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Lights. Camera. Action!

Machinima is a filmmaking genre, in which a game's assets are used in order to produce a video that has a film-like experience above and beyond standard in-game footage.

The Meet the Team videos produced by Valve are good but atypical examples of machinima. They are animated using the game engine but feature specially-written animation sequences and high quality settings which cannot be accessed in-game (without the use of console commands), along with the original voice actors.

Machinima videos don't always necessarily follow the plot of their game (if any), or go along with character personalities. Apart from machinima referring to the act of using a game's assets, the technique in which a movie is produced is just as wide and as varied as standard filmmaking. As an example, a popular technique for machinima is stop motion. A technique not normally associated with simulated 3D character's and objects.

Common tools for making Team Fortress 2 machinima, include (but are not limited to); Garry's Mod, Source Filmmaker and Source Demo Recording.

Update history

January 14, 2008 Patch

  • Gave machinima creators access to "tf_testvcd" and "tf_testrr" commands for playing scenes on characters.

See also