editdemo help thread + tutorials

Discussion in 'Game Modifications' started by The Dark Elf, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. The Dark Elf

    The Dark Elf Newbie

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    editdemo help thread

    Ok well fiddling about with HL2 I noticed the demo editing features Valve promised _are_ in the game, That actually have more features than they promised come to that.

    So, screwing around with it, it looks like its gonna be incredibly useful, especially to those people who want to make source films. So I've made this thread for people to make tutorials, tips, hints etc. on how to use it properly, basic or advanced help is welcome since all users can make use of it then.

    To get some started, just type record demoname then stop when your done, then editdemo demoname and demoui if you can't see the editing panels for it.

    It's pretty neat :D
     
  2. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus Newbie

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    Damn that's one sweet feature :D
     
  3. Bismol

    Bismol Guest

    it looks pretty cool, but i can't really figure out how to use anything in it. i don't even see how to seek back in the demo file. i press that "rewind" looking button at the far left but it doesn't seem to do anything. anyone care to explain the basic functionality of this?
     
  4. Foul

    Foul Guest

    I really would like the low down on the basic operations of this as well as advanced. Ive been experimenting without the desired results.
     
  5. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    Although I've been fooling with demos for a while now, I have been completely unable to get the smoother to alter the camera spline in the demo file.

    Anyone figure this out yet?
     
  6. OJS

    OJS Newbie

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    Everyone probably knows already but since it hasn't been posted here you can open the editdemo ui and load demo's quickly by pressing shift-f2 in hl2/cs menuscreen

    Other than this i dont have a clue how to work this so some basic's would be nice :)
     
  7. Lorka

    Lorka Newbie

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    Yeah, someone elaborate. Like how the hell to use cameras.
     
  8. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    I got an out of date companion doc to a very old version of Demoui from Yahn today, but I'm stilling trying to make heads or tails of it.

    As soon as I get something together, I'll put it up. There will possibly be an updated doc done for the SDK at a later date (probably when faceposer and scenemanager comes out).
     
  9. MatthiasII

    MatthiasII Guest

    Is there any way to view older protocal demos? They just updated to 7, all my demos are 6.
     
  10. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    Rewind doesn't appear to actually work. If you read closely in the article about Source Machinima on VERC, they only ever mention moving forward at different speeds as being available. Seems like rewind is a feature that didn't make it in.
     
  11. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    I have it pretty much figured out now, I'll be posting something once I make sure I have it all working.
     
  12. Camajlen

    Camajlen Guest

    I can't wait, I'm really interested in this feature but it seems VERY complex :S But some documentation would help :)
     
  13. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    Turns out it is not working for me anymore. I'll post my method, which works for everything but spline creation and look at targets, the things I consider to be most important. Let me hear back from Valve to make sure I'm not doing something stupid.
     
  14. Camajlen

    Camajlen Guest

    That is true! Would be good to know how to use the rest of the stuff but spline creation and looking at targets would be the things that seems to be most interesting and fun to use.
    It's a shame it doesn't work, I hope they will fix it soon or teach us how to use it in some way!

    Would be nice to know what the replies are =) Keep the communication goin ;)
     
  15. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    I'm pretty sure it does work. It's either bugged on my end, or I'm doing something wrong.
     
  16. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    [56K warning] Demo Smoother tutorial and a call for help...

    I've had some requests to share what I've learned about the demoui and smoother tools in-game.

    Unfortunately, this will not be complete, as I have encountered a bug that is stopping me from making splines or look-at points. I'll give you guys everything that I have to help you out, so that you can see if it works for you. Might help me out as well.


    First off, creating a demo...appropriately titled:

    Creating a Demo
    From within the game, bring up the console. Type "record demoname" without quote, and, of course, the demoname being what you want to call the demo. From there on out, it will record all movement and actions to a handy .dem file. Once you have enough material, bring up the console again and type "stop". Easy enough. You now have a recorded demo in your HL2 root directory to share with the world.

    A side note is that "demo_recordcommands 1" will record any console commands you enter during the demo, and will enter those commands into the console on playback. I'm sure there's some good uses for that, I just don't have any off the top of my head.


    Playing Back the Demo:
    Now that you have your demo recorded, it's time to watch it. Go again to your console and type: "demoui". This brings up the demo playback window, that looks like this:
    [​IMG]

    Press the Load button and select your demo file. It will load and immediately begin playback. Obviously, the pause button will halt it any time. The fast forward and frame forward functions work, but not the rewind. Maybe it's just me.

    Next to the time indicator is a sliding bar that alters the rate of playback from nothing to superfast, good for moving ahead to an important part or creating that nifty slow-mo technique the cheap way.

    Play ahead to the part you want to edit and pause the playback.
    [​IMG]

    You can see the tick count as well, which tells you where you are in the demo. The goto field does nothing for me, as well as the related console command, but once again, I'm a touch bugged.

    Looking Around:
    Now that we are where we want to be in the demo, you can survey the area. Pressing the Drive button activates camera drive mode. By holding down the left mouse button and using the standard movement keys, you move around the entire map and observe. This is good for getting a better view of your splines and points later on. This got me a bit confused down the stretch, so I'll call this Camera Drive Mode, and the one later will be Camera Position Mode. Makes sense to me.

    Another topic is a the Edit button. It brings up a screen for adding events to your demo related to the view, such as FOV changes (effectively controlled zooms, very handy. I find the default zoom to be far to wide for good camera work) and fade outs, etc. I'll play more with that later.

    The Smooth button is the one I'm interested in. It contains all you need to alter the demo file's camera path. Press the Smooth button and you should be rewarded with a UI that looks like this:
    [​IMG]


    Loading your Camera:
    First thing to do on this screen is to hit the reload button. That will actually load the camera information from the .dem file. If you hit this button at any point in time, it reloads from the original file, which is a good way to wipe out any work you've done. I learned this the hard way.

    Once that is done, you should be able to hit "Back Off" to move back away from your camera spline to view it. "Show All" being checked will display the whole spline for you incase you can't see it.

    Now, you can use Camera Drive Mode to back away and see your whole deal. An example:
    [​IMG]

    Clicking the "Drive" button again should take us back to our close up of the spline.


    Selecting your....Selection:
    Now that we have our camera path loaded, and can see it, we can select a portion to edit. First off, we can enter the lower and upper ranges into the "Start Frame" and "End Frame", and then pressing "Select". You should see your selection highlighted in yellow.

    [​IMG]

    You can alter this selection by just entering a new value into either or both fields and then pressing select again.

    The "Jump to" box will take your "preview" camera to a specific frame. This blue box is something of a "cursor" in the camera path to show where you are. Also, the "Show Original" button is supposed to traverse your preview camera along the selection, but that doesn't work for me, because of aforementioned bug. If I pause it with the button right below it, I discover that I can manually move the preview camera back and forth along the frames with the arrow buttons to either side of it.

    You can check "Lock camera" and then press and hold the "Drive Fast" or "Drive slow" buttons to move the camera around. Pressing "S" on the keyboard will move you back away from the spline for a better view. Z and X lower and raise the camera, respectively. You should do this with "Back Off" unchecked.


    Doing Stuff:
    Now that you have the selection you want, and a good view of it, you can post-process the camera. At this point, I should have already pointed out that the little lines coming out of the camera path indicated facing.

    Now we can use the Process features.

    The first is "Smooth Selection Angles". This takes an average of your view angles and smooths the view lines over the whole selection. This is good for any rough camera work or jitters.

    [​IMG]

    After you select it, you end up with purple lines over laying your yellow ones, to show the processed path:

    [​IMG]

    You can change your view to just the processed or original lines by checking the appropriate box in the smoother window.

    Also, you can press "Undo" at any time to move back a step. Redo works as well. If you uncheck "Lock Camera" and press "Show Processed" you should be able to preview the new path. Once again, this doesn't actually work for me.

    The next selection on the list is "Smooth Selection Origin" which does the same thing, but applies the averaging to the actual camera path instead of the view angles. If you have a dolly that's a bit wobbly, you can use this to smooth it out.
    [​IMG]

    The next ones are more fun, and probably more useful.

    "Linear Interp Angles" takes the view angle of the first and last frames of your selection and creates a smooth progression from beginning to end. If you start a selection and end a selection looking at the same thing, every frame will be looking in that same way, regardless of the camera angle movements in the middle. It makes a nice smooth transition too. In my case, I just went in a circle, but I was looking down the alley at the beginning and the end, so it stayed that way the whole time.
    [​IMG]

    "Linear Interp Origins" does the same sort of thing, but with the origins instead of the angles. Pretty self-explanatory, right? In the simplest terms, it takes the first and last frames of the selection and draws a straigh line inbetween them. This is the new path of the camera. Note that the view angles remain the same, just along the new path.


    I've used too many images now, so to be continued with the good stuff in the next post...
     
  17. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    Continued


    Stuff that Doesn't Work for Me:

    Next up is Splines, which is the meat and potatoes of what I want to do with this tool, which makes it nicer that it doesn't work for me.

    The basics are that you create keyframes with new camera positions for certain frames, and then when you process, it makes a new spline travelling along those keyframes.

    IMPORTANT: I've been told that you must have a keyframe at the first and last frame, even if they don't actually move off of the original spline at all. I think they put them there by default, but just a notice.

    To create a keyframe, use the << >> arrow buttons to set your blue cursor box over the frame you want to set the keyframe at. Once you have done that, unlock the camera and hit "Set View". That puts you in the camera view for that frame. Hold down the Drive Fast or Drive Slow buttons and position yourself where you want the keyframe to be. When you are there, press "Make Key". If you back away using the drive controls again, you can see the green box indicating a keyframe position. The original angle line on the camera path will be brighter yellow too.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Move along to the next frame you want to edit, click "Set View" and repeat. Once you have all of your frames in place, clicking "Spline Origin" will create a new camera path moving through those keyframes. The view angles will remain the same as they were originally, just in a new position. "Spline Angles" will create the new path and smooth out angles to match the view angles of the keyframes you set.

    After that, is Look at Points, another view handy tool. Instead of creating keyframes, you follow the same process and move to where you want the camera to look. When you are there, you press "Make Target". A red box will appear.

    If you just use one target, then process "Look At Points", the whole camera selection will look at the one point. If you use multiple targets, associated with different keyframes, a spline will appear between the targets. Look at points will create view angles where they just look at the targets (I would assume the transitions would be very choppy) and Look at Spline will have the view angle track along the spline between the points. This could lead to some very complex camera motions where you are moving one direction and panning the opposite.


    On to the other things...well, I haven't really figured out what they do yet.

    -Key and +Key, along with -Target and +Target jump between the respective frames or look targets one at a time. Makes it easy to move between them. You want camera lock turned off when you do this, so you don't alter any positions.

    Reload, as I said, will take you back to the way things were when you loaded the file. If you have a post-processed demo that you load to do more work, this won't erase the pre-existing processing. However, Revert will remove all post-processing and leave you with just the original camera path.

    Rervert Point just erases any keyframe or target at the current frame.

    Save will save your demo, but won't overwrite it. It creates a new .dem file with _smooth appended to the original title.

    "Youre_Not.dem" becomes "Youre_Not_smooth.dem".


    I almost forget edge smoothing.

    When you do this, sometimes the changes leave rough jumps to the rest of your camera path. You can smooth those out by entering how many frames you want to blur together at the end of your selections in the Edge box. With the angle lines facing forward, you can select to smooth the edges of the left or right side of the selection, or both. You need at least 3 frames to make it work, but 5 seems to work better. They simply alter the view angles of the last couple of frames of your selection to ease the transition to the non-selected part.

    I think that's it.

    What I'd like to know is "Does this work for you guys?" Can you create splines? Did you have any errors or problems along the way?

    I'm currently bugged somehow, and can't get everything to work anymore, after a reload of the software to fix an SDK bug. I've already tried another reload and I'm getting the same results. I'd like to know if anyone else has better results.

    Thanks again, let my know what you think, and drop any questions in here.


    -Brian
     
  18. Skull

    Skull Newbie

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    Has noone replied yet?!
    This is a very nice and well done tutorial :thumbs:
    Although I only scanned through it quickly, I will surely read it thoroughly when I plan on using the feature. See this post as a "bump" :) it deserves it.
     
  19. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    I hope so. I'd love for it to work for me again.
     
  20. polypod

    polypod Newbie

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    Thank you RabidJester! Nice tutorial. I have been following your instructions and am learning a lot, although i didn't get my two green boxes to create a camera spline, but i might have missed something.. when i processed a spline origin nothing seemed to happen.. i might have missed putting a key somewhere.. i'll keep at it..
    thanks for the info! (exciting possibilities for sure)
     
  21. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    I couldn't get it to work either. I think my main goal with what I posted was to find out if someone could get it to work, or if I was doing something wrong. I've been playing with "Save Key" to try to see what effect it has.
     
  22. Gaheris

    Gaheris Guest

    Neat, I didn't even know HL2 had this feature. Reminds me of Keygrip2 for Quake2. Man you could make some wicked stuff with that.
     
  23. Asuka

    Asuka Companion Cube

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    Does anyone know whats up with the startmovie cmd?

    In cs.1.6 its startmovie namehere 30

    Now its just startmovie namehere

    Where do i change the fps for startmovie and what is the Default fps it uses.
     
  24. polypod

    polypod Newbie

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    type "host_framerate 30" then "startmovie name" (it will say "will start recording when console is close), then "playdemo name", which will automatically exit the console thus starting the recording of the movie, which will be the demo.. the demo will play slow but the movie is recording at 30fps, making .tga's (but you probably know this last stuff)
     
  25. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    I thought it was something like that.

    Thanks man
     
  26. Asuka

    Asuka Companion Cube

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    wow thx needed that command.
     
  27. polypod

    polypod Newbie

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    makes for some pretty movies!
    note you can also record your demo with lower video specs, then up them for the playback/startmovie commands.. (although it takes awhile, might want to do if you're gameplay when recording demo is too choppy)
    also:"cl_drawhud 0"= no HUD(but gun)
    It's the above tutorial that really can get things going! Add to that faceposer which may be out this week and we have a powerful tool indeed!
    So drive carefully and watch for falling objects.. we don't want anything to get in the way of our new age of creation! :bounce:
     
  28. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    I believe it's r_drawviewmodel 0 to get rid of weapons/hands, etc.
     
  29. polypod

    polypod Newbie

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    sweet thanks!

    how do i fly around unhindered and through walls? i've tried 'god' mode but it didn't seem to let me fly..
     
  30. The Dark Elf

    The Dark Elf Newbie

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    use noclip
     
  31. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    Or use the drive mode in the demo editor.
     
  32. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    Yahn Bernier of Valve has recieved my bug list and is tinkering around with things. Appearently, the demoui is a victim of regression, where it worked when they wrote it, but subsequent changes to the code made it not work anymore. Hopefully that should be easy to fix.

    What this probably means is that no-one will be able to get it to work completely right yet, but a fix is on the way.
     
  33. Para

    Para Newbie

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    This is a copy-paste from another thread:

    ---

    Okay, I just had to test making a video with motion blur:
    video! (5.2 megabytes, divx5.2.1).

    If you don't wanna get the vid but see the result anyway here's three screenies:
    screen 1
    screen 2
    screen 3

    ---

    What I did was I rendered the video @250fps ("host_framerate 250" being the console command) and then dumped the screenshots to HD ("startmovie nameoffilestobeusedondumping") and played a little record clip I had. Then I just post-processed the video in Adobe Shake (professional-level compositing program) so that each frame consists of 10 frames -> real multisample motion blur.
     
  34. The Dark Elf

    The Dark Elf Newbie

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    Very cool Para :)

    Jester, good to hear.
     
  35. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    Para, I can't believe somebody else rolled that out first.

    I have a piece I'm working on including a bunch of camera tricks. That's one of them.
     
  36. The Dark Elf

    The Dark Elf Newbie

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    I wouldn't worry, there's a glut of the motion blur vids doing the rounds right now... Why not fake some DOF blur instead :p
     
  37. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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    Oh, I hate you now!

    My video is going to be old news by the time I put it out.

    So much for waiting for Faceposer.
     
  38. Para

    Para Newbie

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    Thanks for the idea...I'll see tomorrow if I can pull it off :upstare: :naughty: ;)
     
  39. RabidJester

    RabidJester Newbie

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  40. polypod

    polypod Newbie

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    nice effect jester!
    was this done in a 2d program?
    it strikes me how much can be done to the footage after it's captured!
    sweet
     

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