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I am working on an iPad game, and would like to have a few, pre-rendered cut scenes that are shown at key moments throughout the game.

How do low-budget software developers create pre-rendered cut scenes, especially when the target device is an iPad?

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Are you asking how to create the cut-scenes (what software to use etc.) or how to add/integrate them into the game? – bummzack Feb 17 '11 at 14:10
I am asking, how can I create cut-scenes, keeping in mind I really have no budget (a development company of 1 hobbyist developer). I am not worried about the integration part. – Jay Haase Feb 17 '11 at 14:25
up vote 2 down vote accepted

A common method is to record a movie, encode it to a file such as Mpeg-4, and use the iPhone's selection of video controls to play that movie back.

The movie itself can be produced in a variety of ways:


  • Live action;
  • Computer generated images using a CGI package such as Autodesk's 3ds Max or Maya;
  • Play out your scene using your own game and record it using something like FRAPS.
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Thank you Kynth. – Jay Haase Feb 22 '11 at 15:05

I would suggest paintings with subtle animations in a comic like presentation. If you are lucky you might find a talented young artist that will spend his/her free time to get their art exposed in a game.

A good example of awesome "2D" cutscenes are the mini-cutscenes before missions in Warhammer40k: Chaos Rising. It's basically paintings overlain on an animated 2D mesh. Very clerver, good looking and affordable! I can't find a video example online though. Most of the ones online are full 3D.

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Thank you for the advice Nailer. – Jay Haase Feb 22 '11 at 15:05

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