The Sims 3 Exclusive Hands-On - Making Movies With The Sims 3's Mash-Up Tool

We take an exclusive look at the movie mash-up tools in The Sims 3, which will let you use this highly anticipated sequel to film, cut, and mash up your own videos.

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The Sims 3 is one of the most highly anticipated games of the year. By now, the series has garnered millions of fans with its addictive and open-ended simulations of the lives of little computer people, and the next game in the series will give you even more ways to mess with those little computer lives. Beyond burning them to death in kitchen fires, and breaking their hearts by having someone else make out with their loved ones right in front of them, The Sims 3 will let you put your sims in their very own movie. You can capture that movie using in-game tools and then upload it to the Exchange (the long-running Sims community Web site operated by EA) to share, edit, and wipe-transition the living daylights out of it. We had a chance to try out the tools ourselves and have new details, and our own embarrassing videos, to share.

Capturing a video in The Sims 3 is simple enough. You can pull video from the game in two modes. First there's the standard video-capture mode enabled by pressing the "V" key on your keyboard, which keeps The Sims 3's standard interface onscreen and lets you use the regular in-game controls to manipulate the camera, and includes a few other options, such as rotating around a single character.

The more cinematically inclined will want to use the "Tab" key to change the camera to a cinematic view, which removes the interface from your view (both modes capture video without the game interface by default, though you can manually toggle this on if you prefer). The cinematic view provides a lot more control of the camera with regard to zooming and panning abilities, and will let you pull in around houses and in-world geometry for dramatic close-ups. We're told that shorter clips work better for performance purposes, but that you should be able to record as much as you care to without filling up your entire hard drive. Clips of about 30 seconds seem to clock in at about 10MB or so.

Once you've recorded various clips from the game (and snapped any still screenshots that you care to incorporate), you can then jump to the Exchange site directly from the game's launcher application (found in the options menu) to upload all of your recorded clips to a profile that you must create on the site. In your profile, you can browse all of the clips and screenshots you've uploaded, and jump to the virtual studio section of the site to start assembling movies using all of your clips (which can be arranged into various folders), all of your screenshots, and every single music track in the game.

You can create a mash-up by dragging and dropping clips from your folder into a slideshow on the bottom of the studio screen, and you can also add three different additional effects to each segment: a starting transition that opens the scene, a floating text caption, and a visual filter. The transitions include all kinds of wipes (up, down, left, right, pixelation wipes, and fade-ins); the captions let you include brief text blurbs in the lower-third area of the screen in various font-plus-background combinations, such as newspaper print or pink cursive script; and the visual filters include things such as black-and-white desaturation and various heavy color tints. You can preview any part of your video, or the whole shebang, at any time, editing all of your transitions, captions, and filters before saving it and uploading it to the community area for consumption.

The movie mash-up tool will let you use clips and screenshots to make good, bad, goofy, or serious movies.

Although there's definitely the potential to make some truly awful videos (for instance, take the ones we created), with enough care and patience, it also seems possible to make some surprisingly good ones, such as the "evil chess game" video we've posted here, created by The Sims team at EA. To be fair, serious Sims fans have been using video-editing software to create fancy minimovies with in-game animations for years, but the movie mash-up tool will put the power to make movies in the hands of less-advanced users who just want to make kooky stuff. The Sims 3 will ship in June.

Discussion

110 comments
greater_bird
greater_bird

Wow - people are going to make some truly hideous videos with this... The truth is that it's still going to be the people who slave for hours with third-party software who make the entertaining ones.

MetalCore84
MetalCore84

I had a whole argument written down to post here against people who bash this game...But then I realized arguing on an articles comment zone is just stupid. Go sims!

djjoe60
djjoe60

I agree with Melainy. It is kinda worse than WMM, but I will still get it regardless. Just to see what it is like, and to build some mansions lol

djjoe60
djjoe60

The game looks awesome. But I don't think the videos are that great.

Keitha313
Keitha313

Sims fail alltogether.... Just like EA and Gamespot.

Melainy
Melainy

This looks as good as...well Windows Movie Maker actually. Maybe even slightly worse if that's possible. I'm also a bit disappointed they're re-hashing old animations from the Sims 2. Bit of a cop-out really. Still, new gameplay, new custom character creation...I'm still gonna get it. I'm gonna build me some mansions :D

Lukemaneiro
Lukemaneiro

Woo ! He's playing burnout paradise ! W0ot !

DavidRswii
DavidRswii

Can't wait for this game but PC only?Dang

KazuyoshiDS
KazuyoshiDS

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

CVM_123
CVM_123

i was so excited until i heard its just for PC :(

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

I don't see why everyone is so upset at this. It's not like they're taking away any aspects of the game to make a tool that some will enjoy to mess with. It's a game addon, that's it. Nothing more. Some people like creating people in games ( I love creating people in Soul Calibur 4) and some don't. Plus, this is no different than the video editor in Skate 2. Yeah, Skate 2's video maker may have more intresting things like funny crashes and cool trick combos, but who knows, maybe it will be fun. And another thing, people aren't taking in the fact that it is a new addon to a new game. People seem to image taking a video editing system into Sims 2, but this is Sims 3, there maybe added things in this one that you might want to show friends and post on the internet. Let's just patiently wait to see what it comes out to be because no one can say they've never be surprised.

karateyoyo
karateyoyo

If the mesh tools are even better on this- a must get for me!!!

sub-raid
sub-raid

it's becoming more fun everyday.

Gavin2232
Gavin2232

What a gimmick. I can't imagine how this will add anything to the game. Seems to me that they are just adding as much filler into the game as possible to make it seem worth getting. If you wanted to make movies what is wrong with the game the movies.

nappan
nappan

@BDROMDrive: Look, it's not as though I went into the "The Sims Rule Union" and started flaming. As someone who enjoys PC gaming, I find it painful to see so much talent, money, and energy wasted this way... I came here originally to see if they were going to show something vastly improved over previous games, but alas, no. You're entitled to be part of the millions of people who love something, and I'm entitled to be of the opinion that **** like this detracts from the PC as a gaming platform. This game would be PERFECT on the Wii, and it would sell like mad... then, I probably wouldn't care. Finally, this is a gamespot news article commentary. This IS where people tend to argue about these things. As for "millions and millions" argument, I'm not going to insult your intelligence by pointing out how often that is no guide at all in life.

huladog123
huladog123

The video editting tool doesn't seem to be anything different from what you can already do with Windows Movie Maker.

BDROMDrive
BDROMDrive

@nappan: You are entitled to your opinions, but why don't you simply go elsewhere? You don't like this game, millions upon millions do. Go play what you like and stop arguing with people.

nappan
nappan

@ronnet: To some extent, yes. It is as close as most people will come to designing a city and then watching it fail or flourish. On the other hand, we all have lives. There is also just the simple "excitement" factor. You're talking about growing old, and seeing a grandkid become an atronaut. IN A GAME. The actual gameplay is repetitive, and essentially boils down to acting as an AI scripting director. That just doesn't turn out to be that much fun in practice, for a lot of people. I don't know what the mindset is that sucks people into The Sims, but it isn't the engaging gameplay, or the joy of being the grandparent of a Sim Astronaut. @ZuluKnight: Counterfeiting Simoleons, kissing x,y, or z fake person just doesn't entertain me. Those might be interesting in the context of a wider story, but who cares how much money or marital bliss is enjoyed by the digital dolls you play with. ...Which really brings me to my point... The Sims is to videogaming, what playing with dolls is to real life. The main difference is that the sims takes the fun and imagination out of the processs. The Sims is a step down from real life; it is a way for men and women to play with dolls long after society makes that taboo. Personally, I would rather read a book, than play The Sims. @SuperGogeta24: No. I think I had to pick a random number that was unreasonably large, and a variation of Avogadro was my first online nickname many many ago. It was, more than anything, a moment of whimsy. I didn't imagine that anyone who noticed, would care, nevermind your rather... strong... reaction. That said, don't worry, what are the odds that we'll ever play a game online... One question however... if you think all I do is slag the things I dislike, check the reviews I've written, or some ratings. They're very much a matter of what I'm looking at. For instance, I think The Sims is a substandard money-making vehicle for EA, and is little more than an MMO (already one of the lowest forms of gaqming) that has been stripped of any story or meaningful context.

gstealer
gstealer

I actually like The Sims, but if they are only focusing on "making videos"...I'm not buying it.

SuperGogeta24
SuperGogeta24

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ronnet
ronnet

nappan, yes because I can get a senior, see my grandson become an astronaut and rise from my grave in realife everyday aswell. Are you seriously saying your only playing Simcity because you haven't gotten the opportunity to do it in reallife? I doubt many gamers think like you, otherwise it's a sick world with all those FPS. People play the Sims for the same reason they play any other game, they want to be entertaint and do something they wouldn't be able to do (so fast) in real life.

ZuluKnight
ZuluKnight

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

nappan
nappan

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

commonperson
commonperson

Ok I know this may not be "hard core" enough for a lot of the commentators but the fact is they have improved the graphics, there have been major gameplay changes, and there have been refinements. It's this holier then thou attitude by pople that pisses me off with gamers. "Oh the grphx suxorz thy not done nothin to make it look better" Well if you look at other coverage in this website about the game you'll find quite the opposite. Second people say they are focusing on gimmicks, well no they've changed the interface, removed many of what people considered nuiscances and this video and other elements like this are a large part of what the Sims fanbase look for. While I don't like the game, I know people who do, and it's very much a tool for community and story telling tool for them. Yes a lot of these stories suck, but that's what they like. So while a lot of you here sit by and slam it try researching your comment before you complain and more importantly if you just want to sit and whine realise that some people may think your games suck and are boring so get off your high horses. Enjoyment is in the joystick of the beholder.

ali_hamza
ali_hamza

Lol, the filler music they use is from Sim City 7 . Hopefully they will be using some new music in the upcoming game.

Sonic_P
Sonic_P

Why they did this?Why they didn't made better graphics?

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

cool feature, but one i find completely dumb (for me personally). Its genius from a business standpoint however as it will flood websites like Youtube with free advertisements and user promotion. Personally i would rather not see this talked about that much, the gameplay is more important. Right now they are just hyping the gimmicks, and some of us i take it just dont give a **** about the gimmicks right now.

roundhay
roundhay

I bought Sims 1 and Sims 2, hoping they could later be incorporated into Sim City. I hardly ever play The Sims - it's a totally aimless/pointless game. It's great for little kids, though, who could substitute The Sims for a dollshouse.

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

Why isn't this comming to consoles? I don't have a good graphics card on my PC and loved the Sims 2 on the Xbox. I just hope it works on my PC.

paullywog
paullywog

i hope this isn't all they are focusing on. i don't care about making videos. i like to live out a crazy life via the sims, so i hope the more open neighborhood is done well. knowing ea, i'll be sure to wait for the player reviews after that spore incident.

Hoops0123
Hoops0123

wow sims 2 sweet!.....oh wait its not the sims 2 its supose to be the sims 3. huh?

Hellknight2005
Hellknight2005

@mfacek: Lol, yeah i noticed that as well XD I actually enjoyed that specific music track while playing Sim City 4 :)

laptop12
laptop12

wah, any different with the sims 2??????????

SilverSunStreak
SilverSunStreak

::sigh:: meh Also, was hoping they wouldn't have awkward transitions on stairs still. Looks weird when the sim in all sneaky like, and then walks down the steps all calm only to resume sneakiness at the bottom of the stairs.

DarkNeoBahamut
DarkNeoBahamut

ok........ and this is fun because................................................................................... *can somebody help me with the next word?*

sirbalynn
sirbalynn

i was expecting a little more from these developers but i guess they think they can get away with it

gow117
gow117

all this time..and this is it? meh

CVM_123
CVM_123

i wanted this game to come to ps3 damn! :(

mfacek
mfacek

Lol, the filler music they use is from Sim City 4. Hopefully they will be using some new music in the upcoming game.

lucky711t
lucky711t

WOW, this game looks great! i cannot wait!! It will denfinitely be another sold out, ground breaking Sims game! :D And to all those dumb people who say they're not ganna buy it anymore just b/c of this tool, well you are not a true fan and if you think this is the only new thing in the game, you shouldn't even be on here! Get your damn facts right before posting stupid comments and making yourself look stupid!! >0

LaurentiuManafu
LaurentiuManafu

These tools are horsecrap.Boring as hell, they don't make me want the game.

Barak911
Barak911

Oh great, a movie maker, but can you finally get out of the pool with no ladder?

kukuks
kukuks

This new tool is seriously retarted. Made for kids. You even have more options with Windows Movie Maker than this. And they probably wasted a month or less for this tool. Kinda waste of time if you ask me.

Phantongamer
Phantongamer

ok EA you got my attention, but can you keep it?

sidewinder4534
sidewinder4534

Oh my God, please tell me this isn't what they spent all their extra time on.