A Guide to the Demo Tool Vol. 8: Easy Way to Chroma Key and Updated Graphics Menu

Not everybody who plays this game knows, but Neverwinter actually has a replay feature! It allows for capturing high quality screenshots or replaying the action of an entire dungeon boss fight. This series first teaches the basics and then goes on explaining some advanced stuff to create stunning demos.


Greetings fellow brothers and sisters,

after long hiatus I, mega reverend of the holy church of the demo tool, have blessed you once again with another part of my guide to eternal knowledge and wisdom. May your objects never flicker and may ugly world textures never ruin your paths. For the demo tool knows many paths. But always remember: “With great renderscale comes great disk storage use!”

Especially now in dark times of the visscale bug it is of outmost importance to remain faithful in our holy trinity: the F5 menu (praise be!), the camera path editor and the demolisher.

For they hold the power to create videos and screenshots of upvote-worthy quality. Hallowed is the demo tool. Amen.


The New F5 Menu

It’s fast, it’s fun and it gets shit done. Recently the F5 menu broke and we all got really sad but then Cryptic updated it (which was the reason it broke in the first place LUL) and everything was good.

The new F5 menu (praise be!) has received a visual update with new and better structured categories. It also learned a couple new tricks 😀 Most importantly it is back faster, better and stronger than before. More on a new functionality below.

Chroma Key

What is a Chroma Key? It is the basic concept of a greenscreen. You select a colour and then that colour becomes transparent. This is most useful for cutting out characters or objects so you can use them elsewhere (example Video of Seavia’s cut out toon).

Well how do you get stuff to be one colour only in the demo tool? Let’s say you want to cut out your toon. First you will want to press F5 while in a demo and disable all rendering but characters in the objects tab. Now the game only displays characters and NPCs. The only problem is that map instance has a different background color. Some are pitch black, which sucks to chroma key in.

So the next step is to temporarily change the sky of your demo to a different colour. We will do that via the SKY OVERRIDE COMMAND. You can either browse through skyboxes yourself in the F5 menu (praise be!) or enter it via command in the console: “SkyOverride X” where X stands for the operational sky box name.

Not all of them change background colour, some good examples are “Forest_test_Sky” (pale blue) or “Fog_Red_Heavy_01” (darkish red).

Only drawing characters and NPCs via the objects tab. Also the new F5 menu (praise be!)

“AWESOME”

This one is just outright weird. Not useful in any way to video/screenshot editing it baffles me that this is an actual feature. While playing back a demo press CTRL + A and look at your own character.

I know what you are thinking: “Who the hell put this here?” I have no idea. But I am still glad it exists.

Camera Path Buffer

The render tool needs time to load all assets, which is why we create a buffer before the camera path actually starts. I recently decided for myself to use the “hold” function for that instead of creating another point before my first point in the actual path. Simply insert a 5 into the hold window of the first point. The camera will stay on that point for the first 5 seconds of the rendering.

Dynamic FOV

Inside of the camera path editor above the time line you will find a panel with a “+”. This one lets you add another track to the timeline in addition to the camera position and look-at direction. One the of the possible additions is a FOV track. If you now right click somewhere in this track it creates a point. To the right where you can adjust your path is now a new section called FOV.

There you can adjust the field of view for a certain point in your timeline. This will not change your game options but just temporarily set your FOV inside your demo to a different value. Obviously different points can be created. This is quite useful for creative zoom-effects.

Selective Rendering Without the “Demolisher”

In part 5 of this guide I showed you how you can render only a part of a demo. Until now I always used the 3rd party software “Demolisher” for this purpose (you can find its introduction in part 4 of this guide).

Well it is possible to do just that with a regular command line. This line must be added into your “GameClient.exe” properties like the other lines (more on that in part 3):

“-demoplaybackrange X Y” where X stands for the start point and Y stands for the end point of the selected timeline. Both are in seconds so to start at 1:00 and end at 2:00 you have to input X=60 and Y=120.


Welp. Here we are again. Boy did this take me long. I have no idea when part 9 will come. Probably Mod 15.

Cheers, Jay

Neverwinter UN:Blogged is always looking for writers to contribute to the blog. If you are an active player and search for a way to spread your opinions, analysis, diaries or reviews to more than 40,000 regular visitors, then don’t hesitate and get in touch with us on our contact page or message board! We are currently especially looking for console and PVP content, but that’s not exclusive. There is no frequency requirement, you post how often you want.

JayAgeDee

I do stuff about Neverwinter on the internet. Module guides for Xbox, Strongholds cost spreadsheet and Neverwinter Machinima. And now I write for NWO:U, which is totally unnecessary to say since you are reading this on their website. I wrote it anyway. Lul.

2 thoughts on “A Guide to the Demo Tool Vol. 8: Easy Way to Chroma Key and Updated Graphics Menu

  • December 15, 2017 at 4:47 am
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    Hey Jay! Thx for a new input about the demo tool. I am struggling a lot with the tool atm, maybe you can help me? I somehow cannot manage to open F5 anymore… when i press F5 nothing happens at all. Is there anything i need to do to be able to get access to the menu again?
    Also what you mentioned about visscale bug… what exactly is bugged there? Because I only want to make some screenshots for guild pictures but i cannot manage to get any decent graphics again since back when i used it last time (like half a year ago), now some chars are only half loaded and you only see their rough body shape but no armor/face/detail at all even though with visscale 1000 and renderscale 2. If there is anything I’m missing here would be awesome if you could help, thx already…

    Reply
  • December 30, 2017 at 9:45 am
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    So sorry I saw this just now. The F5 menu will no longer be available for players because the devs realised they did not actually want players to have that much power. All of its functions are still available via console commands. I will make a guide part about those commands so you can still use the functions the F5 menu offered.

    The visscale bug happens in post M12 zones like tong or the soshenstar river. Essentially the graphics are so overloaded that the game will flicker on higher visscales than 5 or 10 (depends on zone).

    The character detail thing you are experiencing is completely new for me. My immediate question would be how old are the demos?

    Reply

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