Tuesday, June 8, 2010

SH040 - blind to see

video: various
music: Iron Maiden - "Can I Play With Madness?"
link: depositfiles [35.3 MB]
editor: Dazzle MovieStar
production date: June 2002

There's a fair amount of guff in the .org entry for this video about it being broken, and coming out in weird versions, etc., so this is probably the right place to discuss why.

The reason is that MovieStar, while a decent linear editor, was piss-poor at exporting stuff. This is the reason for the very small and very weird frame sizes on the original (non-remastered) versions of SH videos before SH093; well, that and that I didn't entirely know wtf to do with a MPEG2 output. What I should have done was process the final HQ build of the video like a DVD stream (that I didn't have any experience working with yet, but what the hell): drop into DGIndex (or whatever the equivalent was back then), save project, import AviSynth script into VDub, build standards-compliant full-screen two-pass XVID encode like a civilized person.

What I actually did was quite different, though close enough to make any overly neurotic video quality types want to bash me to hell and back with a brick: I exported from MovieStar as a "high quality" .asf (whatever that meant), then brought that into a legacy version of Virtual Dub that had ASF support, which was removed before I started making AMVs even. (In this video, the ASF didn't and wasn't able to export right, cutting the production chain off at the knees.) This was the source for a 3000 Kbps DivX distribution copy with, necessarily, damaged audio, but my speakers were damaged as well, so my ability to hear that the audio was fucked was kind of impaired.

This is the sort of thing that keeps guide authors awake at night: a theoretically smart process that doesn't even know how brain-dead it's being, or how few changes would be required to make it truly intelligent. I obviously had the high-quality MPEG2 builds; that's what all these remasters were done out of. I also had and was able to use AviSynth, at least after I started cutting stuff in Virtual Dub in the fall of 2002; I just didn't put it together for whatever reason. Stuff like this keeps me on my toes process wise: always conscious of needing to be aware of what I may be missing, and what I'm not seeing that I ought to.

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