Feature Creep / Lip Sync for characters

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World Class Multimedia
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Posted: 21st Jun 2017 06:30
Is there any way at all to implement lip sync features for characters inside of Game Guru? I plan on recording our cut scenes within GG and I would like the characters to talk.

If this cannot be done now, when will lip sync and a integrated cut scene editor within GG be available - it's a major missing piece of the puzzle for GG to be a true contender to the major engines.

Mike
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cybernescence
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Posted: 21st Jun 2017 07:05
Cut scenes is an item on the feature voting list. You could pile all your points onto that after next reset.

I don't agree that it's a major missing piece ....

Some people have used crazy talk to simulate lip syncing of their characters for short video inserts.

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Belidos
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Posted: 21st Jun 2017 07:24
I also don't agree its a major thing, its a very specialized thing, and extremely unlikely it will ever be done from inside gameguru.

It would be a massive task to create an editor that does this, and would have to be practically a full animation suite.

Lee has stated multiple times he won't be adding features that are effectively full modelling programmes inside gameguru, so an animation suite will probably never happen.

That's not even factoring in the bone count limit, you would need extra bones for the mouth to animate and at the moment gameguru is limited to 63 bones, although with the DX11 update led should be able to increase this, as well as increasing the poly count limit.

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AmenMoses
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Posted: 21st Jun 2017 07:33
Simple, make close-up models of your characters (face and shoulders only maybe) with animations for word sounds expressions etc, then write a script that triggers the appropriate animations in time with the audio. When you trigger the cut-scene you take control of the camera, hide the standard character, show the close-up model, run the audio/animation sequence and Bob's a distant relative.

Thats how I would do it anyhow.
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rolfy
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2017 04:17 Edited at: 23rd Jun 2017 04:20
It was in FPSC Classic and not as complicated as thought. You only need animations or morphs for phonemes which are read and converted from a text file. Transitions are handled in the code.
The same thing using phonemes is used to create talking characters in any program such as crazy talk.Maya or 3dsMax.
Wolf
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2017 04:39
While I agree that an all out cutscene should not be done in GG itself I'd also like to see this feature be reintroduced.
What we had in FPSC was pretty usable, I do of course not expect it to be as spectacular as say in the source engine.
Teabone
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2017 05:07
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Bored of the Rings
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2017 06:06
Yes, if you have Animer you could animate the mouth bones to represent phonemes. Reminds me of many hours programming my Vic-20 Chatterbox II speech synth with all the phonetic sounds. Great fun in it's day.
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Belidos
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2017 08:54 Edited at: 23rd Jun 2017 10:55
Wow i didn't know FPSC had this feature.

I was just going by what i had been told in the past about this kind of feature being too much to implement.

I know GG isn't in DB any more, but surely if the code is there in FPSC it could be converted for GG.

I've always loved GG, but lately it's starting to dawn on me that FPSC had so much more than GG has, wouldn't it have been better and maybe easier for them to have converted FPSC to C++, added the terrain editor, and fixed bugs like the exporting issues instead of starting from scratch without half the features FPSC had?

I'm also becoming quite despondent with development of GG, don't get e wrong, Lee's doing a sterling job, but it just seems to me that he's rushing to get features out, and we just keep getting half finished features.

AI for example, it's great they can be placed on roofs now, but what was the cost? We've actually lost quite a bit of functionality, and introduced some major bugs, for example:

Functionality:
The old character AI had soldiers using one idle with guns hidden, then unhid the gun and changed pose for combat, now they're always in a combat stance with weapons out, this is an important functionality that's missing now.

Bugs:
Only so many characters will act out their script properly, after you kill so many none of the rest work.
Characters have stopped screaming when they turn aggressive, and grunting while in combat.

EBE for example, We have all those disappearing/changing texture issues, the handle becomes permanent when you change it from an EBE entity to an actual model, and so on.

It's becoming a lot harder for me to find the motivation to continue with my game and i'm basically doing nothing but making models for when i can finally build a level without issues.

As i said, don't get me wrong, Lee's doing a great job, but he's one man, trying to put out the same amount of work as most companies would have a team do, and it shows.

Sorry for the off topic rant, but it kind of led on from the subject and it's been really bugging me, i needed to let that out.

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World Class Multimedia
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2017 22:26 Edited at: 23rd Jun 2017 22:29
I had no idea FPSC Creator could do that and I've been using this since it was an off-shoot of Dark Basic.

And for those that say a cut scene editor is unnecessary, play some games. THEY ALL HAVE CUT SCENES and lately, they are not being 3D animated - they are using the engine and existing scenes and characters to make the cut scenes. With PBR textures, shaders and advanced post processing filters, the cut scenes pretty much look like real-life.

Look at the S2 engine. Now, this is ONE BUGGY APP. However, it looks gorgeous, is incredibly affordable and has everything you'd ever need to make a windows-based game. It has a integrated cut scene editor (but not sure about lip sync) and just about everything else. Too bad it crashes minute by minute. GG is far more stable.

For GG, all you really need is the ability to record the movements of everything in the scene to a clip - you PLAY the scene and layer and edit the clips till you have a finished scene. Not really a full-featured video editing program - just a way to record the movements going on and have an integrated lip sync editor as well as a way to layer and move the recorded clips around.

If I were Lee, I would delegate out a editor like this and have an API so a programmer like myself or someone better than me can create the editor and then ATTACH it to GG through the API. Like Unity, editor assets make it more powerful and the power of the many far outweigh the power of the few. In other words, Lee can only do so much. By allowing others to create editor enhancements through a integrated API middleware, things like a cut scene editor can be created by others and then sold as a asset for GG. Others are doing things like shaders, models, music and sound effects - why not editor extensions?

Mike
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rolfy
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2017 23:06
Quote: "If I were Lee, I would delegate out a editor like this and have an API so a programmer like myself or someone better than me can create the editor and then ATTACH it to GG through the API. Like Unity, editor assets make it more powerful and the power of the many far outweigh the power of the few. In other words, Lee can only do so much. By allowing others to create editor enhancements through a integrated API middleware, things like a cut scene editor can be created by others and then sold as a asset for GG. Others are doing things like shaders, models, music and sound effects - why not editor extensions?"
As you say this works really well for Unity and Unreal where core support and upgrades are enhanced by user programming and scripting. There is no need to keep it all 'in-house' when they can sell add-ons and plug ins in their stores.
Of course there should be a basic functionality for every 'feature but the good stuff with extra bells and whistles or even improvements is found on their asset stores.
cybernescence
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2017 23:11
Quote: "And for those that say a cut scene editor is unnecessary, play some games. THEY ALL HAVE CUT SCENES"


Wow
granada
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Posted: 23rd Jun 2017 23:24
Quote: "Quote: "And for those that say a cut scene editor is unnecessary, play some games. THEY ALL HAVE CUT SCENES""


They do but most of them are overplayed now,I find I am waiting for the option to skip pop up.a lot of games are padded out with to many cut scenes now.

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World Class Multimedia
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Posted: 24th Jun 2017 02:53 Edited at: 24th Jun 2017 02:54
While I agree with you that some cut scenes can be over-long when you just want to get into the action (I find this to be very true with Japanese games like Mario titles - where you have to sit and sit and sit with no chance of skipping it - grrrrr), in the case of some of our games, they are 100% necessary because we are creating books that you play. In many cases, we require cut-scenes to guide the player or advance the story-line.

Mike
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Teabone
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Posted: 14th Jul 2017 22:42
Quote: "Wow i didn't know FPSC had this feature. "


There are tons of features in FPSC that are not in Game Guru; "yet?"
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Posted: 12th Sep 2017 20:34 Edited at: 12th Sep 2017 23:28
I agree the lack of 'lip synche' makes it difficult to do some things (voicing NPCs with static faces is worse imho than just doing text) but heres how how I am attempting to tackle this.

Theres a program called 'crazy talk' I picked up which handles this for anything you import although it needs to be set up first. My solution (now, ive only played with this in the most basic way- enough to understand this should work in
theory but have no idea how the execution will actually be) is to create and voice the NPCs using this, then import screenshots of the heads into character creator so the NPCs have the same head in the cutscene and in the actual game- Then create a video of the talking parts and insert it that way.

Not sure if that makes sense and I know it involves third party software but ive gotten some really decent results just messing with it for a few hours (to see if its possible to do this) and I think with some trial and error and time spent , this will be the solution.

Once you have the animation and voicework done, then edit the video using whatever video software and import it into your game.

This way, voiced parts can be fully animated right down to facial expressions and it just acts as a quick cutscene.

I never saved any of my work doing this because it was just for testing to see if it was worth picking up crazytalk and I think with some work , this is the best solution and can look fantastic.

Quote: "As you say this works really well for Unity and Unreal where core support and upgrades are enhanced by user programming and scripting. There is no need to keep it all 'in-house' when they can sell add-ons and plug ins in their stores.
Of course there should be a basic functionality for every 'feature but the good stuff with extra bells and whistles or even improvements is found on their asset stores."


I really, really agree with this-

I want to see the store really take off because tbh its a selling feature of the program itself and allows you guys with talent for scripting and creating things to make some cash while leaving the developer to focus on more important things-
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