Author Topic: Music videos made in AGS (new one added Oct 30!)  (Read 2009 times)

Fitz

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I haven't been very active in the forums for a while now. But I've been super busy on another AGS project that's not a game. I've using our beloved engine to make music videos now!

It started with Zuri, the musician who kindly let me use one his songs in a teaser trailer for The Unprintable MAGENTA. We've become good friends since, and co-worked on various projects. So this one time, he wrote a new synthwave song, and then somewhat shyly offered it for a soundtrack for a future project -- and I loved it, and instantly knew where I wanted to use it. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized the song demands a more fleshed-out visualization. Ideas started flowing, and within 15 minutes I had a detailed concept for a whole music video. And since I don't have After Effects, I took to the one program I know: Adventure Game Studio. It was an insane decision, for many reasons, and it took its toll - but..

...some 2,5 months later, the video is finally done:


UPDATE Jan 10, 2017:

And here's another one -- which I did as a fan tribute for one of my favorite synthwave artists, VHS Glitch (and which he liked so much it is now the official video for the song)! This one I've done mostly in MOHO/Anime Studio, which I got recently and started playing around with -- BUT after some initial trials I decided animating all the keystrokes would be crazy, I made virtual organs in AGS. Then I grabbed the footage of myself whamming the hell out of my trusty keyboard and put the animation of that into the animation (laugh)


UPDATE Oct 30, 2017:

Here's a Halloween special!


Some time ago, after seeing my first video, the French synthwave band ELEVN, whom I'd been following with great interest from the start, approached me about creating visualizations for their live gigs. And so, over several months of blood, sweat and tears, driven by madness and black magic, I concocted the darkest, craziest creation of my entire life. This time it's pure-bred hellspawn of AGS, with no other magic involved: inanimate objects and undead characters moving around, vanishing and reappearing, changing size and tint in real time by the power of The Code... MUAHAHAAAA!!! (laugh)
« Last Edit: 29 Oct 2017, 22:10 by Fitz »

Amayirot Akago

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #1 on: 16 Oct 2016, 20:46 »
That was pretty awesome :D Lovely 80's style visuals and a pretty decent tune to boot. Helps that I love anything related to Chris Hülsbeck :)
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Fitz

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #2 on: 16 Oct 2016, 21:23 »
Thanks :) Had so much fun making this -- especially since I'm an 80's kid myself (1980 FTW!). Though I never got to play Giana Sisters, and we didn't get NES in my neck of the woods till the early 90's.

selmiak

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #3 on: 16 Oct 2016, 21:58 »
cool stuff. Is that rainwiper (is it called like this in english?) some sprite function? That eye/Iris made from lines to the center with more lines inside is pretty cool is this also some code trickery?

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #4 on: 16 Oct 2016, 22:05 »
Sounds and looks great!
Good job! (nod)
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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #5 on: 16 Oct 2016, 22:26 »
This is so cool. Well done!
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Fitz

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #6 on: 17 Oct 2016, 06:04 »
Thanks :)

Selmiak: I did consider using drawing functions, as they'd make some thing easier, but I had no prior experience with those, and I had certain f/x in mind that I wasn't sure they'd handle. So yeah, it's all sprites :) It still required some trickery, as the wiper going left and the one going right right are two separate layers, and the vectory iris is three layers of lines with varying degrees of transparency to make the disappearing look smooth and gradual.

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #7 on: 17 Oct 2016, 13:12 »
Woah, holy crap that was awesome! :shocked:
I can only imagine the amount of effort that must have gone into this.
That was incredible, and to think it was made all in AGS. Wow, simply wow.

Mandle

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #8 on: 17 Oct 2016, 16:20 »
I SO WANT TO SEE THIS VIDEO PLAYING AT A RAVE ON GIANT SCREENS WHILE THE MUSIC PUMPS AT INSANE LEVELS!!!

Both the video and the music are insanely cool!

This deserves a new AGS award: The Coolest Application Of AGS 2016

Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #9 on: 17 Oct 2016, 17:45 »
Dude I saw this on Facebook and it's proper ace! Your art fits the synthwave vibe really well, love all the minimalist close ups and transitions. I was pondering over why you chose AGS instead of AE or similar and thought it would be a neat idea if you released the compiled exe, in spirit of the demoscene visualisations of yesteryear. Seems like it would be a neat extra to compliment those who pay for the album or single.

Congrats man, must've taken some serious work timing everything to the music.

Fitz

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #10 on: 17 Oct 2016, 21:51 »
Danvzare: I should clarify that while most of what you see is pure 100% AGS, three scenes have been tweaked in AE: the fake trailer (a VHS-like filter added, it looked like this originally), the cig & wine scene (displacement glitches), and the matrixy vector part at the end (some glow/bloom added here and there). But yeah, other than that, it was just multiple objects flying around, multiple layers pretending to be one object, transparencies and creative use of walk-behinds. I started working on the song's first demo it in July, and then on the finished song in since the end of August or so, usually a scene or two a day, putting in crazy hours at times.

Mandle: Zuri & his company actually frequently work for mass EDM venues, dealing in sound engineering and visualizations specifically, so he might just be able to do that!

Chicky: I did consider posting the video as a game here -- but in my very painful experience with previous projects the performance varies from system to system, severely lagging on older specs. My puter is 5 years old and boy did I have fun trying to get it to sync in all the right places.
Oh and the single is available as a free download, as everything released by Export Elite :)

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #11 on: 17 Oct 2016, 22:01 »
Awesome music and video!

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #12 on: 17 Oct 2016, 22:03 »
EXE or it didn't happen! :-D
But seriously, this is awesome! Must have been a ton of work.

Fitz

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #13 on: 17 Oct 2016, 22:11 »
Cat: Thank you! And I agree about the song. Must've heard it hundreds of times while making the video and I still love it and enjoy listening to it :D

Problem: Might just upload it, then :) Not now, though -- it's late, it's a large file, and those things take ages to upload.

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #14 on: 18 Oct 2016, 02:46 »
That... was... Awesome! ;-D

AnasAbdin

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #15 on: 18 Oct 2016, 04:56 »
I loved every bit of it! It's on the 4th loop on my headphones now and I'm not getting up anytime soon  (laugh)
This is now my theme music every time I want to open AGS, and I do that a lot everyday  8-)

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #16 on: 19 Oct 2016, 04:23 »
Love it! :cheesy:

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #17 on: 19 Oct 2016, 06:13 »
Wow.
Your a madman Fitz.

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #18 on: 20 Oct 2016, 21:29 »
Very cool Fitz!! Incredibly stylish...and a great music track! binary rain, nice!

Fitz

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Re: A music video made in AGS
« Reply #19 on: 21 Oct 2016, 11:11 »
Thanks, guys :) I really appreciate the great response. I've been toying with the idea of making music videos in AGS for years -- and actually kinda did that before, but it was an outro for a game, and only took me two days to make or so. This one was a stand-alone, and forced me to go a little more hi-tech (including HD), try completely new things, and use AGS mechanics in pretty unconventional ways.

Anas: It is an incredibly catchy tune, isn't it? Over the past few months I listened to every bit of it hundreds of times while planning and testing each scene, and I still love listening to it :)

Mods: Matrix was obviously a huge inspiration for the video -- but there's also one obscure movie from around that time called The 13th Floor that I drew from. It's a completely different take on the subject, and way more stylish, too. For the same reason I recommend seeing Dark City, another niche classic.

Fitz

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And here's another one -- which I did as a fan tribute for one of my favorite synthwave artists, VHS Glitch (and which he liked so much it is now the official video for the song)! This one I've done mostly in MOHO/Anime Studio, which I got recently and started playing around with -- BUT after some initial trials I decided animating all the keystrokes would be crazy, I made virtual organs in AGS. Then I grabbed the footage of myself whamming the hell out of my trusty keyboard and put the animation of that into the animation (laugh)

« Last Edit: 29 Oct 2017, 22:02 by Fitz »

Mandle

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Amazing music and also an amazing process you must have gone through to create the video...

I didn't quite understand though: Do you mean you played along with the music on your keyboard in your AGS "game" to capture the animation of the keys? (which turned out to be the buttons on a boombox, which is an AWESOME twist!!!)

If so: did you play along in real time or slow down the track?

Fitz

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I played along to the song -- which I uploaded into the game -- in real time. The result isn't great partly because there seems to be a bit of a lag in the youtube video (while it seemed to sync nicely in the original screengrab) but mostly because I don't know jack about music and so I just hit any key when I felt I should, all too often missing my cue completely, especially in the faster parts (laugh)

Danvzare

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I played along to the song -- which I uploaded into the game -- in real time. The result isn't great partly because there seems to be a bit of a lag in the youtube video (while it seemed to sync nicely in the original screengrab) but mostly because I don't know jack about music and so I just hit any key when I felt I should, all too often missing my cue completely, especially in the faster parts (laugh)
The effect is still awesome though, and I honestly didn't notice the lag or the fact that it's just hitting keys at random, until you mentioned it.

Fitz

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Yeah, I was hoping a greater sense of "WTF is going on?" and the slow revealing of other details would detract the viewers' attention from the keys (laugh) But I did go through the whole song and felt I found my inner Chopin by the end of it ;)

Fitz

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Here's a Halloween special!


Some time ago, after seeing my first video, the French synthwave band ELEVN, whom I'd been following with great interest from the start, approached me about creating visualizations for their live gigs. And so, over months of blood, sweat and tears, driven by madness and black magic, I concocted the darkest, craziest creation of my entire life. This time it's pure-bred hellspawn of AGS, with no other magic involved: inanimate objects and undead characters moving around, vanishing and reappearing, changing size and tint in real time by the power of The Code... MUAHAHAAAA!!! (laugh)

Re: Music videos made in AGS (new one added Oct 30!)
« Reply #26 on: 30 Oct 2017, 18:58 »
This is amazing. I love this. Is there any part of the code where you did a smart trick to get a specific effect, that would be cool to mention? And when developing, how did you go to not have to play whatever you developed before over and over?

Fitz

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Re: Music videos made in AGS (new one added Oct 30!)
« Reply #27 on: 31 Oct 2017, 08:30 »
Basically, the video is nothing BUT non-stop trickery ;) Perhaps I could've taken it easy here and there, with a simplier, more time-efficient solution -- but I wanted to challenge myself. What I'm proud of the most is that there's very little frame-by-frame animation (other than random background effects like rain, snow or asphalt - which were usually made by flipping a single image left/right or up/down, anyway). It's usually having multiple objects on top of each other and unveiling or hiding them dynamically throughout the scene by manipulating Transparency (like in the scene where the vampire rides through the city) or changing color (such as the city exploding). But these are rather basic. The one I'm most proud of is the cat in the headlights. This one has two masks for the face: one for when it's in the dark, one when lit -- and behind those semi-transparent masks, four object moving and scaling simultaneously to simulate dilating pupils AND two more for the light reflections. There's also one thing in AGS I discovered only while making this video that just blew my mind: rotating things! 8-0 I've never even thought it possible, given the fact that it's a sprite based-engine -- but I blame it on my superficial knowledge of the program. It's not super easy to do, either, but it's feasible. And so, the witch doing a wheelie is just a static image of the woman on the motorcycle being rotated. Of course there's the hair in the wind, which I had to animate and move around separately - since the wind still blows in one direction, which doesn't line up with the angle of the motorcycle, and also dynamic sprites ignore transparency.
As for watching the video over and over -- yup, no easy or failproof way around it ;) Doing my first AGS music video, I did cut the audio into smaller chunks, worked on a few scenes at a time, and then joined them later, but it'd go terribly out of sync sometimes. So this time I only did two major splits, and even that was a pain to sync right afterwards. Multiple viewings and screen captures were a sad necessity, especially since my current work station is over 6 years old and it'd usually take 2-3 takes before it'd chew through all the graphic assets and run without a hitch. Perhaps/probably there's some very simple solution, like a code that would start playing the audio from a specific point, but I haven't looked hard enough ;)
« Last Edit: 31 Oct 2017, 08:35 by Fitz »

Re: Music videos made in AGS (new one added Oct 30!)
« Reply #28 on: 31 Oct 2017, 09:36 »
Thanks for the write up Fitz, I really liked reading through. And thanks for the how you did the cat eye pupils, that was very interesting :] Lots of ideas for cutscenes now. (laugh)

Fitz

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Re: Music videos made in AGS (new one added Oct 30!)
« Reply #29 on: 31 Oct 2017, 16:24 »
You're welcome :) One other thing you'll need to consider when making sophisticated cutscenes within AGS -- especially if they're supposed to run in sync with music -- is that people will run your game on different specs, and very often the graphics, especially in higher resolutions or when screen-captured without compression (on programs like FRAPS), will lag, thus ruining the desired effect. So while it's perfectly feasible to make cutscenes in-engine, it's probably best to screen-grab them, upload them to the project and play them as videos.

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Re: Music videos made in AGS (new one added Oct 30!)
« Reply #30 on: 31 Oct 2017, 19:56 »
Again, this is superb and mind blowing, Fitz! :-D
You did an awesome work there, and hope the band is happy with the end result! (they better be, or we'll unleash the hounds of hell on them (laugh) ).
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