Author Topic: Cutscenes: video vs. in-engine?  (Read 240 times)

Cutscenes: video vs. in-engine?
« on: 17 Jun 2019, 10:19 »
Hey once more, everybody.

Brainstorming with the artist of the game I'm currently working on, the topic of intro and ending cutscenes naturally came up at some point. For both of us it would probably be easier if he creates the intro cutscene/animation himself and dumps it directly to video, but I was wondering if there are any caveats to this except of course, for the potential large file size.

Our game is 320x200 in a very blocky pixel-art style, so my fear is that the video will not look as crisp because of video compression, especially when blown up at say 4x or 6x, or that it will simply "feel" different than it would if we did everything in-engine.

So I guess what I'm asking for here is mostly your subjective opinions. Have you used video for cutscenes in your own games? Did you like the results? Or is it better to buckle up and script the whole thing, if only for visual consistency?

Cassiebsg

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  • Fleeing the Cylon tyrrany...
    • Cassiebsg worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
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Re: Cutscenes: video vs. in-engine?
« Reply #1 on: 17 Jun 2019, 12:39 »
I guess it all depends on how your cutscene will be.
If it'll happen in a BG you already have in game and all you are going to add to it as some characters interacting/talking etc, then script it. If on the other hand you'll be doing camera angles/zoom, close ups, and complicated stuff, then a video might look better.

As for compression you decide the quality of it, and can even test it to see what happens and how you like it or not.
I've seen several games using video, and never had a problem with consistency...
There are those who believe that life here began out there...

VampireWombat

  • Not a chupacabra
    • I can help with animation
    • I can help with backgrounds
    • I can help with characters
    • I can help with play testing
Re: Cutscenes: video vs. in-engine?
« Reply #2 on: 17 Jun 2019, 12:58 »
Depending on what software/methods the animation is made, it could be exported as an animated gif and then imported into AGS and then animated. I did this for a space ship crash scene for my March MAGS game.

Re: Cutscenes: video vs. in-engine?
« Reply #3 on: 17 Jun 2019, 13:21 »
I guess it all depends on how your cutscene will be.
If it'll happen in a BG you already have in game and all you are going to add to it as some characters interacting/talking etc, then script it. If on the other hand you'll be doing camera angles/zoom, close ups, and complicated stuff, then a video might look better.

The problem is that given what we have in mind, I don't think I'll be able to even script it the way we want to unless I switch to AGS 3.5.0 with its new camera controls including the possibility to zoom out, which is why I posted in the new Beta thread. Our idea implies some camera movements that might be more of a hassle than they're worth...

Depending on what software/methods the animation is made, it could be exported as an animated gif and then imported into AGS and then animated. I did this for a space ship crash scene for my March MAGS game.

So you mean basically making the whole animation to be a full-screen-sized animated object? That's... actually a very cool idea o_O

I've never worked with animated gifs in AGS though... I guess it's as simple as importing a gif, and AGS separates it into all its frames automatically so you can then assign them to an object view?


VampireWombat

  • Not a chupacabra
    • I can help with animation
    • I can help with backgrounds
    • I can help with characters
    • I can help with play testing
Re: Cutscenes: video vs. in-engine?
« Reply #4 on: 17 Jun 2019, 13:40 »
So you mean basically making the whole animation to be a full-screen-sized animated object? That's... actually a very cool idea o_O

I've never worked with animated gifs in AGS though... I guess it's as simple as importing a gif, and AGS separates it into all its frames automatically so you can then assign them to an object view?


Yeah. It's the only way I could think of to make things work exactly as wanted. I think the Earth was a background, but not 100% sure.

And pretty much, yeah. Have to make sure the gif is the type that replaces each frame but that shouldn't be too hard.

I also have a Donkey Kong arcade animation I did last month which didn't end up being used that I could share if you wanted.

Re: Cutscenes: video vs. in-engine?
« Reply #5 on: 17 Jun 2019, 13:45 »
Yeah. It's the only way I could think of to make things work exactly as wanted. I think the Earth was a background, but not 100% sure.

And pretty much, yeah. Have to make sure the gif is the type that replaces each frame but that shouldn't be too hard.

I also have a Donkey Kong arcade animation I did last month which didn't end up being used that I could share if you wanted.

No need for now, thanks, I think I have all the info I need (nod) Thanks for the idea, it didn't even cross my mind to approach it this way!



Re: Cutscenes: video vs. in-engine?
« Reply #6 on: 17 Jun 2019, 14:33 »
Have to make sure the gif is the type that replaces each frame but that shouldn't be too hard.
This is quite important as the if not using AGS 3.5 the GIF decoder in the Editor is part incomplete and part broken.
<-- 3.5     3.4 -->



Also, you may find you have to preload the sprites before displaying them in order to make sure that a full sequence runs without any stuttering. If this is fullscreen and/or high resolution then I think I'd stick with an actual video (if game uses integer scaling then the pixels in the video should remain the correct shape) or the tween module + new camera system.

Re: Cutscenes: video vs. in-engine?
« Reply #7 on: 17 Jun 2019, 15:52 »
Wow, that's... scary. But it does give me a good reason to take the plunge and take 3.5.0 for a spin.

(if game uses integer scaling then the pixels in the video should remain the correct shape)

This, however, is music to my ears :)

Re: Cutscenes: video vs. in-engine?
« Reply #8 on: 17 Jun 2019, 18:24 »
Use pngs instead of gif, and have each 100 on a different folder (in ags sprite viewer). Create a view and use it to animate.

I think videos in AGS use system codecs (which should be fine on win10), but there is a specific video format that ags supports anywhere - usually Khris pops up and links to a thread that talks about this, because that video format can look bad or good depending on the encoder used.

Re: Cutscenes: video vs. in-engine?
« Reply #9 on: 17 Jun 2019, 21:08 »
Use pngs instead of gif, and have each 100 on a different folder (in ags sprite viewer). Create a view and use it to animate.

I think videos in AGS use system codecs (which should be fine on win10), but there is a specific video format that ags supports anywhere - usually Khris pops up and links to a thread that talks about this, because that video format can look bad or good depending on the encoder used.

OGV?

We talked about it today and given what morganw said, we're going with video in the end, or at least it's the first thing we're going to try. If that looks good, then problem solved. If not, then 3.5.0 it is, I guess.