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Camera Animation Editor


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1. More intuitive camera animation editor. 

In the current form it is not conducive when it comes to producing cinematics simply because there is no "Rewind" ability during the mission to check if your keyframes line up the way you want them. It is far too tenuous requiring multiple reloads to perfect a 5 second shot when an easier work around would be to have an option to change the "travel speed" in the Camera mode to begin with alongside better gamepad support. 

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Hm. I used it from early June to produce three videos a week, for six weeks straight.

Okay, it's my job, not a hobby. But I think the tool does it's job "good enough" (mind you, video proction is still a side show, not our main business).

 

Not saying that your observations are invalid, maybe I don't understand well enough what you're asking for. But what I learned over the years, when it comes to video production, stop thinking as a tactician/mission designer/player. Think like a movie director when lining up certain shots. You can use different scenes from different scenarios, and still assemble a coherent story in the editing process.

If you set keyframes tethered to a vehicle, they are guaranteed to line up as you want them (you just can't be entirely certain about the location, if the vehicle maneuvers). If you work with world coordinates (=not tethered), I tend to use patient, slow-moving shots and keep my fingers crossed that something interesting will happen. If not this time, then when the camera resets its movement.

It's not perfect. But it is possible to use it in a productive manner.

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1 hour ago, Ssnake said:

Hm. I used it from early June to produce three videos a week, for six weeks straight.

Okay, it's my job, not a hobby. But I think the tool does it's job "good enough" (mind you, video proction is still a side show, not our main business).

 

Not saying that your observations are invalid, maybe I don't understand well enough what you're asking for. But what I learned over the years, when it comes to video production, stop thinking as a tactician/mission designer/player. Think like a movie director when lining up certain shots. You can use different scenes from different scenarios, and still assemble a coherent story in the editing process.

If you set keyframes tethered to a vehicle, they are guaranteed to line up as you want them (you just can't be entirely certain about the location, if the vehicle maneuvers). If you work with world coordinates (=not tethered), I tend to use patient, slow-moving shots and keep my fingers crossed that something interesting will happen. If not this time, then when the camera resets its movement.

It's not perfect. But it is possible to use it in a productive manner.

 

 



I'm speaking purely from a video production point of view, and not from a "tactician". I've used keyframe systems in almost all of my videos, including some SQUAD cinematics that were built from the ground up in Unreal Engine. Probably came across too critical, but it was just a wish to make it more user friendly. I don't have an issue spending the time to make a good product, but it would help if it was easier. 

I understand video production isn't anywhere in the realm of plans for Steel Beast priorities, but it would help us help you market your game/sim better to audiences. 

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to be fair, your third video in that group wouldn't really be possible in steel beasts- the complex lighting and the infantry shown in dramatic poses and the overall mood showing their resignation cannot really be done in steel beasts because the infantry models cannot be posed in that way with that much articulation and detail. the first two videos which are more vehicle centric are possible, and i've seen content creators do it

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here is an example of a well done video, i would guess a lot of time spent and retakes. patience and and eye for dramatic camera placement, uses a lot of zoom- it doesn't even appear to use the camera tool (i still don't really understand how to access the camera, i've not had much time in this area)

 

 

 

 

 

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Okay, I think if we want to go more in-depth how you imagine expansions of the UI in the tool, it makes sense to move this from the Wishlist thread into a thread of its own. Maybe you can illustrate here how you'd like things to be, or describe "Gamepad support" in more detail.

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12 hours ago, RooksAndKings said:

 no "Rewind" ability during the mission

If I may add something, in mission rewind/slow motion/backward is just not possible in game since it is real time...but it would be possible in the AAR : you stage what you need while in game and do your camera work in the AAR.

Granted, not in the current state as AAR is currently recorded soundless, at something like 2 FPS (and no camera animation support there). I supposed it was due to limitations at the time it was coded?

 

 

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2 hours ago, BlackDeath said:

...but it would be possible in the AAR : you stage what you need while in game and do your camera work in the AAR.

 

Exactly. I used to do all my screenshot work in the AAR because, even for static screenshots, staging/setup/framing is sooo much easier and more flexible in the AAR than in real time during gameplay.

(Side note: the loss of movement/traveling dust in the AAR has really neutered that ability).

 

So, regarding improvement/expansion of the tool for 5.0, I wonder if maybe a more robust record/replay function tied to the AAR, with camera animation improvements focused there, might be the way to go?

There will be debate about file sizes, etc., and I know, too, this can't come at the expense of loss of the analytical information the current AAR method provides.  

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12 hours ago, Ssnake said:

Okay, I think if we want to go more in-depth how you imagine expansions of the UI in the tool, it makes sense to move this from the Wishlist thread into a thread of its own. Maybe you can illustrate here how you'd like things to be, or describe "Gamepad support" in more detail.


Sounds good to me. Again, I'm not saying that it's impossible to use in it's current form, just that I would like to see it a little more user friendly is all. 

"Gamepad Support" - So I use an Xbox Elite Controller made by Razer for most of my camera work when games have a "Spectator Camera" similar to your perspective when you click on the map using "View Here" in Steel Beasts. So when I speak about "Gamepad Support" I mean Joystick Support or Support to where I can remap the key bindings to the controller. Currently, Steel Beasts will let me use one joystick on my controller to look around but I cannot move on any axis. I can only look, and when I go to the controls to remap keys to the GamePad so I can use it, the game does not recognize the input on the axis' so I am stuck with mouse and keyboard. 

Now mouse and keyboard isn't an issue, except that when I am in "View Here" mode, when pressing W or X to move forward and back, they move at a predetermined speed with no way for me to control that speed and it's just nearly impossible to create shots when you're flying at Mach 1 speed and have to be super zoomed in to every shot if you record that way. 

Moving on to the Camera Animation Editor;

Currently, there is no rewind feature when testing the mission. This is an issue in my opinion because your camera tools are based on a Keyframe System which is based on a time, in the scene. This makes trying to get shots in the middle of a mission extremely hard to get right because you have to run time compression in the scenario and reload it repeatedly to get to certain parts of a mission just to see if your camera shots are what you need. When you test the shots to see how it plays out, the mission continues, and there is no chance for you to try to retake that shot without restarting the mission and running time compression. 

It's not impossible to do, but it does make creating anything with good production value harder than it should be and may turn people off to the work involved. 

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15 hours ago, Captain_Colossus said:

here is an example of a well done video, i would guess a lot of time spent and retakes. patience and and eye for dramatic camera placement, uses a lot of zoom- it doesn't even appear to use the camera tool (i still don't really understand how to access the camera, i've not had much time in this area)

 

 

 

 

 

Very good. 

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57 minutes ago, RooksAndKings said:

Now mouse and keyboard isn't an issue, except that when I am in "View Here" mode, when pressing W or X to move forward and back, they move at a predetermined speed with no way for me to control that speed and it's just nearly impossible to create shots when you're flying at Mach 1 speed and have to be super zoomed in to every shot if you record that way. 

 

You might want to check this again. For me, the speed of the free camera during a mission can be controlled by multiple presses of the W and/or X keys, and of course S to stop. Similar to vehicle speed control.

 

The speed of the camera with the Camera Animator is governed by the time increments between keysets ... which, from lack of experience, I find difficult to finetune and control.

Edited by Splash
Additional thought.
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3 minutes ago, Splash said:

 

You might want to check this again. For me, the speed of the free camera during a mission can be controlled by multiple presses of the W and/or X keys, and of course S to stop. Similar to vehicle speed control.

 

The speed of the camera with the Camera Animator is governed by the time increments between keysets ... which, from lack of experience, I find difficult to finetune and control.

The slowest speed with W is too fast for most shots, especially if the units are stationary and firing. At least that's how I feel. 

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Try this: Traveling at the "slowest" forward speed (1 press of W), press the X key to slow down. You'll have about 8 progressively slower speeds until you reach stationary.

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2 minutes ago, Splash said:

Try this: Traveling at the "slowest" forward speed (1 press of W), press the X key to slow down. You'll have about 8 progressively slower speeds until you reach stationary.

I have not tried this. Thank you for the tip I will take a look tonight when I continue filming :)

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