Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Moviestorm 1.6 has been released!

We are thrilled to announce a new major Moviestorm product update.

1.6 includes loads of  new features, such as making Moviestorm quicker and simpler to use through improved UI elements, better auto-improvisation. Collaborate has been massively improved - projects can be bundled up and sent to others. If they are missing assets for whatever reason (3rd party mods), there is assistance with identifying what is missing, and ensuring that whatever the case, the file can be opened through the use of placeholder objects and where necessary, culling conflicts on the timeline.
We have also massively improved the Modder's experience, from speed improvements to enabling Modders to licence to their packs.

If you are new to Moviestorm, you can now also try out the Themes during your trial before deciding what to buy.

For detailed information, please read the release notes

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Free Greetingstorm iPad Moviestorm App

Happy Christmas from Moviestorm!

Enjoy an early Christmas present from Moviestorm with our free Greetingstorm app!
A fun way to create an animated video greetings card for your friends and family.

Get it from your App Store

Choose between a warm indoor scene with Christmas tree, presents and a blazing fire, or a snowy outdoor scene with friendly snowmen.

Both scenes include a screen that you can use to show photos of your family, holidays, school events or anything else that you want to illustrate your greeting with.


Looking for inspiration?


If you are looking for inspiration, check out the Pet Power Rankings by Nahton Studios on YouTube

Happy Christmas from the Moviestorm team!

Friday, 22 November 2013

2013 Harb40 Passion Competition winners announced

Moviestorm are pleased to announce the winners for the film animation 2013 Harb40 Passion Competition.

The competition urged contestants to make a film set to a specific theme of passion. There were some restrictions on content, but films could be made using any animation program, video game or live action technique.

Two films submitted using Moviestorm made it into the winners list and the top five.

The winning films receive software prizes and the creators were interviewed on The Movies On Air Radio show.

The competition has received other sponsorship from Sony and Reallusion.

Creator of the competition, Craig Harbison said:

"Animation programmes like Moviestorm, The Sims and iClone are taking over in the competition.
"One of the nice things about the prizes like Moviestorm is the winner is given a choice of a free user license or to receive credits to purchase more gaming assets and enhance their animation video skills."
Craig (Harb40) began experimenting with animation back in 2005 after playing a game called 'The Movies'. After following a website called The Movies Underground, he was introduced to other games animation tools such as Moviestorm. Today, Moviestorm is now one of his primary animation programmes. 

Winners List

Here is the official winners list:

1st Place
Biggstrek -- Haunter of the Dark -- made with iClone

2nd Place
Josephkw -- Pickman's Model -- made with MS

3rd Place
D.L. Watson -- Dichotomy -- Live action film

4th Place
Mystery Egypt -- Friends -- made with MS

5th Place
Nahton -- Your Brains -- made with The Movies

The winners were announced during the Machinima Expo on November 17th.

A list of all films submitted can be found here.

Craig Harbison added: "We also added a short story category this year. The top story was submitted by Richard Poshard, aka RPO.

"Along with some professional writing software he will receive a one year subscription to a Moviestorm themed bundle or 5000 Moviestorm points (if he is already subscribed) to either turn his work into a short video or help to illustrate the story or any other work he has done."

Sony Creative Software, HitFilm and Reallusion along with Moviestorm were the sponsors again this year for the video category and Scrivener, Reallusion and Moviestorm sponsored the short story category.

A list of all 4 stories submitted can be found here.

Further links

To find out more about the competition, visit 
Visit the competition Facebook page at
You can also follow the competition on Twitter @Harb40PassComp

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Education: A Cinematic Approach to Filmmaking with Moviestorm

Here at Moviestorm we are delighted to bring you a case study by Gerry Paquette, Game Development Professor at Algonquin College, Ottawa, Canada.

Mr Paquette discovered Moviestorm after searching for an filmmaking alternative for his students.
Here, he tells of his journey with Moviestorm and the effects it has had on his class, education and learning. 

Video game cutscenes and cinematics are staged within computer generated environments populated by virtual actors whose performances are recorded using simulated lights and cameras. 

As experienced gamers, my students are inherently aware of this fact making it hard for them to justify all time and effort required in learning how to operate standard digital video.   

My efforts to resolve this inadequacy lead me to consider using machinima and further research along these lines eventually led me to Moviestorm - a tool which removes all these hurdles making machinima accessible to all.

My students took to Moviestorm quite readily thanks to its game-like features.


Popular features


One of the most popular modules was the Dressing Room where they quickly figured out how to create virtual representations of themselves and their classmates often with hilarious results as they pushed the various parameters for eyes, ears, and noses to their limits. 

Navigating within the Set Workshop and Directors View was equally intuitive through the use of the WASD keys commonly used in games. 

Female students, in particular, seemed to appreciate the Sims-like interface used to control a characters movements and interactions with the set or other characters.

As an educator, one Moviestorm feature that I greatly appreciate is how it imbeds the classic “rule of thirds” composition guidelines into the user interface. 
 Rather than simulate real camera controls such as tilt, dolly, and pan, Moviestorm presents users with compositional lines attached to the characters which facilitates the placement of their bodies and eye levels within a picture plane that is subtly divided into thirds. 

Reflecting real-world limitations


A few students did experience some frustration when they realized that Moviestorm did not provide complete freedom in the manipulation of objects and characters which they are accustomed to having when working with regular 3D modeling and animation software. 

However, I found that these virtual world constraints to be a great benefit as they reflect the real-world limitations that need to be overcome when making movies.

There’s a lot of trickery involved in making the audience believe what in what is presented to them on the screen and many of the techniques developed for film are equally effective in Moviestorm.


Student examples 


The illusions of a character falling into a bottomless pit, for example, can be created in both worlds through the use of a green screen. One of my students needed to make his character appear as if he had been shrunk down to the size of an action figure. 

Just as in real filmmaking, the way he found to accomplish visual effect was to place the character onto a wooden floor and surround him with oversized desk props such as a lamp and computer.

Working with virtual sets, rather expansive 3D environments, is also useful in terms of screen direction.
Since most sets feature just 3 walls, it’s practically impossible to place your camera in such a way that will break the 180-degree rule which must be adhered to diligently in order to keep the audience oriented in a scene.


Thanks to this new approach, I’m finally able to see cinematic results in the work produced by my students.

There’s nothing so rewarding for me then to cut them loose for their final assignment and watch as the group together to create engaging movies featuring gun fights, bank robberies, car chases, alien encounters, and even cast themselves as the struggling protagonists in a zombie apocalypse. 

The time and effort they put into these movies, often going above and well beyond my requirements, clearly demonstrate just how powerful a tool like Moviestorm can be in enabling learners.


Read this and other education case studies on the Moviestorm website at

Monday, 21 October 2013

Stars and Storm 2013 winners announced

The Movies FR in association with Moviestorm are proud to present the results of the Stars and Storm 2013 competition.

 Alutt, admin of The Movies FR, said: "All in all, every entry was very atmospheric and very interesting to watch. 

"We wish a big congratulations to all the participants and thank them for taking part - we hope they had fun creating the videos and everyone really enjoyed taking part.

"For a better understanding of how we determined the final results and also our podium, we present two charts, one for the technical aspects and one for the script aspects, and also a compilation of the jurors comments for each movie."

Jury for videos: Poulet Noir + Vincent C. + Walvince + Alutt

(=Direction + Editing + Soundtrack + Scenery + Costumes)
1) Contribution n°4: Melopee - The French Kiss >>> 15
2) Contribution n°1: Kibishipaul - Endurance >>> 14,25
3) Contribution n°5: DoublePrimePictures - Yearning >>> 13,25
4) Contribution n°3: Mysterysgames - Rescue from the Past >>> 12,875
5) Contribution n°2: 65radius - Un Amour Difficile >>> 12

(=Script + Dialogues + Characters + Originality +Theme)
1) Contribution n°1: Kibishipaul - Endurance >>> 14
2) Contribution n°3: Mysterysgames - Rescue from the Past >>> 13,875
3) Contribution n°2: 65radius - Un Amour Difficile >>> 12,5
4) Contribution n°5: DoublePrimePictures - Yearning >>> 11,875
5) Contribution n°4: Melopee - The French Kiss >>> 10,875

FINAL RESULTS (/20) (=average marks based on the 2 previous ones)

1) Contribution n°1: kibishipaul - Endurance >>> 14,125

FEEDBACK COMMENTS: An interesting and well described "historical event", even if there are a lot of subtitles (partly a little hard to follow/read). Scenery are outstanding (except for unrealistic water) with a real sense of place. A lot of atmosphere but there's a lack of ambient music and sounds; however the ones used are appropriate. Some chosen or created animations are a little clumsy (for instance men dragging the sledge), but on a whole there are really original aspects too (soccer ball game, sledge, etc.). Direction, even if not "perfect" sometimes, is at a very good level. An interesting machinima on several accounts!

2) Contribution n°3: mysterysgames - Rescue from the Past >>> 13,375

FEEDBACK COMMENTS: The story and the message about following your dreams is nice, with a sympathetic character, although the end sounds a bit like a demo. Scenery are various and well done (at the exception of a few textures choices and some sets which looks a bit Spartan). Some costumes are a little bland, although the contrast between the old and young hero was very well done. Nice direction and camerawork, despite maybe a lack of tempo and a few clumsy camera shots. The work on expressiveness (faces, gestures) is vey well done. Very nice music too.

3) Contribution n°4: Melopee - The French Kiss >>> 12,9375

FEEDBACK COMMENTS: Technically, the movie is superb. Lighting, sets, camerawork are all delightful, and the black and white works wonderfully. But the movie lacks tempo a little. There is a lot of atmosphere, the romantic and mysterious music matches well. Characters' gestures are sometimes a bit caricatured and it may be confusing at times as to who was saying what. Nice scenery and costumes. Unfortunately there is very little story, dialogues are minimalists and the end is quite banal.

4) Contribution n°5: DoublePrimePictures- Yearning >>> 12,5625

FEEDBACK COMMENTS: A melancholic and poetic movie, with well written dialogues. The opening sequence is superb and raised expectations for the rest of the movie, which is unfortunately not at the same level. Direction and editing (including special effects) are well done, but lacks of coherence. The music is well chosen and used. Scenery and costumes are quite OK, but sets are sometimes minimalists and lightning is not always effective. Maybe some kind of old movie filter over black and white could have increased the ambiance. The work on expressiveness (especially faces) is handsome. Ambiance and tempo are also quite good. The story is simple but well written, presenting a central character with true inner beauty. Unfortunately the 'Old times' theme of the contest is not obvious.

5) Contribution n°2: 65radius - Un Amour Difficile >>> 12,25

FEEDBACK COMMENTS: A simple and special but cute and offbeat story! Thanks for the French subtitles (but be aware with automatic translators: results are very random!). The (chosen) cheap music is quite funny. There are very good soundtrack ideas, but the sound editing is a little clumsy, although sound match perfectly with action, just like in an old silent movie. Direction is quite OK; tempo+ movie editing are good. Scenery is nicely constructed; sets and costumes give a bizarre and interesting atmosphere.

*1st prize: kibishipaul
1) 3000 MS points on content packs from Moviestorm:
2) The all 6 exclusifs French mods on TMFR made by Cinecitta:
3) a £25 gift voucher on Moddingstorm by Chris Ollis:

*2nd prize: Mysterysgames
1) 3000 MS points on content packs from Moviestorm:
2) The all 6 exclusifs French mods on TMFR made by Cinecitta:
3) a $30 gift voucher on Mods and More by Squirrelygirl:

*3rd prize: Melopee
1) 3000 MS points on content packs from Moviestorm:
2) The all 6 exclusifs French mods on TMFR made by Cinecitta:
3) a $15 gift voucher on Mods and More by Squirrelygirl:

PLUS *4th and 5th prizes: DoublePrimePictures and 65radius
1) 500MS points on content packs from Moviestorm:
2) The all 6 exclusifs French mods on TMFR made by Cinecitta:

Friday, 18 October 2013

Exclusive Moviestorm Halloween education offer: engage your students

As Halloween approaches, and kids all over the word gear up for the world of ghosts, ghouls and assorted horror, why not use the theme to engage them in classic literature and films?


 As this great article from Barnes & Noble suggests, horror should be embraced as a genre that inspires students to learn:
Clown5_250px.jpgCombining Moviestorm and horror is a great way to enthuse your students with writing. They can write the script to a short story, and quickly bring it to life as a film, without the usual logistical restraints associated with live filming, such as equipment, cast, crew, location and of course, budget.

Moviestorm supports all levels of horror, from pumpkins and graveyards, through to modern vampire stories and all sorts of ghastly monsters. People of all ages and abilities use Moviestorm - you do not need any technical, creative or filmmaking skills to get going with it's intuitive game-style interface.

To help you get started, we have assembled a fantastic seasonal offer for your school and students, allowing you all to get productive and start creatively enjoying film and literature horror for Halloween.

Buy 5 Moviestorm Education licences, get 5 free
Annual Home Use licences are under $5* per student

Contact me now -

Promotions open until 31 October 2013, so get going now to avoid missing out!

* Or £ / Euro equivalent

Featured Movie

Haunted House movie
Haunted House ...ghost caught on video!

How to Introduce Moviestorm
Advanced Skills Teacher and education advisor, James Durran, uses Moviestorm to enthuse students, ages 11-18, in English and visual literacy. 
Download this engaging introductory lesson plan

6th Form Media Teacher, Steve Thorne, uses Moviestorm to allow his students to introduce and practice the art of filmmaking.
Download this engaging introductory lesson plan

Student Activity
As a first filmmaking exercise, why not get your students to make a simple 'shocking' Halloween film like the one above?  Use the ''hide'/'unhide' function to make your monster appear on set when the viewer last expects it!

Watch other movies by teachers and students

Featured Packs
Long Road college students using Moviestorm
Enter the graveyard, if you dare. Bones, the skeleton is sure to be there...

Long Road college students using Moviestorm

Evoke the passion and thrill of your favourite vampire movies with this darkly romantic pack.

Explore all our packs

Halloween special: Moviestorm is great for horror

As Halloween approaches, we are reminded about the fantastic horror machinima created by our users, so we thought we would draw your attention to their craft, and offer you an incentive to get youself or your friends involved in telling your own blood-curdling, ghoulish or just plain deeply-disturbing stories in Moviestorm.

Check out some of the movies and content that could be yours below, and start scaring people.  Its a lot of fun!

Shocking stuff!

Featured Horror Movies
The 15th Floor by KV

By KV, Moviestorm Filmmaker
"When Andrew is hired to disprove hauntings on the 15th floor of a hotel, he gets much more than he bargained for."

Sacrifice by Steve3416

By Steve3416, Moviestorm Filmmaker
"A young man plays a dangerous game with the supernatural and demonic world."

Frankenstein by Kibishipaul
by Paul Carr, English Teacher
"A new series I am creating for students of ESL and or literature, introducing classic stories in a short machinima movie ..."


Featured Content

Sample horror characters scene
Male and Female Monsters
Creepy, kooky, spooky and quite horrible heads for male and female Moviestorm characters. The packs includes werewolves, zombies, vampires, and other monsters.

Sample Halloween content scene
Enter the graveyard, if you dare. Bones, the skeleton is sure to be there...

Sample Twilight promotionalposter using Moviestorm
Evoke the passion and thrill of your favourite vampire movies with this darkly romantic pack.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Libertaria: The story behind the virtual opera, by composer Sabrina Pena Young

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

In this exclusive guest blog post, Sabrina tells the tale of the story behind the virtual opera and why she chose Moviestorm.
"I've been wanting to create a film for a long time, and Moviestorm had the perfect tools that I need to make my dream of a sci-fi animated opera a reality.
Sabrina's work has been performed at venues like the Beijing Conservatory, the International Computer Music Conference, Miramax's Project Greenlight, the Athena Festival, the New York International Independent Film Festival, Art Basil Miami, Turkey's Cinema for Peace, and Pulsefield International Exhibition of Sound Art.

The story behind Libertaria

In 2011 I started writing a story about a young geneticist that worked in a cutting edge facility that absorbed the energy from the ill and dying to make a new serum that rejuvenated the younger, healthy populace. In the short story, the scientist, orphaned at a young age, discovered that one of her test subjects was actually her mother.

The short story evolved over time and instead o ffocusing on the scientists, the young girl was placed in the genetics factory herself, escaping it to discover her addict father runs the resistance against the factory. With a hundred twists and turns, Libertaria tells the story with true operatic drama and sci-fi energy.

Libertaria is an opera for the Digital Age. Created with virtual characters in a computer-generated environment, Libertaria is easily disseminated through the internet and simple DVDs. An animated opera offers a lower cost than a full live production, although there has been acoustic versions of songs like Lonely Mother’s Cry.

In the end Libertaria is a groundbreaking opera experiment. Creating an opera for a fraction of a budget, an opera that requires no rehearsals to enjoy, appeals to the masses, and has a diverse cast of characters reflecting the global nature of our culture.

Libertaria questions our current sociopolitical reality and the actions of the government, it questions war and even family.

Libertaria challenges musically and ideologically and will change our time.

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." 

Why Moviestorm?

"I enjoy using Moviestorm because it is very intuitive, affordable, and easy-to-use. As someone with a film and music background, it was easy to jump into animation head-first using Moviestorm's excellent tools and simple platform. 

For my film Libertaria: The Virtual Opera I needed to use a program that could quickly lip sync over an hour of original vocal music, and Moviestorm was up to the task with the help of talented Moviestorm animators like Kera Hildebrandt. 

The easy integration of Moviestorm footage with third-party software like Final Cut and the use of settings like Cel Shading helped Libertaria: The Virtual Opera have a distinct graphic novel with epic visual effects for a micro-fraction of the cost. 

The Moviestorm community is invaluable and incredibly supportive, even volunteering time and talents towards production. Moviestorm made my dream a reality. I look forward to using Moviestorm for many years to come."

More information

What:  World Premiere Screening of LIBERTARIA: THE VIRTUAL OPERA, by Sabrina Peña Young

Where: Calvary United Methodist Church, 301 1

When: 3:00 P.M., Saturday, October 5th

Cost: $10 Donation. FREE admission for students (w/ID).

Contact: Call the church office at 561-585-1786 or email

Further links

Official Film Website:
Soundtrack :

Baby Machine from Libertaria (Rough Cut) Youtube Link:
Opening Credits (Rough Cut) Youtube:

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Becoming a successful filmmaker with Moviestorm

Here at Moviestorm we are inspired by stories of success, and how our software helps users to become successful filmmakers.

We are pleased to share the news that popular filmmaker D.L Watson has won an award for his film 'The Unspoken' at the Oregon Independent Film Festival.

The popular 2011 movie starring Nick Pemble and Erika Antonsen scooped two awards for the 'best short film' category and also 'best actor in a short film'.

D.L Watson said:
"Moviestorm was very useful when shooting The Unspoken. I needed to figure out how to shoot a conversation inside of a car - maintaining the 180 degree rules, and to test out some visual literacy I had learned.

"I think any indie filmmaker out there needs to give Moviestorm a try. It's fast, easy, and will ave you money and time."

'The Unspoken' is hidden from public viewing but will screen at Clinton Street Theater in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday September 22nd.

The Red Carpet and Awards Ceremony will be Saturday, September 21st at the Clinton Street Theater and tickets for the entire festival, including the screening of the short film can be purchased here.

D.L Watson created the screenshots of film 'The Unspoken' and storyboarded using Moviestorm.

  "Instead of paying actors to come on set and block it out in real-life, I quickly was able to duplicate the scene in Moviestorm in the comfort of my home.  The great aspect about Moviestorm is I can quickly set up a scene, apply some quick animation and set-up a camera. Even better, I can even get a preview of what focal length I need lens-wise to get the look I'm going for. Having this information helps me save time and money on set."     

The trailer for 'The Unspoken' can be seen below.


Additionally, D.L Watson's 2010 short film 'The Letter' has been recently remastered in HD. The Letter was shot live action and storyboarded using Moviestorm. The video can be seen in HD quality below.

Further links

D.L Watson in a previous case study with Moviestorm:
D.L Watson's Moviestorm page:
More about D.L Watson:

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Cafe Insomniac - from Moviestorm animation to novel


Cafe Insomniac - from animation to novel

A popular Moviestorm animation titled Café Insomniac has now been officially released as a novel that is available for download on Amazon, Kobo and the iBookstore. This is the brief story of its journey from Moviestorm animation to novel by its creator Mark Capell.


Discovering Moviestorm

"I remember coming across Moviestorm just after I'd finished directing a TV series. I needed a fresh creative outlet and thought about making a live-action short film, but I didn't want to have to deal with the logistics.

Then I came across Moviestorm — animation software that didn't require traditional animation skills. I could just concentrate on making the most of my directing skills. I couldn't believe my luck.

The journey

I started with a couple of short films. After that, I started thinking of ideas for series. That's when I came up with the idea for Café Insomniac. I wasn't sure how it would develop, but I was enthralled by the mystery of the original premise — an insomniac gets lost in the space between dreams and reality.

In the spirt of experimentation, I didn't plan anything. I wanted to make the series as surreal as possible. No idea was too wild. And I was lucky to find some great voice actors among the Moviestorm community.

The response from people who watched it was overwhelming.

A couple of years on from the last episode of Café Insomniac, I wrote a novel, a thriller, that shot past The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo to reach the top of the Amazon crime and thriller charts. I was committed to writing.

And after finishing a couple more books, I rooted around for my next idea. A little voice suggested that Café Insomniac wasn't finished, that I'd only touched on the surface of Justin's strange world. Café Insomniac became my next novel. 

Story development

Has Café Insomniac changed since those experimental days? Well, yes, quite a lot. The storyline is different. There are new characters. In some ways it is stranger than the original series but also makes more sense. If you read it, you'll see what I mean.

And in the novel, the story of Café Insomniac is told entirely from Justin's point of view. This allows the reader to get inside his mind, to feel his fear and confusion, as events unfold and become ever more strange.

Why Moviestorm?

But the guiding slogan from those Moviestorm days has remained the same: "I don't know what's real and what isn't. And which is most dangerous."

Without the Moviestorm version of Café Insomniac, I don't think I would have had the courage to attempt a full-length story with such an outlandish premise. It was thanks to the software and the positive reaction from the Moviestorm community that I could embark on writing the novel, thinking, hey, this might just work."

Cafe Insomniac is now available for download from Amazon, Kobo, and the iBookstore. There is a special promotion on Amazon for the first few days at 99p.

Further links

More about Mark Capell

Official website

Buy Cafe Insomniac

Other books by Mark Capell

Thursday, 8 August 2013

'Animation as a killer marketing tool, and Moviestorm's role' from the New York Film Academy

Moviestorm are pleased to promote a post from the New York Film Academy, which explores the history of animation, it's role as a marketing tool, and Moviestorm's role in advertising and marketing.

By Zeke Iddon, lead content consultant for the New York Film Academy

For decades, animation has been a major vehicle for advertisement. In fact, animated commercials actually predate animated features by many years. In the early 20th century, when Vaudeville was giving way to silent movies, animated ads for various products were often shown on the big screen, accompanied by sales pitches. By the time Gertie the Dinosaur, the first character-based animated feature, came to the screen in 1914, audiences were already accustomed to animated marketing messages.

As animation became more advanced, commercials continued to be important. Today, many well-known mascots and beloved advertising campaigns are delivered through animation: From talking M&Ms to the GEICO gecko, many brands have created iconic advertising campaigns through the use of animation.

Why Animation is So Effective for Marketing

Part of the reason why animation is so valuable for marketing is that it interacts with the brain differently from real-world imagery. Animations are a type of caricature that exaggerate the features of their subjects. The resulting combination of bright colors and simple shapes can be instantly absorbed by the brain, making animation extremely adept at triggering an emotional response.

Today, animation is just as relevant as it was a century ago. If anything, it's even more vital than it used to be as a generation of tech-savvy web users has little patience for text
. The fast-paced, simple-to-digest nature of animation makes it very appealing for many businesses.

Of course, there are a few other reasons why animation is a popular option for marketers:
  • Animation is not constrained by the limits or reality, allowing messages to be delivered through a more symbolic or fanciful approach than would be possible in live-action commercials.
  • Unlike static print advertisements, animation can tell a story and capture the viewer's attention through motion and sound.
  • Animated commercials age more gracefully than those featuring live actors, who can quickly become dated by clothing, hairstyles or other factors.
  • Animation appeals to a wide segment of viewers, and it's possible to direct a marketing message at several demographics at once.
  • It's simpler to brand animation than live-action advertising. Many of the mascots that serve as brand spokespeople have been “alive” for more than 50 years thanks to clever reimagining.

Whether a business is planning to launch a full-scale marketing campaign with animated advertisements or just wants to take advantage of animation to jazz up some existing informational materials, there are plenty of compelling reasons to use animation for your business.

The Cost of Animation: A (Potentially) Limiting Factor

If there's one thing that prevents many businesses from taking advantage of animation in their marketing campaigns, it's cost. A simple live-action ad featuring a single talking figure in a business setting may be boring, but it's affordable. Animation can be more labor-intensive and costly, especially if outside vendors must be hired to complete it. When businesses do try to cut corners on animation, the results can turn off potential customers who are accustomed to higher-quality work.

Animation is expensive because it's labour-intensive. Whereas a static image for a print ad must be drawn only once, animation requires 24 illustrations per second of film. It takes a staff of 15 artists approximately three months to create a single half-hour animated television show. Despite the many benefits of animated advertisement, that sort of expense simply isn't in the budget of many businesses.

Fortunately, there are a few solutions that can help make animation more affordable for marketing departments. Computer-generated animations are not as labor-intensive as traditional cel-shaded animation, and audiences are growing increasingly accustomed to the 3D-rendered look in animation. In addition, talented illustrators from places like the NYFA are constantly entering the workforce, willing to apply their degree-level skills for a comparatively inexpensive graduate wage.

In many ways, video games have paved the way for improvements in animation, and some creative players have learned to modify existing animations from games into completely new products through an artform called machinima.

Moviestorm takes advantage of some of the technology behind machinima to enables artists to create unique animated features. The software is affordable and intuitive, and it offers the first video-sketch tool. 
Users can utilize the content packs offered in the download and customize them to suit their needs, and affordable bulk licenses are available for business use. If you're curious, you can try a free 14-day sample and see whether Moviestorm can provide the advertising solution you've been looking for.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The 'Stars and Storm 2013' Movies FR competition now launched

A new machinima competition called 'The Stars and Storm 2013' has now been launched by The Movies FR (the French speaking community for The Movies, Moviestorm and Muvizu).

Alutt, admin of The Movies FR, said:
"After the first edition of Stars and Storm in 2010 which had great success, the French-speaking Moviestorm community felt it was about time to launch a new edition of this international contest.

"The Old Times theme condition came to us as we were looking for a concept that could gather various genre or subject of movies.

"In addition, we wanted to erase the language barrier, so the no dialogues idea emerged as a second condition."
The registration period for the competition runs from July 21st to September 30th, and the winners will be published in the results on October 15th.

Alutt added:
"The Movies FR has been a strong supporter of Moviestorm since 2008 and this contest is an occasion to encourage all users, including new ones, to create movies.

"It's also the occasion to acknowledge and encourage the great contribution of some very talented modders such as our partners Shirley Martin (Squirrelygirl) and Chris Ollis. It will also be a good occasion to enjoy new movies from all over the world and spend some good time creating or watching them."
More details about the competition can be found on the following forum here

Competition conditions:

The general conditions to enter the competition will be:
- free subject or genre but in adequation with a general theme : "Old Times"
- maximum one movie per director
- the movie must not have been published on the internet before 2013 - to enter the competition, directors must post a presentation of the film and a link towards the film on the special Stars and Storm topic on TMFR (so they will have to create a free account if they don't have one yet)

1st prize:
1) 3000 MS points on content packs from Moviestorm:
2) The all 6 exclusifs French mods on TMFR made by Cinecitta:
3) a £25 gift voucher on Moddingstorm by Chris Ollis:

2nd prize:
1) 3000 MS points on content packs from Moviestorm:
2) The all 6 exclusive French mods on TMFR made by Cinecitta:
3) a $30 gift voucher on Mods and More by Squirrelygirl:

3rd prize:
1) 3000 MS points on content packs from Moviestorm:
2) The all 6 exclusive French mods on TMFR made by Cinecitta:
3) a $15 gift voucher on Mods and More by Squirrelygirl:

Further links

The Movies FR website:
Vimeo link:
More competition information:

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Moviestorm in Education: Long Road College, Cambridge

Students from Long Road Sixth Form College recently completed their animation coursework videos using Moviestorm.

The Level 2 Media students were asked to come up with a short three to four minute moving image product using Moviestorm. The groups gave initial ideas into a typed proposal and from this generated storyboards and in some cases design sheets. They then moved on to producing their final videos, which can be watched here.

Two groups (3 & 4), one all boys and the other mostly girls, chose a scenario about teenage party life. Two groups (1B & 2) chose to do a music-based production, a music video and a reality music TV show. The last group (1A), ventured an ambitious first episode of a ‘Youtube’ style series.

 Long Road Media teacher Steve Thorne said:

"Great time and effort was spent adding the small details. One example was the music video group’s work to recreate the band to look the same as the real one! After working with Moviestorm again this year I think working in pairs generates the best results and group time management."
Before the final Moviestorm videos were produced, the groups of students worked on either the characters or settings and then brought them together to add the camerawork and action.

Steve chose Moviestorm to give the students the opportunity to work with a 3D animation software so they didn’t have the same limited scope of the usual video productions shooting scenes around the college. He added:

"This was their chance to use filmmaking techniques in a virtual setting. They also had complete control over every element within their production. I think the generated animations link well to game design and advanced 3D animation software packages."

"Overall it’s been a fantastic resource for the course. The students have really taken to it and enjoyed the production work very much. It’s definitely going to be built into the course more next year!" 

 The initial production stages followed the Moviestorm six-stage production process. All groups were very committed to the ‘Sims’ style character design stage and the production of the virtual settings. CEO of Moviestorm Andrew Kennedy said:
"The students at Long Road demonstrated a rapid development of filmmaking skills and final sophistication between their demos and final movies, and it is nice to see ideas that were formulated whilst they initially played with the software for the first time coming through in their final pieces. 
Steve Thorne needs to be congratulated in creating this module, as it is giving the students an opportunity to test and develop their individual filmmaking skills without the normal logistical and budgetary restrictions, from production design and casting, into scene direction and camerawork, and through to sound design and editing skills. We hope to see more collaborations and films from this group of students, and look forward to supporting Long Road Sixth Form College into the future."

Further links

Final videos here:

Demo videos here:

Flickr Album here:

Friday, 10 May 2013

2013 Harb40 Film Passion Competition

Moviestorm are pleased to promote and sponsor the film animation 2013 Harb40 Passion Competition.

The competition urges contestants to make a film set to a specific theme of passion. There are some restrictions on content, but films can be made using any animation program, video game or live action technique. The winning films receive software prizes and the creators will be interviewed on The Movies On Air Radio show.

This year's theme for both the film and story categories will be announced on the 4th of August with the submission period to be the 24th of August to the 19th of October. The winning films and stories should be announced on the 17th of November during the Machinima Expo.

The competition has received other sponsorship from Sony and Reallusion. Creator of the competition, Craig Harbison said:
"Animation programmes like Moviestorm, The Sims and iClone are taking over in the competition. One of the nice things about the prizes like Moviestorm is the winner is given a choice of a free user license or to receive credits to purchase more gaming assets and enhance their animation video skills."
Craig (Harb40) began experimenting with animation back in 2005 after playing a game called 'The Movies'. After following a website called The Movies Underground, he was introduced to other games animation tools such as Moviestorm. Today, Moviestorm is now one of his primary animation programmes. 
"Many contestants are career oriented, looking to get into either film production or animation at the professional level. The prizes of Moviestorm allow them to enhance their skills along with learning different aspects of film making including camera placement and movement, set design, storyboarding and more. They are able to move forward and be more hands on in their future endeavours."
This year, a short story writing category has been added to the competition which hopes to bring writers and screenwriters into the fold and introduce them to the world of animation. Some of them may join into the community and use Moviestorm to either make short videos to help sell their stories, lay out storyboards or even use some scenes for artists to illustrate their stories.

Further links

To find out more about the competition, visit 
Visit the competition Facebook page at
You can also follow the competition on Twitter @Harb40PassComp

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

"GRAND PALMARÈS 2012" (2012 Palms of the Year) Movies FR Moviestorm Winners Announced

Moviestorm are pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Palms of the Year awards via The Movies FR, (the French speaking community for The Movies, Moviestorm and Muvizu). 

Alutt, The Movies FR community admin, had this to say of the awards: 

"Once again, website THE MOVIES FR organised its annual celebration "Le Grand Palmarès 2012" (2012 Palms of the year). The winners of our seasonal contests of the year 2012, in each 10 categories (best scenery and costumes, direction, editing, soundtrack, script, character, dialogues, voice performance, movie and special prize of the public), were in competition for the Palms."
"After the winners were announced, they were rewarded with prizes (exclusive MODS for The Movies and Moviestorm, DVD's, theatre tickets, board games and, thanks to our partner Moviestorm, some MS points and a perpetual license.”

Winners of the awards are listed below:

Best Movie and Best Direction: Laviv42 with "La Colline a des Yeux 3" (using The Movies software) is awarded 12 000 MSP.

Best Scenery and Costumes: Michael Mayers with "From Hell" (using The Movies software) wins 1000MSP and donates these to Vincent C.

Best Editing: Frederis with "No Man's Land I : la Première Fois" (The Movies software) is also awarded 1000 MSP.

Best Soundtrack, Best Voice Performance and Special Public Prize goes to user Wabby with "Libre Arbitre" (using Moviestorm software) who wins 3000 MSP.

Best Script and Best Character: Gilga with " Dernière Ligne" (The Movies software) and is awarded 2000 MSP.

Best Dialogue: Code52 with "Huit petits Gags" (The Movies software) and is awarded 1000 MSP.

Further links

The Results Video Show is available here (in French only but directed with Moviestorm):

The Movies FR website:

Vimeo link:

Friday, 15 March 2013

Winner of Moviestorm BETT 2013 Future Products Survey Announced

Moviestorm are delighted to announce the winners of the BETT 2013 Future Products survey. All entrants were given a Moviestorm Education Annual licence, and the Department of Art & Design at the University of Minnesota Duluth were the winners of the prize draw, and recipients of annual Multiple Concurrent licences for the university, worth $3000! Thank you to all of you that submitted feedback to the survey.

We asked educators to tell us how to shape our future products to ensure that they deliver the ideal video creations tools to support teaching and learning across the curriculum.

Assistant Professor Joellyn Rock had this to say of the win:
"We are super excited to have Moviestorm available for creative projects on our campus. We have a growing Digital Art area within the Department of Art & Design at the University of Minnesota Duluth."
"As a digital art professor, I am always looking for ways to expand our student access to emerging technologies. I am also part of a team who are developing a new motion capture / video production VizLab studio on our campus."
"I am particularly interested in how emerging media is shaping the ways that stories can be told. My interest in machinima, avatars, and game engines led me to Moviestorm as a tool for creating digital narratives. I am especially excited by it’s cinematic tools, allowing the user to think like a filmmaker."
“I plan to use Moviestorm with students in several classes I teach. Students will create characters and interactive scenarios for digital narrative assignments. They may use the Moviestorm tools for previsualization on filmmaking projects. Some may generate animated sequences to remix with live action video. Others may explore customizing avatars and backgrounds for use in game prototyping. Students in our new Media Arts Club on campus may experiment with creative uses of Moviestorm in their collaborative projects in the Multimedia Hub."

“A few years ago, I created the Digital Art Workshop for Youth as a way for local middle-school students to be mentored by college students in our Digital Methods in Art Education class. Perhaps this year they will also have the chance to collaborate on animating characters using Moviestorm in our lab."
“The students and faculty at University of Minnesota Duluth thank you for making Moviestorm a new tool available for our use in diverse areas of creative project collaboration."

Joellyn's University of Minnesota Duluth links

Digital Filmmaking: Visual Narratives

Interactive Media > B L O G

Digital Art Workshop for Youth

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Moviestorm launch on IGGY

Moviestorm are very pleased to announce our launch on IGGY, a new social network created by the University of Warwick designed to encourage gifted 13-18 year olds to realise their full potential. IGGY is a paid for service, but has committed to offering free memberships to disadvantaged students.  IGGY members can access a number of helpful educational resources, learn independently, and collaborate with other gifted young people across the globe.

“It is firmly in line with our aspirations to get Moviestorm into the hands of a creative and talented student user base at the critical 13 to 18 year old age range. We look forward to working with IGGY to engage their community via film-based experiences that support media studies and cross curricular learning” said Andrew Kennedy, CEO of Moviestorm.

“Moviestorm is a fast, fun and flexible tool and we are excited to see how our members will use it across all of our subject areas. It will encourage IGGY members to develop modern communication skills, express themselves in new ways, improve their media literacy – and simply enjoy making their own films” said Adrian Hall, Managing Director of IGGY.

A Moviestorm download is completely free for IGGY members. For more information about IGGY please click on the following link: