Movie Making ET-style By SOCK

Admin note: this tutorial is out-dated

Making Movies ET Styleee

There seems to be a worrying trend lately with et movies, people have stopped making their own, sheepshagger has taken over all et movie making afaik: no one is making their own. This isn't a sheepshagger bashing thread, so i won't even start, but my main point is that variety seems to be a thing of the past, everything looks the same. Hence this thread, i've decided this will be where i will post everything i've learnt about movie making since day 1, about a year ago, when i made my first ever clip: divx shit quality no sound and ingame cfg =o))).

So where to start, first off: it takes a certain kind of player to make a movie, you have to be motivated, you have to have that feeling, after you've done something ingame, that you want EVERYONE too see. You made an amazing flickshot onto someones head or you killed 6 guys with 1 bullet, whatever it is, it's special, and you want to share it. So think to yourself, will you be motivated enough to finish the movie (my biggest problem), if not, don't try, and don't pm lozz.

This quality will mainly focus on getting quality right, + the basics of vegas, i'm not that very good with special effects, but you'll be suprised at what you can achieve by just mixing vegas filters.


Nearly everymovie i see, the quality is lacking: even if the frags are perfect and the editing is spot on, the experience is ruined by xvid artifacts or fuzzy quality. So the questiong remains, what is the secret to great quality!

Let me tell you a secret, it has little to nothing to do with xvid settings, at all, infact you could leave it on default and perhaps still get quality better than 90% of the movies out there. Think about what encoding is, by it's very nature, it makes something worse than the original, it is after all, a copy, and so you want to make your original images as high quality as possible, but how do you achieve this?

Firstly, set your graphics settings to the maximum: this means turn AA to it's highest. I've found however that changing AF to it's highest can effect quality in a negative way. What this does is remove, partly, the jagged edges on diagnal or curved surfaces by blurring them slightly into the background: the difference is quite substantial, and also makes the video prettier =o)).

Secondly, change the r_mode to 8 or 6, whichever is double the resolution you'll be making your movie in: 8 is always better but some monitors may not support it, or you may get tired of how slow et avidemo's with such a high res and full AA. Doing this has a similar effect to adding AA, but only when you resize the tga's you've captured to a smaller resolution: this will be explained later.

The reason it's important to turn AA and resolution up is simple, if you remove the jagged edges and improve the overall clarity of your image, Xvid will have an easier time compressing and your quality will improve, take a look at the example below:

image: vidtut10ss

Adding a blur is an option to improve quality even more, it will however reduce visibility on long range so be careful how much you add. Use photoshop batch to add the blur, vdub and vegas leave a lot to be desired when it comes to controlling how much you add. And also, record at 30fps - or higher (explained below)

Quality!!! - Photoshop

I'm not going to go into that much detail on how to do this, pm me if you need help. Firstly go to windows and open the actions tab, create a new set then a new action: click record and then resize an image (can be anything), using image>image resize (making sure it's set to bicubic) once that's done stop the recoding. After you've recorded your action, go to file>automate>batch, select the folder your tga's are in set it to save and close, hit the button to start! (might take a while to finish on slow computers, and even on fast ones if you've recorded on r_mode 8.

Ok so here's a little bit of advanced stuff, kind of, anyway you might want to be familiar with photoshop before you start with this:

You might want to add some level adjustments, blur, or color correction to your tga's, this can be done using the simple batch method described above; however if you want to add a complex effect, such as a gasussian blur overlay, you need to remember one thing: merge all your layers! tga's don't save as multilayered. Anyway adding effects like this is pretty simple, just record everything you do making sure that your doing it on the resolution the program will be doing it on eg don't record your effect for an r_mode 8 image then apply it to your resized ones, it won't look good. Photoshop can be your best friend for adding effects like this, although after effects can do the job nicely, people tend to more comfortable with photoshop.

About the fps, if you record at 90fps, or for that matter anything greater than double yourplayback, you can use vegas to make a very nice motion blur (the virtualdub one kind of sucks). To do this you simply use the command cl_avidemo XX, xx being the framerate you want, do all the normal steps, then when it coms to vegas, right click on the clip in the timeline, and set the playback rate to the number which would divide into your record rate to give your playback ( 90 / 3 = 30, so for 90 the playback rate would be 3 fold). This does give nice results but can become tedius, especially if you render long scenes.

Ok, so you've recorded your clips, now what??

Virtualdub, google for it, somewhere on sourceforge: we'll use this to put the tga's into avi's.


Remember that we are trying to keep the source material as high a quality as possible, so why would we encode to anything other than uncompressed before the final version? To save space sometimes (if you don't have the space use a lossless codec such as huffyuv), but really, honestly, use uncompressed and buy a new hdd, if you resize to a small rez the size isn't actually that bad anyway (800 x 600 is my preffered playback *i use 800x450, cropping the image with a batch process =o).

So open up virtualdub, go to file, open. Go to your screenshots folder, select one of the tga's, hit open. Now you should see the first image appear in the vd box: simply go to file> render and you're done. I suggest you name your files descriptively as it will help with finding stuff later when it comes to editing.


The one thing that lacks in most et movies, including all of lozz's =oP, is editing. There is almost never any synching, default filters, and generally it just feels like a demo + mp3, this is something you want to avoid at all costs. The main thing i look for in editing, is a way to make the music and the video seem connected somehow, and the easiest way to achieve this without singing your own song is through syncing: this isn't something that can be taught, it's upto to your own creative devices, but i'll try my hardest to point you on your way!

Synching is achieved by matching key points of action with key points in the soundtrack: and the best way to let the viewer know about this is via effects of filters. So basically, find a nice spot on your avi, say a headshots, find a nice beat in the song, line them up, and add a flash or something. Render the small part of the file that you've edited, view it, change it, repeat. Other things you can do are changing scene as the singer changes lines in the song, or using slower paced frags at slower point of the song, it's common sense yes, but people seem to avoid this nowadays =o)).

One thing to point out is that an artist will not kill you if you don't use all of their song: you can cut the song off as it gets boring. If you have a 5 minute song, but only the first few minutes of it are good, feel free to cut it down with a clever fade in vegas, or if you're good at audio editing do something else funky =o). Just make sure the movie doesn't become repetive: music choice is something personal but here's a shock, don't use overused music.


Ok so this is aimed mainly at people who have no idea of what they are doing.

Firstly open up vegas, you should be met with a properties window, if not go to file>properties. Use the setting below, except for the resolution, set this to whatever you want your playback res to be.

image: vegassettings9hf

Now onto adding your freshly rendered avi's, to do this you go to file>import, select your files and click open: the files will be moved to the media library box in the lower left hand corner, to add them to your video you drag them onto the video timeline, if there is no timeline present, or you wish to add another one go to insert>video track. Now you should have all you need to render your first clip: music can be done in exactly the same way as your video, just add an audio track instead.

Too add effects you can either right click on a clip and click add event fx, or go to the effects tab in the lower left hand box. A good idea is too not use default effects, instead try to fille around with the setting until you find something you like: animating effects is simple, once you have added the effect to the clip, a window should appear, in the lower part of the window is another timeline, here you can add keyframes, which can control the settings of the effect at points on the clip. So to have a glow effect fade in then out, you would have a keyframe with the glow set to 0, then to your perfect settings, then back to 0. Adding multiple effects is done exactly the same way and can yield impressive results! =o).

To render a short clip, drag your mouse along the blank bar above the timeline, a highlight box with 2 yellow arrows at each end should appear, surround the section you want with this. Go to file>render as, type a filename, select xvid as your codec etc, then render (xvid setting to come), and you're done =o)))!!!

More Vegas!!!

Slow mo and speed up, first off these are 2 different things, you do one a different way to the other! Speed up is best achieved through vegas whereas slowmo can be achieved in 2 ways, both should be done ingame =o)).

Slowing down clips through vegas, or any other program after you have recorded the frames, will only yield poor results. Slowing stuff down like this is achieved by reducing the framerate, something which isn't adviseable. The first way to slow stuff, is using timescale, which can be set as a minimum on 0.1, default being 1, this gives you a pretty perfect slow down that can also be converted to normal speed in vegas provided it isn't set lower than 0.25 (maximum incresed playback rate in vegas is 4). Using this however gives you limited control not only on how slow the "slow-mo" can be, but also the rate at which it fades back into normal speed. The second way to achieve slow motion is slightly more complex: you record at a higher fps than you will be playing back at, then you render at your playback frame rate; it works almost the same as the motion blur effect described before: recording at 90 frames, then playing back at 30 results in 90 / 30 = 3x slower playback. This can be useful, and i will explain how =o)).

Right clicking on the clip you've recorded in higher fps, you will see an option called envelope, mouse over that then click the velocity envelope. This puts a green line across the clip, you can think of this as like a dynamic timescale. So now you want the slowmo to fade in somewhere in the middle of the clip: double click on the green line at the start of the clip, this should insert a dot called a keyframe (just like our effects settings), you then right click the dot and click set as: this should be set to whatever multiple makes your clip play at normal speed (just like the playback rate) you then repeat this at the point you want the clip to slow down, and then speed back up. You can also set the rate at which the fade occurs, by right clicking the option and clicking the option fade type.

Now for speed up: again this can be achiever thorugh timescale, but for better control over the fading in and out, it's a good idea to use the velocity envelopes ( this can actually make it easier to sync efffects such as blur with the speed up, as you can line the video effects key frames up with the velocity ones. So back to how to achieve the speed up, it's done exactly the same way as the slowdown, except the clip will be recorded at normal framerate. (IMPORTANT - vegas can't speed up more than 3 - 4 fold (i forget :/) using velocity timeline + playback rate, but you can combine the two so this shouldn't be a problem if you are always recording at a higher frame rate for the motion blur effect).

Using multiple Video tracks!!!

Using multiple video tracks can be a good way to create complex looking effects: if you've ever used photoshop think of it as using layers. You can also set the blend mode of a certain video track to create very interesing effects, making things seem very crazy. Basically to achieve this you go to Insert>video track and overlay another video ontop of whatever was below. Then there is a box on the left hand side, where the video track you inserted, it's right next to the slide bar which controls the track alpha levels and looks a bit like a roll of film (mouse over should say composition mode): be careful however as some of the settings will effect all videos underneath the current track.

Zoom effects and Pan / Crop!!!

On the clips that you've layed onto your video tracks, you may have noticed there are two buttons, mousing over will say either Event Fx.. or Pan/Crop..., we've already delt with effects, so now for panning and cropping =o)).

When you click the button a window will open, and you might recognise the keyframe time line at the bottom (or atleast i hope you do =o))). Pan/Crop is a useful feature, mostly used for the zoom effect in fragmovies, but you can also use it to create nice cameras that pan in or out, or to create smaller screens and show multiple angles in the same frame, ie have lots of little screens showing all the actions in your movie, then have one grow out of the bunch and play in full screen. Basically Pan/crop works the same as video event effects, you create a keyframe, then fiddle around with the settings while the keyframe is selected. It works slightdifferent though since you get a clear view of the video your editing in the window. So basically, if you want to zoom in: the keyframe that's at the start by default, will suprisingly hold the default settings, making the vid seem "normal", so insert a keyframe further into the movie. Then, making sure the keyframe is still selected, drag the box that surrounds the movie inwards, and there you have it, your own zoom effect =o)). Now to zoom out, you will have to create another 2 keyframes! The first one is a duplicate of your original zoom settings (copy/paste =o)): this is done to "hold" the zoom effect and stop it returning to normal when you create the next keyframe, which is a copy of the original defualt one that was there at the start. If all went well you should have a clip that starts out normal, zooms in, stays zoomed for a while, then zooms out =o)). You should try this out with a few other effects and see what you can come up with: to change the aspect ratio you have to uncheck the boxes at the side, it's the same for keeping the box around the video centered =o)).

So that's the basic of vegas, you should be able to make some clips straight off, but as with everything, practise makes perfect, so get rendering!


So you aren't happy with the vegas effects, and can't be bothered trying out after effects, well there are some cvars that offer some scope for "wow" effects.

r_drawworld "0" - Does exactly what it says on the tin, doesn't draw the world, only entities, which includes the truck sadly, aswell as teamdoors, so it isn't as useful as it could be, but try it out.

r_drawentities "0" - Yep, doesn't draw the players, not sure if this could be useful at all.

r_showtris "1" or "2" - Cool effect, if you've seen Tricking iT2, or the r3 trailer you'll recognise it, don't overuse it though.

r_shownormals "1" - Get that wall hack effect, could be nice if used correctly.

r_lightmap "1" - Could be used to create some interesting visuals.

r_colormipmaplevels "1" - Funny tbh. Makes everything look like your on LSD.

r_triscolor "0" - Sets the color of the tris you draw with showtris

r_znear "3" - Makes walls see through as you get close to them

r_ambientscale "50" - Gives light to the player models only, so you could make the players easier/harder to see. Higher = brighter.

cg_gunz "0" |
cg_gunx "0" | ---- Adjusts the X, Y and Z of the gun when drawgun 1.
cg_guny "0" |

There are most likely many more, but i haven't found them. Anyway they are worth trying if you're into effects =o).

Get comments etc from friends, try to take the feedback and change your style accordingly.

Get a good cfg, or prefferably, make your own: an easy way to achieve this is to change the gfx setting to high in the gui menu, the edit whatever you want (there shouldnt be much: overbrights bits, gamma, etc *quality can be badly effected by a cfg that is too bright or too dark) then type /writeconfig xxx into console, and you'll have a your own movie cfg.

Anyway, this has turned out pretty long, and maybe it'll be longer when i cba adding stuff about vegas, but i just want more people to attempt making movies, regardless of skill, beleive it or not there are many "lowskill" movies where the level of skill impresses me =o))).


Here's a list of the movies i've found to be impressive, either for technical skill or editing, search for them, although i might have the time to get the links later, lazy peons!!! =o)).

Lyon Connection (1000fps blur, technically stunning: nice content aswell razz)
Tricking iT2 (Amazing tricks, outstanding effects, and a general feeling of being a quality production)
Anihilation (Perfect synching, or atleast close =o)))
4kings Revolution (Comes close to a real film at times)
The badge 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 (Just check the editing and synching, amazing, even if the frags are "staged")
Mortus Kombat (Old i think, but worth if for just the general feel, one of BinaryBiscuits)

That should be enough to get the general idea =o))!

(PS: i'm not an expert at this stuff, but i do get decent quality, and since that is the most technical and repeatable part of the process i thought it was worth writing up!)

Gl with your movie!

By Sock
great tutorial
how do you get the ingame sounds
i was waiting for something like this, going to try making a smal trailer

btw there was someone else that made a move guide, does any1 know where it is. search eng didnt find it but some1 posted it before in xf2 but comments got deleted
I bet it's outdated because sock posted this one afair
REALLY outdated and teaches flawed methods (fe: why use photoshop, just use virtualdub filters and you cut out one huge, timewasting stage).
doing something with a longer method isn't flawed it's simply more time consuming.

If there is anything plainly flat out incorrect then say and it'll be adjusted/deleted
Erm, you also have a range of much more powerful image altering devices in photoshop, which is the main reason I used it. But I guess you know all, being a Linux peon and all.
What about your resampling method?

Setting the velocity to 300%? :)

Oh, and you should check out the vdub filters these days... not really lacking much, using photoshop would be a waste of time (longer than vdub, doesn't have lancoz3)
I wasn't aware that professional image editors are now using Virtual dub to beautify celebrities, but then again you do know all.
what the command to make tga pic in demo

and the commands:


dont work, console saids: your not in a server

/cg_useScreenshotJPEG 0



Woks for me, which ET version are you using?
i meant CL_AVIDEMO 30 but found it.

and with the sounds im using the newest version

edit: some how it works now:D
Nice tutorial :)
oh comon dear :( dont talk about ps + resizing here.

Just use vdub + resize filter (lanczos3 resize). Its so much faster + better / same quality.

anyways good try.
Hi, dear, I shall inform you that photoshop is the premier image editing program, and as such it enables a user to change an image. These features, which can make even the ugliest of cfg look verifiably beautiful, make the extra time needed for resizing wholly worthwhile.
? Why sould i use Photshop + bicubic resizing when lanczo3 is faster and gives better results.
isn't bicubic better if the size is reduced by 2/4/8 etc.? just wondering (don't want to test it right now =)).
For those interested. Here's a link to a decent journal about fragmovies :P
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