KeuleMedia Source Code Machinima - Flickr

Popped this up last night for your viewing pleasure, but since then, KeuleMedia have been kind enough to to send through details of the making of their amazing machinima SOURCE CODE trailer. Nearly 6 months in the making, we have a flickr making of gallery, and of course, the trailer itself …

Machinima

The biggest machinima network on YouTube is http://www.youtube.com/user/machinima. The word is a mixture of Machine and Cinema, meaning a game-engine was used to a cinematic film. In my case, I used the Source Engine Valve ironically provides for games like Portal 2 or Half Life 2.

This engine is really awesome and it it supports third-party developers like www.garrysmod.com to create sandbox modifications which allow creative minds to virtually create a whole movie on a digital basis. For every equipment you might need in the real world, there are “addons” in Garry’s Mod (www.garrysmod.org).

So a Machinima can be created in every 2D/3D engine out there. It’s up to the creator to make the best out of it and in my opinion, the Source Engine provides the best ways for Machinima creators out there.

Why SOURCE CODE?

I am 23 years old and from Germany and a big movie fan. After seeing MOON relatively late, I’ve read a blog post in December reveiling the trailer of SOURCE CODE, another movie of Duncan Jones.

So I checked the trailer under various “Machinima” aspects, meaning if the trailer is worth the work and the movie worth the watch later (which it totally was).

Machinima aspects are:

  • What scenes are easy to recreate in in the game Half Life 2?
  • What scenes are not-easy to recreate in the game Half life 2?
  • What scenes are impossible to recreate in the game Half life 2?

After seeing the trailer (on Apple, probably), I decided to give it the Half Life 2 treatment. Movie trailer recreations are somehow my kind of niche market in the Machinima scene.

There are not many people who make them and therefore I like doing movie trailers like Source Code, The Book of Eli or Silent Hill. It’s my very own style, interpretation of Machinima.

The work:

I used Sony Vegas to import the original trailer and split every single scene to check how many scenes I had to create for the whole trailer.

I then chose the easiest scenes in the trailer to start with. These are scenes without any character dialogues or choreographed scenes.

Dialogue Scenes are the hardest ones, because you have to use Valve’s Software Development Kit (Source SDK) and use the tools like Faceposer (Dialogue) and Hammer (scenery) to create the setting.

You can of course use the maps Half Life 2 provides and spawn objects into the world, but it’s easier to build the scenery in Hammer to get a better look.

Every dialogue scene got their own scripts (Faceposer) and own Half Life 2 levels (Hammer)

The green screen footage was replaced with Adobe After Effects.

I only worked on the weekend for the trailer, but after all it took nearly 5-6 months to create the movie. It’s more a challenge to me to create a complex machinima rather than creating some fun scenes on the weekend.

Thanks to @KeuleMedia for the hard work that’s gone into this, and for letting us know all about the process.