Author Topic: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos  (Read 9503 times)

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Offline Davyboy

Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2012, 12:56:27 PM »
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  • Welcome DavyBoy. :)

    Great work across the board, hey. :) Do you think we can get a video into SMAX now? :O That would be interesting.

    I seem to remember a list of filenames and what they are, but never any with images attached. Good job. :D


    Well, thanks - but I haven't done anything yet.



    There are two subjects mixed into this thread and it's ALL MY FAULT. I personally would like to be modding the 3D bits that go into the design workshop. Within all of the civ-like games there's never been a DW except in SMACX - the units in all of those games are fixed at startup, no in-game modding (because that's what the DW boils down to - in-game modding).
    Not talking about making Fusion lasers that have 11 grade attack capability, that can be done in a text editor. I just want an interceptor to look more obvious, I can't always see that farty little dish thingy because the weapon may conceal it. Ditto units with nerve pods. I vaguely remember, in the very dim and distant past, that such units had a couple of black circular thingys on either side.
    For me such minor things enhance gameplay, you get a visual input about what nasties frequent the neighbourhood and plan accordingly. Otherwise you're [ctrl]-V ing all the damn time...

    About movies (which is the subject of this thread).

    If we could get hold of the codecs for the .wve files then the problem becomes pretty trivial. To that end my recent investigations suggest that they need the EA TQI codec. No known codec pack recently investigated contains this codec. It's proprietry, it sems, and was obsolescent when the game was released (at a guess).

    However, although this sounds very disheartening (-2 MORALE)  ;) -- there is a real possibility for progress since I now know of four (4) places where this codec is embedded.

    1)  playuv15.exe
    2)  rap.tgq  (but this might be a codec variant)
    3)  terran.exe  (duh!)
    4)  terranx.exe  (duh*2!)

    I mention the last two trivial examples even though they probably use playuv15 within the game engine because until 2 weeks ago I wasn't aware that anyone had been inside the game kernel a couple of years ago..
    Didn't they come across the codec then?

    It's far easier to ask someone who has 2-yo oil on their fingers than jumping into a Tardis bound for 1997...

    I think BUncle would want first dibs on it though. Works for me.

    Offline Davyboy

    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #16 on: June 15, 2012, 10:22:15 AM »
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  • STILL can't u/l and post any attachments. Just tried modifying a post from May and it's still nogo.

    Looks like an Admin prerogative, so anytime now sisko..

    (Please!)

    Offline sisko

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    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #17 on: June 15, 2012, 12:19:40 PM »
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  • Looks like an Admin prerogative, so anytime now sisko..

    (Please!)
    working on it.
    Anyone else feels like it's time to fix the faction graphics bug?

    Offline sisko

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    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #18 on: June 15, 2012, 12:39:43 PM »
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  • Looks like an Admin prerogative, so anytime now sisko..

    (Please!)
    working on it.
    solved! but only tested on the admin account. please confirm it works for you now.
    Anyone else feels like it's time to fix the faction graphics bug?

    Offline Davyboy

    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #19 on: June 15, 2012, 12:42:22 PM »
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  • Looks like an Admin prerogative, so anytime now sisko..

    (Please!)
    working on it.

    I know!! -- but I got thinking about it again in light of the auto-censorship of a mild profanity that I used somewhere in a post. Thought (by extension) that it might be related, at a global level.

    Offline Davyboy

    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #20 on: June 15, 2012, 12:54:58 PM »
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  • Looks like an Admin prerogative, so anytime now sisko..

    (Please!)
    working on it.
    solved! but only tested on the admin account. please confirm it works for you now.

    Success !! That was really fast work sisko. Had to u/l the images again and I might still not have it right but the point I was making was that the PT is animated.

    Many thanks for your diligent administrating and pls disregard the comment I made 3 mins after yours.

    Offline sisko

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    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #21 on: June 15, 2012, 12:56:22 PM »
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  • I know!! -- but I got thinking about it again in light of the auto-censorship of a mild profanity that I used somewhere in a post. Thought (by extension) that it might be related, at a global level.
    nothing like that. it was a technical issue and it seems to be solved now.

    Quote
    Many thanks for your diligent administrating and pls disregard the comment I made 3 mins after yours.
    no problem. :)
    Anyone else feels like it's time to fix the faction graphics bug?

    Offline Davyboy

    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #22 on: June 15, 2012, 01:39:35 PM »
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  • Back to the topic at hand then..

    I furtled around and found a copy of Dungeon Keeper II, dusted it off and had a look at how Bullfrog compiled their videos. Turns out they used the .tgq extension that playuv15 also supports. So if you drag and drop a DK2 vid onto playuv15.exe -- it plays.
    This doesn't really get us much further forward with 'making new movies' except to say that more than one codec is hard coded into playuv15 and possibly into the game kernels too.

    Caviar stuff.
    I ran all of the .cvr files through the player just for kicks and grabbed screenshots of them. Made a list too. Haven't found myself any suitable 3D editing s/w yet unfortunately.

    RaRed them all into an archive:-

    Offline BUncle

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    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #23 on: June 15, 2012, 06:27:52 PM »
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  • Awesome!  This might come in real handy...

    Offline Davyboy

    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #24 on: June 15, 2012, 07:58:50 PM »
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  • With the cavplayer screengrabs as .png files you might be able to photoshop or Gimp them into forms that could be inserted back into .pcx files much as Kilkakon did with the "dogpile" .pcx

    Not an ideal workaround, I know, because you lose animation that way by using static images.

    There were also a few surprises for me when I finally sussed the whichness of the what for some of the .cvr add-ons. It turns out that there IS a difference between the Needlejet and the Interceptor in that the interceptor has a little dish just in front of the cockpit which is usually obscured by the weapons cluster in front of it. Don't recall seeing that in 12 years of gameplay....
    Additionally - cavplayer doesn't always correctly SIZE 3D images; a good example being the comm jammer or the diss wave projector.


    Offline BUncle

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    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #25 on: June 15, 2012, 08:30:11 PM »
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  • Might nothing; I've done it with units cut out of screenshots a number of times.  Same technique as all the custom units in The Zookeepers GotM.

    Your file could come in very handy...

    Offline Davyboy

    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #26 on: June 15, 2012, 08:53:29 PM »
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  • Well feel quite free to use them if it helps. I only grabbed the default .cvr image for each static 3D construct but they can be rotated to show a near infinite number of projections.

    The animated ones (scout, probe team, rover wheels (!), alien colony pod, etc) are a sequence of about 17 3d frame shots that you can step through in a loop, that's how I discovered the PT 'crouch-down' pose that I capped earlier. If time permits over the w/e I think I'll revisit the animations and grab a shot of each element and bung those in a separate archive.

    The whole unit thing was very different for the Civgames where Firaxis made .flc files, in colour, and stuck those onto the board in the case of Cuv 3. Theory suggests that some of those might be useful too, in a limited sort of way.

    Offline BUncle

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    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #27 on: June 15, 2012, 09:15:27 PM »
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  • I've had a .cvr player for years -- it never occured to me to do that...  Good work.

    Offline Kilkakon

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    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #28 on: June 16, 2012, 02:12:10 PM »
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  • I never knew that there was a cvr player! I just made do with the unit workshop haha.

    Offline Davyboy

    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #29 on: June 17, 2012, 09:50:26 AM »
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  • I never knew that there was a cvr player! I just made do with the unit workshop haha.

    As do we all.

    What Firaxis seem to have done is use a cut-down version of it compiled into the game kernel and when STDIN pushes 'u' it gets invoked with this overlay - and others:

    The 'player' has a default rotate clockwise which, if you load an element into CavPlayer is just a matter of holding an arrow key down. That takes care of the main window. It's possible they use 6 instances for the rectangular panels but that would be getting resource heavy imho.

    Where the code is for sticking the bits together is, is probably in the 10 or so .cvr files that "do not contain geometry", but I haven't been able to do anything useful with them yet.
    « Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 10:02:49 AM by Davyboy »

     

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