In my desire to learn movie making basics, I had reason to make a quick game-play video for a project and needed to add voice over to video captured game footage. This was my first real test of video editing, beyond cutting the splicing that I’ve done in the past. I needed to capture about ten minutes of footage and then explain what was happening and cover some game mechanics in the video. I opted to record video and audio separately as I could later tweak my narration as needed and not be tied to having to do the mission over again if I messed up or was interrupted (which happened during this project a LOT).
Step one was to capture in game footage. I used FRAPS and set my “record” button to NUM LOCK. That way I had a built in “recording light” on my keyboard to let me know when I was rolling. I chose a (typically) short space based mission and captured it all at my full 1920 x 1080 resolution. Final file size was about 12GB.
Next, I watch the video a few times to get a feel of the action (and see what I missed, as I was more focused on recording than playing). I recorded my narration on my iPhone 5 using an app called MicPro. I got good clean audio from this and was able to send it to my computer using the wi-fi setting. VERY handy.
My first problem arose when my computer and my video editing software wouldn’t recognize the .aiff file that MicPro generated. A quick Google search gave me the answer. I was able to add the file to iTunes and then save it again locally after making a quick adjustment to the iTunes encoder.
Once I had my .MP3 audo track and my .AVI footage, I was able to open them in Windows Live Movie Maker and merge the two. It was a pretty straight forward process of adding a “music” track, but the tricky part was balancing the audio channels so the game-play sound didn’t blend in with or override the narration. There is a tool under Music Tools>Options called Music Volume. I found out I needed to select the film itself to adjust the volume for that track even though visually it looks like footage rather than an audio track (at least compared to most video editing tools).
I finally saved off my project, encoded it for HD and posted it. You can see it below.
All in all a good start and even though it was a seeming simple problem, there were a few technical hurdles and I learned a bit. And that’s what this is all about.
So 2012 has come and gone and I notice that I still have last years “Happy New Year” post on my page. Apparently I have only created enough posts in an entire year to push my first post of last year to the bottom of the page, not OFF the page or into the archives … just lower on the page.
Well, something has to change. And what better time for change, than a new year and renewed focus. But first, lets review the progress of my Bucket List for 2012:
- Play with the kids in the snow – DONE! and just under the wire too, as we visited Yosemite for New Years
Buy a Jeep – Sadly, no. I did get a new car though, but a sedan commuter type things. Hardly offroad worthy.
Publish a book – Nope.
- Participate in NaNoWiMo – Yes! But not as succesfully as I had hoped. I did learn a LOT this year though and will likely carry this one over.
Go backpacking – No, but we did go day camping. I won’t quite count it though.
- Launch new site – Done! Launched the new site to varying levels of success. Reader ship is steady, content is still sparse though.
Host a panel at a con – I did not get a chance to host a panel, but did go to Comic Con again after so many years away.
- Take up archery – No, but I did take up airsoft. I consider it an acceptable alternative.
Learn an instrument – Sadly no, but this might also be a carry over.
- Make InkTank Studios profitable – Done! With donations, ad revenue and other projects InkTank Studios was able to make a profit this year. =)
So I’m at 5/10 for 2012. Not too bad, I guess. Let’s see what’s on the list for 2013!
2013 Bucket List
- Start a Podcast – of…something. Geek news?
- Help the girls make thier own movie – learn movie making and do a project with the girls
- Upload at LEAST one post a week – YES! Use the blog here even more. Even if it’s just a little thing.
- Buy a new computer – It’s been eight years since I got my Falcon rig and while still running strong, an upgrade might be in order.
- Upload the entire comic archive – I have been dreading the work this will take, but it’s time to hunker down.
- Vacation in Scottland – Ach, it’d be a doon befora tae git ‘ere an takea jammy dodger.
- Set aside regular drawing time – A regular schedule of sketching, drawing, trying new things.
- Get down to 180 lbs. – Your standard, run of the mill weight loss goal. Mostly get my belly down.
- Participate in NaNoWiMo – Be better prepared and actually shoot for the goal instead of just “feel around”.
- Learn an instrument – Yep. This will be the year.
Ok 2013 … bring it bro!