…you ought to be in movies

Posted October 24th, 2010 by wonko

…so Cybernauts will need to present their final contributions, and one format will be in-world machinima, so I set about thinking about how to best teach how to do this.

I have fond (if wildly inaccurate) memories of the old clackety film projectors we had when I was in school, so set about modelling one in Wings3D

Model Work

Model Work

While I was there, I also made a “wall” that is to be used as a sort of noticeboard on which I post tutorials and how-to’s. I thought the filmstrip metaphor would be a useful one so used that – I suspect however, our cybernauts have NEVER even seen actual film (that flimsy semi-transparent media we used to entrust our visual records to) – good or bad I do not know. I am not sure how I feel about the move to entirely digital records, particularly of things that are important – I guess they will never be accidentally deleted or become corrupt, hey?

With assets in-hand, I entered the world, set up an area in the tutorial zone, wired it to be the next stop in the guided tour and began decorating it with film-making resources

Entry to Film School

Entry to Film School

I popped the projector on a pedestal (where it belongs :P) and began animating and lighting it – the reels move at different speeds, as they did in real life, and I found a rather nice animated test pattern, and fashioned a transparent flickery light beam to add to the effect. Surrounding this I set about arranging display panels.

Projector, beam and screen (showing test pattern)

Projector, beam and screen (showing test pattern)

The aim was to “keep it simple, stupid”. Fortunately the in-world video capture system is pretty simple actually, so I aimed to show budding Spielbergs how to get to it, how to drive it and what the settings mean, briefly.

Setup explanation

Setup explanation

As well as how to fire up the recorder, I thought it relevant to introduce some film language as well – tilt/pan, dolly/truck are all important –  we do them without thinking but I thought that surfacing the terms explicitly the kids could have much better discussions when planning their movies.

Some film language

Some film language

Rather than just post static resources, I thought a little meta-machinima was in order (machinima about making machinima) – check it out

Quite happy with the resultant tutorial – will it work with the punters – no idea – I guess we will find out.

I am not sure if I should also post info on storyboarding to formalise their planning – certainly the productions will be better quality if they are planned but i am not sure – what do you think?

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