Machinima and me

One of the things that has always fascinated me in SL is machinima. I’ve tried my hand at a few sort-of videos, but due to hardware constraints, have always restricted myself to putting together things using still images. However, in 2013, I finally got a PC with sufficient omph to produce videos, and in August, I picked up a Space Navigator, and have been slowly getting used to it.

This being the case, I decided to see how I’d manage with a short video piece to see how I’d get on with capture and managing the Space Navigator, and while visiting Giovanna Cerise’s wonderful Il Folle Volo (The Mad Flight) at La Città Perduta, I tried capturing some footage and took a little time to see what I could stitch together.

Now I’ll be the first to admit, the final version is var from perfect and is a little grainy in places; I captured in .AVI HD (720p)  but my editing software had issues with importing, so rather than reshoot everything, I opted to convert to .MP4 HD (720p), which may have cost some quality.

The recording software I used was Bandicam; next time around I’ll be trying FRAPS. The editing software used was Pinnacle – which I know isn’t the best. I have Corel VideoStudio, but have yet to really get my head around it (It also wasn’t very keen on Bandicam’s .AVI format).

Anyway, my technique and the quality will hopefully improve as I have more practice / improve my set-up. In the meantime, here’s the first experiment (and my apologies to Giovanna for using her work as a guinea-pig!).

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17 thoughts on “Machinima and me

  1. Right on ! Your first experiment leaves me interested in seeing where you go with it. You explore so many wild wonderful places in sl bringing your eye to screen is very cool to look forward to!

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    1. Thanks 🙂

      Can’t promise I’ll video everywhere I go, but there are certainly some places (with the owner’s permissions!) I’d like to try my hand at filming!

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  2. Such an accomplished piece for someone new to the genre – well done Inara.
    I can only echo the previous comment and say I too look forward to seeing SL and its creative spirit through your machinima eyes.

    And I have you to thank for introducing me to some very good music. An excellent start to my day.

    B x

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      I “discovered” Alex Beroza a couple of months back, after being pointed to another talented musician called GMZ, who initially led me to the Mixter sites. Will hopefully be able to use some of his stuff as well.

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  3. This was a blast from the past as I have used a remix of that music by Alex (who is very talented) that has vocals and Cello added. I use CCMixter a lot (a lot less problems with copyright issues). It was also filmed at an Art Sim and then used for a Virtual Gallery Exhibition hosted at various Galleries/ Museums around the World including Boston University. This was arranged by the SIM Artist group. One thing I find beneficial is to film while listening to music (doesn’t have to be the music you will edit to). FRAPS avi files will work in SONY Vegas with the occasional issue which is solved by restarting the application. I have tried Bandicam and I don’t recall having an issue with it. Converting to mp4 then rendering to mp4 and then the YouTube render will degrade your original file considerably. I generally use an avatar in these kind fo things since it gives scale to the Art Pieces. Also are you able to sit on one of the revolving blocks? That would give you an interesting perspective. Have you tried to convert your AVI into a lossless format (http://lags.leetcode.net/codec.html) then try that in Pinnacle? Pinnacle may have more of an issue with the size of the files rather than the Bandicam Codec.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback!

      The issue did seem to be the Bandicam Codec; I’ve generally had precious few issues pulling AVI into Pinnacle from other sources, and a couple of AVI files of a much larger file size than the clips from Il Folle Voto have come in fine (I do a lot of video editing for other purposes). I’ll try your suggested route with Lagarith and let you know via a future post.

      I generally have music on when in-world, so yes, I tend to have music on when filming 🙂 . Alex really is talented, as you say; I now have a reasonable file of his pieces which has bcome something I now tend to play in the background as well. Good to know I’m not alone in appreciating his work!

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  4. I would try this which seems to be the only option for lossless AVI? So you make have already tried it? Try using a utility called http://www.headbands.com/gspot/ that may tell you exactly what codec was used with your files. 720P is definitely a god size to record at especially since 1080P is not possible with the viewer unless you run in fullscreen mode with the client or you do some jiggery pokery in the Nvidia Control panel and change the resolution there. The 720 window can look small so you can change the resolution of your monitor to something that is 16×9 and 1280px wide then it’s much easier to see etc. and you still end up with the same result when you switch back. Advantages are 720P a forth of the size of a 1080P as your hard drives can fill up VERY quickly and 1080P require a fast capture HD to keep up. Make sure your editor project properties are the same as your file.

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