An animated short or movie created entirely on a personal computer and "filmed" in real-time using computer graphics rendering software or computer game technology.
Example Citation:
A digital Walt Disney who wants to make a machinima film will start with a game engine, the software that generates the virtual 3-D environment in which a game like Quake II is played. This is not unusual because some game developers have made parts of their software publicly accessible, allowing players to modify a game. For instance, one might put a terrorist's head on an opponent's body.
But machinima directors go a step further, discarding the game's out-of-the-box elements in favor of their own characters, scenery, story line and dialogue. What remains is the game's underlying animation technology, which is really a stage on which an alien Amberson or a cartoon cat person could cavort. More than one person can use the same virtual space simultaneously, each one guiding his character through a scene while speaking its lines. A designated cinematographer chooses camera angles, adjusts the lighting and records the action.
This is animation as improvised performance, and some of the best machinima films have the feel of live theater as enacted by cartoon puppets. It is also easy to create extended sequences. But the bottom line is the bottom line: compared to a computer-generated animated film like the critically acclaimed "Toy Story" or the box-office bomb "Final Fantasy," it costs next to nothing to produce a full-length machinima feature.
— Matthew Mirapaul, "Computer Games as the Tools for Digital Filmmakers," The New York Times, July 22, 2002
Earliest Citation:
The Machinima style of animation is one of the biggest things to hit amateur filmmaking in the past 20 years. Machinima uses graphical techniques originally developed for computer games to generate its visuals. Student filmmakers with their own PC can create feature-length epics that would require millions of dollars to make using traditional computer generated imagery techniques.
— Poppy Masselos, "Our house," Courier Mail, May 23, 2000
Machinima is a blend of machine and cinema. The cinema connection is clear, but why "machine"? Computers are machines, of course, so that's an obvious influence. On a more subtle level, the software that creates machinima's scenes, lighting, and actors is called an engine (see the usage above).
The word machinima is a curious blend because that second "i" seems to have been plucked out of thin air. I suppose the coiner of the word wanted to avoid ugly constructions such as machine-ema and machin-ema, and they were concerned about possible pronunciation problems with machinema (some people might be tempted to say muh.SHEEN.muh). Not that the pronunciation of machinima is all that obvious. For example, the author of the above New York Times article says the pronunciation is "ma-SHIN-i-ma." Correcting for the small errors (it should be "muh-SHIN-uh-muh; we've got to honor the schwa!), that seems like a reasonable alternative. I guess it depends on whether you want to emphasize the machine part or the cinema part.
Machinima is one of those rare terms that first appeared in a Usenet newsgroup;
Are there any low-poly editors around who would like to join me in a project that I am working on? This project is a film, using a technique called Machinima (basically like making a film using a game engine) — check out for
more details on Machinima.
— President Skroob,, October 22, 1999
I also received the following note via e-mail:
"Machinima" was spelled slightly differently when first-born. The first use of the term, as "machinema", appeared in an e-mail sent by Anthony Bailey on the 'q2demos' mailing list on 1998.01.05. I am he.
Here is the quote from the mail in question. It also happened to go on
to make the rationale for coining a new term explicit:
> I think with a new tool-set and a greater awareness of the skills
> required to make a good piece of machinema[*] we can expect to see
> some truly adventurous stuff being made. Fine and fun as they can be,
> slapstick and B-movie action horror are just the start of what *could*
> be done with this new medium. If I was a film student with some
> technical savvie, I'd be beginning to look at using this stuff as an
> alternative to or prototype for an expensive real-world production.
> [*]Machinema... yes, sorry, it's a bit of a contrived term... but what
> in general *are* we going to call these pieces of cinema that are made
> using 3D engines? Not only is "Quake movie" an ugly and confusing
> term, it's also fast going to become outdated as other technologies
> become relevant. (c: Any ideas?
I chose "machinema" to rhyme with cinema. I used "machine" as a base only because I didn't find an easy pun with "engine" in it. I spelled it with the 'e' because it made it look a bit like cinema. I don't
believe it to be the best coining in the world, and I apologise for
that - I didn't know the term was going to get widespread.
The word began to be used fairly regularly on the mailing list in
question and gradually in other related fora, but that was about
all. So far as I know, it's first "public" appearance is in an article
I wrote for GameSpy Industry's Quake portal site,
published on 1999.04.02.
Towards the end of that year, a friend called Hugh Hancock needed a term to sum up what his machinima production outfit Strange Company were doing and used "machinima" for that purpose on their web site. We talked about it shortly after and agreed his switch of the 'e' to an 'i' was an improvement - this emphasised the 'animation' connection, and made it less easy to get confused about pronounciation. Anyway, since he registered it as a domain name and does machinima for a living, even asking me for an opinion was very kind. (c:
Related Words: Categories:
This is a popular misconception on pronunciation. It's really Ma-keen-na-ma or similar to that. Listen to any japanese anime or show mention the word and they will not pronounce it muh.SHEEN.uh.muh.Jeff said, "This is a popular misconception on pronunciation. It's really Ma-keen-na-ma or similar to that. Listen to any japanese anime or show mention the word and they will not pronounce it muh.SHEEN.uh.muh."
The creator of the term (the above mentioned Anthony Bailey) evidently disagrees. Still, I'll leave you to argue your case with him. Good luck. And FWIW, while anime is a great place to learn gutter Nihongo, it's nowhere near the authority on the pronunciation of anything in the English language. Believing otherwise would be sirry.

New words. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Machinima — es la creación de películas utilizando motores de videojuegos. En un sentido amplio cualquier pieza audiovisual de contenido lineal (como un corto) hecha con escenarios, personajes o motores de videojuegos puede ser vista tambien como Machinima.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • machinima — /mə shinˈə mə or mä, also shēnˈ/ noun and adjective (of) a genre of animated films based on, and using the technology contained in, commercially available computer games ORIGIN: Prob ↑machine and ↑cinema …   Useful english dictionary

  • Machinima — For the website of the same name, see A scene from Rooster Teeth Productions popular machinima series Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles Machinima ( …   Wikipedia

  • Machinima — Als Machinima bezeichnet man Filme, die mit Hilfe von Game Engines produziert werden. Dieses Kunstwort setzt sich aus „machine“ und „cinema“ zusammen. Wenn man die Game Engine installiert hat, können Machinimas direkt in dieser wiedergegeben… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Machinima — Le mot machinima[1] désigne à la fois un ensemble de techniques de production audiovisuelle utilisées conjointement, et un genre cinématographique (regroupant bien entendu les œuvres réalisées au moyen desdites techniques). En tant que technique… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Machinima — Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas. Puedes añadirlas así o avisar al autor pri …   Wikipedia Español

  • Machinima — …   Википедия

  • machinima — noun a) The rendering of computer generated imagery using low end (real time) 3D engines such as those found in video games, as opposed to the high end, complex 3D engines used by professionals. b) The genre of films created by such techniques …   Wiktionary

  • machinima — /məˈshinəma/ (say muh sheenuhmah), /məˈshɪnəma/ (say muh shinuhmah) noun the creation of 3D animation films for use within a computer game environment, using the existing visuals of the game for characters, backgrounds, etc. {blend of machine and …   Australian-English dictionary

  • — Infobox Website url= type=Machinima news site, download site, and virtual community registration=Optional owner=Machinima, Inc. author=Hugh (IPAEng|məˈʃiːnɨmə or IPA|/məˈʃɪnɨmə/) is …   Wikipedia

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