The NIS Tool is part of the worldbuilder via the button that says "NIS" on it. Before you can place any actors or effects in your NIS, you have to start a new NIS File. To do so, look at the top for a dropdown menu that says "NIS File". In it, select "New NIS".
Before you can do anything usefull with the NIS tool, you have to understand the timeline. The timeline can be accesed near the play button on the rollup menu (it says "Timeline", so you caint miss it).
The timeline controls everything that happens in a NIS. Every Camera, Actor, Effect, ect. will have its own place in the Timeline. I explained the timeline a little in this pic:
Keyframes are the red nodes in the Timeline. Keyframes control what the actors do, when to do it, and how long to it in certain cases (Movement). To insert a keyframe on the timeline, select the apropriate point in the timeline and hit "Insert" on the keyboard. You will be asked different things, depending on where you added the keyframe.
'I' only add keyframes under the Animation or Custom Anitmation channels for Actors and trigger keyframes for effects. The movement keyframes are generated automaticly (I'll explain later).
--Adding weapons for troops--
When you have a soldier for example, your going to want to arm him with some sort of weapon, wether it be a rifle, grenade, or bazooka maybe. Doing this requres two commands for a single keyframe. Select the first keyframe under the solder in the animation channel(use the rifleman.abp actor for this example) and hit insert. When the menu pops up, select the "m1garand_visible" under the STATE list. Change the value "off" to "on" and click update (This is all on the rollup menu). Now hit insert over the same keyframe and find the "rifle_state" command under the STATE list. Change "invisible" to watever suits the scene at the moment (like aim, fire, cooldown, ect.). Now your rifleman should have an m1garand rifle in his hands if you did everything correctly. For a bazooka, you need to use different commands (All under the STATE list still). To issue your fine soldier a bazooka, select the "m9_bazooka_visible" instead of "m1garand_visible". Now add another keyframe on top of that one, just like before, only use "bazooka_state" (....so complicated!). Again, you need to change the settings for the command to suite the scene at the moment. I hope that explains how to give your troops guns. Certain troops will only take certain guns. An engineer actor will NOT take an m1_garand, for example. However, an engineer WILL take weapons that can be picked up in the game, such as bazookas and panzerchrecks. Be carful of which state commands you use as well. A panzerchreck uses the "bazooka_state" command as well. The lightMG42 uses the "lmg_state" command.
Another one of the many misteries of the NIS tool is how to actually move your actors. This can be accomplished very easily via the AutoKey button next to the Timeline. Understanding how to use it should be farily straight forward. However, certain things about it make it a little challenging to use effectivly.
-How it works-
When you have AutoKey "ON", you may drag your actor where you want him to be. If you are on frame 60, for example, and you move your actor ahead a bit, it will take the time to get to 60 frames for that actor to move to the location you moved him to. Keep in mind, sometimes the actor will move too fast or too slow. Just undo the move then go ahead or back a few seconds then try again. For example, if I moved my actor while at 30 frames, and he went too fast, I would undo the move, then go to 60 frames and try the same move again. A rule of the AutoKey feature is the farther you move your actor, the faster he will go.
Sometimes you dont want your actor to move as soon as the NIS starts (Maybe he is shooting at the bad guy, for example). To fix this, AutoKey the actor to its current position (Basicly move him onto himself so that there is a pink dot under him), then AutoKey the actor to wherever he needs to be. I hope that explains it enough. Dont be afraid to ask questions!
-But their legs wont move!-
Ahh, this is very simple. Add a new KeyFrame to the very begining of the NIS (Or whenever you actor starts moving) under the Animation channel with the STATE command "Locomotion". Whatever you choose here is up to you. It also depends on how fast your actor is moving. I almost always use "stand_slow" for walking and "stand_medium" for running. There are other usefull comands here as well, I just dont want to go through them!
I hope this will help you make your own custom cinematics for Company Of heroes!