Half-Life Animations

How you can do it

  1. Run Half-Life and bring down the console. Type startmovie movie. This tells it to start recording. I called it movie but you can name it whatever you'd like.
  2. Type endmovie to stop recording and quit Half-life (type exit or quit at the console). Whether you were playing Half-Life or a mod, the movie will always be saved to the Half-Life folder.
  3. Drag-n-drop the movie file onto mkmovie.exe. It will create .bmp files for each frame. It will give them the same name as the movie file, so if you'd like to have a different name, run it with the command line:
         mkmovie [-basename <.bmp name>]
  4. Load the bitmaps into Adobe Premiere or Fast Movie Processor. The recommended frames-per-second setting is 10 to 15, and recommended width and height is 320 x 240. Cinepak Codec is a popular compression codec, although uncompressed will always yield the best picture quality but also yield the largest file size. Test out different compression settings to see what you like.
  5. Save or render it as an .avi, .mov or whatever format you'd like.

Thanx to Michael "Spider" Morace from wavelength for that above infomation & mkmovie.exe.


How I do things

  1. Start Half-Life and load up the map you want to record. Then bring down the console. Type startmovie x. Where x is the name of your movie (upto eight letters works best).
  2. Run around and make your movie as desired, or load a pre-recorded Demo (play demoname)
  3. When your done recording type endmovie at the console, to halt the recording, and then Close down HL.
  4. Open up your Half-Life directory (default is C:\Sierra\Half-Life\) and find your movie (x). Now drag this file into mkmovie.exe and wait for it to do its business.
  5. Now open up Animation Shop (That comes with later versions of Paint Shot Pro)
  6. Click on the Animation wizard button on the toolbar (or click File-->Animation Wizard)
  7. If you want to force the size of you image to be what you want, rather than it's original size, click on the As defined here radio button, and define your values, I use 201x151. If you want the animation to be that same size as the original image (ie the reselution you run Half-Life at) then click the same size as the first image frame button.
    Dont panic yourself at this stage because if the image is too big, you can scale it down later on. However scaling it up can make the animation look distorted, so over scale your images to be safe
  8. Click Next >. Then click Next > again, as you wont have a background colour.
  9. Tick the box thats labled Scale frames to fit and the other options become more-or-less void. Click Next >
  10. Now choose whether you want your animation to play over and over, or just the once. On this screen you also choose the FPS (Frames per Second), well sort of. Set this to 10, and you'll be fine. click Next >
  11. Now you want to add your images. Click on the Add Image... button and find your images (they will be in the same directory as mkmovie.exe) and click on x0000 (remember x is the name of your movie) now hold Shift and click on your last image. All your images should now be highlighted. Click Open.
  12. All your images should be listed in the box. But you might have noticed that your first image is at the bottom, and your last image is at the top of the list.
  13. Now to sort this out click on the image x0000 and then click Remove Image (because this is a shot of the console, but always include it in step 9). Right, now highlight the last image (not the bottom one, the one with the highest number, which should be second in your list) and click on the Remove Image button, then add it again, thus adding it to the bottom of the list.
  14. When your done, and your images are in the right order, click Next > and then click Finish
  15. All you have to do now is click save (File-->Save As...) Thats it, it may seem longer than Spiders method, but I think it uses tools that everyone has, it's a step-by-step tutorial, and you also end up with a .gif file which you can put up on your web site, or have as part of you signature for e-mails and/or forum entries.

Tutorial written by Vitani

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