Dota 2 – Tips For Movie Makers

February 2nd, 2012 by Cyborgmatt Leave a reply »

Update: As of the 16th Feb patch that delivered the new/updated demo format, some of these features will no longer work any more, mainly the “Demo UI” and “Demo Drive” functionality. I’m not sure whether we’ll see similar features/new camera controls added to DotA 2 but at the moment there is no workaround for the loss of these commands/functions.

I have had a lot of requests from the DotA 2 movie making community to provide them with some help/guidance for removing certain elements of the HUD etc to help them improve their movies.

First things first, most of these commands will require cheats to turned on:

sv_cheats 1 - This will enable cheat commands.

When watching a replay, it’s possible to use the source engine’s demo drive mode in conjunction with the third person command to unlock the camera.

Before using the demo drive mode, make sure you’ve the replay camera set to “free camera”.

Open the console and type “demoui”, this will open the Demo UI and give you access to the drive function, hit the drive button and then close the Demo UI.

Now reopen the console, enter the command “thirdperson”, go back to the replay and you’ll now have a semi-free/unlocked camera that can be rotated around using the mouse movement and buttons.

demoui - Use this command to open the Demo UI.
thirdperson - Use this command to unlock the camera.

Art.Of.AnGeul’s example video:


Currently the DotA 2 HUD is made up of old VGUI elements and new Scaleform elements, both of the interface types can be disabled using a range of commands.

Disabling Scaleform elements:

dota_sf_hud_actionpanel 0 - Disables the action/ability panel.
dota_sf_hud_channelbar 0 - Disables the channelling bar.
dota_sf_hud_chat 0 - Disables the chat/killspam log.
dota_sf_hud_inventory 0 - Disables the inventory slots.
dota_sf_hud_top 0 - Disables the bar across the top.

Disabling VGUI elements:

dota_hud_healthbars 0 - Disables all the health bars.
dota_no_minimap 1 - Disables the minimap.
dota_hide_cursor 1 - Hides the cursor.

cl_drawhud 0 - This command will completely remove any VGUI element from the display but you will lose a number of mouse control functions like zooming in/out, at the moment it is the only way to hide the portrait window.

After you’ve disabled the HUD you’ll notice a lot of black space left over where the game is not rendered.

Using a couple of commands it is also possible to increase the renderer and in combination with the previous commands you’ll be left with fullscreen hudless playback which should be great for recording movies.

dota_render_crop_height 0 - Controls the height of the renderer.
dota_render_y_inset 0 - Controls the renderer inset at the top of the screen. 

It will also provide you with the ability to take some sexy screenshots as well.

The camera distance can also be adjusted during the replay, using this in combination with the fog UI can help you get a nice top down shot.

Camera distance 2000 with default fog:

Camera distance 2000 with the fog override:

dota_camera_distance - Controls the amount you can zoom out (1134 is the default).
fogui - This opens up the Fog UI, allowing you to override the default fog.

Update: ReaverXai has sent me a script he has put together which should help you quickly enter drive mode and remove all of the HUD.

bind "F10" "ssMode"
bind "F11" "driveMode"

alias  "ssMode"  "fullui"
alias  "fullui"  "sv_cheats 1; dota_sf_hud_actionpanel 1; dota_sf_hud_channelbar 1; dota_sf_hud_chat 1; dota_sf_hud_inventory 1; dota_sf_hud_top 1; dota_hud_healthbars 1; dota_no_minimap 0; cl_drawhud 1; dota_render_crop_height 166; dota_render_y_inset 31; alias ssMode noui"
alias  "noui"    "sv_Cheats 0; dota_sf_hud_actionpanel 0; dota_sf_hud_channelbar 0; dota_sf_hud_chat 0; dota_sf_hud_inventory 0; dota_sf_hud_top 0; dota_hud_healthbars 0; dota_no_minimap 1; cl_drawhud 0; dota_render_crop_height 0; dota_render_y_inset 0; alias ssMode fullui"

alias   "driveMode"  "driveon"
alias   "driveon"  "sv_cheats 1; demoui 1; thirdperson; alias screenshotMode driveoff"
alias   "driveoff"  "sv_cheats 0; demoui 0; firstperson; alias screenshotMode driveon"

Paste this into a demo.cfg file, drop it in your DotA 2 cfg folder: “dota 2 beta\dota\cfg” and use the command “exec demo” to execute the script, press F10 to enter into a screenshot/hudless mode and F11 to open up the Demo UI.

Alternatively download the file from here:

Update 2: Demo drive is no longer functional so I have created an updated cfg with just the toggle HUD function.

bind "F10" "ssMode"

alias  "ssMode"  "fullui"
alias  "fullui"  "sv_cheats 1; dota_sf_hud_actionpanel 1; dota_sf_hud_channelbar 1; dota_sf_hud_chat 1; dota_sf_hud_inventory 1; dota_sf_hud_top 1; dota_hud_healthbars 1; dota_no_minimap 0; cl_drawhud 1; dota_render_crop_height 166; dota_render_y_inset 31; alias ssMode noui"
alias  "noui"    "sv_cheats 1; dota_sf_hud_actionpanel 0; dota_sf_hud_channelbar 0; dota_sf_hud_chat 0; dota_sf_hud_inventory 0; dota_sf_hud_top 0; dota_hud_healthbars 0; dota_no_minimap 1; cl_drawhud 0; dota_render_crop_height 0; dota_render_y_inset 0; alias ssMode fullui"


Update 3: Instead of using “cl_drawhud 0″ you can disable the ingame portrait by editing the “hud_base.res” file with a text editor, it’s located in the “dota\resource\ui” folder.


“portrait_width” “120”
“portrait_height” “120”

Change to:

“portrait_width” “0”
“portrait_height” “0”


  • Mikey Boo

    holy shit, i waited for this… thanks man xD

  • Daniel Sar

    Thank you!

  • Lukas Kagan

    Hey, I haven’t tried out your/ReaverXai’s scripts yet, but they don’t look right.  There is no “screenshotMode” that is being aliased. As in, it’s never used. I think that’s supposed to say “driveMode” but I’m not sure. Also, this really helps with the scripts I’ve been trying to make. Thank ReaverXai for me.

    Also, I suggest including a larger dota_camera_distance in the “ssMode” as zoomed out screen shots look really awesome and are useful, especially for guide making purposes.

    • reaverxai

      You’re Welcome 😀

      Yeah, for the second alias, just change screenshotMode to driveMode. That’s my mistake.

  • ;]

    hey, can u answer how i can hide a demo player? sry for my bad english:)

    • Cyborgmatt

      Click on the spectator eye on the top bar before disabling it.

      • Ergi Ergean

        mate how to make to appear the healtbars when im in ss mode?

  • Ian

    Did Valve kill DemoUI? I really want to exploit the camera so I can angle it at any heroes eye level. Thoughts?

  • Essem

    I just found this page as well as your guide for the model viewer. You sir, are a gentleman and scholar. You’ll deff be getting a shout out when I get some of my video work going with this game.

  • dRt

    When I type in demoui nothing happens. It doesn’t appear and in the console I don’t get demoui as a suggestion when I write ‘demo’. Did VALVe kill the command? Really wanted to try out third person. :/

  • Ayevee

    Could we get another version of the demo.cfg file so it doesn’t disable health bars? 

    • Cyborgmatt

      All you need to do is remove the “dota_hud_healthbars” commands.

      • Helmsman91

        Did the make this feature unavailable as of late?

      • Latyos

         It’s keeps hiding health bars for me :O

        • t

          u have to put cl_drawhud to 1, but it also shows the hero portrait… Matt says you can edit the hud_base file and set the values to 0 (in the end) but it did not work for me… gl

      • Lê Thục

        The problem is the command “cl_drawhud 0″ will disable everything including healthbars.

  • MichaelAverage

    that hting with portrait doesnt work :(

  • MichaelAverage

    so lissen … that portrait thing doesnt work but you can do that like me.
    dota_render_crop_height 146, your render region will be ending above the portrait and than you can play with dota_camera_distance. then you will simply pancrop that footage in and thats all you need. if you wanna have heathbars you must delete from code dota_hud_heathbars and dota_hud must be 1

    • Cyborgmatt

      Yeap, I’m working on an updated guide that covers the new commands etc.

      • mm mm

        When will it be finished? Because heathbars on the last CFG file doesnt work =(

  • Inspiredbynoobs

    Guys,maybe is a dumb question,but how to get back the thing we already turned off by these comands?:D

  • guest.

    How do I disable numbers such as crit, gold earn, nuke dmg? And, I didn’t want demo.cfg to disable health bars so I deleted the dota_hud_healthbars part, but the healthbars still went away even after I clicked the bind key.

  • Dāvis

    The Demoui doesn’t work.

  • Tom

    how can I run the screenshot.cfg? I put it on the correct folder and f10 does nothing.. should I run anything on the console or something?

    • Tom

      oh so dumb.. of course I have to type “exec screenshot”.. =P
      (kinda new to that sorta thing)

  • Hudson Schmidt

    “demoui” no longer works?

  • michO_e

    i’d really like to see an updated post, it looks like theres is currently no way to hide hero portrait and get player names plus healthbars :(

  • oneone`

    How to hide the label left “Game stats”

    • 2fey

      dota_sf_hud_stats_dropdown 0

  • Mattia Ferrari

    ! in spectator mode I can see enemies in stealth (and into fog) you know a way to avoid seeing the opposing team? for my editing

  • dstrr

    add to the config

    dota_sf_hud_stats_dropdown (0=off 1=on) GAME STATS

  • Vincent Femia

    Any chance of another update to the guide? I’m trying to figure out how to move the camera with dota_free_camera 1. It seems locked in one place, but I can look around.

    • Hudson H Schmidt


  • 2milho

    CYBORGMATT!! bro, u CANNOT hide the portrait by editing the hud_base.res file.. please help us desperate videomakers! =] (without the healthbars it gets confusing who is who.. with it we also get that ugly portrait floating around!)

  • Dubion

    Portrait doesn’t hide anymore..

  • Gift

    There is a bar at the top and a large black bar that is behind the bottom hud. help?

  • fr0zen

    dota_sf_hud_stats_dropdown 0 for removing GAME STATS

  • Itoh

    How to hide the portrait window? hud_base.res this file does not exist on my pc

  • Nedrapter

    Can we have an update on this?

  • Manoj Shetty

    Thanks CYBORGMATT!!,

    By using your codes I have created my first montage..

  • Manoj Shetty

    FIX!!!!!!! How to keep health bars

    We can hide the portrait by crop….no other way to keep health bars…hud_base.res is not there in my PC…

  • skourpy

    thanks cyborg,really helpfull 😀 i had a question bro, we know that the “demoui” doesn’t work anymore. but how to rotate the camera like in this vid >> uploaded in 1 mar 2013 or do you think he makes the vid before demoui removed, am i right ?

  • Rage

    is there a solution to the portrait problem yet ? i dont wanna crop on my gorgeous res :(

  • Hynnnix

    How can I make the Inv units 100% non-visible,when watching a replay !

  • Lucky

    Which text editor do you use to edit the base_hud.res?

  • Yolonaut

    there is no hud_base.res file in the stated location. Is this already outdated?

  • DotAmerica

    Thanx for this, watch this film and rate please :)

  • SuperSheep

    I ran the updated script and whenever I do “noui” it hides health bars but I don’t want it to do that.

    I tried dota_hud_healthbars 1 and dota_hud_healthbars 0 and neither command restores health bars unless I do “fullui” which restores the whole UI.

    Any help on how I can get my HP bars to show while everything else is hidden?

  • Hudson H Schmidt

    Not found hud_base.res in the “dotaresourceui” folder.

  • Yugen

    can we have an update?

  • megadotas

    Thanks Cyborg, i made my first video because of you! thanks man =)

  • Someone

    it didnt work for me

  • R4izz3n
  • Delmiro Cárdenas

    how to remove hero portrait. dota_draw_portrait 0. you’re welcome

    • imseriousss


    • Timothy John

      Just what I and looking for! Thank man!

  • Small Style

    how i can hide demo player? on tap bar? sry man eng bad

  • Nisarg

    can some 1 give me the cfg file? i cant get it from here.

  • Nawaki
  • Omegle

    Thanks man. I am looking for this info as I wanted to start producing mini dota videos for my channel. This helps me a lot.

    I will create my first video now introducing some dota 2 cheats.

  • no name

    Bro, I want to change my portrait, so I find this find: Steam-> Dota-> Pack01_dir->Recourse-> UI-> Hud_base.res. But I cant change this witch and lenght, is the something wrong?

  • dota2movie
  • M Luthfan Mursyidan

    Thank you for the tips. Here is some of my work that remove Hud as you write in your blog. Thank you very much :) ..

    Some of my question is, why when i use command “dota_sf_hud_chat 0″ and “dota_sf_hud_top 0″, then use “dota_toggle_free_camera” (to move my camera around, it cannot be zoomed as before :/ ?
    Also what command to remove player name actually? ( I try dota_always_show_player_names but nothing work )

    again, Thank you….

  • RK OB

    i dont why i hv problem with sound after use bandisoft