MovieUnreal++ for UT


After much belligerence on the part of the UT community, Yoda, one of the original developers of MovieUnreal for the Unrealty project, found some more recent source code, and caved in and made a bunch of improvements to the Unreal Tournament version of the utility.

There will not be an Unreal Tournament 2003 version. Stop asking.

What MovieUnreal++ for UT is:

MovieUnreal++ for UT is a utility that forces Unreal Tournament to render at a fixed, user-specified framerate, taking as long as it needs to render each frame, at which point a BMP or JPG file of that frame is written to disk, up to one million frames (000,000 through 999,999), the equivalent of nine hours and fifteen and a half minutes of video, in a unique Capture[X] directory.

What MovieUnreal++ for UT is for:

MovieUnreal++ for UT is for creating high-quality movies (AVIs, MPEGs, QTs, videos, etc.) of typically pregenerated Unreal Tournament content. It dumps individual frames to disk, which you can then convert into a movie format of your choice using any video production software, such as Adobe Premier.

Dumping JPEGs at low resolution on a fast machine is fast enough that UT can be played interactively if necessary, but MovieUnreal++ for UT is best used for pregenerated content, like machinima (in-game engine movies), flythroughs, or demos.

How much disk space MovieUnreal++ for UT needs:

MovieUnreal++ for UT dumps a full BMP or JPG frame to disk for every frame, just like taking a screenshot. Filesize for just the frames can be estimated (not counting file headers) by calculating:

ScreenWidth * ScreenHeight * (ColorDepth / 8)

Color Depth is 16 bit or 32 bit (which is really 24 bits of color, so that's all that's written out), and is divided by 8 because there are 8 bits in a byte.

This result is the approximate size of a single frame of data, in bytes. Multiply it by 30 to get the approximate size of a single second of video. Divide by 1024 twice (1,048,576 bytes) to get the approximate size in of a single second of video in megabytes. An example table for one minute of frames is provided, in gigabytes:

 640x480, 16bit: 1.03GB per minute
 640x480, 32bit: 1.55GB per minute

 800x600, 16bit: 1.61GB per minute
 800x600, 32bit: 2.42GB per minute

1024x768, 16bit: 2.61GB per minute
1024x768, 32bit: 3.96GB per minute

Remember that AVI files are limited to 2gb in filesize, so it's probably a good idea to work directly with the frames if at all possible.

If you're dumping JPEGs to disk, figure between 1/10 and 1/5 of the above numbers.

How to use MovieUnreal++ for UT:

Place the three files from the .zip in your UnrealTournament\System directory. Run UnrealTournament.exe, and set up the game's visual appearance as you desire the movie to be rendered. Remember, Unreal Tournament will take as long as it has to to render each frame, so running the game at 1024x768 in 32bit color is not unreasonable. Exit Unreal Tournament, and copy your newly updated UnrealTournament.ini file to MovieUnreal.ini. Then start MovieUnreal.exe with the name of your map or demo, just like you'd start Unreal Tournament normally:

MovieUnreal.exe CityIntro.unr

A dialog box like the one at the top of the page will appear. Set your desired framerate (30fps is recommended). If you want capture to begin immediately, for demos, flythroughs, movies, etc., leave the box checked. If you want to start capture part way into a demo, uncheck the box. If you want to dump to JPEGs instead of BMPs, check off the box, and set your JPEG quality level. 100 is recommended (highest quality) unless you are extremely tight on disk space.

Once in-game, you can stop and start the capturing by pressing F12. You do not have to unbind your F12; MovieUnreal++ for UT overrides your settings.

Limitations and bugs with MovieUnreal++ for UT:

Not all features in UT support super-delayed rendering. Animated, fractal and scripted textures, most notably. You'll see these change very fast, instead of whenever they're supposed to.

Also note that it's just dumping video frames, still images. There's no audio getting captured. You're on your own for that one.

Samples and Downloads for MovieUnreal++ for UT: contains the binary files for MovieUnreal++ for UT. It was compiled for Unreal Tournament v436, but should work correctly under v432 as well. This is unsupported software. Neither Yoda nor I warrant that it will actually work. Use it at your own risk.

Anyone have any questions (not feature requests or bug reports), you can reach me at or Yoda at

That is all.