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Forum Home > Machinima Challenges > Les Artistes: Machinimaking Challenge - CLOSED

Gus Rockman
Posts: 928

In this challenge you will learn how to create a machinima in 5 easy steps, from storytelling and character/set creation to editing and publishing. Ideal for users that want to learn how to create machinimas or need to improve their skills, everyone is good at one or more aspects of machinima-making, so we can all learn from each other. Each week we will have a new assignment prepared for you, and by the end of the challenge you'll have created an awesome piece of art.

There's no doubt it takes a lot of time and dedication to master this amazing art form, but with this challenge you'll make sure to be on the right track towards achieving that.

How it works:

-There will be 5 assignments, 1 per week, based on (in chronological order): Storytelling, Character creation, Set creation, Recording, and Editing & Publishing.

-Users will create one unique short machinima by the end of the challenge.

-Each assignment will have a Tips & Tricks section, working as mini-tutorial for that particular task. There will also be an example of what we will be working.

-Judging will be with a 5 star rating system. The entry with more stars throughout the challenge will be considered the best entry, winning major spotlight in the next Simatography magazine. (All the entries will be featured in the magazine)

The prize:

-All entries will be featured in an article for the next Simatography magazine, and the best entry will get most of the spotlight.

-Everything learnt in this challenge will be extremely useful for future projects, that can be considered a prize too.

Meet the judges:

-Gus Rockman




With special help from Minraed!

Meet the artists:

-desAlien   |   A1   |   A2    |   A3    |   A4    |   A5

-ChristieL.   |   A1    |   A2    |   A3    |   A4    |   A5

-Bordelinski   |   A1   

August 1, 2012 at 4:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Gus Rockman
Posts: 928


Cupid in Training by desAlien  -   Characters   |   Sets     Raw footage

Genre: Comedy

Setting: Cupid training center – main hall, Ella’s house, Sean’s apartment, beach


Dub – cupid in training, age unknown, clumsy, usually creates big mess when he tries to bring together two people, has only one last chance to become a real cupid, invisible to humans but visible to animals.

Ella – 20 years old, art student, dreamy, outgoing, believes in true love, loves her dog Bobby.

Sean – 23 years old, shy, spends a lot of time in front of his computer but once in a while heads out for the beach.

→ Ella and Sean are meant for each other – they just don't know yet.

Eros – cupid trainee teacher, age unknown, looks older than Dub.

Bobby – Ella's (big) dog.

Yvi – Dub's fellow student, age unknown

Mya – 21 years old, Sean's neighbor

Random people in public places



“This is your last chance Dub. Don't blow it again or you'll never become a real cupid.” Eros gave Dub a stern look. “Don't disappoint me.”

“Don't worry Eri, um I mean boss, err Sir. This time I won't make any mistake!“ Dub set off euphorically, however he didn't come far before he stumbled and almost dragged a fellow student to the ground.

Eros gazed doubtfully after him. “How is this supposed to end well...”

As soon as Dub arrived on earth he started to forge out a plan.

“OK, so these two are meant for each other. All I have to do is mix the 'Open-Your-Eyes' elixir in their food or drinks and make sure they meet within 24 hours after they have drunk it.” He smiled confidently “That should be easy. After all, humans can't see me.”

Well, what followed was 'typically Dub' like Eros would say.

First Dub tried to enter Ella's home but he didn't take Bobby into account. As soon as the dog saw Dub he started growling and chased after him. Dub ran away as fast as he could, screaming all the way.

When Bobby finally gave up chasing him, Dub struggled to catch his breath. “Maybe this won't be that easy...”

Dub watched Ella's house until she left with Bobby for a walk. He walks into the house and looks around. “Are you kidding me? Only empty bottles... Now I have to cook something to insert the elixir.” The problem was Dub's lack of cooking skills and soon the whole kitchen was on fire. After the fire was finally out Dub had to recreate the kitchen before Ella came back. The room looked fine in the end. Dub didn't.

At night Dub entered Sean's apartment. To mix the elixir into Sean's orange juice was easy and after Dub briefly look around he realized he only had to break Sean's computer to get him out of the house. When Sean left the apartment in the morning to buy some stuff to repair his computer he meets his very attractive neighbor Mya in the floor and is invited for breakfast into her apartment.

After all this misfortunes just when Dub lost his hope he heard a familiar growl behind him. “Oh no!” Dub started to run, Bobby only a few feet after him. Ella (who of course can't see Dub) ran after Bobby. Dub managed to hide inside a toilet on the beach. When Ella finally caught Bobby Sean came around the corner.

“What a nice dog. What's his name? I'm Sean by the way.” Ella smiled. “His name's Bobby. I'm Ella” The two of them fell easily into conversation.

Meanwhile in the toilet Dub's appearance changed and he finally became a real cupid.


Inspiration: The basic idea was inspired by the play our amateur drama group is currently working on.

Opera: FACE TO FACE by ChristieL.  -   Characters   |   Sets   |   Raw footage

Genre: Drama

Settings: Finnington - Big $hot Casinò


Toshiko - wealthy wife of the local waka-gashira, after finding out her husband's cheat with her sister-in-law, decides to hire a killer to take care of the two lovers

Toni - Right arm of the local Don, hired to kill Kazuki.



The clouds get greyer, as the sun went down. Prelude of an upcoming autumn rain.

Toni and Toshiko, walked out of the theater, silently.

"I should thank you, for bringing me here, Toni-san" she said politely with a small bow. "I've truly appreciated your company."

"Glad to hear that." he replied shrugging.

They were approaching the stairs, when a cry caught Toni's attention.

"Well, well, well..look who finally showed up...Toni Cipriani and his girlfriend...."

In front of them, five men were pointing their gun. Toni immediately recognised Franco Forelli - one of his worst enemies - with a sinister smile on his face.

"What, don't you wanna introduce her to us? Did you forget all the manners?" he asked ironically surrounded by a chorus of laughs.

"Let us go." replied Toni coldly.

Franco gave a look to his men, and whispered "You three, take care of the woman." then, he put out a shotgun and said "I'll deal with him."

Toni stared him, shocked. 

Before he could even reach his gun, Franco pulled the trigger.

Toni bended on his knees. with a hand on his stomach. Behind him, he could hear Toshiko screaming his name.


"Be strong, Toni-san...we're almost done....we're safe...we're safe..."

Toshiko stopped the limo in front of her building. Then, she rushed out and went to open the back door; Toni gave her a sad glance.

"Those Forellis...If I only knew..." he moaned with a hand pressed on his belly, where he was shot. Blood was all over his tuxedo, and Toshiko wondered how he could bear the pain that much.

"Can you walk, Mr. Toni? You need any help?" she asked politely,  without staring him.

"I can handle it...I've lived worse..."  he whispered while dragging along the seat. As he went out of the limo, she could see his pale lips; so she passed her left arm trought his back and they slowly walked to the elevator.

Once inside, Toni leaned against the wall and took a deep breath. Toshiko pressed the button and looked at him, seriously concerned; while the doors closed behind them. The lift stopped with a jolt, and  - as the doors opened again - Toshiko felt Toni's breath on her neck

"Take me inside...please..." he moaned, while putting a hand on her shoulder "Have you got any painkillers?"

"I have to check...I hope so..." she whispered.

She opened the front door and made him lay on the floor; then, she started to undressing him. A strange sensation wrapped Toshiko, while her hands were unbuttoning his shirt. It was the first time she was touching a man, and it seemed she knew exactly what she was looking for.

Toshiko gave him a look, worried. His eyes were closed, and he was panting. The pain was unbearable; shivers were running across his body, synonim of shock. She passed a hand on his cheek, then she walked out of the room looking for some bandages.

"Please, fast...I don't think I can take this any longer..." he whispered.

When she went back, he was unconscious. She put the bandages down, and gave a look to the wound. On the belly, there was more or less seven small holes caused by the gunshot, and all around dried blood.

It was a luck, if he was still alive. She thought while passing a wet towel on his stomach.

It was a big luck.

Inspiration: I'm a fan of GTA. One of their chapthers, Liberty City Stories, inspired me to create this machinima. What comes between Toshiko and Toni is incomplete in the game, so I decided to fill the emptyness left from Rockstar Games.

A Fall from Grace by Bordelinski

Genre: Romance

Setting: MacKneely Horse Ranch


Sean Stewart – 22 year old male from a poor family. He has worked at the MacKneely Ranch since he was 14. Reserved, quiet and well educated but hot headed.

Amelia (Milly) MacKneely – 18 year old girl, only child of Mr.MacKneely. Spoiled but kind. Outgoing, flirty. Tends to be stubborn.

Mr. MacKneely – Gruff 52 year old male widower. Spoils Amelia. Loved his wife greatly. Respects Sean and his hard working attitude but they butt heads often. 


“Dang it, Son, you should have taken the job!” Mr. MacKeely shouts could be heard from outside the barn. “What kind of man would I be if I left you in the lurch like that, Sir.” Sean was tiring of this conversation and just wanted to get back to his duties. “A rich man, that’s what kind. Sean, you know I have appreciated all your help these past few years. But you and I both know I could never afford to pay you what Hart is offering. What is holding you back?”Unconsciously, Sean’s eyes land on Amelia as she leans over the fence to pet her pregnant mare. She smiles softly as the breeze tugs at her flowing blonde hair.

A quick spasm tugs at MacKneely’s heart. How long has his daughter been drawing hearts around Sean's name? And now that boy is finally looking her way. Just as fathers have been doing for generations, he mentally steps aside to allow another man to replace him in his daughter’s heart. With a sly grin, he leans in to whisper to Sean, “She is determined to ride Grace today, you know.”Sean’s face turns murderous. “But Grace isn’t broken yet. She’ll get hurt!” MacKneely merely stands aside as Sean storms over to Amelia.     

“What do you think you’re doing?!” Amelia ignores Sean’s brash statement and continues to mount the pure white horse. Sean tries to grab the reins.“I won’t let you do this. You are going to get hurt, Milly.” Amelia pulls backon the reins while looking down on Sean. “What do you care? You're leaving for that fancy, breeder-job with Hart. So you can just shove it, Sean Stewart.”Amelia, emotionally bereft at the thought of never seeing Sean again, accidently spurs Grace in the tender belly. Sean watches in horror as Amelia lands on her backside behind the horse.

Unhurt but momentarily stunned, Amelia lets out a surprised gasp as strong arms surround her and lift her from the ground. “Are you OK? Is anything broken? You idiot! You could have been killed. I could strangle you for being so pigheaded.” “Then do it!” Amelia shouts back, almost in tears. Instead, she feels his lips crush against hers. Just as her heart feels like its going to burst, Sean pulls back. “I didn’t take the job, Milly. I want to stay right here … with you. I love you, you spoiled brat.” Amelia throws her arms around Sean. “And to think,all it took was my short fall from Grace to make you admit it.”

August 1, 2012 at 4:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Gus Rockman
Posts: 928

Assignment #5: The Final Countdown

We're almost there! You just need to edit your movie and publish it, but it is not an easy task. Editing can be very time consuming but make your film look flawless if done right; special effects, transitions, colour corrections, choosing the soundtrack, you decide how you want to present your machinima, with your style.

Publishing can also be a bit tricky! If you want your movie to receive a lot of views, then you have to make perfect use of tags, descriptions and sharing. Once done you should always share your machinima everywhere, let them all see your creation!

Here we will be testing your machinima as a whole, the publishing part will only be like a tip for you to know how to make your machinima noticeable. :)

Task: You will gather all the raw footage you recorded in the previous assignment and create your machinima with them. Once done with your movie, you will upload it to YouTube (preferably) and share the link with us. (Read Requirements)

You can add special effects, voice overs, and everything you think you need to represent your idea. (Read Tips)

We will test how good your machinima represents the idea, how all the different elements are used in your vision and the emotions/ideas you want to transmit. 


  • Create your machinima in your editing program of choice (Windows Live Movie Maker, Adobe Premiere Pro/After Effects, Sony Vegas, etc.) and upload it to your YouTube account under the name: -title of the story- - Les Artistes Challenge.
  • Presentation: Video link + 1 snapshot of your machinima (taken from the "final product").


  • Use filters and special effects wisely. Everything you do in this process has to be there for a reason, it should reflect what you're trying to tell, if not it will ruin the viewer's attention and the experience.
  • Think thrice before you set the transition from each scene to the other. "What kind of transition do I want? Dissolve, fade to black, cut to black? Which is the best option for each scene? Do I use the same kind of transition everywhere or should I try doing it according to the mood of each scene?". Ask yourself these questions before deciding what kind of transition to apply, as this also cuts the expierence if done wrong.
  • Choose the soundtrack according to the mood of each scene, there's no need to use music in all of them. It all depends on what you want to transmit. Warning: Avoid using copyrighted songs as we need to be able to watch the video to judge it!
  • You can use voice overs, although it's very difficult getting VAs quickly enough. I'd recommend creating a thread at Voice Acting Alliance, here and on Facebook. You can make a great movie without voice overs, you should always work with the elements you have and the knowledge you have. There's always a way of dealing with stuff that's complicated.
  • Storyboards will be of great help for this. Plan ahead what you want and how you want it, make notes and write down everything you need before giving the final touch. Experiment with your editing programs before creating your machinima so you discover effects and techniques that will help you with your movie.
  • Pay attention to colour, saturation, brightness and contrast. You can adjust these with your editing program, but try to make it look natural, unless there's a reason otherwise.
  • BE CONSISTENT! You should only break that consistency if it is intended in the script. If not, there should be a flow from shot to shot.
  • Try crediting people that helped with the machinima, cc creators, voice actors, etc. at the end of your movie, and try making a short intro if possible to your video. That way it makes it look more professional. It doesn't need to be anything a la Hollywood or too complicated, sometimes just plain text looks great!

You'll probably need more than 2 weeks for this assignment, so don't worry if you can't make it to the deadline, I'll give extensions. ;)



August 1, 2012 at 4:17 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alina - desAlien
Posts: 61

Oh my, this sounds amazing. If only I had more time....

I really have to think about this. Until when do I have to decide if I participate or not?

August 1, 2012 at 4:47 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Gus Rockman
Posts: 928

I was thinking about all this week, but it all depends how many people joins. There's no problem if you need a bit more time. :P

August 1, 2012 at 4:56 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Matt Golden
Posts: 113

Count with me!

August 1, 2012 at 5:19 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 11

Heyy Gus, I'm really glad you're doing this. I see we had very similar ideas, and I believe lovely Sylentwhisper told you about it. I'm really soooo into joining, but I'm currently finishing a sim reality show, and I'm preparing for SIFF too... I'm afraid I might drop out really quick, but trust me, the excitement is not missing...

August 1, 2012 at 7:25 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Gus Rockman
Posts: 928

Maybe you could join for the first assignments and see if you'll be able to stay. I uderstand though, too many projects! :P

And yes, Sy told me. It's awesome that you came up with a similar idea at the same time, and you really worked on your ideas! If this is successful we could team up for another round next year. ;)

August 2, 2012 at 12:12 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 561

ooooh...sounds intriguing :O I'd love to join!


August 2, 2012 at 3:12 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Gus Rockman
Posts: 928

Yes yes yes! Join us! It would be awesome! :D


August 2, 2012 at 3:21 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 561

Sure ^^ Count on me :)


August 2, 2012 at 3:23 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alina - desAlien
Posts: 61

If it's ok with you I'd like to give it a try, even though I'm not sure yet if I'm able to stay until the end.

August 2, 2012 at 4:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Gus Rockman
Posts: 928

As long as you can do some assignments, it's ok. :)

Maybe you realise half way that you will be able to complete it, which would be awesome. The good thing is that each part of the challenge can be a stand-alone thing. If you drop out, you'll not learn the following parts, but you'll have learnt some other useful stuff. :)


August 2, 2012 at 4:58 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Chazz (Ipodtouchgirl21)
Posts: 79

I am totally going to do this :D I definitely need help with my machinima making in all aspects so I basically have to do this challenge :) Count me in!

August 2, 2012 at 11:02 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Gus Rockman
Posts: 928

Yay! Moar members! :D


August 2, 2012 at 11:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Alina - desAlien
Posts: 61

Ok, then you can definitely count me in. And of course I'm going to try my best to finish this challege :)

August 3, 2012 at 2:42 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Gus Rockman
Posts: 928

We are still accepting more members till this Sunday! Then I'll post the details for the first assignment. :)


August 3, 2012 at 6:33 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Matt Golden
Posts: 113

Ok, I'm so excited! :D

August 3, 2012 at 7:52 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 1183

Awesome to see everyone excited about this challenge. 


August 3, 2012 at 8:05 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Gus Rockman
Posts: 928



August 4, 2012 at 2:36 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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