Sony Vegas and WoW Machinima questions

Any Sony Vegas experts (or even proficient users) and/or WoW machinima makers out there?

I’ve got an idea for a WoW machinima music video I want to make. I looked up some of the Machinima 101 stuff, which indicated that I should get Fraps and that many machinima makers use Sony Vegas because it’s fairly easy to use and has a lot of capabilities. Okay, cool. So I got Fraps and Sony Vegas Pro 9, and loaded them up.

I’ve been playing around with it for awhile and I’m definitely impressed–I can see the possibilities here, but it’s frustrating me that I can’t seem to figure out a couple of things and the manual isn’t much help. So I figured I’d take my questions to you knowledgeable Dopers out there and hope for the best.

Vegas questions:

My #1 with a bullet question: How do you deal with cutting clips in the Trimmer so you can actually tell what you’re doing? I understand about copying a clip into the Trimmer and then using the markers to indicate which part you want to clip out, but it doesn’t seem very precise. The things I want to trim out are very short (they’ll be quick jump cuts–maybe a second or less each) but I can’t figure out how to “zoom in” to the original clip so I can see what I’m clipping.

  1. Why is it that when I grab a new Fraps clip and put it in the same directory as all the others, Vegas doesn’t recognize it and show it to me in the Explorer until I shut it down and start it back up? Is there an easier way to make it recognize the clip?

  2. How do you cut a clip in two pieces so you can insert a smaller (jump cut) clip in between them? Or is that even the right way to do it?

Machinima question:

How do I get rid of things like the names of the NPCs when they’re selected, the “targeting circles” for spells, and the numbers showing the damage the character does when he hits something? Alt-Z gets rid of the UI and Interface options can get rid of names of non-targeted characters, but as soon as I target somebody, his name shows up and kind of ruins the mood. Ditto targeting circles and spell numbers: blizzard spells don’t look nearly as cool when they’re preceded by a big green circle on the ground and accompanied by a bunch of yellow numbers jumping around the screen. :slight_smile:
I’ll probably have more questions later, but those are the big ones for now. My video is pretty simple, but I need to be able to do a couple of more advanced things to make it look good. It’s the story of the character in the here-and-now (in all his level 80 fully raid geared glory) going back to get revenge on some people that treated him badly in his “youth”–so I want to use the grainy, jittery “old film” effect to put in quick jump-cut flashbacks to the past scenes while he goes through the place laying waste to everything around him.

You can turn off nameplates and scrolling combat text in the Interface tab of your Settings. Click on the “computer” button on your menubar and go into Interface. Display has some settings you can shut off and Combat Display has the settings to turn off combat text. Look around in there…I’m not sure if you can turn off the targeting circles.

I did that. The problem is, it doesn’t turn off the targeting circles, the numbers, or the little red circle and nameplate that appear on a mob when you select it. I basically turned off anything that was “Display This” in the Interfaces setting, but these still remained.

It would be a lot easier if the WoW Model Viewer was still working, but I can’t get it to work for me (I get errors when I try to run it).

I asked this question before on target names, two mods you should get (well, one you can get the other one you’re programming yourself gasp!).

  1. Look up Camera Plus on Curse, It allows you to set the max zoom distance, bind keys to the camera (I personally use ctrl+alt+shift+<key> for basic panning controls but I have a nonstandard mouse with buttons that make this possible), and set the speed of rotation when using the bound keys. It also lets you bind a key (I use ctrl+F1 I think) for “film environment” it lets you set what you want to show. This makes it so you can turn off the UI names etc and turn them back on via a toggle key rather than monkeying with your interface all the time (think of it like “alt+z plus”).

  2. Making target names disappear is a little trickier, there’s no interface option for this, the only way to do this is to make an addon that essentially sets the font to something that doesn’t exist. One warning, when you log out or exit the game it will “crash” due to some sort of handling of the addon it does. Don’t worry, this isn’t destructive and you can ignore the error box and the request to describe the problem. The only way to get rid of this bug is to move the addon to the disabled addons folder (while WoW is closed of course), though that’s not fixing it so much as not using it at all.

To make this addon make a folder in the ~\World of Warcraft\Interface\AddOns\ called “notext” (no quotes of course). In this folder create two new files:

Open the table of contents (.toc) file in notepad. Write the following (or copy/paste).

Interface: 30000

Title: NoText

Notes: For movie makers who want absolutely no text on their screen

Author: <You Name>


In case you care, you’re basically just telling WoW this addon is meant for patch 3.0.0 (we’re technically on 3.0.9, but only the first two numbers are significant), when we get to patch 3.1 if you’re still doing machinima you’re going to want to go into the addon and change it to “30100”, at 3.2 “30200” et cetera. Title is what it will show up as under the “load addons” menu (and in Khaos if you use it), Notes is just a comment on what it does, Author is self explanatory. the “notext.lua” part is probably the most important it tells the game what file(s) to look at when loading the addon, i.e. the ACTUAL addon itself.

Save this file, close it open notext.lua.

Write/copy+paste the following:

Of course, NO_FONT doesn’t exist, hence the error on exit, it technically will still display the names, the characters it uses just happen to add up to “” (an empty string, i.e. nothing). Go into WoW, load the addon and you won’t get that pesky target name font. Remember though, if you want/need to see it you have to close WoW and move the addon, this is a very basic addon and it can’t be unloaded, even using /console reloadui with Cosmos.

Oh, I should also mention that if you have it in your budget for a Mac, the Mac install of WoW actually has a recording mode that negates the need for fraps or anything, you can have the interface up and tell it what to actually record, since it handles it internally it doesn’t matter what’s on the screen so you can target everything type stuff and whatnot and it won’t show up.

It’s an expensive solution (enough so that I wouldn’t take it), but probably the best of the lot because you don’t cripple any gameplay elements while filming but get the luxury of not showing the technical stuff.

I actually have a Mac Pro…though it isn’t currently upgraded to WotLK and doing so will be a long and annoying process. If I can manage to do this on my PC, I’d prefer to. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the NO_FONT thing, though–I’m very scared of messing up my WoW, since I’m a raider and wouldn’t want to miss any raids due to mucking things up trying to make machinima. :slight_smile:

I think this will get more attention in the Game Room. I’ll move it there from General Questions.

General Questions Moderator

  1. Check at the top of the trimmer box, there’s zoom in and zoom out buttons there.

  2. Never had that problem, so I can’t help you there.

  3. Been a while…I think there’s a split button somewhere on the interface (below the timelines, most likely), so if something is on the timeline you can cut a clip in two and handle them independently. I haven’t done any editing in a while, though, so I may need to get back to you on that one.

Nothing will break, in fact it’s the easiest thing to undo in the world. Just cut the “notext” folder and paste it in the “Disabled AddOns” folder, boom everything is back to normal. The crash doesn’t do anything, I’ve had it happen to me many times, nothing has ever happened and since it’s mad at your client’s text handling, not your character nothing you own is in any danger.