Various tips for a cinematic maker

Level 19
Sep 27, 2005
This tutorial is meant for beginners in the terms of WE cinematic making. This tutorial is meant to give you some good tips when making a cinematic.

A cinematic can be of two types:

  • A in game cinematic, where after the cinematic ends you play the map (campaign)
  • A cinematic map (a entire map is a cinematic, you don't play at all just watch)

Camera tips

  1. Be sure when creating a camera, give a name to it - it is very probable that when you will have many cameras and all named; camera 1,2,3 you will get lost.
  2. Placing cameras - be sure when placing a camera, that it doesn't sink into the ground - meaning you must not be able to see below the map.
  3. Using X command in WE. Press x while in WE. This is great, isn't it? Now you can see as if the cinematic mode is on. This can assure the cleannes of the cinematic.
  4. Using V command in WE. Press v while in WE. Now you are in game view mode, everything will appear like in the game. Pressing x and v will give you an actual ingame view without annoying testing every few minutes.
  5. Using preview camera motion. When you are creating dynamic, moving cameras, you often have to test it which gets annonying. Trigger editor has a good command that can allow you to see how the actual camera movement will be in game:

    • Camera - Apply Camera 001 <gen> for Player 1 (Red) over 30.00 seconds
    You will be able too see the movement of this camera or any other in your trigger (preview camera motion button is on the right center of the trigger editor. A trigger must have a camera movement for the button to appear.)
  6. Using the roll function - this is a good camera function, it can rotate the camera in a manner like this:

    Edit camera properties - Roll - experiment for different angles.
  7. Making dynamic cameras - it is always good that the scene is moving, it makes it more dynamic. A scene where the camera is at the same point the entire time is boring and static. If you have to center your camera on the same place for a longer amount of time, then just make two cameras, one close to another and apply one of them for 200 seconds. This will contribute to the dynamics. Also use fade out -- fade in with a different camera.
  8. Don't use too much sway shake camera - I have seen many cinematics with a loot of camera shaking - this is generally bad. It is good using it in small measures, but in big proportions it will give the viewer headache.

    • Camera - Shake the camera for Player 1 (Red) with magnitude 6.00
    • -------- This isn't good. Will give viewer headache. --------
    • Camera - Shake the camera for Player 1 (Red) with magnitude 1.50
    • -------- This is better. Go moderate on the shaking. --------

Terrain tips

  1. Don't forget, if you are making a cinematic only map - Illusion is the main word. You must create good illusions of things ( indoor, backgrounds ) that will make the viewer impressed. You must not forget that no one will play the map, just view it. So if you are making a scene in the city, don't create the entire city, just the small part where the scene shoots. Create a ilussion of the city. For indoor places, you can just use two walls and camera that doesn't go above them, it will give a indoor ilussion.
  2. Opposing to cinematic only maps, when you are making a map with a cinematic in it, and then you play the map, you need to make normal terrain, that is playable later.
  3. There is a major issue in one of the Blizzard models -> Trees - try importing custom trees for your cinematics, Blizzards trees suck ( no offence Blizzard )
  4. Making a dynamic background - like the cameras, the background of your scene is always good to be dynamic - Lets say if you are making a conversation scene in the city, and the camera is focused on two people talking - you should try to make:
    • Movement in the background ( people, animals )
    • Sky model ( always add a sky model for better background )
    • You can make a fire - a house is caught burning behind the two guys who are talking etc.
    • Use your imagination, this often makes cinematics special
  5. Proportions - I think many of you have notices that most models are somewhat out of proportions - a house size of a human, a human size of a tree. Well in cinematic only map it doesn't have to be that way. You can increase dodoads sizes, decrease units sizes making it more realistic.

Random tips

  1. Spell making - when you have a only cinematic map, you can make realy cool spells, using bunch of effects, controling unit animations, actualy doing pretty much any spell. However if it is a playable map, don't create a cinematic spell that isn't usable beacuse that is not realistic and won't turn out good.
  2. Weather effects - it is very important of creating a good atmosphere for the map, weather is an important part of it. If it is night, try fading in with dark filters, if it's storm try making lightings with fades out as in a real storm.
  3. Sound - making good sound atmosphere is by my opinion a 1/4 of a cinematic. The sound is a vital thing of a cinematic. As an example - when a horsmen rides add a ridding loop sound, if it rains add rain loop etc. Good music is the most important thing. You must control the music, fading it out in conversations, increasing the rhytm in the battle scenes, the music must follow the cinematic for the ultimate effect.
  4. Importing stuff - in general too much custom imported stuff, like sounds of skins, models, dodoads isn't very good. You must not cross the line when it is just too much. Try not to increase the maps size too much just by adding zounds of custom stuff. Several good used skins or models are generally enough for a good cinematic.
  5. If you are making a cinematic only map, don't make only one trigger for the main cinematic. I usually divide it into three or four triggers. If you have one huge trigger you will often find yourself lost in it.
  6. Good luck in making your cinematic! I will maybe add more tips over time.

Here are some cinematics that deserve your and anyones attention:

The links above lead to some non Hive Workshop sites.

Regards, bounty_hunter2

Note: I already submitted this tutorial over at Wc3C and PitzerMike just polished it a bit. I wrote it, but he arranged it to look nice :)
Here is the link anyway: Various tips for a cinematic maker - Wc3campaigns


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