Is machinina the right tool to mock up a stage play?

Hello. I am a playwright with a few scripts that have not seen significant production. I’ve searched for quite some time for a tool that would allow me to take a play script and create a 3D rendered production of my scripts either as a promotional/marketing tool or as a full on production for release to a streaming platform such as YouTube.

This search started well before the current state of evolution in desktop 3D rendering tools infused with AI technology. It feels like omniverse machinina might be approaching the sweet spot in terms of its power to simplicity ratio to allow me to do what I envision.

However, before downloading this tool and undertaking an arduous learning curve only to discover many hours into it that I’m not using the right tool, I thought I would run the question by this community.

The particular script that I have in mind is mostly drama with little action. It has a ballroom dancing scene between two characters, a brief fight scene, and a couple of kissing scenes.

I have fundamental video editing skills, solid coding skills but very little experience in 3D editing/rendering. My hope is that this tool has enough support in terms of assets, that between the tool itself and whatever motion captured animations I can find in supported 3rd party assets (that don’t break the bank) I could leverage machinina to bring my vision to life through self education on the tool using existing tutorials.

I know machinina is mostly geared toward cut scenes for video games and such, but might it be used for more traditional story telling?


And if you’ve made it this far, thank you very much for reading!

TL/DR: You can use Machinima, but it’s likely not the only program you will need to use to make it happen.

The Machinima app can be used for a variety of things. It’s more or less a sandbox where you can set up 3D scenes with environments, characters, simulation, camera shots, and animate every piece of content to your hearts desire if you have the hardware to make it all happen. Despite the term ‘Machinima’ stemming from its frequent usage in the gaming industry, it’s not necessarily a limiting factor should you choose to leverage it for making a short.

That said, you may need other tools in addition to OV to accomplish such endeavor. For example, if you need to make a digital set for your scene and find yourself needing custom props, you may find there are other programs that are more capable and better suited to create digital contents in. But that’s where OpenUSD in OV comes in to help bridge the gap between different DCC (digital content creation) packages. You have the luxury of using AI to assist with a specific needs, such as facial animation using Audio2Face. Such apps would allow you to enrich your character animation and dialog dynamic in your play.

Sounds like your goal is going to be heavily driven by character interaction and dynamic, so you can look into programs such as Reallusion. There are hardware that will enable you to act out your own play using a premade character with motion capture technology as well; but, it’ll be one extra toolset you’ll need to learn in order to achieve your goal. There are community users on Discord that have had experiences doing shorts and are keen on sharing their experiences, so perhaps you can also pick their brains to get a better idea how to approach this effort before committing to anything.

my 2c