An 80's Flashback MDB with iconic shots from The Shining? How could I resist.
peter_h The Gif Guy
3 months agopeter_h The Gif Guy
I tweet. A lot. Some would say too much. I might agree. But what do I tweet? Generally, I live tweet along with sporting events, shows, or livestreams that I'm watching. Regular followers will know how easily I can slip from an Off-Topic stream to FP1 in the US GP.
That live tweeting is quite often screen captures, gifs or video of what I'm watching. That's the what whose how is to follow.
So lets get started.
I have 2 monitors. One for watching, one for everything else. Generally my right monitor is what I watch the content on, and the left is where I huddle my browser, video editor, photo editor and file browser.
I capture using Fraps. Anyone who's ever dabbled in capturing video or gameplay without wanting to buy capture hardware will have come across fraps at least a dozen times. In recent times, it's had a resurgence in usage as a primary capture software for VR gameplay, with it's basic screen record supporting higher frame rates than many hardware recorders. There is a problem with fraps, though. Fraps captures in an uncompressed AVI format. That means big file sizes. If you don't have a lot of available hard drive space, you're going to run into problems real fast. Luckily I have 2 hard drives; 1 250GB for all my OS and standard usage needs, and a 1TB drive for storage. Once I've cleared past captures, I have about 600GB of free space to capture to on that drive.
Fraps almost killed a hard drive, so I moved to using Mirillis Action. Captures in AVI, but with a compressed codec, and does the same single button press image capture as fraps. It's a much more robust software, and much more customisable.
There are things you can do to make the most efficient use of your space though. My primary monitor has a 1366x768 resolution. But, to cheat on space, I force my OS to push a 1920x1080 resolution, and capture at half resolution in fraps. So this gives me a 960x540 capture of a 1080p stream, which thanks to fraps capturing in uncompressed AVi has very little quality loss for being half of the original resolution. For ease of use, and for more efficient turnaround while the streams are live, I separate capture files either manually by stopping and restarting capture, or every 4GB if I don't need to make anything from it. For live content I edit in Sony Vegas Pro 13; it's my most familiar editor, and has the most efficient interface and render processing for fast turn around. All of the other video projects that I do I edit in Adobe Premiere.
Having a compressed AVI codec means I don't need to worry as much about storage. Capturing at 720p retains the quality of the video, and matches the output resolution I use.
What Action also does is single image capturing( (screenshots, screen caps, etc). By mashing a keyboard shortcut (F10 in my case), Action takes a still of whatever its active capture frame is. Hence how I "get" those perfect screenshots; it's mostly luck. But if I know I've missed it, I'll grab whatever video chunk has whatever sequence the screenshot was supposed to be from, find the best frame, and render that frame, +-3 frames either side, usually to a jpeg sequence.
One of the most important aspects of all this is correctly storing everything. To make sure I don't over bus my hard drives, I separate image capture and screen capture. Images go to the 250GB drive, recordings to the 1TB. They both go into a big system of subfolders of shows, months and days, so I can be accurate in what I'm posting. Rendered video and gifs also go into the 250 drive.
Yeah, that plan didn't really work, and I'm close to burning every bus channel to what used to be my primary capture drive. Various chunk and sector fixes later, and it still hangs and dismounts itself. I've 2 USB3.0 external drives which work fine, especially with the reduced storage needs.
Now that I've mentioned gifs, I should probably explain how those get made. It's quite a simple process actually. I watch the stream, when something funny, unexpected or just interesting happens, I grab whatever capture chunk it's in, cut it down to whatever the punch line is, render out that video, and use a quick and dirty program that converts a video into a gif sequence, adjusting resolution, input frame rate, colour matching and output frame rate. Though Twitter has an upload limit of 15mb, making gifs smaller than that keeps the turnaround time low.
Video clips are done the same as above, just without the making it a gif part. The usual video editing tricks apply too; cropping in to get a face reaction, tracking an object of interest, all the fun stuff.
And that's basically it. That's how I do what I do. It's my give-back to Rooster Teeth; both the staff and community. Every time I hear "I can't wait to see the screenshots of that", or "Well that's gonna be a gif", I take it as a personal challenge to get that online as fast as humanly possible. Having spent long enough refining the tools and set up, I'm pretty quick at it.
If you've any questions about anything I've rambled about up there, leave a comment down below, ask me a question on here, or tweet me at @peterhayesf1.
1 year agopeter_h The Gif Guy
Everyone thinks that online companies should do more for their fans. They should listen to them more, take on more of their ideas, follow their every demand.
That's stupid. Stop asking that.
But, and it is a big but(t), Achievement Hunter, in a sort of roundabout way, are doing just that.
Think of all the compliments people have about the AH crew. They're the type of group you'd love to have a beer with. The type of group you'd love to just kick back and, oh I don't know, watch a movie with. They're a group and a production team that you'd love to see at work. 2016 has all of that.
Off Topic, Theater Mode, and Multi Strams. THAT is how you give your audience what they want. Not by asking for a suggestions, not by telling them what they want, but by looking at the bigger picture, the over reaching arc of being a fan of AH. Content that not everyone would think of, but what everyone knows they wanted.
2016 is turning out to be an absolutely top year for Rooster Teeth, and long may it continue.
1 year agopeter_h The Gif Guy
You're reading this on the web. That web is conveyed to you by an internet. That internet is sending this very byte of data to a device in your hand, or a machine in front of you. Thus sets the premise for Connected.
Or rather, it doesn't.
It's often thought that documentaries; or any video for that matter, should live up to its name. Now, living in our world of Clickbait headlines and marketing misdirection, that's generally something that's not attained any more. But we don't expect it to be, from that type of content. But Documentaries are different. Documentaries are expected to inform us, to educate us, and in some sense, entertain us. And they do. Then we expect that information, that education, and that entertainment to be categorised in some way. The BBC are very good at this. Grandiose names for grandiose films; Animal Planet, First Life, Earth. And you can immediately understand what those Documentary Series' are about; it says it in the title.
But Connected is different. On a very basic level, it's the opposite of what the documentary is. They were connected, and now they're not. The film lived up to its name. Yay.
But as with all documentaries (or as they should be), Connected almost coerces you into looking deeper. It's presented in such a way that almost makes you live Blaine and Barbara's 5 days. You see their trepidation, their anxiety, their relief, almost as if we feel it too. And in some way, we do. Like I said at the beginning; you're reading this on a device or machine that is just firing data at you. Though it may not be a prominent thought in everyone's mind, we are still acutely aware of the times when we don't use our technology.
And this is where I think the real point of Connected makes itself known.
It's not about being connected to so many people, all day every day. It's the simple lack of connection people have with themselves. Now, this isn't some deep, philosophical rambling about the necessities of the "inner person" we all have. It's much more simple than that. When was the last time you sat, alone, and just thought. No phone, no laptop, no PC, nothing. Just you, alone, in your own head. Not as recent as you think, I suspect. We tend to fill this "in-between" time with our technology. We busy our minds in-between the bigger events of our day. And that's not a bad thing. Neural Stimulus is great. Social Stimuli are great. Creative Stimuli are great. We get all of this from content we watch on-line, to the social media that we endlessly scroll through.
It's at this part of the documentary that I think Connected comes into it's own.
It would be very simple to blame social media for the worlds anti-social issues. So simple that people have been doing it for years. Excited new film-makers have jumped at the opportunity to present the Dystopian, almost Orwellian world of Telescreens and data control; our own portable Minitrue's. And, as is the way, the videos base themselves on knowing more about you than you do. They know why you're watching it, they know how you're watching it, and they know how to make you feel bad for doing so. And they get the response they want; some say they've known it all along, others get angry that the world could end up like this, and the rest feel an overwhelming sense of indifference about it all.
Connected is different.
Connected doesn't blame technology. it doesn't blame society. It doesn't blame anyone. That's not the point of it. They didn't just take Blaine and Barbara's technology away and say; "Well, go figure out how to live now kthnxbye". Rather, they gave Blaine and Barbara old tech; from when they were born. As innocuous and unassuming as that seems, it's one of the most important parts of the documentary.
The world hasn't become this tech heavy, media crazy world in the last 10 years. It's been that way for decades. The only difference is the how and the when. Instead of rushing out a print of an evening edition of the paper, we update a web article. Instead of knowing when someone has looked at your message right away, you wait for them to call you back. At no point in the documentary were Barbara and Blaine physically unable to do what they were tasked to do, and what they needed to do. Why? Because people did all of it before. People did their jobs, people went on dates, people learned about the worlds events, just in a different format. That lack of connection to the world isn't actually there. It's a perception from where we are now.
That's all it is. Our perception. Your perception. Because it is, and must be, different for everyone. That is why something like Connected matters. It doesn't try tell you what to think, it doesn't try tell you what's good or bad, it simply gives you a mirror of your own perception. It doesn't challenge you to change your ways, or to rethink your life, but it also doesn't stop you from doing that. Connected is open. Open to your reception, open to your interpretation, open to you.
Connected is a triumph, and I use that word for a reason. It truly succeeds in what it set out to do. From such a small, kicked around idea came something so full of depth, and so full of reason.
To everyone at Rooster Teeth, and everyone at Alpheus Media; be truly proud of what you have made and what you have achieved. Its effects will be further reaching that you think. Connected is truly a triumph.
You can watch "Connected" here, and if you're not an RT Sponsor, remember you can sign up for a 30-day Free Trial. You get access to exclusive content, live-streams, and early access to regular content.
1 year agopeter_h The Gif Guy
If you haven't watched the latest episode of The Patch, I'd suggest doing so before continuing.
VR is great. It's a 100% immersive experience in a number of different ways. This is primarily achieved by a mix of high quality graphics, and a certain amount of sensory deprivation. And this is where The Patch comes in.
Ashley, quite rightly in some sense, called me out on my "bullshit" that VR headsets won't "normalise" in future iterations. And she has a point. Technology has an incredibly ability to make itself smaller, and smaller, and smaller than you could ever think possible; phones, computers, personal tech devices, everything. So it stands to reason that VR will do the same.
Except, at least in my opinion, it won't. Or rather, it can't.
I'd absolutely love a slimline, almost glasses like VR experience. But those things can't mix. For VR to truly be VR, there needs to be no visual intrusion from the environment around you. Why? Because that's where VR and AR become one. The point of VR is that when you "look" for something, it's where you expect it to be. That can be either moving your head, or moving your eyes. But if you turn your head and expect to see something, and your own living room is there instead, the immersion that you were supposed to be enjoying is gone. And we have a lot of evidence for this, with Microsoft's Hololens. When it worked, it was flawless. Absolutely flawless. But listening to the people who tried it, there was one problem. Once you looked out of where you were supposed to, the VR was broken. And that was with a half virtual, half augmented headset.
Now clearly the issue here is the AR part, and not the VR part, right? I don't think so. I've had some experiences with AR in the past, and it is absolutely incredible, much like VR. But it's all about expectations. You "expect" AR to be something additive to your environment, and you expect VR to be a wholly new environment. Once those expectations are either not met, or changed like Hololens, the experience is gone.
So what does that have to do with the Patch? Well, the consensus of the crew was that VR will, as with almost all other technologies, become smaller and smaller and smaller until it's nothing more than a pair of glasses. This was to aid the normalisation of VR headsets, which was the issue I raised on Twitter. People couldn't get used to Google Glass; a thin, silver and glass headset no bigger than the frame of a pair of glasses. How are people going to get used to big headsets on your face? I mean, we saw what "the future" looked like at WMC this year. Smaller VR headsets would work for that though, but they won't work for VR. And that is the issue.
For VR headsets to become smaller and smaller, you have to forgo the entire point of VR. That 100% immersion is gone. There are, however, slim video goggles already. Many professional Drone Cinematographers use small wireless video goggles to give their camera operators a proper live camera view. Though this isn't an immersive experience by any mean, it is the direction I see VR going. Not totally tiny, but small enough to then be normal.
What's important here is that AR and VR development remain separate, until both technologies plateau their development. That will provide for continued, 100% immersive VR, and (hopefully) accurate, environment based AR. That, to me , is the real future of VR and AR.
Wow, there's an essay...
22, known for giffing, Irishness, and a hint of pianist sarcasm.