Tuesday, 21 July 2015

2015 Passion Competition

We are pleased to announce that the 2015 Harb40 Passion Competition is underway...

The theme is Passion

Various dictionaries refer to Passion as:
  1. a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something 
  2. a strong feeling (such as anger) that causes you to act in a dangerous way 
  3. a strong sexual or romantic feeling for someone
  4. the state or capacity of being acted on by external agents or forces 
  5. a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept 

Create a film/write a short story about your interpretation of passion. 

Submissions will be open from August 8th to October 3rd.
Winners will be announced at the Machinima Expo on either November 21st or 22nd.

For those interested, please follow the links for more information:

Good luck with your entries!
- The Moviestorm Team

A beneficial learning tool for Asperger Syndrome students

Read the new Moviestorm Education case study about Kaimes School in Edinburgh

Mary Walters comes from a varied arts background and is the art teacher at Kaimes School for pupils on the autistic spectrum.

Animation forms part of their art curriculum as well as being a major opportunity for interdisciplinary learning. Her pupils enjoy the animation programme and it has proved to be an excellent teaching tool.

"The group loved the animation process and benefitted from the use of the CGI software ...a first time for the school."

One of a series of Unsung Stories - stories of people who were not born in Edinburgh, but who have come here to live. made at Kaimes School Animation Studios 2014

Read the full case study at

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Support for the Wan Smolberg Theatre in Vanuatu following cyclone Pam

Hello Moviestormers

Many of you may know of John Herd, aka Primaveranz, a passionate Moviestorm filmmaker and modder, who has also taken Moviestorm to one of the remotest places on our planet, introducing the tool to the people of Vanuatu as a mean to teach, as well as a tool to record their cultural history via the wonderful Wan Smolberg Theatre.

Watch 'I Bin Gat Wan Taem' ...

Since the islands were hit by cyclone Pam, with devastating results last week, the resilient islanders have started the massive rebuilding process, but of course they need all the help they can get.

John spent more than 10 years as a volunteer IT advisor for the VSA, in Port Vila, Vanuatu and Dili, East Timor, and has kindly passed on the bank details for the Wan Smolbag Theatre account in case you want to make a direct contribution to an important local organisation, that will use the funds effectively, as only local people can in such circumstances.

John says "Here are the details for the Wan Smolbag account. I know any money sent will be very well used as they have years of local knowledge and are extremely well organised and audited. Thanks for any help you can garner"

Please direct your contributions to:
ANZ Bank Vanuatu Ltd
Account name: WSB 25th Anniversary
Account number: 1651383
BSB code: 010982
Swift code: ANZBVUVX

Please feel free to share this message, and thank you

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Moviestorm gets recognition at TEDx talk by Libertaria creator Sabrina Pena Young

Readers of this blog may remember an exclusive guest post in September 2013 from Sabrina Pena Young telling of the story of Libertaria: her virtual opera, created entirely online using Moviestorm.

Award-winning composer and published author Sabrina Pena Young composes works heard in Asia, North America, Australia, and Europe.

Production for Libertaria was entirely online. The cast auditioned virtually through Music Xray and other sites, the animators worked together using Moviestorm, communication continued through e-mail and facebook.

Libertaria has been growing in popularity ever since the world premiere screening in October 2013.

Recently, Sabrina shared her story at a TED talk, answering the question of how you stage an opera without an opera company, or singers, or a stage, or anything except your own ideas.

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives.

Since 2011, TEDxBuffalo has taken place each October at Canisius College’s Montante Cultural Center. 

See Sabrina's talk at TEDx below:


Sabrina told Moviestorm: "I spoke about Moviestorm in the live presentation, and I am working on a new "rock concert" project that will be shown in music concerts this spring, also using Moviestorm.

"I will be giving an upcoming online presentation on machinima and music this April. It will be for an online music festival."

Sabrina added that she chose Moviestorm for the TED Talk because without the 'easy-to-use animation software' she wouldn't have been able to create her work Libertaria: The Virtual Opera. 
She said: "I have been using Moviestorm for several years now and have found it an excellent program for multimedia and music works, as well as presentations like the TED Talk.  
"For example, I am currently finishing up the commission Destiny: Eondwyr that incorporates live music performance with fantasy comic book panels created using Moviestorm.  
"I am also using Moviestorm for my upcoming virtual online performance Urban Night: Sounds, which is a musical performance of animated characters in a virtual outdoor concert venue, to be presenting online and in New York this spring. 
"Moviestorm has truly taken my artistic expression to the next level."
Sabrina said one of the reasons she recommends Moviestorm to musicians is because it is very affordable and easy-to-use, not to mention fun and easily customizable. 
She said that right now another Moviestorm animator, Matt Pittsinger, inspired by Libertaria: The Virtual Opera, is using Moviestorm to create a truly cinematic Baroque opera Aetius. 

Sabrina concluded: "My hope is that other musicians use machinima to explore innovative ways to share their original music with the world without any of the financial and societal boundaries of the past. Technology is truly the great democratizer of our age."


Further links

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Moviestorm 1.7 is now available!

After some frustrating delays, we are thrilled to announce that version 1.7 is now fully live for Mac and PC.
Users downloading from our website will now get a brand spanking new 1.7 installer, featuring the much improved Launcher ...

Grab of the new Launcher
Add to that a whole host of fundamental improvements that move Moviestorm to a new level of performance, and user functionality.
Here is a full list of what you can expect ...
  • Launcher re-designed - a cleaned up look, and a more intuitive layout
    • Drop down menus for Install a File, and My Moviestorm
    • Important messages are now displayed using a ticker-tape, with a button for More Details
  • Modder's Workshop
    • The re-texture wizard now allows re-texturing of parts based objects - select a part in the master browser and right click and select re-texture.
    • Updated door templates from TownBuildings.
    • Updated Cartoon Tree template.
  • Core functionality
    • Moviestorm now has a memory monitor in the top right, which shows what proportion of available heap space is being used, and if garbage collection is happening frequently - very useful for tracking whether your film is pushing your system resources too far!
    • More fundamental performance improvements attended to - we think we are getting close to getting them all!
    • Moviestorm should now function on case sensitive file systems.
    • Dialogue lines and Play Sound activities now show the filename for the audio file.
    • The viewpoint position when looking at a scene is now kept after going to the Cutting Room and back.
    • The viewpoint position when looking at a scene is now kept after saving and reloading your movie. It is also saved with a stock set.
    • The default viewpoint for looking at a scene now works the same as centering the viewpoint.
    • Content pack names now sorted when shown in the requirements for loading a movie, on the Load Movie screen.
  • Movie admin
    • Load backup versions of a movie now has a tick box rather than a separate load button, and works for movies not stored in the default place.
    • The settings Graphics panel now lets one choose how many lights can affect any object. Previously only 4 lights (three plus the sun) could illuminate something. Using a high value all the time can slow your framerate down - you might want to just turn it up for rendering.
  • UI improvements
    • When inserting time on the timeline, extra time can be added to held prop containers or gesture containers, to extend future gestures too.
    • Time can now be removed from the timeline if nothing is happening.
    • Dragging part of the timeline that does not have any activities will change which part of the timeline is visible- without changing the time.
    • Using the mousewheel over the timeline now zooms the timeline in or out.
    • When selecting 'Gesture' with an existing gesture sequence that is unfinished, open the existing gesture sequence rather than creating a new one.
    • When adding a filter in the Cutting Room, you can now choose a preset when applying the filter to all clips.
  • Set direction enhancements
    • A Facial Expression customiser has been added - an alternative to using a Mood Change, which allows you to change the facial expression only.
    • Motion Path activities now have an option to change between constant speed, and having a smooth start and stop - the previous default.
  • Resolved issues
    • File browsers remember recent folders, even if you cancelled the browsing.
    • Addons from the pre-1.0 version of Moviestorm now work when installed in the user Addon folder.
    • Walk cycle names are shown in sorted order.
    • Fix for a problem where videos could not be added to the clip bin in the Director's View (after they had been added in the Cutting Room view)
    • Trying to create a plain black image to add to the timeline (in the Cutting Room) now produces a black image rather than a white one.
    • Memory leak relating to buttons in the clip bins in the Cutting Room fixed.
    • Memory leaks relating to the script editor have been fixed.
    • Better removal of old movies from memory.
    • Warning message when old movies have not been removed from memory correctly to advise a restart.
    • The camera lens slider now shows the lens length based on selected real world camera details.
    • Sliders with numbers on should be easier to read now.
    • Fix for some look-at animation snapping that was occurring during improvised looking at the person who was talking.
    • Taking a camera snapshot now works even if the movie name includes an apostrophe.
    • Fix for an issue which changed the texture border of a screen when playing video on a different, similar, screen
    • Scrubbing is a lot faster in some situations.
    • Deleting clips (video and audio) from the Cutting Room, now also deletes the related files from your saved movie - if you save it!
    • When displaying the amount of time available to delete, always round it down so that typing in that amount always works.
    • Fix for a bug that can prevent the Cutting Room from loading, if an image was previously taken from a drive that is no longer available.
    • The recent folders list (after choosing a file) no saves properly.
    • Fixed some issues caused by converting filenames to lowercase in languages with different uppercase/lowercase mappings to English, such as Turkish.
    • Sorted the different templates when displaying lots of templates for a prop (doors needed this most).
    • When determining which content packs are used by a character, it is now correctly determining which pack any decals that are used are in, rather than just including all packs that had decals.
    • The prop browser can be hidden by clicking it's button again.
    • Images on the Load Movie screen are now reduced to the size shown on the buttons, rather than kept in memory at full size. This could use up a lot of memory if one had a lot of saved movies in the default save folder.
    • Changing the gait of a character that was walking through a door no longer fails depending on where the timeline marker is.
  • Content Pack improvements and fixes
    • TownBuildings - The doors matching those for the Town Buildings now have tintable architraves.
    • Filters01 - Changed some filter presets. The Red Cutout and Night Time filters have better named presets with more usable values.
    • CartoonWorld - Cartoon Tree is now scalable.
We would like to thank the Moviestorm team for all their hard work, and of course the Moviestorm users that helped us with testing the new version - we could not do it without you!