Thursday, March 03, 2005

Creating Creative Creations

mpeg2enc -q 1 -b 8000!!!
mp2enc -e!!!
mplex -V!!!

Please tell me that works...

Nope. And such is the life of a content creator.

I'm realizing that content creation is the crux of all new game creation now. In the days of yore the code was the biggest obstacle... making things faster, scalable, playable. But now the biggest obstacle in creating modern games is a) creative content and b) the tools to create the content.

For example, id wrote a software tool that took high-poly meshes with detailed textures, converted them into lower-poly models with bump and normal maps, then exported that content into the game. So you'd spend weeks on creating a single model, have software figure out which details were best suited for normal or bump maps, then drop the corresponding textures and meshes into the engine. Meanwhile Carmack wrote an entire radiosity engine in the shower, using nothing but Pantene and a loofa.

Now that I'm trying to still figure out texture mapping in Blender, I'm definitely gathering an appreciation for the DAYS it takes to generate nice models. And now that I've been failing to get a good, reliable way to encode MPEG2 video from a DV camcorder, I'm appreciating how hard it is to get the appropriate tools.

Yes, I still have completely failed to get a good routine for archiving home movies. I was set on Kine and ffmpeg, actually re-encoded everything AGAIN, only to find that the timestamps for 50% of the MPEG's were fragmented at points. Some were serious enough to make my DVD player freak out.

Cursing SuSE under my breath for not giving me a good toolchain, I tried using Nero's video capture utility in WinXP. It was horrible. Even capturing to raw DV Nero dropped frames like a hammer like a one ton barbell like a bad habit a lot. If I dropped a single frame in Kino I'd start all over again. With Nero I'd average about 1 dropped frame per minute. So Linux still won, although I still lost.

I'm going to try something from MainConcept methinks, maybe MainActor.

Still working on texture mapping too... creating seams in Blender seems to be the way to go, but since my mesh is so asymmetrical (and it's gonna stay that way, dammit!) it's tough to get it to work 100%.

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