Putting the Marathon Vidmaster's Challenge films on YouTube

For topics about the story, help in a certain level, game discussion, or finding/discussing content.

On my Windows machine, should I:

Focus on encoding as much M2 and M∞ content as possible
1
25%
Focus on encoding Rubicon films
2
50%
Focus on other scenarios (please specify which)
0
No votes
Other (please explain)
1
25%
 
Total votes : 4

Putting the Marathon Vidmaster's Challenge films on YouTube

Post Apr 24th '18, 05:33

I haven't been around in... ten years, it looks like. I don't really have an explanation for this, other than that my interest in video games often waxes and wanes; most recently, I went through about a four-year period where I don't think I played a game at all. I can't recall what finally spurred me to click on the Aleph One logo for the first time in years, but I've been playing fairly consistently for about a month.

Which brings me to my purpose in making this thread. The Marathon Vidmaster's Challenge website is a wonderful resource for those of us who want to learn how to suck less. There are a ton of strategies for the levels in these videos that I definitely would never have thought up on my own. But watching these videos is... well, not always convenient. Generally, you have to go through a number of steps just to get the videos to play - and for that matter, you have to have access to a computer just to watch them.

This channel seems to have been started with the intention of putting the films on YouTube, but it didn't get anywhere close to uploading all of them, and apparently hasn't been updated in two years - and for that matter, the video quality isn't always great in the videos that are there. The oldest ones - I watched Greg K.'s play-through of "IIHARL" - are probably 240p, or maybe 360p. Some of the others are much higher resolution, but don't look like they're using all of the Aleph One add-ons.

So I've gotten it into my head that I want to digitise the entire Vidmaster's Challenge site (or at least as much of it as possible) and put it up on YouTube - and because I don't tend to want to do things half-assed, I want to add at least the Tempus Irae vid films as well (except the "Repository" ones because who cares. And if there are similar sites for Eternal, Rubicon, Phoenix, etc., I'll probably want to add the films from those, too). But before I go through all the trouble of putting them all up, I want to be certain I'm not using display settings that piss people off. It'd be better if I only had to do each of these once, since I have to watch each film at 1x speed in order to encode it into .mov format.

I did a proof of concept video with Dr John Sumner's play-through of "Ain't My Bitch" from Tempus. I made it on a MacBook Pro; QuickTime tells me it recorded in 2560x1600 resolution. I used the hi-res textures that came with the AO version of Tempus, and I added the "Shots Fired" add-on as well. (I can't recall whether I also added the hi-res landscapes, and it doesn't entirely matter; I'm going to redo this one video for reasons I'll describe shortly.) It also has liquid transparency and all the other goodies that have been added to the game. The idea is: it's 2018; even if these films were recorded some two decades ago, I might as well use the appearance the game has now.

But before I go through and do all these films, I want to know, first, if this is going to piss people off; and secondly, if I should go further. IIRC, there are hi-res monster sprites for all the Infinity monsters as well. Should I add those? I'm not sure if I like them, but I might get used to them if I see them more. Infinity has a new HUD that doesn't cover the bottom third of the screen, and this isn't currently added to Tempus by default. Should I add that? Should I go further with add-ons? What should I add?

I'm going to redo Dr Sumner's "AMB" play-through in any case, because I mostly made it as a proof-of-concept to ensure it was possible, and the game playback lagged in a few places. Next time I record one of these, I'll make sure I quit everything else on my MacBook but Marathon and QuickTime; I think it'll work fine if I do that. I'll probably start doing these in earnest in a week or two at the latest after seeing what people say.

Of course, some of the films from both the Vidmaster and Nardo sites appear to be missing, so I won't be able to digitise the complete collection. I also haven't been able to get some of them to work correctly. I haven't tried anywhere near all of them, but the "Poor Yorick" vid tip says I'm missing the map it was recorded on, and the "Aye Mak Sicur" tip just quits without playing anything. I'm not sure if this is a problem on my end; StuffIt/BinHex archives may just be finicky. I also haven't tested M1 films at all yet. The FAQ thread, if I'm understanding the later posts correctly, appears to indicate something about M1's source having been released and AO having been updated accordingly, but can AO play M1 films yet? If not, I'll presumably have to figure out PPC emulation on an Intel Mac, but this is a task I'll worry about later.

Apart from what visual settings to use, I guess my other question is which films people would want encoded first. My instinct leads me to want to encode entire sets of complete playthroughs of a given game in one batch. So I'd try to do all of Jim Mitchell's films of one game (or the entire trilogy) at once, then go onto another player's films. However, it's also possible people might want to see this done level-by-level (I can imagine a lot of people might want the "Acme Station" films to get priority, for instance), and a third possibility is that people might want some combination of the above - or something else entirely.

My proof-of-concept video will be at https://youtu.be/QjamUvqG8vE. YT says it has 2 minutes of processing left.

Anyway, feedback will be much appreciated; I'll probably start this project in earnest soon. It'll certainly take awhile, probably several months; I'd like to have it done by the end of the year, but I can't promise this. I'll have to encode each video at roughly real time, so beyond the time involved, it'll probably take some patience to complete. I'll probably also have much more on my plate starting around August.

ETA: Looks like I'll have to redo this either way, because it doesn't have sound. I'm not sure what the issue with that is; I'll troubleshoot it tomorrow. It also currently only displays in 360p, though I think that's because it's a recent upload. If it doesn't at least have 1080p by tomorrow, I'll look into that too.
Last edited by The Man on Jul 19th '18, 03:03, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Apr 24th '18, 12:15

I don't know why you'd bother with QuickTime; Aleph One can export films directly to video. So for Marathon 2 and later, this is a pretty trivial [?meaningless] exercise ::shrug::

Aleph One can't play Marathon films, and probably never will. There's the challenge.
User avatar

treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Apr 24th '18, 13:48

treellama wrote:I don't know why you'd bother with QuickTime; Aleph One can export films directly to video. So for Marathon 2 and later, this is a pretty trivial [?meaningless] exercise ::shrug::

*Johnny Carson voice* I did not know that.

On the other hand, no one's bothered doing this yet, either, so I think I'll go through with it anyway. I assume this isn't a default option, though? If it is, I haven't figured out where it is.

Aleph One can't play Marathon films, and probably never will. There's the challenge.

Right. I take it this means I have to figure out Basilisk or whatever it is people use to emulate PPC Macs these days?
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Apr 24th '18, 14:05

If I recall correctly, you hold down alt (or option) when clicking Replay Saved Film. I believe that's how the current Vidmaster archive on YouTube was created.
User avatar

treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Apr 24th '18, 15:00

IMO, if you're going to do this, you should do it without any graphical plugins enabled. Possibly Goran's textures at the most, but definitely not the monsters or "HD" weapons. I would also turn the crosshairs off.

Then again, I'm not going to watch these, so who cares what I think.
User avatar

Wrkncacnter

Post Apr 24th '18, 18:42

treellama wrote:If I recall correctly, you hold down alt (or option) when clicking Replay Saved Film. I believe that's how the current Vidmaster archive on YouTube was created.

Thanks; this works, but there's no option for quality, is there? Looks like it's 480p or something compared to the 2560x1600 version I can get through running QuickTime. It's also really, horribly compressed. I'll think about whether this matters to me.

Wrkncacnter wrote:IMO, if you're going to do this, you should do it without any graphical plugins enabled. Possibly Goran's textures at the most, but definitely not the monsters or "HD" weapons. I would also turn the crosshairs off.

Then again, I'm not going to watch these, so who cares what I think.

I'm thinking for now I might just go the path of least resistance and just use whatever's there by default, plus any additional content by the official creators of the scenario. So for Tempus, that means anything Nardo made; for Infinity and M2, whatever's there in the latest download from Lhowon.org. I would like to have that clear HUD for everything, though, just because that bar at the bottom is an eyesore.
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Apr 24th '18, 19:36

In the preferences file you can change movie_export_video_quality. The default is 50, which is on the low side for 1080p.

It will export in the resolution you have Aleph One set to.
User avatar

treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Apr 24th '18, 20:00

Goran's textures are great. Throw out HD weapons and monsters, disable crosshairs, use the original HUD. Shots fired and HD scenery are okay in my book, but most likely not in others' books.

As for rendering options, the only one that pisses me off is bloom - if you really want to use it on Lh'owon, fine, but do disable it for space and M1. I hate what it does to stars and terminals.
User avatar

ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Apr 24th '18, 20:25

Terminals!? Bloom shouldn't affect terminals...
User avatar

treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Apr 24th '18, 21:33

TL:

That makes sense, but I can't find it in the preferences. Maybe I'm not just looking in the right place. It doesn't help that I don't understand what several of the options even mean (mostly advanced options, but still). I see it in the github documentation, but I can't find the option within AO itself. I could try editing the prefs file manually with wild guesses but I'm afraid I'd screw something up.

Also, if I export the films this way, can I do them in 4K even if my monitor doesn't support that? If not, not a huge deal - the 1440p YT would render them in is probably fine for 99% of people's purposes, including mine.

Raven:

Makes sense to leave bloom off for space, I guess. I think it looks cool for the fighter staff and projectiles, particularly in dark levels, but it looks kinda crappy in some other contexts. I'm not sure I've gotten used to how it makes the drones look, either. Is there an "enable bloom only for specific collections/sprites" script? If not, I might look into ways to write one soon.

There seems to be a consensus to leave the HD monsters out. I still don't think I really like them anyway, so that doesn't bother me. The HD fighters in particular don't look correct to me. The HD weapons I could take or leave. I kind of like them, but the items are bit of a change from the originals so I can see why others might not like them. (The weapons in hand animations look pretty similar, though, to my recollection. Maybe I should just enable HD weapons and disable HD items, which probably requires editing the script, but I'm sure I'm up to the task.)

I'll leave shots fired and HD landscapes etc. They're so close to the originals for the most part that I can't see why anyone wouldn't want them; they're basically just better versions of the originals. (Except the M2 Lh'owon landscapes, which I recall looking radically different from the originals. It's possible there are new versions now, though - I suspect I haven't downloaded the latest version of M2 in at least eight years.) I can't even recall what the HD scenery collections look like; I assume that means they weren't a radical change.

The one thing where I'm kind of having difficulty agreeing with you is the HUD. If I render the original HUD in 2560x1600 it'll leave a big black bar at the bottom of the screen, which looks awful to me. On the other hand, the revised HUD doesn't give as much info. I can sort of see an argument either way, I guess.

One final question I forgot to mention in my OP: shader or normal OpenGL? IIRC, the shader is the true 3D render, right? Though I guess it doesn't make much of a noticeable difference unless the player is looking sharply up or down.
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Apr 24th '18, 21:40

Terminal textures. Without proper glow masks applied, bloom seems to blow out certain textures with bright colors in them, like the bright greens/red/yellows/etc of some terminal textures.
User avatar

Pfhorrest
California

Post Apr 24th '18, 22:41

Bloom, when done properly, should affect everything. I couldn't imagine playing mararthon these days if it didn't look like this:
Attachments
XLSCB_0002.png
User avatar

Wrkncacnter

Post Apr 25th '18, 02:10

The Man wrote:Makes sense to leave bloom off for space, I guess. I think it looks cool for the fighter staff and projectiles, particularly in dark levels, but it looks kinda crappy in some other contexts. I'm not sure I've gotten used to how it makes the drones look, either. Is there an "enable bloom only for specific collections/sprites" script? If not, I might look into ways to write one soon.


You can write a script that disables it. For example, in my M1 HD starscape plugin, I have written:
Code: Select all
  <opengl>
    <texture coll="29" bitmap="0" normal_image="starscapes/taucetei3072plow.dds" landscape_bloom="0" type="1"/>


If you went to the trouble of writing scripts do to that for every texture it looks bad on, then yeah, go for it. Maybe even post it as a plugin for other folks. Mind you bloom is incompatible with 3-D models (why don't ask me) so you'll still have to turn it off if you use those.

After taking the screenshots below, it looks like Goran did a good job of the Jjaro terminal glowmap. Same isn't true for all though.

The Man wrote:The HD weapons I could take or leave. I kind of like them, but the items are bit of a change from the originals so I can see why others might not like them.


I really like most of the HD weapons myself - except for the M2 pistol and AR. For digitising classic vidmaster films though, the originals might be better.

The Man wrote:The one thing where I'm kind of having difficulty agreeing with you is the HUD. If I render the original HUD in 2560x1600 it'll leave a big black bar at the bottom of the screen, which looks awful to me. On the other hand, the revised HUD doesn't give as much info. I can sort of see an argument either way, I guess.


What I prefer to do is set the HUD size to "Double" under graphics preferences. At least that works reasonably well on my 1920x1200 laptop, although it winds up getting cropped to a weird 22:15 aspect for some reason. No idea what A1 would do with 2560x1600.

NeCedeMalis_0000.png


You could also set it to "largest", but then you'd probably be constrained to a 4:3 aspect ratio:

NeCedeMalis_0003.png
User avatar

ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Apr 25th '18, 02:29

The 4:3 aspect ratio actually looks the best of those options to me by a substantial amount, and I’m strongly leaning towards it now. It’s how classic Marathon looked anyway, and despite my inclination to use most of the modern add-ons, this is one case where I see a strong argument for going old-school.

It sounds like writing a “disable bloom selectively” script shouldn’t be difficult at all, which I kind of expected from my experience writing MML all those many years ago; finding a consensus on what looks bad with it probably would be close to impossible, though. I might just disable it for some collections entirely rather than trying to go sprite-by-sprite in most cases (though I’ll probably disable it for the terminal textures where it looks bad, at least). I’ll definitely turn it off for the space landscape; I agree with you that it looks wrong. I’ll probably disable it for monsters whose blood glows in the dark (e.g., Enforcers), too; bloom makes that look really wrong to me. I’m still not sure about drones. Maybe I’ll leave bloom for their projectiles but turn it off for the drones themselves, though I can’t conceptualise whether that would look OK without seeing it in action. I’ll toy around with it. I’d definitely be happy to post a plugin if people liked it.

I’m still leaning towards leaving in most of the HD weapons in unless they really bother people; I remember most of them being pretty close to the originals, though I haven’t spent that much time using them in awhile. My rationale is that while the player doesn’t generally spend much time close enough to enemy sprites for their pixellation to be really awful, the player always has a weapon in front of them (except at the start of Rebellion levels), and the contrast between the quality of the texture art and that of the weapon art would seem extremely conspicuous. I can again be persuaded to disable specific ones if there’s a big difference and people think they look bad, though; if memory serves, the script modifications would consist of nothing more than commenting out specific lines of MML.

(I have a hunch that the 22:15 aspect ratio occurs because “double” means that it literally uses twice the original HUD size, and the game uses the maximum amount of remaining available screen real estate to present the gameplay portion of the screen in its original aspect ratio, whatever that was. I haven’t cracked the numbers, but 22:15 is probably what comes out on your resolution. I’m sure TL knows the answer – if what I’ve written makes sense, anyway.)
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Apr 25th '18, 12:22

The Man wrote:That makes sense, but I can't find it in the preferences. Maybe I'm not just looking in the right place. It doesn't help that I don't understand what several of the options even mean (mostly advanced options, but still). I see it in the github documentation, but I can't find the option within AO itself. I could try editing the prefs file manually with wild guesses but I'm afraid I'd screw something up.

Yeah you have to edit the file in a text editor. Add

Code: Select all
movie_export_video_quality="100"

to the graphics tag.

I don't know if that will be high enough bandwidth for 4K. You can try setting it higher than 100, and see what happens. This is uncharted territory.

Also, if I export the films this way, can I do them in 4K even if my monitor doesn't support that? If not, not a huge deal - the 1440p YT would render them in is probably fine for 99% of people's purposes, including mine.

Yes, but you'll need to edit the preferences file again. Switch to windowed mode in Aleph One then quit. Add these lines to your graphics prefs:

Code: Select all
scmode_height="2160"
scmode_width="3840"

If you're worried about screwing something up, make a copy of the file first!
User avatar

treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Apr 25th '18, 19:10

For some reason, Infinity doesn’t seem to want to hold onto these changes when I make them and just reverts to what I assume to be the default preferences. It tells me:

There were preferences-file parsing errors (see Marathon Infinity Log.txt for details)


Googling where to find Marathon Infinity Log.txt doesn’t seem to help, so I’ll run a HD search (it’s not in any of the immediately obvious places). I’ll provide further info if I find it. It looks like the Acme Station video I exported as a test may not have had any higher quality than the previous video I tried (I probably should’ve just re-exported the same level I used the first time, but I wanted to use a shorter one; the video I used was about twenty-four minutes, whereas most Acme films are about four or five). I’ll edit this with additional info when I have it.

Thanks for all the help, BTW.

ETA: A search of my whole HD hasn’t immediately returned any file entitled “Marathon Infinity Log”, though it’s possible there’s some tip to searching on OS X that I’m not aware of (I wouldn’t consider myself a power user of the Mac OS these days as I was back in the OS 7 days).

ETA 2: Having compared the two videos again, I’m certain the Acme one has higher quality after all. I might’ve managed to get it to hold onto the video quality setting of 100. I don’t think I managed to get it to hold onto 200, which is what I arbitrarily tried to compensate for the fact that 2560x1600 is much larger than 1920x1080. I also definitely wasn’t able to get it to hold onto the 4K windowed mode, though that might be my laptop’s fault; I’m not sure. I may play around more with this in the near future. I think I’ll at least upload the Acme video as another proof of concept.

ETA 3: Should be live at https://youtu.be/AIYq5SBlHeY As I said in the video description, I’ll be changing settings further before I start uploading these in earnest, so there’ll be another upload of this eventually even if I can’t figure out how to fix the 4K thing.

ETA 4: Unrelated to this specific project, I may have encountered a bug with using the option-playback feature and the Aleph One film engine; the game appears to have desynced one of my own films and resulted in a player death that didn’t occur. I’ll try to gather enough info to submit a bug report soon, though it’ll probably require upload of my absolutely gigantic scenario for you to corroborate on your end. That said, I’ll see if it recurs. The first AO film I tried to encode using this option went fine.
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Apr 26th '18, 00:45

I don't know enough about video-related things o help on that front, but I'd like to say that the one you uploaded looks fine to me.

Hopefully there shouldn't be too many issues with uploading and preserving old fan scenario films, especially since it may be the only way people nowadays can see them. For example, unless there's a backup somewhere, Dr. Sumner's films for The Classified 19 are inaccessible (file's corrupt or something).
welcome to the scene of the crash
User avatar

General-RADIX

Post Apr 26th '18, 04:36

Thanks.

Yeah, I’m worried about that, too. Plus, a lot of links just disappear. IIRC, the Rubicon site used to have a lot of extra content besides just the scenario, but it’s not there anymore even when the site is up (and it isn’t even always up). I think the website might’ve even had some vid films up originally, though I’m sure some people from this community still know where to get hold of C Lund or Scott Brown or someone who else still might have them. But for the lesser known scenarios, that might not be as easy to do.

BTW TL, I tried re-recording the film I mentioned in ETA 4 and the bug didn’t recur. No idea what the deal was. I’d temporarily enabled monster paths on the automap for debugging purposes but that shouldn’t make any difference to movie playback, should it?

…Also, I’m thinking the prefs file error might be because AO doesn’t like movie_export_video_quality to have three characters. I suspect that should be an easy fix. For now I guess I’ll just use a value of 99.

Still can’t get the 4K windowed mode to work, either, though.

ETA: Ran the questionable level a third time and got the early death a second time. I think it respawned a clip befrore it was supposed to, though I can't figure why that would cause the rest of the map to desync... though, come to think of it, I think one of the Hunters was also supposed to die earlier, so maybe they're both issues of the same desync issue. I can't get it to encode properly now, which is particularly unfortunate because I overwrote the one time it did encode correctly.

ETA 2: I think the desync bug may actually have to do with overwriting old .webm files. Every time it desynced, I was overwriting an old file. I can’t explain why this would occur, but I’m fairly certain that’s correct.

Quality of “99” results in a file at least seven times larger than quality of “50”, and the artefacts seem unnoticeable with the latter setting. I think that’ll be fine. It’d still be nice if there were a way to get it to export 4K though.
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Apr 26th '18, 12:20

Reading the code, it should accept "100" for quality, not sure why that's not working. It looks like it won't accept anything higher, and at 99 or 100 the bitrate (10 megabits) probably isn't high enough to do 4K.

Video export should have nothing to do with film playback sync. Check your plugins, MML, etc. Get rid of anything that isn't default.
User avatar

treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Apr 26th '18, 13:26

The Man wrote:ETA 3: Should be live at https://youtu.be/AIYq5SBlHeY As I said in the video description, I’ll be changing settings further before I start uploading these in earnest, so there’ll be another upload of this eventually even if I can’t figure out how to fix the 4K thing.

Ack, turn on static effects :)
User avatar

treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Apr 26th '18, 18:44

I will for the final encode. I forgot it wasn’t a default, honestly. I seem to recall that it used to slow AO down a lot, which I assume is why it isn’t one, but it doesn’t seem to affect performance on the newer versions, and I don’t understand why it ever did.

AFAIK, I wasn’t encoding with any scripts that weren’t there when I recorded the films. I don’t use any plug-ins for my scenario, either. I changed a couple of script options that, as far as I know, only affect appearance (for instance, I’d shown monster paths on the automap to make it easier to debug their behaviour, but I removed that for gameplay videos because they look horrible; moreover, if this affected gameplay, it should cause a desync every time I tried to encode the videos rather than just some of the time), but other than that, I left everything the way it was when I played the levels. I don’t have an explanation for why overwriting an existing .webm file would cause a desync in the first place, either. I’m about to have company over for the next few days, but I can try to upload a complete set of files and PM them to you after they leave if you want to look into it. I wouldn’t worry about it too much either way, since I’m pretty sure I’ve already found a workaround; I suspect there are much larger problems with the game engine.

I don’t know why it won’t accept 100 as an input value either. I presume it’d be worth enabling inputs higher than 100 for the next alpha build of AO. Any idea on why it won’t run in 4K or is that an issue with my hardware? (If you can get 4K windowed mode to work, you might also try sending me your prefs file and I can see if works on my machine.)
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Apr 27th '18, 04:09

The Man wrote:Thanks.

Yeah, I’m worried about that, too. Plus, a lot of links just disappear. IIRC, the Rubicon site used to have a lot of extra content besides just the scenario, but it’s not there anymore even when the site is up (and it isn’t even always up). I think the website might’ve even had some vid films up originally, though I’m sure some people from this community still know where to get hold of C Lund or Scott Brown or someone who else still might have them. But for the lesser known scenarios, that might not be as easy to do.


I actually have all of the installer files/extras that you're referring to (been playing the classic version of Rubicon in SheepShaver recently):
https://mega.nz/#!T4xi3BCZ!bIwMneaWtm6A ... yx7oe-3Q50

And here's a zip file with everything installed/setup as well:
https://mega.nz/#!bxAkjCoA!VYWHwqk863Un ... uRcoBnfEg4

Pretty much everything listed on the Archived version save for the Fan Art & Creations stuff. I also included the Rubicon files from the Marathon Orphanage listed on the Audio page & the Shapes page.

I hope this helps! Let me know if there are any issues.
User avatar

eisnerguy1

Post Apr 27th '18, 14:48

Thanks. I have company right now but I will try those soon. (Will I have to figure out emulation? If so, it might take a bit longer, but I’ll still try to get around to it soon. Can I just run those with the AO version and the original map file?)

ETA: Seems like I can. I'm encoding the longest films first and don't see any evidence of desync. I'll probably put a few of them up over the next few days.

ETA 2: I encoded the three longest films before realising that the terminal images didn’t work. Here they are anyway.

Not *This* Again…
Hell Pfhor You
This Hurts Less Than…Uhh…

I should probably redo them anyway since a few of the textures look bad with bloom. Still, it doesn’t look like they desync. Regarding the terminal picts, does someone have/can someone make an SDL conversion of the original Rubicon map? If not, I guess I’ll look into how to create one when I have more free time.

Also, is there a way to set Marathon to employ bloom at fractional intensity for certain textures? Specifically thinking of the white light texture on the Rozinante, where it’s ridiculously overpowering at full value, but it’d look out of place if it weren’t enabled at all.

ETA 3: The issue I’ve been having with the preferences may be that TextEdit was putting in curly quotes without my realising it. I’ll see if I can work around this and report back.

ETA 4: It no longer gives me a parsing error, but it still isn’t exporting videos to 4K. It looks like it’s actually just reverting to 640x480 in windowed mode if it doesn’t recognise the resolution. IDK what gives. I can at least save videos at 100 quality now rather than 99 though. I’ll just use 2560x1600 resolution for now.
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 13th '18, 03:43

I think I may start this project in earnest tomorrow night. My inclination is to start with the Infinity films. I have two issues:

  1. I can’t figure out what I need to do to get the Shots Fired plugin to work with Infinity. The instructions obviously come from before the standalone install became a thing, and I’m trying to elucidate why I’m having trouble and feel like I’m just confusing myself more in the process. Intuitively, the explanation that makes the most sense to me is that I just don’t understand where the stand-alone installations put any of their game data as compared to other Aleph One installations, but intuition isn’t always a reliable guide when it comes to computer programs. I’m half thinking of just installing Infinity and all the add-ons I want manually; that way the file locations will make logical sense to me. If someone has a quick-fix solution to get it working in the standalone app, though, I’ll take it.

  2. YouTube never seems to offer any option above 720p for anything I upload in .webm format; even Asmodeus’ “Acme Station” video, my oldest .webm upload, still only offers up to 720p, while my sound-less .mov encode of Dr. Sumner’s “Ain’t My Bitch” Vid film gave up to 1440p no more than a day after I’d uploaded it. Should I just transcode them to .mp4 or .mov before uploading? I’ll lose a marginal amount of quality from doing so, but at least people will be able to see them in full HD. (If one of the devs has time to write an option to export .mov/.mp4/other formats YouTube likes more, that’d obviously be even cooler, but I’m not presumptuous enough to demand it when there are almost certainly more pressing features to add to the engine.)

Beyond that, if anyone has any requests for specific players to upload first, I’ll follow ’em; otherwise I’ll probably just go most recent to oldest for complete sets of Vid films from M∞ (probably in numerical order for each player’s films), then any stray levels that remain from other players; then I’ll follow the same process for M2. Tempus and Rubicon shouldn’t take nearly as long, since there are nowhere near as many films. M1 is going to be the tough one; I guess I’ll have to record those manually in Basilisk with QuickTime or something. IDK; I haven’t tried it yet.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post May 13th '18, 20:15

…well, I figured out why YouTube doesn’t offer more than 720p as a viewing option: Aleph One is only exporting these films in 1280x800 resolution (i.e., half my screen size in both directions). I have no idea why.

I’m going to try making one on my PC, which has a 1920x1080 display, and see if that at least exports to 1080p. Otherwise, I may make a request for higher-res video export; that seems like it’d be substantially easier than adding support for a whole new codec.

ETA: My desktop exports 1920x1080, but it’s excruciatingly slow, probably fewer than five frames per second. My MacBook doesn’t quite export video at real-time, but it’s close. I’ll see if I can get windowed mode running for 1080p on my MacBook. Aleph One might just not export properly to resolutions higher than 1080p right now.

Edit 2: Nope, no luck. My MacBook reverts to “automatic” (I’m not entirely sure what resolution; it looks like 1024x768). If someone has a preferences file that’ll run windowed mode in 1920x1080 on a MacBook with a larger screen size, I’ll try using it on my machine and see if it works. Otherwise, the videos might end up being 720p, because I don’t know if I’m patient enough to wait as long as it takes for videos to encode on my desktop. I may start out exporting a few there, but I can’t promise to do them all that way.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

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