Online Machinima Film Festival. Most recently, he completed work on BloodSpell (www.bloodspell.com), Strange Company's first feature film, and is currently working on Strange Company's next major project. He lives in Edinburgh and is intermittently single.

Johnnie Ingram is the former site editor of Machinima.com and holds degrees in both drama and computer science. He lives with his computers in a converted church hall in Scotland. He has previously worked as a theater director, an online journalist, and a drama teacher, as well as once dressing up as a priest in order to sell washing powder. He was first assistant director for BloodSpell. He is now a self-employed Web designer and Strange Company's Head of  Beverage Acquisition and Caffeine Development. He is married with one cat.

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