Creating a Prelewd Project
Prelewd is not an animation tool, if you want to create a Prelewd project, you will have to create an animation session with the Source Filmmaker first. In the future you will be able to create animations with the Pragma Filmmaker as well (which is included with Prelewd), but that is currently still work-in-progress.
Getting things ready
There are two important requirements for your SFM project: All transforms have to be unlocked and all rigs detached (if there are any), otherwise the animation will break during import. Both steps are very simple, you can find more information about it here.
Prelewd runs on the Pragma Game Engine, which is capable of automatically locating, importing and converting Source Engine asset files (models, materials, maps, etc.) to its own formats, which means no porting or copying is required. In some rare cases Pragma may have issues finding some of the asset files (e.g. if they're located in a custom usermod directory in SFM), in this case you can either manually copy the asset files to "Pragma/addons/imported", or open "Pragma/cfg/mounted_games.udm" and add a new entry so the Engine can locate the assets. For instance, if your assets are located in "common/SourceFilmmaker/game/custom/", locate the "sfm" entry in "mounted_games.udm", then add the path to the "game_paths" list.
Creating a new Project
Launch Prelewd and select "File" -> "New" from the menu bar. A file dialog window will open, enter a project name into the "File name" field and press "Save". A new window with the project settings should appear on the left. Fill in the following fields:
- Project Title: The name of the project as it will appear in the project explorer.
- Author (optional): The author(s) of the project. If there are multiple authors, separate them with a ",". All authors will appear in the splash screen when the project is selected from the project explorer:
- Contact (optional): Email, Discord or some other means that allows a user to contact you if there are any issues with the project.
- Version: Current version of the project. Should be in the format <major>.<minor>.<revision>.
- Author support URL (optional): URL for a clickable link that will appear on the splash screen, which you can use to direct a user to your Patreon/SubscribeStar/Website/Twitter/etc.
- Lua Script (optional): If you have some experience with the Lua programming language and you want more fine-tuned control over the project, you can specify a Lua-script here. The Lua-file has to be located somewhere in "addons/vr_player/lua/vrp/projects/".
- Icon Location: The file name of the icon to use in the project explorer. The icon has to be located in the project directory.
- Splash Screen Location: The file name of the background image to use for the splash screen. The image has to be located in the project directory.
- PFM Project Location: Location of the PFM project file. If you don't have one, you can generate it from a SFM session file, more information below.
- Map (optional): If your animation is not a scene build and requires a map, enter the map name (without the file extension) here (e.g. "ctf_2fort").
- Video Location or URL (optional): If you have a VR video available for the project, you can enter its path here. (Note: Video mode is currently disabled.)
Import SFM Session
To import your SFM animation, click the "Import SFM Session" button, select the .dmx session file and click "open".
Depending on the size and complexity of the session, the import process may take a very long time, as all of the assets used in the session will have to be converted first. Pragma may appear frozen while this is happening.
If Pragma crashes during this process, simply restart and try again.
Once the SFM animation has been imported, the "PFM Project Location" field should be filled in automatically. If you have specified a map, you can press "Load map" to load/import it. This may also take some time.
Now simply select "File" -> "Save" from the menu bar to save the project settings, and the project should appear in the session explorer when you refresh it (click in the "Location" field and press return). To edit a project in the future, load it by double-clicking it in the session explorer, then select "Windows" -> "Project Editor" from the menu bar.
- Only sessions with a single film clip are currently supported! If your session has multiple film clips, it may not work properly. Your animation should also be looping.
- Keep the number of light sources in your scene to a minimum, especially if the lit areas are overlapping! Rendering in real-time with virtual reality is very expensive and the number of light sources that are on screen at the same time can have a drastic impact on performance.
- Prefer custom scene builds over maps. If you're using a complex, pre-built map for your scene, there's a good chance the number of objects in the map can negatively impact loading times and performance.
- Since Prelewd is primarily aimed at VR, first-person/POV scenes generally work best. In the future you will be able to define multiple perspectives, but regular scenes are currently limited to one.