Why is Video Playback in 4:3 (Full) and not 16:9 (Wide)?

Have a question, suggestion, or comment about Aleph One's features and functionality (Lua, MML, the engine itself, etc)? Post such topics here.
Post Reply
Born on Board
Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 9th '14, 09:21

Recently, I was testing out one of MML's (Marathon Markup Language) to make the Aleph one engine to play back a video file. It's good to see that Aleph One is capable of video cutscenes using MPEG-1 videos (.mpg) and the experimental Theora videos (.ogv). So far the MPEG-1 is playing the video smoothly, but the Theora shows a slight lag when playing back. :)

But the main issue that I've noticed was that most of the videos that I was testing (which they are 16:9, widescreen) are being squished down to 4:3 (Full/Non-Widescreen). :blink:

After further investigation on how this is happening, I was able to find out how this happened... :wacko:

It turns out that due to the Aleph one menu design (scaled to 4:3), the OpenGL has been programmed to squish the menu to fit in the widescreen, but unfortunately this also affects the video playback as well. As a result, most videos or cutscenes will suffer image rendering deformation due to the OpenGL's programming on scaling the Aleph One Menu.

What is even more strange is that I also tested this video using "Software" Rendering instead of "OpenGL" inside the game graphics. It was able to fill up the widescreen video perfectly but "OpenGL" doesn't. So "Software" can make widescreen videos fit, but "OpenGL" causes widescreen videos to be squished.

Now I know that the Aleph One developers are probably hard at work and they have a lot on their hands in dealing with bugs and issues, but I was just curious if they knew about this issue.

Otherwise if there is an alternative to make a video fill up the screen in the Aleph One engine, I would like to hear that. If not, then it can wait, because I know that the developers are busy and I don't want to annoy them whatsoever.

Meanwhile, maybe as a small request: could any of the Aleph One developers add an option to add support to make video files to fill up the screen?

Sorta like this for example:

<movie file(wide)="Movies/<Example(16:9)>.mpg" file(full)="Movies/<Example(4:3)>.mpg" scale=true/>
<movie file="Movies/<Example.ogv>" scale=true/>

The first example shows MML support to play widescreeen or fullscreen videos depending on what screen size settings the computer monitor has.
The second example shows the optional "Scale" to fill the video on the entire screen to fit.

This was quite a lengthy message, but I just want to be fully detailed and explanatory on what I found out so far with the video scaling issue.

Otherwise, I love to hear alternatives on how this can be resolved! ;)

See ya! -Corruptinator 01/09/13 12:00 PM

P.S. if anybody is interested in how I was able to make a video play back in the Aleph One engine, I can provide a detailed instruction on how it was possible.
User avatar
Mjolnir Mark IV
Posts: 585
Joined: May 10th '09, 17:02

I noticed the aspect-ratio bug a couple years ago, but fixing it would impact existing scenarios -- Blauwe Vingers has 16:9 movies that are meant to be squished for the 4:3 display. Your best bet is to add letterboxing with ffmpeg or a similar tool. Software rendering can't resize the movie graphics, so that's why it sort-of works, but that's really one bug overriding another.

Movies are basically treated as animated chapter screens, and share a lot of sizing/positioning code as you surmised. You've probably noticed that scrolling chapter screens always display in a 4:3 area, even when there's room to show more of the picture at the edges of the monitor. That's something we might change eventually; any extra features for movie resizing/scaling would happen then.

P.S. All posts have your name and the date at the top. Signing them is redundant and just takes up others' time to read it, so please do not do that again.
Born on Board
Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 9th '14, 09:21

Opps sorry. I guess I'll avoid signing from now on. :(

On the other hand, I do get the picture when you explained about the bug and why they are treated as Animated chapter screens. SIGH. I guess letterboxing will do...
Post Reply