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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, 01:26 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 02:38 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, 10:51 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 (The book listed in the posting is helpful - but I wasn't kidding about things going out of date rapidly.)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, 11:22 AM

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 11:42 AM. Reason: Clarification
   
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John_Clark
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Default 04-18-2008, 11:29 AM

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, 11:41 AM

Quote:
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, 11:52 AM

Ok, I should have it done by tomorrow.
   
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DrJim
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Default 04-24-2008, 08:05 AM

Re: "I haven't found that recipe published anywhere"

Think the best is one you gave yourself:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DickBaldwin View Post
I now realize that serious thought needs to be given to the ultimate purpose when the Alice world is developed.
There is just too much variation in the end use of various graphics arts media to come up with a single set of guidelines. As a simple example, a typical "photorealistic" static Photoshop image will be an 11" x 14" graphic at 600 pixels per inch and with 24 bit color and an 8 bit alpha channel. Do the arithmetic - and then try to figure out how to do that in an animation unless you have a Pixar-level budget.

Also, serious graphics art design is a specialty that is at least as complicated as computer programming - and animation and game design are stand-alone specialties in their own rights.

You can do a lot within given limits - your third YouTube upload (IMO) was much improved from the first. If I were teaching Alice - with the goal of teaching introductory programming concepts - I would come up with a "reasonable" flow and format for displaying videos - and then let improvements evolve around that. But the class output isn't going to compete with Pixar/Disney or even a lot of the film school students postings on YouTube.
   
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Three more test videos
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DickBaldwin
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Default Three more test videos - 04-24-2008, 05:11 PM

I have created three more videos and posted them on YouTube for those who may be interested in comparing them. All three videos were created by the same Panda3D program.

All three were captured using CamStudio. The Microsoft Video 1 compressor option was used to create a large AVI file in each case.

The last two videos were captured on a different computer than the first.

For the first video identified as A below, the size of the Panda3D output window was adjusted to 640x480 and CamStudio was set to capture a 640x480 region.

For the second and third videos identified as B and C below, the Panda3D output window was adjusted to 320x240 and CamStudio was set to capture a 320x240 region.

The YouTube URLs for the three videos are:

A. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3zFejKsEgo
B. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8OE58QcT6k
C. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeH80wuj--Q

Windows Movie Maker was used to add a title to the beginning of each video and to write an output WMV file using the output encoding options shown below. The size of each output WMV file that was uploaded to YouTube is also shown below.

A-Size = 18,712KB,
Encoding = Windows High-Quality Video (large, 640x480)

B-Size = 4,400KB,
Encoding = Windows High-Quality Video (small, 320x240)

C-Size = 1,594KB,
Encoding = Windows Video for broadband (512 kbps, 320x240)

As you can see, the size of the third video was less than one-tenth the size of the first video, and was only about one-third the size of the second video.

Paraphrasing an old TV show, your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to compare the visual quality of the three videos and to decide for yourself which of these three options is best considering both file size and visual quality.

By the way, the ground doesn't appear to be in focus in the original output from Panda3D. That loss of focus is not a result of capturing the output in a video and uploading it to YouTube. However, everything else in the picture was well-focused, crisp, and clean in the original Panda3D output window. In particular the artifacts that you see in the white fur areas were not in the original Panda3D output. Further, there was very little of that in the WMV files when they were played in their original size. Most of that was caused by the format conversion and size change that took place at YouTube.

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

Last edited by DickBaldwin; 04-24-2008 at 05:30 PM. Reason: Update
   
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DrJim
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Default 04-24-2008, 09:14 PM

First impression (my brain self destructed after 30 sec - no great loss) was that the only major difference was in the titles - the first video was certainly sharper IMO - and the one difference may just be hitting the Nyquist limit trying to display that much information on 320 x 240 pixel screen. Certainly not enough difference (again IMO) to justify a 10X file size increase.
   
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