Create an account


Thread Rating:
  • 4 Vote(s) - 3 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Machinima in Xonotic

#1
Video 
For the tl;dr version, scroll down

Machinima is an art of creating films based using only a game (or a few) and then re-dubbing it and editing so that the end result looks more like a movie than like a game video. The thing is, most of the machinimas done in the Nex/Xon community are frag or trick movies, and that's quite narrow range. Of course, Xonotic would have to implement some proper features (real physics engine, possibly model skeletal animation*) and people willing to be body actors and voice actors, project manager, a director and an editor. Usually the last three are in one person. However, I can see a huge potential in Xonotic to make good machinimas.

1: The technology is good

Xonotic is based on a great engine of Darkplaces, which fortunately didn't drop the support for letterboxing, and has a built-in recorder, which means: The cameraman doesn't have to have anything but the game running. Usually the cameraman should have the most powerful computer in the whole crew, since the quality must be good (I'm talking (possibly) HD with stuff like HDR on). Xonotic should allow for that, also giving on-the-fly OGV compression at cost of few FPS, but - they would be lost anyway, since most machinimas are recorded for YouTube, which takes 25~30 FPS videos for best quality.

2: Tools for making original locations are free

Most of FPS-based machinimas use custom maps on which the movie is recorded. It may be something as easy as putting stuff on an existing map, or as hard as building a new map from scratch - and never intending for it to be playable, but rather watchable. Additionally, with the improved vehicle system, locations such as under the water or in space are easy. It doesn't take long to convert a .blend of the Death Star to a ridable vehicle, and then shoot it in a way that cancels out the scaling differences. Or just make it big. A good toolchain of Blender, Gimp, NetRadiant and few converters will empower one to create locations and props easily. Plus, there are experienced mappers and modellers who are specialized in many different stages of creating maps and models, a quality machinima just needs organization.

3: Potential for further technology improvements
This is where * leads.

Many things can be added to Xonotic. For instance, CSQC skeletal animation. This could mean anything from proper aiming, weapon-holding and firing animations and, you know, better character animation (such as being freaking able to see where the characters are looking), to details, such as finger posing and facial expressions. If this gets implemented, a programmer on the team can do stuff that would make the animation much more believable and smooth it out.
Another thing that might be useful is a physics engine, however simple. Even as simple as the one currently used in Nexball, if could be adapted to stuff like phys_model. There are many uses of that, no doubt.

4: Conclusion

So while you people argue about the balance and stuff, you might consider a different, artistic approach to Xonotic. Machinimas are an intersting way of promoting the game, too. A good game designer should consider all the ways the game could be used, and creating machinimas is one of them. Plus, this could mean partnership with Machinima.com or YouTube, which equals money.

Consider this.



Well, that's a pretty nice wall of text, isn't it? In short:
1. Technology is good enough to make interesting stuff already.
2. Means of creating content for the machinimas are free and relatively easy
3. The engines can be built upon to create even better environments and tools for moviemaking
4. It's reasonable for game designers to consider the use of Xonotic for machinimas. Also, this could mean promotion and profit.

Ideas could range from something devising from the gameplay (such as a battlefront diary or movie, or a Wile E. Coyote vs Roadrunner rendition) to something completely detached from the game (a completely self-contained story, sometimes touching the gameplay, like a story about a Nexball team). Just think about it. Possibilities are endless!
(08-10-2012, 02:37 AM)Mr. Bougo Wrote: Cloud is the new Web 2.0. It makes no damn sense to me.
Reply

#2
I could see this working very well to the advantage of Xonotic, especially with there not being much open source game machinima out there. It could also give incentive to actually code in all the CSQC goodies.
Reply

#3
If there were some ghuys who have enough time to invest it in making movies alike these...

For optimal youtube quality, think about a resolution of 1280*780 (high fps arent a problem, movies are quite nice with high fps!)
Reply

#4
I'd do it, but we should wait still for the optimized release, and quite possibly for the csqc skeletal animation.
(08-10-2012, 02:37 AM)Mr. Bougo Wrote: Cloud is the new Web 2.0. It makes no damn sense to me.
Reply

#5
I actually had started on something like this for nexuiz a long, long time ago. (This was when I was still using sony vegas movie studio and photoshop cs3.) Sadly I didn't finish it because I had started on a frag movie, which eventually became my second frag video (stride). Currently, I am working on my third and final nexuiz frag movie, which I was hoping to complete fairly soon, but I haven't received a lot of demos up until recently. When I am done with this frag movie, I might start work on a xonotic frag video, or perhaps something else xonotic wise..

Everything you mentioned was on target, but you left out perhaps one of the most important parts...the actual video editing. It is one thing to actually capture the video from the game, but the video editing is just as crucial, since it is what helps produce the final product for people to watch. I realize there are some free video editors, but generally they do not provide enough tools to create anything above average within a reasonable timeline. There are some cheap alternatives to the more expensive software such as sony vegas movie studio (well, each are free if you torrent programs, but that is not of my nature so I purchase everything Tongue), but remember it has limitations...or in other words you get what you pay for. Currently I am using the adobe cs5 production premium suite, which is an incredibly significant upgrade to sony vegas movie studio, so look towards my third frag video being the best out of all of my vidoes.

A machinima would be great, but I don't know how well it would work. I know it has been done before in other fast paced games, like quake 3, but I would imagine it would take a long time. I also think that it would take a dedicated team who would stay committed to such work, because I have to say that creating something that is both entertaining and of top quality is a very hard balance to achieve, even for something like a frag video. I would only imagine that it would be even more difficult with a machinima, since now you have incorporated a possible storyline into the video. I think it would have to be crafted in a way that would yield the most attraction to the video, making even MORE difficult.

I have collected a lot of experience in video editing...not just from me working on my own frag videos, but watching other frag videos, as well as researching different methods for creating compositions that can that create different views amongst the audience. What's funny is, all of this applies for video editing...there are still other things to be concerned with, such as the audio editing, any motion graphics used, the actual graphics themselves, video quality, and perhaps even how to get your video to become popular on websites like youtube.

tl;dr: Great idea, would be a lot of work. Just find a dedicated team that can create work from their ideas, and success!
Reply

#6
Editing aspect is important. Yet, there's the Blender sequencer, which has a very powerful compositing and animation engines - it's just that it operates on the Blender principle, and is kinda hard to get used to. Audio and music can be mastered using Ardour, or Cinelerra, the badass opensource editing tool. Bear in mind, though, that Cinelerra is extremely prone to crashes unless you build it yourself, and run as root with shared memory extension. Bottom line is, PPA version seldom works. Blender+Ardour would be the best bet.

Now that's the Linux point of view. And also, there's a reason I didn't bring this up: Editing is further away from the game itself, and the game was my focus while writing the thread. The top priorities to make Xonotic a good place for machinima makers are to improve and stabilise the technology and to get people from various user groups (players→actors, mappers, modellers, programmers?, editors, directors, storytellers and managers) to collaborate. Obviously, the borders aren't there, and someone with multiple strengths may choose to manage, direct, script and map the whole thing. As always, it's the actors that are the most important part of filming a machinima, but everyone else counts as well.

A good machinima crew should consist of several people (storytellers + technical crew in pre-production, actors + cameramen in the filming stage, voice actors + rest of the crew in the post-production, all directed and managed properly), sharing ideas and helping each other if necessary.

As for the outlet, there's this: http://www.machinima.com/directors, and it could be sent to blip.tv as well for monetization. And yes, I believe that such a hard work should redeem itself in the form of some nice cash. I also believe that large part of said cash should be donated to Xonotic, if not all of it.
(08-10-2012, 02:37 AM)Mr. Bougo Wrote: Cloud is the new Web 2.0. It makes no damn sense to me.
Reply

#7
There is another problem with having a multiperson crew I realized...the thing is, for video editing file sizes can be huge. I know there is always the option to use OGV, but you have to remember that format isn't always compatible with video editing software. Also, the quality of OGV isn't as comparable to avi. I know what you're thinking...you cannot even play uncompressed avi files, so why would you even use it? Well, that's the thing, you can encode at a lower bitrate to achieve a balance of quality and size, and believe it or not, I have gotten great results with such a process. However, even then the size is still fairly large, usually several hundred megabytes....of course that all depends on the size. That would greatly slow down the process of video editing, having to upload/download several gigabytes of data. Dunno if there's a way around that, other than using OGV format.
Reply

#8
(04-25-2011, 01:27 PM)PCLizard Wrote: There is another problem with having a multiperson crew I realized...the thing is, for video editing file sizes can be huge. I know there is always the option to use OGV, but you have to remember that format isn't always compatible with video editing software. Also, the quality of OGV isn't as comparable to avi. I know what you're thinking...you cannot even play uncompressed avi files, so why would you even use it? Well, that's the thing, you can encode at a lower bitrate to achieve a balance of quality and size, and believe it or not, I have gotten great results with such a process. However, even then the size is still fairly large, usually several hundred megabytes....of course that all depends on the size. That would greatly slow down the process of video editing, having to upload/download several gigabytes of data. Dunno if there's a way around that, other than using OGV format.

OGV can be pretty good, but then again even Blender doesn't take it very well. My suggestion would be to set up a cloud space, like Dropbox or something. There are many organizational issues, and of course, YouTube doesn't eat OGV.

Of course, if we were to make a machinima right now, we should probably have a story or something going with it. I'd strongly suggest that the "official" Xonotic machinima would be tied to the single-player mode that me and other people want to work on when Xonotic 1.0 comes out, or something like that.

For a quick story idea, let's say... * Is off to tvtropes generator...

Setting: The Time Of Myths
Plot: Mystery Arc
Narrative Device: One Side Of The Story
Hero: Working Class Hero
Villain: Dimension Lord

* Is back

So, our hero would be looking in retrospect on his side of the story, where he, a hero rising from the slaves of the villain, would restore peace in the Multiverse dy defeating the pesky dimension lord of a villain. Yeah, pretty much. Oh, and it all happens before The Magic Goes Away, or, in our case, the technology does, so it should be considered the myths age.
(08-10-2012, 02:37 AM)Mr. Bougo Wrote: Cloud is the new Web 2.0. It makes no damn sense to me.
Reply

#9
+1
Reply

#10
I can try voice acting.
[Image: BSF48.png][Image: HMITP48.png][Image: S48.png][Image: TLT48.png]
Reply

#11
It would be cool. So... If we were to keep the original idea, then:
Manager/Producer/Director: Minkovsky
Script: We should collaborate on that.
Editor: PCLizard (?)
Voice acting: unfa, *
Camera: none (can be me), *
Mapping: Minkovsky, *
Body acting: none (I think everyone should), *
Programming: If necessary, *
* = needs people
(08-10-2012, 02:37 AM)Mr. Bougo Wrote: Cloud is the new Web 2.0. It makes no damn sense to me.
Reply

#12
If someone needs voice acting I'm always willing.
asyyy^ | are you releated to chuck norris?
Reply

#13
Honestly I think we should work towards a trailer first... an ACTUALLY GOOD trailer.
Reply

#14
(05-06-2011, 11:12 AM)Samual Wrote: Honestly I think we should work towards a trailer first... an ACTUALLY GOOD trailer.

+1

Edit: Honestly I think we should work towards a release first XD
Links to my: SoundCloud and bandcamp accounts
Reply

#15
We need to find a way to get this viral. Most of what's left of the Nexuiz community will probably migrate to it after it hits 1.0, but other players won't even know it exists. We're probably going to have to organize and populate some servers and keep them populated while others promote the game like mad. A well put together video like the one Kojn recently uploaded would be excellent as it's really a no bullshit film that introduces the player to the game and many of it's modes and it does it very accurately. No fancy phrases or any other crap like that, just gameplay footage. Since this is a relatively unknown game, using gameplay footage would be the most likely to get people's attention and make them want to play.

lol I must have edited this a gazillion times now
ECKZBAWKZ HUGE LIST OF ACHIEVEMENTS GOES HERE....


Oh wait.
Reply



Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread:
1 Guest(s)

Forum software by © MyBB original theme © iAndrew 2016, remixed by -z-