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CIVIL PROTECTION: CHRISTMAS COMMUNITY OUTREACH

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Civil Protection

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Merry Valve-Time Christmas! This episode is obviously late for a lot of reasons, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. This episode ended up taking massively longer than it was supposed to and was meant to be an "easy" episode. It was actually supposed to be the second part of a sub-series idea I had for Civil Protection, called "Community Outreach" episodes. The idea was that I would take viewer questions pretending to be City 17 citizens, pick ones I liked, then have Mike and Dave answer them on-camera. I thought this would be a fast way to get episodes out, but too many things in the Source engine ended up slowing me down. I still think the idea has potential at some point in the future however.

This is also the first episode where the majority of the animation (maybe 90%) is done via motion capture. While both "Morning Patrol" and "The Tunnel" used a few motion capture animations, this is the first one where I acted out the major parts myself. I think the results are mixed. The raw animations are quite jittery, so I had to smooth them out substantially. This leads to some slightly awkward movements in places, but I think the technology has a lot of potential and can save a bunch of time, depending on how dynamic the animation is.

Finally, this is likely going to be the last Civil Protection episode done on the Source engine. While I have almost no problems with the general look of the engine, the behind-the-scenes work involved with creating the episodes is just too massive for what I'm trying to do. While I plan to eventually make future CP episodes with Half-Life content ported over, it's going to be a long time, as I'm going to be focusing on trying to create an actual full-length movie this year (and more Freeman's Mind). I still don't know what software I'll be using in the future, though my first priority is to be able to easily create lots of characters capable of facial expressions and lip-sync and then see what's compatible with that.


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I liked it, funny hearing those retarded questions, but the anims seemed a little... odd. Not as natural and/or good looking as always.

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I liked it. It was a dialogue heavy episode, you can't expect them all to be like The Tunnel.

 

This was particularly funny.

 

CivilProtection-ChristmasCO.gif

 

Dave was running true to form on that one :lol:

 

There is one weird skip in the animation in the final sequence, after the credits, where Dave says "You better watch out, 'cause Santa Claus is coming... for you". It's right in the "you", the animation jumps (focus on his helmet). At first I though it was meant to be movement when he grabs the camera, but I think there's definitively an editing issue there.

 

PS: Dear Civil Protection, what is snow?... Is white. Next question.

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I liked it, funny hearing those retarded questions, but the anims seemed a little... odd. Not as natural and/or good looking as always.

 

Just about sums my feelings. The hand animation sounds like its killer but the mo-cap works seems just a bit off from what we've sen before. Still, better than no CP at all, good to see more, and can't wait for that movie and more FM and CP.

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to people saying the animation seemed less natural, etc: he pretty much went sub-par with this one to meet Machinima's Christmas submission deadline, so on the general theme and dialogue i give it 8/10. i'm not even going to take visuals into account because of the overall stress it's taken to make this. i'm not even saying it looks bad, just a few limb clips and animation jerks. He still got the message and comedy across.

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Hey, how long did it take you to rig that Snowman's head to explode? was it supposed to, or did you have to Macgyver something to pull that off?

 

Also, what the hell were they saying after you cut to black and white with the Camera overlay? :lol:

 

edit: I listened closely and this is what i got:

 

Cameraman: Hey, what are you doing? are you nuts!? you have to warn me about that-you just threw the volume off!

 

Mike: I didn't know he was gonna do that!

 

Dave: pretty cool, huh?

 

Mike: no, it's not cool, Dave! you don't shoot things on camera!

 

Cameraman: Are you TRYING to make me deaf?

 

Dave: it's head EXPLODED!

 

(Back and forth arguing till scene switch)

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Hey, how long did it take you to rig that Snowman's head to explode? was it supposed to, or did you have to Macgyver something to pull that off?

 

Also, what the hell were they saying after you cut to black and white with the Camera overlay? :lol:

 

edit: I listened closely and this is what i got:

 

Cameraman: Hey, what are you doing? are you nuts!? you have to warn me about that-you just threw the volume off!

 

Mike: I didn't know he was gonna do that!

 

Dave: pretty cool, huh?

 

Mike: no, it's not cool, Dave! you don't shoot things on camera!

 

Cameraman: Are you TRYING to make me deaf?

 

Dave: it's head EXPLODED!

 

(Back and forth arguing till scene switch)

 

 

Yeah, it's essentially that, also, even text form it's funny.

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Great episode, I loved it, then again I've always been a huge Civil Protection fan and every time a new episode comes out it's like christmas for me. I am very curious on how Ross managed Motion Capture on the source engine, I know some theories on how but I always thought there'd just be way too many bugs for it to work successfully, so a little insight would be wonderful...or not, up to you, either way Goodluck with your new project

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Man some of the Youtube comments crack me up on this video, for example:

 

"Dad gum it finish freeman's mind it's been forever"

"Moat Freedmans mind please!"

"for everyone complaining about how long it takes for new videos... have u ever tried to make animation this good in g mod.......i shiver thinking about my brief 5 minute attempt."

"well its abouth damn time to release a new episode. lazy mother fuckers ;P"

"Where is the next part of the tunnel episode?"

"6 Mins of Civil Protection models bobbing there heads on the spot, no ty..."

"willy"

"so u use freemans mind voice to mock us¬¬"

and

"C-Civil Protection? After, what 3 years? Wow, this was a pleasant surprise!"

Edited by Guest

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"C-Civil Protection? After, what 3 years? Wow, this was a pleasant surprise!"

 

I saw this one and I was all

 

THE TUNNNEEELLLLLL

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Yeah, the animation is a bit off, it was all made with just a Kinect. I was told the results from that were better than multiple high quality webcams, though I'm not certain. Again, it's a scale of things. On this end of the spectrum, the movements are a little more awkward, on the other end, they would be much more jittery, like they had Parkinson's. I'm hoping the results can get more refined in the future.

 

And yeah, I try not to look at Youtube comments nowadays.

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i'm probably going to have to Google how exactly you did that, unless there's software that somebody made to use the Kinect by hooking it up to the PC...

 

Edit: I'm guessing you used motionbuilder....

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There's a Microsoft SDK for the Kinect on PC, as well as a user created one. Not to mention the PC Kinect that's soon to be released.

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Wasn't too bad, I liked it, although I do think it suffered a little from deadline rushing (that and the issues mentioned in previous news posts). :(

 

Still, the snowman sequence was amusingly random! :D

 

The music at 3:11 (although I have a feeling it might be from one of the tracks from Sim City 4 mentioned in the credits) reminded me a little of System Shock 2, which is always good . :lol:

 

Also, what the hell were they saying after you cut to black and white with the Camera overlay? :lol:

 

I just turned my volume up at that point. :P

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i'm probably going to have to Google how exactly you did that, unless there's software that somebody made to use the Kinect by hooking it up to the PC...

 

Edit: I'm guessing you used motionbuilder....

No it was Ipisoft. I've been in touch off and on with the developer for that for a couple years and am lucky enough to have a free license for it.

 

As for the music, the Simcity 4 stuff was kind of last minute, I was browsing through what I had that sounded like Christmas music, but still a little futuristic. I was also considering some stuff from Aquaria, but it was a little too sappy for the mood I wanted. I need to catch up on soundtracks so I have more to pick from in the future.

 

Also if it helps:

 

Scene 1:

Olafur Arons, then fades into Simcity 4 music.

 

Scene 2:

Marq Maram

 

Scene 3:

Simcity 4 again

 

Scene 4:

Still Life music (great game, also takes place on Christmas)

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