Machinima is a visual medium. It describes the practice of making films (short, long, what-have-you) using the many 3D graphics engines which lie at the core of today's fast 3d gaming titles. Although video cutscenes in games have in many cases been replaced by rendered sequences using the game's engine, machinima (pronounced MAH-sheen-EH-ma) takes this a step further. Machinima artists dispense with the game entirely, and use the engine to produce films and visual art.

There is a website devoted to the practice at http://www.machinima.com.

...from their 'introduction' section on 'what is it:'

An artform come out of nowhere. Films that use computer game technology and look like "Toy Story". Zero-budget film-makers making films that would stretch the biggest of Hollywood studios.

That's Machinima.

In short, a film made using Machinima is a film made with computer-generated graphics, similar to those you can see on the television or on film in titles like "Antz" and "Toy Story". However, unlike those features, Machinima uses graphical techniques originally developed for computer games to generate its [sic] visuals, meaning that a film-maker with a home PC can create feature-length epics that would require millions of dollars to make using traditional CGI (Computer Ganerated Imagery) [sic] techniques.

And once the film is made, rather than languishing on a video or in a can, Machinima productions can be distributed over the internet, being split down into their component parts and "rendered" in real-time on a viewer's computer, allowing them to be reproduced exactly as the film-makers saw them.

Machinima as an artform is still in its infancy, with only a small number of devotees. However, we at Machinima.com believe it will revolutionise film. For the first time, anyone can become a film-maker: able to create any film and any scene they can imagine.

Welcome to the revolution.

One of the most famous serial machinima is Red vs. Blue, an acerbic comedy set in an infamous Box Canyon somewhere...else. It is done using the Halo multiplayer engine; its characters are members of team...red or blue, natch. It's damn funny.

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