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How do I post Alice Videos on YouTube?
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DickBaldwin
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Default How do I post Alice Videos on YouTube? - 04-17-2008, 02:26 PM

I'm thinking about moving some Alice classroom demo videos from my server to YouTube to free up some space on my server.

I have never posted anything on YouTube.

Some of the videos on YouTube are of very poor quality. See for example the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVaFHVEQTnY

I certainly don't want my Alice videos to look like that one. Any tips or suggestions on how to best preserve video quality when recording and later posting videos of running Alice worlds on YouTube would be appreciated.

Dick Baldwin
Free Alice tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/tocalice.htm
Free programming tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/toc.htm

Last edited by DickBaldwin; 04-17-2008 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Clarification
   
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Uploads to You Tube
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DrJim
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Default Uploads to You Tube - 04-18-2008, 11:51 AM

This is one case I recommend the Dave Berry method - "Find a smart 13-year old and have him do it for you." (Anyone older is probably not up to date.)

If you don't have a 13-year old handy and don't want to adopt one, you might want to look at http://www.alice.org/community/showt...=4852#post4852.

It's always hard to tell just looking at the result, but I suspect most of the poor result quality on YouTube is because people didn't look at what they posted at the final (small) frame size and fairly fast frame rates. You have to do fairly severe compression to fit within the You Tube size limits - and this can do strange things. Far too many possible ways to screw up to list in anything short of a book - but ususally quite obvious if you look at the final result before posting. (The book listed in the posting is helpful - but I wasn't kidding about things going out of date rapidly.)
   
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DickBaldwin
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Default 04-18-2008, 12:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJim View Post
This is one case I recommend the Dave Berry method - "Find a smart 13-year old and have him do it for you." (Anyone older is probably not up to date.)

If you don't have a 13-year old handy and don't want to adopt one, you might want to look at http://www.alice.org/community/showt...=4852#post4852.

It's always hard to tell just looking at the result, but I suspect most of the poor result quality on YouTube is because people didn't look at what they posted at the final (small) frame size and fairly fast frame rates. You have to do fairly severe compression to fit within the You Tube size limits - and this can do strange things. Far too many possible ways to screw up to list in anything short of a book - but ususally quite obvious if you look at the final result before posting. (The book listed in the posting is helpful - but I wasn't kidding about things going out of date rapidly.)
Well, I tried my first one at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oeqs7-vaabc

It is more grainy than I would like. The 320x240 wmv file that I produced with Movie Maker looks a little better, but YouTube enlarges it after they receive it.

I now realize that serious thought needs to be given to the ultimate purpose when the Alice world is developed. For example, it would look much better if the camera were closer to the cars and followed along like a helicopter camera as opposed to the distant view which causes the two cars to be very small relative to the overall size of the viewing area. (I'm sure that Chris101b would have done a much better job on the composition than I did, for example, but I'm old and he's young.)

Since I don't have any 13-year olds handy, I will keep experimenting and researching the web to see if I can get better results. I might even rewrite the drag race game and make the changes mentioned above to see how much difference it makes.

I'm also anxious to see Chris101b's war zone on YouTube to compare it with my original wmv file to see how much degradation in the visual quality occurs when he posts it on YouTube.

Thanks for the response.
Dick Baldwin
Free Alice tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/tocalice.htm
Free programming tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/toc.htm

Last edited by DickBaldwin; 04-18-2008 at 12:42 PM. Reason: Clarification
   
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John_Clark
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Default 04-18-2008, 12:29 PM

I can try for you if you need me too I'm up to date (although I'm 17).
   
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DickBaldwin
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Default 04-18-2008, 12:41 PM

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Originally Posted by John_Clark View Post
I can try for you if you need me too I'm up to date (although I'm 17).
That sounds like a winner. My test case is attached. Please post it to your account on YouTube. If your version looks better than mine, I will be asking you to provide the technical parameters that you used to capture, convert, and post it.

Thanks,
Dick Baldwin
Attached Files
File Type: a2w DragRace01.a2w (394.8 KB, 143 views)
   
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John_Clark
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Default 04-18-2008, 12:52 PM

Ok, I should have it done by tomorrow.
   
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My second attempt at a YouTube video
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DickBaldwin
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Default My second attempt at a YouTube video - 04-18-2008, 02:42 PM

My second attempt at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebboqaaCxQQ looks a little better than the first attempt at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oeqs7-vaabc but the quality still isn't nearly as good as the direct output from the program when it is running in a 320x240 window. The main difference between the two videos was the distance of the camera from the main character(s) in the animation.

There may still be some improvement to be had in the selection of the compression parameters from avi to wmv in Windows Movie Maker. I have been using the "Video for Broadband (512 kbps)" selection based on advice that I found on a website. If anyone knows of a better choice in Windows Movie Maker, I would like to hear about it.

Dick Baldwin
Free Alice tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/tocalice.htm
Free programming tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/toc.htm
   
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John_Clark
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Default 04-18-2008, 05:01 PM

Ok, I reposted it under my user name HPJohnClark the tags are Drag Race Dick Baldwin (sorry if spelled wrong) Alice and John Clark it looks fairly good although my computer was doing something funny when it was recorded.
   
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DickBaldwin
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Default 04-18-2008, 06:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Clark View Post
Ok, I reposted it under my user name HPJohnClark the tags are Drag Race Dick Baldwin (sorry if spelled wrong) Alice and John Clark it looks fairly good although my computer was doing something funny when it was recorded.
Did you modify the Alice program?

The cars look a little larger and the text looks a little smaller as though the camera is closer to the cars.

Also, the cars seem to be moving in spurts instead of moving smoothly when I play your video on my computer. Were they moving in spurts when you ran the Alice program on your computer to capture the output and make the video?

Dick Baldwin
Free Alice tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/tocalice.htm
Free programming tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/toc.htm
   
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DrJim
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Default 04-18-2008, 09:03 PM

I assume both of you are using a screen capture program. At least on my computers, and especially with large windows, the video will sometimes be displayed faster without the screen capture running than the screen capture program can actually capture. At other times, Alice seems to actually drop the frame rate if there is a lot of action to be displayed (not 100% sure on this).

In either case it often helps to go to the world level "seldom used properties" and set the speed multplier to a fractional value. Then speed the video back up in Movie Maker or another editor. Two nice values for the speed multiplier are .25 and .5 - since Movie Maker has a drag and drop 2X speedup effect.

Also be cautious of changing between frame rates - assuming you can control that - if the frame rates aren't integer multiples of each other. By Murphy's Law - the added or deleted frames needed for the rate conversion will be the ones that were most critical for a smooth animation (something that cost me an afternoon to discover the hard way).

As far as format conversions, if you are already in .avi format, you might just try using the Xvid or Dvix CODECs (the two most commonly recommended for YouTube) - or maybe even just uploading to YouTube directly and letting them work with the format. Any time you do a video compression you are going to loose some quality so you want to do as few of these as possible.

Also for John_Clark - I only suggested most people over 13 are out of date. You obviously are an exception - I'm not and I'm really glad to have you working on this problem.
   
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