[Video Tutorial] Mission Director Basics

The place to discuss scripting and game modifications for X³: Terran Conflict and X³: Albion Prelude.

Moderators: Scripting / Modding Moderators, Moderators for English X Forum

Post Reply
User avatar
DrBullwinkle
Posts: 5704
Joined: Sat, 17. Dec 11, 02:44
x3tc

Post by DrBullwinkle » Thu, 24. May 12, 06:43

Ketraar wrote:would be good to have feedback as to if they are of any help and somewhat understandable.
I am finding the series extremely helpful. :thumb_up:

Before: I had no clue where to begin; even after reading the manual.

After watching your videos: I can begin to write a simple mission. Also, I understand more of other people's scripts that I try to read.

Your English is excellent. Better than some Americans.

Given the nature of the content, and your extemporaneous style, your explanations are very clear. The only way to improve would be to use a script and to edit the output -- which would be quite a bit more work. So I would say that you have found a perfect balance of high "technology transfer" with a modest "investment".

The only suggestion that I have is to reduce your screen resolution before making the capture. That would make everything larger and easier to read. When you render your capture, be sure to use one of YouTube's default resolutions, which they list on their Suggested resolutions and bitrates page.

User avatar
apricotslice
Posts: 13737
Joined: Sun, 16. May 04, 13:01
x4

Post by apricotslice » Thu, 24. May 12, 08:29

Another suggestion for you, once you have done all the basics, is to do a set of How-to themes and the most wanted topics. How to make a mission that runs from a character on a station. How to make a series of missions that run like a plot does and start whenever the player wants to. How to make an MD to just add things into the universe based on some sort of timing. How to make a MD to check that your own-plot station or character still exists and add them back in if they are not.

Another thought, is about characters. Why not make an MD that uses all the available characters and just have that vid introduce themselves ? It would show people which ones are existing and you can include the details of how to use each one within the "introduction". "Hello, I'm default Argon 1. You use me by .......". "Hello, I'm Ban Danna from X2, and you can still use me as an older Argon character by .......", assuming we can.

Stuff like the characters available for vid use is something I've not seen anywhere, so a vid on what is available to use would be good.

Also, perhaps a vid on the different ways of delivering messages to the player. Email type Message vs bottom screen vs player log, verses talking head. Which do you use in what situation. How to code each, so people can see the differences in the coding. (So same example message, but delivered all the different ways.)

User avatar
Ketraar
Moderator (DevNet)
Moderator (DevNet)
Posts: 8958
Joined: Fri, 21. May 04, 17:15
x4

Post by Ketraar » Thu, 24. May 12, 11:01

Ok great input thanks, will take all into account. :-)

As for the resolution, I can define the area which is captured, but MD code can get quite long (wide?) so I was not sure. As for the output I use a default output option that the program has, its called Youtube widescreen 720p, so hope that's the right one :-)

Aro is right, maybe do actors and conversations (also combine apricotslice's suggestion for all messages delivery methods) first, do libraries later. Also think one of the next ones would be like a recap video, where a small mission/code is done using all stuff addressed so far.

MFG

Ketraar
Image

User avatar
DrBullwinkle
Posts: 5704
Joined: Sat, 17. Dec 11, 02:44
x3tc

Post by DrBullwinkle » Thu, 24. May 12, 13:05

Ketraar wrote:As for the resolution, I can define the area which is captured, but MD code can get quite long (wide?) so I was not sure. As for the output I use a default output option that the program has, its called Youtube widescreen 720p, so hope that's the right one :-)
I was suggesting actually changing your screen resolution before capturing the screen. (Unless your native screen resolution is *exactly* 1280x720.)

Since you capture your entire screen and viewers display it in a window, everything gets shrunk slightly. Since Flash video is "lossy", the display is slightly fuzzy. Smaller and slightly fuzzy makes it more difficult to see. I *can* read what you do, so your vids are probably good enough.

However, if you want to experiment, I capture in 800x600 and render at 960x720 (using Camtasia). The default Camtasia output for YouTube HD did not give me the best quality. I get higher quality by rendering to .mp4, then uploading that to YouTube.

Since you are concerned with screen width, you could capture in a wide-screen format and render in same.

To summarize:
  • - Try setting screen resolution to 1280x720 (if that is not its normal resolution).
    - Render to .mp4 in 1280x720 resolution.
    - Upload to YouTube
In my experience, I got much higher quality videos this way.
  • (Note: 960x720 is a native resolution for YouTube, but I do not recall where I found it. Not on the page that I linked for you, apparently. :) )

User avatar
Ketraar
Moderator (DevNet)
Moderator (DevNet)
Posts: 8958
Joined: Fri, 21. May 04, 17:15
x4

Post by Ketraar » Thu, 24. May 12, 17:51

I do render to mp4, but that gives me files sizes in the 2+ GB, thats not feasible for me to upload it would take me 8 or more hours for a single upload, so I have to compress it to get file sizes my connection can handle. :-(

Also not very keen on changing my screen resolution tbh, both at work and at home I'm used to 1600's resolutions and dont see how any one can live with working on any program using lower ones. I do have a 17" monitor that I can use as secondary monitor and "clone" my screen and capture on that, but I guess that wont work. Its worth a try though.

An other option would be to render in 1080p if that does help I can do that.

The problem with MD coding and low resolutions is that it would need lots of scrolling. Even with this high res we will have to scroll a lot once we get to the bigger stuff.

So if its readable I'd rather keep things as they are (or increase output res to 1080p) for a balance between people being able to read stuff properly and me not having to go through low res working.

MFG

Ketraar
Image

User avatar
DrBullwinkle
Posts: 5704
Joined: Sat, 17. Dec 11, 02:44
x3tc

Post by DrBullwinkle » Thu, 24. May 12, 17:56

I did not mean that you would *keep* your display at lower resolution. I only suggested that while capturing your videos.

An alternative would be to use a larger font size, although that may not increase the size of everything.

But do what works best for you. I only made suggestions because you asked for them. :) (And because I spent quite a bit of time optimizing the quality of my videos.)
  • (You should be able to control .mp4 quality to get smaller sizes, if necessary.)

User avatar
Ketraar
Moderator (DevNet)
Moderator (DevNet)
Posts: 8958
Joined: Fri, 21. May 04, 17:15
x4

Post by Ketraar » Thu, 24. May 12, 18:14

DrBullwinkle wrote:I only made suggestions because you asked for them.
Don't get me wrong here, all input is appreciated. :-)

Anyway I can improve the vids without touching the screen resolution? Is rendering to 1080 not a good way?

I saw some videos that use panning and zoom, made in post production I assume, but that is (yet) way out my league, it would require me to spend some serious time figuring out how to do it and time is a rather rare commodity.

MFG

Ketraar
Image

User avatar
DrBullwinkle
Posts: 5704
Joined: Sat, 17. Dec 11, 02:44
x3tc

Post by DrBullwinkle » Thu, 24. May 12, 18:56

Ketraar wrote:Any way I can improve the vids without touching the screen resolution?
Increasing font size would be a way to make the text larger without changing screen resolution. It might not help the syntax-completion menus, but it would help the main text (and the director.htm file).
Is rendering to 1080 not a good way?
I have not tried that. It may be worth a try.
I saw some videos that use panning and zoom
Camstudio can do that while recording. Options/Enable Autopan.

Actually, I got excellent quality in my first attempt using Camstudio (free). But I switched to Camtasia (commercial) because it allowed me to add text items in post-production, which was easier for me. Since you are speaking rather than adding text, you could try Camstudio.

Ironically, my first attempts with Camtasia were disappointingly low quality. After much experimentation and research, I learned what I suggested earlier; render to .mp4, do not use Camtasia's default "YouTube HD" settings, and render to a native YouTube resolution.

User avatar
Ketraar
Moderator (DevNet)
Moderator (DevNet)
Posts: 8958
Joined: Fri, 21. May 04, 17:15
x4

Post by Ketraar » Thu, 24. May 12, 19:09

I use Adobe Captivate, mostly cause I just have it anyway (part of package related to RL work). It has all sorts of options and I saw something mentioned about panning and adding text, notes, links and whatnot, guess i need a tutorial about how to use that. :lol:

I'll try to poke around some options for the next video, doing my second best method of learning, try&error. :-)

MFG

Ketraar
Image

User avatar
DrBullwinkle
Posts: 5704
Joined: Sat, 17. Dec 11, 02:44
x3tc

Post by DrBullwinkle » Thu, 24. May 12, 19:14

Captivate is a fork of Camstudio.

That is the full extent of my knowledge about Captivate. :)

User avatar
Argonaught.
Posts: 1618
Joined: Wed, 6. Nov 02, 21:31
x3ap

Post by Argonaught. » Thu, 24. May 12, 21:03

The actors and conversations while combining the use of apricotslice's suggestions would be cool indeed.

Slightly off topic
On a resolution note, How do you guys deal with object sizes like font's and icons? I can't go above 1366x768 as the fonts get way too small and the text is almost non readable.....my screen can go up to 1920x1080 and I'd like to use it but it kills my eyes even after I try fiddle with text display etc.

On topic
I usually pop out the youtube vid and expand it to screen size and I can read the stuff no problems....any small vid size i can't read it.

Argo.
[MOD]X3TC No Fog / [MOD]X3AP No Fog / [MD]X3TC Menagerie Shipyard / [MD]X3AP Menagerie Shipyard
<==<<Argonaught>>==>

XBTF>XT>X2TT>X3R>X3TC>X3AP

I lurk alot for the most part now
:thumb_up:

User avatar
DrBullwinkle
Posts: 5704
Joined: Sat, 17. Dec 11, 02:44
x3tc

Post by DrBullwinkle » Thu, 24. May 12, 21:11

Argonaught. wrote:How do you guys deal with object sizes like font's and icons?
Best solution = Larger monitor

Hi resolution on a small monitor can be difficult. In an editor, increase the font size. For Windows in general, use one of the larger font sizes (or larger DPI setting) in the Display Control Panel.

User avatar
Argonaught.
Posts: 1618
Joined: Wed, 6. Nov 02, 21:31
x3ap

Post by Argonaught. » Thu, 24. May 12, 21:16

DrBullwinkle wrote:
Argonaught. wrote:How do you guys deal with object sizes like font's and icons?
Best solution = Larger monitor

Hi resolution on a small monitor can be difficult. In an editor, increase the font size. For Windows in general, use one of the larger font sizes (or larger DPI setting) in the Display Control Panel.
Mines a 32" lcd so i think it should be big enough :D

So there's no real trick then, it's just a case of fiddling with display setting/font sizes in win7 till it look right.

Argo.
[MOD]X3TC No Fog / [MOD]X3AP No Fog / [MD]X3TC Menagerie Shipyard / [MD]X3AP Menagerie Shipyard
<==<<Argonaught>>==>

XBTF>XT>X2TT>X3R>X3TC>X3AP

I lurk alot for the most part now
:thumb_up:

User avatar
DrBullwinkle
Posts: 5704
Joined: Sat, 17. Dec 11, 02:44
x3tc

Post by DrBullwinkle » Thu, 24. May 12, 21:25

Argonaught. wrote:Mines a 32" lcd
Is that like an Apple monster-size professional-quality display? Or like a TV doing double-duty as a monitor? TV's are often lower quality than real monitors.

How far away is the monitor (from your eyes)?

No, there is no trick. I have a 22" Viewsonic that is just about perfect for readability at 1920x1080. It is about arm's length away from me.

The Display Control Panel can fix most resolution-related issues.

User avatar
Argonaught.
Posts: 1618
Joined: Wed, 6. Nov 02, 21:31
x3ap

Post by Argonaught. » Thu, 24. May 12, 21:33

DrBullwinkle wrote:
Argonaught. wrote:Mines a 32" lcd
Is that like an Apple monster-size professional-quality display? Or like a TV doing double-duty as a monitor? TV's are often lower quality than real monitors.

How far away is the monitor (from your eyes)?

No, there is no trick. I have a 22" Viewsonic that is just about perfect for readability at 1920x1080. It is about arm's length away from me.

The Display Control Panel can fix most resolution-related issues.
TV with DVI to HDMI connection, sitting about 4.5 feet from screen. I would have it closer but the desk I have, which is overflowing with stuff, was too small for the stand so it's sitting on a handmade pedestal behind my desk.

I'll fiddle with the display and see if i can get it right for higher res.

Argo.
[MOD]X3TC No Fog / [MOD]X3AP No Fog / [MD]X3TC Menagerie Shipyard / [MD]X3AP Menagerie Shipyard
<==<<Argonaught>>==>

XBTF>XT>X2TT>X3R>X3TC>X3AP

I lurk alot for the most part now
:thumb_up:

Post Reply

Return to “X³: Terran Conflict / Albion Prelude - Scripts and Modding”