Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's Not Me, It's You.

I've always wanted to be honest during one, or two, of my 'bad breakups' over the years and just say:

"You know what, I'm fine, but there's something seriously wrong with you. This is over."

That never happened, of course, but now, at least, I get to say that the recent video troubles are definitely not me. It's You Tube:

Videos are shortenedWe're aware of a problem where large AVI files are being shortened. For example, if you have a 30 minute video, it may be shortened to a 5 minute video. As we investigate, please try uploading your video in a different format.

Whew! I wish they had posted that last week. It would have saved me many hours of re-loading, editing, and fretting. My latest video is again cut short but I am getting the last 5 mins re-formatted and uploaded now. Once again I apologize for the split video but on the plus side I do think the curse of the Object 704 may have been all in my head- at least judging by how these two turn out. The last one is especially interesting as, for some reason, three tanks go right by me without bothering to shoot me once they get behind me. Sometimes you're helped out by a kindly dose of enemy stupidity. It's a great example of how 'rushing arty' is, in the long term, a failing tactic.


  1. I encode my videos direct to FLV (Youtube's native format) with high-ish settings (1080p, 30fps, middle to higher for audio and other vid settings) and that seems to work..though I don't wrestle with a freeware encoder anymore (as that was pain beyond pain). Premiere makes it much easier.

    Are you encoding? Uploading RAW? What are you using to encode (if you are encoding)?

  2. I've tried quite a few editing programs and finally settled on Video Pad (Pro) because it had the best quality and was the easiest to use (vs Corel or Cyberlink). It rendered at the best quality. I was saving as .avi because it was default and .mpg made the writing in WoT blurry. I have switched to .mp4 and found it is good- the writing is not blurry.

    I use Bandicam (pro) to capture and currently have my settings a bit lower than I'd like just so my old video card can keep up. It records as .avi by default and I have it set for 25 fps and 1920 X 1080 (at 70% quality). A 16 minute WoT video ends up at 2.4 gig.

    When I rendered to .avi with Video Pad it compacted to 1.5 gigs or so. The .mp4 is a bit smaller but I haven't rendered a full video yet so I'm not sure by how much.

    I am using a Radeon 6570 atm which is holding me back though overclocked I am quite impressed with it (40 FPS in WoT). I've an AMD FX Quad Core (3 ghz or so), and 8g DDR3 RAM (Ripjaw). I have a GTX 650 on order so I think once that arrives I will be able to turn up all my WoT and Bandicam settings and go crazy :)

    I use Audacity (as suggested by you) sometimes but at the moment I'm finding it easier just to record audio while I'm doing WoT video. As for X-Com I'm a bit torn. It doesn't lend well to 'as you play' commentating I don't think, and to add in decent (funny, concise, etc) audio afterwards basically means you have to play the game twice.

    Video Pad has a pretty small preview window so trying to narrate while editing is pretty hard for X-Com (I can't see the soldiers names for instance) so I have to watch the .avi and comment in Audacity but then if I edit the video, I also have to mess about with the audio so it matches.... It's been holding me back from my X-Com Let's Play as the time commitment is a bit much together with the stuff I want to do for WoT.

  3. Something to keep in mind with all of this is that AVI and MP4 and the like are just 'containers' for various encoding specs, not actually formats themselves. So where you are probably encoding with (or want to be encoding with) h264 you can land that video in an avi or mp4 or whatever.

    Many formats - especially in premiere - are geared towards television, so you'll get some very very weird tearing (the kind that wouldn't show up on a TV and in fact exploits the TV's weird slow rasterization method) with many "HD" formats. The default Youtube presets all assume a shitty web connection too, so it took me some experimentation and ripping ideas from video forums to get a format that Youtube seemed 100% happy with.

    Otherwise I got all sorts of frustrating side effects, like my videos being truncated (that happened a LOT), "sticky frames", and the like.

    Something else to want have FRAPS dump to a drive that's otherwise not being used...ideally not the OS drive or the game drive, so it has exclusive write access. Weird stuff can happen otherwise with your RAW'll play, but encoders will have sneaky trouble with it.

    As for your thoughts on an XCOM Let's Play...I agree with them. That said, I don't much mind watching the mission a second time as I learn from my mistakes as I figure out how to explain and present them to an audience. :) I may be weird though.

    1. I don't mind watching it again as well but it just comes down to time for me. I have the start of a Let's Play ready to go, but need to narrate it. I may play ahead a little and see how it goes but I don't want to start something and not finish it. I'm assuming once I get the kinks worked out (ie I learn to use all my software properly) it will get easier and I won't have to fiddle with stuff (like re-loading 2 gig files to You Tube 3 times).

      Did you promote your series at all? With my WoT stuff I just hit the forums to introduce my videos but with X-Com I'm wondering how you'd let people know about your vids.

  4. I'd considered putting them onto the XCOM forums...but the community there doesn't seem to have much of a presence. More a few supporters amidst many people who just stop by to complain. Feels to typical of an 'Internet Forum' to really be of help; maybe I'm under-estimating it.

    Truth be told, beyond my blog I've done little to actively promote my videos...trusting only to tags and coming up in searches to help, and I guess my blog. Though my blog gets considerably more traffic than my youtube channel. I guess my readers are more into reading than watching. Or maybe - unlike myself - most people have an easier time reading blogs then watching Youtube vids while trapped at work. :)

    If I get more content up that I'm satisified with, and I manage to get into a groove were generating further content is little trouble, I will take more steps towards getting reaching out to other people that run XCOM Let's Plays and cross-promoting. Kind of what I did with Archmagery back in the day.

  5. Found the new two matches in the 704 very good to watch as well. I have to say, it does rather get me hankering to go through the USSR TD tree even more :)

    I have to say, as relates to mountain pass, you first going one way, then another, then back again - well, I know *exactly* that experience. I always feel obligated to try and shore up the weak flank. Meant several "glorious last stand" situations. Of course, some of them aren't so glorious :D

    Would be interseted in seeing the SU-26 at some point.