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Encyclopedia > Full Motion Video
Screenshot of an FMV from Final Fantasy VIII using Bink Video.
Screenshot of an FMV from Final Fantasy VIII using Bink Video.

Full motion video, usually abbreviated as FMV, is a popular term for pre-recorded TV-quality movie or animation in a video game. Image File history File links Final Fantasy VIII FMV capture This is a screenshot of a copyrighted computer game or video game. ... Image File history File links Final Fantasy VIII FMV capture This is a screenshot of a copyrighted computer game or video game. ... Final Fantasy VIII ) is a console and computer role-playing game developed and published by Square Co. ... Bink is a video file format (extension . ... For other uses, see Television (disambiguation). ... Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. ... Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. ... Namcos Pac-Man was a hit, and became a cultural phenomenon. ...

Contents

Origins

The first use of FMV was in 1983 with Dragon's Lair, a laserdisc video game by Cinematronics. Another early instance of FMV was Hasbro's unreleased video game system named NEMO. The NEMO home system created games with VHS tapes rather than ROM cartridges or 3.5 disks. 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Dragons Lair was one of the first laserdisc video games, released in June 1983 by Cinematronics. ... A laserdisc video game is an arcade video game that uses pre-recorded video (either live-action or animation) played from a laserdisc, either as the entirety of the graphics, or as part of the graphics. ... Cinematronics was a pioneering arcade game developer that had its heyday in the era of vector display games. ... Hasbro (NYSE: HAS) is an American toy and game company. ... Four different video game consoles from different generations. ... The NEMO also known as Control-Vision was an unreleased video game console developed by Hasbro, notable for using VHS tapes rather than cartridges. ... Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed Top view of VHS cassette with front casing removed The Vertical Helical Scan, better known by its abbreviation VHS (and often confused to be Video Home System) is a recording and playing standard for analog video cassette recorders (VCRs), developed by... The video cassette recorder (or VCR, less popularly video tape recorder) is a type of video tape recorder that uses removable cassettes containing magnetic tape to record audio and video from a television broadcast so it can be played back later. ... Read-only memory (often referred to as its acronym ROM) is a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. ... In various types of electronic equipment, a cartridge can refer one method of adding different functionality or content (e. ...


In the early 1990s when PCs and consoles moved to creating games on a CD, they became technically capable of utilizing more than a few minutes' worth of movies in a game. This gave rise to a slew of FMV-based computer games such as Night Trap (1992), The 7th Guest (1992), Voyeur (1993), Phantasmagoria (1995), and Daryl F. Gates' Police Quest: SWAT (1995). These FMV games frequently used D-list (or worse) movie and TV actors and promised to create the experience of playing an interactive movie. However, production values were quite low with amateurish sets, lighting, costumes, and special effects. In addition, the video quality in these early games was low, and the gameplay frequently did not live up to the hype becoming well-known failures in video gaming. At this time, consoles like 3DO, CD-i, and Sega CD borrowed this concept for several low-quality interactive games. For the band, see 1990s (band). ... While being one of the first personal computers, the Altair 8800 was considered a mere toy due its lack of abilities. ... A Compact Disc or CD is an optical disc used to store digital data, originally developed for storing digital audio. ... Namcos Pac-Man was a hit, and became a cultural phenomenon. ... Night Trap is a video game released on October 15, 1992. ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... The 7th Guest, published in 1992 by Virgin Games, is a video-based puzzle computer game, not unlike The Fools Errand and predating Myst. ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... This is about the Voyeur computer game series. ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... Phantasmagoria is a CD-ROM horror-themed computer game series created by Sierra On-line for the DOS and Windows platforms. ... 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The SWAT series are the follow up of Sierras classic adventure game series Police Quest. ... Mega CD Tomcat Alley (1994) FMV games, also known as interactive movies, are a particular video game genre that was popular during the early nineties as CD-ROMs and Laserdiscs made their way into the living rooms, providing an alternative to the low-capacity cartridges of most consoles. ... D-list could refer to A very minor celebrity according to the Ulmer scale of bankability. ... The term B-movie originally referred to a film designed to be distributed as the lower half of a double feature, often a genre film featuring cowboys, gangsters or vampires. ... Actors in period costume sharing a joke while waiting between takes during location filming An actor or actress is a person who acts, or plays a role, in a dramatic production. ... Hype! is also the name of a documentary film about grunge music. ... The computer and video games industry has seen several commercial failures since its birth in the late 1970s, some of which have drastically changed the video game market. ... 3DO Interactive Multiplayer (most commonly referred to as the 3DO) was a line of video game consoles released in 1993 and 1994 by Panasonic, Sanyo and Goldstar, among other companies. ... CD-i or Compact Disc Interactive is the name of an interactive multimedia CD player developed and marketed by Royal Philips Electronics N.V. CD-i also refers to the multimedia Compact Disc standard utilized by the CD-i console, also known as Green Book, which was co-developed by... The Sega Mega-CD (Japanese: メガCD) is an add-on device for the Sega Mega Drive released in Europe, Australia, and Japan. ... Namcos Pac-Man was a hit, and became a cultural phenomenon. ...


A part of the interest consumers had in FMV was caused by the rise of the Internet. Also, the "multimedia" phenomenon that was exploding in popularity at the time increased the popularity of FMV because consumers were excited by this new emerging interactive technology. The personal computer was rapidly evolving during the early-mid 1990s from a simple text-based productivity device into a home entertainment machine. Gaming itself was also emerging from its niche market into the mainstream with the release of easier-to-use and more powerful operating systems, such as Microsoft's Windows 95, that leveraged continually evolving processing capabilities. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented graphical user interface-based operating system. ...


Video game consoles too saw incredible gains in presentation quality and contributed to the mass market's growth in awareness of gaming. It was during the 1990s that the video/computer game industry first beat Hollywood in earnings. Sony made its debut in the console market with the release of the 32-bit PlayStation. The PlayStation was probably the first console to popularize FMVs (as opposed to earlier usage of FMV which was seen as a passing fad). A part of the machine's hardware was a dedicated M-JPEG processing unit which enabled far superior quality relative to other platforms of the time. The FMVs in Final Fantasy VIII, for example, were marketed as movie-quality at the time. “SCE” redirects here. ... 32-bit is a term applied to processors, and computer architectures which manipulate the address and data in 32-bit chunks. ... The Sony PlayStation ) is a video game console of the 32/64-bit era, first produced by Sony Computer Entertainment in the mid-1990s. ... Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) is an informal name for multimedia formats where each video frame or interlaced field of a digital video sequence is separately compressed as a JPEG image. ... Final Fantasy VIII ) is a console and computer role-playing game developed and published by Square Co. ...


FMV in games today consists almost completely of extremely high-quality pre-rendered video sequences (CGI). These sequences are created in similar ways as computer generated effects in movies. Usage of FMV as a selling point or focus has diminished in modern times. This is primarily due to graphical advancements in modern video game systems making it possible for in-game cinematics to have just-as-impressive visual quality. The use of real actors in games generally ended for mainstream games at the end of the 1990s. Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the application of the field of computer graphics (or more specifically, 3D computer graphics) to special effects. ...


Formats

With the popularization of FMV games in the early 1990s with the advent of the CD-ROM, higher-end developers usually created their own custom FMV formats to suit their needs. Early FMV titles used game-specific proprietary video renderers optimized for the content of the video (e.g. live-action vs. animated) because CPUs of the day were incapable of playing back real-time MPEG-1 until the fastest 486 and Pentium CPUs arrived. Consoles, on the other hand, either used a third-party codec (e.g. Cinepak for Sega CD games) or used their own proprietary format (e.g. the Philips CD-i). Video quality steadily increased as CPUs became more powerful to support higher quality video compression and decompression. The 7th Guest, one of the first megahit multiple-CD-ROM games, was one of the first games to feature near-lossless quality 640x320 FMV at 15 frames per second in a custom format designed by programmer Graeme Devine. In film and video, live action refers to works that are acted out by flesh-and-blood actors, as opposed to animation. ... Animation refers to the process in which each frame of a film or movie is produced individually, whether generated as a computer graphic, or by photographing a drawn image, or by repeatedly making small changes to a model (see claymation and stop motion), and then photographing the result. ... MPEG-1 defines a group of Audio and Video (AV) coding and compression standards agreed upon by MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group). ... Compressed with Cinepak, quality 40% Cinepak is a video codec, developed by Radius Inc to accommodate 1x (150 kbyte/s) CD-ROM transfer rates. ... The Sega Mega-CD (Japanese: メガCD) is an add-on device for the Sega Mega Drive released in Europe, Australia, and Japan. ... CD-i or Compact Disc Interactive is the name of an interactive multimedia CD player developed and marketed by Royal Philips Electronics N.V. CD-i also refers to the multimedia Compact Disc standard utilized by the CD-i console, also known as Green Book, which was co-developed by... The 7th Guest, published in 1992 by Virgin Games, is a video-based puzzle computer game, not unlike The Fools Errand and predating Myst. ... Lossless data compression is a class of data compression algorithms that allow the original data to be reconstructed exactly from the compressed data. ... Graeme Devine is a computer game designer and programmer who co-founded Trilobyte, created The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour, and designed id Softwares Quake III Arena. ...

Early FMV cutscenes, such as this typical example from Phantasmagoria, frequently came under fire for their relative low compression quality. This cutscene is limited to 256 colours, limiting colour detail, and is also "interlaced", a space-saving device that was often criticized as making the videos hard to see.
Early FMV cutscenes, such as this typical example from Phantasmagoria, frequently came under fire for their relative low compression quality. This cutscene is limited to 256 colours, limiting colour detail, and is also "interlaced", a space-saving device that was often criticized as making the videos hard to see.

Other examples of this would be Sierra's VMD (Video and Music Data) format, used in games like Gabriel Knight 2 and Phantasmagoria, or Westwood Studios' VQA format, used in the early Command and Conquer games. These video formats offered very limited video quality, due to the limitations of the machines the games needed to run on. Ghosting and distortion of high-motion scenes, heavy pixelization, and limited color palettes were prominent visual problems. However, each game pushed the technological envelope and was typically seen as impressive even with quality issues. Lower-cost games, often not having the time or budgets to develop their own formats, typically used the then very low resolution AVI and QuickTime formats. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Phantasmagoria is a CD-ROM horror-themed computer game series created by Sierra On-line for the DOS and Windows platforms. ... For the method of incrementally displaying raster graphics, see Interlace (bitmaps). ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Gabriel Knight is the title character in a series of adventure games produced by Sierra On-Line in the 1990s. ... BBFC: 18 Phantasmagoria is a CD-ROM horror-themed computer game series created by Sierra On-line for the DOS and Windows platforms. ... Westwood Studios (1985-2003) was a computer and video game developer, founded in 1985 as Westwood Associates by Brett Sperry and Louis Castle and based in Las Vegas, Nevada. ... Command & Conquer is a real-time strategy series of computer games released by the game developer Westwood Studios, now a part of Electronic Arts. ... AVI, an acronym for Audio Video Interleave, is a multimedia container format introduced by Microsoft in November 1992, as part of the Video for Windows technology. ... QuickTime is a multimedia framework developed by Apple Inc. ...


Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger, for example, was one of the most significant FMV titles made in 1994, featuring big-name Hollywood actors. However, the video quality in the game suffered significantly from the aforementioned problems and at times was almost visually indecipherable. Yet this did not stop the title from earning significant praise for its innovative gameplay/FMV combination. Its sequel, Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom, used a similar custom movie codec in its CD-ROM release, but a later limited-volume DVD-ROM release saw MPEG-2 DVD-quality movies that entirely eclipsed the original CD release in quality. A hardware decoder card was required at the time to play back the DVD-quality video on a PC. DVD is an optical disc storage media format that is used for playback of movies with high video and sound quality and for storing data. ... MPEG-2 is a standard for the generic coding of moving pictures and associated audio information [1]. It is widely used around the world to specify the format of the digital television signals that are broadcast by terrestrial (over-the-air), cable, and direct broadcast satellite TV systems. ...


An exception to the rule was The 11th Hour, the sequel to The 7th Guest. 11th Hour featured 640x480 FMV at 30 frames-per-second on 4 CDs. The development team had worked for three years on developing a format that could handle the video, as the director of the live-action sequences had not shot the FMV sequences in a way that could be easily compressed. However, this proved to be the game's downfall, as most computers of the day could not play the full-resolution video. Users were usually forced to select an option which played the videos at a quarter-size resolution in black-and-white. The 11th Hour is a 1995 puzzle computer game with a horror setting. ...


As FMV established itself in the market as a growing game technology, a small company called RAD Game Tools appeared on the market with their 256-colour FMV format Smacker. Developers took to the format, and the format ended up being used in over 3,000 games. RAD Game Tools is privately-held company based in Kirkland, Washington that develops video and computer game software technologies which are licensed primarily by video game companies. ... Smacker video is a video file format (with the file extension) developed by RAD Game Tools and oftenly used in computer games. ...


As the popularity of games loaded with live-action and FMV faded out in the late 1990s, and with Smacker becoming outdated in the world of 16-bit colour games, RAD introduced a new true-colour format, Bink video. Developers quickly took to the format because of its high compression ratios and optimization for video games. The format is still one of the most popular FMV formats used in games today. 4,000 games have used Bink, and the number is still growing. Bink is a video file format (extension . ...


Windows Media Video, DivX, and Theora are also becoming major players in the market. DivX is used in several Nintendo GameCube titles, including Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike. Windows Media Video (WMV) is a generic name for the set of video codec technologies developed by Microsoft. ... DivX is a brand name of products created by DivX, Inc. ... Theora is a video codec being developed by the Xiph. ... The Nintendo GameCube , GCN) is Nintendos fourth home video game console, belonging to the sixth generation era. ...


See also

One of the first laserdisc games, Dragons Lair, was developed during the Golden Age of Arcade Games An interactive movie is a video game genre composed entirely of full-motion video of either animated or live-action footage. ... The term interactive video usually refers to a nowadays uncommon technique used to create computer games or interactive narratives. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Full Motion Video (FMV) (263 words)
Full Motion Video (FMV) is a versatile multimedia viewer which views virtually every digital video and audio format currently used on the internet.
Full motion video also supports many other features, such as varying play speeds, audio and video playlist creating, fully customizable zooming, and other useful and fun features that allow the user to enjoy their video and audio clips in just about any way they can imagine.
Overall, Full Motion Video is an excellent player with few hindrances, unnoticeable in fact, unless you are a very frequent user and resizer of real media 8.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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