Thursday, December 14

Making Machinima : The Basics

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Download an easy to use free program like Frapps, which records everything that happens on the screen. Just do a quick Google search for “fraps” and the official site should come right up. Fraps uses “F9” as the default keybinding, so make sure you don’t have a game function bound to “F9”, or change the Fraps keybinding prior to capturing video.

Now that you have decided on your programs and keybindings, it’s time to start capturing video. Don’t start out with something difficult, or anything that requires a lot of people at first. You’re going to need to capture some test clips to determine how well your computer performs while capturing video. Open fraps, click the “Video” tab, and minimize the window. You won’t need to do anything further with fraps accept leave it running. Log in to W.o.W. and hit you fraps key. Little red numbers will be flashing in the top left corner, but they will not show up in your video. The numbers indicate the frame rate, and when they turn red it just means fraps is recording your screen. Now, do a simple action like running, or summoning a pet. Hit your fraps key again and minimize W.o.W.

Now you need to evaluate what you have captured. Go into “My Computer” –> “Local Disk C” –> “Fraps” –> “Movies”. Here you will find your captured video. Play the video. Does it lag? Look choppy? You can minimize these sorts of graphic issues by ensuring that only Fraps, WoW, and your virus protection programs are running, and by going into your W.o.W. Video settings and turning them down. Now try re-capturing the same action. Continue to tweak your settings until you are comfortable with the resulting video.

Once you are comfortable with your video quality, try recording a few scenes for your video. Helpful Tip: Pressing “Alt”+”Z” makes all the UI disappear (i.e.; minimap, action bars, chat, etc) but you should have no trouble using your spells and abilities as long as you know your keybindings. When you have your video, its time to make your movie.

Open up your editing program and load your video(s). If you aren’t familiar with your program, read over the Help section to determine how to do things like cropping video, adding music, or how to add simple effects and transitions. Movie Maker is good for learning how to edit video since its mostly a drag and drop interface. When you have your video the way you want it, finalize t by clicking “Save as Movie” or a similar option. The program will walk you through the rest of the steps from there. Now you have your own original machinima to show off to your friends, or upload onto youtube!

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