Final video editing talk


Post your suggestions and questions about the final video of DWaHMoV.

I have one question to you guys:
What font and color should I use for the runner names?


I’d just use the standard HL2 font.


There is a utility in HL2’s demo viewer to add text messages which are rendered by the engine which in turn would allow for a seamless integration of the player name into the HUD. Everything you add from a video editing program will always be clearly distinguishable from what the engine displays, even if you use the correct font and font size. This is due to the way text is blended with the background in-game. I for one have not been able to mimic the behaviour adequately. Using the demo editor would also give you the ability to apply subtle effects (like text scan or blur) to the text whenever the player name changes, cf. weapon change animations.

All that being said, I was never actually able to get the text to show up. Either the demo editor has been broken ever since its introduction into the demo viewer or I’m just not using it properly. In either case, here’s some more information about it. What would make this method especially interesting would be the minimal effort involved. You basically set this whole text animation/displaying thing up once. The information is then saved alongside demos in a separate text file (same name as the demo, but with a .vdm extension) which the demo viewer checks for when playing a demo. That means you only had to copy this text file for every demo and only change the player name.

This would be the ideal way to display player names in my opinion. In case you don’t get it to work, either, I suggest emailing some of Valve’s employees about it to hear if it’s in fact a broken feature. At least I got useful feedback from some of them when I was working on blamod and had problems I couldn’t figure out on my own. As a last resort, I could offer you to write up a tiny mod that renders the text for us. I would definitely prefer this to using text overlay added to the video via post-processing.

Just my two cents. After all, I’m not really actively involved in the run so ultimately the decision should be up to you. Cheers.


Ooh, I’ve read a bit about the demo editing tools, never really played around with them much. Maybe I’ll have a fiddle around with it.


Silly question of the year 2013.

CZF, we were stupid and now there’s a big FOV jump from 75 to 90 between one of the demos. Is it possible to change the 75 FOV demos to be 90 FOV?


Can’t you just force the FOV through a console command. Alternatively, I’ve noticed a problem with my game; whenever I try to change the FOV, the screen stays the same, and the viewmodels zoom in, anyone else have this problem?


Oh yeah, I’ve read about the FOV issue in the google spreadsheet. I guess FOV is always reset when you start playing a demo, isn’t it? Can you pause right after starting the demo playback and then change it?

According to the link I posted changing the FOV is one of the things the demo editor should allow you to do. So give that a try. Again, if the demo editor won’t work as expected (or at all) I’d be happy to have a go at a small mod to fix these kinds of issues. That is if a vanilla orange box mod of HL2 will be able to play the demos you recorded so far to begin with; this was not the case when I tried a similar thing for EP2.


I would really like to see this demo editor in action myself, if you wouldn’t mind making that mod. I think we can all agree that the ingame text would be better than an overlay.


you’re not changing through console are you?


Another iffy spot is the “clickclack” sound between segments.

Is there an easy way to circumvent that from happening just at the start? We still need the sound for when we pick up weapons and ammo.


I know RandomEngy did this in the videos for RaD and mimp, so it shouldn’t be too hard. I think you just have to replace the sound clip that plays with an empty sound file.


Thank you for a reply, CZF. I will play around with the demo viewer and see what I can do, but if you could really make a mod for recording demos, I would love you forever :smiley:

I already encountered a visible transition because of the small white credits that appear after GMans speech in the first map. Funny thing is, for some reason I can’t force the engine to run with the custom credits.txt and it just runs with default.
A mod would solve this problem and also - maybe it’s also possible to force the mod to display demos in FOV 90 all the time?

@Gocnak the ammo pickup issue is pretty much solved already.


For the EP2 clips I captured I always recorded the beginning of demos with the ammo pickup sound replaced by a blank one, in addition to using “hud_drawhistorytime 0” to avoid any item icons appearing on the HUD. Obviously, this is something I’d incorporate into a possible mod. On a related note I’d disable the HUD animations I mentioned before as well. They don’t really make sense in case of ammo and health, but for player names I could see it having a nice effect.

Also, why is it so hard to post on this site sometimes? I constantly get Error 403 pages :E


I think exec has mentioned that a few times too, but I’ve never seen it myself so I have no idea where to start looking to fix it :confused:


I just realized (again) that HL2 is running on the 2009 version of the source engine these days (protocol version 15). You can only create mods based on the source engine 2007, however, which is version 14. That’s pretty much a showstopper I’m sorry to say. Unless Valve actually releases the code base for the 2009 SDK as they promised for more than 3 years we’re stuck with all these annoying little post-processing steps to capture the run.


Oh well, most of the stuff is possible to do using the demo editor anyway.
Will TextMessageStart display a textbox like in your ep2_outland_01 video? Was it done using this command or the video editor? I didn’t see it in the other map videos…


Has anyone contacted Valve yet about these broken demo tools?

I’d do it myself, but I suck at properly writing a letter, nor do I have any knowledge about these demo tools.


This would at least confirm if some things are really broken or just not implemented. Personally, I think the latter is the case. I found a rather short discussion on the hlcoders mailing list about it which dates back to 2009 where the issue was already addressed. Four years later and nothing has changed, making it clear that the demo tools aren’t a real priority for Valve. It’s unfortunate that the code that handles the demo system is not part of the SDK. Then again it’s such a core (and rather technical) component, not many developers would have actual use for it anyway. But at least it’d give people who wanted to use it the chance to fix things on their own.

At least it should be possible to automate the capturing process a bit. I’ll have a look at this when I get home. Since I have another question in this regard which might require Valve’s input I’ll ask about the demo tools as well, just to confirm in case I do get an answer.


Now that we have SFM I don’t think they ever will be.


Alright, I’m done with VDM. Not going to use it, too much pain and with the video editor you can get even better results.

Could anyone explain how to force FOV? I’ve been trying to force fov 90 on 001 for a hour with no luck :confused: