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Machinima (mah-she-ne-mah) is a film-making technique whereby artists capture images from 3-D graphics rendering engines, most commonly videogames, to tell a story. Filmmakers manipulate the characters in the game, using the movements and gestures programmed by the developers, but often in new and suggestive ways.
For example, by cancelling movements after they have been partially completed or repeating the same movement over and over again, unanticipated animations can be created on the screen. Many games also allow players to change camera angles, a technique used frequently by “machinimists.”
The Machinima process began with a recording of someone playing a game played back at increased speed to demonstrate game strategy and techniques. It has developed since then to include fan-made music videos using captured images and even full-length movies with original dialogue dubbed over choreographed game play.