Sunday, December 4, 2016

Vlog #3: Audio/Video Synchronization Issues

Episode #3 of the ITS Gaming vlog! Audio drift has improved, making audio/video synchronization easier. This means more gaming videos coming up soon!

The Don't Starve Together session had an audio/video drift of at least 8 seconds and as high as 17 seconds. In our latest test, we reduced this drift to only 1 second. The drift was being caused by straining limited resources, in particular RAM. Increasing system memory from 4GB to 8GB seems to have improved the situation. We are also recording in shorter sessions, to mitigate the effects of any drift.

But, an audio/video drift of 1 second is still noticeable. If you place a block in Minecraft, you won't hear the sound effect for an entire second. So we will still need to correct the drift.

The gameplay footage also recorded the computer's clock. Using this as a somewhat stable reference point, Mike discovered that the video is not drifting. But, the audio is shorter than the video by 1 second. This means that we will need to stretch the audio to fit the video.

Unfortunately, Blackmagic Design's DaVinci Resolve does not support stretching audio clips. So, we will need to synchronize the audio/video in REAPER. This isn't bad though: REAPER has excellent time stretching tools.

One thing REAPER is not good at is video. This isn't much of a surprise, considering REAPER is a DAW (digital audio workstation). Emphasis on the "audio" part. We can't import our gameplay or facecam footage into REAPER. To see what is happening along with the audio, we will need to transcode the video files into a format that REAPER can digest.

The video files play back sluggishly, especially when viewing all three at once. To make video editing easier, we will be reducing the quality of the videos. These low-quality video files are called "proxies". Proxy workflows for video editing aren't new, and the tools we have support it. Once editing is finished, the original high quality video files can be swapped back in. The end result has no hint that a low quality video was used in the editing process.

We are currently synchronizing and editing a test session of Minecraft. Once the editing is finished, there should be a new video published. Stay tuned!

Friday, December 2, 2016

A behind-the-scenes look at the automated dialogue replacement process that we went through for the upcoming vlog! The vlog will be posted shortly as well. Stay tuned!

Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR) is a process to recover from bad audio recordings. You might have good footage, but the room you recorded in was too noisy and you can't make out what is being said. ADR fixes this problem by completely replacing the audio with a clean copy.

There are two types of ADR. The one you choose will depend on your workflow and what your end goal is. In the first type of ADR, the talent watches a looping section of footage where the audio needs to be replaced. Usually they are given a buffer at the beginning so that they have time to get ready to record a new take. The buffer may include a series of beeps or some other audible warning. They then recite their lines in sync with the video. During this process, they cannot hear the original audio. This is useful if you want to get a different performance. It's also useful if the mimicked nature of the second ADR method is too obvious.

In the second type of ADR, you setup a looping section like in the first type. But, this time the talent can hear the original audio. Their goal is to repeat the lines over and over again. They get to the point where they aren't consciously speaking individual words. This is usually much easier to sync with the footage, but can sound mono-tone.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Final Station Gameplay - Part #1 - ITS Gaming

The first episode of our The Final Station let's play series has been published! We are trying some new formatting techniques as well. What do you think of it?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Vlog #1: Facecam and Lighting - ITS Gaming

The first ITS Gaming vlog! We are working on getting the lighting and camera setup. We’ll be adding a facecam to some of our gameplay videos once everything is functioning properly.

Family Plays Vanilla Minecraft 1.8: Multiplayer Hardcore Survival Ep. 7 ...

Episode #7 of our vanilla Minecraft adventure has been published! We finally get iron armor, there was an incident while trying to sleep, and Mike goes exploring through the caves.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Indie Games: Wild Run Gameplay - Level Based Infinite Runner - ITS Gaming

I played a level-based infinite runner called "Wild Run". This is another game made by Skazdal. I played one of his other games on the ITS Gaming YouTube channel a little bit ago: The prototype for Void Miner.

In Wild Run, your goal is to make it past an obstacle course set in the woods. To aid you in this, you can use your shapeshifting ability to turn into into three different animals. Each animal has their own set of abilities that will help you complete the level. The bear helps you crash through otherwise unavoidable objects. The hare helps you leap onto faraway ledges and crawl through small gaps. Last but not least, the crow allows you to fly across vast chasms.

The game consists of six infinite runner levels, four of which are tutorials. There is one tutorial level for each animal. The fourth tutorial steps you through how and when to use your shapeshifting powers. This is good, because you won't become overwhelmed. Wild Run is a difficult endless runner, but Skazdal has done an excellent job of teaching you how to play.

Each level has a certain number of gems. Collecting the gems won't assist you in any way, but it adds an extra challenge. This also encourages you to try more difficult paths.

Wild Run was created for the Ludum Dare #35, 48 hour competition. The version of the game that I played and that Skazdal has available on Game Jolt is a polished version of his original entry. You can play the original competition entry here:

I had a lot of fun playing this game! If you enjoy platformers, endless runners, interesting game mechanics, or just a good challenge, I highly recommend you give the game a try.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Happy Wheels Custom Maps: Episode #1 - ITS Gaming

Today I played Happy Wheels for the first time. It was an interesting... And fun experience! I'm thinking of making a series out of this. What do you guys think? Tips on editing techniques or anything else is much appreciated! If you know of any good Happy Wheels custom levels, I would also be interested in giving them a try.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Indie Games: Gerty Gameplay - ITS Gaming

I just published a new video over on the ITS Gaming YouTube channel! This is a playthrough of a top-down sci-fi shooter named Gerty. They also support multiplayer, so we *may* publish another video where the entire ITS Gaming team plays Gerty together.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Family Plays Vanilla Minecraft 1.8: Multiplayer Hardcore Survival Ep. 4 | A PEACEFUL DAY

We're back! The long awaited episode #4 of the ITS Gaming YouTube channel's Minecraft series is finally available. This episode is thankfully peaceful: I don't come face-to-face with any skeletons. I expect that to change though!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Indie Games: Fight Knight Gameplay - ITS Gaming

My brother and I played an indie game called Fight Knight by David Strachan. It is a medieval knight dueling game. You have one of three objective modes:

  • One hit, you win.
  • Collect more points than your opponent.
  • Stay within the moving circle longer than your opponent.

Jake and I had quite a bit of fun playing Fight Knight. Out of the three modes, we enjoyed the points mode the most. In this mode, you drop points every time you are hit and your opponent must try and collect them. When you hit your opponent, it's like a pinata filled with points. Fortunately you can collect your own points to deny them from your opponent!

If you don't have someone at hand to play with, you go against the AI opponent. The artificial intelligence in Fight Knight is actually not bad, and will keep you on your toes!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hearthstone Gameplay | Priest Deck vs. Hunter Deck Beginners Ep. 3 | CAR...

Woot!  Finally managed to get a new episode of the #Hearthstone series published to the YouTube gaming channel.

I'm trying out some different editing techniques in this episode. Most notably, I've removed dead space and switched the transition effect to be a simply fade in-out. What do you think of the changes?