FMVs => just a thought

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Hatsjoe
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FMVs => just a thought

Post by Hatsjoe » 20 Feb 2007, 20:15

Hi, Not many people here will know me but i have been involved in the wz community ever since NEWST was still around ,I ve somehow just found a renewed interest in wz. It bothers me that a lot of people just cannot understand the true story behinf wz without the fmv's. So what i'm proposing is that we try to create all the fmv's for the game ourselves. this way we could up the quality and choose our own ways to tell the storyline. If anyone else is interested, plz let me know, if anyone is against it, plz let me know, if anyone has no opinion about it plz shut up. I can't do it on my own. And we're going te need 3d modellers, people that create texture someone to rewrite the scripts, voice acting and someone to insert it in the game, I'm not saying that the project has already started but i just want to get a feel of what you think and of how many people want to help. Just to get the blood pumping again, i've already rendered the easiest of all fmv's and want to post it here but i ve got nowhere to upload it. if anyone has some room to host a 600KB avi file it would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: FMVs => just a thought

Post by cybersphinx » 20 Feb 2007, 22:22

If you want to do that, the first thing is implementing video playback into Warzone. Without that, your videos will be a bit pointless. And you have to do it yourself or find someone to do it, since currently none of the developers is very interested in it (well, I guess delivering a full set of replacement videos might convince someone).

The current plan is to use the engine to show scripted scenes instead of separate videos, though that is also still just an idea.

But there's one thing that's quite easy to do: The current engine already shows the subtitles of the videos, but there are lots that have none, and those that exist are just that: subtitles. A short text giving the relevant information of each video could be added instead of the subtitles, so the necessary information is given.

There were several people who also wanted to create new videos, though there were not many results. But perhaps there are already transcripts of the movies or something that might help you.
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Re: FMVs => just a thought

Post by Hatsjoe » 20 Feb 2007, 22:47

What i need most is manpower. I don't  want to do this unless the quality is atleast equal oh that of the original cutscenes done in realtime hardware rendering with the wz engine will never give you as much detail as the originals. It could be a nice substitute if nothin else was available but I wanna give it something more. said you If anyone can deliver a full set of FMVs no one will object using those IF they are of a respectable quality. I can probably do, the modelling and animation but for the rest others will be needed to maintain quality. The least i want is to diminish the overall quality of the game. Excuse me if this is somewhere else posted here but whats the plan for the engine rendered cutscenes, coz me thinks rendering for example the opening sequence would look really bad. + you still need the same modelling, animation, audio, implementation en texturing so the only advantage would be smaller filesizes.
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Re: FMVs => just a thought

Post by Chojun » 21 Feb 2007, 04:09

I can host your file.  Send me a PM and I'll give you my e-mail.

Also, I can do sound effects.  My next time window will be late spring/early summer.
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Re: FMVs => just a thought

Post by lav_coyote25 » 21 Feb 2007, 06:39

hello and long time no see Hatsjoe... ;D

have been trying to do just that for some time now - have some resources for you if you wish....

http://members.shaw.ca/kgmetcalfe2/cam1 ... rings.html

have a look.

we chat later.
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Re: FMVs => just a thought

Post by cybersphinx » 21 Feb 2007, 12:01

Two links to the previous discussion: https://mail.gna.org/public/warzone-dev ... 00101.html and http://www.realtimestrategies.net/forum ... php?t=1266.

As I said, as a first step having a textual representation of each movie would be great, as those can be integrated quite easy (though probably not as easy as I thought).

(Note: I have never seen the actual movies, just giving some additional comments.) Regarding kage's description of the cutscene types in the first link, the briefings sound like those could be done with the engine if it's enhanced a bit. Show relevant positions, and overlaid arrows and other indicators.

For the second, those could be (in order of difficulty) 1. plain text messages (possibly with a logo as a PIE model shown by the engine), 2. Voice messages (again with logo, either PIE or movie), 3. (if that's applicable) Movies of modelled or real actors with voice recordings.

The third sound like the only ones that will really profit from being done as movies (but probably that's the bulk of the movies anyway).

PS: I hope that should read "last":
The least i want is to diminish the overall quality of the game.
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Re: FMVs => just a thought

Post by Hatsjoe » 21 Feb 2007, 13:21

lav_coyote25 wrote: hello and long time no see Hatsjoe... ;D

have been trying to do just that for some time now - have some resources for you if you wish....

http://members.shaw.ca/kgmetcalfe2/cam1 ... rings.html

have a look.

we chat later.
;D
Thats exactly what is needed  to start with.
DO you think the text should be rewritten?  There are some great writers over at RTS.net hwo could probably find a more interesting way to tell the story without ruining the original spirit.

Furthermore:
Kage wrote this on RTS.net

"also, the kind of cutscenes found in the game "homeworld" might prove useful: from an animator's perspective, they are very simple, but effect - many of the frames consist of nothing more than a panning view across a single image (think along the lines of the typical image-gallery type screensaver that you find on mac osx, though more cinematic). these kind of cutscenes can turn out extremely well, and take less time to create, and also help lend towards a comic-book feel that some aspects of warzone took on."

Now The people with original disc's will probably remember the included wz comics which explain the entire storyline is 6 pages or something. By just panning a camera over those images we could indeed create some interesting easy to make movies that are very authentic but are those legally available to use ?

About the three movie types

The first ones : Briefings : would indeed be very interesting to do with the engine and would save a lot of filesize

The second ones: comms : Are just a logo with some voice acting. So to keep them interesting you would probably like to implement some interesting effects like glow, fire effects, ... those will nt be easy to do in engine.

The third ones, Those that tell storyline like the intro and missile strike into beta base: Are practically impossible with wz engine=> could be done in in prerendered FMV's:Either full 3D modelled or The comic method described above.

And YES, least should've been last
Me very sry for me english :p
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Re: FMVs => just a thought

Post by whippersnapper » 21 Feb 2007, 17:17

hello guys ;D

i think the string text needs to be rewritten. i donont think you can use any of the wz comic book. i could be wrong.

probably many players feel cut scene mission briefs do make the campaign even more involving and exciting than not having them. captions and walkthrus are poor substitutes imho.

here's another discussion i saw from a few weeks back with some stuff of interest - cool OSS resources like a vid player.

i think its a good idea to use some in-game engine rendered gfx. with care of course, artfully, less can be more. i say this because GGI cut-scenes can be made to look awesomely cinematic but the fact is they were over-used in the past by game devs imho. CGIs can easily set you up for disappointment when you first play the game. i don't know if its just me but when the CGIs were looking way better than the game itself i always felt slightly cheated or deceived. but hey thats just me. if it aint a prob for no one what the hey, forget i even brought it up and may the force of artistry be with yu. :)

PS - it might be useful to consider doing detailed storyboards of the cut scenes briefs before committing to FMV format or executing any of the intermediate supplemental component files. storyboards are a whole lot easier to play around with and edit collaboratively than finished formats. just a thought. :D
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Re: FMVs => just a thought

Post by themousemaster » 21 Feb 2007, 23:28

It's true that WZ would need to be substantially modified to accomodate external FMV-type displays, but the actual number of FMV's doesn't need to be great.

There were very few of the original videos that I don't think couldn't be done better just via scripted scenes.  Many of the intra-stage clips were simply the computer voice telling objectives, while showing a map (not the actual game map mind you, just a re-drawn version for the video) for direction.  All of those types of videos can be replaced by in-game scripted cutscene, and perhaps a voiceover.

For away missions, you can just give a (very) brief before it, and then hold off on the scripted cutscene until your original force lands at its destination.




The only original videos I can remember that would be best served as being FMV's are the transition ones (intro, alpha to beta, beta to gamma, ending), and the ones that gave backstory (Reed's military involvement, for example).

If it's that big of a problem to incorporate video playback into WZ, then... why not show the videos outside of WZ?  Would it be possible to completely suspend (read:  pause) WZ's running to show a FMV, at which point the FMV "closes" and WZ resumes processing?  Or if in windowed mode, pop up a separate window for the sole purpose of showing the video, while not affecting the operation of the original WZ window?

Forgive me if that idea is bunk, my programming experience deals little with real-time situations :(.

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Re: FMVs => just a thought

Post by DevUrandom » 21 Feb 2007, 23:58

Just a note: We have had this discussion lots and lots of times...

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Re: FMVs => just a thought

Post by Hatsjoe » 22 Feb 2007, 00:07

DevUrandom wrote: Just a note: We have had this discussion lots and lots of times...
Not exactly, This time i really want to create something not just speculate how the movies could be made in the future. This topic is meant to get a feel about interest in the FMV's, Something like a pre production research thing or whatever you call it in english. + i want to know who would be interested in helping.
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Re: FMVs => just a thought

Post by Hatsjoe » 22 Feb 2007, 00:26

themousemaster wrote: It's true that WZ would need to be substantially modified to accomodate external FMV-type displays, but the actual number of FMV's doesn't need to be great.

There were very few of the original videos that I don't think couldn't be done better just via scripted scenes.  Many of the intra-stage clips were simply the computer voice telling objectives, while showing a map (not the actual game map mind you, just a re-drawn version for the video) for direction.  All of those types of videos can be replaced by in-game scripted cutscene, and perhaps a voiceover.

For away missions, you can just give a (very) brief before it, and then hold off on the scripted cutscene until your original force lands at its destination.




The only original videos I can remember that would be best served as being FMV's are the transition ones (intro, alpha to beta, beta to gamma, ending), and the ones that gave backstory (Reed's military involvement, for example).

If it's that big of a problem to incorporate video playback into WZ, then... why not show the videos outside of WZ?  Would it be possible to completely suspend (read:  pause) WZ's running to show a FMV, at which point the FMV "closes" and WZ resumes processing?  Or if in windowed mode, pop up a separate window for the sole purpose of showing the video, while not affecting the operation of the original WZ window?

Forgive me if that idea is bunk, my programming experience deals little with real-time situations :(.
We would need something like the bink video codec http://www.radgametools.com/bnkmain.htm But the free version shows a loge at the end of each cutscene. And a license would cost us about 2000 $ :s There might be completely free alternatives though. Now we only ... need to find them :p
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Re: FMVs => just a thought

Post by whippersnapper » 22 Feb 2007, 00:59

Hatsjoe wrote: We would need something like the bink video codec http://www.radgametools.com/bnkmain.htm But the free version shows a loge at the end of each cutscene. And a license would cost us about 2000 $ :s There might be completely free alternatives though. Now we only ... need to find them :p
radtools are ok but definitely not worth the money - 2000 for bink is ridiculous imho.

i use Beyond Virtual which makes Bink look like baby tools and it only costs 150 which is dirt cheap for the full licence. yu can try the whole thing for free under a Bronze licence.

free stuff along these lines, donot exist to my knowledge - not at the desired quality level.

Hatsjoe wrote: Not exactly, This time i really want to create something not just speculate how the movies could be made in the future. This topic is meant to get a feel about interest in the FMV's, Something like a pre production research thing or whatever you call it in english. + i want to know who would be interested in helping.
thats a smart way of going about it i think. one person could do it all & there are people that have all those abilities around but its no fun to have do it all  and like you said its much better to draw together a few peoples strongest talents and skills - much more fun and higher quality all the way around than a solo job i agree.

from the looks of it yu already have some powerhouse volunteers - lav_coyote, chojun, yourself.

if i am reading right that covers almost everything but rewriting the text story and voice overs. i know someone who could do those two tasks if no other volunteers come foward to take them on - he writes well and has theatrical training and experience.  ;)

it would be nice if this was all integrated into the game seamlessly but as has been suggested here and elsewhere - there are ways around that - not as elegant, but quite doable and the components could always be integrated at a later date by juiced up devs. utilizing the cool OSS player refered to earlier. ;D
Last edited by whippersnapper on 22 Feb 2007, 01:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FMVs => just a thought

Post by Terminator » 22 Feb 2007, 02:10

Hatsjoe wrote: Not exactly, This time i really want to create something not just speculate how the movies could be made in the future. This topic is meant to get a feel about interest in the FMV's, Something like a pre production research thing or whatever you call it in english. + i want to know who would be interested in helping.

I'm not so realy understand what is this topic about(cant translate..sorry). But here is talking about FMV & video in wz. Currently I & one dude from my clan preparing to implemente one idia.. and to make a little "demoreal" on theme of Warzone2100(wanted to make a little unexpecteble surprise for wz fans :) ). May be this will help to find more people for yours "campaing".. & after this work may be we can join to you.
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Re: FMVs => just a thought

Post by DevUrandom » 22 Feb 2007, 03:00

The question which video codec to choose was also discussed a lot and earlier...
OGG + Vorbis + Theora was mentioned.
OGG + Vorbis + H.264 is another option I tested lately, which turned out to have really good quality.

Something like BINK is a complete no-no. I bet you can't convince them to offer you the code for their codec under a GPL compatible license. ;)
And requiring an external tool might work with the GPL, but it looks a little bit ugly to me, esp. since I don't know how to handle the GL context on Windows when an external tool tries to do some fullscreen magic...

So my favourite is still the ingame cutscenes... Won't be photo-realistic, but someone might be able to get the graphics into a state where it looks ok even with detail-zooming.

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