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Author Topic: two hours of fractal goodness  (Read 3633 times)
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bradorpoints
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« on: October 17, 2006, 08:18:24 AM »

My DVD contains two hours of highly anti-aliased fractal animations.  Some of the pieces are ten minutes long - and are not just quick zooms.  See for yourself - there are some video clips and still images on the website (as well as a lot more information regarding this).

www.biocursion.com
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heneganj
Guest
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2006, 10:30:02 AM »

Eric have you thought of cross-promoting your DVD?  What I mean is, would it be possible for you to put up a 'free' copy of your DVD as a prize in a competition on this site?

The DVD would be free, but since our contributors are all over the world they would be required to pay shipping charges.  The competition would be plastered with links to your site and promotional text to lure people in.

I am thinking of running a newsletter on the site very soon to publicise the new forum layout.  If you are keen I could make an announcement as part of that.

p.s. thanks for the back-link on your site - much appreciated.
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bradorpoints
Guest
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2006, 10:32:21 PM »

I have - but have not executed any ideas yet.  biocursion was very incomplete when my son was born, and all spare time up until now was spent creating, rendering, managing and mastering the DVD.  Outside of posting video clips on video.google.com, video.yahoo.com, youtube.com, etc - the only other "advertising" has been asking Jock and Lloyd to put links to biocursion on their sites. (which is working out better than expected - biocursion.com's monthy traffic averaged ~350 MB prior to the beforementioned.  Now I see 4 - 5 GB a month)

In the next couple of weeks, the price will be dropped quite a bit, update the site, etc.  In other words - I'm getting ready to try to sell this.

To finally get answer your question : yes, I would be interested in what you are proposing.  Send me a private message and include your physical address - I'll give you a copy for evaluation.  We can talk more about it.  The big questions are:

when are you hoping to comminicate the competition?
would it be helpful to offer alternative formats?

The second question is being asked because the PAL version is a bomb.  And, I don't mean "the PAL version is th' BOMB!" - it's not a product I can sell.  The frame rate change works out for film and "live" footage - but not fractal animation.  The NTSC is region free, if that helps at all...  One option I was considering is a DivX Pro (sorry, Lloyd. smiley ..) or Nero encoded disk.

If you can only view a PAL DVD - I can mail it to you, with caveats.

regards,

Eric 
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heneganj
Guest
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2006, 10:54:35 PM »

Quote
To finally get answer your question : yes, I would be interested in what you are proposing.  Send me a private message and include your physical address - I'll give you a copy for evaluation.  We can talk more about it. 

Yes I'll PM it.

Quote
when are you hoping to comminicate the competition?
would it be helpful to offer alternative formats?The second question is being asked because the PAL version is a bomb.

I will consult with the other mods.  We are going to try a 'push' for recruiting new users soon (VERY soon I'd hope! For instance I'm working on some software to 'help'.) so it could/would be mentioned during that.

Alternate formats - yes definitely.  You cannot ignore NTSC.  It's been a few years since I've picked up Sony Vegas in anger but the quickest dirtiest way of accommodating everyone would be to convert to 23.976fps wouldn't it? It would make your clips longer and you'd need to stretch your audio and remaster the disk, but I'd try that first.
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bradorpoints
Guest
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2006, 07:06:27 AM »

the issue with PAL:

I considered my two options:

1) what you were suggesting - just change the frame rate to 25 fps.  There are two CGI segments which are pretty slow in the first place - slowing them down further is almost too much.  All said, this is acceptable.  But, that is only the video.  A lot of the music was scored to the animation, some timings in the music were synched to the animation and reverse (a couple animations were syched to the music).  This is where the problem is at - at why I didn't go this route.

2) convert the frame rate to 25 fps.  This means every x frame is deleted - the run time for the NTSC and PAL are excactly the same.  For faster, more complex fractals - the missing frames are not noticable.  The slower moving animations suffer the most.  I have shown the PAL version to non-video people - and until the jumpiness was pointed out to them, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

So - I chose option two, as it seemed the less of two evils.  I'm sure with far more expensive software (or software I am not aware of) there are ways to interpolate the frame rate change.  Removing a frame by crossfading two, tricks with field rendering (for interlaced outputs only), etc.


To obtain the highest possible quality I have the entire two hours saved as an uncompressed AVI.  The whole thing is just under 200 GB (the audio is about 2 GB).  Any modifications require a ton of time - if I go ahead with option two, I'll need about three weeks.  The issue with the audio would have to be dealt with by ignoring matches, and applying a different track of music to the ending sequence (the timing of the music is important there).

If anybody has any suggestions - or is more familiar with Premiere than I - please post.


Eric "Negative Nancy" Williams
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lycium
Fractal Supremo
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2006, 11:41:56 PM »

2) convert the frame rate to 25 fps.  This means every x frame is deleted - the run time for the NTSC and PAL are excactly the same.  For faster, more complex fractals - the missing frames are not noticable.  The slower moving animations suffer the most.  I have shown the PAL version to non-video people - and until the jumpiness was pointed out to them, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

throwing away information is really not the right way to do it; the ideal method is to resample the video to the new framerate using all the excess information provided. this is analogous to resizing an image using a proper image filter, or just ignoring every nth pixel, except when dealing with whole frames the quality is much more crucial.

To obtain the highest possible quality I have the entire two hours saved as an uncompressed AVI.

use huffyuv. it's fast (faster than uncompressed because you're hard disk limited, decompression is basically free), lossless and does a good job with smooth regions.

If anybody has any suggestions - or is more familiar with Premiere than I - please post.

in virtualdub the above resampling scheme is a few clicks, and i should hope that something as expensive as premiere will have similar functionality. since you mention reprocessing the data is slow, i strongly suggest a raid setup - since the data is important you'd probably want to use one of the more resilient levels, but simple raid 0 (striping) will give you a big performance boost. i can recommend the western digital raptor drives - while they are smaller, they are incredibly reliable (server grade disks, all told) and blazingly fast. two 150gb raptors striped will make a world of difference.

more info on raid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID
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bradorpoints
Guest
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2006, 07:54:47 PM »

I chose the frame dropping method over the resampling because the method you described produces a similar jittering effect by manipulating the fields.  In some cases - it looked worse than the motion jumping.  That may be me.  Producing a PAL version was not on my priority list; after a few tests I stuck with the frame dropping. 

Since then, I have replaced the old PC with a newer one - the new system has a SAS RAID 0+1 (15k) for the non-boot partition.  This works better, but not hugely - for an ideal hardware configuration three arrays would be needed.  Two for video signal outputs and one for an input - A/B to C editing.  SAS drives are too expensive still for me to throw in two more drives (the A/B can go on drives 1 and 2 - the redundancy isn't needed because everything is backed up to tape).

Over 25% of my sales have been to NW Europe.  So, I will be working on a better PAL version.  Now I have the bandwith for some serious testing.  Although, they have all opted for the NTSC version - they all have PCs or laptops connected to HD sets.

Thanks for the codec recommendation.  It cuts uncompressed AVIs by 2/3rds on average.  I looked around a few years ago for something like this - but by google search skills obviuously need some tuning. 

cheers,

Eric
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ericbigas
Guest
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2006, 11:10:20 AM »

Apple's Compressor does a nice job of changing framerates.  It tweens the existing frames to create all-new frames at the desired framerate, without changing the duration or dropping frames.  More info here:  http://www.macdvdpro.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=33819

Twixtor and Magic Bullet are supposed to do the same thing but I haven't used them.
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