Huck’s guide to making machinima in Second Life

Welcome to my series of tutorials on various aspects of filming in Second Life.

I started writing these in January 2020 as a way of documenting some of the things I learned about making machinima during the process of creating my science fiction movie, STÖMOL. It assumes no prior knowledge.

Huck’s guide to making machinima in Second Life part one: the tools

Now that the trailer for Stömol is done, I can get down to the serious business of procrastinating over doing the audio for the movie. Since I promised a series of ‘how to’ blog posts back in September, I’m going to start with that. I’ll begin with the basic tools. To anyone who’s dabbled with machinima in Second Life, the following will likely be nothing new. The problem with this sort of stuff, however, is that people rarely take the time to write it all down … Continue reading Huck’s guide to making machinima in Second Life part one: the tools

Huck’s guide to making machinima in Second Life part two: framing your shot

Time to get filming. In part one, I went through the software and hardware I’ve used to record video for my movie, Stömol. I also threw in a couple of shortcuts for Firestorm viewer, namely derendering objects and people, and removing the user interface and HUDs. I’m going to pick up from that point now and take a more detailed look at some of the tools in Firestorm to help you get the shot you want. We start with a basic photography 101 and move from … Continue reading Huck’s guide to making machinima in Second Life part two: framing your shot

Huck’s guide to making machinima in Second Life part three: camera movement

In the previous part of this series, I looked at how to frame shots whether the camera adopts a static position, either relative to the scenery (so the subject might move but the scene remains still) or to the subject (so the camera moves to follow the subject). In this part, I’ll take a look at shots where the camera moves independently of the subject. A word before we embark on this. In my view, camera movement is much over-used in Second Life machinima. All too … Continue reading Huck’s guide to making machinima in Second Life part three: camera movement

Huck’s guide to making machinima in Second Life part four: working with alts

Meet Paper. Long-term readers of this blog might recall I created him back in 2016 as part of my review of the Firestorm SL orientation experience. He’s been pretty much mothballed since then, but I dug him out last year to play a non-speaking part in Stömol. As it turned out, however, his usefulness in the filming process went considerably further than that. In my learning about Second Life movie making, I had started to realise there were some shots I would have to use an … Continue reading Huck’s guide to making machinima in Second Life part four: working with alts

Huck’s guide to making machinima in Second Life part five: working with other people

In part four of this series I looked at some of the technical uses that alts – alternative accounts, running at the same time as your main SL account – can be put to. In part five, I’m going to take a look at a more social element of machinima-making: working with other people. Before I go any further on this topic, there’s a biggie that has to go first. Filming machinima by yourself in SL is very time consuming, and filming machinima with other people … Continue reading Huck’s guide to making machinima in Second Life part five: working with other people

Huck’s guide to making machinima in Second Life part six: filming (and recording) speech

In part five of this series I looked at working with other people, which is hard. This time, I’m looking at filming speech in Second Life, which is harder. In fact, it’s so hard that I’m going to expend a considerable number of words in this post on the topic of how to not film speech – by which I mean having speech in your machinima spoken by a character, but not actually filming them saying it, and by which I mean more specifically not filming … Continue reading Huck’s guide to making machinima in Second Life part six: filming (and recording) speech

Huck’s guide to making machinima in Second Life part seven: respecting copyright

At the end of part six of this series, I said I’d write one more entry, “which will be something of a mixed bag of bits and pieces, including a couple of editing tips and some stuff about copyrighted materials.” When I sat down to write this, however, I realised pretty quickly that copyright ‘stuff’ wasn’t going to fit all that easily into just a segment. So you’re getting a whole post on the subject. Sorry. I know it’s not the most stimulating of topics, but … Continue reading Huck’s guide to making machinima in Second Life part seven: respecting copyright