Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cloud WIP Video


Hey! Look at that, I ended up going with a streaming source. I'm still not happy with how blurry the downscaled product is, but at least it's all one in big chunk. I'll keep the higher quality files in the Mediafire folder, if anyone's interested in getting a version with text you can actually read. If you're having problems viewing, I recommend grabbing the K-Lite Codec pack, and/or using VLC Media player.

I really liked the idea of streaming, because it meant I could put together a little channel of videos of things I feel are worth displaying, so this is pretty good. I'll make some more soon (I've got one in mind that really illustrates why I break models up the way I do) and post as I get them done. Going to work on Cloud this weekend, then get started on Barret.

Until then, enjoy my irritating voice and the unfathomable boredom that can be the only explanation for why you'd watch this video.

Original post:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Twenty-one 13 minute clips in a shared Mediafire folder:

This is the entire process of taking a Final Fantasy VII field model from raw data to a finished PDO. The whole video is 4 hours, 23 minutes long, and was done in a single sitting.

Youtube would've been the ideal method for this, but since it's all detail work, the down-scaling Youtube implements ruins any legibility. I realize it's going to be watched by many fewer people this way, but I think it's worth it to maintain some standard of quality.

If you're looking for the useful details (how to extract, which programs to use, etc.) the first few videos in the set of Mediafire clips will be all you need. If you want to listen to me ramble for 4 hours while I go through the entire editing and layout process, by all means, watch it all. I tried to explain as many reasons for why I edit and lay things out the way I do, which may be useful to novice designers.

As promised in the video, here are some helpful links specifically useful to Final Fantasy VII model extraction:

Ficedula's Homepage (home of LGP Tools)

Mirex's Homepage (home of Biturn)

Battle.lgp list

Sorry, no Char.lgp list. There used to be a complete index, but it's since been lost to time.

I don't think I'm going to bother with a video of the actual model construction. I always do photo documentation, and the build will take even longer than the design phase. I could do a time-lapse video, but I really don't think that'd be useful to anyone.

I may put together some other videos to illustrate some points I made while talking in the design. We'll see. In the meantime, I'll finish up the build and get it ready for release, but I'm saving that for Ninjatoes' Kingdom Hearts Cloud release, so don't get too anxious. I'll start work on Barret as soon as I'm done with Cloud.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Concerning excessively large videos

Ok. So. Yesterday I did the whole thing in a single sitting. From scratch to finished PDO, video documented, commentary the whole way, etc.

The video is 4 hours, 23 minutes long.

Needless to say, the Youtube option presents many difficulties. I am not averse to splitting the video into 27 parts (I did so, actually), but I am averse to the horrible, unintelligible blur that results when Youtube scales the video down. My primary monitor's resolution is 1680x1050, so nearly any scaling makes everything on the screen illegible, which is more or less unacceptable.

I realize streaming video is all kinds of convenient, but when you're talking about something wholly useless, done only to illustrate minute details, convenience isn't really part of the intended goal. Considering there are maybe five of you who actually care to watch any of it (and I should hope none of you are anywhere near bored enough to watch it all), and those five are probably the kind who can spare some hard drive space, I'm going to upload the video to the usual sources. It's still massive, so I'll need to break it up, and the process of uploading will take quite some time.

I'm going to make a new folder in the shared MediaFire directory and start uploading the parts (the 100mb limit results in about 20 parts), and upload in much larger chunks to Megaupload (2 parts, each just under a gigabyte) after the upload to Mediafire is finished.

If you actually plan to download it all and want to save yourself the trouble of downloading many smaller parts, wait for the Megaupload links.

I'll edit this post and add the Megaupload links once they're ready. If you want to start downloading smaller parts from Mediafire, just check the shared folder link to your immediate left.

I swear my voice sounds deeper in my head...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Fahrenheit

The Fahrenheit

Sorry for dragging my feet with this one for so long. I think I kind of over-hyped it in my mind, so I ended up avoiding it for as long as possible. Not to mention I got sick about a week ago, and unmedicated, I'm only just now getting over it.

All in all, the build was surprisingly easy. That's not to say there aren't some incredibly tedious parts to it. But It's not as difficult as it might look.

Threw together a simple stand, because those of us who like to hang things from the ceiling seem to be a minority. Anyhow, I'm pretty happy with the finished product (and yes, the ring is free-spinning).

I'll probably start working on Cloud again tomorrow (or even tonight, as I'm trying to do the 'stay up for 24 hours to fix a broken sleep schedule' thing), which includes playing with some video capture. Apparently some of you actually want to watch the incredibly boring process of model editing and whatnot.

Be warned, faithful reader, I'm going to be talking. The whole time. There will be music to distract from my annoying whine, but the whine will be everpresent just the same.

I'm kind of looking forward to shoving as many bits of wisdom (or what I've deluded myself into believing is wisdom) into the whole procedure. Should be good times.

It's highly likely that I'll finish Cloud before my projected release (which relies on a fellow with toes made of ninjas...or maybe possessing the toes of ninjas...whatever), so the next release you'll see here is probably going to be one Mr. Wallace.

Almost forgot - Lyrin took the time to testbuild a smaller scale version of the FFXI Moogle. It's laid out almost exactly the same as the original (except for a few places where the scale allowed a few pieces to remain whole where earlier they had to be split), but at nearly half the size. The smaller version also has a very simple stand (not pictured), in case you're not inclined to aerial display.

I'd say the fact that her finished version looks better than mine, at miniature proportions, is proof that it's plenty buildable.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to attempt to clean my apartment.

People may die in the process.

Pray for me...