Wednesday, January 23, 2013

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How Eric Boccara Makes His Kickass Second Life Machinima

I wrote about this excellent test footage for an upcoming machinima last week, but some people were skeptical it was even shot in Second Life -- but yes, creator Eric Boccara confirmed soon after I blogged about it, it's fully an SL creation: "Everything is filmed in Second Life," he wrote in Comments. "And all animations are custom made by myself for the machinima. Every scene has a few tricks up its sleeve." Later, Eric told me the full machinima is about 35% finished, and as you might have guessed, is about a sniper on a deadly mission (are there any other kind?), this one to take out a crime boss.

But how about one of those tricks, the overhead jet shot? How he did that is pretty clever and kind of funny, and his technical tips are worth reading for anyone who also wants to make SL machinima -- read on, read on:

Second Life test machinima

"The jet shot was actually pretty easy," he told me. "There's a plane script inside the model, and with physics turned on, the plane glides down without anyone flying in it. So I had a friend release the plane on signal, so when the camera looked up, it flew over! Then after the scene, he had to go fly after it and catch it before it flew into the neighboring sim and crashed into something."

He shoots his machinima with Firestorm: "I find that the most user friendly of them all. Sticking to the old UI, and not giving me that strange simplified interface that Linden Lab is currently forcing onto every new viewer they bring out." But if you want to shoot SL the way Mr. Boccara does, you better bring a badass system like this: "[A] self-built tower PC, with an i7 960 processor, ATI HD 6990, and in about 2 days, 12GB of RAM! (Currently on 6, but I ordered some new RAM!)" To which I say: Holy crap.

Look for the full machinima to hit in a few months, with voice effects and an original soundtrack, because I'll definitely blog about it here.

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Damien Fate

Things like the jet moving are pretty simple techniques, the snow system he's using is impressive too - made even more so visually stunning by having a system capable of rendering such heavy particle density with DOF.

In my eyes what makes this truly great though is the fantastic direction and custom animations.

I can't wait for the finished machinima!

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