20th of March 2022 – Bad Apple again 2!

Since a couple of people actually tried using the MovieGen… I am “forced” to release an updated version to make things clearer and cleaner :-).

If you are still interested in this, pls download Version 2:

Changes:

  • Compatibility added to Vide player and generator
  • generator player and creator updated to my latest Mac version
  • it now supports autotrace (seperate batch files)
  • examples:
    BadApple -> Potrace
    BlaBla -> autotrace
  • Instructions on how to play on
    VecFever
    PiTrex
    VeXtreme
    Vide
    added
  • added Readme:

For more information “in general” pls look at: 16th-of-march-2022-bad-apple-again and the links it may provide.

Windows only!

START with either batch file, the batch file MUST be provided with a MP4 file name, like:

POTRACE
convert_potrace.bat Bad_Apple.mp4

AUTOTRACE
convert_autotrace.bat BlaBla.mp4

Change settings

a) POTRACE

If you want to change parameters in the conversion process, fiddle with lines:
in file: convert_p.sh line
For possible changes in the conversion from png to pnm, to e.g. adjust image brightness, dithering, despeckle etc and line:

../bin/ImageMagick_8bit.win64/magick.exe $x ../pnm/${x%.png}.pnm;

for possible parameters for the potrace conversion to vectors:

../bin/potrace.win64/potrace.exe -a 0 -O 1 -b geojson -o ../vec/${x%.pnm}.vec $x

b) AUTOTRACE

If you want to change parameters in the conversion process, fiddle with lines:
in file: convert_a.sh line

for possible changes in the conversion from png to pnm, to e.g. adjust image brightness, dithering, despeckle etc and line:

../bin/ImageMagick_8bit.win64/magick.exe $x ../pnm/${x%.png}.pnm;

for possible parameters for the autotrace conversion to vectors:

../bin/autotrace.win64/autotrace.exe -error-threshold=0.2 -background-color=000000 -centerline -line-reversion-threshold=1000 -line-threshold=1000 -output-format=svg $x >../svg/${x%.pnm}.svg

OUTPUT/TESTING

Vide

To play these files in Vide, pls follow the instruction provided at the end of following Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7FEBMScUA0

VecFever

To play these files on a VecFever:
What you need to do…
– Start Vide
– go to the menu “Tool”
– go to sub menu “Utilities”
– activate menu item “File Utility” (last item)
– go to TAB 3
– in the subsection “ExtremeVectrex to V4EB” chose the generated vec.bin
– press the button V4EB
in the same directory a vec.bin.V4E will be created, that is playable on a vecfever.

The player vide provides should be compatible with the generated binaries, if in doubt use the binary which comes with this distribution, namely ExtremePlayer_VecFever.bin

The player, that the conversion tool uses is located under: Vide/template/ExtremePlayer.bin
The sourcecode can also be found under “Vide/projects/ExtremePlayer”.

If you overwrite (rename the above file) the one in “Vide/template/ExtremePlayer.bin” with the above mentioned file…
the movie generated with above procedure will play correctly on the VecFever.

PiTrex

The generated bin files are compatible to the PiTrex player. The only thing is, on PiTrex for the time being the player can not be started with different bin files than the ones provided. The only reason why that is – is because there no is dynamic system to provide parameters while calling the movie player.

If you want to play your own generated movie file, you have to rename it to one of the already configured movies… and the player will load that now renamed file and play it. The movie files are located on the SD card:
SD_CARD:\vectrex\movies

Vextreme

Until someone makes the menu system of the Vextreme more dynamic – you also have to “juggle” while using the VeXtreme card.
Depending on the version of your current VeXtreme menu system and file system layout:

With this package comes a “new” VeXtreme player called: ExtremePlayer_VeXtreme.bin,
copy this one over to your VeXtreme “player” directory.

Hardcoded VeXtreme (firmware) will allways try to load the file “vec.bin”.
So, if you want to run different movies – you have to exchange that file with the “last” vec.bin file
created by the MovieGen.

Above for VeXtreme is not TESTED, because I managed to somehow render my VeXtreme not working anymore. (Soldered a bit on it – and than it stopped working…)

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20 thoughts on “20th of March 2022 – Bad Apple again 2!

  1. Brandon

    Really great! I am having a lot of fun with this. The sound is very good now for a Vectrex.

    I am assuming the videos are playing back at 30fps?
    24fps would be completely good for video, it would in fact make it feel a bit more like cinema.
    Not sure if that helps with increasing audio quality or maybe time for a few more vectors?

    Also is there a way to change the aspect ratio? looks like it is 4×3? So videos do not take advantage of the top/bottom area.

    1. Malban Post author

      Yes 30fps.
      Audio quality no – more vectors yes.

      One would have to change the ExtremePlayer (references to T2 timer, which is now set to: $C350 … and I think some compare in the audio part).
      Also one would need to change “combine.php” – I think at the moment it works with a max of 280 “actions” (move or draw).
      This could be set higher than. But that value was not mathematically gotten – just a guess – it could be anything.

      The complete vector drawing COULD be somewhat optimized – e.g. by using different scales for the vectors (but this has also take into account the audio output).

      Aspect ratio:
      I think everything now works internally with 480 x 360 pixels (the images), the vectrex output are from -128 to 127.
      (look at the calling of grabPolys… functions and the coordinate conversion therein).

      If you want to change that – it probably could easily be done.
      Call imageMagick with some additional rotation parameters to rotate the image and change the internal coordinates to 360 x 480.
      I guess that would probably be enough.

      At the moment I do not intend to put more time into the package – as it is now “round” and works.
      If there are actual bugs – pls let me know.

      All sources are available – and if there are questions, I will certainly answer them. But version 2.0 was my break and I’ll probably not go any further.

      Thanks for using this!

      1. Robin

        Hello and awesome work. I just have one problem with running videos via PiTrex and that is the sound being really quiet inside the player so I have to turn it all the way up which might also cause the distortion I’m hearing in the videos. Outside the video player the volume and sound play just fine.

        Does anyone have an idea what the reason might be? I don’t think that my Vectrex had the “no buzz” mod.

        1. Malban Post author

          You probably have a “NoBuzz” Vectrex.
          This has nothing todo with a mod you might have installed. The newest produced Vectrex series has the “NoBuzz” feature… which comes with the price, that digitized sound is barely audiable.
          How does “Spike” work for you?

          1. Robin

            Yeah, it’s really hard to find videos of people comparing the “NoBuzz” Vectrex and the “normal” one. Only find videos about mods that get rid of buzzing.

            Just tested Spike and when comparing to other people’s recordings, the voice samples are a bit quieter but still audible without the music being too loud. At the same volume the audio in the videos isn’t audible at all.

            The “PiTrex” voice clip plays perfectly fine and clear. Is it using a different method and if so, could the video and music players use the same method?

          2. Malban Post author

            Simply said, if one sounds ok, so should the other.
            The “NoBuzz” thing is hardware related and does not change by using different software.
            The Pitrex intro sound uses in principle the same technique as Spike or as the Bad Apple demo.

            That being said – I have no clue why your Movies should sound softer… 🙁

          3. Robin

            Oddly enough, I can’t reply directly to your last comment.

            Very odd then, that the “PiTrex” line when starting the Vectrex is so loud and clear while Spike seems slighty quieter than normal but the movie player being really quiet and sounding really “scratchy” (don’t know if this is due to the volume being set to nearly max to be able to hear it).

            I tried your older image file via Rufus and also the newer files from the zip file by formatting the SD card and copying the files manually, but no change.

          4. Malban Post author

            One of these players – I don’T know if it was the PiTrex one – and can look at it.

            Has TWO modes of sample playing.
            1) The “usual” one to circumvent the soundchip and push the data directly to the amplifier circuit
            (This is what spike and the PiTrex intro defenitly do)
            2) Using the PSG Chip. This sounds really bad because its only 4 bit samples and the soundchip is really hard to access (slow -> raspi sound)

            If I remember correctly the default mode is 1) – but you can switch to mode to with one of the buttons (one way switch).

            Do you press any buttons during play back? That might cause the player to switch to option two – which sounds way worse…

          5. Robin

            I didn’t press any buttons besides 4 occasionally to skip the Vectrex and movie player logos.
            Tried pressing every single button besides 4 (pause) but nothing changed. Btw, the music player seems to have the same problem.

            Do these players have config files that I could look into? Didn’t really find anything among the inis.

            My Vectrex is a PAL system, Model 3000-G1 EURO.

          6. Robin

            It seems my last comment disappeared.
            I didn’t press any buttons at first, only 4 afterwards to skip the Vectrex and player logos. Also tried all buttons but nothing changed with only 4 pausing the video.
            The sound problem also exists in the music player.

            My Vectrex is a 3000-G1-EURO.

  2. Brandon

    I just watched your video about ‘Smartlists’. Very informative even if I didn’t understand everything. Does MovieGen2 run any type of smartlist when converting vectors to vectrex?

  3. Brandon

    Is there a limit on how big the .v4e file can be? I have many converted videos working, they are all under 7MB. I just made two more that are long videos and they are 12MB and 17MB .v4e files. They do not play back on my VecFever. I am reconverting them to see if maybe it was something I did. But is there a limit on the file size?

  4. Robin

    @Malban: Strangly, my answer to your question was waiting for moderation twice but disappeared every time. I wonder what happened.

    1. Malban Post author

      Nothing happened – I just didn’t see it – sorry!

      I also do not have any answer for you. I just don’t know. It “should” play alright by what you told me…

      1. Robin

        Mysterious…

        Also no problem. I didn’t think about that I’m not logged into an account, so when refreshing the page, my message waiting for moderation will disappear as the system doesn’t know that I’m the same person.

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