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Long and boring update

I’ve been meaning to give a minor update as I tackle one problem after another, however I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever given a total update of everything I’m doing when working on an episode. Judging from the comments, some people think they’re missing something when I don’t give an update all the time. You’re really not, but as proof, I’ve documented everything I can remember from yesterday. So here’s a sample for you of everything you missed, just yesterday:

--Finished animating as much as possible of an interior scene. Won’t be able to continue animating the rest the scene until after done filming up to a certain point as I need to see layout of where the physics props end up for continuity. Adjusted several more dynamic props that don’t match up with other scenes unintentionally for continuity purposes. Probably spent about an hour animating an investigation sequence for Dave, ended up scrapping it since it doesn’t look very good and there won’t be a lot of reason to keep the camera off Mike for that scene. Completed difficult sections of Mike investigating. Adding info_targets and syncing up with Faceposer for looking around the room was kind of a pain. Alternated between aiscripted_schedules and scripted_sequences for movement around the room. Ended up using aiscripted_schedules for beginning to navigate through doorway, but scripted_sequences afterwards, except only for movement and orientation, not animations. Still not sure if there’s any logic whatsoever as to what direction an npc will face after completing an aiscripted_schedule. Would be a helpful function that Alex could look into, though I doubt there’s much he can do, plus I already asked him about finding a way to implement custom movement animations into aiscripted_schedules. Not optimistic about that.

--Readjusted some env_physexplosion entities since their usage still looks slightly unnatural + timing is off. If I push the values too high, I risk getting sparks and dust clouds from friction, which doesn’t make sense for the subject matter. Don’t know how to eliminate the dust cloud, maybe the sparks use a .vmt I can hunt down and make transparent. I hate crap like this. May have to come back to tomorrow.

--Ryan deleted the online utility he made for creating soundscripts again. I don’t know why he spends time working on things only to delete everything he’s ever done periodically. Left him a message, but probably no chance of reaching him within the next 72+ hours. Emailed Alex about an offline utility so I don’t have to do it manually. Got lucky and reached him. Utility didn’t work due to runtime dependencies, I’ll look into it later, I’ve already made the soundscripts for the hardest parts remaining.

--Sent Alex some follow-up information on the map database project that could help future episodes go a little faster.

--Did a test shot for a potential slow motion sequence from Ben’s animation. Found out that for reasons unknown the engine is skipping some frames of the animation. Tried it again and it skipped even more frames. This is a major bug, Ben will work on smoothing out the animation and maybe increasing the source framerate, though I don’t know if that will make any difference. I’m somewhat worried about finding a solution to this, I might be able to record multiple shots and splice in individual frames if the location is random in the animation. At at least one point it isn’t. Was almost not bitter and angry about the source engine before this happened.

--Finished an outdoor transition scene, added aiscripted_sequences for citizens walking in background, adjust a lot of dynamic props and pathway of main character to look more natural. Decompiled some other maps to try and pull some good light values for the scene. Found some after about 15 VRAD compiles of the map. Took notably less time than I expected, not nearly as long as the last transition map I worked on. Scene’s a little dark, but it looks good.

--Ben’s animation isn’t done yet, but the end positioning is mostly final enough for me to get started on the next scene. Also need to tackle lighting for early map again since some bug is occurring between the episode 1 and 2 engine again. Can work on this stuff tomorrow and hopefully start filming. Still a little worried about lighting continuity, but I’ll see what happens. Really worried about the bug with Ben’s animation, but if I focus on that I’ll never finish.

--It’s looking more likely I’m going to have to do this animated texture myself afterall.

--Got some more emails, replied to Gareth, nothing else looks that urgent, I’ll catch up at some point, my “to reply” list is about 120 emails long at the moment.
So you can see for yourself how exciting working on an episode is and all the fun you’re missing out on when I don’t update. When you don’t get lots of updates, I’m basically sparing you from all this.
The short version:

I plan to finish up as many odds and ends as I can today and begin filming by tonight or tomorrow. The animation still isn’t done due to how some of the workflow is playing out, but if at any point I get to a point where I’m waiting on other content, I’ll resume work on Freeman’s Mind.

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