the Female Dragon of Second Life

So you want to make movies?

Well, I have been asked more than once how to create machinima in Second Life. So not to keep myself repeating here’s a little step by step:

  1. Find a place which supports your mood, and is not lagging – and your graphics card and network can handle it. I don’t have a huge magic power monster hardware – Dell i6 workstation with NVidia GTX 650 GeForce graphics card. I changed to NVidia after years of using Radeon based cards – the reason was a glitch in later which produced a diagonal line in depth-of-field enabled settings.
  2. Using Ctrl-P (Preferences) in graphics tab, I set almost the highest setting – in my case Occlusion doesn’t do much except slowing down frame rate – it should be kept above 25fps for best results.
  3. Using Alt-P (Phototools) I select windlight, shadow options and depth of field. Making note of the settings, in case I need to add some footage later.
  4. Alt-F1 turns of most of the interface and chat popups and such – this is needed to keep the clips free of clutter and mess.
  5. For capture you can use Camtasia, XSplit Broadcaster or anything that you feel comfortable. I usually capture at HDReady resolution – 1270×720 (having some HUD attachments on – such as Ankle Locker so my legs don’t look like a car just run over them – I stretch my window in such way as to make sure captured region doesn’t contain any of them).
  6. In my case, I like to play with Depth of field, but to do that, I use 3D Navigator Mouse to move the camera in Free flight mode, and regular mouse in other hand, to point to regions which are supposed to be in focus. So yes.. it’s tricky at this point, and does require some investment in real hardware.
  7. I capture clips that usually are 20 sec. to 1 minute long. In final cut I rarely use snippets longer than 10-15 sec anyways
  8. For editing again it can be Camtasia, XSplit Broadcaster, Adobe Premiere…. whichever you can afford (XSplit is free, Premiere – you can find old version that Adobe under certain conditions lets u use for free here).
  9. Remember about copyright laws when putting the clip together – there are good sources for music and some video effects in youtube, especially for music I use Youtube Audio Library – it’s well hidden in there, but it’s there. And for sound effects, search Freesound.org.

Well, that’s about it, at this time… if I think of something I need to add to this, I will in time.