Author Topic: How to Film X-com for Free?  (Read 7691 times)

Offline ChainsawAardvark

  • Sergeant
  • **
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
How to Film X-com for Free?
« on: December 01, 2014, 10:52:25 pm »
I watch entirely too many LPs on youtube, and I've had an idea for a story to tell with X-com for a while. However, I don't really have the funds to buy a lot of editing software and the like. Do any of you know about open source alternatives for filming and editing in post-commentary?

Offline HelmetHair

  • Colonel
  • ****
  • Posts: 350
  • He who laughs last thinks fastest.
    • View Profile
Re: How to Film X-com for Free?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2014, 11:59:20 pm »
Piracy?

-HH

Offline Warboy1982

  • Administrator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 2336
  • Developer
    • View Profile

Offline ivandogovich

  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 2409
  • X-Com Afficionado
    • View Profile
    • Ivan Dogovich Youtube
Re: How to Film X-com for Free?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2014, 03:30:58 pm »

Offline Warboy1982

  • Administrator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 2336
  • Developer
    • View Profile
Re: How to Film X-com for Free?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 03:38:24 pm »
lol fraps is free to begin with :P

that said i use OBS

Offline ivandogovich

  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 2409
  • X-Com Afficionado
    • View Profile
    • Ivan Dogovich Youtube
Re: How to Film X-com for Free?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2014, 05:23:31 pm »
Free for limited chunks. Fraps. ;)

But I hear good things about OBS.  Never tried it myself.

Offline ChainsawAardvark

  • Sergeant
  • **
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: How to Film X-com for Free?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2014, 05:24:28 pm »
Thanks for the help! I'll look into this OBS program.

Offline xracer

  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 561
  • X-COM lover, we've gone at it everywhere
    • View Profile
Re: How to Film X-com for Free?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2014, 11:30:49 pm »
for recording OBS is great, if you use Windows, for editing you can windows movie maker i think is called, is free and not bad at all, not the best clearly but is free :)

Offline redrat9595

  • Sergeant
  • **
  • Posts: 30
  • Good Times
    • View Profile
Re: How to Film X-com for Free?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2014, 11:54:06 pm »
...if you use Windows, for editing you can windows movie maker i think is called...

On the editing side...

I used movie maker back on XP and the stock transitions and everything (if used properly) could make an annotated video of pretty passable quality. Vista and 7 replaced it with Windows Live Movie Maker and it uses some form of relative timeline for adding things to the video that is absolutely unusable for anything precise. If anyone's figured out how to get the original back on Win7, I'd love to know.

It's not officially out yet, but I'm keeping an eye on this one. It looks like VLC combined Audacity and the original Movie Maker and I cannot wait for it to be more properly available.

Offline xracer

  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 561
  • X-COM lover, we've gone at it everywhere
    • View Profile
Re: How to Film X-com for Free?
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2014, 01:09:24 am »
On the editing side...

...Vista and 7 replaced it with Windows Live Movie Maker and it uses some form of relative timeline for adding things to the video that is absolutely unusable for anything precise.

I realized that if you "zoom in" you can do pretty precise editing, it is weird to work with but it can be done, and for a non-professional, i think it has decent tools. but to add multiple layers of audio or video i do not know if it can be done.

Offline ChainsawAardvark

  • Sergeant
  • **
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: How to Film X-com for Free?
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2014, 01:48:11 am »
OBS seems to be ideal for recording. I found something from the aforementioned sites called ezvid that might be what I want for editing, though I'm still looking. My goal isn't really to edit in transitions and effects, but rather to add a voice over.

My big idea is to stage the LP as an interview/recollection by an actual X-com agent. It starts off explaining that a lot of what has been seen before are adaptations made for either drama or budget.
  • Why does X-com start with no body armor, one pistol, and one rifle - because blanks are expensive, actors don't like armor, and most of the kills being chalked up to far away snipers is uninteresting.
  • Humans using alien weapons unmodified - fewer props to design.
  • Rampant psionics - its easier to get an actor to grab their head and yell "its in my brain!" than to render FX in post.

Thus I have a good standing for introducing a bunch of mods and options not used in vanilla X-com.

As to the mods, I'm thinking XAE might cover it all, but the big focus is:
  • Equal Terms (new human weapons/armor)
  • Up Close (a few more good weapons)
  • Personal Armor Variants
  • Human plasma weapons
  • Yet more UFOs (no more reusing the same sets!)
  • New Terrain/Maps
  • Modest re-balance (new income)
  • Alien Armory Expanded
...and probably some new aliens as well, since PSI is nerfed and I have more firepower.

I hope its not too conceited that I try to make the "True" account of X-com or the one with a bigger budget. If you would like to see me reframe it or include some other mods, I am open to suggestions.

Offline ivandogovich

  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 2409
  • X-Com Afficionado
    • View Profile
    • Ivan Dogovich Youtube
Re: How to Film X-com for Free?
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2014, 01:57:56 am »
Awesome Concept!

For just audio recording, I'd recommend Audacity.  You still need a way to match footage to commentary though, so you'd need a video editor.  I had problems when I tried ez-vid, so I dropped it. 

Some of this information might be useful to you  in this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q9MYXYJZYo .  Its by a German YouTuber who is doing a Jagged Alliance 2 v1.13 LP.  Its not exactly how I do things, but it is one of the best explanations that I've seen.  Also, Meridian has a bit of a tutorial on video production: link broken

Cheers, Ivan :D
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 10:48:04 pm by Meridian »

Offline Warboy1982

  • Administrator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 2336
  • Developer
    • View Profile
Re: How to Film X-com for Free?
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2014, 03:21:27 am »
so you want to frame it as a post-production "behind the scenes" special about the fictional TV series of X-Com? fascinating.

if i may offer some input... as to the extra alien races: just remember that even babylon 5 introduced a new alien costume about once per season, (Drazi, pak'ma'ra, Drakh, and the Gaim) likely due to the budgetary restraints of having to make 20-30 "similar but distinct" costumes.

hell even SG-1 used humans without costumes en masse (the Goa'uld, Tok'ra, Jaffa, the replicators, hell, even the ancients themselves) and on the rare occasion you DID see a truly different alien it was either CGI or it was just the one guy in an Unas or Kull costume (tho eventually they made like 20 of each of those, too)

The vulcans/romulans were just humans with bowl haircuts and pointy ears, and the klingons were just large humans with KISS outfits and paper mache on their foreheads - for a reason: The less human the costume, the greater the cost. heck even the borg looked like they were only there to soak up the overflow from the props department.

essentially what i'm getting at is: from a space opera production perspective, each race has a significant budgetary requirement attached, mainly due to needing at least 20 of them to stage a convincing firefight.

Considering that space operas are almost universally under-funded, and generally spend most of what they DO have on writers and CGI, the racial diversity tends to be fairly limited until the third season.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2014, 05:42:08 am by Warboy1982 »

Offline ChainsawAardvark

  • Sergeant
  • **
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: How to Film X-com for Free?
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2014, 05:12:03 am »
You hit the nail on the head Warboy. Prior versions of x-com with clear tiers of aliens, and all heavy plasma was due to costume/prop limits. This is the special edition "we didn't have a budget to film before". concept. Or more likely - "this is how it was, not the TV sanitized version".

Some sample quotes from the narrator
"Code names were not drawn from a hat, or sent in by eager viewers. Our best Snipers were named for Bands, those strong enough to carry Heavy Weapons for automobiles. If you weren't accurate or strong, god help you - you were a scout named after an animals. Contrary to the horror stories you may have heard, scouts were not officially hazed by being sent into an alien craft with nothing but a pistol and a stun rod. Key word there. Officially. On Sight Leadership - OSL - tended to prioritize the survival of proven agents over new meat."

"We were not Santa's elves descending from the north pole, ultimate survivalists from the south, or crazy commandos out on a pacific island. And of course, a lot of episodes were filmed in America of Europe for familiar city scapes. Truth is X-Command began in Northwest China. It wasn't money, communism, national pride - just a few hard calculations. This put about one third of the human population under one radar umbrella, and kept us close to the Soviet Nuclear silos in anything truly got out of hand."

"To be clear: our North American base is not - was not - Area 51! Nor was anything we used based on something found there. That area is a perfectly normal ordinance test range and airbase for experimental craft. The closest we came is that our basic interceptor was inspired by the F-16XL project by NASA. The Skyranger was based off the Dornier 31 VTOL transport from Germany, wrong side of the planet for any of this Roswell nonsense."

Offline Warboy1982

  • Administrator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 2336
  • Developer
    • View Profile
Re: How to Film X-com for Free?
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2014, 12:46:31 pm »
Wormhole X-treme! was my favourite episode.