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[Tool] eve-kino, a browser application to create animations with CCP's assets!

Author
Liu Ellens
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#1 - 2013-06-27 16:05:37 UTC  |  Edited by: Liu Ellens
The pitch
At Fanfest 2013, CCP showed their new WebGL library, capable of rendering their own assets - an improved version of the WebGL ship viewer "released" just the year before.

My idea: write an application to create animations using all this stuff - eve-kino was born!

The application is under development using the lean approach, meaning regular releases in short intervals. This way I can see whether there is demand for it and could handle feature requests sooner.

Links of importance


Basic Info
Supported browsers:

  • Chrome / Chromium: No issues known
  • Firefox: Only in a build that supports the Gamepad API, which is (to my knowledge) only Aurora 17 at the moment.


Supported Gamepads: Should be any, but known to work as intended are the PS3 and XBox controller.
Note that the binding is currently static and just for early development. Manual rebinding is planned.

Workflow: very basic, see a demo video here

  • In the popup dialog, specify what kind of session you want to create: a space view (currently only one background available) or a chroma keyed ("Green-Screen") background.
  • IF you have an application view (you'd get an error message otherwise)
  • Add props by selecting one in the bottom list and clicking "Add Prop", it takes a few seconds to load the thing. Adding a prop gives you gamepad control over it to move/rotate it - yes, camera/prop control is done exclusively via gamepad
  • Switch the focus to either the camera or a prop in the set with the corresponding controls at the left side
  • With something focused, position it where you want to start and hit "Record". Do as many takes as you like.
  • When playing back, input is ignored of course.

Well, they oughta know what to do with them hogs out there for shure.

Cyaron wars
Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#2 - 2013-06-28 06:42:37 UTC
That is very nice work.
Karbowiak
The League Of Unwanted Capsuleers
#3 - 2013-06-28 14:00:43 UTC
I totally dig it, and can already foresee usecases for it. (Banners that are fully animated? Battle reports that shows a mock battle with said ships involved, etc.)

Keep on rocking! Cool
Aldap
Fearless Tiger.
Tactical Narcotics Team
#4 - 2013-06-28 17:30:18 UTC
Quality stuff!

An interesting article about Solo PvP: http://themittani.com/features/new-eden-solo

Nova Satar
Rekall Incorporated
#5 - 2013-06-30 08:34:25 UTC
Really cool bit of kit, i can see this being used well in some short cinematic eve vids
Julius Rigel
#6 - 2013-07-03 08:23:29 UTC
So your idea is to render ships and celestial objects against a skybox in a way that emulates an in-game render?

Why?
Liu Ellens
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#7 - 2013-07-03 19:24:11 UTC
The app is now hosted on a public server. It is still in tech-demo stage, but I intend to do continuous delivery along my progress.
I have updated the first post with the main details.

You'll notice the option to switch the focus to existing props now, something I added today. For the first video that I recorded I had to be sure that the take is right before I switched to the next prop :)

As for the core design idea of the recording process: I want to avoid having an interface similar to 3D-modelling tools where I have to provide some 2D-controls over 3D objects frame-by-frame. Or modifying curves specifying coordinates over time.
As a hobby-sound recorder for film I'm more used to the actual film-recording process. I want to record the movement in real-time. If a movement was wrong you record it in another take.


Julius Rigel wrote:
So your idea is to render ships and celestial objects against a skybox in a way that emulates an in-game render?

Why?

The idea for the renderer is not exactly mine, I'm reusing the one from CCP. My idea is to use it for creating animations - machinimas - where the props of the scene follow a recorded script. In the current tech-demo you can already add props to the scene, record their movement and then play it back.
Since we have full control here, meaning all 6 degrees of freedom for everything, we can create cool choreography that is not possible using in-game recordings.
Not to mention that you only need one person to stage a huge fleet - instead of getting a bunch of people do at your command.

To my knowledge, for the public this is currently only possible by exporting the models and textures from the client, reimport them in some 3D-modelling tool and animate them there. As far as I understood, this is a tedious process - not to mention, that it's not very easy for everyone. Notable example: Future Proof.

Well, they oughta know what to do with them hogs out there for shure.

Julius Rigel
#8 - 2013-07-04 04:09:02 UTC
Sounds reasonable. Personally I like the in-game tools.
Jack bubu
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#9 - 2013-07-06 11:18:17 UTC
You should absolutly do this, movie makers will love you for this
Liu Ellens
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#10 - 2013-07-06 19:31:13 UTC
I have just pushed v.0.0.2 to the server. The visible changes:
- Session creation dialog at start
- If the session can't be created, an error dialog is displayed, locking you out from any controls
- You can now create a chroma keyed set as well (also known as green-screen, but you can set any colour you like)
- Better layout of the application - scales now with the window size *)

*) except the scene view - That'll be a dedicated attempt, planned as one of the next things.

Well, they oughta know what to do with them hogs out there for shure.

Liu Ellens
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#11 - 2013-07-13 15:16:37 UTC
v.0.0.4 is live on the server.

- viewport is properly resized
- fullscreen mode added
- Save/Load functionality added. Start-dialog has a "By file" option with which a previous session can be loaded
- made a nice favicon instead of the debug one :)

Well, they oughta know what to do with them hogs out there for shure.

Alphae
Red Federation
RvB - RED Federation
#12 - 2013-07-16 11:51:00 UTC
Very promising I'd gladly use this tool however, I dont' understand how to control anything (cam, ship..) what do you mean by gamepad ?
Liu Ellens
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#13 - 2013-07-16 12:44:06 UTC
Control is done via the GamepadAPI of the (supporting) browser - This means joysticks or gamepad controller; I'm testing with both a PS3 controller and a Logitech gamepad. XBOX 360 controller will also work.

I'm not convinced to use mouse for rotation during recording, both because I haven't figured out a practical way to make this usable during recording and also because a gamepad gives you control over more axes at the same time.

Well, they oughta know what to do with them hogs out there for shure.

Liu Ellens
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#14 - 2013-07-27 11:58:46 UTC
v.0.0.5 is live

I had been quite busy the past two weeks, so all there is new are basic light controls:
- Change star light color (a fresh set now defaults to black - i.e., no light)
- Add a star (currently only one star available)

The light color can be changed regardless of the existence of a star.

Well, they oughta know what to do with them hogs out there for shure.

Alphae
Red Federation
RvB - RED Federation
#15 - 2013-08-05 07:36:05 UTC
Looks great, can't wait to test it out back home Smile
Liu Ellens
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#16 - 2013-08-06 20:36:36 UTC
v.0.0.6 is live

This release was mainly driven by the (for me sudden) "release" of several resources from CCP, apparently in the wake of AT XI. Meaning:
- Way more stuff to select from and to add to the scene! Note that various stuff is still not available. For example, the wormhole backgrounds are not available and various props that I yet couldn't filter. Rule of thumb: If it doesn't show up in the scene after a few seconds, then it's most likely not available.
This is a little bit tedious, but as far as I can tell, most (if not all) regular ships are available. Planets are also not yet more since those need some structural rework first. I simply wanted to get it out so that you can play with a little more than just one background and three ships ;)

Furthermore:
- Quality settings for the renderer can be modified at session creation (third tab); Not much, but the library offered it.

I also set up a public Trello list where you can monitor what I have planned for the tool. If you have an account there, you can even vote on stuff in the backlog, which might influence what I do next.
This also means I'm now more open to feature requests & discussion in this thread, but keep in mind that it's still quite early :) .

Well, they oughta know what to do with them hogs out there for shure.

Liu Ellens
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#17 - 2013-08-11 20:47:39 UTC
v.0.0.7 is live

New features:
- Film-based time/force simulation. Input controls now have a certain drag to them and movement isn't so much 'binary' anymore. The current drag parameters are static, modifying them is planned for a later release (so, still all ships have the same speed right now ;)

- Added a dedicated "Add prop" dialog, separating prop types and sporting a search-as-you-type input.

- More stars to choose from; The last upload already contained them, but I didn't spot them before.

- The mouse cursor will be hidden when over the film view. For your viewing pleasure :)

- Also a first bugfix: when the browser was already in presentation mode (F11), entering full-screen mode didn't resize the film view. It will now.

Well, they oughta know what to do with them hogs out there for shure.

Andrew Articuli
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#18 - 2013-08-13 16:34:37 UTC  |  Edited by: Andrew Articuli
Using valves source filmmaker, I was able to create some animations using an Eve ship pack, but a lack of laser beam particles made this option undesired. Your application seems like a much better choice, good work!
Liu Ellens
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#19 - 2013-08-15 15:31:44 UTC
I have recorded a VLog to show the basic workflow for controlling and recording. The video is here. I also updated my first post and rearranged the important information.

Andrew Articuli wrote:
Using valves source filmmaker, I was able to create some animations using an Eve ship pack, but a lack of laser beam particles made this option undesired. Your application seems like a much better choice, good work!

Thank you, but to be fair, CCP's library that I am using for this doesn't support laser beams *) either. Regarding all the 3D-rendering stuff I'm pretty much dependent on what CCP provides. We'll see if and when such things will be added.

*) nor explosions, ship trails or shadows

Well, they oughta know what to do with them hogs out there for shure.