Monday, December 15, 2008

bugs again


A lot of you know that bugs in the source engine are nothing new when it comes to my videos, but I honestly wasn't expecting them to affect Freeman's Mind. Lo and behold, Half-Life Source has a bug where if you're recording a demo, it causes the tongues on almost all barnacle models to shrink up, even though in-game they're still hanging down, just invisible (try it yourself). This interrupts my usual production method, so I've contemplated the alternatives:


1. Ignore it (which isn't a great option since there are a lot of them in the game)

2. Use fraps to record footage instead (not a good option for me since I always get SOME stuttering this way)

3. Record the game in Half-Life original (not a bad option, but the effects won't be quite as nice, plus recording will be more of a pain)

4. Export the footage in-game without using demos (best option, but no more motion blur)


So what this comes down to is demo recording in Half Life Source is bugged, so I won't be able to rely on it for all the episodes. So if you're wondering why there's no more motion blur in the next episode, this is it. Also as a standing offer, if anyone can FIX this problem with barnacles and demo recording, I'll add your name to the credits of every future episode of Freeman's Mind that has barnacles in it, which will probably be a lot.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

dont worry about it, im sure it wil still be goos

pdan4 said...

Try retexturing/removing the alpha.

Preston said...

Hope you find a solution soon, Ross.

Charloftis said...

Just as a workaround, just have freeman attribute being pulled up by an invisible tongue to telekinesis or something. I would rather that there not be a delay in the production of these videos, as they are amazing.

Ross Scott said...

pdan4: I don't think that will work, it looks like the physical model is being moved. It's probably a glitchy animation, I ran into something similar when I made CP: Aliens, but was able to brute-force it in Hammer, which isn't an option here.

Xanatos said...

i've filmed some stuff in half-life deathmatch source using demos in the past, and way back when, I remember recording demos in HLDMS of a group playing in one of the single player levels with barnacles, and it seemed to turn out fine from what I remember...I don't really understand why HL:S and HLDM:S would make a difference, though. to go to the single player levels in HLDM:S, you'd type "map c1a-whatever" in console. you can type maps * for a list. i'll check that out for you sometime to see if I get what you get in HL:S.

Anonymous said...

I had it once, when i was recording some gameplay, i noticed it and asked my friend. He came over and fixed it, could ask him.

Boombot said...

If anything, go for option 4. Granted, motion blur is cool, but it isnt necessary for the video to be awesome.

Miki said...

Option number 4

palo said...

i did not even noticed motion blur
so ireally dont care about it

Ross Scott said...

Xanatos: It does the same thing in HL2DMS too, though it's very possible that when you tried it, it worked. This wouldn't be the first bug Valve has introduced that wasn't originally there.

Hiding behind "Harmondale" said...

option 4 would probaly be best, really hope you can get it working, I'd hate to see Freeman's mind end. Love it more and more every episode!

JPC said...

Bug report to valve?

Serbdude said...

option for is the best if you can't find a solution. Try searching the net for possible solutions though first.

Knights of Ni said...

Could you show us a sample of what Freemans Mind would look like without motion blur just to see if it looks as bad you make it sound.

Ross Scott said...

JPC: I may be cynical, but unless it was for TF2 or L4D, I may as well be reporting to Santa Claus.

Serbdude: I'd be amazed if anyone wrote anything else on this, the majority of problems I run into have no documentation whatsoever.

Knights of Ni: It's not the lack of motion blur, so much as what I see when playing isn't the same speed as what's recorded, so it becomes jerkier.

Matt L. said...

I would go with option 4, but i would also find some massive code geek who could fix the problem or ask Valve about fixing it (if one fails, go to the other). Maybe the animation could be patched up seperately then patched into the game to replace the old one.(though many more bug problems could arise from that, but i dont know a whole lot about this stuff, so i cant really say).

BUT, if you do ask Valve to fix the bug, remind them who is currently promoting their material with his videos... just to add some urgency/importance.

Anonymous said...

I just saw the response to JPC, so go with the massive code geek. Sorry, but i dont have anything else, i dont know THAT much about the code stuff, at least not enough to have any idea how to fix it in a simple manner. Maybe somehow reinstalling the particular animation. Im better at interpretting possible jokes for the series. I can see Freeman now, at the box jumping part.... "What the hell? When did Black Mesa open the acrobatics division? Wait... maybe that's what the whole 'more people may depend on your fitness' crap was. Now i get it, they'd rather their employees work harder rather than put in a SIMPLE STAIRCASE. The 'things to sue Black Mesa over' just keeps getting longer and longer....

[iffy part next] well either that or they saw how popular World of Warcraft was getting in the research department. Man, that thing is better at controlling people than the goverment. And that's saying something."

LaZodiac said...

Although I don't have any advice, I do have a question.

Any chance of redoing former episodes for Black Mesa Source when that beautifull, beautifull and also very very free source mod coems out?

Kraakman said...

Well whatever you do don't do option #3, it will look bad let me tell you.

Ross Scott said...

Matt: I doubt anyone can fix this without rewriting the whole game and I highly doubt Valve is concerned about fixing one of their dated games or cares about any of these videos in the first place.

anonymous: I have some different thoughts for how I'll handle that and the WoW stuff is definitely out. I figure Half-Life takes place around 1999 or 2000, so there won't be any references to events that take place after that.

LaZodiac: It would take a very long time since most of the time involved with this is timing and rerecording, I'd rather just keep making more episodes.

Anonymous said...

you know what you could do, you could take a screen shot of the barnacles. cut and past the image over the invisibles ones in the final project.

pdan4 said...

Hmmm...Could you possibly decompile the maps and put ropes in place of the tongues?

Anonymous said...

dear ross,

what you haven't told us is which
is faster? other than that number
4 seems the best if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

if you dont like option 4 either ross. Then couldnt you just record the barnacle parts in the original half-life (or some of the other options) and the do the rest using the updated half-life. Im not an expert on the area, so i dont know if it is possible

-Andreas Kahlke

PseudoKnight said...

I haven't tested this, but perhaps starting the demo prior to the map loading would place the "tongues" in the appropriate position on playback.

Anonymous said...

Ross, please go for option B, you can always add a cool motion blur in virtualdub, using free plugins.

Anonymous said...

Four

Otto said...

Actually, the only evidence of Half-Life's time period is in a letter stating '200X', so it it could be till nine, but anyway...


My Half-Life: Source crashes whenever I load up a demo, so I have no experience in this, but I do have a plausible answer:

Recording in frames without a full stutterless demo render can have a few noticeable issues other than a missing, later-added motion blur effect. But one thing you could try to get motion blur is place the video on an editing track, change the opacity to something like 50%, and duplicate the video one split second further ahead.

This may not get the best result, but it could open up a few ideas to getting such an effect in after editing.

Gamechamp said...

Option 4 will be best if you don't find a way to fix the issue. Motion blur is probably the least important feature in an FPS, or at least for and FPS comedy video.

Anonymous said...

hey i luv ur vids and i was wondering r u doing freemans mind all the way through half life

Uzi said...

Why not just reyplace the model and hope for the best?

Uzi.

UsodStallion said...

WOW- Xanatos keeps up with Ross Scott's work? Awesome!

Sorry I'm not helping but I just found that to be uber cool.

THE Xanatos talking and trying to assist THE Ross Scott.

Epic. I'm such a fanboy. And a nerd.

Ah= option 4 sounds the best (still looks like a pain in the ass to do though). Good luck Ross. I wish I could help out more but I suck at computers.

PseudoKnight said...

The motion blur can't just be duplicated in post. He's talking about creating multiple times the number of frames in the original recording (like 90FPS) and having the software blur them together when taking it back to 30FPS for the video.

Personally, I like the idea of using Half-Life original if it weren't for the inconsistency. I prefer death animations and gibbing over ragdolls, especially for headcrabs and houndeyes. The only thing I like about the Source version is the improved sound.

It might slow down the release of your next video, but I bet there's someone at VALVe that would be willing to look into it. They generally like community projects, especially one so well received like this one.

Ross Scott said...

PseudoKnight: No, that doesn't work, I've already been using that trick to get around disappearing bloodstains when demo recording.

And yeah, you have the right idea about the motion blur. I have to disagree with you on the ragdolls though, I frigging love those things.

Uzi: I'd love to, if there was a replacement.

pdan4: Who knows how many problems I could run into trying to recompile the map. If I'm going to that much trouble I may as well do a CP episode.

Otto: I didn't know that about 200_, where is that? And what you're describing is ghosting. I'd rather just forego the blur altogether than have it half-assed.

pdan4 said...

Post a video please?

Alex / acristoff said...

Option four. I could help you out with that one when I have the free time. And I seem to find "code geek" slightly offensive, I prefer Code Monkey.

Miki said...

You can find the saga timeline here: http://members.shaw.ca/halflifestory/index.htm

Otto said...

Yeah, I think you'd run into a few more problems than just Motion Blur by recording it bare. I knew it was a dumb suggestion, but aw well. I guess the fourth option is the best. I did think Xanatos had a great solution, but it's a shame it doesn't apply for everyone.


Anyway, the time date is only shown in Freeman's job letter, which is found in the original game manual. The best image is found Here:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/68/FreemanJobLetter.jpg

Shouldn't really matter that much on any jokes you'll make though.

kuangeleven said...

Have you tried it on a different machine or with different video card?
I remember similar problems with the older version of Half Life, where OpenGl worked fine, but Direct3D had bugs. (Unfortunately there is no choice in the Source engine)

I'd still try to send an inquiry to Valve. You never know.

ExAstris said...

I'd go with option 3 or 4. Really, how it looks isn't all that important. Anybody who's played Half Life will recognize either HL Vanilla or HL: Source so that's not as important as making sure the barnacles look right. I doubt we'll notice a huge difference; I know I won't :P

Anonymous said...

To further iterate on the date of the Black Mesa Incident, calendars encountered throughout all of the games indicate that it is December (though oddly December 31 is missing).

Here is a picture of one encountered in the chapter Office Complex:
http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/half-life/en/images/f/ff/C1a2a0000.PNG

Unfortunately the days are arranged so it is impossible to tell which day December began on, and thus which year it is.

Kawai said...

What if you used FRAPS just for short barnacle scenes? You don't have to record the entire episode in FRAPS if you have a problem with it. i'm sure you're creative enough to find places where you can quickly "wipe" scenes either by Freeman passing an object, moving quickly around a corner (with motion blur) or some other way you can switch back and forth from different scenes all recorded at different times with different programs.

As apposed to recording the entire episode in one large shot.

if the barnacle plays directly into the action as an active character, use the wipe technique. if they don't later on, i don't think anyone will notice (or care) if barnacles don't have hanging tongues.

-Kawai Tei-

Anonymous said...

Ross:

Ask one of the people in the valve group (http://steamcommunity.com/groups/Valve). I'm sure they would love to help you out. Freeman's Mind is so awesome.

I would ask the guy I know who works at Valve, but he's offline.

Anonymous said...

Did you try running with -dxlevel 81 ? If you use vista, it might fix the problem.

Optionally, you can always try the WeGame recorder.

JeroenR said...

way don't you put a high res Camcorder (or simular) at your screen and film wile playing

pdan4 said...

Oooh!! Why don't you kill them ahead of time, and say "Oh crap, looks like someone already got those hanging d*cks!" or someething like that.

Anonymous said...

I like the telekenisis option. They are aliens after all.

Scram_UK said...

I wonder if people have modded in HL2 barnicles/models to HL:S.. Using HL2 models could help solve the problem... Although I'm useless at mapping.

Either way, your machinima is amoungst the best out there... I'm really enjoying your videos.

Nice work!

Aidan Wilson said...

I know this probably wouldnt make a diffrence, but have you tried recording it in Gmod?

Ross Scott said...

Anonymous guy: No I have not tried DirectX 8.1 mode (I'll give it a shot). I don't know why that would make a differenc, but who knows when it comes to Source. As for WeGame, I think that has the same limitations as Fraps.

Anonymous said...

Wait - I have an idea. How about in shots that do not have a Barnacle in them you record as per normal, but in those few shots that do contain them, save the game, switch your method of recording, film the shot, and then switch back after it done.

It's time consuming, and a few shots may not line up - but hey, we've got motion blur (most of the time)!

Anonymous said...

Ross:

Try wegame anyways and see what happens. If that doesn't work, ask someone in the valve steam group.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious: What DO you use to record these in?

Since I got Fraps and i'm not quite satisfied with it's lagginess at points.

Jandals said...

Just as a suggestion, maybe replacing the barnacle files with the one's from Half-Life 2 could work, as both games are run on the Source engine. The problem that I think could arise to my belief would be that the quality of the barnacle would be far more superior to that of Half-Life in general. But perhaps the image can be rendered to match that of the quality of the others. This is just a suggestion and probably won't go ahead, but it's worth testing I suppose.