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Using Scene Reblocker

Scene Reblocker by DCModding (now closed)


Scene Reblocker

What does it do?

Makes simple adjustment to the scene files found in The Movies Game. These files have the extension: (.FLM). You can find them in the data/scene/interactions folder. If you have never made or installed a custom scene before then most likely you do not have these folders in your Movies Game installation. They are there but locked away in the .PAK files. .PAK files are compression files, containers for all the meat that is the Movies Game. If you install something into the game, the game will first look for it in the physical folders. Not finding anything there it will divert back to the stuff in the .pak files. Using MED (The Movies Editor) you can peer inside the .pak files and see what really is in the data folder. You will need to use MED to extract some .FLM files and save them (or just one, you decide) to a workspace folder.

The .FLM files are arranged in a specific order. In the interactions folder you will find about 50 or so subfolders. These subfolders are for the SETS found in the game. And each .FLM file you find in them are scenes that will appear on that set only. Here is a list of set numbers for the scenes:

01 LANDSCAPE_ALIENPLANET.INI 
01 LANDSCAPE_BATTLEFIELD.INI 
01 LANDSCAPE_DESERT.INI 
01 LANDSCAPE_FIELD.INI 
01 LANDSCAPE_FOREST.INI 
01 LANDSCAPE_JUNGLE.INI 
02 ALLEYWAY.INI 
03 BAR.INI 
04 ROOFTOP.INI
05 OFFICE.INI 
06 CITYCORRIDOR.INI
07 HOTELBEDROOM.INI 
07 HOTELBEDROOM_SHABBY.INI 
08 DINER.INI 
09 MUNICIPAL.INI
10 SCHOOLCORRIDOR.INI
11 SCHOOLLIBRARY.INI 
12 SUBURBANSTREET.INI 
13 LIVINGROOM.INI 
13 LIVINGROOM_MODERN.INI
14 BATHROOM.INI 
14 BATHROOM_30S.INI 
15 CITYSTREET.INI 
15 CITYSTREET_COMMERCIAL.INI
16 BARRACKS.INI 
17 BOMBEDSTREET.INI 
18 STAGE.INI 
19 SUBWAYCARRIAGE.INI
20 SUBWAYSTATION.INI 
21 BEACH.INI 
22 BRIDGETZ1.INI 
23 BRIDGETZ2.INI 
23 BRIDGETZ3.INI 
25 CORRIDORTZ1.INI 
25 CORRIDORTZ2.INI 
25 CORRIDORTZ3.INI 
25 CORRIDORTZ3_V2.INI 
25 CORRIDORTZ4.INI 
27 GravEYARD.INI 
28 SHACKEXTERIOR.INI
29 SHACKINTERIOR.INI 
30 CELLARINTERIOR.INI 
31 BANK.INI 
31 BANKWW.INI 
32 SALOON.INI 
33 SALOOBEDROOM.INI
34 JAIL.INI 
34 JAIL_MODERN.INI
35 WWSTREET.INI 
36 STAGECOACH.INI
37 CAR.INI 
38 ROOFSECTION.INI
40 GREENSCREEN.INI
41 BLUE_SCREEN.INI 
42 MUNICIPAL_RECEPTION.INI 
44 BRIDGE_VARIATION.INI 
45 MINCITY.INI 
46 MINCITY_DESTROYED.INI
47 SCROLLING_MINIATURE.INI

48 is the tarison house mod extra scenes (downloads from a site that is no longer)

Tip: You can extract all scene files using MED (Movies Editor) from the pak files so that you never have to again in order to make a new scene. You will have them all in a workspace area (but don't extract them to MED's workspace folder because every time MED fires up, it will search through every file in that folder and take forever. There are almost ten thousand scenes in The Movies Game. And with sister .ini files that is well over twenty thousand files MED would have to dig through. So extract your scene files to another location. Or just extract the scene files you want to edit. Up to you.

So whatever scene you decide to make, or adjust, you will have to make sure it is in the right folder. All the landscape scenes are found in subfolder 001. So if you take the 001_ego_walk.flm file and make adjustments to it, be sure to save the altered version in the same 001 subfolder. Thatís only part of making new scenes; You will have to make another file to let the game know a new scene exist. Every scene file has a sister file. A identically named .ini file. These file are located in the data/scene subfolder and there you will also find 50 or so more sub-folders. Also numbered for what set they are to appear on. A trick you could do is copy a .ini file from one set and paste it into another numbered subfolder and that scene would also appear on another set. Drawback of doing it that way is scenes are designed to match the whereabouts of only the set they appear on. So if you copy one from another and then load it in the game, you may find the actors inside the backdrop or way off to the side and not even on the set. There is a better way. Make a duplicate scene that you rename (so as not to overwrite an old scene) and then use Scene Reblocker to adjust where the scene fits on the set.

Analogy: The scene is like a hand, and the set is like a glove. But the hand must be directed into the glove for the glove to fit. Otherwise you will have an OJ Simpson scenario. It just wont fit. And that is the benefit of using Scene Reblocker.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you copy a large area scene from the wild west set to the very small stage set, it will never fit. No matter where you move it. Because the mopaths are for very long distances and the stage set is very small. That is a true OJ Simpson case where no matter how you try, the glove just doesn't fit. Case dismissed. Don't make scenes that won't work, instead think about the scene you want to make first. Will it work on the set you want it on? A horse riding scene will work right in a diner set (if you position it right) but several horse riders will not work because being side by side, a horse and rider will walk right through the tables or walls. You wouldn't want that.

Here is when you know you need a new scene. Say you make a new set, I made a waterfall set that uses the landscape scenes, subfolder 001. Now in the movie I wanted the actress to shower under the falling water. So I needed a showering scene from the bathrooms. Bathroom scenes are subfolder 014. I copied the 014_shower_wash.flm and renamed it to something like 001_0_showering.flm. By renaming it, I make sure it does not overwrite the original 014_shower_wash.flm in subfolder 014. What would happen if you did not rename a .flm file from another subfolder? Even being in another subfolder, an .flm file will still overwrite it. You could put this file in the scene/interactions folder and not a numbered folder and the game will still call it. We never want to do that. So always rename custom scenes. After I made the copy and put it in subfolder 001, I navigated to the .ini subfolder and found this file: 014_shower_wash.ini. Notice the (.ini) is not (.flm). It is a different kind of file. This one tells the game a scene file exist and where it can be found. Being in subfolder 014 it will be found in bathroom sets. Instead of copying this file, I opened it with notepad and made some adjustments. And after the adjustments I saved it with a new name in the landscape subfolder 001. Not overwriting the original and having it be in another folder. And the name is identicle to the new .flm file I made.

The top portion is what I changed:

	name = scene_showerwash
	sisname = showerwash
	interaction = 014_shower_wash.flm
	description = scene_desc_showerwash
	numsliders = 1.00
	runtime = 149

The figure that says interaction = 014_shower_wash.flm tells the game what .flm file to call when this scene is selected. I made a custom scene of showering under a waterfall, and renamed it to: 001_0_showering.flm. So I altered the above figure to say: interaction = 001_0_showering.flm

Here is another tip to renaming scenes. It doesn't apply if you invented a new set subfolder, but if you add a new scene to an existing set subfolder, and if you want to find the new scene in the game easily, you can add a zero in front of the name. The first part of the name is the set the scene is found in. 014_ is for bathrooms. 001_ is for landscape sets. In my example, you could have renamed the scene to 001_showering.flm. And that would have been fine. But I wanted to have the scene show up first in custom script house, instead of scrolling all the way down for it. You can also use the search if you can't find your scene (provided you edited the system names). I added the zero to make the scene show up first. It doesn't matter if the .flm has the zero, it only matters if the .ini file has the zero in the name to show up first. But I keep both the .flm and the .ini file's names identical as possible. And be sure if you add a zero in the name, to also do so inside the .ini opened in Notepad. exm: interaction = 001_0_showering.flm

You cane edit the system names too. Look at Rysto's Rifle Warfare Scene.

	name = Rysto Rifle Warfare
	sisname = Rysto Rifle Warfare
	interaction = 048 Rysto Rifle Warfare.flm
	description = Rysto Rifle Warfare
	numsliders = 4.00
	runtime = 237

The first four lines are changed. All you have to do is change the third field for the .flm call. But you can edit the system names too. Before you get fancy, you may just want to get acquainted first with Scene Reblocker. It is enough to just change the interaction field.

When opening Scene Reblocker, a small window pops up with several tabs to click on. The default tab is where the load button is. You would load (browse through the folders) to find the 001_ego_walk.flm you extracted.

The next tab is details. Just the basic facts. These details are more important in another .flm editing program called film reader zero. It is the real deal but you will have to familiarize yourself with the interface. Real scene editing takes place there. The great benefit of Reblocker is that it is quick and easy and a lot of the time we just need a duplicate scene from one set to another. Or the same scene on the same set but in a different location or different direction of walking (mopath). Often after finishing a new scene with FLMreaderZero, I will use scene reblocker to position it. And every camera's zheight :) .

Another fantastic bonus is we can edit a scene while playing the game. WooHoo! This really is the only way to see the results of what we are editing in these programs. Any adjustment made to a .FLM file will be automatically updated to the game engine. So in custom script writing house, after selecting your new scene, see where this new scene appears on the set. Now you may not like where it is so now you want to change where the scene is or where it is going on the set. While the game is still running, switch to Scene Reblocker. The last four tabs are for moving and changing the appearance of a scene. Transpose moves a scene forward and backward, or Left and right. You see two figures: X and Y. These are two points in 3D space. The third point in 3D space is zhieght, which is the next tab in Scene Reblocker. More about zheight in a minute.

There are two ways to transpose a scene across a set. First by watching it in the game as you make little adjustments (The lazy way), or you can use a method suggested by Rysto. His method is you place an object on the set where the actor is at before you make any adjustments to it. Then save the set dressing as "Where scene begins". Get rid of this object and then place another object on the set where you actually want the actor/actress to be at. Save this setdressing as "Where it should be". Then go to the documents folder and find the subfolder setdressings. Then open these files and you can see the X and Y locations for each. If x is at 7.232 and the new x is at 3.56 then subtract 3.56 from 7.232 and the final figure is how much you should transpose X in Scene Reblocker. Same with Y. Now if in subtracting you end up going past the zero center, meaning it was 3.4 now it is -4.6 then just add 4.6 to 3.4 and you get 8. Transpose the scene by 8 or -8. Why does this happen? Each location, whether for animations, .FLM files or sets, each has a center. The center location is 0 by 0. Animation centers don't match the other centers so you won't have to worry about animation centers. (that is another tutorial). You can then go into negative numbers if the transpose is long enough. Or if you were already in a negative figure, you can end up into the positive figures.

If you don't like math, you can still use reblocker the lazy way. You won't really need this math unless you use FLMReader Zero. Math is key then but Scene Reblocker allows you to just enter a figure and watch it adjust. When you edit enough scenes you begin to know how long 'one' is or '0.5' is. I think someone made a ruler prop that you could position on the set and know how much.

So here is how to make a transpose. Pick one figure first, x or y. Then enter a number amount. Then hit the transpose. Go to the first tab called 'Scene file' and hit the button save transpose. Go back to transpose tab and enter real quick a zero in place of the number you just entered. It doesn't clear automatically and chances are you are not done yet with transposing. Just keep in mind that if you changed Y next and didn't clear out X then X will continue to move as well. It doesn't clear out in case you forgot what how much you changed it and want to go back and see.

After saving the transpose go back to the game and make a double of your scene in custom script house. Or just select the same scene again from scene selector. When the new scene is loaded, the changes show up. The actors are at a new spot. Extras do not change because being interchangeable with other scenes, they are actually different .flm files. You can load and move Extras as well in Scene Reblocker. But you would have to use FLMReader to have new extras show up in new scenes. That is for another tutorial.

When you enter an amount in the X or Y fields, they can be either negative or positive values. If you entered a positive value and the scene went in the wrong direction, then next enter a negative figure, say -5.0.

Now what if the Scene is facing the wrong direction? The scene walks in a right to left position but you want it to move in a diagonal direction. Often, before you even change the X and Y location values, you may want to rotate the scene. Hit the 'Rotation' tab. The first field is all you need. By degrees. 90 Degrees is a complete turn. 180 degrees flips it around completely. You can also enter negative values, -90 degrees. Once the scene is facing the right direction, then you will have a better idea of how much to transpose the scene.

You may notice that above, where the tabs are, are tiny arrows. This selects more tabs. Which revealed for me the "Flip" tab. I haven't experimented with these much. Since the other tools do what anybody needs, it's not much needed. They do allow for more fine tuned adjustments (if you needed them). Because we can only make adjustments to scenes, and not actually build a brand new one, coming up with tricks and secrets is sometimes the only way to be inventive.

Each time you save a transpose, the program is done with the file. To make another adjustment, you have to load the file again. Then make another adjustment, then save it again. And repeat until the scene is how you want it to appear.

Of course every time you make an adjustment, be sure to clear that field back to zero before loading the file again and making another adjustment.

Zhight

X and Y are two points in 3D space, forward to backward, leftward to rightward. The third being Up to down. This is zheight. A set accommodates for how high an actor appears on it. The stairs, for instance, has an object we can see in Blender which tells how high an actor or actress is during a scene. But not always. In some instances, the .flm file tells the actor or actress how high it is to appear. Changing this doesn't work all the time. I believe the .flm must be a certain kind for this to work. One that looks not to the set for the zheight, but for the zhieght in a scene. Maybe the buggy driver in wild west scenes? Since the buggy is called as a prop is, the driver may not use the set's zhieght. Or the buggy may have a control object in another layer, only seen in Blender 3D. I don't know. But if that driver uses .FLM zheight, then you may be able to adjust it. Or not.

I do not use the zhieght tab portion for actors and actresses anyways. I use it for something else very handy. The cameras. In FLM Reader Zero, there is a convenient grid of all the items found in the .FLM file. Cameras are one of them. If you add a new scene to a custom set, and the actors are found at a new zheight then the original scene did, the cameras are focused above their heads, or below their heads, or no longer where you need them. In FLM Reader Zero you can change the position of a camera, even roll it or move it. But you would have to do it for every single camera object. And there can be up to 20 or 30 in a single scene. Scene Reblocker to the rescue.

In Zheight, you have two options: transpose or set. If you hit set, then every single item in the .FLM file will move upwards or downwards. And if actors do not in the .FLM file you are editing then Bingo!!! Now we can move the cameras up and not have the actors or actresses move. It's a faster way to move all the cameras at once.

That's it I guess. I made a video showing how to do it and will add a link here. Hope this was helpful.

-sm