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Research | Animcutscenes + Matinee Editing

Semi-technical area to discuss content modding research and discoveries. Technical information necessary for coding tools should be posted in Technical Research on the Coders board.

Re: Research | Animcutscenes + Matinee Editing

Postby giftfish » 20 Feb 2015, 16:11

@JohnP -- The really strange thing about the "inherit" is that you'd think that the game would simply use the last defined camera for that actor. Yet, it doesn't. I know this for a fact, b/c if it did, I wouldn't have run into the problem I ran into.

The only difference I could find between the two convo paths I was editing is that for FemShep's final line, there's no defined camera object. That line does seem to inherit from her previous shot. But, Jacob's final line comes after hers and once he delivers it and the camera switches back to Shep. For that line, it doesn't seem to inherit Shep's last FOV, it seems to inherit Jacob's...maybe. So, there's a chance that the game uses the previous FOV, regardless of actor.

Another thing I still don't know...how the game causes the camera to switch back to Shep at most DWs. These are not controlled by CameraSwitch objects as far as I can tell.
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Re: Research | Animcutscenes + Matinee Editing

Postby giftfish » 20 Feb 2015, 16:44

The Fob wrote:Yes, JohnP is right I think. If you would set this up in UDK, if you do not set a camera in an interp, you will just keep the one that is currently active.

This actually reinforces what I just said in my reply to JohnP, then. Ok, so the game is using the same camera, regardless of actor, then. That seems weird to me, though...do the models move then? B/c the camera is an "actor" pointed in a specific direction, with a specific FOV.

The Fob wrote:I had a look at a video of this conversation. Couldn't find that particular line on yt but the entire conversation seems relatively static in terms of camera and the lines that do have some movement have a cam group in the interp as well as far as I can see.

Yeah, the first line I used isn't in game; it's leftover in the files and I'm restoring it into the revised convo path.

The Fob wrote:So here is what I'd think is going on:
If the line uses new camera settings or movement, it has a cam object.
If the line just switches cameras, it has one of these CameraSwitch groups.
If the line has no camera object, the camera just stays the same as the previous line.

This makes sense, but I think there's still something missing.

I'll have to double-check a couple Interpdatas, but one thing I tried to rectify the issue was to switch the ExportID used for Jacob, for that line that triggers the DW and the subsequent cut back to Shepard. Initially, I used a waist-up shot for Jacob, which would have made sense if Shep then inherited this FOV upon the switch at the DW. But, changing it to an ExportID that used a headshot for Jacob did *not* result in Shep also having that FOV when the DW popped up a moment later and the camera switched to her.

The Fob wrote:So you have two options:
1. Find that last line in the dialogue where the camera was modified and set the settings there -> this will change the settings for all lines between that one and the next line that changes camera settings or switches to different one.

This relates to my comment above. We're either still missing a detail or DW camera switches are handled differently; they don't seem to be controlled by CamSwitch objects, so that would make sense.

The Fob wrote:2. (More time consuming to implement but better): Find the last line that sets the camera settings then do the following: Clone the camera interp group and tracks -> Add those cloned groups/tracks to the interpdata of your current line -> Modify the interp object itself and add the camera variable link, so that it points to the camera actor -> Now change the settings like FOW in the cloned tracks that you just added yo the interp of your line

All that makes sense and ties into some things I was thinking while troubleshooting, but I'm guessing most of it would require some hex, lol. I don't think there's any way to easily add objects into Interpgroups, edit Interpgroups in an Interpdata, etc in PCCEd2. Those are actually some of the suggestions I made several posts back about other things that would be handy to edit -- either in a manner similar to the new Array editor in PCCEd2, or via an actual matinee editor.

Retaining the FOV and changing the idle animation so it flowed into Shep's animation for the line was a good work around. It took about two seconds and I made sure I edited her gesture track for one of Jacob's lines when she wasn't in the FOV, so it's seamless. The player won't notice a difference. But...that kind of edit won't work in all situations, so it's good to know what alternatives there are.

The Fob wrote:EDIT: In order to understand how cameras, angles, FOW, FOD etc. work, it is really helpful to play around with Matinees in UDK because there, you can immediatly visualize how changing values changes the scene. I do recommend anyone who wants to mod this sort of stuff to set up one or two short matinee cutscene with 2 moving cameras or so in UDK and play around with them a little.

That's a really good suggestion about playing with values there and stuff. I need to figure out how to use it. I tried installing UDK once and...it's not a straightforward program. It's nothing like I've used anyway. It made me "create a game" (give it a name) as soon as I opened the program and then plopped me into an empty level. That's literally the only window I can get to come up. I have no idea how to even open a menu. I saw that, said "Wtf?," tried for about an hour to get it to do something else, and then gave up. (It might have only been 15 minutes, but it felt like an hour!) I'll need to spend some time with the documentation and see if I can figure it out. If for no other reason than that it might be able to help with FaceFX editing for Huerta. Though, with some of these new methods I've worked out between Jacob and the romance scene, I feel much better-equipped to get that dialogue looking better even without editing FaceFX.

At any rate, until I do get it figured out, flycam is a good substitute. I can usually discern most of what's going on by just getting in the game and watching the scene play out with it turned on. Definitely not as good as on-the-fly changes, though, being able to see the camera actors, etc :/
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Re: Research | Animcutscenes + Matinee Editing

Postby The Fob » 20 Feb 2015, 18:45

Yea, there is definitely stuff set up in the dialogue, that goes beyond UDK and was probably custom made by BW. For example, the CameraIntimacy value in the Entry and Reply lists of the dialogue objects already shows that there is some interaction that is not native tostandart UDK. (BTW, I guess you already checked into that and CameraIntimacy doesn't have anything to do with your problem, I guess, right?)

Anyway, we'll have to keep digging to see what exactly is going on. It must be buried somewhere.
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Re: Research | Animcutscenes + Matinee Editing

Postby giftfish » 20 Feb 2015, 18:50

The Fob wrote:Yea, there is definitely stuff set up in the dialogue, that goes beyond UDK and was probably custom made by BW. For example, the CameraIntimacy value in the Entry and Reply lists of the dialogue objects already shows that there is some interaction that is not native tostandart UDK. (BTW, I guess you already checked into that and CameraIntimacy doesn't have anything to do with your problem, I guess, right?)

Yep, that parameter is weird.

I've tried editing it for several lines in Jacob's dialogue and it makes no difference at all. However, I am 99% I also edited it for Huerta and that there (at least for the entries/replies I tried to edit) that it DID work. So, there's something not straight-forward about it for sure.
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Re: Research | Animcutscenes + Matinee Editing

Postby Deager » 26 Feb 2015, 06:39

I might have stumbled onto something tonight while working on Traynor's Kapesh-Yakshi scene. After screwing around with a ton of ideas, I found that if I have a camera shot I do want to keep, and if the new line has an InterpGroupDirector, I could go to the InterpTrackDirector and the BioEvtSysTrackDOF. Generally, they had 2 entries. In HxD, I changed the number of entries to read from 2 to 1. This held the camera shot for me without having to involve other InterpGroupDirectors or do anything with timeline stuff. The lines after it flowed just fine.

This was specifically with dialogue. Also, keep in mind I'm writing this just before bed and although I did read through the thread, I think this information is slightly different. Sounds like cloning was written about but I don't think that's necessary. Sorry if I'm off topic on what you all are really trying to cover at this point in the conversation. But the inheriting a camera now makes sense and when the camera switches makes more sense as well to me now.

It does look like this one has a Cam1 object in it. I'm still not sure why some do and some don't exactly though. I just liked that no timeline stuff was involved or anything like that. Granted, earlier in this thread, that may have been to accomplish other goals.

In this example I changed 1335 and 239 in HxD from 02 to 01 so it wouldn't acknowledge the 2nd entry as existing at all. Easiest way I've found to hold cameras and find those elusive cameras that always seem to be set at the dialogue wheel that you may want to keep for the next line being spoken. Again, sorry if this was actually covered already and I missed it. I don't know if this method helps as being easier than messing with m_nTrackKeys or not.
Spoiler:
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EDIT: Had another one today with a BioEvtSysTrackSwitchCamera and BioEvtSysTrackDOF. Avoiding hex edits, I editing both in PCCEd2, Meta Data Editor and made them Name: None and Class : Class. Maybe I could have done something else, but it did the same thing. Basically, lots of ways to not have a camera switch off of the one leading into it. Relative to the complex issues in this thread, easy. But still handy.
Last edited by Deager on 27 Feb 2015, 22:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Research | Animcutscenes + Matinee Editing

Postby giftfish » 26 Feb 2015, 14:33

@Deager -- Just got up myself, so I need to re-read your post when I'm more awake, lol.

But, when it comes to the timeline stuff, it only matters when you're editing an animcutscene. If it's a regular dialogue, then timeline basically doesn't matter b/c there isn't one -- the scene takes place on a line-by-line basis, rather than the defined length of the animcutscene.

I have all Citadel files, but still am not familiar with the DLC to know what file this would be in, lol. Let me know so I can poke around and investigate what you're talking about a bit :)
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Re: Research | Animcutscenes + Matinee Editing

Postby Deager » 26 Feb 2015, 15:32

Right. Like I said, I wasn't really sure I was bringing anything new to the table or not. It sounded like finding or using the "base" camera was a little bit of a mystery. It still is to me, but I finally found a quick way to use it without trying to find it and its InterpTrackMove properties.

But, if it was nothing new; just ignore.

The file is BioD_CitCas_430Traynor_LOC_INT.pcc

EDIT: Warning giftfish, it does require your favorite, hex editing! If this is something you might find worthwhile, Fobs post explaining how to read the hex comes in very handy for this.
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Re: Research | Animcutscenes + Matinee Editing

Postby giftfish » 26 Feb 2015, 15:48

Deager wrote:Right. Like I said, I wasn't really sure I was bringing anything new to the table or not. It sounded like finding or using the "base" camera was a little bit of a mystery. It still is to me, but I finally found a quick way to use it without trying to find it and its InterpTrackMove properties.

But, if it was nothing new; just ignore.

The file is BioD_CitCas_430Traynor_LOC_INT.pcc

Well, certainly not ignore -- you never know when an alternate method of doing something may come in handy. If you are editing in a LOC_INT file, I'm guessing it's not an animcutscene, but I'll take a look in a bit. Still not awake yet, arg.
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Re: Research | Animcutscenes + Matinee Editing

Postby Deager » 26 Feb 2015, 16:24

giftfish wrote: If you are editing in a LOC_INT file, I'm guessing it's not an animcutscene, but I'll take a look in a bit. Still not awake yet, arg.


Yeah, I had mismarked this in my bookmarks just as "camera" so I'm basically not posting in the right place. :S
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Re: Research | Animcutscenes + Matinee Editing

Postby giftfish » 26 Feb 2015, 16:38

Deager wrote:
giftfish wrote: If you are editing in a LOC_INT file, I'm guessing it's not an animcutscene, but I'll take a look in a bit. Still not awake yet, arg.


Yeah, I had mismarked this in my bookmarks just as "camera" so I'm basically not posting in the right place. :S

Nah, I think it's ok here. It counts as "matinee editing." :)
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