For some reason I have had it in mind for a long time to make a music-video with the Simon and Garfunkel song “At the Zoo”, so if for no other reason than to get rid of the annoying book-mark in my head I decided to go ahead. I used “Zoo Tycoon Ultimate Animal Collection”, 2018, to make the movie. Although I don’t usually like sims this is a very easy one to play and I would say the main target audience is children, although anyone who likes animals would probably enjoy it. It also includes a “Zoopedia” with lots of information about the animals, and a sad reminder about how many of them are nearing extinction!
For my purposes it has a sandbox mode where you can set up any animal in any situation then hire as many assistants as you like to do the routine work whilst you can concentrate on the animals. It has a “film” mode for looking at each animal but no record, except stills, so I used OBS Studio in “game-capture” mode to get my shots, cropping the hud from the edges of the screen. Once I had about 30 shots I batch-rendered them in Handbrake to 1920 res. ready for the video editor. I had intended to “test-drive” all of the editors mentioned in this article but soon realised my pc only has min specs for most of them, so settled with Shotcut.
Shotcut is a fully-featured editor with an active community and can render to practically any file, up to 4K HD with 5.1 surround, if you have the specs – 8 cores and 16gb ram. I managed 2K HD with 5.1 surround – 4 cores and 8gb ram. It is also very easy to use and once I had the shots imported I was able to do everything I wanted to do with them. So it should suffice for about 90% of editing needs. This video tutorial was a good way to get started with it.
“At the Zoo” is probably a good example of why you shouldn’t follow crazy ideas rattling round in your head! Although having said that it was a good way to get familiar with some great new software, which should come in very handy in the future. It also fulfilled two important machinima principles which are sometimes forgotten. 1) It was very easy to do. 2) It’s a fun and interesting way to extend the game-play of an enjoyable game. And I did get to feel like David Attenborough for a few hours!
“At The Zoo”
Or watch at the Internet Archive,
At The Zoo (High 1920 Sur 5.1)