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SOS Machinima | VintFalken.com
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VintFalken.com

SOS Machinima

July 3, 2007 12:06 pm

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I have ‘machinimad’ a few nice clips during Dolmere’s gig a while ago. Silly me thought she’d do something else for once, and I chose the ‘full frame’ option. Now I can’t open the .avi file with neither Windows Movie Maker (do not laugh!) or Avid (the free version). Do I need special codecs, another program, … or should I just give up?

Furry OD'ing on Purple Clouds at Dolmere's gigThe problem is the only - decent - picture I have now is this one of me trying to help a furry that OD’d on Purple Clouds with Dolmere playing in the background.

Furthermore, I’ve f*cked up my sound with playing with the sound settings to get Avid to work with my Realtek card. No ‘reset’ button on sound options in Windows, though. Hence, a mute and deaf Vint until she remembers what she actually changed. *sobs*

11 Responses to “SOS Machinima”

Wrath wrote a comment on July 3, 2007
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Seems to me saving it in full frames as an .avi file should open just fine in Windows Movie Maker, at least. Did you try playing it in Windows Media Player to make sure you actually filmed something? How big is the file size? It’s not too big for your system to handle, is it? Bummer, sorry to hear you are having issues with it. :-(

Aenea Nori wrote a comment on July 3, 2007
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Vint, it might depend on what you used for the capture. If you used FRAPS, it’s capture codec is a little odd, and that might be throwing off Windows Movie Maker. Another possibility is that the full-screen capture made for a far-too-large filesize (I am not a Windows user for editing my videos, though, so I may be talking out of my a** here.)

I wrote a tutorial on capturing and encoding machinima that’s available here, that might help you recover this video. At the very least, re-encoding to .mpg for example might result in a more manageable file size that you could more easily manipulate…

It’s worth a shot :) Good luck!

Vint Falken wrote a comment on July 3, 2007
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But how do I re-encode it when I can’t open it? (edit: I’ll try the TMPGEnc)

Windows Media Player cannot play the file. The Player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file.

Wrath, is 1.5gb (smallest one) and 4gb (largest one) to large for my system to handle? But looking at the file size, I assume I did film something. :p

Aenea Nori wrote a comment on July 3, 2007
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Vint, it sounds plausible :) With Windows, you never know what to expect. But your filesize is huge so it could just be overwhelming WMM and WMP.

The FRAPS codec is an odd bird, is completely uncompressed, and doesn’t play well with others. TMPGEnc should take care of it; I get average 150-200MB captures down to less than 7MB when I encode to .mpg.

As a suggestion, don’t ever shoot fullscreen :) There’s very little to be gained with the additional resolution (even DVD only has 640 x 400 resolution, more or less) and you’ll have to sacrifice it when you render your movie, and it will definitely impact on your framerate and hard drive efficiency during the capture…

Aenea Nori wrote a comment on July 3, 2007
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Oh hey, I just realized you never actually said if you used FRAPS for the capture… sorry for assuming that :)

Vint Falken wrote a comment on July 4, 2007
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It’s ok. Maybe I should have used Frapps. ;) I should look into all these machinima stuff more carefully. It was just a ‘in the heat of the moment’ decision to start filming.

TMPGEnc => is no freeware? :(

Aenea Nori wrote a comment on July 4, 2007
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I don’t think it is, unfortunately. There was another encoder that I think was free, but I’d have to look for the reference.

OK, from the FRAPS FAQ (and it implies that the problem you have with your huge video file may be the same as that generated by FRAPS video captures):

………………………………….
Why is the AVI movie generated by Fraps so big? How can I reduce the size?

The filesize is big because there isn’t enough time to encode the movie while the game is running. The movie frames are slightly compressed, but still require a large amount of disk space due to the high resolutions. Once you have finished capturing you should convert the saved AVI into one of the popular compressed movie formats such as mpeg or divx. Recommended programs for doing this are tmpgenc (Tsunami Mpeg Encoder), and VirtualDub.

Using VirtualDub is quite easy. To create a compressed version of the AVI follow these steps:

* Start VirtualDub
* Select File->Open and choose the AVI in the Fraps directory you wish to compress.
* Select Video->Compression and choose the codec you wish to compress with (usually divx)
* Select File->Save As AVI and specify a filename for the new AVI.

If you have Windows XP you can also use Windows Movie Maker to compress the video files. If you use Windows Movie Maker it’s recommended that you keep your Fraps video files at 800×600 or under.
……………………………………….

VirtualDub is free and available here: http://www.virtualdub.org/
Now that I read the site closely, I can’t recall why I didn’t use this right off the bat for my video capture too :/ I think I was never able to find an effective tutorial for the parameters I needed for the conversion to MPEG-1 in VirtualDub, but my memory is hazy…

Vint Falken wrote a comment on July 4, 2007
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Ok, so VirtualDub it is, later this evening. Thank you! (The video footage I shot is probably not even worth all this effort you do for helping me. :/)

Aenea Nori wrote a comment on July 4, 2007
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It’s always a start :) You’ll get this one down, and the next one will be awesome-er :)

Dolmere wrote a comment on July 5, 2007
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Vint, it’s of ME! It’s worth the effort :) haha

I’ve been enjoying this conversation. I wonder if iShowU would be any better than SnapzPro on Mac OS X. On the one hand it capture to RAM instead of disk to speed things up and on the other it compresses as it captures. So Snapz has a long wait at the end while it compresses/encode the video it shot on disk during the capture process while iShowU consumes more resources during the capture with no wait at the end… but will it consume too much to make a good image with that resource hog of SL running?

Aenea Nori wrote a comment on July 5, 2007
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Dol, that’s what I would expect. I’ve been wary to try any capture utility on my iMac (with 1Gb RAM) bc I can feel it’s just barely chugging along with just SL running. But I was tempted to try iShowU to see how it turned out…

A capture utility would most probably ruin my (already-low) framerate. It’s an unfortunate fact that the Windows client just runs *better* than the Mac one does.

I shudder to think how our Linux friends must feel :/

Care to comment?