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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:44 am 
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Albertosaurus
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Finished watching this a bit earlier today. I saw the "Now On Air" tag, but the episode wasn't out yet!

Anyway, my somewhat protracted thoughts below:
Spoiler: show
I think right the strongest point of the episode is definitely the way in which you've stretched the Trespasser engine to do so much interesting stuff, especially in the section about mid-way through with the spiders. The potential you've showcased here is really something to behold (something that I wish I could have done first! :wink: ), and I really hope you continue making episodes as the Trespasser parts were so interesting to watch. 8) The models you made were also a sight to see, especially that massive machine with all the screens flashing and fans spinning. Now we just need to get the humans properly animated...

That being said, I do agree strongly with what machf said; I think there was an overabundance of the talking head segments - in fact, about half of the runtime was talking head segments, which is probably a lot more than most people are willing to sit through. You should try and limit talking head segments as much as possible in order to give the viewers something interesting to watch along with the commentary - Jurassic Time comes to mind, especially the version with the camera panning through in-game footage. Something like that would definitely make it more interesting as, like I said, the Trespasser sections were by far the most exciting. A few talking head segments are of course permissible, but limiting them to maybe the introduction and conclusion or transitory portions of the show would definitely make things move along much more smoothly.

machf also brought up sound effects, which are something I would also recommend looking into further for the next video, especially if you can get them working in-game, since Trespasser already has a pretty decent sound engine. Take a look at documentaries and see how they handle sound effects - typically, there will be a section of talking (often overlaying some images or illustrations of some form), perhaps a paragraph or two, followed by a break with some sound and exciting/interesting/relevant footage.

One other thing that became more apparent as the episode went on was the lack of script; I found myself wondering if you were going by a script or not about midway through, and the credits at the end seem to have confirmed this. Without a script or even a rough outline (cue cards, short summary, etc), there were times where I thought your commentary got a little bit roundabout or meandering without really leading us forward in what you were trying to tell us. From personal experience making presentations, pitches and the like, I must seriously recommend that you at least get a rough script out before recording the narration.

All that said, I did really enjoy the episode, although was, admittedly, a bit bored during the aforementioned talking head sections. Where the episode shone, it shone, and where the episode faded, it faded. :? What you've done with Trespasser feels like a giant leap forward, however, and I'm interested to see where you go from here, both with the game and with the ideas that you are presenting (provided they are presented a bit better in the future). :)

Oh yeah, and last thing - watching that model of you scoot around with the bouncing giant arm and then cutting back to you was...surreal. :|

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:04 am 
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Thanks guys. More to come in the Tres territory expansion.

"Talking Head" - funny thing is I was inspired to make this channel by youtube channels which featured almost entirely a cam pointed at the presenter talking about stuff. The first episode is in flashback mode - not the standard format for upcoming eps. Am thinking sound effects may have helped this, however I opted to leave that part out of this one as I felt it would have doubled production time. The target is one video a week, intended to be achieved by having the needed armies of assets ready ahead of time. Sound effect collection hasn't quite taken place yet.

Script - I originally scripted the whole episode in full monolog. I then decided reciting lines was the wrong way to bring about natural-feeling speech, and so compiled the script into a 2-column 1-page bulleted list, internalized the sequence of things to talk about, and started recording. The idea was to memorize only the events being spoken of beforehand, and so dictate as if I were really describing events that happened. Future episodes will be *mostly* unscripted as well, similarly plotted beforehand. Will work on catching the potential 'recall stalls' ahead of time.

Properly animated humans - thing is that this is not a super project like a series of films. It's an episodic show with a tight schedule, and will reflect that.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:32 am 
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Albertosaurus
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Quote:
"Talking Head"

Hmm, well I don't really know a whole lot about the whole Youtube landscape, but what I can definitely say is that if you do opt to stick with a similar amount of talking-head time, you should try and make that section more interesting in some way, whether it be the occasional image off to the side (although I fear that might make it seem a bit too much like a PowerPoint presentation), or props, or the like. Something to spice it up, you know? :)

Quote:
Script

I understand what you were going for with the natural-speech thing now, then. Glad to hear you had a list of bullet-points, that must have helped. I just wonder whether such natural speech is the best for this type of presentation?

Quote:
Properly animated humans - thing is that this is not a super project like a series of films. It's an episodic show with a tight schedule, and will reflect that.

Damn. Perhaps one day then... :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:34 am 
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Draconisaurus wrote:
Script - I originally scripted the whole episode in full monolog. I then decided reciting lines was the wrong way to bring about natural-feeling speech, and so compiled the script into a 2-column 1-page bulleted list, internalized the sequence of things to talk about, and started recording. The idea was to memorize only the events being spoken of beforehand, and so dictate as if I were really describing events that happened. Future episodes will be *mostly* unscripted as well, similarly plotted beforehand. Will work on catching the potential 'recall stalls' ahead of time.

Hmmm. You need to show more emotion. You sounded like Mr. Spock recalling how he went out to the corner store to buy a loaf of bread and returned without incident. This is supposed to have been an out-of-this-world experience. You should feel excited in some parts, distressed in others...

Take a look:

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3jjq44

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:25 pm 
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As you do more and more, I have a few suggestions:

-Better sound quality-
If you weren't using a separate mic for recording audio, and just using the camera's mic, I would suggest investing in a special microphone to record your voice better, if you are doing a lot of talking. There are many options for under $100, quite a few for quite a bit under.

-Don't be afraid to record multiple takes and compose them together-
This could help alleviate the "emotionless" tone/appearance.

-Don't be afraid to Edit/Cut Cut Cut-
This episode seemed a bit long, and that maybe do to how you recorded it "off the cuff" in a way. But as you move forward, I think shorter vids, maybe closer to 15 minutes. Of course, the content should dictate the final cut length, but I think you should be in the mindset of cutting as much as you can while still keeping a coherent, complete video.

-Add in music/SFX-
Sound adds SO much to visuals, it's amazing how even just a little bit of sound can grab attention to a video.


I see a lot of potential for this, and I can see a "character" developing. The digital/cgi however you want to describe them shots were pretty cool, I liked the way that was done. I want to see you having more fun with this.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:13 pm 
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Thanks guys.

We'll see what sort of 'emotional upgrades' I can offer. That Sliders pilot, haven't seen that in an age, thanks.

I actually bought a USB mic for the show and it didn't frakin' work. It had no software to go with it... Just, the comp didn't acknowledge its existence. My NEW laptop has an actual mic jack, am hoping to therefore buy a new mic next month.

We'll see about the editing/cutting of the sequence. My feeling is that if I can't get it right the first time, it wasn't legit to begin with.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:04 pm 
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Draconisaurus wrote:
We'll see about the editing/cutting of the sequence. My feeling is that if I can't get it right the first time, it wasn't legit to begin with.


Oh boy. I guess you have no idea of how video/TV/movie production is done.
You do multiple takes until you get it right. From different angles, even. And not necessarily even in sequence. Then you edit it together.
And doing a single take non-stop from beginning to end is called a "long take" (or maybe a "sequence shot"), and requires a LOT -no, an AWFUL LOT- of skill and luck to accomplish properly. Watch Alfred Hitchcock's "The rope" for an example (although it's not truly a "long take", the cuts between takes are cleverly masked so that they appear to be a single take). So, I really wouldn't recommend you to keep doing it that way.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:06 pm 
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Quote:
Quote:
We'll see about the editing/cutting of the sequence. My feeling is that if I can't get it right the first time, it wasn't legit to begin with.
Oh boy. I guess you have no idea of how video/TV/movie production is done.
You do multiple takes until you get it right. From different angles, even. And not necessarily even in sequence. Then you edit it together.

I think he (Draco) is trying to go for more of an on-the-spot interview kind of thing, but considering it's not live, you should definitely be doing multiple takes until it's done right. You have the benefit of editing - this isn't live television! Redoing scenes and using the best takes will guarenteed improve the quality of both the performance and delivery (which is why a script comes in handy). The best actors can read from a script and make it sound natural and fluid, while still keeping the delivery precise, even with a bit of improvisation. In fact, a lot of the best moments and lines come from improving off of a script! :)

Quote:
And doing a single take non-stop from beginning to end is called a "long take" (or maybe a "sequence shot"), and requires a LOT -no, an AWFUL LOT- of skill and luck to accomplish properly. Watch Alfred Hitchcock's "The rope" for an example (although it's not truly a "long take", the cuts between takes are cleverly masked so that they appear to be a single take). So, I really wouldn't recommend you to keep doing it that way.

That's a good point to bring up. I wasn't certain if you did all of the talking segments in one take, but if you are doing so, it would be best to rehearse and plan ahead on this. Like machf mentioned in reference to "The Rope", you can do a long take, but cutting it cleverly to LOOK like one take is a much safer and more realistic way to do it. That way, you can do multiple takes and piece together the best bits from each. You have the benefit of the cutaways to the Trespasser segments - these would be the perfect time to cut. :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:00 am 
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Swell points. I will say that going into the recording session with the knowledge of only 1 take removes the background negative relaxation of "I can always do this again", and eliminates the fact of "I'm not actually saying this for the first time as is supposed in the fictional reality" from the emotion and expression of the final execution.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:50 am 
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As a note... I was exploring other areas of the XIBALBA level I was testing the draw distance in, and the crystals are now at an entirely different draw distance from when I first set them up. Evidently the CE values ARE doing things. Not sure why the pyramid was unresponsive but I suspect its large size and distance are responsible.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:12 am 
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Draconisaurus wrote:
As a note... I was exploring other areas of the XIBALBA level I was testing the draw distance in, and the crystals are now at an entirely different draw distance from when I first set them up. Evidently the CE values ARE doing things. Not sure why the pyramid was unresponsive but I suspect its large size and distance are responsible.

Did you have a CullDist or CacheDist value set in the object's T-script, by any chance? And where in relation to the mesh was the pivot?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:42 am 
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The model has no value table, and the pivot is at the center of the object's base (not the center of the mesh).

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:58 am 
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Can you upload the level files to see if it happens on anyone else's system?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:39 am 
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Maybe later.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:44 am 
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Wellz, a future character has made it into the test level... However, I am still literally working the kinks out..

Click on Image
(Click on thumbnail for full size)
Image

Click on Image
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Image


...he has 850 faces, what's the max face count for an animate?

EDIT: Nvm, the OG rex has him beat in faces and vertices by a lot.

..I noticed while rigging that there were some loose vertices in the mesh (they were rigged but the vertices in question weren't connected to any faces, buried inside the mesh) and just rigged them. Will probably rerig the model using a version without those, as there might be parts of the engine which do and don't recognize them, throwing vertex accounting off..

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