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UT Cinematic experimentation

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  • started a topic [PROTOTYPE] UT Cinematic experimentation

    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.

  • replied
    m8 this is a awesome!

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  • replied
    Really nice, adds abit of a pumped up feel before you go and play

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  • replied
    Yeah, that was sort of the vibe I originally thought of, and the idea could be salvaged if I had less of them standing around fondling their weapons, and instead show off the weapons as they're picked up.

    It would be nice if I could finish it and turn it into a somewhat more official trailer piece, our only limitation right now is that assets run thin as far as characters, but for this sort of duel type scenario it could work.

    Good ideas.

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  • replied
    Ive really liked the idea and theme you are going with so I keep thinking of other ideas along that line.

    Start off with each character spawning and exploring the map, collecting weapons. Like i said before each time they just barely miss seeing eachother and we the viewer see that. Finally the inevitable happens and we see that both players are about to run into the same room. At that moment the camera pans out of the room and all you see/hear is gun shots/explosions/gib effects. Then a lone player emerges from the door way the camera panned out of and does the same taunt from the beginning where he points at the camera and motions for you to come in, challenging and calling out the viewer.

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  • replied
    Nice start on this Henrik! I know this stuff is incredibly time consuming. Looking forward to more!

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  • replied
    oh yeah they're quick, even with 2 pass renders. CUDA is the stuff.

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  • replied
    You should be able to transfer those profiles to your Origin machine (congrats on that acquisition).

    The stuff you are planning to do is fairly small scale compared to the 30-60 minute long presentations I built, and render times should be very manageable for you, even with huge base files.

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  • replied
    Yeah I already do that with vegas profiles, just don't have any set up here on my new pc yet.

    I didn't think of limiting the fps directly in the editor, surely there must be a way to do that. Thanks!

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  • replied
    Originally posted by HenrikRyosa View Post
    I'm able to get several seconds worth recorded smoothly in Fraps, but I don't really like the codec. Do you really think Camtasia can manage 1080p without dropping many frames?

    I need to investigate the matinee crash further and see if there's any situation where it WON'T crash. Like a matinee in a completely blank map, or a particular gametype. A pure PNG framedump would be ideal.
    Camtasia never dropped any frames on me. I had my playback system set to a specific frames per second output and matched the setting in Camtasia resulting in a smooth recording and playback. I believe they (Techsmith) offer a trial, so give it a shot and experiment to your heart's delight.

    The one caveat is that the more frames you render during an immediate recording session, the larger the file will be and your only catch will be memory. You actually want a raw avi dump so there is no compression. This gives you the ulitmate control over quality of your finished product.

    Also, since you are using Vegas, you can create render profiles for your projects to use. You can set the video compression, resolution, the number of passes, audio quality,all in a selectable profile. I made several to use for various types of projects. For a great many reasons, I found Vegas to be more user friendly than Premier for most projects.
    Last edited by Crotale; 05-21-2015, 09:31 AM.

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  • replied
    I'm able to get several seconds worth recorded smoothly in Fraps, but I don't really like the codec. Do you really think Camtasia can manage 1080p without dropping many frames?

    I need to investigate the matinee crash further and see if there's any situation where it WON'T crash. Like a matinee in a completely blank map, or a particular gametype. A pure PNG framedump would be ideal.
    Last edited by HenrikRyosa; 05-21-2015, 08:45 AM.

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  • replied
    If I may suggest, you should make a small investment into Camtasia. I used it for recording huge 3D clips for the combat mission playbacks we did in my unit a few years ago. I was able to create professional videos at 1080p importing raw avi clips into Premier.

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  • replied
    Yeah that's what I meant

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  • replied
    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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  • replied
    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!

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