Monthly Archives: July 2023

Projects Update 2 (July 2023)

Tracy Harwood Blog July 31, 2023 Leave a reply

Our final post this month takes a look at more projects made in Unreal Engine. Once again, we are blown away by the incredible diversity of creative work made with this engine and the power it unleases among its ever growing community of users. It is not always cheap to do, but it can sometimes be free! Check these out.

Scaled Up

Planet Earth as an 80K digital recreation, designed for ‘orbital scenes and cinematic scenes of Earth, this model is available as a download in the Unreal Marketplace. It took creator Tuomas Hakala (aka MegaMammoth) two years to create and boy does it show. Its not a cheap asset to buy at £550+, but if this is something you want to include in high fidelity work, its surely worth it –

Leo Torres has re-created and upscaled vision of his beloved Skyrim Whiterun world. He has made some assumptions about what the world might scale to, stating that although its hard to tell just how big the population of the game might be, he is pretty sure it will exceed what was seen in the game! He’s used experience and fan facts to produce something that is ‘lore-scale’ – wonderful, even if its not playable –


Another Unreal short is DISTANCE by Machina Infinitum, a 3D fractal short made using a plugin the creator has built for UE5 called Essence. Their intention for using the tool is create realtime renders, typically for VR. Its on the Marketplace here at a very reasonable $40, and check out the video, released 17 Oct 2022, here –


We’ve been talking about no/low cost movie making since (1996 actually) so its great to see that mantra being picked up by others. In this case, Taiyaki Studios have made a short demo, called Airship DJ, in UE5 and another on how they made it. Check out the films here –

Film, released 21 July 2022 –

Explainer featuring Cory Williams, released 21 July 2022, here –

S3 Special: Machiniplex Intro

Tracy Harwood Podcast Episodes July 28, 2023 Leave a reply

In this episode, Phil introduces the Machiniplex [Remastered] Collection, a curated selection of machinimas from the early years. Machiniplex was a site created to host classic machinimas at the point that Machinima [dot] com began to assert its energies over the community as a corporate entity. The site was a community endeavour, with both Ricky and Phil playing a pivitol role in managing the project to preserve the original content the community had contributed to the early original Machinima website… until such time as it ran its course. In this ep, Phil and Ricky reminisce about the origins of Machiniplex and its contributors.

To celebrate the release of the curated collection, we have each selected a film we recall with particular fondness and discuss its significance. Phil has remastered each of the films using AI, not always a perfect process, so we also discuss his approach and techniques in bringing the original works up to 4K standard.

We encourage machinima fans everywhere to check out these films, not only were they brilliant in their day but in terms of storytelling, remain some of our favourite creative works against which we often draw comparisons when reviewing latest films.

YouTube Version of this Episode

Show Notes & Links

Blahbalicious by Wendigo and Avatar, 1997 –

BOT by Digital Yoke, 2005? –

Edge of Remorse by Riot Films, 2006 –

The Snow Witch by Britannica Dreams, 2006 –

Phil’s trailer for the Machiniplex [Remastered] Channel –

Go to the Machiniplex [Remastered] Collection on Phil’s Vimeo channel here – website or access the playlist here –

S3 E87 Cyberpunk 2077: Don’t Fall Down, Cinematic Machinima Music Video (July 2023)

Tracy Harwood Podcast Episodes July 26, 2023 Leave a reply

A love letter to Cyberpunk 2077? In this week’s episode, the CM crew discuss a cinematic music video that perfectly captures a uniquely human feeling of people watching… and reflects on the phenomenal creativity of procedurally generated character content in the Cyberpunk world. The film is called Don’t Fall Down by Puttefnask and the song it accompanies is Pray by Haelos – it is perhaps a more fitting video than the original.

YouTube Version of this Episode

Show Notes and Links

Film, by Puttefnask, released 23 February 2023 –

Made using Cyberpunk 2077 Photo Mode mod v 1.0.20 by Otis_Inf, link here

Original music video, Haelos – Pray, released 26 Oct 2015 –

Falling Down (1993), analysis of meaning

Bruegel the Elder, painter, a discussion of his work here –

A useful link on street photography here

Projects Update – Not [ALL] Machinima (July 2023)

Tracy Harwood Blog July 24, 2023 Leave a reply

Our review of inspirational projects often includes work which is NOT machinima, and this week we have picked out a couple that we’re sure our followers will enjoy too… of course, interspersed with examples of great machinima projects. Not least, this includes the podcast’s Damien’s (aka Darth Angelus) Star Wars fan series, a stalwart of the Second Life machinima creator community, Tutsy NAvArAthnA, whom Tracy interviewed a couple of years back here, and the only stereoscopic machinima we’ve actually seen!

The Classics: from Star Trek to Star Wars

Firstly, a parody of the original Star Trek series, this is the latest episode of Mark Largent’s long-running Stalled Trek project. The ep is called The City of the Edge of Foreclosure (released on YT on 25 April). It is based on Harlan Ellison’s epic episode called The City on the Edge of Forever, which originally aired in 1969 should you want to look it up on IMdB. As Largent says in those importal words ‘You cannot have your fate, and Edith too’!

Damien’s Star Wars series, Heir to the Empire, is featured on SFW Magazine’s website here. The article explains Damien’s process for animating the original novel by Timothy Zahn. You can watch the whole series on his channel, or the latest episode here –

and plus, given the recent pap interest in Damien, we can confirm that he is NOT married, or at least, he’s never declared that status to us!

Stop Mo

This is a great fun short stop-mo by Winga (released 4 May). Yes its an ad for an AI-using mobile phone image tracking stabilizer called Insta360, but definitely worth a view. The back end of the vid is an explainer of the kit and how Winga shot the film, also worth a view –

The REAL Metaverse

In this short, Mon Metaverse (released 16 Jan 2022), well-known Second Life creator and documentarian Tutsy NAvArAthna, discusses his observations on the metaverse, the promise of Second Life and the sinister ways in which some are turning the ‘digital screw’ by orchestrating our online experiences. The film features the creative work on dozens of creators (see the film credits for details). There’s an advisory warning with this but, then again, that’s the point being made (its also our featured image for this post). With Second Life having recently celebrated its 20th year, its timely to share the work too –

Double Vision?

I knew if we waited awhile someone would share a stereoscopic machinima with us… if you recall, Tracy highlighted there were very few (if any) that had been made, a point arising from the panel discussion at the Oberhausen International Film Festival earlier this year (reported here). Well, here you go. This short has been made by the uber-talented Second Life creator Ataro Asbrink. It is called Mandala Moods 3D and is a hypnotising example of what’s possible. You will need anaglyph glasses to appreciate it of course –

S3 E86 RDR2: The MODDED Wacky West (July 2023)

Tracy Harwood Podcast Episodes July 20, 2023 Leave a reply

This week’s review is of 12 minutes of the wackiest of Wacky Wests we could ever imagine! BedBananas has used a a whole host of mods, created by Weds_Garbageday, to devise this truly surrealist Red Dead American dream machinima. Seeing is believing – and its probably one of the best machinimas of all time!

YouTube Version of this Episode

Show Notes and Links

Film, by BedBananas, released 10 June 2020 –

Mods creator, Glynn JKW – link to his Github page here and his Twitter here

Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill, Jr, available as a public domain movie here –

Link to critique of Dali and discussion of the meaning of his work here

Lainy Voom’s Push on Phil’s Machiniplex Remastered collection channel (Vimeo) here –

and Tracy’s discussion of surrealist machinima in the Journal of Visual Culture (2011) here