Technical requirements

In order to edit all existing cutscenes, a few things are necessary:

WarCraft Adventures uses Smacker Video Technology from RAD Game Tools. This precursor of the famous bink video encoder had been used in many games back in the 90s. This results in a great advantage: It is possible to extract, edit and reintegrate audio tracks without reencoding the the video file (which would decrease quality). First of all I extract the audio track by using RAD Tools. Then I edit the extracted wav file in Adobe Audition. Once I’ve finished adding sound effects, I reintergrate the audio track into the video via RAD Tools. The editing itself happens in Adobe Audition. Doing it like this has one disadvantage, though: Editing the audio track and viewing the video (for keeping them in sync) happens in two different programs. So while I edit the wav files in Audition, I view the videos in VLC player. Surely not the easiest way of doing it.

wc-workspace

Another downside is the increased size of the video files. Adding uncompressed wav files into the video results in an increased filesize of up to 30%. Since 2002 smacker video files offer the bink audio codec, a lossless compression format. Sadly, being from 1998, WarCraft Adventures doesn’t support this. But, I’ve found a solution for this. By replacing the smackw32.dll from the game with a newer one from 2002 (version 4.1a), I can use the bink audio codec and my newly generated smk video files are almost as small as the original ones and with losless audio compression. A whole bunch of smacker dlls, including the one I mentioned above,  can be downloaded here.

Now that I have all the tools I need, it’s time to get some work done…

 

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