- To create a cutscene, first choose New-> Cutscene (.cut) from the File menu:
Enter a name for the cutscene in the Enter New Cutscene Name window. Type in our_film:
Click OK. Because our module contains two areas, a new window called Please select area for cutscene will appear. The window contains a list of available areas. Choose g31_cave:
This was the first area that we created. Click OK and the Film Editor window will open. Before continuing, let’s look at the editor’s interface:
1. The Cutscene Editor’s Toolbar. It’s very similar to the one used for editing areas.
2. The Workspace where the actual cutscene is created. It works the same way as the Area Editor. The only difference is in how objects are displayed, i.e. this Workspace does not contain objects such as the start point, spawn point, action point, etc.
3. The list of objects used in the cutscene.
4. The list of object paths.
5. Cutscene Toolbar (used to play or stop a cutscene, etc.)
As you can see, the Cutscene Editor is subdivided into four windows, of which the largest contains our area. In essence it’s the same as the Area Editor, minus a few tools (for adding action points, spawn points, etc.) and plus some new ones (for adding characters, for instance). Additionally, objects such as action points and spawn points are not displayed. The Cutscene Toolbar is practically the same as the Area Editor Toolbar, hence what follows is only a brief description of the essentials. A detailed description of using these tools can be found in the module creation section of this guide.
This tool is used to select objects. Use it to select objects located in the area.
This tool is used to move objects. In order to do so, first choose the tool by clicking on this icon and then on the object you want to move.
This tool is used to move objects with all of their respective keys. Keys are markers in a cutscene path which begin some action, for example the rotation of the camera. More on the subject of keys can be found later in this chapter.
This tool is used to rotate objects. In order to do so, choose the tool by clicking on this icon and then on the object you wish to rotate.
This tool is used to add placeables, objects such as chairs, tables, pottery, chests, fire places, etc.
This tool is used to add special effects. Special effects are things like different types of flame (e.g. in fire places), spell visual effects, etc.
This tool is used to add characters. In order for a certain character to be present in a cutscene, we first need to add him/her. For example, if we want Siegfried or Jethro to be present in the cutscene, we add them with the help of this tool. Either a template for the character needs to be created or a preexisting one can be used. The basic rules associated with this are the same as when adding placeables – click on the downward arrow located next to the tool, choose Select new CutsceneCharacter template from the menu and double-click the appropriate file in the Select window. Then click the spot in the area where the character should appear.
This tool is used to add cameras. The cutscene is presented through their lenses.
This tool is used to add objects such as “look at”. These are supporting, or auxiliary objects.
This tool is used to add sounds in the area.
Now that we’ve discussed the tools, it’s time to start creating the cutscene. Our cutscene will be rather easy to make and fairly short. Basically, it’ll be a camera moving across a cave. To do this, we’ll use two cameras. The first camera will follow a linear path, while the second will perform a rotational, or orbiting, movement around the area.
First we need to find a sensible starting point. This is done in the same way as in the Area Editor, i.e. the cursor buttons and the WASD buttons are used to move around, and rotation is accomplished by clicking and holding the right mouse button. Since the first camera will follow a linear path, let’s place it in the corridor which will lead to chamber with the Start Point:
Before adding the camera, let’s take a look at the Cutscene Toolbar.
3. Turn the automatic adding of keys on/off.
6. Switch to/from the 16:9 aspect ratio (this is the ratio used when playing cutscenes).
7. Turn the top and bottom frames of the display on/off.
9. Display or hide auxiliary objects in the area.
Make sure that the automatic adding of keys is active, i.e. the icon with the key is pushed in and highlighted in yellow:
Now click the camera adding tool:
A camera icon will now appear on the mouse cursor. Click the spot in the area where you want the camera to be placed. Don’t worry too much about its exact position, as the camera has an interesting function which we’ll cover in a bit.
Place the camera somewhere on the ground. As you’ve probably noticed, the camera is not displayed in the area. To make the camera visible, you need to display auxiliary objects in the Cutscene Toolbar, i.e. the icon with the magnifying glass needs to be pushed in and highlighted in yellow:
The camera and other auxiliary objects are now visible in the area:
For the time being, however, hide the auxiliary objects. Click the magnifying glass icon again:
The camera has also been added in the Cutscene Objects window. A new tree has now appeared called Camera. Clicking it and it will expand and display the object camera000:
That’s our newly added camera. Select the camera in the Cutscene Objects window. The camera has now been selected and highlighted:
This highlights the camera in the Area Editor:
Every selected object will appear as a white outline of a white cube. Having the camera selected, take a look at the bottom part of the Cutscene Editor:
1. List of object paths.
2. Time frame.
Every object in the cutscene has a number of paths associated with it. The type of paths associated with an object depends on its nature. The camera possesses six such paths:
[camera000] – name of the object, does not possess its own path;
Position ¬– position of the camera;
Orientation – orientation of the camera;
CamTarget – target at which the camera is pointed;
DepthOfField – camera’s depth of view;
FOV – camera’s field of vision;
Blur – camera’s blur.
Now, in the Cutscene Objects window, click the CutscenePlaceable tree to expand it and select one of the available objects:
You will notice that the placeable has even more paths associated with it:
[area_ob_fireplace0100] – the name of the object, does not possess own path;
Position – position of object;
Orientation – orientation of the object;
Scale – scale of the object;
Alpha – alpha of the object;
Animation – animation of the object;
Hookpoint – point to which the object is hooked;
Parent – parent of the object (if the object is linked to another in hierarchy)
LocalPosition – local position of the object;
Visible – visibility of the object;
Each of these paths can be modified in time to provide a certain effect. To demonstrate, let’s increase the scale of the object. To do this, modify the Scale path, e.g. after 2 seconds the object will become twice as large.
For the time being, though, let’s get back to our camera. Click the object called camera000 in the Cutscene Objects window. Take a look at the content of the camera path:
The two vertical dark-blue lines are present:
These are time markers showing our current position in time. The time markers are in the 0 position, which means that the cutscene is just starting. There is a timescale in the top part of the window:
The numbers – 0, 1, 2, 3, etc. – represent the subsequent seconds of the cutscene. Each of the 10 vertical notches in a second signifies 0.1 of a second. To move the time marker, just click elsewhere on the timescale. The small light-blue squares depict keys:
Because we’ve turned on the automatic adding of keys, these keys have been added for us. Note that the keys have been placed in the Position and Orientation paths of the camera. Naturally, keys can be added, moved, or deleted manually, but that will be covered in a minute. For now, click the key in the Position path:
The selected key is highlighted in red. Additionally, the path on which the key is located has been highlighted in grey. Notice that additional fields associated with the path have appeared at the bottom of the window:
These are the X, Y and Z positions of camera000. These values can be changed manually. Simply click the desired field, type in a value, and then hit ENTER.
The Interpolation field is also quite important. This determines the manner by which one key will flow into the next. The values you can assign are:
– Stepped – the passage from one key to the next will occur in steps;
– Linear – the passage will occur in a linear manner;
– Smooth – the passage will occur smoothly.
Click the key on the Orientation path:
This displays options related to the orientation of the object at the bottom of the window. What about manually adding a key? To demonstrate, let’s say we want to add a key on the CamTarget path in second 2. As a reminder: the CamTarget path determines the spot at which the camera will look. Click the appropriate position in the CamTarget path:
The time marker will move to the selected location and the CamTarget path will now be highlighted in grey:
Press the INSERT button. A key will now appear in the highlighted field:
The key’s settings still need to be adjusted, of course. Click the newly added key. It will be highlighted in red, which means that it is now active and its settings can be altered in the fields at the bottom of the window:
The CamTarget list contains all the objects that appear in the cutscene area. The Part list contains all the individual parts of a particular object selected in CamTarget (if it has any, that is).
Keys can be moved along their respective paths. To do this, just select a key. It will turn red to indicate that it’s active. Now, left-click on the key and hold, then slide it left or right. As you can see, the key follows the movement of the mouse. Once the key has reached the appropriate position just release the left mouse button. Keep in mind that keys cannot be moved across paths.
Since now we know how to add and move keys, let’s take a look at how to delete them. To delete a given key, first it needs to be selected. The key will turn red to indicate that it’s active. Click the key that we’ve just added, then press the DELETE button. The key has now been removed. Take great care when deleting keys, as this action does not prompt for confirmation. Once you hit the DELETE button, the key is immediately removed without any need for confirmation.
Now, let’s take a closer look at camera positioning. At the moment the camera is on the ground:
However, we want it to hang just below the ceiling. This can be done with the help of one of the tools but there is an easier method. First, make sure that the time marker is the 0 position:
Naturally, camera000 has to be selected in the Cutscene Objects window. Next, right-click the camera in the Cutscene Objects window and select Set active camera from the menu:
What happened? Take a look at the area:
This is what the camera sees. It is active at the moment, which means that if we start moving it around, the camera itself will move. This is a very useful aspect of cameras because it means that we can precisely determine its position and where it’s pointing.
Look at the top left corner of the area. An information line should appear about which camera has been chosen. The name of the camera can be found in the ‘()’ parentheses:
Note that the camera icon in the Cutscene Objects window has changed:
This new icon means that the selected camera is active and can be moved around in the Area Editor. How do we move the camera itself? The same way we move around in the area, i.e. using the and W A S D buttons to move, and by right-clicking and holding to rotate. Now, use the W A S D buttons to move the camera up to the cave ceiling:
We’ll set this camera to move along a linear path for 3 seconds. Set the time marker to indicate 3 seconds on the timescale:
Using the button, move the active camera forward. Note that whatever movement you choose for the camera, keys appear in the 3rd second of the cutscene in both the Position and Orientation paths:
This is what’s supposed to happen. It occurs because the automatic key adding function is enabled. If it were disabled, the keys wouldn’t have been added automatically, leaving us to add them manually. Right-click and hold to rotate the camera so that it points a bit down and to the right:
That’s it for this camera, we can deactivate it now. To do this, press the 3 button on the numeric keypad (NUMPAD 3):
The phrase Editor Camera will appear in the top left corner:
This means that the camera has now been switched to the standard editor camera used for moving around the area. Also, note that the icon in the Cutscene Objects window has returned to the standard camera icon, which means that the camera is no longer active:
Click the STOP button in the Cutscene Toolbar:
This will return the time marker to the beginning of the cutscene:
Now click the PLAY button on the same toolbar:
You should see how the camera moves (make sure that it’s selected In the Cutscene Objects window, though). Note how the time markers move on the camera paths. You can stop the replay at any time by pressing the STOP button.
Important: Once the cutscene replay stops, the camera000 camera will automatically be activated. This is somewhat undesirable, however, so it’s best just to click anywhere in the area and then press NUMPAD 3 once the cutscene stops. This way you’ll avoid any unwanted consequences and the camera000 camera will be deactivated again. Note that if you want to continue making adjustments to the camera, you need to select it again in the Cutscene Objects window, since the camera will no longer be selected after clicking anywhere on the area.
In essence, we’ve already created a basic film. This isn’t the end, though – we still need to add a second, rotating, camera. Before we do that, let’s change the rename camera000 to something more sensible. Right-click camera000 in the Cutscene Objects window and select Rename from the menu:
Type in Moving toward and hit ENTER. The name of the camera has now been changed:
Before adding the second camera, let’s move somewhere else, away from the first camera, so that the two don’t overlap. In the screenshot below you can see the spot chosen for the purposes of this manual as well as the first Moving toward camera at its location in the 3rd second of the cutscene:
Now click the tool used for adding additional cameras:
Click a location in the area, the ground being the best choice. A second camera will now be added to the area. Click on it in the Cutscene Objects window. Naturally, the camera has been called camera000 by default:
The new camera will be highlighted in the area:
Let’s change the name of this camera straight away. Right-click on camera000 in the Cutscene Objects window and choose Rename from the menu:
Type in Orbiting and press the ENTER button. The name of the camera will thus be changed:
The Orbiting camera should start its pass of the area from second 3 (i.e. after the first one finishes). Move the time marker to second 3:
Note that the first keys on the Position and Orientation paths are in second 0, i.e. at the beginning. We need to correct that – slide the two keys to second 3. Click and hold on the first key on the Position path (it will turn red to indicate that it’s been selected) and slide it to the second 3 location:
Release the left mouse button. Repeat this step for the first key on the Orientation path:
You can also move several keys at a time. To do this, click the keys you want to move while holding CTRL.
We’ll set the rotation of the Orbiting camera last 7 seconds. Our cutscene will thus last a total of 10 seconds. Now, activate the Orbiting camera. Right-click the camera in the Cutscene Objects window and choose Set active camera from the menu:
The Orbiting camera will now be activated in the Area Editor:
Using the W A S D buttons, move the camera just under the ceiling. Right-click and hold to rotate the camera so that it points down a bit:
Move the time marker to second 6 (i.e. about halfway through the Orbiting camera’s movement):
Then, using the buttons while pressing and holding the right mouse button, rotate the camera by about 90°:
Move the time marker to second 10:
Using the mouse wheel, you can zoom in or out when looking at the timescale so that you have a more detailed view of it (when zoomed in). Naturally, the window with the timescale has to be active to be able to do this. To activate the timescale window, click the time marker. Note that the timescale goes only to second 10:
This is the case because the default cutscene lasts 10 seconds. What if you want the cutscene to last 12 seconds? Just move the time marker to second 12:
Click any path, e.g. Position, and press the END button. The timescale will now be extended to 12 seconds:
However, we only need 10 seconds. Move the time marker to second 10 and press the END button again.
Let’s get back to our camera. In the Area Editor, rotate the camera by 90° to the left, using the buttons while pressing and holding the right mouse button:
This will make the camera perform a 180° turn within the 7 seconds of its movement. Now we can deactivate the camera. To do this, press the 3 button on the numeric keypad (NUMPAD 3). Move the time marker to 0. To do this, just click the STOP button on the Cutscene Toolbar:
Display auxiliary objects now by clicking the magnifying glass icon on the Cutscene Toolbar:
Both cameras will be displayed, as well as the lines that represent their movements and yellow points which signify frames:
Note that while the Moving toward camera is working correctly, the Orbiting camera isn’t. The latter was supposed to move along a 180° curve. As you can see, this isn’t the case. Don’t worry about it, though – we’ll fix that now.
First, change the interpolation of the camera movement. Click the Orbiting camera in the Cutscene Objects window and select the first key on the Position path. The key will turn red to indicate that it’s active. Then change the Interpolation option of the camera to Smooth at the bottom of the window:
Take a look at the movement of the camera now. It will now move more along a curve:
That’s what we wanted after all, wasn’t it? Select the second key on the Position path (second 6). Change the Interpolation option to Smooth here also:
Take a look at the camera movement in the area. While it still isn’t a perfect curve, it’s certainly better than what we had before:
In the Area Editor, click the yellow point that’s furthest away from the beginning and end of the camera’s arch. The point will be selected, as shown by a white frame appearing around it.
This selects the second key on Orbiting camera’s the Position path. Choose the object moving tool (the second icon from the left) on the Cutscene Editor toolbar:
The basic rules for moving objects using this tool are the same as for the standard Area Editor. The selected object now has three different colored lines protruding from its center which allow you to move the object along the X axis (the red line), the Y axis (the green line) and the Z axis (the blue line):
Move the selected yellow point along the X axis towards the middle. To do this, left-click and hold the red line, then move the mouse upwards. Release the left mouse button when finished. The yellow point has now been moved, simultaneously changing the Position path of the Orbiting camera:
As you can see, the camera movement now resembles a smoother 180° pass. We’ll add one more frame to the camera to make it even smoother. Move the time marker to second 8:
It’s important that the Position path is selected, as this is where the new key will be added. Note that the camera has also moved to the appropriate place:
Press the INSERT button. This adds the new key on the Position path. Select the newly added key and then change the Interpolation option of the camera to Smooth:
Click the STOP button on the Cutscene Toolbar:
This way the time marker will be set to 0, i.e. the beginning of the cutscene. In the Area Editor, select the newly added yellow point:
Using the object moving tool, move the point a bit to the left so that the whole red line resembles a nice 180° curve:
The changes we’ve made so far are sufficient, but the movement of the two cameras still needs to be set. The end effect we’re looking for is for the starting cutscene view to follow the linear movement of the first camera, and then feed into the orbiting view of the second. To get to the main cutscene path, click on the Cutscene tree in the Cutscene Objects window and expand it. The main options of the cutscene are now listed:
• Conversation. Contains the name of the conversation file which will be played in the cutscene.
• OnEnd script. Contains the name of the script which will be played at the end of the cutscene.
• Ends with dialog. The option determines whether a conversation will be played at the end of the cutscene. The values you can assign to this attribute are:
– False – no conversation will be played at the end of the cutscene,
– True – a conversation will be played at the end of the cutscene.
• Disable weather. Determines whether weather effects (rain, storms, etc.) will be turned off during cutscene playback. The values you can assign to this attribute are:
– False – there will be no weather effects,
– True – weather effects will be left turned on.
• Start effect. Determines whether the screen display ratio will change to a 16:9 ratio at the beginning of the cutscene. The values you can assign to this attribute are:
– False – the screen display ratio will change to 16:9,
– True – the screen display ratio will remain unchanged.
• End effect. Determines whether the screen display ratio will change back from the 16:9 ratio when the cutscene finishes. The values you can assign to this attribute are:
– False – the screen display ratio will not change,
– True – the screen display ratio will change.
• Mute game music. Determines whether the in-game music will be muted out during cutscene playback. The values you can assign to this attribute are:
– False – the music will not be muted,
– True – the music will be muted.
• Mute game ambients. Determines whether the in-game ambient sounds will be muted out during cutscene playback. The values you can assign to this attribute are:
– False – the ambient sounds will not be muted,
– True – the ambient sounds will be muted.
• Mute Game Animation Sounds. Determines whether the in-game animation sounds will be muted out. The values you can assign to this attribute are:
– False – the animation sounds will not be muted,
– True – the animation sounds will be muted.
• Mute Game Effects Sounds. Determines whether the in-game sound effects will be muted out during cutscene playback. The values you can assign to this attribute are:
– False – the effects sounds will not be muted,
– True – the effects sounds will be muted.
• Silent mode. Determines whether there will be complete silence during cutscene playback. The values you can assign to this attribute are:
– False – all music and sounds will not be muted,
– True – all music and sounds will be muted.
To change any given option you need to right-click the Cutscene tree in the Cutscene Objects window. A menu will appear, allowing you to change any of these options:
The Import Cutscene command is fairly self-explanatory. Use it to import a cutscene.
The Import Cutscene, Set Dialog File, and Set OnEndCutscene Script files all open Select windows containing their respective trees (Cutscenes, Dialogues or Scripts):
The remaining menu commands act as toggles between True or False settings.
Let’s take a look now at the types of cutscene paths. There are 14 of them:
Camera – this path contains the cameras. This is where we’ll add our two cameras,
Conversation – this path contains conversations,
SoundFile – this path contains sounds,
Priority – this path contains priority sounds,
Volume – this path contains sound volume,
MovieFile – this path contains cutscenes in the .bik format,
NssFile – this path contains Neverwinter Nights language scripts,
LuaLine – this path contains LUA language scripts,
FadeColor – this path contains color fading,
MusicFile – this path contains the music,
MusicVolume – this path contains music volume,
MusicStopDelay – this path contains the length of delay before stopping music,
MusicLooping – this path contains information about music looping.
The basic principles of cutscene paths are the same as those of camera paths. Set the time marker to 0. The best way to do this is to click the STOP button on the Cutscene Toolbar:
Click 0 seconds in the Camera path and press the INSERT button. A key will now be added. Click on the new key and it will turn red to indicate that it’s active. At the bottom of the screen, select our first camera (i.e. Moving toward) from the Camera list:
Since the movement of the Moving toward camera lasts 3 seconds, move the time marker to second 3. On the Camera path, click second 3 and press the INSERT button, which will add an additional key. Click the new key and then choose the second camera (i.e. Orbiting) from the Camera list:
That’s it. We’ve just created our first cutscene. It’s a very simple cutscene with only the two camera movements, but it served to demonstrate the basics of cutscene creation using the D’jinni Editor. You can now play the whole cutscene by clicking the PLAY button on the Cutscene Toolbar:
The effect of our work can be seen in the Area Editor. All that’s left is to save the cutscene. To do this, choose Save our_film.cut from the File menu:
If Save our_film.cut does not appear in the drop down menu, or if another file name appears instead, it means that the our_film.cut window is not active at the moment. To active it just click the window’s title bar and then choose Save our_film.cut in the File menu. A Save File window will appear:
In saving the file, you will have the choice to saving it globally (meaning it will be available in other modules, as well) or to save it just in the present module. Since we have chosen the first option so far, just click the Global button.
This opens the standard Windows window used for saving. Go to the Data\Cutscenes folder (where all cutscenes are saved), type in our_film (if it hasn’t appeared automatically) and click Save. You can add the cutscene to a module later manually. This has been discussed in one of the previous chapters and comes in handy if you want to upload your module to the internet to share with friends or the community.
The whole film is now ready but we still have to load the cutscene at the module level. To do this, we will use a trigger and a script. This is covered in the next chapter.