Hints and Tips


Moviestorm Performance

Uncheck "Use shaders" in the Graphics tab of the Moviestorm Settings screen when building sets and making the movie.

This will free up valuable memory for actual production and will speed up the process. Turn shadows back on prior to rendering and make your lighting adjustments then.

Exporting your movie can take several minutes. For best performance, turn off all other applications, and don't do anything else on your computer while it's rendering.

If you want to try some experiments with your movie, make a copy of it, and work on the copy. You can use the "Save As" command from the drop-down menu on the standard "Save" button.

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Camerawork

Close-ups can be really close. Watch a DVD with the sound off, and you'll see how often this is used in professional films.

Experiment with the subtle differences between the different types of camera shot so that you can use them most effectively.

You can mix Moviestorm characters with footage from other applications by using "greenscreening" (also known as chroma-key): colour the floor green, and use the same colour green on a simple prop backdrop (or other props). You will now be able to use the chroma-key functions in your video editor.

Always remember - what matters is what the scene looks like through the camera lens. You may have to put actors in unnatural and unrealistic positions to make them look good in your movie – don't worry, this is normal film technique!

If you want to create a static (unmoving) camera shot, choose a Free Shot.

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Sets and Props

You can use the "jump to" command from a held prop's menu to jump straight to any activity, bypassing the usual required sequence.

You can apply floor and ceiling textures to walls if you really want to. Just use the selection drop-down box, and choose "All".

Leave the floor of the set as a grid until the last moment. You can then use the grid for positioning actors and set objects.

You don't need to build complete sets. You can often build three walls of a room, as the fourth wall may not be seen.

It's often easier to dress your set after you've done the bulk of the scene. That way, you only have to dress the bits that get seen, and you can set things up so they look good in your shots.

When you build a set, put in a simple prop somewhere where it won't be seen to check lighting and shadows.

You can make a street seem to be longer by angling the buildings slightly towards each other; this will accentuate the perspective effect.

If you rescale props, characters won't always be able to interact with them properly.

Uncheck "Use shaders" in the Graphics tab of the Moviestorm Settings screen when building sets and making the movie. This will free up valuable memory for actual production and will speed up the process. Turn shadows back on prior to rendering and make your lighting adjustments then.

You can paint a wall as many times as you like - just apply your new texture over the old one.

Hold down Alt when moving an object in the Set Workshop View to change the way it stacks on other objects - you can create interesting effects this way!

If you need an object to snap to a wall's alignment, but the final position of the object is too far away to snap to the wall, place the object so it's touching the wall. Moviestorm will rotate the object to match the wall's alignment. You can now move the object back into place, and it will keep the new alignment.

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Characters and Direction

Lost a character somewhere on your set? Hover your mouse over their name in the Character Panel and a helpful blue arrow will appear over their head on set.

You don't have to "film" the entire movie as one movie. It can be easier, and will give you more options, to assemble individual scenes, and edit them together.

When placing characters in front of a photographic backdrop, be careful that they don't cast shadows where they're not wanted.

To make your actors as real and dramatic as possible, spend time assembling Gesture Sequences. Subtle gestures can really bring your character to life.

You can record your dialogue separately in another application and load the individual dialogue tracks into Moviestorm.

You can mix Moviestorm characters with footage from other applications by using "greenscreening" (also known as chroma-key): colour the floor green, and use the same colour green on a simple prop backdrop (or other props). You will now be able to use the chroma-key functions in your video editor.

Always remember - what matters is what the scene looks like through the camera lens. You may have to put actors in unnatural and unrealistic positions to make them look good in your movie – don't worry, this is normal film technique!

Is your character lip-syncing to a music track? You might get a more accurate result by recording yourself singing the track with no accompaniment. You can add the original track back in in post-production - nobody has to hear your version except you!

If you've built a set or a character you like, save them to your Stock. You can then use them again in other movies, or share them with other people. This can give you a large library of sets and characters quite quickly.

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