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Torqual
01-27-2009, 10:59 AM
Hey there. I don't know if anyone remembers me from about 10 months ago, but was a late arrival on The Movies scene.

Within 3 weeks of buying the game I released a serial in four parts, lasting 25 minutes in total: Lost in the Forest.

Part Four won me second place in the newbfest competition for new TMO directors on the scene in 2008.

I did an interview on TMOA Radio around June which was good fun.

After this initial success I spent a lot of time modding my game and started work on a very high concept three-part zombie movie; New Horizon. The first part was 90% completed but seemed to escalate in scope and was already looking to be 25 minutes when finished. It didn't quite make it to post production as the final scene required a lot of custom costumes and skin tones that got me mired in modding and made me run out of steam.

In September last year, the HDD on my five year old PC suffered a critical failure and I lost a lot of data, including my Movies installation, mods, unlocks, and all work on New Horizon. All that I retained was 'Highest' quality versions of Lost in the Forest 1-4 and my Starmaker creations, which I had backed up some months before.

Since this period, I tried to replace my PC but the one I bought to replace it was extremely loud (due to 7 different fans in it) so I had to return that machine. Following this bad experience, I built my own Vista PC in its place.

I now have this PC up and running, and have installed The Movies again, played the game through, and fixed all the unlocks. However, I now face a long battle to get back to where I was before; it's very disappointing that, with TMO, all my online movies have gone but even worse so has the Prop Shop. It means I can't recover all the official content I had before. If there is a way to get this back, please let me know.

Then I have to remember how to get all scenes in all locations. As I recall it was a three stage process; getting Tarison's blue screens, then a modded scene list so that all scenes were available in these blue screens, and finally getting all the sets as props to drop in around the actors. I remember this being a headache and will allocate a couple of evenings to it but - if anyone has written a guide in the last few months then please could someone link it - it would be a major time-saver.

Finally I guess I am going to have to hunt down those tools for modding costumes; I think I was using MED and some tool that converted .bmp to .... was it .tga or .png or whatever format The Movies uses. Anyone care to remind me where I got these from?

Anyway - point of this post is to say Hello to anyone that might remember me from before I spent 5 months without a usable PC... particularly Nukester if you are still around.

I have not given up on The Movies - far from it - and have a really cool new secret project that I am wanting to start work on asap. It's just a real shame that I have to get over this hump of re-modding my game to get back to my old capability. At least I have a much more powerful machine now. And it has an SSD so there's no way this sucker is going to break on me and make me lose everything.

Torqual
01-27-2009, 11:01 AM
Oh, and I would like to add -

I used to have a GREAT spreadsheet that showed what scenes were available on what sets. It was like The Bible to me. Does anyone have that, please?

thebiz
01-27-2009, 11:25 AM
Hello Torqual,
Good to see you over here. Thats a lot of subjects going on here. Lets start with the propshop, which is available for download courtesy of Norrie. See this thread for info...

http://www.tmoaradio.com/vb/showthread.php?t=626&highlight=propshop

Im not sure about that spreadsheet though I know the players guide has something similar. Perhaps someone else has a copy of the spreadsheet.

One of the bigger innovations you may have missed is Rileyman's applications. Take a look at his website (Riley Entertainment in the links to the left) for various tools such as the settoprop converter that lets you convert a set with all the setdressing to a prop which you can drop on a (tarisons blue screens are available at DCMF in the links to the left) a bluescreen and revolve around your actors. Dr. House has the all scenes for the bluescreen mod on his housemod site (in the links on the left)

A lot of folks here also use outside editing which make things a bit easier (fix the sound sync..better editing capabilities). Have a look about and feel free to pm me or post again if theres a specific question that hasnt been answered.

kuroken
01-27-2009, 12:59 PM
Hey Torqual -

Of course I remember you - I interviewed you! LOL

I have that spreadsheet at home - am at work now - was put together, I believe, by Daninsky, who is sometimes around here - if he hasn't popped in with a link by the time I get home, I'll stick it up for anyone who needs it - it is, indeed, very very useful.

Great to have you back.

Ken

Torqual
01-27-2009, 01:11 PM
Excellent chaps, and thank you! That spreadsheet is something I especially crave... You know how it is; many projects are started off by playing around with new locations and scenes, and trying to find out what those funny mannequins in the background are doing, and whether this creates any new possibilities. I feel blinded without 'the' spreadsheet.

I mean I know that all-scenes/blue-screens/sets-as-props actually makes it no longer a limiting factor but it really is just nice to start from what's available without needing it.

On the above, I have found Dr House's all scenes mod, and Tarison's blue screens, and will get right on with installation tonight - I am just racking my brains as to where I found all the sets as props. Don't suppose anyone has this info on the top of their heads?

BTW Biz, I didn't know about Riley's tools and have had a quick look. Is this the same thing as MED or different? I am again racking my brains as to where I found MED because it was very handy for really simple creation of custom costumes by adding/subtracting textures on top of existing meshes. But overall I am wondering what Riley's tools enable you to do that wasn't already available. Or is it the same stuff just with a better interface?

Killian
01-27-2009, 01:22 PM
Greetings Torqual and welcome back to the community.

MEd can be found at DCMF (don't have the direct link to hand at the moment, sorry, but the last version is in the downloads section there).

Riley's Tools are a seperate set of utilities that greatly ease the pain of faffing around the shooting the same dressed set from different angles (set2prop); you can also create rooms using the room builder, scale and rotate props, tweak them in innumerable ways... oh, and the Texture Manager (also by Our Man Riley) is also a luvvly little bit of kit you might want to check out; saves steps and time when you can convert and resize a bmp/jpg/png into dds all in one go :)

The toolset is only available in command line form at the moment (although you can use the set2prop by dragging the setdressing "ini" file you want to convert onto the .exe file and dropping it); I heard a rumour he's possibly looking at doing an upgrade for these (at least UI-wise) at some point... when he isn't hard at work on 10 thousand other things at once ;)

JazzX
01-27-2009, 03:09 PM
[Tactical double post - important message for original poster may have been overlooked.

Please delete this entry.]

Torqual
01-27-2009, 03:11 PM
Thanks - that's very useful. The idea of being able to create a composite prop od a set and its dressings is a superb one and somthing I will have to try out.

Great to see the community is still what it was. Next step, I will have to look at what's been released over the time I didn't have a PC (well I had a work laptop for email but that wasn't much fun).

While there are so many people being helpful and easing my recovery to previous powers, can I selfishly ask a couple of questions which will save me time?

1) Upload to TMU - is it OK to load things at 'Highest' quality. Because that's all I have left of my previous work, and I'd like to put it up if possible.

2) One other thing I remembered; I'd like to include about 8 characters in my current project, and am up against that old problem in the Sandbox of not having enough people in the Stage School line, to import the full set from the Starmaker. I remember I fixed this simply before, but cannot remember how. Any recommendations?

JazzX
01-27-2009, 03:15 PM
Welcome Torqual!

I have all of your online quality episodes of "Lost in the Forest" in my archive.

Let me know if you want me to send them to you.

Torqual
01-27-2009, 03:15 PM
Welcome Torqual!

I have all of your online quality episodes of "Lost in the Forest" in my archive.

Let me know if you want me to send them to you.

Oooh - our posts crossed. Great to hear such silly films were considered worthy of your Noah's Ark! Pending a response on whether it's OK to load the HQ versions here, I may wish to take you up on that.

There's actually one thing which I am considering though, which is that Part One was always the weakest of the four made, as it was, with just the basic 'The Movies' and not even S&E. I'd like to re-imagine it while retaining the plot, but making use of the experience gained. The problem at the moment is that it serves as a poor indicator of the quality of the subsequent episodes. I want to remake it with mods and everything..... including doing the car crash properly instead of making the viewer imagine it.

JazzX
01-27-2009, 03:28 PM
Oooh - our posts crossed. Great to hear such silly films were considered worthy of your Noah's Ark! Pending a response on whether it's OK to load the HQ versions here, I may wish to take you up on that.

There's actually one thing which I am considering though, which is that Part One was always the weakest of the four made, as it was, with just the basic 'The Movies' and not even S&E. I'd like to re-imagine it while retaining the plot, but making use of the experience gained. The problem at the moment is that it serves as a poor indicator of the quality of the subsequent episodes. I want to remake it with mods and everything..... including doing the car crash properly instead of making the viewer imagine it.

Sounds like a good idea.

Have you considered editing together all 4 episodes in Windows Movie Maker?

I don't imagine there'll be a problem with uploading the HQ versions - none of them will be anywhere near the 200MB limit anyway, (three episodes of 5-6 minutes and one of 10 minutes - no more than 30 minutes total running time).

Torqual
01-27-2009, 03:49 PM
Cripes! I just looked and the files are a huge 520MB for all four parts.

Windows Movie Maker is something I have just stumbled across in this crazy world they call 'Vista'. It seems pretty neat. So, it's a simple tool to stitch multiple parts into a single? Excellent. Does it have any facility to reduce this 520MB down to a smaller size?

Also - one thing I am thinking about - a lot of people are suggesting using 'external software' to edit instead of the inbuilt Post Production. But no-one ever says what it is. Are people talking about Windows Movie Maker here, as well, or am I just being dumb and actually they mean something far more professional?

I'm all questions today....

Killian
01-27-2009, 03:55 PM
A wise man once said "if you don't ask, you don't get..."... or something... :)

Anyway, in answer... yes, WMM is one of the many lovely outside editors the community are using to make the process of editing TM movies much less stress-filled and painful than they used to be. Others are Ulead, Sony Vegas, Magix, Final Cut, Corel Videostudio, Abode Premiere, etc, etc, etc... there's loads to choose from, but to be honest WMM is perfectly adequate for most starting OE'ers (it can't do fancy stuff like chromakeying, etc, without a lot of faffing about, but it's a handy way to learn what's possible).

As for the file; sure, you can put it into WMM and re-render it out at a different resolution; TM movies tend to be bulked out with extraneous data that an external editor strips out, so even doing nothing but re-rendering it should slim it down somewhat :).

You can fiddle about with changing the rezz and so on just to see what results you get, and I heartily recommend doing so (just maybe not with a 520mb file as your first attempt :P)

Torqual
01-27-2009, 04:01 PM
Ok; very dumb question then....

So, you just shoot the movie full length and export it without editing it at all..... then open the .wmv file in WMM and start editing?

Torqual
01-27-2009, 04:14 PM
Oh no! My first problem!

I just unzipped the Sets.zip (well plus the costumes and props as well) from the Prop Shop backup above into The Movies/Data/pak and have a whole bunch of new CPAK files there. But when I go into the game and open up the AMM, I can't seem to pick up the Haunted Corridor that I was looking for, or indeed the new hairstyles or costumes that I remember.

Can anyone think of an obvious reason why the game would not be detecting this? Do I need to do something to my unlocking.ini as well (I already pasted over that). I have noticed that everything I just downloaded is a .cpak file whereas the existing contents are .pak. Maybe I need to change them to .pak or something?

thebiz
01-27-2009, 04:16 PM
Ok; very dumb question then....

So, you just shoot the movie full length and export it without editing it at all..... then open the .wmv file in WMM and start editing?

Not dumb at all (I wondered the same thing). Check out this thread (http://www.tmoaradio.com/vb/showthread.php?t=621)for some discussion on the subject. Remember that lip sync should be done before you go to outside editor so PP would be needed. I usualy do small chuncks of flick (2-3 minutes or a scene or two), edit it very primitively and then do the fine editing (fades, effects and sound work) in Majix. But thats me.

Torqual
01-27-2009, 04:20 PM
Thanks again. TBH my dialogue sections are usually made up of many, many cuts already, and so the idea of having to half edit the movie and do the lip synch, then finish the job outside, seems a bit awkward to me. But I will experiment.

Any thoughts on why the prop shop content isn't being picked up? I can't manage without the modern office and the haunted corridor.....nooooo!

Nukester
01-27-2009, 04:38 PM
Woah I was actually thinking about you the other day wondering, "whatever happened to Torq?"

It's great to see you make your way over here buddy! :yes:

Torqual
01-27-2009, 04:48 PM
The other day I was thinking "Whatever happened to Temporary Night?"

Glad to see you alive and well.

I am really stumped by why I can't seem to pick up this prop shop stuff.

We are talking

C:\Program Files (x86)\Lionhead Studios Ltd\The Movies\data are we not?

Or should it be somewhere else?

JohnnyEx
01-27-2009, 05:03 PM
Good to see ya around again Torqual. Havent seen ya since you took 2nd place in the 1st Newbfest with that great horror film Lost in the Woods.Incidentally it looks like ya came home just in time for Winter Newbfest 09'...>http://www.tmoaradio.com/vb/showthread.php?t=980
Rock on, and best of luck with your latest endeavors...

kuroken
01-27-2009, 05:32 PM
Hey Torqual -

Here's the spreadsheet I believe you were referring to - I always found it invaluable for everything from finding animations to set numbers.

http://www.tmoaradio.com/Costumes_Scenes_Sets.zip

Good luck.

Ken

Dulci
01-27-2009, 05:33 PM
Nice to have you around on TMU - I'll leave the experts to answer your questions :)

Torqual
01-27-2009, 05:51 PM
Thank you both, and thank you Ken for that spreadsheet!! That's the one.

I have managed to get 1980's Office and Haunted Corridor working by going to 8-Eyed Baby and downloading the two files needed in The Movies/Data/Sets from where Eobaggs uploaded them. But I am still baffled as to why the packs from Norrie's site do not seem to be working. My The Movies/Data/pak folder looks like this:

http://usera.imagecave.com/torqual/Moviespak.jpg

I think I have done everything right, but I don't think those extra few haircuts or costumes are appearing in the game.

It occurs to me that surely I would need corresponding costume files to go with all of this content?

Are these .cpaks supposed to unpack themselves to become something outside that /pak directory?

Hmmmm.

Anyway, off to get WinRAR installed so I can start downloading serious mods. Have to say, I am not a fan of WinRAR.....find it very invasive. I wonder why folk can't just use Winzip which also happens to be free.

Still, enough controversy for my first day back. Thanks once again for the warm welcomes and assistance rendered so far.

rileyman
01-27-2009, 06:20 PM
Looks like most of what you were asking, in regards to my applications, was already answered by other folks in here... I'll just add that if you can figure out the Room Builder application (it's command-line, but has plenty of documentation), it's a good utility for creating brand new indoor environments. Sort of a rudimentary Autocad for The Movies.

kuroken
01-27-2009, 07:14 PM
Ahhh, it's Vista -

I know a number of people are running the Movies on Vista, though apparently the file structure may not necessarily the same.

You might ask one of them - I know Sparky runs it on Vista 64, and I'm sure others run on Vista as well....

Can't help ya, though - I installed it on my Vista laptop, but just copied the data directory from my XP machine over to that and it worked.

Ken

Torqual
01-27-2009, 07:21 PM
Yep, Vista 64-bit here, too. Who is Sparky?

kuroken
01-27-2009, 08:17 PM
He's a mod here - you might remember him as Sparky1512 from TMO - just drop him a PM and I'm sure he'll be glad to help you out.

Ken

Kit06
01-28-2009, 12:53 PM
Hey there. I don't know if anyone remembers me from about 10 months ago, but was a late arrival on The Movies scene.

Within 3 weeks of buying the game I released a serial in four parts, lasting 25 minutes in total: Lost in the Forest.

Part Four won me second place in the newbfest competition for new TMO directors on the scene in 2008.

I did an interview on TMOA Radio around June which was good fun.

After this initial success I spent a lot of time modding my game and started work on a very high concept three-part zombie movie; New Horizon. The first part was 90% completed but seemed to escalate in scope and was already looking to be 25 minutes when finished. It didn't quite make it to post production as the final scene required a lot of custom costumes and skin tones that got me mired in modding and made me run out of steam.

In September last year, the HDD on my five year old PC suffered a critical failure and I lost a lot of data, including my Movies installation, mods, unlocks, and all work on New Horizon. All that I retained was 'Highest' quality versions of Lost in the Forest 1-4 and my Starmaker creations, which I had backed up some months before.

Since this period, I tried to replace my PC but the one I bought to replace it was extremely loud (due to 7 different fans in it) so I had to return that machine. Following this bad experience, I built my own Vista PC in its place.

I now have this PC up and running, and have installed The Movies again, played the game through, and fixed all the unlocks. However, I now face a long battle to get back to where I was before; it's very disappointing that, with TMO, all my online movies have gone but even worse so has the Prop Shop. It means I can't recover all the official content I had before. If there is a way to get this back, please let me know.

Then I have to remember how to get all scenes in all locations. As I recall it was a three stage process; getting Tarison's blue screens, then a modded scene list so that all scenes were available in these blue screens, and finally getting all the sets as props to drop in around the actors. I remember this being a headache and will allocate a couple of evenings to it but - if anyone has written a guide in the last few months then please could someone link it - it would be a major time-saver.

Finally I guess I am going to have to hunt down those tools for modding costumes; I think I was using MED and some tool that converted .bmp to .... was it .tga or .png or whatever format The Movies uses. Anyone care to remind me where I got these from?

Anyway - point of this post is to say Hello to anyone that might remember me from before I spent 5 months without a usable PC... particularly Nukester if you are still around.

I have not given up on The Movies - far from it - and have a really cool new secret project that I am wanting to start work on asap. It's just a real shame that I have to get over this hump of re-modding my game to get back to my old capability. At least I have a much more powerful machine now. And it has an SSD so there's no way this sucker is going to break on me and make me lose everything.

Woot, woot! I can remember you Torqual.

I really liked your horror series, shame it did not have VO's.
I do not know if you remember me, but I remember you.

Kit

Torqual
01-28-2009, 01:52 PM
Thanks, and I remember you too!

BTW I eventually found how to increase the number of wannabe actors in the stage school line.

JazzX
01-28-2009, 02:28 PM
Thanks, and I remember you too!

BTW I eventually found how to increase the number of wannabe actors in the stage school line.

How?

I've always wondered!

Torqual
01-28-2009, 06:47 PM
I prefer the minimalist approach, changing the smallest necessary thing at a time and checking its impact, rather than a wholesale nuking/overwriting of files.

Here's what to do. Download this:

http://tmohost.com/espacePrive/eobaggs/TheMoviesEmployeesMo.zip

Make a folder called The Movies/data/facility if it does not already exist.

Extract only the file facility_stage.ini into it. I say only this, because I cannot account for the effects of anything else, especially the global.ini which could do all sorts of things.

Once you have this .ini file in place, any new Stage Schools that you build will have enhanced queues outside. There is no need to start a new game, as some have speculated. I took an existing Sandbox game and demolished my Stage School, then rebuilt it. My queue before was 1 person, and suddenly I had around 10 outside. And this in a game where I had 4 actors and 1 director so far recruited.

Please let me know if this does, or doesn't work.

I am actually think of documenting all the stages I am taking to be able to have all sets available, and all scenes in all locations in all sets, and unlimited Starmaker characters. As far as I am concerned, these are the minimum requirements for film-making, and yet they involve about 5 stages of installation. And I am not even a serious modder.

I do wonder whether a single pack and getting-started guide would really boost interest and movie quality. The problem has always been that the resource is shared over 8-9 sites and forums, often poorly or not supported by documentation.

JazzX
01-28-2009, 07:14 PM
I prefer the minimalist approach, changing the smallest necessary thing at a time and checking its impact, rather than a wholesale nuking/overwriting of files.

Here's what to do. Download this:

http://tmohost.com/espacePrive/eobaggs/TheMoviesEmployeesMo.zip

Make a folder called The Movies/data/facility if it does not already exist.

Extract only the file facility_stage.ini into it. I say only this, because I cannot account for the effects of anything else, especially the global.ini which could do all sorts of things.

Once you have this .ini file in place, any new Stage Schools that you build will have enhanced queues outside. There is no need to start a new game, as some have speculated. I took an existing Sandbox game and demolished my Stage School, then rebuilt it. My queue before was 1 person, and suddenly I had around 10 outside. And this in a game where I had 4 actors and 1 director so far recruited.

Please let me know if this does, or doesn't work.

I am actually think of documenting all the stages I am taking to be able to have all sets available, and all scenes in all locations in all sets, and unlimited Starmaker characters. As far as I am concerned, these are the minimum requirements for film-making, and yet they involve about 5 stages of installation. And I am not even a serious modder.

I do wonder whether a single pack and getting-started guide would really boost interest and movie quality. The problem has always been that the resource is shared over 8-9 sites and forums, often poorly or not supported by documentation.

Thanks!

That's very useful indeed.

I agree on the documentation thing - some of the instructions for installing mods, if there are any included, are not coherent unless one already has a background in modding, graphic design or computer science! (to be fair, some of the best modders aren't natural English speakers and their instructions are a bit garbled at crucial stages).

(I still haven't worked out how to get the Actors-as-Props mod working; I will eventually, then I'll make a proper tutorial).

Torqual
01-31-2009, 07:48 PM
Glory Glory Windows Movie Maker.

Hail BILL GATES!

The recommendations above to use WMM were a good idea. What an amazing piece of software I have for FREE with my Vista machine!

First off, it seems great for titles/overlaying text; without needing to go through the tortuous process of making transparent overlays and converting them to .dds.

Second, I managed to remove an awful case of sound-sync from Lost in the Forest Part 3. Basically I had a phantom scene in there, where there was about 400ms of black screen but the sound kept playing; meaning it was forever out of sync afterwards.

- I loaded two copies of LITF3 into WMM, (a) and (b)
- I cut the first one (a) just before the black screen
- I dragged the second half of the first cut (a2) into the audio
- I cut the second one (b) just after the black screen and discarded the first half (b1)
- I muted the audio from the second half of the second cut (b2)
- I synched the audio (a2) with the start of the video (b2)

Result =
a1 video + a1 audio
b2 video + a2 audio

(hope this makes sense)

In a few minutes' work I have achieve near-perfect synching. What a relief!

JazzX
01-31-2009, 08:04 PM
Good news!

;)

Torqual
02-01-2009, 10:33 PM
For anyone that wants a quick look; I have been experimenting with WMM and made a very basic trailer for my new dystopian project. It's uploaded on here (http://www.tmunderground.com/watch/130a6967a90617db5681/Death-Match-Trailer).

Torqual
02-06-2009, 12:12 PM
Sounds like a good idea.

Have you considered editing together all 4 episodes in Windows Movie Maker?

I don't imagine there'll be a problem with uploading the HQ versions - none of them will be anywhere near the 200MB limit anyway, (three episodes of 5-6 minutes and one of 10 minutes - no more than 30 minutes total running time).

Done, see:

http://www.tmoaradio.com/vb/showthread.php?t=1354