My foray into proper HL video making: Half-Life Todesangst speedrun in 8:28


An editing test that turned into one of my most obsessive projects.

Made in 65 segments and edited using Sony Vegas.

Watch on YouTube

Please watch the 60FPS version as well, where the fruit of my efforts is best noticeable.

The speedrun itself is “meh”, at best. Poorly performed and I barely gave a fuck about it. Why do I say this? well I spend only 23 hours making this run, but I spent roughly 140 hours on editing the video. I spent two entire nights awoke making this.

I didn’t make this video just for the speedrun, **I made this because I tried my hardest to learn how to avoid audio/video cut-offs when transitioning between segments. **

An ideal Half-Life segmented-speedrun movie should look like a Single-segment one, with no transitions/cut-offs in sight, but sadly I didn’t succeed, because:

  1. I used a flawed save script that was prone to causing view-angle shifting before starting to record.

  2. There are two places where the audio is desynchronized due to mistakes while trimming the audio samples.

  3. The “turned on flashlight” sprite that I masked in the HUD is completely static. I could have fixed it by recording myself with the flashlight turned on for a few minutes and masking the clip above the HUD, but by the time I realized this the run was already uploaded.

  4. The crosshair disappears during chapter changes because I removed the original chapter titles which were in the center of the screen.

Images of the Vegas project and some information on them and my suffering below:
[spoiler][center][/center]I handled every viewmodel glitch (in playdemo there’s always one frame that has a missing viewmodel, at least for me) by recording the first frames of demos with only the viewmodel visible and then chroma-keying them, I recorded some entire clips with their viewmodel separate to fix two weapon ‘draw’ animations when switching to them that were cut out in order to make the transition not obvious.

I masked and fixed the flashlight icon resetting on transitions using a BMP file, and thus it’s static for the rest of the chapter.

I also removed the Green barney’s (aka “Joe” in the game files) speech and re-added it to make it louder, which is why you won’t see him move his mouth at all.

I added music and the full HEV log-on speech because I can. :^)[center]
[/center]I hated editing this chapter because I had issues with the Chroma Key FX, because it removed all the shades of green in my revolver, which made it look awfully purple and hideous. I managed to circunvent this issue using the Secondary Color Corrector, to remove the pure green which worked beautifully, except that I had to turn off anti-aliasing for it to work ;_;

I originally used playdemo, but I was forced to re-record thanks to the issue above (before discovering the SCC thingy). Afterwards, I found out that viewdemo doesn’t cut off the viewmodel at the very beginning of the demo and it works pretty smooth, but it has some exceptions and replaces the viewmodel with another.

I learned while making this one that recording the sounds separately using viewdemo is by far the best way to fix audio cut-offs, because viewdemo doesn’t disconnect you from the game when the demo ends. After learning this I fixed a few audio transitions in the previous project, which originally had a few cut-offs that I couldn’t fix.

After learning the power of viewdemo, I hated this chapter even more because apparently HLAE is very prone to crashing after demo playback on viewdemo.
[/center]I used only playdemo this time because of the issue above with viewdemo and it was already pissing me off.

From segment 48 onwards the demos are glitched and thus I had to record the viewmodel separately using fov 120. :confused:

I also discovered the magic of parent/child compositing, and unlike in the previous projects, I used a solid color to mask out the flashlight so I didn’t have to mask every single HUD stream manually.

All in all, it was very stressful to make this but I learned so much during it, after all that was the purpose of this, education.

Enjoy. Arianon out.


Editing is just flawless. I think its immpossible to do any better. Even if its possible, its just not necessary. I watched it twice and noticed only one cut (blood textures in the elevator) and only because i was searching for those cuts. Usually, the editing is the last thing i give shit about.

Except of this abomination.

After watching this even my run editing look perfect

The speedrun is “meh” because of the mod itself. No gauss, no nades, no objects to boost - just a big bunnyhop map with some enemies.
Ichthyosaur trick made this run. Worth to mention, that this run is faster than Quads one.

  1. Thanks for the compliment, but I can notice at least 30% of them.

  2. That “speedrun” gave me cancer.

  3. It’s sorta meh because the execution wasn’t flawless, though.


Is it really necessary to have chromakeyed weapons? Just so they don’t twitch during levelchange/segment?
Scratch that. I’m blind, apparently.
Anyway, great job on editing. Whole 140 hours of work just to produce 8 minute video is just mental. Especially in Vegas, which can crash at any moment.

What the holy fuck is this? Why is it so… Edgy? Missing frames? Thanks Zezima, made my night.


Arianon, what HLAE (I assume you used HLAE) effects did you use to get the weapons chroma keyed?
also, did doing that mean that say during .01 segments the weapon wouldnt be glitched?


Thanks. Also, FUCK VEGAS, it crashed about a thousand times while making this, and it rendered messed up videos like dozens of times (artifacts and clips that didn’t get rendered at all into the video). I’m going to learn how to use Adobe Premiere.

I used: mirv_movie_splitstreams 2 mirv_movie_entities add 1 mirv_matte_setcolor 0 255 0

“mirv_movie_splitstreams 2” records ONLY the entity stream, in which the viewmodel is included, however: this also records NPCs, particles, debris, explosions and what not, so I used “mirv_matte_entities add 1”, which makes the game output only the playermodel (I think) in the entity the stream, and since the playermodel isn’t ever seen at all except in third person footage, it doesn’t output anything but one thing that can’t be hidden using mirv_matte_entites: the viewmodel.

The “mirv_matte_setcolor 0 255 0” command outputs a pure green color where the World stream should be, it is very necessary that if you’re encoding this stream to a lossless codec, do it in a RGB colorspace because YUV makes the green a bit less “green”, and thus the chroma-keying/color replacing won’t work properly.

To record the world, I just used:

And recorded everything else that wasn’t the viewmodel, because it was explicitly hidden.

By the way, I don’t know what you mean by “during .01 [seconds] segments the weapon wouldn’t be glitched”, because I didn’t use those. But if you mean that said segments could be fixed using that method (plus some host_framerate magic), then yes, you can.


by .01 segments I meant like fast fire segments
also thanks for the commands


As I said, I haven’t tested those. However, I’ll test it in a few hours so I’ll report back later and tell you my results.


After about two months of me using Vegas it crashed probably only once. And I moved to it FROM Premiere and not planning to come back (unless something weird like what you describe starts happening) because of some stuff that it does better than Premiere.


You never know why and when it’s going to crash. It can happen just by placing text on the timeline, or adjusting zoom/rotation/focus/camera thingy. I forgot what it’s called.

You probably used it wrong. And what Vegas does better than Premiere? Because I also want to switch to other editing software.


Well, for one thing it allows to place the audio tracks between the frames. I don’t understand the reason behind having to stick audio tracks to frame borders in Adobe products. Secondly, it works considerably faster than Premiere. Thirdly, it has a fullscreen preview thingy (perhaps that exists in Premiere as well, idk). Four - it allows me to export Lagarith AVIs without any extra hassle. When I tried to do that in Premiere, it required me to set some awkward settings and in the end desynced the audio.


Looks like Sony Vegas is a necessary evil, then. That sucks.

Although perhaps it could be Vegas 13 being shitty, so I’ll try rolling back to Vegas 12.


Using 13 for PDI. No crashes, everything works perfectly.


You certainly don’t have to “stick” audio tracks to borders, just turn off “Snap” by pushing the button or pressing S.

I would imagine that this changes from computer to computer, as we clearly see that Arianon has a way worse time using Vegas than you do.

Of course Premiere has that as well, what kind of editing software (used widely on a professional level) wouldn’t? Upper right corner in the monitor window, select “Maximize frame” in the drop-down menu. There’s also a shortcut command for it but on Swedish keyboards it’s Shift+Ö so I don’t know what others use.

I’m really not a codec expert but I’m sure that those “awkward” settings were what desynced your audio.


Thanks for explanations, but those awkward settings were in no relation to audio and I have no idea why it desynced there. That was a 120-fps video and Lagarith is a lossless codec.


Commenting on the run itself, 5:00 was very creative (using the itchyosaur). Well done.


Lol everyone is congratulating me for that trick, the fact of the matter is that quadrazid was the one who discovered that, he used it in his run! :stuck_out_tongue: