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VQA Encoder v0.5 beta 2
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wunder
Civilian


Joined: 26 Aug 2008

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi. it's me again this time registred.

After i load gdi.avi file, menu looks like this:
http://www.wrzuta.pl/obraz/81zNeTgaSV/bez_tytulu

I can't change anything, just keys and blocks. Nothing more nothing less...
How to click on this 8-bit option?

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Nyerguds
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Joined: 24 May 2004
Location: Flanders (Be) Posts:300000001

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't convert AVI to 8-bit VQA, beause AVI format is pretty much always high-colour. You need PCX frames.
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wunder
Civilian


Joined: 26 Aug 2008

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Omg, when i convert from avi to pcx i have 154 files!!! In VQA Enc i can use ONLY 1. So what with rest? Or how to convert whole this files to 1 vqa file?
Sry for so many questions but im not so smart for this.

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MrFlibble
Cyborg Firebomber


Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: 3,000,000 years away from Earth

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not "only 1", you need put the name of the first file, given that your files are named like "file 0000.pcx", "file 0001.pcx" etc., the encoder will recognize this pattern automatically.
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Guest
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoo-hoo, it works!

Thank you ugordan. Smile

Oh, and *bump*.


Sincerely,
Brandon

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Brandon
Guest




PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What program is everyone here using to convert their .AVI file into PCX files?

I used RAD Tools for the C&C95 .avi videos I extracted, but I can't get RAD Tools to convert the TS .avi videos (Note: For the TS avi > pcx conversion through RADTools, I have the 256 color option unchecked). I get the error "Unsupported output file type or color depth".

BTW, ugordan, your program is the only one I have seen anywhere that enables tinkering with the C&C series videos. Thanks again. Very Happy


Sincerely,
Brandon


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


If anyone is curious as to my methods and goal, here it is:


STEP I - Extract AVI:

In this example, I am trying to modify the GDI intro video. I load the MOVIES01.MIX and extract file C432F319 as an AVI. Play and check its codec info in VLC media player:

-----------
Steam 0
Type: Video
Codec: 24 bits RGB (RV24)
Resolution: 640x400
Display Resolution: 640x400
Frame rate: 15
Steam 1
Type: Audio
Codec: PCM S16 LE(araw)
Channels: Stereo
Sample rate: 22050 Hz
Bits per Sample: 16
----------

File size: 1.95GB
Length: 3:01

----------


STEP II - Edit AVI:

I then use some free video editor I can find online -in this case "Video Pad"- and edit the AVI. I then save the new AVI and check its codec info in VLC media player:

-----------
Steam 0
Type: Video
Codec: Indeo Video v5 (IV50)
Resolution: 640x400
Display Resolution: 640x400
Frame rate: 14.999992
Steam 1
Type: Audio
Codec: PCM S16 LE(araw)
Channels: Stereo
Sample rate: 22050 Hz
Bits per Sample: 16
----------

File size: 57.9MB
Length: 2:56

----------


STEP III - Extract sound:

I then open up VLC media player, go to File>Convert/Save.... I then convert the new AVI file to a WAV file and check its codec info:

----------
Steam 0
Type: Audio
Codec: PCM S16 LE(araw)
Channels: Stereo
Sample rate: 22050 Hz
Bits per Sample: 16
----------

So now I have two files to work with:

mod_C432F319.avi
mod_C432F319.wav


STEP IV - RAD Tools:

For the C&C95 movies, I converted the AVI with the 256 option checked and it converted the frames into PCX files easily. But for TS I get an error.


STEP V - VQA Encoder:

If I can get the PCX files I'll be able to move to this step. It would look something like this:

Input File: ...\Desktop\temp_vidwork\mod_C432F31900.PCX
Sound File: ...\Desktop\temp_vidwork\mod_C432F319.wav
Output File: ...\Desktop\temp_vidwork\mod_C432F319.vqa

VQA type:
15-bit VQA (HiColor)

Movie parameters:
Resolution: 640x400(4x4)
Frame count: 2641 frames
Frame rate: 15 fps
Sound: 22050 Hz, stereo

Number of blocks: 6000
Key interval (frames): 64

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Brandon
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

**UPDATE**

Well, using RAD Tools, I converted the AVI frames into BMP instead of PCX.

Worked like a charm. Smile

However the movie looks "blockier" in-game than the original did. Perhaps I can up the number of blocks with the Ugordon VQA Encoder?

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Nyerguds
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Joined: 24 May 2004
Location: Flanders (Be) Posts:300000001

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VQA is a lossy format. Reconverting original videos inevitably leads to a decrease in quality.

Also, you saved your in-between result with a codec. That's also quality loss; better save it as raw avi when editing.

I don't think changing the default settings is a good idea though.
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Brandon
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nyerguds wrote:

Also, you saved your in-between result with a codec. That's also quality loss; better save it as raw avi when editing.



Yeah. I don't know if the video editor I am using at the moment allows for that. Confused Know of good video editing software that isn't "adobe-style" priced($500-$5000)? The last video editor I remember using that was any good was Premier, and that was back in high-school over a decade ago. I use GIMP and Audacity for graphics and sound.

Nyerguds wrote:

I don't think changing the default settings is a good idea though.


In the VQA Encoder? Agreed. I notice Ugrodon above mentioned that 2000 blocks was a bit low for a TS movie so I wondered what upping the values -and to what point- would do.

Thank you for the response Nyerguds.


-Brandon

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Nyerguds
General


Joined: 24 May 2004
Location: Flanders (Be) Posts:300000001

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's usually just a matter of changing the codec to 'RGB'.

As for programs... well, it all depends on what kind of video editing you want to do. But most paid packs nowadays have open source alternatives.
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CCHyper
Defense Minister


Joined: 07 Apr 2005

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Virtual Dub might be of help to you, but its quite advanced.

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Brandon
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CCHyper wrote:
Virtual Dub might be of help to you, but its quite advanced.


Tinkering with it now. Looks really promising. I can even export as an image sequence much faster and easier than in RADTools, and in any file type I desire (currently using BMP format with .pcx extension, although there are a few to choose from -tga, etc.). Any reason why I shouldn't use this program instead of RADTools? Confused

Thanks CCHyper. Smile

Hahaha. There is something very nostalgic and fun about being able to modify an old game like this that I played back in "the day". Were I still in middle-school this would be a dream come true. Razz Maybe just for kicks I'll throw a 2lt Coca-Cola bottle picture on a single frame in one of the movies. lol.

Thanks again guys. Cool

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Brandon
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What exactly is the relation with the "Number of blocks"/"Key interval (frames)" properties?

I'm experimenting, trying to find the best input here.

C&CDOS/RADOS...

[Not tried]

C&C95/RA95...

[Not tried]

TS...

Currently using this:
Number of blocks: 32000
Key interval (frames): 64


-Brandon

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Nyerguds
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Joined: 24 May 2004
Location: Flanders (Be) Posts:300000001

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no difference between DOS and Win95 C&C1 and RA1. It's all the same VQA format.
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Brandon
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nyerguds wrote:
There's no difference between DOS and Win95 C&C1 and RA1. It's all the same VQA format.


Ugordon mentioned on page 1 of this Thread about using different block numbers on different resolutions for C&C.

What exactly is the relation with the "Number of blocks"/"Key interval (frames)" properties?


-Brandon

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Brandon
Guest




PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UPDATE - 3/14/11

Well, I have managed to encode TS and RA1 movies with great success. I am now trying to do the same with the C&C95 movies.

They play fine in the XCC AV Player, but for some reason, they are looking corrupted when played ingame. Confused

I used RAD Tools in 256 color mode to make the PCX frame files, 256 color mode in the VQA Encoder.

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Nyerguds
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Joined: 24 May 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, for C&C95 you have to make sure
  • all frames in one scene have the same palette. Palette switches can only happen at key frames (normally set to 8), so make sure scene switches obey this rule (only switch at multiples of 8) or you get some messed-up frames in between.
  • the maximum size is 320x200
  • the first colour is black, especially for videos smaller than the full 320x200 (like, for example, the game's original 320x156 briefing vids) because colour #0 is used to fill the space around the video. You can force this in RAD by reducing to 255 colours and starting from the second palette colour.


I use these settings in RAD tools:

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Last edited by Nyerguds on Sun May 15, 2011 12:53 am; edited 1 time in total

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Brandon
Civilian


Joined: 16 Mar 2011

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alllright Nyerguds, you brought me into the forums. Smile

Here we go...

Quote:
* all frames in one scene have the same palette. Palette switches can only happen at key frames (normally set to 8 ), so make sure scene switches obey this rule (only switch at multiples of 8 ) or you get some messed-up frames in between.


What do you mean by "scenes"? What are they exactly, and how do I create them or know when/if they are being created?


Here's my current situation:

1.) Let's say I am modifying the first of the C&C95 NOD briefing movies (and I am. lol). I get the extracted AVI file through the XCC Mixer...

nod1.avi
320x156pxls
15fps
6205kbps
8bit
Uncompressed


2.) I then go into VirtualDub and remove a few frames I don't want and maybe add a fade/transition. Whatever I like. I am left with the following...

nod1.avi
320x156pxls
15fps
17904kbps
24bit
Uncompressed


3.) Now I have to get the modified movie converted into frames of some kind. VirtualDub and RAD Tools can both do this. VurtualDub has no option for PCX so I would normally use the BMP option, however I think this crashed C&C95 when I tried it so I decided to use RAD Tools exporting as PCX. In this case, I am using your setting you just posted above. I am now left with 316 PCX files ready for encoding.

4.) Encoding done! Now I have the following two files...

nod1.vqa
2.87MB
nod1.vqp
32.1KB

5.) I create a SC-00x.MIX file (SC-005 in this case) with the XCC MIX Editor, make sure it is in TD mode, then add the two files. Place the new MIX file in my C&C95 directory.

The end result... (Sorry for the way this looks. The PrtScn key decided it wasn't going to work for taking screenshots of C&C95 so I used my camera)


pic.jpg
 Description:
 Filesize:  155.26 KB
 Viewed:  15511 Time(s)

pic.jpg



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Nyerguds
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Joined: 24 May 2004
Location: Flanders (Be) Posts:300000001

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brandon wrote:
What do you mean by "scenes"? What are they exactly, and how do I create them or know when/if they are being created?

What I mean is, usually the whole video is in the same palette, but if your video is comprised of 2 parts with vastly different colours, you can keep better colour quality by converting them separately so all frames of the first part have the same palette, and all frames of the second part have the same palette. But if the key frames are set to 8 (the default for 8-bit in vqa encoder) the game can only switch to diffferent colour palettes at every 8-frame mark.

Brandon wrote:
5.) I create a SC-00x.MIX file (SC-005 in this case) with the XCC MIX Editor, make sure it is in TD mode, then add the two files. Place the new MIX file in my C&C95 directory.

Videos don't need to be in a mix file to work, and the format of addon mixfiles isn't "sc-###.mix". Any mixfile starting with "sc" will be read. "scorpion.mix" would work perfectly. But as I said, not needed for videos.

Brandon wrote:
The end result... (Sorry for the way this looks. The PrtScn key decided it wasn't going to work for taking screenshots of C&C95 so I used my camera)

If you use cnc-ddraw you can use ctrl+s for print screen. That might be more clear than what you got there.

[edit]

I just realized what your problem is. You forgot to add the .vqp files to the game folder. The game uses those to calculate the in-between colours when stretching the videos #Tongue
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nyerguds wrote:

What I mean is, usually the whole video is in the same palette, but if your video is comprised of 2 parts with vastly different colours, you can keep better colour quality by converting them separately so all frames of the first part have the same palette, and all frames of the second part have the same palette. But if the key frames are set to 8 (the default for 8-bit in vqa encoder) the game can only switch to diffferent colour palettes at every 8-frame mark.


Understand it now. Thanks.

Nyerguds wrote:
Videos don't need to be in a mix file to work, and the format of addon mixfiles isn't "sc-###.mix". Any mixfile starting with "sc" will be read. "scorpion.mix" would work perfectly. But as I said, not needed for videos.


Alright. I guess I am thinking in the same way as making a TS mod as explained here: http://www.ppmsite.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20064 ("expandXX.mix or ecacheXX.mix files"), where the order of the MIX files makes a difference.

It would be nice to have any mod files for C&C95 in one convenient file. Is there a way to do that, or do the video files HAVE TO be placed directly in the C&C95 folder?

Nyerguds wrote:
I just realized what your problem is. You forgot to add the .vqp files to the game folder. The game uses those to calculate the in-between colours when stretching the videos #Tongue


Placing the VQA and the VQP in the main folder -and using your RAD Tools trick- did it. It works now. Razz

Thanks again. Smile

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Nyerguds
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Joined: 24 May 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't say it didn't work in mixfiles, I just said it's not needed. You can use the "SC*.MIX" format, as I explained it there, and for adding/overriding graphics or sounds it's usually needed anyway.

Videos (and music tracks) don't need it, but that doesn't mean you can't put them in there anyway.
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Brandon
Civilian


Joined: 16 Mar 2011

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nyerguds wrote:

Videos (and music tracks) don't need it, but that doesn't mean you can't put them in there anyway.


I'd like to put the vid files (both the VQA and VQP) in a MIX, but when I do that it ends up corrupted in-game. Placing the VQA and VQP directly into the main game folder works, but is undesired.

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Nyerguds
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, that's because the sc*.mix files don't have priority over update.mix (which contains the .vqp files for all videos) in the original game.

Update to v1.06 (see my signature) and that should be fixed.
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Brandon
Civilian


Joined: 16 Mar 2011

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nyerguds wrote:
Oh, that's because the sc*.mix files don't have priority over update.mix (which contains the .vqp files for all videos) in the original game.


I sense I do not fully understand the directory/MIX file hierarchy or structure of C&C95. Laughing

Thanks Nyerguds. I'll experiment.

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Nyerguds
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, sc*.mix files are supposed to be addon files, but in C&C the rule is simply that anything that's loaded first is given priority.

And in C&C95, the update.mix (all movies' VQP files) and updatec.mix (all UI graphics) were loaded before the sc*.mix files.

This was obviously retarded since it severely restricts modding and adding stuff, so my patch fixes it. Click on my signature to download it.
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Evengard
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The source code wasn't released?

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Blade
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 23 Dec 2003

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn't appear so and ugordan appears to have vanished.

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Exley
Commander


Joined: 09 May 2011
Location: X-Files

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you could trace him down, just google for name
Gordan Ugarković

hes doing some astronomical thingies #Tongue
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Ordosherrscher wrote:

though you can add a spawn animation with veins it will give you some weird ... stuff
it spawned veins, but also Rocks, Brigdes ...

Tony wrote:

Bridgehole Monster Laughing

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Blade
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 23 Dec 2003

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finding info on what he's been up to isn't difficult, finding a current e-mail address seems to be though.

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Exley
Commander


Joined: 09 May 2011
Location: X-Files

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i could probably find him
he lived like ~70 km away from me #Tongue

i just don't want to kill his privacy with whole search and backtrack of his whereabouts
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Ordosherrscher wrote:

though you can add a spawn animation with veins it will give you some weird ... stuff
it spawned veins, but also Rocks, Brigdes ...

Tony wrote:

Bridgehole Monster Laughing

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Blade
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 23 Dec 2003

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lets not go all stalker on the poor guy, would just be nice if he could release the source for the encoder if he isn't wanting to maintain it anymore.

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Crimsonum
Seth


Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Location: Fineland

PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like the download in the first post is broken.

Anyone still have the latest version of the VQA Encoder?
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Plokite_Wolf
Light Infantry


Joined: 07 May 2011
Location: Split, Croatia

PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crimsonum wrote:
Looks like the download in the first post is broken.

Anyone still have the latest version of the VQA Encoder?

From Nyer's site: http://nyerguds.arsaneus-design.com/tools/vqa-enc-0.5b2.rar
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Banshee
Supreme Banshee


Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The old downloads (pre-2015) will be fixed soon. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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roscado
Civilian


Joined: 27 Jun 2019

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

  Sorry for reliving such an old thread, we want to translate the nox game videos that use the same format or similar to red alert.
To subtitle the videos we need to extract the video in images add the subtitles to the images and then reinsert them creating a VQA. Extracting the video in images and reinserting them works correctly but when the audio is added, the image of the video is distorted completely, I have tried infinite combinations with different numbers of block and key interval with the same result.

  I attach the results, I would appreciate if someone could help us or tell me how to contact the creator of the tool.

  https://mega.nz/#!cd5QXASQ!HyxApd6mlwYoR9Phk7sxhFEomI2hfoqj-WDcSC1A3jg
 
Greetings and thanks for your time.

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Blade
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 23 Dec 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like an issue with muxing the audio if just doing the video on its own works okay. The VQA format itself varies subtley between games, so its possible its one of these subtle variations that is tripping you up though as the tool is only intended to work for C&C and TS style videos.

I actually succeeded in obtaining the source, but ugordan was unhappy with his code quality and asked that i not release it which I intended to respect. My intention was to use it as a reference to either create a new implementation or to add support to something like ffmpeg. Its on the large list of projects I'd like to do, but I'm focusing on recreating the Red Alert and SAGE game engines currently. If we determine that it needs tweaks for NOX however I could look at building a new version of it.

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roscado
Civilian


Joined: 27 Jun 2019

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI,

  Thanks for your comment blade, I'm still trying combinations, but it's like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Greatings.

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