SL Cert - Basic Machinima

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Machinima professional certification for Second Life


The purpose of this document is to maintain a list of essential skills and tools that are required to successfully create Machinima projects within the Second Life platform.


According to[Wikipedia [1], Machinima is defined as:

"Machinima (pronounced /məˈʃiːnɨmə/ or /məˈʃɪnɨmə/) is the use of real-time three-dimensional (3-D) graphics rendering engines to generate computer animation. The term also refers to works that incorporate this animation technique"


This document is intended for anyone who is seeking professional level certification for complete end-to-end Machinima production on the Second Life platform.

Skills Overview

Overall certification requires a demonstrated understanding of pre-production skills, production skills, and post-production skills. These include the use of camera techniques, recording techniques, and broadcasting in Second Life.


All skills required to prepare for a Machinima project before filming starts. These include:

  • Storyboarding
  • Location settings
  • Scripts (as in "film scripts")
  • Actor preparations
  • Costumes
  • Licensing arrangements


All skills required during the filming the project. These include

  • Shooting scripts
  • Direction
  • Voice and audio recording
  • Lip synch
  • Lighting
  • Puppeteering
  • Animation
  • Special effects (in world)
  • Camera skills
  • Frame rate utilization
  • FPS and codecs
  • File management
  • Still imaging


All skills required to edit and release the final film for end user viewing. These include:

  • Video editing techniques and software
  • Audio post production
  • Motion graphics
  • Titling
  • File types and formats
  • Distribution options (web, streaming, DVD, mobile).


There are three levels of certification possible:

Level One - Basic


(in development)

Level One Criteria

  • Demonstrate the basic skills necessary to produce short machinima. This level will not include lip-synching.
  • Output types: music videos, video tutorials, non-lip sync audio

Level Two - Intermediate


Level one certification.

Level Two Criteria

(in development)

Level Three- Advanced


Level two certification.

Level Three Criteria

(in development)

Software skills

The primary software package that will be required is the Second Life viewer and all the features related to Machinima. Software skills that are part of the certification are mainly centered around professional applications for capture, editing, post processing, and delivery of content. Open source applications are included where appropriate.

Second Life client

  • Use of built-in recording capabilities
  • Screen snaps
  • Camera usage
  • Camera controls
  • Environment and local lighting
  • Audio
  • In world text usage or removal
  • Techniques for including or excluding HUD's and various UI components (blue pop-ups, name titles, chat bubbles)

Video and graphics editors

  • iMovie
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Color
  • Compressor
  • Motion
  • Shake
  • Premiere
  • After Effects
  • Photoshop
  • Gimp
  • Quicktime
  • Avid
  • Cinelerra (Linux)
  • Pinnacle Studio
  • Sony Vegas

Audio editors

  • GarageBand
  • Pro Tools
  • Logic
  • Cubase
  • Neundo
  • Digital Performer
  • Peak
  • Sonar
  • Soundtrack Pro
  • Audacity


  • Boris
  • GenArts Sapphire
  • Magic Bullet

Video and audio capture tools

  • Fraps
  • Camtasia
  • HyperCam
  • Snapz Pro X
  • iShowU
  • ScreenFlow
  • glc (Linux)
  • WireTap Studio

Content delivery

  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Flash
  • Dreamweaver
  • DVD Studio Pro

This list will be amended as new tools come to market.

External certifications that are considered part of this topic include: Apple Pro Certification (Final Cut Studio, Logic Studio, Aperture), Adobe Certification (Premiere, Photoshop, Flash, et al), Avid Certification (Avid, Pro Tools). Others may be considered where relevant.

Technology skills

This area will also require knowledge in certain technical areas. These include understanding file types (.mov, avi, etc.), compression, network streaming, XML.


All levels will have the following test components


The written test component will demonstrate theoretical knowledge and mastery of the machinima topic area.


The lab test component will consist of a finished project which incorporates all aspects of the machinima skills set.