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Author Topic: Ripping from LOSSLESS video  (Read 6422 times)
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feos
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« on: March 26, 2011, 06:26:01 AM »

Today I realized the very simple way to rip a map, freely navigating through the demonstration movie.
I'll write what I mean in total.

Open any rerecording emulator to make the process of longplaying easier with showing all secret corners & avoiding faults (cheats & Game Genies also may help). Record the longplay itself in an emulator movie file. Now you shall play it back several times, switching different layers off & dumping it into AVI with any lossless codec you like. The best suggestion from me is CamStudio Lossless Codec (just google it, or i'll post a link).

I think we all know how to record an emulator movie to AVI file, right? If not, I'll explain it, or you may visit this link: http://tasvideos.org/EncodingGuide/VideoDumping.html The case is to dump AVI without filtering, it's clear.

Just configure the codec:
Choose GZIP method & any Level you (& your computer) can handle. 9 is for heavy compression, but it is too slow for our purposes. 1 gives too much size. Try 5 & while dumping the AVI, encrease emulation speed to accelerate the process.

As it was said, you shall dump several AVIs (one per each layer).

After all layers are inside videos, open them in Virtual Dub. Go to Video -> Copy source frame to clipboard for any frames you need & paste 'em to the image editor (say Photoshop). As you can see, in VD you are able to navigate through the movie & observe the map in action.

Sometimes it is necessary to preset the background color for the emulator itself to prevent loss of BG/sprites parts due to similar colors.

VirtualDub is also extremely useful to prepare your vids as Screenshot Autostitcher input by cropping the frame from any side & trimming the whole video into Level-only segments. Just use the Lossless compression again to output (checking no sound is good as well).

Any feedback, suggestions and criticism are necessary.

Little video-demo of how the Screenshot Autostitcher works with such videos:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=56690DF60ECAD041
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 04:08:22 AM by feos » Logged

Trop
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2011, 10:14:16 PM »

This never occurred to me.  For a while now I've been using screenshot tools to make a patchwork, then just editing it as I liked.  The only problem with this I would have, other then setting up a lossless recording system, is that I micro manage my screenshots.  Sometimes I leave sprites and certain bg levels on in one part of a map and subtract them in another.  I usually never know what I need to add or subtract until I get to that area of the map.
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Maxim
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2011, 04:12:48 AM »

Obviously the autostitcher works better without sprites because they add a layer of confusion. But masking can often help a lot.

Where the game has animated features, the stitch will go a lot faster if you reduce the required match percentage. You want to keep that as low as possible without getting false matches ("smooshing" images).

I always stitch with sprites included (but a mask for the main player) because then the resulting stitch is likely to have remnants of sprites showing at the first location they were seen (provided it was stitched in reverse). The video is useful for confirming that. Then I can fix up the remnants after I've placed sprites on a separate layer; a forwards stitch is likely to have remnants in different places, so I can use a "difference" blended layer to help restore them.

The CamStudio codec does compress very well, but it is not distributable, you need to buy Camstudio to use it legally.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 04:14:03 AM by Maxim » Logged
feos
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2011, 07:15:09 AM »

Quote
you need to buy Camstudio to use it legally.
Nope, the codec is absolutely free & downloadable.
http://camstudio.org/blog/camstudio-lossless-codec-v14-released

The only issue with it is that the video can't be exported from VirtualDub using the GZIP method, only LZO. But importing to VD is better after GZIP usage, because it allows to seek faster & doesn't require any noticable time to decode.
Also on Level 9 it compresses TWICE better than Lagarith.

The only problem with this I would have, other then setting up a lossless recording system, is that I micro manage my screenshots.  Sometimes I leave sprites and certain bg levels on in one part of a map and subtract them in another.  I usually never know what I need to add or subtract until I get to that area of the map.

AVI dumping with lossless codec is quite simple.
Though it can be read on TASVideos link (there they really kick ass with perfect video encoding), you pause the emulator, start movie playback, turn off unnecessary layers, start AVI recording, configure the installed codec (for Cam Studio codec it is GZIP on Level 5 or higher) and then UNPAUSE the emulator. You will get the video of PERFECT quality & not so big size.
After you dumped backgroung video, there's no problem to dump the video with sprites only. then you just snap necessary sprites from VirtualDub & set them onto your ALMOST-READY map.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2011, 07:25:46 AM by feos » Logged

DarkWolf
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2011, 08:39:50 AM »

I've used Fraps to rip sprites before.  Nice for emulators that don't have incremental frame advancement (MAME, Magic Engine, etc).  Since mapping uses larger sections of images I've never really felt the need to use recording for mapping.
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feos
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2011, 09:00:38 AM »

DarkWolf
Rerecording emulator for Arcade/Neo-Geo allows not only frame advance, but layers switching too!
When one gets accustomed to use poor tools, it's not the reason to refuse better ones  Wink
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Maxim
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2011, 09:25:38 AM »

Nope, the codec is absolutely free & downloadable.
Sorry, I had it confused with the TSCC codec.
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feos
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2011, 11:53:07 AM »

BTW, Autotstitcher used for Gargoyles (Gen) worked better with video than with every frame snaps with the same settings.
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Maxim
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 12:45:26 AM »

In terms of stitching correctly, it should be the same. The video may well load faster as it's streaming delta frames rather than loading entire bitmaps.
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