7th Columnist

Halo 3 Machinima Woes
September 27, 2007, 11:41 pm
Filed under: Gaming, Halo, Halo 3, Machinima, News


There’s been a lot of excitement surrounding Bungie’s new saved films feature implemented for Halo 3, not only from those wanting to relive glory moments from their favourite battles, but also from the thriving machinima community that has manifested since the first game launched all those years ago. Thanks to a handy little exploit (aiming directly at the ground) it was possible to lower the weapons of characters, whilst keeping their heads up, and simulate talking with a wiggle of an analogue stick. Series’ such as Red Vs. Blue and Fire Team Charlie made great use of this feature to craft epic serial adventures, essentially online cartoons set in the world of Halo, to great acclaim.

By the time Halo 2 launched, Halo machinima was really flying. Everyone wanted a piece of the action due to the ease at which it could be created. Bungie, aware of the success of Halo in this area decided to make things a little easier for the fans. They gave us a button. No more were we required to aim at the floor to lower our guns (making it incredibly difficult to control the characters), instead a simple press down on the d-pad or (when out of grenades) holding of the left trigger, would make your character lower his weapon. Perfect for filming purposes.

So in walks Halo 3. With it’s freely detachable camera allowing for great viewing angles and cutting out the need for any letterboxing, it’s slowmo and multiple perspectives, not to mention the fact that every game is stored, saving plenty of precious hard drive space. Then there’s Forge. Giving players the ability to remodel maps and set scenes as they see fit, another perfect tool for any budding filmmaker. It looked as though machinimakers were getting more than they could ever wish for, with Bungie fully on side to help them create the epic features they’ve all been wanting to.

As it turns out, pressing down on the d-pad this time around does nothing. Nor does holding the the left trigger when out of grenades.

To lower a character’s weapon in Halo 3 you have to do is this:

Hold down left bumper, right bumper, left analogue stick, down on the d-pad and the A button… AT THE SAME TIME… for three seconds!

It’s a ridiculous feat in itself that feels as clumsy as pulling off a ‘fatality’ in Mortal Kombat. Worse yet, the feature can only be used in system link and local play, NOT over Xbox Live where many machinima pieces (This Spartan Life, for example) are filmed due to the ease of using ‘actors’ from anywhere in the world.

Machinimakers are furious. I’m furious. As this seems to not only be an incredible wasted opportunity on Bungie’s part, but also a massive step backwards in terms of usability for wannabe filmmakers – in a game literally rammed full of features seemingly created to make things easier.

Over the years the Halo community has produced some astonishingly good pieces of machinima and really helped propel the medium forwards. Sure, we shouldn’t expect all this from developers at all, but with machinima playing such a huge part in Halo from day one… we do.

So Bungie if you’re listening, you have to fix this. We need this to work over live and we need it to be a simpler process to lower the weapons as we play. Fix that… and Halo 3 will truly be the perfect game we all thought it would be. Otherwise, shame on you for taking away one of the best things about our beloved community.



Swap d-pad down for d-pad up and you’ll be given global coordinates and look vectors for the camera, allowing you to reproduce a specific camera position for advanced shots.

**UPDATE 2**

Dark Red Productions put together a handy little machinima video eplaining how to pull the technique off.

Thanks, darkredX13.



40 Comments so far
Leave a comment

amen brutha! I myself am annoyed bungie don’t have a custom games search like they said they would. what happened to XBL public?

Comment by D-thunda

Wow, I really thought that Bungie was a company that cared about its community. Us machinima makers got them a lot of free advertising. Though I have to say that its funny that its only over system link and local, the only formats that the Red Vs Blue guys make their stuff (which Bungie gets a cut of). Captialism at its finest?

Comment by Irritated Machinima Maker

There is a skull which when enabled removes the hud entirely, including the weapon. I’m sure film-makers will find and use this skull.

Comment by thebruce


What the heck are you talking about using a skull? You don’t need a skull to get rid of the HUD in Halo 3.

I too am disappointed as I’m part of the TSL community and we’re not too thrilled about this. This sucks, bites, and blows all at once. I really hope Bungie gets off their asses and fixes this in the FIRST update.

Comment by Oni Kidou

this annoys me, as does the lack of a search browser for custom games.
I just played a game of infection for several hours (took ages to get all 9 people together) and it was one of the best halo games I’ve ever played. bungie seems to be doing a lot of these silly little things…

Comment by D-thunda

I’m saying once you’ve got the skull, you don’t need to worry about the annoying set of controls required to lower the weapon. And if you don’t know about skulls, you’d better research up ;)

Comment by thebruce

You do if you want your actors to not be pointing guns at each others faces as they talk. This isn’t about the HUD. It’s about character animation and the lack of Xbox Live support.

Comment by 7th Columnist

I’m curious about where this came from, since I did a google search and couldn’t find any record of this command or any others, and I’d love to know how to do this sort of thing.

Comment by Ted Driggs

Alright, If none of you have noticed. The LE of Halo 3 includes that thing you put the helmet over (can’t remember what it’s called) andIf you place the two video game cases in it, It seems its a bit to loose. Could this possibly be a hint to whether they are making a map pack or disc that has major updates that the community wants, maybe they just wanna piss off fans or something >.>

Anyway I Hope they bring back Blood gulch if they make a map pack or something XD Foundation too :)

Comment by Delta 350z

first i agree so much with D-thunda as its hard to get many on custom and yet they are the best games. infection was a great game, would be fantastic with 12 or even 16 players, same with oddball only played that with a few on custom and yet those game modes raised the most wails of laughter.

second, Delta 350z….yeah iv noticed this, i folded the helmet cover up and put it beside the game cases so i dont lose it. may actually be for this purpose but it does easily fit 3 cases in

Comment by ASHIO

Sorry this is off-topic, but I just wanted to tell whomever put my vid on here thanks. Dark Red Productions isn’t exactly a major machinima production group, but we’re building up. We had what we had called the “Needlepoint project” which didn’t work out to well due to poor video quality because we used a poor capture card, plus we only got to record about 1/8th of the screen for the video, so it got stretched out as well. Now we’re moving up to Halo 3, and we’re going to get back into making machinima. So before I go, thanks again for telling of our video. Peace.

Comment by darkredX13

ya i can’t get this code command thing to work at all, i have tried several times, have preddes them all at once, held for three seconds in a custom game and the only sound i hear is my grenades changing. plz help!

Comment by xXArMaGeDdOn7Xx

I am confused. It can’t be used in Xbox Live, but can it be used in System Link?

Comment by Rogueleader1337


Exactly. It seems to make no sense, which is why I have such a problem with it.

Comment by 7th Columnist

my advice? spam the forums until you get an answer from bungie. maybe they’ll fix it, or at least make it possible on live. here’s hoping.

Comment by D-thunda

Well I just hope bungie will fix this.

Comment by Bungie-killed-machinima

wow dude thanks a ton. I was lookin for this info just about everywhere. I also completely agree on the feasibility of the weapon down feat. Maybe just down on the d pad since up is already used for chat.

Comment by marginis

I don’t know about the map pack theory. I think that Halo 3 will have a map pack, it’s just that my friend and I were looking at the space and it looks like you could squeeze the first and second game boxes to have the whole collection look.

Comment by jrock92345

hey i know how you can put your weapon down put what does it have to be on Matchmaking Costem Game or Local and if it is on local how do I play a local match :[ I need to know

Reach me at Sean3793@aol.com
or my gamertag is GruelingCorn

Comment by Sean

Who cares? If you can’t press a couple not-so-simple-but-nowhere-near-impossible buttons, then you don’t DESERVE to play Halo 3. And if you’re trying to do it over XBL and can’t, do like the guy said and spam their forums until you annoy THEM enough to fix it or block you. Either way, stop bitching to the WORLD when we can’t do anything about it, and enjoy the game for what the F8ck it is… Jesus Christ. BABIES! They give you the whole damn Halo WORLD but that’s not good enough. Now you want MORE. It’ll never stop. Just be happy with what you’ve got and shut the hell up. I’m not coming back to this whiney ass site, so flame me all you want little bitches.


Comment by Grand Noble

Is grand nobel, chris crocker??? he uses the word babies hes pissed of at people not liking bungie, and he said “Now you want MORE” and more is capitalized, def sounds like chris crocker to me

p.s. all gays should die

Comment by is that??

*charges hammer of tolerance*

I’m gonna need you 2 to calm down.

well, the 1st update should be out soon. hopefully they will fix this. i need it to change, as i can’t get 16 people on system link for my machinima!

Comment by D-thunda

sorry for the double post, but i have an interesting fact about machinima.
Did you know Red vs blue is the only bog machinima that doesn’t use xbox live, and is also the only 1 bungie gets a share of the profits from (or is it microsoft now?)

Comment by D-thunda

RvB has its own studio.

Comment by Neero

Hey to all you machinima makers i just want to say you guys rock and thanks for making soo many cool stuff by using a game gt LT PINK

Comment by Josh

In case anyone is wondering, the reason you can’t lower your weapon on live is because bungie was worried it could be exploited, and they didn’t want more bxr’s and stuff like that.

Comment by D-thunda

how do you record the voices when in theater mode cus when i tried to make my own it recorded all the actions but none of the voices got recorded, how do you do that?

Comment by ukstriker

You record the voices during the actual gameplay itself, not the recording.

Comment by Oni Kidou

go to youtube.com go to master chief sucks at halo 3

Comment by master chief

I do agree,
it is a very complicated procedure in order to do this.

I would love it if this technique worked on xbox live but it doesnt and I think I can say for all of us FIX IT!

Comment by trilogy hound

yeah, i think theyu should add a easier way to lower your weapon,but oh well, its not very hard to do, i can do it without the chin, but not being able to do it online, how are machinima makers who live apart will make their fine work, ive seen crap, but remeber most machinima is done easier online, then letting the voice actors do the work, when im doing puppet work, im saying the lines and i film

Comment by ex

i hope im not in a dead thread here, but i just wanted to thank darkredx13 for the video. ive been searching for the way to lower the gun in H3 for ages, and regardless of its flaws im still happy its possible (but that doesnt mean im not pissed at bungie for making it so hard. bloody idiots could have at least made it availible over xbox live)

Comment by kaboose

Wow, that totally sucks. I am pretty let down, I gotta say. Thanks for the video guys, it’s nice to see someone is trying.

FYI: Down on the d-pad alone would work just fine…. Can I have a job now, Bungie?

Comment by HoodWink10

Halo machinima is what started so much Buzz for halo. Even though this kind of sucks, its not like they can’t put a new patch.

Comment by Jones

just try RB, LB, and Both Thumbsticks it works for me

Comment by Greg

What I heard is that there reason for not allowing the lowering of weapons on live is because it may let people gitch in order to win, so if any glitch was discovered no one would be able to abuse it online. I was thinking they could just have a ‘Machinima Mode’ online where the lowering of weapons is available and they could even add new features to make machinimating even easier.

Comment by Samzone

I don’t see how gun lowering could be used to cheat. Seriously!

Comment by Parch

he gotta point, u dont need the d-pad for anything any way so why waste 4 buttons.

u kud have a voice record in the theater and the ability to stick clips to each other.

but until then let pigs fly.

Comment by raknoth the wolf

If anybody has any Halo 3 pictures they would like to post, put them in our forum. http://www.clhcomputers.com/forum

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