Video – Bear Bounding Underwater

By reader request in the comments of the last post, here is a short video of the Big Bear Butt bounding underwater in Vash’jir. No sound, just as a visual.

Or, as the saying goes, “Don’t tell them, SHOW them.”

Video editing bites

I recorded another timed Culling of Strat run for a video, using Fraps at full screen quality 30 FPS.

My hard drive did not eat it this time.

However… HOWEVER…

The damn thing was 43 gig in size.

Running length, 23 minutes. Almost two bloody gig a minute. And I don’t even record in-game audio, because I do a voiceover afterwards.


The single biggest obstacle to creating videos for you that I face is compression.

I’m using an open source program called VirtualDub that is very, very good. It sees what codecs you have installed on your system for video compression and includes those as options. It also lets you line up multiple AVI files in sequence, add an audio file and merge it all together.

My issue is I can’t find a compression codec to use that reduces the files size small enough to be realistic, and still look fairly clean.

I’ve got DivX installed, and I have used it in the past, but for some reason it will not work now. The codec, when selected, does not like the video file, and I have no idea why.

I’m trying different things, and right now I’m using a different codec that is reducing the 43 gig down to about 230 MB, which is some serious compression. My only concern is the picture isn’t as clean as I recall DivX being, and as I said… it’s still something like 250 MB in size, which is too big for YouTube hosting.

The video voiceover and recording is done, I just need to nail down the best compression to use.

I’m a neophyte to this stuff. Are there any experts out there that can help with suggestions or advice on this stage?

If so, I’d be much obliged.


Oh, and regardless, I’d expect to see a Bear video up later tonight at some point after I get home from work. It’s done, it just needs uploading somewhere that can handle it.

Edit: The YouTube video posted by Sythe proved to be the near perfect solution for all my concerns. The video explanation was excellent, the YouTube post itself contained links to all the files and sotfware he used during the tutorial, and for more information I was able to go straight to the written tutorial he developed the video from. Very solid for future videos.

Wait, why future videos?

I’ll freaking tell you why.

Because I made the mistake a long time ago of thinking that playing games on a widescreen monitor displayed at 1440 x 900 was an acceptable choice.

When I record, any recording uses the 1440 x 900 settings. And the core issue why my video compression keeps not working, is that the methods (DivX, H.264, etc) that are clean and modern (modern, HAH!) can’t handle that resolution.

They give me errors telling me that the width must be in multiples of 12, and fail.

The H.246 based compression run I did last night not only failed, but actually took Windows Explorer down and crashed my system just opening the folder the finished product was in… 4 times in a row.

Now, this is where I keep coming back to the fact that i clearly don’t know what the f(&*^ they’re talking about, because when I divide 1440 by 12, I get an even number, 120. That tells me that 1440 is a multiple of 12. And 900, divided by 12, is 75. Damn me, but that also looks like a whole number result, a multiple of 12.

So, second video run is full of fail.

I’m doing two things right now, and then I’m moving on with my life, having lost an entire week of free time in the evenings screwing with this video.

I made the movie using a crappy compression codec that had the virtue of, like, working. The resulting file size was almost 500 MB, though. I’m uploading that to FileFront, so at least I can have that available for people to download and watch if there is an interest. It is watchable, it’s just not up to my spoiled standards.

The other thing I’m doing is swapping out my beautiful, precious widescreen monitor for the standard I’ve got, and I’ll change my screen resolution settings, and try another video with the new settings and see if it works better.

For now, though, I’m moving forward with other stuff. Too much frustration from trying to do things that magically don’t work for me when other people don’t even mention ever having a problem on the internet make me too nutso.

Video update

Okay, so I started making videos…

The first one I did wa a start to finsh video of tanking the Culling of Strat heroic on a speed run to get the drake.

We succeeded! Yay!

The hard drive that my FRAPS video gets sent crashed under the load. That’s one 200 gig hard drive, dead as a doornail. Fortunately, I only used that one for DVD/movie data.

Unfortunately, I gotta do another run to record it again. Just sad.

I did record a chillmaw soloing, though, and that was fun. I had to solo her twice to get the right camera angles, though.

I’ll be posting that up soon, the weak link on these is recording the voiceovers without a script. 🙂

Asking for your input!

I’ts been a long time now since I’ve done something different. It’s been just text, text, text for months.

No, Sidhe Devils Gone Wild doesn’t count. And no, the podcast is not dead, it’s just amazingly difficult to get four bloggers all in one place, at one time. If we’re the WoW version of the Beatles, Ratshag is John Lennon, and it’s harder than heck to get his butt in the studio. No, I won’t speculate as to who else is which Beatle… but I call dibs on Ringo. Zug zug, baby. 🙂

Hopefully, the stars align and we’ll be able to do an all Pally episode next Tuesday.

But Sidhe Devils Gone Wild is not a Bear project, it’s a fun multi-blogger gabfest.

This blog be da Bear’s soapbox, and I like playing with doing different stuff periodically.

I think there’s no question that when I first started blogging, I was excited. I felt like a pioneer, and I was always playing with different stuff that seemed lots of fun. Raid Songs of the Week, boss movies, parody songs I’ll never live down, whatever seemed like fun. Blogging felt like a new, awesome dynamic thing to be a part of. And the community! Just amazing, what great folks!

But I’ve been doing this for a long time now, and damn it feels like I keep falling in a rut.

“Oh, I should write a guide on that. But work is so involved right now, and Alex has time off and we should do something, and etc etc. I’ll do that next time, let’s write something brief for now.”

What I’d like to do, to have some fun and break out of this rut, is do a few super-short narrated movies. And I’d like suggestions on what you’d like to see me do ’em on.

I was thinking, for example, that I could do a 3 to 5 minute movie on using Omen to test out threat generation rotations while killing mobs like Fel Reavers, just to actually expain the process and show what to look for.

Another movie I had thought I could do was just a short movie on pulling and Bear tanking multiple mobs that are tough solo, and the timely use of a Bear’s “Oh shit” buttons.

But you folks that read the blog would know best what you think you’d like to see, so please, give me your suggestions. Want to see me tank a specific encounter in a team or solo? Let me know. Want to see something, anything else? Just say so.

I reserve the right to not do it, of course. If you ask to see me tank Yogg, I can assure you, it ain’t happening unless and until Sidhe Devils actually do Ulduar and get there. So, I’ll see ya in a year or so.

And of course, by all means, let me know if this is even something you’d enjoy. If you think it’s a waste of time, best to let me know before I spend potential gaming time doing them. 🙂

It's a movie, and remember it's JUST for fun!

A direct link to download the full size movie (all 116 MB!) is right here at Fileplanet.

I had a LOT of fun running back there and messing around with them. I only recorded it once, But I did it quite a few times. I think that Troll Shadow Priest thought I was crazy.

Here is the Youtube version…

And let me just say, this new way I have of making the movie, once it’s in HD quality on Youtube, looks really nice on my monitor. I’m pretty happy with it.

And my last note; the music is Cannae Throw Your Granny by The Tim Malloys. A local Minnesota band that ROCKS. And one of Manny’s faves. 🙂

Bear Video – Violet Hold Part 1 of 3

Trying to change things up a little, I recorded an entire run in Violet Hold on Heroic, and then broke it up into three videos.

Then I narrated it a little!

So, yeah, this is a total experiment just for fun. And also something to see if there is any interest in my doing little things like this.

In this first segment, the Sidhe Devils went into Heroic Violet Hold, and the first boss we encountered was Xevozz the Etherial.

What I enjoyed about this entire run as something to record, was that even when you have a lot of experience in here… mistakes still happen. It’s how you recover from them that matters. 

I love sharing this kind of stuff, because honestly, I don’t write a blog because I think I’m better than anyone. I write a blog for fun, and what I write about is covering mostly bear tanks because I’ve been playing this class a long time now.

Showing videos like this seem fun to me, so you can see right up front that I’m just a player with my own little quirks and ways of doing things, and while I’m sure some snob somewhere would ridicule me in a heartbeat… I just don’t care.

What I do works for me. I haven’t had any complaints from anyone I’ve ever run with about my tanking, so… keyboard turner? Clicker? Sure. So? 

I’m just out there having fun just like everyone else… and it works for me. 🙂

I didn’t have a script, I just narrated on the fly. If you like the idea of my recording a boss fight and then narrtting some little tricks or pointers about what I’m thinking or paying attention to on the fight, just let me know. If you would rather I had a more relaxed chat, that would be very good to know too.

I hope you enjoy this first attempt!

A little Bear animation data from Andrige

Andrige just emailed me to let me know he’d found a few interesting things… and that he made a YouTube to share them. 🙂

To quote Andrige;

Found some quite interesting features in the datafiles for Bear.m2, which is not the same model as our Dire Bear for Druids but at least up until right now, we’ve shared the same animations as ordinary bears in our forms. I found it quite odd that they decided that an NPC bear should be able to fish and eat, an issue important enough that they added an animation for it.

So I’m thinking they’ll add these emotes to our bear forms to make it able to eat and fish in forms, as well as showing they are creating animations to shut the gaping hole that is our mouth when it’s not necessary to show your fangs.

And here is the YouTube that Andrige created from Bear.m2. Enjoy!

Akil’zon kill video is live

I’m sorry that it’s taken so long to get this up, we downed Akil’zon the Eagle god last night, but it’s taken all bloody day to get it into a format with a service that would be able to embed.

 Thankfully, we are getting into Gruul’s lair as we speak, so maybe next week will take care of itself.

For more precise info, The music is all The Offspring, from the album Splinter. I would have dearly love to use more of the album, since I love it so very much, but I thought these were approriate.

I’ve been asked which addons I use to tank, and the answer is, BigWigs, X-Perl UnitFrames, Quartz, Omen, Recount, Scrolling Combat Text (SCT) and SCT Options, and Fubar with assorted addons. I’ve also got other things going on, but those are the ones that actually do something in a raid. I hope that helps. 🙂 X-Perl Unit Frames is a download, but the others are all installed directly from WoWAceUpdater, and I love it. I highly recommend all of them, as long as you isntall them one at a time and play with them to make sure they’re all happy. X-Perl in particular took me a bit to adjust settings with a widescreen monitor, but it was worth the effort.