Arrival of Snowball
The Snowball mic has arrived and boy is it sleek and also kind of Orwellian looking. It’s a jet black ball that sits on three prongs and has an ominious red light that glows when it’s plugged in. It’s like some martian tripod surveillance device. All I know is the damn thing better work. I plug it in, open up audacity, and give my best rendition of row row row your boat. She records like a dream and it’s at that point that I realize I have a voice meant for silent film. No matter how much you polish garbage it stays garbage. Just shinier. Oh well. Time to sally forth anyway.
Preparation for LP
I’m messing around before I notice a little tidbit floating through some gaming news sites. Skyrim Special Edition is supposed to drop at 5pm tonight. I would be a kid in a candy store if not for the fact that it costs $60. Luckily, Bethesda decided that just updating a games graphics and then re-releasing it for full price is a bad PR move so they are giving it away for free for anyone who owns all the DLC. I’m not one of those people but I could be… $25 on sale right now? Yeah alright. I’ve been meaning to get around to playing the DLC anyway. Well, one of them anyway. One basically turns your game into a domestic simulator complete with nagging spouse and shit kids that are somehow invulnerable to destruction. No thanks.
I don’t want to redo Metro 2033 so Skyrim came at the perfect time for me to LP. My favorite part is the irony here. Skyrim is The Elder Scrolls V. Both LP’s would be started thanks to Bethesda. Thanks Bethesda. Hopefully this one doesn’t turn out like such a hot mess. I’ll be able to replay a game I’ve enjoyed several times and get to check out the updated graphics at the same time.
While I’ve been upgrading in almost every area the one thing that I haven’t done was switch to a desktop. I have a 2013 Alienware 17 and she chugs along faithfully with my frequent moves and LAN parties. My Geforce 770m needed to get up to speed if I didn’t want to play the NEWLY ENHANCED SKYRIM on low settings. I’m sure that wouldn’t be the case but Fallout 4 still gives me nightmares. Time to learn about overclocking my laptop and if it’s even worth doing such a silly thing. A few hours later she’s boosted and purring happily at some stable levels.
We’re off and rolling. I’ve played through Skyrim a bunch so I enlisted the help of 4chan to get a new character randomly generated. I got a Khajiit (cat person) Paladin with a drug habit and penchant for exercising evil from the land. Plus, the faction I need to follow is Dawnguard. Dawnguard is a faction added in one of the DLC for the game. This is perfect since I have no idea what happens in the DLC. I’ll get some practice in for the part I’m familiar with and then get to experience some new content once I figure things out.
While playing, it was harder than I thought to give good solo commentary and talk enough so it just wasn’t someone silently playing a game. I tried to come up with stories and share my own experiences a bit to brighten it up but I don’t exactly have an over the top personality to carry the day. Certainly not on the level of people like Pewdiepie or Markiplier. I powered through it and finished the first episode. Time to edit.
Syncing the audio is always an annoying task but it doesn’t take that long once you get it down. All you have to do is say “One, two, three” and then do something obvious in the game that you can find in your recorded video. Some people like to jump. I like to hit escape or some button that pulls up a menu. Match your audio and footage up and then just delete all the junk beforehand. It’s easy just not exactly the most elegant of solutions.
Ah, Sony Vegas 10 you are a cruel mistress. It’s not exactly a set it and forget it type of platform and it required a lot of tweaking before I could get it exporting anything. Then after about 3 hours of rendering my video it just spit out a “Error. Dunno what happened man but it’s not working. You probably messed up.” Thanks Sony. Three hours of rendering for a 30 minute video that ended up ultimately not working was a slap in the face. Some quick googling and it looks like Sony Vegas 10 is not great (or even feasible) for the 1080p content I wanted to push out.
No problem. Time to use my tried and true method of creeping on content creators I enjoy. This time I’m creeping on Spirit of the Law who does some pretty kickass and in-depth videos on Age of Empires II. I get they released a new HD version but the fact that the content is still so popular and dissected is amazing to me. He uses Power Director 12 for his content and I haven’t seen him bitching about it. Time to “learn” a new video editing software.
I lucked out and they were actually doing a free giveaway of their older software (aka PD 12) and had some newer stuff on a big discount. I’m on a budget so if 12 works for Spirit of the Law then it works for me.
Now I have an SSD and a HDD. I only use the SSD for core stuff and maybe memory intensive games like Skyrim or Civilization (load times measure in centuries). My HDD is a pretty respectable size so you can imagine my shock when PD 12 gives me a “Not Enough Space” error when I try to install it. Sure enough, 250 gigs of space has vanished. Most recent thing I was doing was dicking around with Sony Vegas 10 so let’s check my video files.
Turns out, Sony Vegas 10 didn’t actually fail at rendering my previous video. Instead it succeeded at pushing out a gigantic turd of a video weighing in at an impressive 250 gigs. 1080p blue ray rips that I’ve seen have barely been able to scratch the 20 gig mark. Despite its impressive girth it still managed to look like trash. Size isn’t everything folks.
Cleaned up that mess and got PD 12 up and running without issue. Works basically the same as Vegas 10 as far as editing content goes. Rendering and exporting is a breeze. You just pick what you’d like to render and the software does the rest. I did run into an issue where the preview screen just turns green. This makes it impossible to sync the game with the audio since that is your visual cue for lining things up.
Nobody could tell me why I was getting this issue but apparently one of the solutions was to disable hardware acceleration. My understanding is that video editing software can utilize your GPU in addition to your CPU in order to render video. For whatever reason, allowing this was giving me a green screen issue. After the change, chopping the video up got a little slower. The program would have to think a bit before implementing the change I wanted. Not great but better than the other options I was faced with.
No other issues and the first part is live!