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DrJim
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Default 08-26-2007, 09:23 PM

You can set up BSR to start and stop recording with a function key - forget the details but it's on the web site if not in the help. Really useful to avoid dead space in the recording. Another good option (which again I don't remember how to set up right now) is to turn the cursor arrow on and off.

Finally, the .avi files from Movie Maker can be a bit of a problem with some CODECs. .wmf files are safer - and if you use the Movie Maker optomizer, quite a bit smaller. (Looks like you may already have discovered this.)

Last edited by DrJim; 08-26-2007 at 09:26 PM.
   
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DickBaldwin
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Default 08-26-2007, 09:54 PM

Thanks DrJim,

I was aware that you can stop recording with the F6 key, but was not aware that you can also start recording with a function key. I will try that. It should help. (It may also be the F6 key.) I also wasn't aware of the Movie Maker optimizer. I will give that a try as well.

A procedure that seems to work pretty well is to insert some code at the beginning of the default startup method to:

1. Set the isShowing property of all objects to false in zero seconds duration.
2. wait for 2 (or more) seconds
3. Set the isShowing property of all objects to true in zero seconds duration.

Assuming that the sky is blue, this produces a blue screen lasting for two seconds when you play the world.

The procedure then is to:

1. Play the world and immediately click the Pause button on the world window while only the blue screen is showing.
2. Start the recorder.
3. When you hear the click from BSR indicating that recording has started, click the Resume button on the world window.

When you get to the end, press the F6 key.

This causes the movie to begin with an innocuous blue screen and the pause doesn't seem so objectionable.

All in all, I am pleased with this ability to create movies of Alice worlds in action. I don't need large high quality movies for my purposes. Small low-quality movies serve my needs and this approach works well for that. However, I don't know how well it would work if a larger high quality movie is needed.

Once again, thanks to Victoria Webb for her detailed information.

Dick Baldwin

Last edited by DickBaldwin; 08-26-2007 at 10:01 PM. Reason: clarification
   
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DrJim
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Default 08-27-2007, 11:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DickBaldwin View Post
I don't know how well it would work if a larger high quality movie is needed.
I have found that BSR is basically WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), so basically if you go full screen mode on a high resolution display, the movie is quite good indeed. Also if you set Movie Maker to a high resolution mode and 24 or 30 fps (not an "optimum" setting), it extrapolates between capture frames to get the full frame rate there is essentially no flicker or other motion problem.

The main difficulty is you are now getting an additional large video file during screen capture and since Alice already has difficulty with large files, you can really degrade overall performance or crash the system. Sounds like you are doing the right thing to stay with relatively low quality.

By the way, Movie Maker (and the Mac equivalent) both have nice simple, drag and drop fades and other effects. If you are pushing Alice's memory limits, you can always add these and the sound in the movie editor.
   
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Regarding the CODEC question
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DickBaldwin
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Default Regarding the CODEC question - 08-27-2007, 01:43 PM

For starters, I know almost nothing about CODECs. I barely know how to spell CODEC.

Over the weekend, I created four movies using BSR, saved them as wmv files, and posted them on my web site from home.

One of the four had an excessive amount of dead space at the beginning and the others were OK. In those three cases, I simply posted the wmv file produced by BSR.

I used Windows Movie Maker to get rid of the dead space on the other one, and wrote the output from Movie Maker as a wmv file. I posted that file on my web site, and it played just fine on my laptop from home.

However, when I came to the campus on Monday morning and attempted to play that same movie using both FireFox and IE (which in turn invoked Windows Media Player), I got a message about a missing CODEC. There was a link to download the CODEC which I clicked. However, then I got a message that it wasn't available on that site (which I believe was a MS site) and I should search the web using the name of the CODEC. (I don't remember now what the name of the CODEC was.)

The irony of all of this is that out of four movies created using BSR, the only one that caused me any problems using Windows Media Player running under WinXP was the one that I modified using Windows Movie Maker.

Anyway, I went back and made the movie again without using Movie Maker and posted it on my web site. I'm getting ready to go into the lab and see if it plays OK.

On well, this is just a typical first school day in the life of a college professor. Mr. Murphey seems to stand at the door shaking everyone's hand when they come to school on the first day of a new semester to remind them of his law.

Dick Baldwin
   
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DrJim
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Default 08-27-2007, 06:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DickBaldwin View Post
For starters, I know almost nothing about CODECs.
Actually think you learned half the basic truths about CODECs - you will never have the one you need.
Truth number two - when you do finally get it installed, the first software upgrade will uninstall it.

Movie Maker will typically give you a choice of which CODEC you want to use to render the movie. Look on all your machines and pick the one that is most universal - I tend to pick Microsoft Video 1 or one of the Intel ones. If you do figure out a better way - please post it. If there isn't a common choice, you'll have to pick one, download it from the net and install it - really don't have a recommendation here, sorry.

Note: You might try playing it directly using Media Player (or Movie Maker)- it might be a browser setting that is wrong. Also Mac's tend to need a special converter for .wmf - so it might not be a CODEC problem at all if you are using a Mac, though I think you must be on a PC if you are using BSR and Movie Maker.

Note 2: Looked through my links for CODEC refernces. This is the best I found for .wmf and has a lot of other formats plus Mac and Linux sections - haven't personally tried anything but Media Player 10 which did play the video you uploaded.
http://www.afreecodec.com/win/226/wi...dia-player-10/

Last edited by DrJim; 08-27-2007 at 08:00 PM. Reason: Added notes 1 and 2.
   
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A different approach to generate videos
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litomd
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Lightbulb A different approach to generate videos - 08-27-2007, 11:43 PM

Has anyone tryied to connect a VGA to TV converter device and then save that with a DVD recorder or even a VCR?

I know there are some fine converters that can generate a nice TV signal with the VGA or SVGA output.

Saving that output to a DVD will get the digital version.

The advantage is that the computer focus on generating the animation not on saving it to a video file, and the converter focus on saving it to video.

Regards,

Leonel
   
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DrJim
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Default 08-28-2007, 12:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by litomd View Post
Has anyone tryied to connect a VGA to TV converter device and then save that with a DVD recorder or even a VCR?
I've gone from the S-video output of my computer to a regular TV - never took the next step of recording but since the TV also has an analog video out, can't see that would be a problem.

If you have the capability, this might be a way to go - but I wouldn't buy hardware just for that. Also, my hardware (fairly old) didn't give a very good picture on the TV, but a more modern system might.
   
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PopnTheDeerInHumanForm
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Unhappy Help - 08-31-2007, 01:06 PM

Does Anybody Know any good FPS Settings for BSR?
   
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islandfever
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Default 09-02-2007, 12:33 PM

If I get the recorder for free, is the logo that is at the bottom of your screen recording big, or is it small and slightly opac? Just wondering because I don't have the "funds" for it.
   
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DickBaldwin
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Default 09-03-2007, 05:45 AM

Relatively small.

You can download and run a sample movie at http://www.dickbaldwin.com/alice/Ali....htm#Downloads

PS: This sample movie was purposely made small to keep the file size small. When you play it, be sure to play it at its actual size. Don't enlarge it. If you do, the quality will be poor.

Last edited by DickBaldwin; 09-03-2007 at 10:07 AM. Reason: Added the URL and the PS
   
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