file Backdrop tutorial

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06 Mar 2011 18:48 #820 by Fospherous
Fospherous created the topic: Backdrop tutorial
My Backdrop Tutorial

Welcome to my tutorial! This tutorial will teach you how to make basic backdrops. Contents 1a. Introduction to Backdrops 1b. Basic Backdrops (Static) 1c. Using Text in Backdrops 2a. Animated Backdrops 2b. Custom Animation 3a. Credits Introduction to Backdrops A Backdrop is the background of a scene, for example: The sky. To Assign a backdrop, follow these steps... 1. On the Advanced Script Maker, choose your set and scene, then on the right hand button bar, click the "change backdrop" button. It looks like this... 2. Choose a Backdrop in the list, then click ok. It's as easy as that! Basic Backdrops To make a backdrop for a static scene, you will need the following...
  • a .dds file converter (download one here)
  • a backdrop template (provided further down)
First of all, you will need to create the folders. Go into C:\Program Files\Lionhead Studios Ltd\The Movies\Data. In this folder, create a folder and name it "Textures" then in the new folder you created, create a folder called "Backdrops". You should now have C:\Program Files\Lionhead Studios Ltd\The Movies\Data\Textures\Backdrops. Now, you'll need to create your backdrop. Simply choose what static scene you want to use for the backdrop (based on what scene you choose in the game) and save that template from one of the below. (High=High quality and Low=Low quality) Static 1 (High|Low) Static 2 (High|Low) Static 3 (High|Low) Note: If you selected high quality, you will have to make a large picture, so if you are using a basic program like paint, it may be easier to use the low quality. If you are using a more advanced program like Paint Shop Pro or Fireworks, then use the high quality as it looks a lot better when it comes to creating the movie. Once open, you can begin to "paint" your backdrop. Make sure that if you are using one of the templates supplied, that you only create your backdrop in the white area, not the blue. If you do not want to create your backdrop on a template (if you want the scene to just randomly have a backdrop in any place (like a landscape) then you can create your own, using the full space. Just make sure that the size of the picture is 1024x256, 2048x512 or higher keeping the ratio of 1:4. To change this on paint, click image, then attributes and type in the sizes. For most advanced programs, the "new file" option prompts you to select a size and background colour. Now, to convert your backdrop into the compatible format. You can download a converter here. Firstly, you will need to change the options of the program. Open the program, click options, then in the DXTc format bit, click DXT1c. Now, convert the backdrop(s) you have made and put them in the folder you created earlier (C:\Program Files\Lionhead Studios Ltd\The Movies\Data\Textures\Backdrops). Your now done! Now you can apply the backdrop to your set. Using Text in Backdrops So you want to use text in your backdrop, for example: a trailer with a scene saying "one man, will make it on his own". Use one of the templates above and create a backdrop with text on it. It seems simple as that, but it is more complicated. If you play the game on low quality/ low resolution, you will see that the text you put on your backdrop is fuzzy/blurry and you don't like it. This is because of the low quality mode. To fix this, simply switch to high quality and a decent resolution when you shoot the movie or when you export it. You do not have to switch to high quality until then, because while your editing, it isn't recording. You can also raise the quality of text by creating a bigger backdrop, for example: static 3 (high|low). Choose high quality (2048x512). That is it! Animated Backdrops So now you're bored of the still images and want to make animated ones. To do this, simply create loads of backdrops, each moving a little bit. Then when it comes to the game, simply make loads of scenes and cut them down in size to about 1 second or more. This is done in Post Production. You can learn how to cut film and more advanced animation tips in [thread=153210]"Zogg's Special Effects Tutorial"[/thread]. Custom Animation Ever wanted to move props around like a car, anywhere you like? Now you can! For this bit, we'll use the urban street set. Firstly, place the car on the road in the scene prop editor. Then, take a screen shot (do this by pushing "Print Scrn / SysRq" on your keyboard) Then minimise the program, go on a basic picture editor, crop the image so that it is only the scene, no text or buttons. Then make it a backdrop the normal way. Then go back to the game and move the car a bit, maybe turn a little, then take another screen shot and go back to make another backdrop. When you are done with your self animated scene, make loads of "stage" sets with "static" scenes and use the backdrops you made in order. Then it will look like a normal scene as though you just selected it from the scene options. Note: Remember, if you use the smaller resolution template for your backdrop, you will experience bad looking animation, which will look worse if you have low graphics on the game whilst exporting/shooting.

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