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Thread: Alternatives for CamVators?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Pushing my luck with Dromed

    Alternatives for CamVators?

    A while ago I was surprised to learn that a lot of players don't like CamVators
    https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149574
    (not sure where the other thread is but people seemed quite keen on expressing their views)
    Some authors tend to disable user input to prevent the user accidentally breaking things, which may compound the problem if the sequence is long.

    In the past I've made use of CamVators to avoid having to make an intro movie. They're especially useful when for an intro that has people people moving around. I don't have the knowledge/time to put that in a movie. For me the limit is taking screenshots and using zoom and rotate and other very basic effects.

    I'd like to discuss alternatives, e.g.:
    • Build the CamVator sequence as normal but then record it in Fraps or similar software. Fraps movie files are enormous but I think that's mainly down to the resolution. I think movies always have to be 640x480 so some further processing will be needed anyway. It looks like VirtualDub can do that afterwards, whereas Fraps' recording options only seem to be full-size and half-size.
    • Stick with the CamVator but have an inventory button for the player that aborts it and immediately goes to the end state (teleport player, activate objectives, provide inventory items etc).
    • Make a conventional movie. You have to have the right software, the right skills etc. This is why there aren't that many movies.
    • Set up a conversation type scenario so the player is more actively engaged.


    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Between dreams and shadows...
    I've no strong feelings on this, other than to note that Fraps - while straightforward - is a very long way from what I'd consider the best tool for capture these days.

    OBS is completely free, produces sane file sizes, and if you have an NVidia card you can have it do NVENC on the fly encoding on the card with virtually no framerate impact. It takes more setup that Fraps, but you only need to set up a "Thief Capture" scene once, and then you can capture with hotkeys just like in Fraps.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Looks like the main complaints there are a) that you can't skip them and b) they take control away from the player if used in the middle of a mission.

    So, the solution is simply to a) allow the player to skip them, and b) only use them at the start and/or end of a mission.



    Kind of confused why people dislike them over intro videos though, is it because they tend to be longer-form, with too many delays around the action?
    In which case, probably best to keep them brief as well.

  4. #4
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by The Watcher View Post
    OBS is completely free, produces sane file sizes, and if you have an NVidia card you can have it do NVENC on the fly encoding on the card with virtually no framerate impact.
    Unless you're doing a multi-hour let's play, file size is irrelevant. You're going to be recompressing any cutscene video to H.264 anyway.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: France
    I guess one might rant that a CamVator scene eats into their game clock stats. And unless CamVator scene is it's own mission, there might be a chance that it can get broken if it happens in the middle of game-play.
    (ex: the player did something that may affect the AIs for the event by accidentally hitting them or somehow putting them on high alert. Or even managed to knockout/kill one of them.)

    EDIT: Of course, if you want a movie cut-scene in the middle of game-play, you could use the NVScript to do that. I did that in TROTB 2 for a few missions.
    Last edited by GORT; 20th Jul 2020 at 06:03. Reason: Adding in another option for in-game cutscenes...

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    Unless you're doing a multi-hour let's play, file size is irrelevant. You're going to be recompressing any cutscene video to H.264 anyway.
    Bandicam saves to H.264 if your video card supports it.

  7. #7
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    That's great. Still irrelevant. Any video you capture, you're going to want to edit. For that you want your raw footage as close to lossless as practical so you don't get obvious generational compression artifacts when you do your final export.

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