Black Sun - Episode 1 Production Stills

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Re: Black Sun - Episode 1 Production Stills

Postby IskatuMesk » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:42 am

I completed a sizable chunk of ingame material that remained to be done and put in significant work into recording and compositing part 2. Two of the CGI scenes I needed to make have been created and rendered by myself, though there are others I still cannot make and have little hope of making. Lav, why are you still using an nvidia card? XDXDXD

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If lav can pick up the pace and my recording goes well I could potentially have this done in my estimated timeframe.
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Re: Black Sun - Episode 1 Production Stills

Postby IskatuMesk » Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:58 pm

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Main production thread completed. Moving onto polish and CGI phase.
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Re: Black Sun - Episode 1 Production Stills

Postby IskatuMesk » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:55 am

This project has been ready for release for two days but due to constant issues with the encode it has been delayed. If plan 42 saves this shit's sorry ass it should be out today.

/e

Scratch that, that encode was a failure as well.
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Re: Black Sun - Episode 1 Production Stills

Postby IskatuMesk » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:48 am

I know some people eagerly await the long-winded arrival of this project. So I'll fill you in on what has taken so long to get the finished project available.

During the process of compositing inside Vegas I regularly encountered a widely-reported bug in which the application complains about the fraps codec and then arbitrarily chooses files to stop loading. This is an annoyance in my compilation-related productions, which sometimes needed 4-5 encodes to successfully encode without missing video, but for a 50 minute long video this threatened the entire project.

A supposed fix was to load an old 32-bit dll in place of the existing avi plugin, which worked for editing, but caused the save dialogue to instantly crash. I tried many extremely lengthy encodes to various mp4 and mov settings but as it turns out they're all garbage and I wasted an entire night of encoding. I was forced to upgrade to Vegas 11 32-bit, which so far seemed to handle fraps files fine (maybe it's just a bug with 64-bit versions). My anguish did not end.

Vegas handles aspect ratios in a format differently than everything else I'm familiar with. So, I wasn't sure how to get 1080p's aspect ratio to work in Vegas. The reported setting of 1.0 always resulted in letterboxing. I discovered this at the tail end of a 10 hour encode. There goes half a day. Upon fixing this, I undertook yet another encode, this time allowing it to finish. Of course, I can't use the 70gb lagarith encode for release, and I couldn't even watch it off the external due to read speeds, so I continued on to the final encode through megui. But the final file was incredibly dark for some reason. Half the scenes were unwatchable.

Ah, yes. Vegas defaulted back to 8-bit. Awesome. 14 hours down the drain. I set it to 32 and re-encoded yet again. During this period I had not been idle, checking the final waveform of the audio and making sure I had evened out the volumes as best I could. I didn't want to compress the entire stream as it would distort the music very heavily, so I opted for manual rebalancing. I am not 100% certain it's good, but it's bearable to my ears at least, and they hurt a lot from continual SFX editing abuse.

When this encode finished I successfully turned it into an x264 file and the colors were fixed. Awesome. The video looked messy as fuck and unfinished, but that's because it is. I decided to start uploading. I made it to the end of the video before something very wrong was apparent. A part of the final battle was entirely black. It had audio, but no video. I checked in vegas - no video displayed for several fraps videos.

The fraps incompatibility remained. Even now. 3 major revisions down the line of the program, with countless subversions, and the bug still remained. Now it just silently failed, with no errors or crashes, and caused video to randomly disappear. This, coupled with the insane render times, the ugliness of the production as a whole, made my heart sink. My will to see this through to the bloody, bitter end was quickly evaporating. I screamed for a while, and swore at interns, and rallied my strength for one more re-encode. I opted to fix the biggest issues that bothered me the most - the Xy dream segments were using a film effects that looked fine in preview but was fucking murder on the eyes in full FPS/fullscreen. I was using the film effects to tint as well, but I couldn't remove the flickering effect because it's hardcoded into the plugin. I tried to mimic the tinting with other effects as best I could, but the segments don't look as good as they used to, minus the eye-melting flashing.

Several parts of the video were black for an extended period of time for I simply had no content to put in them. I tried to scrape the biggest ones together, and found yet another track for the UD Hell segment. Even now I still wasn't happy with that part! And that part I hate the most, for it shows nothing of the Undead and almost serves no point at all. Really, the entire video comes off to me as a total disaster. I couldn't have fucked it up more if I tried. The ingame camera, the lack of CGI, the lack of direction... in the end all I served to do was humiliate myself one last time. But I could do no more with what I had available. I had to stomach the pain of defeat.

Yet this encode, too, would fail. I counted at least 3 major instances of the video blacking out randomly in parts that should have worked. The areas were spread out enough that selectively re-encoding and frame-perfect splicing seemed unrealistic as I am totally unexperienced in surgically removing junk. On top of this, the video still bothers me. There's a lot of camera fail and still some blank spots I wish I could get rid of. Above all, though, I need to fix the fraps files. There's just no other option.

This means re-encoding each and every single one of my terabyte+ of source files. Hundreds and hundreds. I plan involves using the job function of virtualdub, but currently I only have around 100gb free of HD space on the internal drives. Yes. I must delete all of the source footage I was holding onto for XXE. The cost of this will be immense. I have no replacement footage. This will set the next SSE behind by a colossal amount of time. There is also LP footage for God of War, but I believe I can hide it away on the last of my external drive space. The limitations of my hardware are quickly becoming apparent. Now, more than ever, I wish I had that e-sata port working properly so I could get another external, or an internal coupling to use my last internal slot. But these options are simply not available.

I will take this opportunity to step back, re-assess the project, and do what I can to bring it up a little higher towards my bar in quality. While I cannot fix everything that irks me, I will take re-recordings if I must, and I will only release the project when it's finished, functional, and ready to be released. I am not Blizzard.
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Re: Black Sun - Episode 1 Production Stills

Postby Falchion » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:31 am

So you mean I've been waiting weeks and months for NOTHING?

FUCK YOU SONY!!!
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Re: Black Sun - Episode 1 Production Stills

Postby IskatuMesk » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:52 pm

u mad about it?


Re-encoding the fraps files is in progress. Only time will tell if this works.
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Re: Black Sun - Episode 1 Production Stills

Postby IskatuMesk » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:22 am

Operation: 69 has failed. Vegas flat out crashes randomly during the encode, usually 30-50 minutes in.

/e

A test confirms that even without crashing, the bug still remains, even when fraps is taken out of the equation.
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Re: Black Sun - Episode 1 Production Stills

Postby IskatuMesk » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:52 am

I have one last, dangerous gamble I can play in a bid to save this project.

I am going to reinstall windows. I am going to set myself back months in terms of tools and settings.

The preparations are already being made.
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Re: Black Sun - Episode 1 Production Stills

Postby Falchion » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:56 am

Best of luck for u, bro.

But, anyways, lemme ask: Ever tried another program other than Sony?
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Re: Black Sun - Episode 1 Production Stills

Postby IskatuMesk » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:07 am

I can't port my project data to anything else. There's a way to port a very limited and mangled variant of the project data to after effects, but it loses everything that I need. And it crashes anyway; I tried.

Depending on whether or not this ploy works I will certainly have to use a different program for all future productions.

/e

Reinstallation of windows complete. I'll know if this ploy worked later tonight.

God help me when it comes to porting the data for Audition's plugins.

/e 2

Vegas is STILL crashing on a FRESH windows installation. I think it's the idiotic GPU rendering implementation. Maybe that's what I changed that allowed it to actually finish the ONE time in 11. We'll see...

/e 3

In the event this encode fails as well, I have devised a new plan, called Operation: LARD, which I am sure will work, but will create a lot of precision work.

The idea is to (hopefully) make use of grid tools to divide the project into tiny parts, render each part individually, then merge them all through megui in the final encode.

There are some potential drawbacks to this. I'm not sure what the end result will be. And I'll have to babysit each encode to make sure they all come out properly, and to manually set up each piece. But, at this point, I have lost all of my stocked footage, my windows installation, and so much time that I just don't care anymore. This will get finished even if I have to encode it into minute-long pieces.
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Re: Black Sun - Episode 1 Production Stills

Postby IskatuMesk » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:58 am

I've got bad news. And I've got good news.

The bad news is, I've wasted another encode. Most of the new stuff I added I didn't do my quality control pass on, and a lot of it fucked up. A lot of transitions got "reset" when I was adding stuff. They're all broken. Also, all of the custom fonts I was using for all of the subtitles are gone in the new windows. The text became larger and clips in a ton of places. Also, typos. The damage is pretty severe.

The good news is, I went through the entire thing and did not spot a single thing vegas itself broke. At least SOMETHING would have broken in Vegas with a video this length. I am also 99% sure the crashing is due to the slow ass GPU render. Nvidia sticking their dick in things, I'm sure.

I have already corrected the problem locations and begun the next encode.
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Re: Black Sun - Episode 1 Production Stills

Postby IskatuMesk » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:53 pm

The encode has crashed at 82%.

Words cannot describe my anger.

It is time to do this the horrible way. I am going to encode this piece of shit in pieces and merge it all back to render in the x264 encode.

Fuck you for forcing me to do this, Sony.

/e

I have little doubt I can get this finished eventually with a segmented encode. The question I must ask is, "Why must I do it this way?"

I first thought the crashing was due to the GPU renderer. It performs like shit and crashes were very quick. I managed a full encode earlier with no crash. Is the program's memory management just that terrible? Do I have damaged ram? Whatever the cause may be, I need to scout out a new NLE for my future XXE videos.

The next question is, is the crashing related to Lagarith? 10/11 did not crash with fraps, they just freaked out in the encode. Maybe it's a stroke of luck, or maybe something is really broken between the two.

At the end of the day I have lost a huge amount of time and resources and never fixed the problem in return.

/e 2

If I attempt to encode in small parts the crashes occur MUCH more frequently. A 1-2 hour encode will always crash around 20 minutes in. What the hell, man.

I turned off all of the multithread options in both Vegas and Lagarith. It was already slow as shit, so now it'll be slow as shit in lard. 11 hours and we're at 50%. Emperor guide us.

/e 3

I turned off multithreading in lagarith's options (you wouldn't think it was multithreaded to begin with, with how bloody slow it is) and managed to get one more encode to finish, taking 23 hours to complete.

The encode still has black parts in random locations.

/e 4

It is time to engage Operation: ROPARGEDDON. The seas shall become as lard, and the sky shall rain interns.

/e 5

Black Sun has reached its conclusion.
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