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ukdeveloper

Developer logo splash animations

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I've been wondering about the animated splash animations you see for a developer when you start up one of their games. I'm thinking of stuff like this and this. My basic question is how are these made and what tools are used, similarly what video formats are these commonly in? It's not as if you just go and film it with TV equipment like you would do for some FMVs and cutscenes like the stuff in modern C&C games. I've been looking around and can't find any decent information on it or what tools are used. Thing is, I'm working on a project and if it's feasible to do something snazzy like this for extra polish then I'd like to give it a bash.

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I created a cool animation in 3D Studio Max just by extruding a line drawing of my engine's logo (imported from Adobe Illustrator), then played around with post procesing effects in Adobe After Effects.

It looks like 'programmer art', but I'm sure if I found someone with an artistic flair and a few hours spare, it wouldn't take a lot of work to make something that looked professional.

This stuff was expensive, I had to use University computers, but there's plenty of open source alternatives: Blender for 3D, Jahshaka for video post processing, and MediaCoder for final video encoding.

Have fun

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There is a tutorial in "The Artist's Guide to XSI" (free but huge download) called "Broadcast" that might interest you. This is a screen-shot from the final result:


If you are looking for a free package I recommend Blender, it has also powerful post processing capacities.

Regarding the file format, most of the AAA titles I know use Bink Video a free alternative is theora. liboggplayer and ffmpeg are two libraries you can use to play video files in your game.

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An opening sequence like that could be produced in pretty well any modern 3d package - 3ds Max, Maya, XSI, Lightwave, etc.

As was mentioned Bink is really, really popular for a video solution for games, but you have to pay for it.

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I used 3D Studio Max 8 for 3D modeling and rendering, AfterEffects and Photoshop for special effects, and Illustrator for additional graphics. Exported to MPEG using MainConcept MPEG encoder so I could easily play it with DirectShow Windowless Mode VMR9 in the beginning of my game.

Most professional gamedev guys compress video with Bink codec, as was mentioned above, while non-programmers in the industry prefer QuickTime format.

Look at the ThunderStorm Animation (the first item) on that page of my portfolio:
Digital Portfolio: Motion Page

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Thanks for all your help, everyone. I've used Blender before so it seems like a good starting point.

Problem: I'm using XNA 3.0 and there's still no straightforward default means to play back video, which seems really quite bizarre given the praise and hype it's getting. I've found a 3rd party library to do it but I don't know if it'll run on 360 which I plan to do once I've got a few games up and running on PC.

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Quote:
Original post by ukdeveloper
Thanks for all your help, everyone. I've used Blender before so it seems like a good starting point.

Problem: I'm using XNA 3.0 and there's still no straightforward default means to play back video, which seems really quite bizarre given the praise and hype it's getting. I've found a 3rd party library to do it but I don't know if it'll run on 360 which I plan to do once I've got a few games up and running on PC.


Microsoft say the following:

Quote:

How do I do video playback with XNA Game Studio?

The XNA Framework does not contain functions for video playback. We are investigating this for future releases.


For the time being, you could probably make use of DirectShow, which should integrate nicely with XNA with a little tweaking.

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