A new community spotlight interview has appeared at the official Sims 3 site covering the work of the machinima artist Pyronium3!

What advice can you offer to an aspiring machinima artist?
First of all you need to decide for yourself what your ambitions are. Do you want to do it just for fun? Do you want to channel ideas and emotions? Do you want to be the best? Whatever it is, it’s very important you are certain. If you’re not, you’re not focused, and when you’re not focused you easily give up.

Then it comes to learning the tech behind it all. You’re working with computers here so it’s going to be very technical no matter what.

  • You need to know how the camera works, this applies to handling it as well as adjusting the ini files to alter its behavior.
  • You also need to know how to get custom content in your game (think of animation hacks, beautification items, etc).
  • You need to know the game. It’s very important you know the animations. This will save you a lot of time when you’re trying to find one that suits the emotion you’re trying to convey.
  • You need to know filming techniques. The way something is directed can make or break it. It doesn’t matter how good the story is, or how pretty the scenes are.. If it’s not filmed right, it isn’t right.
  • You need to know how to edit footage.

This might seem daunting at first, and that’s probably because it is. If you want to be good at this, you need to invest a lot of time in it. But as with everything: as long as you have enough determination you can get there.

My main advice would be to watch a lot of machinima. Especially those that you personally like. Study the pieces, try to understand how the director got the shots that he did. What animations he used, when he used them, how that affected the piece.

Before that though, just make some stuff for fun. Explore the playfield, get a feel for it. If you don’t understand the basics there’s no point in studying machinima, since you wouldn’t have anything to reference it to. Most of all: Have fun! It’s not a job, it shouldn’t feel like one!

catch the full interview here