The Terminal: Reimagined

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Post May 2nd '08, 20:05

I'd like to share an animation I did last year, for those of you that visit the Pfhorums but not the Marathon Story forums. I wanted to create a proof of concept for how one might do a new Marathon-like game, where the story is presented textually, and bring it up to modern standards.

I took the text of the first terminal in Blaspheme Quarantine, made a voice recording of the text, and then modeled and animated a talking Durandal head to the voice. My reference was what is, to my knowledge, the only canon rendition of an A.I. in Marathon, which is the green figure in this chapter screen. I did a lot of post-production to make the terminal look like it was presented on a damaged, poor-quality video screen. There's also a part where the video cuts out: this was my interpretation of the part of the terminal that was garbled and un-readable.

I envision running around in a modern game, complete with terminals which, instead of displaying text, play movies directly on the surface of the terminal screen. In particular, I would point to Doom 3 for how this all would look and feel, as that game has the dark, claustrophobic, inside-a-spaceship environment and a lot of full-motion video textured onto surfaces.

Without further ado, here it is. The high quality version looks much better than the lower quality, so please view the former if you can.

large version (19.5 MB)
small version (3.8 MB)

Programs used: iChat (for collecting video reference), Audio In, Maya, Photoshop, Sound Studio, iMovie (with 3rd party effects), QuickTime Pro
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Crater Creator

Post May 2nd '08, 20:23

Oh no, the story forums launched their first salvo, and it is deadly!

Quick, blooregardo, go post stupid HL2 quotes on the story forums!
Last edited by treellama on May 2nd '08, 20:24, edited 1 time in total.
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post May 2nd '08, 20:24

Very nice. I loved it! Everything about it, the lighting, the mouth movement, the overall animation, etc was well done! Keep up the good work.
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The Thug

Post May 2nd '08, 20:49

i totaly agree with Thug. it is awesome. id love to see a short animated movie with this, and some marine shootout. (like not only terminal, but terminal, marine, ship. fighting...)
ah well, very good work.
What are you, if not seven different shades of stupid?
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CryoS
The Dungeon

Post May 2nd '08, 21:51

I'd imagined D to be more... malicious, at that point. But otherwise good job.

EDIT: Isn't it pronounced "Duhr-aaahn-däl"?
aaahn pronounced like "an"
däl pronounced like a New Yorker would say "Doll".
Last edited by Phortiphy on May 2nd '08, 21:57, edited 1 time in total.
Can't speel for hist.
Phortiphy

Post May 3rd '08, 00:13

That's really good! I don't particularly like the thinness of his lips or the blackness of his eyes (maybe a little greener) though, and sometimes I can hear the saliva in your mouth which probably can't be helped as long as we're not using a TTS program for the voice. Maybe the head should fade from the background instead of black, and like Pfhortipfhy said, maybe he should look/sound. But apart from these small annoyances (and they are small), it's very well done.

EDIT: Isn't it pronounced "Duhr-aaahn-däl"?
aaahn pronounced like "an"
däl pronounced like a New Yorker would say "Doll".

It could be pronounced several ways. I can't accurately pronounce French so I can't say for sure how it was originally pronounced, but in English it could be der-ran-dle or der-ren-dahl or du-ren-dahl (that one sounds like a fantasy wizard name to me) or any number of other ways (like how g-h-o-t-i spells fish)
Last edited by Dodopod on May 3rd '08, 00:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Dodopod

Post May 3rd '08, 02:46

Great, but little emotionless for a rampant A.I. Maybe make him a little more....ehh....


dark?


Let's go with that...

+3 for the low-res, +8 for the hi-res.
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You are wrong. Not 2.5. Five.

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MasterYo1

Post May 3rd '08, 13:23

I remember this over on the ambrosia boards. I joined that specifically for this.
It's pretty good but the voice needs to be deeper and the face doesn't quite look right.
Its just like the story of the grasshopper and the octopus. All year long the grasshopper kept burying acorns for winter while the octopus mooched off his girlfriend and watched TV. Then the winter came, and the grasshopper died, and the octopus ate all his acorns and also he got a racecar. Is any of this getting through to you?
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megabyte
Asympotatoes, Mars

Post May 3rd '08, 14:40

Yea, I saw this a year ago on the story forums when you posted it... and I think Durandal should have more of a... my voice. I speak in a fairly low voice with a mutilated british accent, and I think it fits Durandal a bit better than your high voice you've got for him right now.

EDIT:

I also think he needs to have slightly less emotion, especially when he says "If you lose, you die!", I pictured him as saying "If you lose, you die.", in a more frank voice, as if hes not really enjoying saying it that much but still is trying to be comical about the matter.
Last edited by Shadowbreaker on May 3rd '08, 14:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Shadowbreaker
Melbourne, Victoria

Post May 3rd '08, 22:58

I imagined Durandal's voice being kind of evil in M1, but in M2 and MI, I've always imagined him to be really cailm unless hes threatening you. Over all I think the voice should be a few tones deeper.
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Packard20
Hopefully not where you are!

Post May 4th '08, 06:58

Hmm. Based on the responses I've gotten here and the other places I've posted it, I'm hearing:
  • A pretty unanimous call for a deeper voice. I could just take the same track and deepen it as a post-processing effect.
  • The overall style and effect may be better suited for Tycho
  • That people pronounce Durandal in different ways. I just did my best when first playing Marathon years and years ago (I probably associated Durandal with the name Randall) and until this project it didn't occur to me it might be pronounced differently.
  • Disagreement on the level of emotion, although I've heard that I should make him more sarcastic several times. When doing the recording, I decided Durandal was most likely in the Melancholia stage of Rampancy, though I now have my doubts about that.
  • It's left ambiguous whether this animation is delivered 'live,' or recorded, so it could work either way.
  • The saliva in my mouth? Hmm, that's a new one; I hadn't noticed. I have concluded, though, that the best candidate for a computer generated voice (TTS) is Leela.
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Crater Creator

Post May 4th '08, 14:09

Crater Creator wrote:Disagreement on the level of emotion, although I've heard that I should make him more sarcastic several times. When doing the recording, I decided Durandal was most likely in the Melancholia stage of Rampancy, though I now have my doubts about that.

It looks like he's pretty happy in your animation to me! If you were going for melancholia I didn't notice.
Can't speel for hist.
Phortiphy

Post May 10th '08, 22:14

He sounds a bit happier than I imagined ingame, But other than that, great work [MLaugh]
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Xevous92
Bolingbrook, Illinois

Post May 10th '08, 23:36

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Shadowbreaker
Melbourne, Victoria

Post May 11th '08, 00:07

ROFLMAOMFG!!!
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Xevous92
Bolingbrook, Illinois

Post May 11th '08, 15:45

Can't speel for hist.
Phortiphy

Post May 11th '08, 16:15

Pfhortipfhy wrote:Isn't it pronounced "Duhr-aaahn-däl"?
aaahn pronounced like "an"
däl pronounced like a New Yorker would say "Doll".


No.
Mordekai

Post May 11th '08, 18:32

That was funny, Shadowbreaker! [MLaugh] Who made it?
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Crater Creator

Post May 12th '08, 00:36

Ian McConvile, the creator of Marathon RED.
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Shadowbreaker
Melbourne, Victoria

Post Jun 20th '08, 05:17

I really like it, I just imagined durandal to sound more..deep i guess, maybe more mysterious, more sinister. Very good animation by the way.
Last edited by Nathan92 on Jun 20th '08, 05:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Nathan92
MI

Post Jun 25th '08, 23:57

We have talked about this Durandal pronouncing problem before. I think there was a popular poll about it. I think Duhr-aaah-on-duhl and D-er-an-dull tied...I think it is pronounced D-er-an-dull. But Duhr-aaah-on-duhl sounds better.

Duhr-aaah-on-duhl....lol....Duhr-aaah-on....duhl...lol
Ignorance creates the deluded.
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Alan

Post Jun 26th '08, 01:19

I totally disagree with your voice acting, I couldn't do any better as far as quality, but your motivation was completely off.
MoppyPuppy
Lake Nebagamon, WI

Post Jun 26th '08, 03:56

Here's how I say it:



Just. Kidding. But I've recorded the way "Durandal" is pronounced in French, which is the word's language of origin (although I haven't done it in Old French, because I'm not good enough at it).

[attachment=1683:durandal.mp3]
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Last edited by irons on Jun 26th '08, 03:56, edited 1 time in total.
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irons
(.Y.)

Post Jun 26th '08, 04:28

That's interesting, but I say it a little differently.
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Wrkncacnter

Post Jun 26th '08, 06:29

I think you have a problem pronouncing your "a" sound.
underworld : simple fun netmaps // prahblum peack : simple rejected netmaps
azure dreams : simple horrible netmaps // v6.0!!!: thomas mann's greatest hits : simple simple netmaps
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irons
(.Y.)

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