Monday, April 4, 2011

Don't Go Breaking My Art

After about two months of travel, time spent with friends and family, unexpected disruptions, and generally being busy, I managed to finish up Part 5 of my video playthrough of Mega Man 6 for YouTube. The only problem? I couldn't watch the video.

Following the fiasco some weeks back where I ended up reinstalling Windows twice in one week, it should not have come as a surprise that my now tried-and-true method of processing videos in Virtualdub and transforming them into neatly compressed .avi files should suddenly break down. I had saved my configuration settings from before the reinstallations, but I hadn't reinstalled all the same video codecs needed to play and record videos. My audio came out perfectly, but the video dragged along at a quarter of the proper speed.

After a bit of examination, I discovered that I hadn't selected a compression method for my video. Whatever Virtualdub's default is, it would never do. Having set up this process almost two years ago and having barely fiddled with any of the settings since, I did not immediately recall that I used ffdshow instead of DivX for video compression. DivX was on the list, but ffdshow was not, and looking at the Properties of the videos I had successfully created in the past, all of them claimed to be produced with the help of DivX. So, I tried to configure the DivX options in Virtualdub, and after far too many failed attempts to produce a video of any quality that Winamp, Windows Media Player, or YouTube would play, it occurred to me why I had given up on DivX and used ffdshow all that time ago.

I downloaded ffdshow, did a quick configuration, and ended up with possibly the prettiest-looking video I've made yet, at least in terms of visual quality if not content.

Is there a lesson in all this? Probably. "Figure out a less convoluted way to record your videos" would be a fine choice, or, "Next time you back up your hard drive before you reinstall Windows, just dump the ENTIRE thing onto an external hard drive if you've got the space, so you can poke around for solutions when something inevitably breaks." At any rate, I've officially had my technological setback for this round of videos two or three times over, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there will not be any more.

3 comments:

Joseph said...

We all hope so too. More for your mental sanity than our sake.

I think many of us were quite pleasantly surprised that you had finished by now, cudos for overcoming that setback as quickly as you did!

Scott said...

Vegas Movie Studio (formerly Vegas Video) was always the easiest solution for me.

Flashman85 said...

Joseph: Thanks--I was actually surprised that I had as much solid recording time as I did this past weekend!

Scott: I'll definitely keep that in mind.