VideoStreamTheora in Godot – Complete Guide

VideoStreamTheora is an intriguing and versatile aspect of the Godot engine that can elevate your game development skills. Learning to implement and manipulate video within your games not only brings an additional layer of polish and immersion but also opens up a plethora of creative avenues to enrich your player’s experience. This class provides the functionality to handle and play back Ogg Theora video files within Godot, which is instrumental for developers looking to include cutscenes, tutorials, or interactive video content in their games. In this 6-part tutorial, we will dive into how you can utilize the VideoStreamTheora to enhance your projects in Godot 4.

Now, let’s unpack everything you need to know about VideoStreamTheora and why mastering it can be a game-changer for your development process.

What Is VideoStreamTheora?

VideoStreamTheora is a Godot class that encapsulates the functionality to handle video streams using the Ogg Theora codec. It’s a resource type specific to the Godot game engine for managing videos with an .ogv file extension. The Theora codec is known for being open-source and is decoded on the CPU, which means it might be a perfect fit for projects where other licensing concerns or hardware acceleration are limiting factors.

What Is It Used For?

Godot developers use VideoStreamTheora for diverse purposes:

  • Integrating pre-rendered video sequences, like cutscenes or credits.
  • Adding video tutorials within the game to guide players.
  • Creating interactive story elements that incorporate video.

Videos can serve as a powerful tool to convey story, instructions, and ambiance, and understanding how to implement them effectively can be an invaluable skill.

Why Should You Learn It?

Learning to handle video streams in Godot using VideoStreamTheora comes with multiple benefits:

  • Enhanced Game Narrative: Videos can significantly improve storytelling and give developers a cinematic tool to express their vision.
  • Increased Engagement: Engage your players further with visually interesting content that keeps them invested in your game.
  • Technical Prowess: Gain an edge by mastering an aspect of Godot that can set your games apart from those that use only sprites and animations.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, understanding VideoStreamTheora is a step towards creating more engaging and dynamic games. Let’s get started with code examples to put this knowledge into practice.

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Setting Up the VideoPlayer Node

To begin playing back video using the VideoStreamTheora class, you first need to set up a VideoPlayer node. The VideoPlayer node is where you will load your Ogg Theora video file and control the playback.

First, let’s add a VideoPlayer node to your scene:

var video_player = VideoPlayer.new()
add_child(video_player)

Next, you’ll want to load your Ogg Theora video file into the VideoPlayer. Here’s how to do it using GDScript:

video_player.stream = load("res://path_to_your_video.ogv")

Ensure that you replace "res://path_to_your_video.ogv" with the correct path to your video file.

Playing and Pausing the Video

With your video file loaded, you’re ready to start playback. You can play the video using the play() method:

video_player.play()

Similarly, pausing the video is straightforward using the pause() method:

video_player.pause()

Here’s how to toggle between playing and pausing the video:

if video_player.is_playing():
    video_player.pause()
else:
    video_player.play()

This code checks to see if the video is currently playing. If it is, it pauses the video; if not, it starts playing the video.

Adjusting Volume and Looping

Controlling the volume of the video playback is a common requirement. You can set the volume as a value between 0 and 1, where 0 is mute and 1 is the maximum volume:

video_player.volume_db = linear2db(0.5) # Set volume to 50%

If you want your video to loop continuously, you can set the loop property to true:

video_player.loop = true

Handling Playback Completion

You might want to trigger an event when your video finishes playing, like returning to a menu or starting gameplay. You can connect the "finished" signal to achieve this:

video_player.connect("finished", self, "_on_VideoPlayer_finished")

And then define the callback function that gets called when the video finishes:

func _on_VideoPlayer_finished():
    print("The video has finished playing.")
    # Add additional code here to handle the end of video playback

These examples cover the basic operations you need to integrate video into your games using Godot’s VideoStreamTheora. In the next part of this tutorial, we’ll delve into more advanced topics including handling video playback progression and working with video in the Godot editor. Stay tuned for those insights and tips on how to elevate your game’s multimedia experience!Expanding on our previous tutorial, let’s dive deeper into manipulating videos in Godot using `VideoStreamTheora`. Here, we’ll explore more advanced features such as seeking, querying video information, and synchronizing video with in-game events.

Seeking Through the Video

Users might want the ability to seek to different points in a video. Luckily, Godot’s VideoPlayer node has a method just for that. Here’s how you can seek to a specific time in the video:

video_player.seek(10.0) # Seek to 10 seconds

To check the current playback position, you can use the `get_playback_position()` method:

var current_position = video_player.get_playback_position()

Combining these, you can create functions that let you seek forward or backward in the video:

func seek_forward(amount):
    video_player.seek(video_player.get_playback_position() + amount)

func seek_backward(amount):
    video_player.seek(video_player.get_playback_position() - amount)

Querying Video Information

Sometimes it’s useful to retrieve information about the video, like its length or whether it’s in the process of buffering. Here’s how you can get the length of the video in seconds:

var video_length = video_player.get_stream().get_length()

And to check if the video is buffering, which can occur if the video data isn’t read quickly enough (mostly with streamed content), you can check the `is_buffering()` method:

if video_player.is_buffering():
    print("The video is currently buffering.")

Synchronizing Video with Game Events

It might be necessary to synchronize video playback with game events, such as triggering an action when a certain scene in a video is reached. You can achieve this with a few lines of GDScript. First, set up a check in the `_process()` function:

func _process(delta):
    if video_player.get_playback_position() >= target_time:
        trigger_event()

Remember to define your `target_time` (the time you want the event to trigger) and the `trigger_event()` function which contains the action to be executed.

Additionally, you might want to synchronize in-game animation with the video:

func sync_with_video(animation_node, animation_name, video_timestamp):
    if video_player.get_playback_position() >= video_timestamp:
        animation_node.play(animation_name)

This function takes an animation node, an animation name, and a video timestamp as arguments and plays the animation when the video reaches the specified timestamp.

Handling Video Resize and Adaptation

In some cases, you may need to resize the video to fit different screen sizes or aspect ratios. You can use the `rect_scale` property to scale the VideoPlayer node:

var scale_factor = Vector2(1.5, 1.5) # Scale the video by 1.5 times
video_player.rect_scale = scale_factor

To maintain the video’s aspect ratio, you might need to calculate the scale factor based on the current screen dimensions.

Finally, for a more advanced setup, you may want to integrate shaders with your VideoPlayer or control the frame updates manually. These proceedings can extend the functionality and visual fidelity of your video presentation but require a more profound understanding of Godot’s rendering pipeline.

Remember, when working with videos, resources can be intensive. Always consider the impact on performance, and balance quality with efficiency for the best player experience.

Stay tuned for more tutorials as we continue to explore Godot’s capabilities and empower you to take your projects to the next level!As we continue exploring the advanced features available when using `VideoStreamTheora` in Godot, let’s delve into creating a customized video player controls UI, implementing flexible video scaling and handling audio tracks.

Customizing the video player UI is a common requirement for game developers, whether it’s to add a play/pause button, a seek bar, volume control, or to indicate buffering. We’ll run through examples that add interactive elements to control the video playback.

Creating Play/Pause Button

A play/pause toggle is one of the most crucial controls for a video player. Here’s how you can set up a simple button that toggles between playing and pausing the video:

func _on_PlayPauseButton_pressed():
    if video_player.is_playing():
        video_player.pause()
    else:
        video_player.play()

This function would be connected to the `pressed` signal of a button in your Godot UI.

Implementing a Seek Bar

To create a seek bar, you’ll need a slider UI element. You’ll want to update the slider’s position as the video plays and seek in the video when the slider is moved:

# Update the slider's value as the video plays
func _process(delta):
    if !seek_slider.is_grabbed() and video_player.is_playing():
        seek_slider.value = video_player.get_playback_position()

# Seek in the video when the slider's value is changed
func _on_SeekSlider_value_changed(value):
    if !video_player.is_playing():
        return
    video_player.seek(value)

In this example, `_process` is used to update the slider’s position, and `_on_SeekSlider_value_changed` is a function connected to the slider’s `value_changed` signal.

Adjusting Volume Control

Setting up volume control in Godot can be done with another slider:

# Set the video's volume based on the slider's value
func _on_VolumeSlider_value_changed(value):
    video_player.volume_db = linear2db(value)

This function should be connected to the `value_changed` signal of the volume slider UI element.

Indicating Video Buffering

If your video is streaming from an external source or a large file, buffering can happen. It’s best to provide visual feedback to the user during buffering:

func _process(delta):
    if video_player.is_buffering():
        buffering_indicator.visible = true
    else:
        buffering_indicator.visible = false

Here, `buffering_indicator` would be a UI element like a spinning wheel or loading bar that you show or hide based on whether the video is buffering.

Flexible Video Scaling

Sometimes, you might want to allow the user to change the size of the video playback area within your game. You could provide resolution options, for example:

func set_video_scale(scale_factor):
    video_player.rect_scale = scale_factor

You might call this function with different `Vector2` values, for instance, `Vector2(1.0, 1.0)` for 100% scale or `Vector2(0.5, 0.5)` for 50%.

Handling Multiple Audio Tracks

If your video contains multiple audio tracks, you may want to give users the option to switch between them:

func switch_audio_stream(track_index):
    video_player.get_stream().audio_track = track_index

This function allows you to switch to the audio track at the specified index. Users could choose their preferred language track, for instance.

Synchronizing Subtitles

Finally, many videos come with accompanying subtitle files. You can load and display subtitles in sync with the video using Godot’s `Label` node:

func display_subtitle(text):
    subtitle_label.text = text

# This might be called in sync with the video's timestamp
display_subtitle("Some subtitle text")

You would trigger `display_subtitle` at the correct times to show the subtitles. Subtitles can be managed by parsing a subtitle file (e.g., SRT) and scheduling the display of lines based on timestamps.

These code examples represent just a fraction of the capabilities of the Godot engine’s multimedia management. Incorporating these features into your game will not only provide an improved user experience but will also enhance your skill set as a game developer. Stay tuned for the next part, where we’ll cover some best practices for optimizing video playback performance, dealing with diverse codecs, and creating immersive audiovisual experiences.

Continuing Your Godot Learning Journey

Mastering the use of `VideoStreamTheora` in Godot is just the beginning. The world of game development with Godot is vast, and there is always more to learn and explore. If you’re keen to keep expanding your knowledge and forging ahead on your journey, our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree is the perfect next step. This comprehensive course collection will deepen your understanding of Godot’s capabilities and help you build cross-platform games from scratch. With a curriculum that starts with the foundations and progresses to creating complete projects in various game genres, you’ll gain hands-on experience that can help turn your aspirations into reality.

In addition to our specialized Mini-Degree, we offer a broad range of Godot courses to choose from. Whether you’re a beginner looking to get started or a more experienced developer aiming to polish your skills, Zenva has something for everyone. Our courses are designed with flexibility in mind, allowing you to learn at your own pace while working on practical coding projects. By choosing to learn with us, you’re choosing to invest in skills that can open up opportunities in the thriving game development market. Begin your next chapter in Godot development with Zenva today, and let’s create together the games of tomorrow.

Conclusion

In the realm of game development, the power of video can’t be overstated. By mastering `VideoStreamTheora` in Godot, you’ve equipped yourself with a potent tool to bring your games to life with dynamic video content. From cinematic cutscenes to engaging tutorials, your new skills will help to captivate and enchant your audience, immersing them in the unique worlds you create. The next step is to keep building, keep learning, and keep innovating.

As you continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible within your games, remember that our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree is here to support and guide you through each stage of your journey. With your passion for game creation and our comprehensive resources at your fingertips, the path to making remarkable games is clearer than ever. Embrace the challenge, and let’s craft extraordinary gaming experiences together!

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