Moviestorm is a virtual studio that takes the DIY attitude of Machinima one step further. Machinima is centred around the concept of recording in-game footage from your favourite title, editing it to tell your particular story, and adding your own soundtrack. Moviestorm Ahead of its time? Moviestorm relies on Internet …
So basically Sims with a movie maker bolted on then? With "nekid" people shown, one guess as to what this will be used for by the basement dwelling fraternity!
Poor review of an excellent product
Firstly, let me state that I'm not a Moviestorm fanboy, and I agree with you that the UI is clunky, and the polycount (when compared to today's in-game graphics) appears to be quite low.
But I think you've misunderstood how the product works (it doesn't do everything online - it checks the status of your account when you launch it, and to check for any updates which can then be downloaded automatically. Other than that it runs entirely on your PC or Mac.)
Secondly, you include some links to a couple of machinima examples, but curiously nothing which has been created with Moviestorm - if you want to see what can be done with the software then check out "Incubus", "Saving Grace", or "Cafe Insomniac" by three of the most talented machinima directors- you can find them on moviestorm.co.uk, or on Vimeo.com.
For myself, I have no training in movie making, 3D modelling or the like. I started playing around in Moviestorm a couple of years ago as it emerged from the beta programme. Last year I had some of my movies playing in film festivals around the world, and not just machinima festivals. I've also had several screenings at film societies in the UK, and rubbed shoulders with "real" film directors. None of that would have been possible without Moviestorm, and this is the other point that you miss - apart from Moviestorm there are very few tools that enable casual users to create movies - tools that allow the director to concentrate on the content without having to hack into a game engine (not for the faint hearted!).
It's not an online app
"I couldn't help but notice how low the polygon count is, and no wonder, if everything is streaming to and from your Internet connection. Why doesn't Moviestorm just offer it as a stand-alone? I could see the necessity for web access and its inherent tardiness becoming a real problem if you wanted to do a crowd scene."
It's not an online app - the Internet access is only used to download the app and the content packs one time. After that, the web access is only used to verify your license and for updates. It is a stand-alone app.
Don't Review What You Don't Know
There is nothing more irritating than a posted review of a software product from a reviewer who has obviously spent little or no time with the software they are judging.
The assumption that Moviestorm is an online application pretty much blows this review from the first word. Moviestorm only requires an online connection to confirm the users subscription, or in the case of the retail version, to confirm ownership... just like the majority of all retail apps.
I think if the reviewer were to have spent any time at all using Moviestorm to create a movie, or even a short scene, they would have realized that this is a powerful production application that far outshines making "machinima" from pre-rendered game scenes.
Moviestorm is constantly being updated and improved, and in my opinion, has become the premier digital movie-making application available to anyone interested in producing quality animated videos for personal or commercial use.
OO Lucy, it sounds like you had a machinima Day from hell. I have to assume that the throwing things, and the general red mist got in the way of the accuracy here. I'm not sure how long you dedicated to this report but it sounds like it wasn't really enough.
Machinima isn't instant..yes you can get something quickly, but as you have discovered, you won't be that pleased with it.
The download time for moviestorm is annoying..I find it so anyway..but hopefully you only need to do that once, patches are much quicker. The program itself runs on your pc, not online.
There are some fantastic films out there made using this software. I hope once the rage clears you will take the time to seek them out.
It's actually pretty normal to get frustrated with any machinima creation tool , in fact those Maya guys don't have it any easier, their learning curve is steeper and a great deal more expensive, and when they've learned their tool, everything takes ten times as long as machinima..that's the payoff for higher polygon models.
Don't give up, have another go, visit the forums, get some help and don't expect it to be easy. You may surprise yourself with what you can achieve.
Too bad you are missing out on learning to use a great program.
Moviestorm is a beautiful animation program. The reason it is considered Machinima is that the programing uses game engine technology. Filmmakers are free to make any kind of movie they would like with Moviestorm and to make original movies which is very different than those movies made with games. Also Moviestorm can be used commercially and I have done so. You can check me out on IMDB.com at
I also know a lot of professional directors, producers, artists, actors, writers, studio owners who are very impressed with Moviestorm capabilities.
As far as the ease of learning Moviestorm, it is one of the most user friendly of all the animation programs out there. Animation is not easy to learn, but Moviestorm makes it easier. I don't know why you thought the graphics were low res because they are not. It must be the settings for your own video card. I have had movies made with Moviestorm on TV and they look as good and sometimes better than a lot of TV shows even on a 60 inch flat screen TV. Depending upon your graphics card and your monitor, you can make movies hi res enough to be shown on a movie screen.
Having examined the other options, I have come to the conclusion that Moviestorm is my best option for producing video I'm proud to put my name on.
Game-based machinima (except perhaps for The Sims - which can't do lip sync) will always be limited in its scope plus often has licensing issues. The Movies also suffers from the limitations of having to used canned scenes, plus the game element getting in the way of the creative aspect. Second Life can be superb, but you need an excellent connection to avoid lag. Antics 3D looked promising but went titsup. IClone can be excellent but has a very steep learning curve, and next to no content in the base version. Muvizu has potential if you like cartoony things.
I plumped for Moviestorm because, despite a few shortcomings, it is the only tool which follows the film production paradigm from beginning to end, allowing users to tell whatever story they want to tell, and it is also relatively easy to add home-made content.
I suggest people take a look at the Best of Moviestorm Vimeo channel before making any hasty conclusions about this software.
This is not a game
Just realized that this software is reviewed as a game, by someone who seems to do that for a living. Moviestorm is software for making animated movies or machinima, and has no connection with the Sims or WoW or any other passive games that people play for fun. This probably goes some way towards explaining the poor review and the author's general confusion about how the software works.
Worst. Movie. Ever.
If I was someone who had never heard of Moviestorm before, I might be turned away from the program due to this article. But, since I am familiar with Moviestorm, I feel the person who researched the material and wrote the article is either inept at reporting or just was too lazy to get the 'real' facts.
As a casual user of Moviestorm, I agree that some of the intrerface is 'clunky' but compared to iClone, it is very similar in some aspects and easier to use in others. The internet connection is only needed once every 14 days to verify the subscription and to download updates automatically.
Your assumption that the target audience is the young and inexperienced is way off the mark. If you had sone any real research you would have found more than 50% are experienced users who have had many years of experience using other machinima engines to include The SIms, The Movies, Halo, Second Life and more.
I would highly suggest the writer of this article go back and do some real research on the program and then right a more accurate representation of what Moviestorm truly is.