Not sure how new this information is, but if it's a repost, it's still helpful, interesting, and extremely useful. It will improve quality of video capture 100000000 percent.
If you have a higher-end machine, I recommend setting everything to high except for trees, shadows, and reflections. Trees should be set to medium or perhaps the second lowest setting to the top when you're doing nature-specific shots.
Once you've edited your quality settings, change your video capture settings. High and High (Uncompressed) are recommended. Uncompressed just makes for smoother movement, but this can backfire on certain low-end computers, as it slows down game-play and can speed up clips/make sim movement too robotic.
Also, the clips take up a lot of space, so clearing out your recorded videos folder every now and then is recommended, especially if you're low on memory.
If filming Let's Play videos, the program Fraps is recommended. It costs about 30.00$. While it can be used for free, the usage of Fraps is limited.
There is another way, though! If you check your settings under video capture, there is an option to show the sim "dashboard". Basically where all the moodlets, personality traits, inventory, relationships, and all that other junk is kept. Narrating of the video will have to be recorded separately, however. Depending on what software you use or how well you can edit film and sound together, the narrations might be a tad bit off from the film of you playing the game.
If you will be recording your voice separately, on PCs I recommend Audacity. It's free to use and works really well. You're on your own getting a microphone, though.
If filming an actual Manchinima, however, there are different ways to go about it. This is how I film my videos:
-First, I hide the dashboard. It's clunky and unprofessional when not being used in Let's Play or something.
-I use the special moviemaker mode. To access this, simply press tab on your keyboard. Here, depending on how your game is set up, your mouse should work as a head. Moving the mouse to the left will turn the camera to the left.
z- zoom in
x- zoom out
.- rotate right
,- rotate left
-Smooth camera movement is important for the flow of a video. If you want to go from point A to point B, while in the moviemaker mode hold the Control key. Then, select a number 5-9. So for this example, point A will be #5. Then, move the camera into the position you want to move smoothly towards. Hold Control again and select a number 5-9 other than 5, otherwise this position will replace the one you just saved. Let's say Point B is #8.
You are currently at Point B, and you want to start filming at point A. To quickly snap back to Point A, hold Shift and press 5 (which is A's number). Now you're back at point A. Start filming and as soon as you want to transition to Point B, press #8 on your keyboard. The game will move to Point B in the most efficient way possible with smooth movement. Keep the word "efficient" in mind, as it will go in either direction it wants depending on which one will get it there faster.
These 'saved points' will remain at their numbers until the game has been exited. This is excellent for film-makers, as in movie mode one cannot control sim actions. If you want to stay at the same point but need the sim to do something else, simply exit the movie mode, direct the sim to do whatever action you want, go back to movie mode, press the number that gets you back to the old position, press play, and record! Seamless transition from one action another.
It's movie magic!
-There is also a way to tilt the camera to get cool shots. A + shift = a left tilt. D + shift = a right tilt.
-An important thing to keep in mind is speed. Depending on what video maker you use, you may or may not be able to slowdown/speed up clips later. If you want to control the speed of transitions here's the way to go about it:
Local Disk (C: ) > Program Files (x86) > Electronic Arts > The Sims 3 > GameData > Shared > Non-Packaged > Ini > Video Camera (This will be at the very bottom)
Computer > Documents ((It might be in Applications/Programs, I haven't been able to confirm this yet)) > Electronic Arts > The Sims 3 > GameData > Shared > Non-Packaged > Ini > Video Camera (Still at the bottom)
At the bottom of the Video Camera there is something that says Lerp Duration. You can change the number to anything you want. The higher the number, the slower the camera movement. I think the max number is 10 and the lowest is 0. Once you've made the changes, save the file. The file can be changed and saved during gameplay and the options will still take effect.
-To pose your sims, get the PosePlayer here on ModtheSims and download whichever poses you'd like.
-To make your sims do custom actions, download the Animation player here. Unlike the Pose Player, the Animation Player doesn't have the easy-to-use list, so when downloading custom animations, be sure to take note of what the animation is called so you can type it in later. It can be tedious, but some of the well-made animations are well worth it.
-To make sims go through certain actions or expressions, the patch with the Generations EP comes with a new cheat! Open up your cheat box (Ctrl + Shift + C) and type moviemakercheatsenabled true (testingcheatsnenabled true must be on already for this to work). Once the cheat has been entered, Shift+Click on the sim and select animation. There are four sections:
Looping means the selected Animation will loop until it is cancelled. There are limited options for the animations, but I've found the Reactions and Facial expressions to be the most useful in video making.
Hope this helps! I will add more as I remember things to add! :D