Completely Machinima

S3 E95 UE: Terra & ED: Into Black (Sept 2023)

Tracy Harwood Podcast Episodes September 20, 2023 Leave a reply

This week Damien has picked two space exploration shorts for us to review: one is made in UE called Terra by  @j.thomaswilson3543  and the other is an ED film called Into Black by  @indigointoblack . The film sequencing of the craft in flight in Into Black shows the competence of the creator whereas the human element encapsulated by the robot in Terra is particularly engaging and adds a different dimension to the storytelling. We discuss the similarities and differences of these approaches to space operas in general, and also how it contrasts to the Pixar approach of building in cuteness and sentimentality. In the end, however, we agree (with the exception of Tracy’s perspective) that these are great cinematic examples of machinima… but maybe you settle on Tracy’s side of the discussion?

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Show Notes & Links

Films – Terra, by J Thomas Wilson, released 10 July 2020, is made in Unreal Engine –

and Into Black, by Indigo, released 19 August 2023, is made in Elite Dangerous –

We also mention to the release of Starfield, launched on 6 September 2023 – find it here on Steam.

S3 E94 Half Life 2: Shelf Life (September 2023)

Tracy Harwood Podcast Episodes September 13, 2023 Leave a reply

This week we discuss one of the best HL2 films from the 2009 era – Shelf Life by Pixel Eyes Productions. The film, which is in two episodes, won a heap of creator awards back in the day and has definitely stood the test of time for us. There are some fun sci-fi and weird tropes integrated into the story, which we discuss, as well as the very well done sound design and original music. We’d love to see these guys pick this project back up, although of course, none of the issues they faced back then will be a problem now – just a whole set of new ones to overcome!

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Show Notes and Links


Chapter 1 Shelf Life: You Are What You Remember, by Pixel Eyes Productions, released 6 July 2009

and Chapter 2 Shelf Life: After the Scan

Music video by Pixel Eyes to E V Kain’s Yes No Maybe, made in iClone –

S3 E93 Twin Peaks (Sept 2023)

Tracy Harwood Podcast Episodes September 6, 2023 Leave a reply

An homage and ‘unofficial tribute’ to the classic 90s TV series, this week’s review discusses a film of a game demo created by Blue Rose Team for the PS1. The demo covers the intro and events surrounding Special Agent Cooper’s arrival at Twin Peaks and his encounter with Laura Palmer and the Black Lodge. Steeped in the mythos of the virtual world that has been created, well, at least that applies to some of the CM crew more than other/s, we discuss how well it translates to contemporary times, the story portrayed and the issues that arise from this type of transformative work.

YouTube Version of this Episode

Show Notes & Links

Preliminary discussion, Convergence Mod here

Sony’s update on its Ghostbuster’s Unreal test –

Twin Peaks film, released 8 August 2023 –

Download demo from here

Original Twin Peaks intro here –

S3 E92 Unreal Engine: Horror (August 2023)

Tracy Harwood Podcast Episodes August 30, 2023 Leave a reply

A truly terrifying short for some, Horror is more like an absurd dream for others. The film is made by Yang Hyunjun, released 4 June 2023. Its creator showcases some incredible scene detail, especially at the beginning of the film, but thereafter, loses a little of the pathos and credibility in the storytelling.

YouTube Version of This Episode

Show Notes & Links

Film, by Yang Hyunjun, released 4 June 2023

Projects Update 2 (August 2023)

Tracy Harwood Blog August 28, 2023 Leave a reply

What do AI, 48 hours and Second Life have in common? Not a lot, beyond some stunningly creative pieces that we found for you this week!

AI films are now beginning to come through and we have two very interesting ones for you to take a look at. The first is created/prompted by Matt Mayle (our feature image for this post) and has been made using Elevenlabs (voice), Runwayml’s GEN2 (animation) and ChatGPT4 (text concept) and is described an ‘AI assisted short’, called The Mass (released 26 April) –

The second is called The Frost, by Waymark Creative Labs (released 5 June). This has a distinct aesthetic to it, encapsulates a curious message, and overall reflects the state of AI animation at this stage, but its nonetheless a gripping piece. Its been created with DALLE-2 and D-ID –

Our next pick was made in 48 hours (well, with a bit of tweaking on top) and has been made in Unreal Engine, called Dude Where’s My Ship by Megasteakman. To be frank, the speed of its creation does show in the final quality of film, but its nonetheless an interesting development, especially given that I was a regular judge on the 48 Hour Filmmaking Contest a few years ago. The machinima version of that contest was managed and supported by Chantal Harvey for several years and its astonishing to think that this is the next generation of that process –

Finally, this week, a film made in Second Life, which lends itself to flash production, based on content from a plethera of creators on whom its content relies. The film is called The Doll Maker (released 27 May) and has been made by FeorieFrimon using various models and Paragon Dance Animations movements to a Beats Antique music composition called Flip –