Hey all, heres my first attempt at a gaming video, footage from extraxtion point demo, so may be a spoiler!!!!! Any comments appreciated even honest ones!! http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-8488413132841554833 Might be better if i upload to this site so peeps can d/l and watch.... suggestions plz
Here we go... http://files.filefront.com//;5508289;;/
1st January 2005
LongManAny comments appreciated even honest ones!
LOL, LM, the honest ones are usually the best ones, especially when you're just getting started making them, provided the person giving them is sane of course.;)
OK, just DLed and watched it, a bit slower transfer rate than FF's usual, but suggestions on hosting options forthcoming.
Content/Editing: Very good, especially for a first video project. Best was perhaps one of the nicest and most revealing displays of the new ghostlike redeyed guys at the end I've seen yet. You were somehow consistently getting them to show in a charcoal and very distinguishable form. I also loved the way in the process of getting them to scurry about you showed them casting their shadows on the walls, very nice. The fight with the last one seemed a bit less organized at first, but it did give a sense of the feeling you get when you don't know where the little buggers are.
I was a bit taken by surprise that you were able to just run up with weapon in hand and kick the first guy in the big room with the REV 6 so easily even though I caught many AI weaknesses in my own video. You also showed the new destructible environment fairly well in that room. The display of the new chaingun in SlowMo had a nice gorey muzzle flash lit look too. In going for no scratch runs and as many no SlowMo kills as I can I often lose the visual effect pizzazz others have in their videos. Because of that I expect them to only appeal to a small audience niche. I have learned to appreciate the comments of a respectfull few that know the difficulty involved though.
Some things I would change content wise are to keep the action flowing by either speeding up the pickups by editing most of it and just showing the items picked up (provided they're significant ones), or at least holster the weapon to make getting them faster. Most of my videos I do show the whole level but in going for no scratch runs I don't typically end up backtracking and when I do (health booster spoilers, etc) I edit out the trek to get there and just show the pickup using transitions in between. You did a fairly good job of keeping it smooth by deleting the still frames at checkpoints though, some beginners don't make theirs that seamless.
Adding game sound is great content for realism and a fuller effect. Soundwise I liked the music though, especially the first song. You can get Game Cam Lite for only $10 and it has everything you need, including sound recording. Other than that it could have possibly had more variety of weapons used, but content was mostly good and that is key in good videos.
Image Quality: Perhaps one of the low points, but certainly not as bad as many and actually pretty good for a first attempt (grading on a curve here). You used 640x480 res and only 768kbps video bit rate, not nearly enough to get good image quality out of that large of a viewing size. I made a custom 576x432 compression profile I use a lot (midway between 640x480 & 512x384). This helps in two ways, it allows me to capture at 512x384 which is much less draining on FPS than higher res, and I only have to enlarge slightly, which keeps the image quality sharper. I used 1900kbps on my 576x432 video. Bottom line, it is much better to edit out content that is non action based and unecessary, as well as trying for a fairly fast run to afford higher bit rates in a shorter length video. Some that are pretty good at editing believe you should not enlarge at all when compressing, but I find it's all in how you do it. If you want more tips on that I'd be glad to offer them. There are easy and effective ways to enhance the clips before compressing them (contrast, sharpen, Lanczos3), one of which even makes enlarging much less lossy.
Hosting Options: Though I still believe Filefront to be the best, there are a couple other options that are better than Google and Youtube when FF is slow due to maintenance. Google and Youtube both downgrade the image quality considerably by converting to Flash format. For files up to 100MB there is Rapidshare in Europe. Their servers usually have pretty good transfer rates, especially for those in and near Europe. The only caveat besides the 100MB limit is the links don't work after a month. It's a great option to have if you are posting on a forum with lots of Euro members though. Most of them are eager to use RS without hesitation. Just keep in mind some forum staff may not like the broken links left behind.
Putfile.com is excellent for smaller files up to 25MB. They stream in full original quality at various optional res settings you can select on their viewer. You can also customize the link to the video by predesignating what size the viewer will display them in by adding /640, /480, etc, to the URL. Note that if you don't do this they will stream at the default 480x360 and some viewers don't know they can or don't take the time (it rebuffers when you do) to select the viewing size. The 25MB restriction of course means either using them only for shorter projects or editing ones you already have as well as maybe using a smaller resolution upon compressing.
Perhaps the best all around option is using Filefront but by submitting the file directly to their main database rather than just uploading them to your filepage. To be honest I rarely take the time to do that, it can take 1 to 3 days to send the file and wait for it to be approved. It does however have it's benefits. Being in the main database the file will have more circulation and get downloaded more, though you will likely never get actual response feedback. You can however view the number of times it's been DLed and compare to a copy you have on your filepage. Once submitted to the main datbase you cannot modify, move or delete them like you can those on your filepage, so make sure they're the way you want them first, including the descriptions & editing. There will also be no option to put them in directories.
Those in the main database will also show a Euro and World server in the list of servers on the download page, that is WHEN they are actually giving you servers to choose from, which is not the case when maintenance is going on. Theoretically the added servers should give those in and near Europe faster DLs, though I've yet to get anyone from overseas to verify it. Many in Europe have the impression it's not worth it to try when FF is hosting it due to bad experiences using their US servers. It's a shame because FF really does still have the best service overall.
WOW thanks for such a concise guide Omen, i really do appreciate it:)
I tried not to go for the edited type video this time, so viewers can get an idea of the planning that goes in to completing a level from scratch (albeit a short one), that particular attempt wasn't my most health/armour spareing run but it seemed to flow a little better, those little demons/ghosts are tough and i hope there are many more in the full game!!! (i did like the way you fooled them in your video, truly nice work Omen).
Gonna get myself that Gamecam lite and give it a go, will try different resolutions and bit rates, but as a first attempt i am pleased. I am sure its all a science that gets better with practise as is gaming itself.
Thanks again for your words, expect a video from me soon LOL
1st January 2005
LongMan...thanks for such a concise guide Omen...will try different resolutions and bit rates, but as a first attempt i am pleased. I am sure its all a science that gets better with practise as is gaming itself.
Your welcome, but actually I didn't get a chance to explain a couple more things due to the edit limit. You can read them over at the VU board where I replied on the video. Some of it has to do with using other res and bit rate options, which IMO is best done by making custom profiles.
Oops, that reminds me, forgot to tell you what you need to do that with in case you don't know. Download Encoder Series 9 from the MS support site. In it is the Windows Media Profile Editor which you can make custom movie compression profiles with. Other than that make sure your Windows Movie Maker is updated and you are running SP2, that way you will have all the latest codecs to work with.
It is all science and it does get much easier as you progress. Eventually you will know from experience what profiles to use for what projects without even having to run test compressions.
BTW you should indeed be pleased with this one being your first video. I've seen many first efforts that don't come close.;)