Learn about the process behind-the-scenes of my videos
The process of making a cinematic video in Grand Theft Auto V is based on 3 main stages: 1 - Record, 2 - Take the shots and 3 - Edit. Phase 1 is the most laborious, complicated and tedious of the three phases. As soon as the 1st phase is completed the 2nd and 3rd phases allow you to make many changes to choose the best for your project.
Almost all my videos usually start from a song that inspires me, makes me come up with perfect shots in my mind and my creativity does the rest. I don't use scripts or phase tables, I just start the game having a clear idea of what I want to do and listening to the song I will use in my project I let it take me to do the rest. When the idea comes before the song or video I do it for a client, it is when I get to create some sketches and/or find the right song.
1 - Download Mods
When I already have a clear idea of the Machinima genre I want the first step is to search and find Mods to help you improve the atmosphere of my scenes. There is stages mods, weapons mods, vehicle mods, clothing mods, technical mods and many more. The Modders community also spend a lot of time creating mods to improve the experience for players and improve our Machinimas, it is important to remember to credit the mods used in the description of each video. There are always three mods (trainers) that I always use in my videos: Menyoo and SceneDirector. I'll talk about the third one later.
2 - Creating/Copyng Characters
For my Machinimas I prefer to use PED's already existing in the videogame, they usually have a better quality/textures to the characters of GTA Online. However, when a client wants a video clip for their Twitch or YouTube channel and needs the video to include their characters online, they send me front and back photos of the characters they want to see in the video. From there I try to recreate from 0 the same characters in the best possible way, it can that can take some time. The same applies to vehicles. Once the hair, face, skin and clothes are choosen there's no turning back.
3 - Building scenes
Once you have the mods and characters ready it's time to start Phase 1: Recording. First we have to find the right scenario in the world of GTA V. Sometimes it may be necessary to create a room from 0. The game has more than 300,000+ objects that can be spawned using mods. Finding the right objects can be a complicated task, but depending on how they were named, finding them can be easier. Each scene that is recreated is a different world and gives a lot of useful information to the viewer. The smallest details are the most important ones.
4 - Animations
The last part of phase one. Similar to choosing objects for spawn in the scene there is a list of over 100,000+ animations. This is the most laborious part of all the phases as you have to search and test many animations to see if it goes well. Thanks to the SceneDirector mod you can also work with SyncedAnimations, animations that interact with objects or other characters, which saves you having to manually synchronize many different animations. However, it is still common to have to manually add objects to the characters' hands or head.
5 - Rockstar Editor
The most complex phase is over, now the fun phases begin. Phase 2: Taking the shots with the Rockstar Editor. The Rockstar Editor is one of the most amazing tools I know of in the world of video games. After several years of using it I know a lot of tricks and knowledge that allow me to avoid beginners mistakes to make quality videos. It's a mainly creative process that can take several hours, and I have the habit of taking different shots of the same shot and then in the last editing phase choose the best of the options I have.
6 - Exporting
Here is the third mod I use in practically all my Machinimas. EVE (Extended Video Export) by default GTA V exports the videos in a very low bitrating which causes a file with poor resolution and quality. EVE is a very powerful mod that allows me to export my clips to a high resolution, without reducing the bitrates and also allows me to add Blur to my projects. But the configuration I use has a cost: I can only export projects in clips of up to 3.5 minutes and on average (because of the blur) take up to 8 hours to export. 8 hours in which I can't use my PC for practically anything else.
7 - Editing
The last one, Phase 3: Editing. Once I have all the exported files I start a project in Premiere Pro CC 2018, for some videos that require more advanced special effects I also use After Effects CC 2015. In these programs I choose the best shots, organize the clips, sound design, add music, color grade, add text, effects and more to make the video ready to be published. If the project is for a client I will upload a demo version for the client watch it and tell me if they are satisfied or if they want any changes. I work on other people's videos as if they were my own videos, if my client is not 100% satisfied neither I am.
8 - Uploading
The last and most satisfactory step: Upload my project to YouTube. Writing the description, uploading the thumbnail and adding the appropriate tags just to be ready to release it to the world for everyone be able to enjoy it. If the project is for a client I usually upload the full version on a MEGA server where it can be downloaded and be used on Twitch or YouTube.