Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Apps: Moviestorm

A very professional package capable of producing impressive results.

A scene from a 3D video created using Moviestorm.
Anyone who has ever been impressed by the 3D cut scenes featured in many video games nowadays and fancied having a go at creating similar scenes themselves, should definitely take a look at the excellent Moviestorm app.  It's an impressive piece of software which allows you to create your own 3D CGI movie scenes.

When you first open up the application the plethora of options all seem a bit daunting but the menu system is very well set out and easy to pick up, so it doesn’t take long at all before you’re soon getting the hang of things and creating your own 3D CGI movies.

To give you an idea of the sort of scenes you can create, here’s a short 3D video I created using characters from my book How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy:

As you can see, for a first effort you can achieve very respectable results and it’s a fairly straight forward procedure to get your characters walking around the set, interacting with props and looking at the camera.  What makes it even better is that it’s not as complicated as you might imagine because Moviestorm have already done a lot of the groundwork for you.

To go into things in more detail, the movie creating process is broken down into six stages, namely, building your set, creating your characters, directing the action, filming, editing and finally rendering the finished scene, and although you initially have to go through a learning stage, once you learn the ropes the menus are well thought out and easy to navigate your way around.
The software comes with a decent selection of sets and characters already preloaded, so if you’re impatient and want to dive straight in you can simply use one of the ready made film sets together with a selection of pre-designed characters.  Alternatively you can tinker slightly with the preloaded options, dragging props around and rescaling them, or personalising the look of a character until you find an image you’re happy with.

Moviestorm comes with a selection of preloaded sets and
characters, or you can also use your own creations.
Once you’ve settled on your set and characters you're then ready to move on to the directing and although this seems a little daunting at first another great thing about Moviestorm is that even if you know nothing about animation you can still produce really professional results as all you’re basically doing is directing your characters by selecting from an in-depth library of actions and animations.

There are loads of actions and gestures available to assign to your characters, from the obvious ones such as walking around the set, talking to each other and sitting down, to more specific gestures such as slouching, laughing, sighing, scratching their heads, shaking their fist or your characters can even act out the act of being snowballed or shot at.  You can also instruct the characters on what mood they should adopt from a long list of options including happy, sad, angry, romantic, etc.  As you can see Moviestorm is crammed full of absolutely loads of options and you’ll generally find that whatever you want your character to do there’ll be an animation somewhere in one of the menus for them to do it.

Once you’re happy with the action the next step is to decide on the camera angles to use.  Again, there are ready made camera angles to choose from or if you’re after a specific shot you can move the camera around more precisely until you find an angle you’re happy with.  You also have the option of a fixed camera or a dynamic view where the camera moves around the set, so choose whatever works best for the scene you’re shooting.

Choose from various camera angles as you create your movie.
The editing stage presents you with the option to add special effects to your scene such as greyscale or heat haze, and again you can experiment with various options before eventually deciding on your final decision.  You can also add backing music from a list of ready made tunes covering numerous categories, or if you’re a musician you also have the chance to add your own compositions.  Moviestorm also includes the facility to add titles and credits to your movie choosing from a variety of fonts and styles.

Finally, once you’re happy with all the aspects of your movie you can select how you wish to render it choosing the frame rate, screen resolution and you can even opt to optimise it in 3D for use with 3D glasses.   Even after your scene is rendered though, you can still go back and make changes to your movie so Moviestorm is brilliant from a flexibility point of view.

As you’ve probably realised by now, Moviestorm opens up a number of possibilities for amateur movie creators such as creating videos for marketing or promotional purposes or just simply having fun.  As already mentioned I created a promo video featuring characters from my book How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy, so for an author Moviestorm provides the ideal chance to have fun recreating scenes from your book, but the possibilities are endless.

For example, for musicians Moviestorm would be an ideal way to create a computerised music video to promote your music or Moviestorm could also be used to produce training or instructional videos.  In fact anyone with a product or business to promote would be well advised to give Moviestorm a look to see if it’s something which might be of use from a marketing point of view.

Above all else though, Moviestorm is a fun piece of software to use and after working through the various stages to build up your scene from scratch it gives you a great sense of achievement to finally be able to watch your finished video.  It’s also a very professional package capable of producing impressive finished results.  Better still, the makers are currently offering a fourteen day trial of Moviestorm absolutely free so anyone waning to try it out for themselves can download the Moviestorm app from the Moviestorm website:


And to round things off, here’s a follow-up video I made using Moviestorm which recreates a scene from my book How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy and demonstrates some of the many gestures your characters can act out.

Follow Moviestorm on twitter:

Worthy Of A Bigger Audience is also on twitter:


Other recent posts:
TV: Fool Britannia
Movie: Frozen
Books: Blockbuster by Tom Shone
Graphic Novel: Pride Of Baghdad

Please note, all promotional images used on this blog remain the copyright of the respective publishers and are used in accordance with 'Fair Use' legislation for review purposes.

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