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Synt4x

Intro game animations

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Ok, im not sure if this is the right place for this, BUT, how are the movies at the beginning of games, like the 25 second clips that advertise the companies, and also the movies made in like the Diablo 2 cinematics created? I'm curious about this and would be grateful for any information on it, -Synt4x

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Typically, these movies are placed in a seperate file. I have no idea how up-to-date this article is (most of the For Beginners stuff is pretty old), but you may find it useful:

clicky

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If you're using the DirectX SDK and it's a video file, then you can probably use DirectShow to do it.

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i'm unsure as of now, but if I were to use OpenGL + SDL w/ C++ what would I use(not sure if im going to use OpenGL or DirectX) also, do you know what the major companies use?

-Synt4x

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Considering I want to use my app on any platform, and not be bound to DirectShow or SDL Video - and not be encumberd with any patent problems later down the road.. I stick with a pure ogg solution for audio/video. For audio, I use Ogg Vorbis, and video I use Ogg Theora.

For both AudioVideo streams, I use a multiplexed vorbis/theora stream (check out ffmpeg2theora for a good conversion tool). You can check my sig and forums for my theora plugin's (on for Ogre and one for c# - where I ported the Theora decoder to).

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Then again, if you're asking how they are created as opposed to how they are displayed, that's a question for artists, mostly. I can answer that. :D

Most of these fancy 3D animated things are done with Maya or 3DStudioMax, using models, textures and lighting, rendered more or less the same way that a Pixar or Dreamworks 3D movie would be. The visuals are generated, and composited and tweaked in something like After Effects, Premiere or some high-end software suites like Avid.

They are time-consuming beasties, and are best created by a team of artists and technical people. My graduating class at BYU created a short film (Lemmings) that went on to win several awards, including an Emmy and several film festival top honors. It was five minutes in its final form, and took the 15 or so of us a good part of two years to complete.

Of course, it was something we did as part of a whole college experience, so a dedicated team of more experienced people could hammer the same thing or better out in less time. If we were to rebuild the same team, we could do Lemmings again in a quarter or less of the time, for example.

It's a big process, going all the way from concept to final product, with stops in R&D, character design, texture painting, script writing (and rewriting), sound design, animation, character building, rigging, animation, rendering, compositing and editing.

It's a lot of fun, but a lot of work, especially for one person, if it comes to that. I worked on almost everything in Lemmings, and could do most of it again (with the exception of some of the coding for the flocking behavior) on my own, but it would take some time and resources that I don't have. The software alone would be around $7000, and that's a lowball estimate.

But I digress. I'd be happy to answer any more detailed questions. I just can't help much with the programing... that's what I'm here for, to learn the programming side of things. ;P

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For how they are displayed, many console developers use Bink video from RAD video tools. As mention,DirectShow is also popular on Windows platforms. If you're going for cross-platform and inexpensive try SMPEG or lower-level libMPEG.

Of course you can always roll you own format and playback library. Then the issues would be getting the content into your format and making the playback fast enough:)

Good Luck.

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Is BINK free if your game is non-commercial? I checked their website and some of the stuff is free and some is ALOT of money, but I didn't know if the free-stuff will do what I would need it to do. Thanks,

-Synt4x

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