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Editing CutScenes

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Introduction Edit

Welcome to my little cutscene tutorial, which will show you how to set up a scene with cameras and actors (aka. Characters).

Maybe you´re already used to the tools, as these were explained in a previous tutorial. If not, I´ll do that quickly again right here before I start to build a scene step by step for you.

I hope everything is comprehensible enough, and you can follow my instructions. Djinni sometimes is a bit tricky, so don´t be shy hitting the SAVE button frequently, as the program isn´t running so solid. SAVE saves YOU a lot of white hair… (for Geralt wanna-be-soon-look-a-likes: forget what I just said…)


Working with storyboards Edit

First of all: A good support for the set up of your scenes are STORYBOARDS. These don´t have to be masterpieces, but they can help you to keep the overview when you do more complexe scenes. I´m afraid, mine isn’t a true example of when I say “simple”:

CSE1

This just as an example. I´ll expand this section here asap with some camera settings you can make use of for your storyboards.

Creating new cutscenes Edit

For the creation of a new cutscene – please open or create a new module, choose an area you want to use. I suggest you make your first trial with an exterior area, (See Location files for further information) as you can experiment a bit more freely with long camera pans – if you like.

When you´ve done that, you can create the scene -> click on file -> choose “new” and -> cutscene. Give it a name (not too long, I´d suggest you make something up, what fits your project) and save it – you can choose there between two possible ways – saving it to the module alone or globally. The decision is up to you.

Then following window should be in front of you:

CSE2

This is the view through the EDITOR CAMERA now. Still not very impressive… we´ll change that soon, don’t panic.

The toolbar Edit

Over the window, which shows you the scene, you can see this TOOLBAR:

CES3

1.) Select

2.) Move

3.) Move all keys

4.) Rotate

5.) Create placeable At this point, I must mention, this feature seems to be corrupt, and it won´t allow to load any placeables in the scene. But I suggest building the scene’s setting in the Area Editor before you set up the scene. If you had another experience and it works without any problems on your machine as well for cutscenes – congratulations – informations about this are highly appreciated. Thank you!

6.) Create WFX – Let it burn! (the roof, the roof is on fire! It can all be done with effects!)

7.) Create Character (NPCS, MONSTERS)

8.) Create Camera – self-explanatory

9.) Create Look at Target (it´s an auxiliary or supporting object)

10.) Create sound – self-explanatory

Cutscene Objects Edit

Under this toolbar you see CUTSCENE OBJECTS, click on “cutscene” in this window and you should see the camera settings here:

CES4

Still empty, but we´ll try to fill at least the first row immediately.

On a closer look:

CES5

  1. Camera – once you´ve created cameras, you can set up their timing here. So for instance you´ve set up two cameras with two different angles – you can set the first camera in at 0, this should play until, let´s say, 5, when the Blue bar as seen above, reaches 5, you set the second camera in. To do this, you must set a KEY.

We do that the following way, and it should look like this:

CES6

Click into the first row “CAMERA” until it is highlighted grey, choose where you want the first KEY, left-click that spot – and hit INSERT – then a blue KEY appears. In my screen above I´ve already activated it (no, it´s not ashamed, it´s just red because it´s active!), to show you something else – the menu under the timeline. There you see on the left-hand-side “camera” and when you´ve already set up a camera, you can choose it in the dropdown menu and align it to the KEY.

Well, and if you´ve done it wrong, no problem – same procedure – just the other way round – this time – hit DELETE, and the KEY is gone.

  1. Conversation – works similar, add a KEY, set it active and choose the dialogue, which should appear and who speaks it.
  2. SoundFile – self-explanatory
  3. Priority – I must admit – I never used it before, be free to experiment with it
  4. Volume – how loud do you want it?
  5. MovieFile – add a bik (feature only seems to play in Djinni, but will not play during gametime out of Djinni)
  6. NSS File - for scripts
  7. LUALine – for scripts
  8. Fade Colour – should fade colour – I couldn´t get this feature working
  9. Fade Alpha – make a sweet Fade from black or to black.
  10. MusicFile – add some soundtrack
  11. MusicVolume – how loud do you want the soundtrack?
  12. MusicStopDelay – Never needed it before…
  13. MusicLooping – rather self-explanatory
  14. QT-Action - I must admit – I never used it before, be free to experiment with it


So, I´d say we return to our scene again. Click into the scenery window and try to move to a location which is appropriate to set up the scene. We won´t do anything complicated, so no worries.

Navigation Edit

Moving around works with following keys on your keyboard:

  • W = UP
  • S = DOWN
  • A (or left arrow) = LEFT
  • D (or right arrow) = RIGHT
  • E = ROTATE RIGHT (Or use the Left Mousebutton)
  • Q = ROTATE LEFT (Or use the Left Mousebutton)
  • ARROW UP = Zoom in (Or use the Mousewheel)
  • ARROW DOWN = Zoom out (Or use the Mousewheel)


Creating a new character/actor Edit

So, when you´ve chosen a good place for your character to act, create a new character. I use this rather unknown, good looking guy with the white hair for this demonstration.

CES7

Isn´t he sweet… well, before we start worshipping Geralt´s good looks too much, we better change the view to his timeline, which tells us the following:

CES8

Character Timeline Edit

Aye, as you see in the window above, I renamed the ck_wiedzmin000 dude to “GERALT” – just makes more sense, and doesn´t change anything for his timeline. Well, and I added a KEY in Animation.

  1. Position – the place where Geralt stands
  2. Orientation – the place where Geralt stands
  3. Scale – try it… it´s funny having a smurf or a King Kong sized Geralt.
  4. Alpha – play with it – you can make Geralt suddenly disappear, seems to control the opacity/transparency settings.
  5. Animation – self-explanatory
  6. Overlay Animation – self-explanatory – although, I never made much use of this
  7. StateName – There you can set the mood of the Character. Check out the drop down menu.
  8. LuaLine – again for scripts
  9. LookAtTarget – you can choose an object here, a lookat auxiliary object, a character – anything Geralt can throw a glance at.


Setting up animation Edit

Okay, let´s go on – choose an animation in the drop down menu:

CES9

Now he´s drunk – and you can see him careen when you set the SPEED. Try which setting is the best for the timing. I set it to 1.00.


Setting up a camera Edit

So we almost got a scene… well, now we need a camera, too. Let´s set one up:

CES10

This is the view through the new cam now. You see it is active in the Cutscene Objects.

CES11

Same scene in the view of the EDITOR CAMERA


To see all auxiliary objects in the scene – the small magnifying glass under the scene window must be active.

Click again on the red camera in the scene – hit “3” on your numb pad – or click on the camera in cutscene objects with the Left Mouse Button – to set it active. So, let´s return to the previous view.

Moving a camera Edit

Now, let´s rotate the cam around our heavily tanked up Geralt.

CES12

In the Editor Cam it looks like that – every yellowspot you see on the screen is aligned to one of the keys in the timeline.

Adjusting the length of a movie Edit

Unfortunately, I haven´t chosen the length of the movie properly. So it ends at “10”:

CES13

No problem, the setting can be changed, and we can make it longer – this way:

CES14

Choose how much additonal time you´ll need for the scene – you see the row of “camera000” shows grey, click in the grey space – let´s say somewhere near “14” in the timeline – the blue bar will move there – hit “END”. Voilà – a longer movie.

Now you also can set up the camera under CUTSCENE OBJECTS/Camera. You also can give your cam an appropriate name – commonly something what describes it´s action. Mine here I call “rotation”.


Using Look-at-targets Edit

Next, I´ll show you, what a LOOKATTARGET does. Please set one up somewhere near Geralt:

CES15

Make a key in Geralt´s timeline for a lookattarget. His eyes should follow this object now. We also can move the target… what we now will do - to see, what Geralt does. I move it a bit along with the camera, looks now this way:

CE16

Geralt now should stare in the direction of this target. You can also make him look into the other direction – just add another target, and chose the right timing, when he should look there. Let´s check this out. Create another Lookattarget, this time… we choose another Character. Make sure the timeline is at “0” again.

CES17

I added Jaskier, also very drunk. You see, at “2” he also has a look-at-target – and that´s drunken Geralt. For Geralt I decided, he should look at Jaskier at “3”. He now should turn his head in time to look at his drunken buddy.


Using "depth of field" and other camera related effects Edit

Okay, now to something completely different – well, not at all – you can add something else to the scene – look here:

CES18

  1. Cam Target – where the camera should look at
  2. DepthOfField
  3. FOV – Well, I guess it means field of view, but I may be wrong
  4. Blur – self-explanatory.

Let´s try to experiment a bit with Depth of Field. (you may try your own settings and the other possible cam-fx, of course) I choose my “rotation” camera and set it active, so I can see through it, then I do the setting.

CES19

Without any setting, background and foreground are sharp as a knife.

CES20

Now it get´s a bit blurry, everywhere… well… try another few settings:

CES21

CES22

Experiment a bit with it and find your setting. For my scene, I keep the previous one.


Using a second camera Edit

So, and now, let´s see how our two drinking buddies trudge away.

CES23

I made a new animation KEY on the positon of “13” – my scene is AGAIN too short… But now you know how this works, don’t you? At 13, the rotation cam has stopped, Geralt will trudge away, and I´ll make Jaskier follow him, a short while after. For this, I also set up another cam, which will follow both.

CES24

So, you see, I added keys on “20” and moved the two tipplers to another position. Now let´s see how it looks with the second cam:

CES25

New camera view – I called it “pan” and set it up at “14” – also in the Cutscene Objects/Camera!

CES26

View through the Editor cam. I added an additional lookattarget for Geralt, so he doesn´t get a stiff… neck when looking at Jaskier all the time.

How to set up a dialogue Edit

To add a conversation between our two buddies, we first must set a dialogue up. Something like this:

CES27

We save it, then we return to the Cs editor window and look into Cutscene Objects.

CES28

click in the cutscene objects/cutscene with RMB -> set dialogue file. You should see the following window then:

CES29

Open dialogues -> choose your newly set up dialogue. You now should see in your cutscenes objects the line “jaskier” next to conversation.

CES30

Pretty! Now let´s add the dialogues into the timeline and see what happens, when we play the cutscene.

CES31

CES32

You must activate “Cineview” so you can see the subtitles you just added.

CES33

Wow, these drunkards really try to talk . . .

NOTE: When you are in Editor Cam mode, you can move everywhere you want. Just be careful when you´re in the Cutscene camera modes.

Placeables in cutscenes Edit

But didn´t we forget something? Where in Sapkowski´s name is Geralt´s sword? Unfortunately, as mentioned before – the placeables don´t load, so I tricked a bit and hid a sword in the area, before I made the scene. So somewhere there is a sword lying around in Kaer Morhen… (where else?) Let´s get it onto Geralt´s back!

CES34

Look here under cutscene placeables. I renamed it, so we find it more easily; a fine silversword ready for our witcher. Now – look here:

CES35


Using hookpoints and parent Edit

With help of “Hookpoint” and “Parent”, we attach it now to our friend Geralt. Make KEYS at “0” (like seen above) in the rows of “Hookpoint” and “Parent”. First we activate the KEY in Parent, a dropdown menu appears again, and we say – of course “GERALT”. Then we click on the KEY in Hookpoint, and choose “swd_l”. When it´s done right – he now should look this way:

CES36


Aftermath Edit

Well, but now it´s time for you to switch the auxiliary objects off (the magnifying glass) click in cutscene objects on “Cutscene”, click on play and melt in awe in front of your screen.

Harrumph… You´ll see it´s still a long way to go, to get the right timing for this drunkards walk, but, experiment a bit with it, try different SPEEDS and you may get a good looking result. Have fun with creating your own scenes, and thank you very much for reading. (You may download the file I set up here: [1])

Godspeed!

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