Another WCP video project

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
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(Last updated: 11/28/16)

  • Remove the Camera name at the top of the screen
  • During the mission to capture the Ship Killer, have the set up be much more desperate with the bombers being taken out and the Marines pinned down and seemingly no way to stop the Ship Killer from taking out the Midway. This prompts another pilot to kick in after burners, point his ships at the engines and eject allowing the fighter to crash into the engines and effecting a hit comparable to a torpedo crippling the ship killer.
  • Add in scenes involving N'Shan (A kilrathi mentioned in-game but never seen). I would need a voice for the character, a means to make said voice sound more Kilrathi-like, and a means of Identifying the character in game either by way of a special craft, or by way of a designation in the comm pop-ups
  • during the mission to destroy the Comm Station, instead of just having Vampire jump in have the TCS Eisen jump in but during the battle have the Eisen damaged to the point that it can not land the fighters, thus they are switched to the MidWay. (Will need a voice and character for Captain of the Eisen).
  • Be able to make a 'CLEAN' comm broadcast. notes
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So I'm starting a new project, sort of. Partly because I want to do this, partly because it helps me learn Adobe Premier, and partly because I can. What am I doing? Well editing up some video from Wing Commander Prophecy. Rather then doing it as a single 2-3 hours movie, I'm thinking I'll do it as more of a series of 10-20 minute episodes with each episode covering a given mission but will continue the story from the previous one. If I continue it that is. Right now I'm just working on the first mission and I haven't even started working on the actual dog fight section of the mission.

So I have a little bit to show at this point. That little bit is a 7 minute video of which 5:30 of it is just FMVs dropped into place. Still, the later 90 seconds I have edited and I hope it shows some of the directions I'm taking with the project. So far, it is what it is. I'm trying to go for something more like a thematic style but mixing in some game design elements. Like the Comm channel windows popping up. Those are one example of what I'm talking about. In a proper production, a director would most likely use a medium close up of the pilot in the fighter framed in such a way that their name on the side of the cockpit was view able on screen, or perhaps a head on shot of the pilot with some distinguishing marking on their helmet so that the audience can identify the character if their face is not visable, or have some sort of setup that shows the characters entire face. That not being an option, I'm opting for the Comm windows popping up.

There are still some hurdles I would like to over come, mostly of a technical nature. Two of those hurdles are removing the object name from the top of the screen, and the second one is isolating the respective audio bits so that I can have more control over them during the editing.

A good example of the type of control I'm referring to can be seen in two places in the video. When the Marine LC is moving in to attach to the Fralthi. I used a bit of audio from later in the game where the LC is landing on the relay station to indicate what is going on. The bit where the marine pilot says "We're docking now" specifically. Then followed by the segment with Dekker.

Another change I made was I added a 'LOCK' warning just a second after Dekker says they're under fire and a split second before Maniac orders everyone to break and attack. In-game it just seemed to 'special' that Maniac knew to attack the un-identified fighters before they actually did anything more threatening then fly toward the wrecked cruiser. So by combining the heads up from Dekker about being under fire, and a weapons lock from the unknown, I'm hoping it gives a better explanation for Maniac's call to break and attack beyond "Hey it's a game where you dog fight, so start dog fighting!"

So... yeah. Here is... I don't even know if I can call it a "rough assembly cut" but whatever you want to call it, here it is:

So, how am I doing?
 
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Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
So I had an idea for the whole Maniac being clairvoyant enough to order the break and attack. In the previous video I used the missile lock indicator. But then I had an idea and made up a blinking radar indicator. So I've re-hashed the indicator and have made 2 versions.

Missile Lock indicator:

Radar lock indicator:

Which one seems better?
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
so I've talked to about 2 dozen people and shown them all three videos and then asked weather the Missile lock or the radar lock would work better visually and thematically. With a surprising majority (seriously like one 2 people said they liked the missile lock ) the result is the radar indicator. It'll mean more work in the long term since I'll have to add the radar lock to every scene there is active radar being used, but that's all part of the job.

I've been working on compiling the in-mission comms and typing them to the bobbing heads that is the pilot animations. This way I just need to have the comm file for the respective pilot and trim down the file to the proper response. So like if I need Maniac saying "Nice shot, for the pleeb" I can just pull up the Comms-maniac file, drop it on the project, green screen it and move it to the proper location then edit down the clip to the part I need. As an example of what I'm talking about.... enjoy Maniac!

After going through the first 3 missions in prophecy I have spotted another story element I'm going to change. In mission 2 "Black Widow Rescue" Maestro says he'll open a comm back to Finley so she can analyze the alien communication chatter. The only issue is, you haven't met Finley yet. In the cut scene where you meet her, they even make a point of saying that it's odd for an Science and Intel officer to be down in pilot country. So I'm going to swap some bits around so that either Casey and crew meet Finley after the first mission or that Maestro sends the comms back to Finley during the third mission.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Maestro says he'll open a comm back to Finley so she can analyze the alien communication chatter. The only issue is, you haven't met Finley yet. In the cut scene where you meet her, they even make a point of saying that it's odd for an Science and Intel officer to be down in pilot country. So I'm going to swap some bits around so that either Casey and crew meet Finley after the first mission or that Maestro sends the comms back to Finley during the third mission.
I think if you can make something the flows and fits together better, then great, but I'd also suggest trying to avoid creating more work for yourself if the situation doesn't necessarily call out for it. In this example, it seems like Casey may not have met Finley yet, but it seems like Maestro probably has. So I wouldn't really see this as a continuity error or anything that needs fixing, unless your resequencing their meeting produces a noticeable improvement in the narrative somehow.
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
I think if you can make something the flows and fits together better, then great, but I'd also suggest trying to avoid creating more work for yourself if the situation doesn't necessarily call out for it. In this example, it seems like Casey may not have met Finley yet, but it seems like Maestro probably has. So I wouldn't really see this as a continuity error or anything that needs fixing, unless your resequencing their meeting produces a noticeable improvement in the narrative somehow.
It's interesting, but the more I experiment with settings and layering the more I'm coming to understand that I more I do the easier it will be in the long run. The comms exchange with Finley is a good example. Having gotten a pretty good setup for the comm window setup, adding the exchange in-mission is super easy. I literally pull the comm video in, sync it to the audio and add the comm window effect.


I've also been looking with considerable interest at DefianceIndustries Secret Ops upgraded model project. I'm hoping he'll get it finished up cause the upgraded dog fight graphics would be a nice addition to my own project.

Another idea I had, one that I'm tossing into the back of the pile right now simply because it doesn't play any part in the current development, is for an alteration to the mission to capture the Ship Killer. Basically I want to make the fight more intense, and then move it to more desperate as the Ship Killer is powering up. My idea right now is to have it culminate with the statement that the strike team don't have any torpedoes left so there's no way to take out the engines, only for another pilot (Maybe Maestro, maybe Stiletto, hell maybe even Maniac he's just crazy enough to do this) to call out that they're bailing out after hitting their afterburners and pointing their ship at the engines of the Ship Killer, the resulting collision destroys the engines and disables the ship killer.

Like I said, an idea for down the line.
 
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Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
as an aside, anyone know what the longest 'talking head' comm in the game is? By talking head, I mean like the maniac comm video I posted up. It's just the pilot head moving around while the audio for the comm is played. Any idea what the longest one of those is?
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
So the reason I was asking about the longest talking head sequence. When you look at the comms in the game, aside from the videos of a character talking or doing something (rachel on the launchers, Dekker in the Kilrathi cruiser, Blair on the Comm station, the CAG on the Midway ect) all the in-flight comms are a talking head with a different squadron icon on the helmet. I was hoping to find a way to extract he raw video or frames for the comms, but I can't find anything to that effect (If anyone knows where to find said material please speak up). But I think I've found a way to fudge it with out making it look fudged. What I've done is first took the longest talking head sequence I could find right away, scrubbed out the audio. Then applied a sort of dirty smudge to the bottom most section of the video so that it would blur and obscure out the name. Then I add in a name using a title maker on top of that. This is the proof of concept I threw together just now. I need to go back and fix some resolution issue in the original footage, but like I said this is just a proof of concept.


As an aside, my development project track is getting mighty messy and dirty. I need to wipe it and start fresh, but first I need to document a bunch of stuff.
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
So the name of the game today is voice overs. Specifically the Kilrathi. Donno if this is something I'll be able to accomplish or it's just a pipe dream and fond wishing, but hey aim high right? There's a video of the CAG following a mission where the Kilrathi came to help the Midway following Casey's not attacking them with Hawk. Now this is fine with me... up until one particular line in the video:

CAG: We've been getting comms from a cat on Eloy named N'Shan. he says he's well acquainted with your hairless clan.
Casey: Yeah, Hawk and I saved his ass.
CAG: Well between insults I got the impression that he wants to help.


Now it's not a huge thing, but N'Shan doesn't actually show up anywhere in the game. He's just a name that gets dropped in. Now in a movie I have no problem with this. But I'm not making a movie, I'm doing this more as a series. So I have room to expand on some content. This is something I want to expand on. I want to actually have N'Shan show up in the series. So... how am I going to do that? Comms! Well okay a little more then that. But yeah if I can work it out the character will be rendered in comms like in the older WC games with voice overs and adding some details to the hud. Which means I need a voice, and since it's a Kilrathi it means figuring how to... erm.. 'beastify' the voice. Here's my first attempt at it. Not great, but for a first attempt... not bad I say.

 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Which means I need a voice, and since it's a Kilrathi it means figuring how to... erm.. 'beastify' the voice. Here's my first attempt at it. Not great, but for a first attempt... not bad I say.
Get Audacity if you don't have it already (freeware, and awesome if you've never had opportunity to play around with it). You'll need to drop the register of your voice at least half an octave, and then add a vocoder effect of a lion's gurgle. It'll get you in the ballpark of what they sounded like in WC3. If you then want to further get it sounding like it's something coming over a communications line, I forget the specific combination of effects needed other than to say that it is pretty easily done. For good measure, a short burst of white noise on either end of the comm can also be added in.
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
Get Audacity if you don't have it already (freeware, and awesome if you've never had opportunity to play around with it). You'll need to drop the register of your voice at least half an octave, and then add a vocoder effect of a lion's gurgle. It'll get you in the ballpark of what they sounded like in WC3. If you then want to further get it sounding like it's something coming over a communications line, I forget the specific combination of effects needed other than to say that it is pretty easily done. For good measure, a short burst of white noise on either end of the comm can also be added in.
Already have Audacity, used it for the equalization and attempt at a deeper throat sort of voice in the video. Got information on how to apply the vocoder effect or is that a plug in that's included with Audacity?
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
The vocoder is a built-in effect in some of the later versions of Audacity (in the Effects menu). It's been a while since I've used it my own self, and I'm afraid I've misplaced my notes, but I know that @-danr- is currently doing the same thing, using Audacity to create a Kilrathi voice effect - in his case, he's re-dubbing the initial scene of WC3 into the Kilrathi language. I imagine if you PM him, he can help you out with specific settings.
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
The vocoder is a built-in effect in some of the later versions of Audacity (in the Effects menu). It's been a while since I've used it my own self, and I'm afraid I've misplaced my notes, but I know that @-danr- is currently doing the same thing, using Audacity to create a Kilrathi voice effect - in his case, he's re-dubbing the initial scene of WC3 into the Kilrathi language. I imagine if you PM him, he can help you out with specific settings.
Cool! I'll hit him up and see what advice he can give.

In the meanwhile I do have something to show off. Every since I started this project more then 6 weeks ago I've been talking about stuff 'in theory' and 'if I can do it' and 'I think it'll work', but you never really know what problems you will face until you sit down and actually start putting blade to grind stone. So I did that today. I've put together a tech-log assembly cut of the launch for the first mission of the game, the Kilrathi Distress mission. It's not perfect and I've still got tweaking to do and the biggie section, the actual dog fight is still yet to be done but that will have to wait till next week. Sadly I work retail and it's that wonderful time of the year called Black-thanksgiving. On a side note, anyone in the US do me a big favor and DO NOT SHOP at Best Buy prior to Friday morning 12:01. I'm cool with the 24 hour mad house Black Friday used to be, but this pre-black friday on wednesday, then Thanksgiving day sale, followed by black-friday, followed by Saturday sales, followed by pre-cyber Monday Sunday, followed by Cyber-monday.... is just getting insane. I would really like to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with something more then a microwave turkey dinner platter from Banquet and the best way to do that is to get the CEO and board to find out that paying me 8 hours holiday pay + Time and a half for 8 hours on thanksgiving just isn't worth it.

Anyway, as I said assembly test cut. This is a video with a bunch of added text elements that detail certain things about the video, mainly positional data of different elements on screen like where the com windows are located, or what scale factor to apply to a particular shot, ect. It also contained very few sound effects and no music so fair warning on that. Like I said, this is an assembly cut. As an aside I'm really rooting for DefianceIndustries High Def upgrade project. I would love to be able to replace the low-ress models with the high def ones he's been showing off. *crossing fingers*

 
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Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
So with some guidance from DefianceIndustries, I'm looking into using the Mission Editor for crafting cut scenes and effects from an in-game perspective for the videos. So work is going to be slow on that front for a while. You can follow my efforts on this front over in this other thread.

As a bit of an update, I'm going to add a "Wish List" to the original post. The Wish list is... well my wish list. A list of items I hope to accomplish but have not yet accomplished because of one reason or another. I'll include information about what the challenges are that way if anyone knows a way to address them, they can post the info up.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Wish List:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
  • Remove the Camera name at the top of the screen
  • During the mission to capture the Ship Killer, have the set up be much more desperate with the bombers being taken out and the Marines pinned down and seemingly no way to stop the Ship Killer from taking out the Midway. This prompts another pilot to kick in after burners, point his ships at the engines and eject allowing the fighter to crash into the engines and effecting a hit comparable to a torpedo crippling the ship killer.
  • Add in scenes involving N'Shan (A kilrathi mentioned in-game but never seen). I would need a voice for the character, a means to make said voice sound more Kilrathi-like, and a means of Identifying the character in game either by way of a special craft, or by way of a designation in the comm pop-ups
  • during the mission to destroy the Comm Station, instead of just having Vampire jump in have the TCS Eisen jump in but during the battle have the Eisen damaged to the point that it can not land the fighters, thus they are switched to the MidWay. (Will need a voice and character for Captain of the Eisen).
 
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Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
Bit of an addition to the Wish List. I can work with out this, but being able to do this will help immensely with a variety of things.

Be able to make a 'CLEAN' comm broadcast.
-by Clean I mean I would like to be able to extract the video, or even individual frames that comprise the talking heads with the Black Widows, Wolf Pack, and Diamond Back squadron logos on the helmet as the pilot head moves around.

If you look at the comm broadcasts you'll see that it's made up of 3 components:
1- a helmeted pilot, that is either smooth white, or has the icon for the Diamond Backs, Black Widows, or Wolf Pack squadrons. The White helmet with no icon is used for the Marine lander, the transports and the like.
2- a name designator, this is that green text at the bottom of the frame. The part that looks like [ Stilletto ] and [ Moray ]
3- The Audio. This is whatever the pilot is saying.

Now there is a note to be made here. When you receive a transmission from the Midway, like from the CAG or Rachel or what have you, these are definitely videos with the name designator on top of the frame. So it is possible that each communication is actually a self-contained file. I do feel confident that the designator is still a seperate element. At least I very sincearly hope it is.

I would like to find a way to have just the four talking pilot heads on their own.
 

Adm_maverick

Rear Admiral
Just adding a copy of a comment and exchange I had with DefianceIndustries over on his SP Upgrade thread.


So you're doing this just to annoy me with everything that could be on screen with my WCP video series if you ever finish this project and if you port it to include WCP, aren't you?

Seriously, I'm imagining the shot from the mission where you go in to destroy the Alien's comm array and then lead the Alien counter attack back into an ambush with support from the TCS Eisen. In my version its a Vesuvius class super-carrier flanked by a pair of Murphy class destroyers jumping in and launching it's full wing of Vampire fighters. Those fighters move in to flank your own attack wing as you and they take out the counter attack only for an emergency call from the Eisen comes in saying they're under attack by an alien destroyer group so you get re-routed mid-mission to try and save the Eisen who with out it's primary fighter wing is desperately trying to pull out using it's Devastators for a running retreat operation. As an Alien destroyer moves in for the kill against the Eisen, the Captain of the Shield Breaker (one of the Murphys) breaks rank with the Eisen to drop back and take several hits that had been directed at the Eisen. The hits causing critical damage to its engines, we see arcs of lighting start dancing across the surface of the ship as the captain orders an evacuation. An order that is denied by the bridge crew as they realize the captain isn't leaving and instead the bridge crew opts to carry out one last effort to save the Eisen. Aiming their ship directly at the lead alien destroyer, they take the engines to 100%, one of them exploding in the process. They manage to fire off one last shot from the plasma cannon at the front of the ship, the blast smashing into the bridge of the Destroyer, but the cost of the shot causing the front of Shield Breaker to explode in flame and fire even as the ship itself powers forward to smash into the destroyer forcing it off course and into the path of a second destroyer forcing the entire alien Capital ship group to break rank buying the Eisen and the other Murphy time to escape, and allowing the Fighters from the Midway to link up with the fleeing Eisen. The Eisen captain radios the Midway informing them of the damage to their landing bays and their inability to take their fighters back on board and the Wolf Pack is being transferred to the Midway.

You see what you're doing to me?
Well I fully intend to finish this. I don't like unfinished things in general. :). That said it's a mod So I get done what I can as I can.

For your second "If": watch this space.

finally, I like the idea above. I might suggest adding a Hydra in the mix as Orcas aren't particularly threatening to a Vesuvius. The Hydra though... Another story.
 
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