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  • [PROTOTYPE] UT Cinematic experimentation

    The past week I've begun messing with ideas for intros, trailers etc and in this thread I'll be updating progress and writing a bit about what I've had to do to accomplish these cinematics, including bugs I've run into along the way and such.

    First of all, here is my current version. It has a rendering bug in form of a little skip, this is due to some limitations I will explain in a moment.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTWUrvywaQQ

    Making cinematics in UE4 is pretty straightforward and I've been able to transfer most of my experience from UE3/UDK over to that, and subsequently from UE4 to UT4, with some major exceptions which probably have a lot to do with it being an alpha version of the game and cinematics being lowest on the list of priorities. To get to a point where you can even script a camera flythrough in this game, currently you must force the gametype to something non-UT, or the camera will not aim properly and it will simply follow your mouse. Cinematic Mode options do not all work, only turning HUD off and maybe some other one like locking the player movement.

    Originally I had some different ideas, and I might still explore them later, but they are more complex because they involve more hand movement such as picking up weapons off a rack and walking down a hall toward the arena, animations that don't currently exist in the game and are difficult to make look correct. For this video, I was able to create some of my own animations, but they tend to be more ambient, stuff like the player looking around, which is easier to pull off and to blend with existing taunts etc.

    Camera tricks were used to hide transitions between anims in matinee, where it's not easy to do blending and UE4 does not yet to my knowledge allow blending between animations as UE3 did. To accomplish what resembled gameplay, I manually animated things like the flak shell ejecting, triggered sparks at appropriate times and so on. The effect isn't perfect, and in one way it would have been preferable to have the camera move around during a real match but that would involve a lot of trial and error, and each render would end up different IF it worked.

    Currently matinee movie export crashes the editor, and so I needed to use a realtime alternative for capture, in this case I used Fraps, since that's what I own. There might be something that handles DX11 and up and UE4 specifically better than Fraps, but I couldn't be bothered looking around. Tips are welcome though.

    Sound effects and voiceovers and such were a consideration, but not yet integrated. If this video turns into something, it could very well be with some kind of dramatic trailer voiceover. We'll see. Otherwise it was a good test of the current capabilities and restrictions, and I can move on to something a bit better planned. A lot of this was planned on the fly, such as the launchbay style door opening, revealing Malcolm beckoning the player to join the tournament. The furnace logo was a last minute touch.

    The lighting for the level was largely redone for cinematic purposes, to be all dynamically lit. The reason for this was really, as it always is for me, ease of use and WYSIWYG. I don't have to do long light rebuilds every time I change something, which really interferes with what you can do cinematically. I tried not to compromise the feel of the level, and hopefully in some cases even improved the lighting or made it more dramatic at least. I find the default lighting on the tower materials washes out details and doesn't show the resolution of the engine to the extent that they could, so I tried to achieve a bit better balance there.

    Unfortunately the render above leaves a lot to be desired by being screen capped and limited to 720p with Fraps compression. A lot of fine detail is lost. But it's a starting point, and I think I'll be able to achieve something more impressive from here.

    UT4 modding discussion: irc.globalgamers.net #UTModders
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  • #2
    Looks great man
    :|

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    • #3
      Wow cooles Video

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      • #4
        Nice video, I like idea and everything!
        But only 720p , quality isn't that "good". Seems like video is abit dark and some postprocessing effects are turned off? Anyway keep it up, it really looks like great start!

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        • #5
          Yes you are correct bass3, and I've already explained why. Thanks!

          The darkness was mainly from not having the correct output profile in Sony Vegas, it has a tendency to do that and I keep forgetting to compensate for it.

          UT4 modding discussion: irc.globalgamers.net #UTModders
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          • #6
            nice job on the video. If I may offer some feedback:

            -Its a good cinematic kinda take it all in intro video.
            -Its not particularly exciting. It doesnt pump me up to play UT.

            Suggestions for possible ways to improve on it.

            Instead of having the two guys slowly run towards eachother and then just stare frozen, I think it would be great if you build a story and some action leading up to that point. Maybe show each one spawning, running around a corner collecting a weapon/health, but each time they miss each other by seconds. One runs out of the room as the other runs in, finally they come around a blind corner, one with a flak one with a rocket launcher, they see each other and fire point blank at the same time, just as the projectiles are about to cross paths, with flames and sparks everywhere, then do the freeze montage where the combatants are staring death in the face with a defiant look of resolution.
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            • #7
              Here is the first version I did so you can see how it progressed.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHFKJ4NAt8s

              UT4 modding discussion: irc.globalgamers.net #UTModders
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              • #8
                Originally posted by -jay- View Post
                nice job on the video. If I may offer some feedback:

                -Its a good cinematic kinda take it all in intro video.
                -Its not particularly exciting. It doesnt pump me up to play UT.

                Suggestions for possible ways to improve on it.

                Instead of having the two guys slowly run towards eachother and then just stare frozen, I think it would be great if you build a story and some action leading up to that point. Maybe show each one spawning, running around a corner collecting a weapon/health, but each time they miss each other by seconds. One runs out of the room as the other runs in, finally they come around a blind corner, one with a flak one with a rocket launcher, they see each other and fire point blank at the same time, just as the projectiles are about to cross paths, with flames and sparks everywhere, then do the freeze montage where the combatants are staring death in the face with a defiant look of resolution.
                Oh I agree, doing a truly great trailer or intro will require more planning and finesse in execution. Decisions are currently dictated largely by limitations both in the engine and my available time. But both of those could change.

                Good ideas! I really wanted to make some facial expression changes, but again it was a bit beyond the scope of what I had time for now. Certainly they mostly look like robots not really into the fight, maybe more like "oh cool it's my necris friend, let's hang out."

                Thanks!

                UT4 modding discussion: irc.globalgamers.net #UTModders
                Contrib Digest | UT2341 - Henrik's UT4 Dev Blog | Twitter

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                • #9
                  Nice thread, I will look at this also in UE4 now
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                  • #10
                    If you are going to put fighting in it, it should be of some really nice frags. I just think basically missing a flak ball is not very interesting to watch.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cafe View Post
                      If you are going to put fighting in it, it should be of some really nice frags. I just think basically missing a flak ball is not very interesting to watch.
                      Haha, yeah. agreed, but I wanted to see how far I could go with making something gameplay-ish in a very short amount of time. Lots of nice mid air combos etc, then the resulting gibs and so on, would be weeks of work using this method.

                      I will probably opt for something different and non gameplay for the scripted part, and add some realtime captured online gameplay instead. I'm disappointed that I couldn't get a smooth cam working during offline bot play.

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                      • #12
                        Looks good! i would choose different music tho. This doesnt fit with the pace of this short movie, keep it up!
                        | Designer | Copywriter | Writer | Editor | Soundtrack lover | Known as 7eVeN^ since UT'99!
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                        • #13
                          Actually, the music was pretty fitting. For example, the scene changes and the running scene were mostly all within the beat, whether intentional or not, I don't know, but it was very nice (each step was a beat if you look closely).

                          Personally, I already really like this video!

                          However, there are some ideas I would like to write down here.
                          I was wondering if it would be possible to mess with the fov at some point, for example in the part from 0:33 to 0:37. In the editor, using numpad 1 and 3 zooms in and zooms out fisheye style, but I'm afraid I don't know (yet) how you could do this in your matinee. A play with fov could be used on many points, but should only end up on one particular point in this video or it will be too much. For example if it fades in that way right at the beginning, I would suggest something else to spice up the scene between these two.
                          At the end of the confrontation scene, I somehow expected an explosion or flak shards and see gibs fly past the view when the camera moved outside before the full UT logo appeared. It could even have a stylish fire emitter cover up parts of the view and have the camera "dash" through the fire, basically a smoother transition into that scene. I think, this could be still in the scope as it would be triggering an emitter at said time and surely less work than animating something.

                          What do you think?
                          Last edited by Sly.; 05-20-2015, 05:37 PM.
                          S l y .

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the detailed feedback Sly. There are some FOV changes, especially in the second half, but this is something I didn't mention in regard to bugs: FOV transitions really bring out shadow fade and pop issues like nothing else, so they had to be avoided in the first half as much as possible.

                            Maybe more weapon fire stuff could help the shot transition but the outdoor shot itself should probably be kept mostly tranquil as it's supposed to fit with the ambient transition in the music. So to answer that at least, yes some thought did go into timing the music - the footsteps just nicely turned out the way they did.

                            For now I need to sit on this concept, as I've been asked to do some other things. I will probably even leave it as is, because there are many better ideas to execute and again, it was very off the cuff, which usually yields less than ideal results. I think if I use gameplay and weapon fire I will use them in a different way in the next video, as I said in my previous post.

                            I'll keep your ideas in mind anywhere they might fit though!

                            UT4 modding discussion: irc.globalgamers.net #UTModders
                            Contrib Digest | UT2341 - Henrik's UT4 Dev Blog | Twitter

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                            • #15
                              I think if you do end up putting some combat in, it might be easier to just use demo recordings of nice frags. Maybe get together and "stage" a few of them for the intro. Using scripting for that might be a lot more difficult than just actually doing it in game.

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