Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Trying to make a video

This morning I was happy to find that Photoshop had finally finished exporting the animation / video it had been processing for much of yesterday and overnight. Unfortunately, there was no video file on the Desktop (where I had told it to save), so I assumed that it had just given up / broken.

So I tried Adobe Premiere to see if that would work. It took ages to import the images, then after that there didn't seem to be any easy way to add all the images to the timeline and change the total speed of the whole thing.

Next I tried Windows Movie Maker. This loaded all the files, let me choose the duration of each image, and wasn't super slow! But when it came to exporting the clip, I clicked to change the export settings, and it crashed. The 'More Information' link brought me to a Windows Live Movie Maker support forum thread, which requested that people include certain logs and reply with them as a private message.

Then, when I was preparing all the logs needed for the Windows Live Movie Maker error report, I found that actually Photoshop had saved the video okay afterall. For some reason the file was not visible on the Desktop, but was visible if you browsed to the Desktop in Windows Explorer.

By this time I'd already all the necessary crash report logs for Windows Live Movie Maker, so I thought I should post them to the forum. But, there didn't seem to actually be any way to send a private message, so I just posted asking how to send a private message.

I did some more work on the article I was doing the video for, and found that I needed another video, this time a screen capture video. So I shot the video using Wondershare Demo Creator and used my Olympus LS-5 to record the sound. But when I reviewed the video, the cursor appeared as an hourglass whenever I was in Windows Explorer, which was no good.

I have had this problem with Wondershare Demo Creator before, when recording a video of me using Photoshop. The problem then was only existent in Photoshop x64, in the 32 bit version the cursor appeared properly in the video. So I thought that maybe Wondershare Demo Creator just always shows the cursor as an hourglass when recording activity in any 64 bit program.

I tried finding a 32 bit version of Explorer. Instructions I found on the web said that the 64 bit version is C:/Windows/explorer.exe, while the 32 bit version is C:\Windows\SysWOW64\explorer.exe. It doesn't make sense to me that a 32 bit version would be in the SysWOW64 folder, but that's what the instructions said. Unfortunately, neither one made any difference, and Wondershare Demo Creator would still record the mouse cursor as an hourglass when using them.

I did try searching windows for files names explor, there are quite a few explorer.exe files stored there. The explorer.exe files stored in C:\Windows\SysWOW64\ and C:/Windows/ were both different sizes. And all the other explorer.exes the search found were the same size as one or the other. So probably one is a 32 bit version and one is a 64 bit version. It's just that Wondershare Demo Creator didn't like either of them.

So I tried finding a different screen recording program. I found one recommended called screencast, which I have used before and not found much good. However, I thought it might be improved, and so might as well give it a try.

I downloaded it, and on first try it played back the recording really fast. After a couple more tries I got the speed recording at real time. I tried putting the recorded clip into Adobe Premiere, but it got really messed up and full of strange artefacts.

So I tried a few more different settings in screencast, one became really strange colours when put into Premiere, and another resulted in footage that kept jumping back and repeating itself every second or so. In the end I did get some reasonable footage out of it by recording at 50fps and using the Cinepak codec. Even at 50fps though, the footage seems quite jumpy, more like 10fps or something.

All this recording and testing took most of the afternoon.

In the evening I watched an episode of Star Trek Enterprise with Mausre and Bo, then wrote this blog post.

The rest of the evening I looked at places to visit in Ukraine.

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