Welcome to Machinima Universe!

When I first became involved with Machinima nearly 20 years ago I scoured the Machinima.com forums, and as many gaming forums as I could find, for tutorials on how to get started with film-making. Such tutorials were priceless for the beginner. In that spirit I would like to develop this site into a resource where the beginner can easily find the information they need.

For most of my life I have always enjoyed finding out “how stuff works” and still spend a fair proportion of my time doing just that. So this project is a natural thing for me and could potentially keep me happily employed for many years to come. But it would be a much better resource if as many people as possible, with their different skills and expertise, also contributed.  So if you think you might be such a person, please do not hesitate. What is obvious to you today is actually beyond the reach of most people, and you have the power to put it within their reach.

(Recently I re-discovered a large collection of Machinima movies I saved onto DVDs whilst running the “Machinima Premiere” website, 2004-2008.  So I’ve uploaded them to the Internet Archive for others to enjoy – Machinima Archive)

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Winning the #MadeInMachinima Contest

Since he first held a pen, Simon Lavit has been an artist. Now, Lavit adds Omniverse Machinima to the list of creative tools he’s mastered, as the winner of the #MadeInMachinima contest.

His entry, Painting the Astronaut, was selected by an esteemed panel of judges that included numerous creative experts.

Powered by a GeForce RTX 3090 GPU, Lavit’s creative workflow showcases the breadth and interoperability of Omniverse, its Apps and Connectors. He used lighting and scene setting to establish the short film’s changing mood, helping audiences understand the story’s progression. Its introduction, for example, is bright and clear. The film then gets darker, conveying the idea of the unknown as the character starts his journey.

Lavit storyboarded on paper before starting his digital process with the Machinima and Omniverse Create apps. He quickly turned to NVIDIA’s built-in 3D asset library, filled with free content from Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries, Squad and more – to populate the scene.

Then, Lavit used Autodesk Maya to create 3D models for some of his hero assets — like the protagonist Sol’s spaceship. The Maya Omniverse Connector allowed him to visualize scenes within Omniverse Create. He also benefited from RTX-accelerated ray tracing and AI denoising in Maya, resulting in highly interactive and photorealistic renders.

Next, Lavit textured the models in Adobe Substance 3D, which also has an Omniverse Connector. Substance 3D uses NVIDIA Iray rendering, including for textures and substances. It also features RTX-accelerated light- and ambient-occlusion baking, which optimizes assets in seconds.

Lavit then returned to Machinima for final layout, animation and render. The result was composited using Adobe After Effects, with an extra layer of effects and music. What turned into the contest-winning piece of art ultimately was “a pretty simple workflow to keep the complexity to a minimum,” Lavit said.

To power his future creativity from anywhere, Lavit won an ASUS ProArt StudioBook 16. This NVIDIA Studio laptop packs top-of-the-line technology into a device that enables users to work on the go with world-class power from a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU and beautiful 4K display.

Lavit, born in France and now based in the U.S., sees every project as an adventure. Living in a different country from where he was born changed his vision of art, he said. Lavit regularly finds inspiration from the French graphic novel series, The Incal, which is written by Alejandro Jodorowsky and illustrated by renowned cartoonist Jean Giraud, aka Mœbius.

Omniverse #MadeInMachinima Contest Winners Reel

NVIDIA Omniverse Gallery

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Unreal Engine and Machinima

Over at Completely Machinima Ben Grussi has done an interesting history on the early days of the Unreal Engine and its influence on Machinima.

“In this episode, Ben goes back to the archives and digs out the earliest days of Unreal…. Long before the launch of Unreal Engine, the first machinima productions were made in Unreal 1 as early as 1998. Ben then traces the lack lustre performance of Unreal machinima as a genre until such time as the Make Something Unreal Contest was launched in 2003 – then BANG!!!”

Completely Machinima History with Ben Grussi – Unreal Engine

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Nvidia Unveils New Tools For Metaverse

At SIGGRAPH, the world’s largest gathering of computer graphics experts, NVIDIA announced significant updates for creators and developers using NVIDIA Omniverse, a real-time 3D design collaboration and world simulation platform.

The next wave of Omniverse worlds is moving to the cloud — and new features for Omniverse Kit, Nucleus, and the Audio2Face and Machinima apps allow users to better build physically accurate digital twins and realistic avatars, and redefine how virtual worlds are created and experienced.

Individuals and organizations across industries can substantially accelerate complex 3D graphics workflows with Omniverse. Whether an engineer, researcher, animator or designer, Omniverse users around the world have created vast virtual worlds and realistic simulations using the platform’s core rendering, physics and AI technologies.

The Omniverse community portals into the platform using NVIDIA RTX-enabled Studio laptops, workstations and OVX servers — and with the shift of Omniverse to the cloud, users can work virtually using non-RTX systems like Macs and Chromebooks.

Plus, NVIDIA Omniverse Avatar Cloud Engine (ACE) launched today — along with new Omniverse Connectors and applications — enabling users to easily build and customize virtual assistants and digital humans.

NVIDIA Unveils Powerful AI, Simulation and Creative Tools

Nvidia unveils new tools for metaverse push

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From 8-Bit to Infinity

Like the film industry before it, gaming has inspired a whole wave of composers who have created new sound-worlds to match the medium’s ever more richly imagined visual realms.

Returning after his Pioneers of Sound and sci-fi film music Proms, Robert Ames conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for the first-ever Gaming Prom. The Royal Albert Hall is transformed into a vast sonic chamber in a mini history of gaming, from classic console titles of the 1980s to the latest release in the Battlefield franchise.

Prom 21: Gaming Prom: From 8-Bit to Infinity

From 8-Bit to Infinity – Students Celebrate First Ever Gaming Prom!

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Well Done The Lionesses!

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