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Forum Home > Sims 3 Machinima Lessons - Intermediate > The Step-to-Step Guide to Directing a Machinima - The Sims 3

Posts: 44

I wrote this one over on Mod the Sims and I thought I'd share it over here :)

So, you want to make a machinima/sims 3 series/sims 3 short movie?

Can't figure out how to get smooth angles? How to get rid of those hideous thought bubbles, plumbobs, and effects.

Can't figure out how to get your sims to stay still or do a certain animation?

Once you follow these steps.. you will finally be able to master Machinima!

What you will need:

A Game Recorder (In-game works too, FRAPS is optional)

Tiny Texture Replacers Combined by HystericalParoxysm: [url][/url]

No Drift/Lower Level Free Cam Camera Mod - Updated For Late Night by aikea guinea: (Recommended but optional) [url][/url]

A good amount of custom content

NRaas Animator (Animation Hack): [url][/url]

(optional) NRaas DebugEnabler: [url][/url]


Step One: Editing Initial Files

Go to your Electronic Arts folder in Program Files and then to your Ini folder located here: C://ProgramFiles/ElectronicArts/TheSims3/GameData/Shared/NonPackaged/Ini...

From there.. look for a file named "VideoCamera.ini"

Right click on it and select copy, then paste it to your desktop.

Go to your desktop and rename the file "VideoCameraBackup"

(We did this because the game sometimes has trouble updating when you change the ini files)

Go back to the original folder and click and drag the file out of the folder and onto your desktop. This time, we are going to open this file. So, open the VideoCamera.ini file

Notepad should open it and this is what you should see:

Scroll down to the very bottom, there you should see a section named "LerpDuration"

LerpDuration is the speed at which the camera will take to transition from one perimeter to another perimeter.

You should see something like this:

It may value a different number depending on what you change it to or what the camera mod changes it to. If you want slower perimeters, you want to increase the value of the LerpDuration..if you want faster perimeters, you will want to decrease the value.

but for normal perimeters, you may just want to change the value to 30

so now it should look like this:

Now, go to File/Save NOT SAVE AS... Close out of Notepad and then click and drag the VideoCamera.ini file back to the Ini folder.


UPDATE: June 9th, 2011

If you are having troubles saving the VideoCamera.ini file, or if you cannot save the file due to it being "Read-Only".. here's how to fix it:

Right click on the VideoCamera.ini file, and then go down to properties. You should see this:

As seen at the bottom in the "Attributes", Read-Only is checked. Simply un-check this. Now it should look like this:

Click "OK" and now you should be able to save the file without any troubles. :)

Step Two: How to use the "Camera-Man" Mode

First thing you need to do is install all the mods that I referenced "Tiny Texture Replacers, No Drift, Animator" They should be installed in the correct directory in order for them to work! (C://User/Documents/ElectronicArts/TheSims3/Mods/Packages)

Nowgo into your game. In order to get into Camera-Man Mode.. all you have to do is simply press "TAB" or the button with two parallel lines.

There is should hide majority of the UI (User-Interface)

How you control the Camera-Man is a little difficult,

D= Go Right, A=Go Left, S=Go Reverse, W=Go Forward, Q=Go Down, E=Go Up, Z=Zoom In, X=Zoom Out, SHIFT+A= Rotate Left, SHIFT+D= Rotate Right. They may be hard to remember, but just fool around with it to get used to it.

Now, if you move your courser around, it moves the camera.. You DONT want that!

By playing around with the camera man and it's keys, position the camera to the angle you want. Now, once you are there.. press one of the following keys: SHIFT+ 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9. This saves the perimeter.

Now.. go to another angle. and do the same EXCEPT do not use the same number you used to save your other perimeter. So for example. I save a shot at SHIFT+6, and another at SHIFT+7. I can use any other number for any other perimeter i want EXCEPT 6 and 7.

Now, once you have your two perimeters saved, simply press one of the numbers of the saved perimeter. This will make the camera transition smoothly to the next perimeter.

So for example. I have my two perimeters saved, I simply press 6 (JUST 6) and it transitions back to that perimeter.. I can also press 7 and the camera will transition back to perimeter 7. If you do not like the way the camera moves, try positioning the camera somewhere else or at a different angle. So say, I don't like how it transitions to angle 7, i simply adjust the camera to a different way that seems good to me, and press SHIFT+7, This will override the old perimeter 7 with your new perimeter 7


REMINDER Try not to make too many transitions in one shot ;)


Step Three: Slow Motion-Fast Motion Perimeters

So, back at step one when we were editing the LerpDuration.. we changed that to 30..

But remember, if you want a fast transition.. you need to decrease the value and if you want a slow transition, you need to raise the value.

But, let's say you want to make a dramatic machinima.. and you can slow the camera down.. but not the sims. That will most likely throw off the meaning of the machinima. SO, if you want your sims to move in SLOW MOTION, there is a simple cheat you can type in.

First, open the cheat window (CTRL+SHIFT+C) and typer "SlowMotionViz 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,or 8" Not literally all those numbers.. just one of them. (Ex: "SlowMotionViz 5")

These will literally make the game render slower, and better... So you can mess around with the different values and see which one you like best ;)


Now, there is no cheat for Fast Motion.. but unlike slow motion, Fast Motion can be edited in a video editor without choppyness ;)


Step Four: Using Useful Cheats and Hacks

So, Im pretty sure people would not enjoy a machinima with plumbobs and thoughtbubbles over sims heads.. so this is quite simple to do.

Open the cheat window, (CTRL+SHIFT+C) and type in "HideHeadlineEffects True"

This will hide all thought bubbles and plumbobs


But say, you don't like the music effects or the Sleep Z's.. Well, No cheat can hide those unfortunatly.. but luckily HystericalParoxysm has made a mod that hides all of those annoying effects. Just make sure you have the Tiny Texture Replacers Combined installed


Now, say you want sims to stay still and stop trying to do other things while you are filming. This is simple and requires no Mods.

Go to the three dots in the right hand corner of the game.. and then select options.

Go to the gameplay options and make sure Autonomy Level is on 0 or No Free Will. They should no longer wonder without permission.


If you want Animations on Command.. this is why we installed the NRaas Animator. This mod simply hacks all in game animations. How you use it is simple. Click on the sim that you desire for the animation. You should see an option named "NRaas" Click that and you should see another option named "Animator.." click that. Now you should see two options named "Animation by Category" And "Looping Animation". Animation by Category lists all the animations in categorys with less confusing names. "Looping Animation" lists all animations for there in game names (ex: a_Happypose_y) Choose one and your sim should play that animation


Step Five: Finishing Up - How to Record

This step is very short and simple

When filming, you are going to want to record the shots for your machinima 

So, simply press "V" or the camera in the corner of the main UI

to stop recording, simply press that same button again

your video files can be found in C://User/Documents/ElectronicArts/TheSims3/RecordedVideos


Recording With Fraps (Optional)

Most people prefer Fraps because the quality of it. Unlike the in-game recorder..

Well first, you have to have Fraps 

Secondly, sense Fraps doesn't hide the games UI like the in-game recorder, which does.

(which is why many people do not use it)

Simply press F10, this will hide the UI so you can record. ;)


Have Fun! :)

Tutorial by SIMul8rReviews


July 24, 2012 at 11:36 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 561

Awesome :D

A small tip I'd like to suggest is this:

CTRL+D/A  in cameraman mode, works exactly as comma/dot in the game mode. In this way there's no need to press TAB and use arrows and rotate!

(finded it out by chance :))


July 25, 2012 at 5:03 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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