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Everything posted by ekket

  1. EDIT: Well thanks to reader advice I was able to solve the problem. I was an idiot and wasn't using static props. In my defense, static props tend to behave much less reliably for me, plus the model has to support them in the first place, something many do not. I got lucky in this case in that the model I was using did support being a static prop. Anyway, I'm a little undecided what to do now since I was ready to switch gears. I'm putting up a new poll, I'll go with whatever the masses decide on this. ORIGINAL POST: Well it looks like my tradition of discovering a completely new bug in every episode continues. Right now I've run into a bug that's preventing me from completing a scene (read below for details). I have some ideas as to how to fix it, but it's probably going to take the help of someone else helping with modelling and it's hard to say how long that will take. The good news for you is that since I can only do so much more on the episode from my end until this is fixed, I'll go ahead and start working on the next Freeman's Mind episode while this bug gets looked into. I still have every intention of completing this CP episode, but I hate making you guys wait on more material. If all I had to do was writing, I could produce a new episode every day of FM and CP. To those familiar with the Source engine: The bug I'm running into is "Reliable Snapshot Overflow" that crashes the map and occurs whenever I try to record a demo. I know what's causing it in my case. It has to do with me having a ton of small dynamic props in a small area. I could fix this problem by deleting the props, but I unfortunately need them for this scene. Right now my best theory on how to fix this is to merge many of small individual models into one larger one, so the game sees less props to process. This is probably going to be a pain to do for our modeller. If any of you know more about this than I do, feel free to post possible solutions here. If you discover one before we do and notify me, I'll put your name down in the credits of the next episode as a technical advisor.
  2. Well I've been getting some requests for updates. I haven't posted more because the situation is still the same; I'm still busy on the next CP episode and the website is still in development. I know It might seem like I'm not doing anything, but I've actually been making a lot of progress; it's just an inherently slow process to produce episodes at the quality level I strive for in Civil Protection. Each episode is much more than just recording and editing, it's more like a minature mod for the game. On that note, I've been getting pressure on all sides to produce more episodes of Freeman's Mind. I'm still not producing any more until I finish the current CP episode, but after that, I may alter my plans to make it first priority and have them come up at a much more rapid rate. Many of you have said you prefer it over Civil Protection. I think you're only saying that because you don't know everything I have envisioned for the series. My imagination far exceeds my production capacity. On that same note however, I'm not even attempting the "jaw dropping" episodes in the near future because of how much more work they would entail. So due to the time involved with making those, I'll probably focus on easier projects, like FM. In the meantime, I'll continue blazing away on the next episode. The next part of this post only applies to 3D graphics geeks, so you can skip it if you're just here for the videos. The glitch I'm listing below will NOT hold up production on the next episode. - - - - - - - - - I've run into a minor nuisance in production that simply hasn't gone away. I'm a sucker for antialiasing; I think it cleans up the look of a 3D scene immensely. However I've gone through multiple generations of graphics cards and keep running into the same glitch when I enable antialiasing. For lack of a better term, I'm calling it "shimmering". This glitch seems to be especially noticeable in the Source engine in certain situations. It's similar to looking at a road in the distance on a hot day, giving the illusion of a puddle. It causes lines or gaps or something to be rendered that should not be there. It only happens for me for surfaces in the distance with antialiasing enabled. It's best seen in motion, but it's noticeable in screenshots. I recommend downloading "On A Rail" if you want to see it in action. Here is an example where it occurs from that video: That's not just a reflection from the lights, this glitch occurs in 100% dark tunnels. While I'm on a Geforce 8800 right now, this has happened to me on multiple cards in the past and I've witnessed it happening on a friend's computer with a Radeon 4850. The ONLY solution I've found to this is to either turn off antialiasing completely or to render the scene using supersampling entirely; no multisampling whatsoever. This is not an ideal solution as supersampling is immensely slower and requires too much memory to hit the same quality levels as other antialiasing methods. If ANYONE knows what's causing this or can demonstrate a solution, please contact me at [email protected] or post here. Feel free to test this for yourself! If you have a copy of Half-Life 2, a good spot to test this is on the first canal level (d1_canals_01) looking back at the dark train tunnel you see once you get outside. Here's an example of the effect for that level: If this problem doesn't affect you, great, but I'm trying to find out WHY. Ask people who know a lot about 3D graphics. Ask ATI. Ask Nvidia. Ask on tech forums, it'll be a favor to me. Again, this glitch won't hold up production of any episodes, it's just a personal quest of mine to find out how to fix it and I'm hoping someone out there knows more about it than I do. EDIT: Viewer Carl Johnson (not the one from Grand Theft Auto) has made me aware that disabling AA and AF through the driver control panel, then setting the AA settings in-game will prevent this problem on ATI cards. Unfortunately I tried this and it didn't seem to have the same effect for me (since I'm currently on an Nvidia one), but that's encouraging to know this is fixable.
  3. ekket

    May updates

    Hey people, I wanted to let you know progress is still underway on the next CP episode. It's turning out well, but as usual, seemingly simple things are becoming much more complicated than they should be. I still haven't run into any show-stopping bugs, there's just a lot of little elements to take care of in this episode to make it feel more complete. I'd post screenshots or clips from it so far, but I really hate having things spoiled for me personally, so I try to do the same for the viewers. The new website has been very close to launchable for a while now, but I want to have the look of some of the pages altered to be as easy as possible to navigate, plus the guy coding it has had a lot of behind the scenes revisions to make. Right now it's sort of a race between us as to which will happen first, the new website launching, or the next CP episode being released. I've been reviewing some of the subtitles submitted to me and while I appreciate the effort of people who have submitted, some of the timing or spelling/grammar has been so erratic that it almost creates more work to correct it than it does to create them from scratch. If you're interested in contributing subtitles to Civil Protection or Freeman's Mind, please contact me at [email protected] Also this is just for English copies at the moment. While I plan to fully support subtitles in other languages, I want to get the English copies done first so translators have the best source material to work from. Be sure to contact me before making them, just so no one ends up duplicating the work. Also I've posted the answer before and I plan to have it be on the FAQ of the new website, but since I keep getting these questions over and over again, I'd like to make a post about this. Many people have asked will I continue Freeman's Mind to completion, through Half-Life 2, and switch to the Black Mesa mod. The answer to all of these questions is maybe. If people decide they get tired of the format, I don't want to promise I'll continue something that no one wants, but for the time being I can't see a reason to stop it. EDIT: I think I now have enough offers to transcribe subtitles, thanks to everyone who's shown interest. I'll make another post when I'm ready for subtitles in other languages. It's come to my attention that some of the downloadable copies of the Freeman's Mind episodes are disappearing. I've notified the host, so hopefully this will be resolved before too long.
  4. Youtube 640x480 WMV (90MB) Well here's the proof some of you were waiting for that I didn't kill off Freeman permanently. This is the longest episode so far, I normally would have made it shorter, but I figured you guys might get sick of seeing the same elevator shaft 3 episodes in a row. Unfortunately for some, the gap between 11 and 12 is going to be longer than usual because I really want go get back to Civil Protection. The latest episode is well underway, though it's gotten more ambitious than I originally intended from a technical perspective. So far there haven't been any show-stopping bugs like I've gotten a lot in the past. Once I'm done with that, I want to get at least get a good chunk of work done on the new pilot episode before I do another FM episode, so it may be a few weeks before you see another one. The upside to this is that things are starting to come together more on the animation end of things for CP, so you may start seeing a lot more shorter episodes of that in the forseeable future.
  5. ekket


    Well this is kind of late in announcing, but here it is anyway. The second and final guide from me is now out! This one is called Source Machinima Cinematography. The other guide, Choreography, focused almost exclusively on animation. This guide covers pretty much everything else involved with making a machinima film in the Source engine. If you want to know exactly how I process everything after I have it animated, this covers all the steps. It covers recording methods, camerawork, audio/video editing, and even some bits on getting ideas and writing scripts. In my opinion, the most valuable parts of this guide are being able to create custom camerawork (which includes slow motion), recording without any dropped frames, and my secret recipe for motion blur. And like the other guide, I didn't set the price on this, but I did try to make sure it was as thorough as possible. And for everyone waiting on FM, CP, and the pilot episode, I'm working on them; asking daily about it really has no impact on the production time.
  6. ekket


  7. ekket

    April 2nd

    Well for those of you who didn't figure it out yet, yesterday was a joke for April Fool's Day. Everything I wrote was bogus. The series is not over, Episode 11 is in progress. While I do think people could get tired of the format, I'm never going to run out of things to say, though some episodes will be better than others. I also have no incentive to have a road trip across the USA. I have enough scars from bicycle accidents as it is without needing to add to the collection with a motorcycle. I think more of you figured out the joke than last year, it was basically the same trick. Since the fanbase is larger, there were a lot more comments this time. Like before, I put all comments mentioning April Fool's or the date on hold, but they're all posted now if you want to look through them. Also like before, I saw some suggestions that I was making up some of the comments. I'm not, these are all you guys. The only comments I made were in my name and were discussing the motorcycle trip. Right now my plans are to finish Episode 11 of FM and the website, then focus soley on the next CP episode without having to divide up my attention on different projects.
  8. Youtube 640x480 WMV (17MB) I changed my mind, I'm not doing any more Freeman's Mind; it's over. I've realized there's no way I'll be able to think up enough material to get through the rest of the game. Enjoy the last episode; it's kind of short, hence the half mark. EDIT: I think I'm going to buy a motorcycle and ride across the United States.
  9. Youtube 640x480 74MB WMV Well here's the latest episode of FM, the next one won't be too far behind. This episode will probably upset the Half-Life purists out there. I use some cheats because in my vision of Half-Life, I see Gordon as capable of doing a pull-up. And yes, I know I said the previous episode would be the last one before the new website, but I was wrong. I thought things were going well, but all development pretty much stopped after I made that statement, and I can't do the coding on my own. The good news I now have new help on it and progress has resumed on the site (again). I'm pretty serious about getting the site up, which is why I put the new URL in the credits. It will be called "Accursed Farms", and will be the future homepage for all the videos. Nothing is changing production-wise, it will just be easier for me to manage the videos with the new site and will offer more features than the blogspot address. Right now it's unfinished, so you'll only get a front page, but I think it will be up pretty soon. I'm not giving any time estimates since everything seems to go to hell every time I do that. I'll announce as soon as the new site is up. EDIT: I'm not sure why the latest episode is darker, I thought it was my imagination when editing. I think it might be a mistake I made in the recording. Unfortunately the footage is already done on the next episode, so it will be darker too, but I'll try and make sure the future ones look alright.
  10. ekket


    I'm working on the next FM episodes and I'll have them as soon as I can, although in the meantime I want to get some feedback on subtitles. Subtitles are going to be a big section of the new website, so I'm trying to standardize what method will be used. I have two options right now. One will have subtitles color-coded to the speaker. I thought this might make it easier for people to distinguish who is talking, since Mike and Dave use identical models for the characters. The other option I've heard of is to make the subtitles all the same color, but use a hyphen to distinguish when two characters are talking in the same time frame. Below are snapshots of each method: Color coded: Hyphenated Let me know what you think in the comments and I may put up a poll. I'm especially interested in international viewers who will benefit from future translations. If you don't care about the subtitles, then just ignore this. Thanks everyone. EDIT: Alright, due to feedback from translators and viewers, I've made my decision. My plans are to make plain white outlined text using hyphenated versions for the hard-encoded Youtube copies, and make both hyphenated and color-coded subtitle files (for ones that get done this way) available for download.
  11. ekket

    quick FM update

    I've found a workaround for the barnacle problem I've been having. For those that care, if you go into noclip mode then clip through a wall while looking at them, it seems to fix the problem for the remainder of the demo. This does add an extra step and may make transitions between load zones even less smooth, but it does seem to be a solution for now. I'm going to try and get two more Freeman's Mind episodes out this month to make up for the delay on the last one. Since there's lagtime between when I'm done and when it actually gets uploaded, I can't promise anything, but that's my goal.
  12. Youtube 640x480 WMV (87MB) Well here's the latest FM episode after a lot of delays. This one has several bugs that I basically just ignored. There are missing bloodstains, the barnacle problem is back, and one of the signs wasn't glowing like it's supposed to. One viewer has told me it's not even possible to finish HL Source without cheating because of a bug, I guess I'll find out. This is going to be the LAST video release before the new website, we're getting really close now, I hope to have something semi-functional in about a week on that front. After that focus will be on the next CP episode, but I may do another FM first just to make up for the delay on this one.
  13. ekket

    February updates

    Well judging from the comments, people really want an update, so here's what happeneing. Steady progress is being made on the next Civil Protection episode, but there's still a ways to go. I'll get started on a new Freeman's Mind episode soon to try and make up for the delay. I lost a couple days to doing some additional contact work, but that's done now, so I'll back to work on everything else. Progress on the website is going very well and I think it will be done quite soon. My plans are to get it up before the next video is released. Finally, some initial work has been started on a "pilot episode" for something new I want to try. Without spoiling anything, it will be in the Source engine, but will not be Half-Life related. You'll definitely see the next CP and FM episodes out before this however.
  14. Youtube 640x480 WMV (87MB) Well here's the latest episode of Freeman's Mind. I got lucky with this one and demo recording worked without the barnacles going crazy. This is good because I was able to swap out some lines for the scientist at the end, something that wouldn't have been practical with just raw video recording. The barnacle problem is NOT SOLVED however, I simply got lucky with this map. My offer of getting in the credits for anyone who can solve the problem is ongoing. Also, the cattle prod story mentioned in this episode is not even an exaggeration, I knew someone who used to do that. I plan to go back and focus on the next CP episode for now, but if the rest of production ends up taking a long time, I'll get another FM episode out to tide you over. Hopefully the new website will be finished before either one is done!
  15. ekket

    New year updates

    I know people who come here like updates, so here's a post on what's happening. Unfortunately I'm behind in pretty much all areas, probably because I'm focusing on several different things. I've gotten some additional help with the new website, which I think is helping things move along faster. The next CP episode is growing more elaborate than I originally intended, which is adding to the production time, but I think it's going to make the episode that much better. Unlike the last one, which was meant to be different, I think this next one will have something for anybody who's a fan of the series. Once it's done, then work will resume on "The Tunnel". Finally while I'd prefer to focus on CP, I know a lot of you like Freeman's Mind, so I'll do my best to have another episode of that out sometime next week (assuming I don't run into more problems). EDIT: Freeman's Mind is looking closer to Friday or this weekend because all the shouting retakes wears my voice down some and there are only certain times I can record. The good news is it will be a longer episode.
  16. ekket

    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.
  17. Well here's the latest episode of Freeman's Mind. I'm happier with the pacing on this one and it doesn't feel quite as crammed as the last one. This one has a little more language, but Freeman has to put up with more in this episode too. As long as people are interested in it, I hope to keep doing a lot more of these. I plan to have another one out sometime this month, then a new Civil Protection episode either at the end of the month or else early January.
  18. ekket


    Hey people, here are the updates I was talking about. First and foremost, I have to finish the second Noesis guide so I can free up more time to work on machinima. I'm getting close, but it might be another week or two, but after that there will be a big jump in production. Here's what you can expect coming: Freeman's Mind - I can get these out much faster than CP and I really need to step up the pace if I'm going to get through all of the Half-Life series. I'm hoping to have another one out by the end of the month, then a lot more out after that, but I'm not setting any deadlines since that's already backfired on me before. Civil Protection shorts - I may release some CP episodes that are very short in nature. I'm not sure whether I want to count these as actual episodes or not, but I'd like to be able to release more of CP without it taking forever. Depending on how much time volunteers have to work on it, this could also come out this month, but I'm making no promises. 15+ minute episode - this will be the scary episode, called "The Tunnel". It's already been partially produced, but it still has a ways to go. This will likely be the next big episode to come out. I was originally hoping to release this by Halloween, but that's not going to happen now because of everything else I have to do. I'm hoping it can be done by sometime in November. 20+ minute episode - this one is also partially produced, it will be called "Open Forum" (as in the Greek kind, not an internet one). It will mainly focused on dialogue and will introduce several new characters. It will also require a lot of facial expressions, which I'm leaving to someone better at that than myself. So when this one comes out depends on how busy everyone is, but I haven't forgotten about it. New website - work has resumed on this again, it might come out this month, but it depends on whether the person helping me will have time to finish the coding and if I have time to make a new logo for it. I also have a ton of other ideas of things I'd like to do, but that's what's going to be coming in the semi-near future. For everyone frustrated with the pace of things so far, I feel the same way.
  19. Youtube Medium quality (800x452) 70MB WMV High quality (1280x720) 211MB WMV Well the new episode is finally out, it took about 1-2 weeks longer than it should have for a lot of different reasons and has been the most problematic release so far for several other reasons. This episode contains an enormous amount of custom content I hunted down on the internet, as you'll see in the credits. So thanks to everyone who let me use their maps, models, and textures. The tone of this episode is a little different than the others as it was intended for an environmental contest that ended up getting postponed, but I'm releasing it anyway. It's a little fact-heavy as a result, most of the humor is towards the end. My primary reason for making this though was an excuse to use a one-liner I'd had in my mind for a while (the "hybrid car" one). And for those wondering, I took the corny title from the old computer game by the same name. You should by no means assume anything said in Civil Protection or Freeman's Mind necessarily reflects my own beliefs, however this is one case where they do. The theme of this episode is how we're in big trouble once we run out of oil. The research I did on the topic suggest that things are going to get pretty ugly in the future. One expert interviewed by National Geographic says that the world oil supply is plateauing right now and we have about 6-8 years before it will start to decline and this guy was right on the money about when the U.S. was going to be be unable to rely on domestic oil back in the 70's. Besides what Mike mentions in the video (I won't spoil it), I think our only realistic solution is figuring out how to get cellulosic ethanol production to work on a mass scale (this isn't the same kind made from corn, sugar, and other crops). I'm not really a miltia type, but the more I read about the situation, the more it makes me want to live in a cabin out in the woods with guns and a bunch of canned goods. That would be a good place to be if society starts to fall apart. It'll be at least 10-20 years before things really get bad though. If you hate this episode and think it's being too preachy, don't worry, this is probably the first and last episode of CP with any sort of "message". I'd rather focus on making funny, strange, or exciting videos anyway. Finally, check back in a few days and I'll have an update about what you can expect in the future with regards to CP and FM. EDIT: I forgot ANOTHER person in the credits! Oh well, his nickname is "JakeyB" and he did the port of "The Postal Dude" model I used as a cameo in this episode.
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