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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

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Author Topic: How to automate preshow music, trailer and main movie playback  (Read 14936 times)
morps
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« on: September 03, 2006, 09:43:06 am »

Hi everyone,

OK, as I mentioned in my original post... you folks have really got me hooked on embellishing my backyard theater. Now that I have all the equipment dialed in, I am working on the "audience experience." (And it gives me something to do during the week when we're not doing a show) Smiley

In an earlier post, I provided a link to a custom trailer I created (here is the link if you're interested: http://backyardtheater.com/forums/index.php/topic,402.0.html). Armed with my trailer, I wanted to automate preshow music, then the trailer kicking off at a certain time, then the main movie starting automatically after the trailer completes.

I pulled this off with a little voodoo magic. The magic is all in the way I have my theater running... I have a Mac Mini as the brain of my system. And as a result, I can have it do all kinds of fun stuff. Including completely running -- on a predefined schedule -- the whole evening's events.

If you are interested in understanding how I did this, and/or if you're running a Mac as the brain of your system and want copies of the tools I created for this feat (no charge), please jump over to my blog where I detailed all the steps on how I did this.

http://web.mac.com/morps/iWeb/morper.net/blog/0D88704F-FB20-4532-9E98-99C92410780E.html

And finally, if anyone has questions, comments... post away!

Thanks everyone...
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kelemvor
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2006, 09:58:11 am »

If you have each section of your show (Commercials, previews, main movie, etc) as individual movie files, you can just use a program to combine them all into one big movie and then just hit Play and have it go.  Or you could make a customer DVD with your commercials as a chatper, previews as a chapter, movie as a chapter, etc.

I think there's a lot of programs that will let you do it in one way or another.  But I don't use a Mac so I can't speak for that part of it.
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Danoplex II
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2006, 10:17:34 am »

OK guys,

You keep talking about these custom previews and such prior to a movie and now you have my interest peaked that I want to play with it.

Help me?  I have DVD Shrink so I can remaster a DVD.  Can I use Windows Moviemaker to import a video clip so I can get that on to my DVD?  I would also like a Powerpoint type preshow with music before that an all of it on one DVD as I am not able to run two sources at this time.  I guess I could do some of it on my laptop and then run the movie on my DVD player. 

I am just having this storm in my brain at this time so there is a lot of lightening and such rigth now!!!

Dano
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kelemvor
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2006, 10:44:55 am »

I'm honsetly not all that picky about it.  I would just put my previews and such on their own DVD and play them and then swap in the actual DVD since it only takes a few seconds.

But if you want it all one an actual DVD, you'd have to rip the movie off the DVD (cut out extra audio tracks and crap to get it smaller.  Then you'd have to use some program to take that and your preview clips and such and recompile them onto a DVD.  I've used TMPGEnc DVD program before and it works fine but never got that far into it.

I'd actually go post this question over at http://www.videohelp.com and Im sure you'll get a ton of responses.
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morps
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2006, 12:06:13 pm »

I realize that I am a member of that 3% community that uses a Mac. So, far the Mac folks out there, my tutorial and tools will be helpful. But for the rest of you, I realize it is not that helpful.

That said, I'll give some thought to how I would approach it using Windows-based applications. While I am a very committed Mac guy, my "day job" is relegated to the Windows world, so I am quite familiar with what is and is not easy to do on that platform.

Lemme noodle on this and I'll see if I can replicate (to some degree) what I do on my Mac in a Windows world.

As a teaser: Go check out videolan.org. They have  an outstanding client (Mac, PC, Linux...) called VLC. Within it, you can create playlists, much like iTunes or any other audio player. From within VLC, you would be able to queue up all your video assets -- regardless of where they reside (TS_Video folder written to disc, DVD, etc).
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rfisk
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2006, 01:56:31 pm »

Thanks Mike, and welcome aboard!

Great trailer you made and I'm looking forward to more on things you do with the Mac Mini!

Keep us posted.

Randy
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hiredpower
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2006, 06:45:00 pm »

I was going to save this for part of my OTIB thread, but since this is so specific, it's better off here.

I have been using Swift Elite by Tricerasoft for the last two years. You load your files in the a and b players, set the fade time for transitions and you're off and running. No need to author a dvd each time you have a show.

This software can play most any sound, movie or karaoke file:

http://www.tricerasoft.com/video_software/Swift_Elite_Video.html

If you don't care for that particular software, there are a host of others that can do the same thing.


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audiobuff2
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2006, 04:36:50 pm »

I just did my first preshow clip, and did following

Bugs bunny cartoon
EZ POP popcorn commercial (1948)
Welcome the the theater clip from some old drive in archives
fade into Strawberry Shortcake clip ( for my 6 yr old girl)
then a moving graphic announcing the main feature.

Whole thing using Nero Vision ( part of the Nero v7 Ultra set) then burned to disc.

The Nero allows me to add a variety of files, avi, mpg, vob, mp3 then adjust clip start and end points, add transitions and visual effects, then I can output to avi, mpg file or straight to DVD burner.

There's a slide show option, but I have not tried to include it in an output video yet.
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neighbor
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2006, 08:33:55 pm »

You could make a video playlist containing the preshow, trailier, and movie. You don't need any special video editing software, just a text editor. For example, if you are using windows media player the playlist is an xml file that has the extension ".ASX" and looks like this:

<ASX Version="3">
   <ENTRY>
      <REF HREF="thefirstfile.wmv"/>
   </ENTRY>
    <ENTRY>
      <REF HREF="thesecondfile.wmv"/>
</ENTRY>
</ASX>


The files don't all have to be wmv you can put other encoding formats as well, even audio files. If you want to get fancy you can add transition effects, delays, and even text banners using different xml tags. There is a lot of documentation out there on asx file format, and even some asx builder tools, but if you just need a sequential list it's easy to build by hand. The Real and Divx players also have a playlist format but I don't know the details.

-Steve
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hiredpower
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2006, 09:27:08 pm »

Welcome Neighbor,

  I can see where this would be useful, but can you edit it on the fly?

Swift Elite and other VJ software enables you to change, replace, or fade out of a particular piece if the need arises. It even has a preview deck to ensure you have the right file before putting it in the playlist. You can also assign cue points from within a file if you only want to play a particular part. This would prevent you from having to make a file of just the portion you want to show.


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Cherry Hills
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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2006, 09:51:54 pm »

Now that's cool. Thanks, neighbor!

Do you suppose there's any way to run audio and PowerPoint shows with some sort of synchronization? (I.e., PPT A and MP3 A run, then when PPT A is over, film clip B runs - that kind of thing.)
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2006, 10:13:43 pm »

 
Quote
Do you suppose there's any way to run audio and PowerPoint shows with some sort of synchronization? (I.e., PPT A and MP3 A run, then when PPT A is over, film clip B runs - that kind of thing.)

Yes, there's a free program from microsoft called Producer (well, it's free if you already have MS Office with powerpoint!) available as a download from the ms office website. You can drag and drop audio and video onto a timeline, and then sync powerpoint slides at different points on the timeline. I've used it to make musical slideshows where certain slides were timed to beats and words in the music.  You can also use different screen layouts where there's a video on one side and powerpoint on the other, or full screen video, or full screen powerpoint, and switch back and forth between layouts on the timeline.

No I don't work for microsoft, but I do use some of their software :-)

-Steve
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neighbor
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2006, 10:26:45 pm »

Quote
I can see where this would be useful, but can you edit it on the fly?

Not exactly, but the media player is scriptable so anything is possible if you can do it in javascript or some other activex-enabled programming language. For example, you could catch keystrokes and use that to move forward and backward from clip to clip, or draw a text menu on the screen and navigate with keyboard or mouse.

When I stumbled on tihs website earlier today I was actually looking for outdoor speaker recommendations but maybe I can put on my geek hat to contribute to this thread. If you let me know more about how you would like it to work, I might be able to whip up a javascript demo.

-Steve
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Cherry Hills
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2006, 01:08:11 am »

there's a free program from microsoft called Producer (well, it's free if you already have MS Office with powerpoint!)

Dang. It's available for PPT 2003 and I have ... you guessed it ... PPT 2002. Oh well. Back to hand-coding XML. Sigh.
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Cherry Hills Drive-way Theater
morps
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2006, 05:18:46 pm »

Quote
I can see where this would be useful, but can you edit it on the fly?

When I stumbled on tihs website earlier today I was actually looking for outdoor speaker recommendations but maybe I can put on my geek hat to contribute to this thread. If you let me know more about how you would like it to work, I might be able to whip up a javascript demo.

Hi Steve,

I was thinking the same thing... create a Javascript file that would orchestrate the loading of files into a menubar-less IE window. But still not clean... you end up seeing unnecessary window bars. And what's worse... you have to ge quasi geek to do the coding (too much work, me thinks).

I think an alternative would be for folks to check out VLC (http://www.videolan.org/. While I haven't played too much with it yet, VLC supports Windows, Linux, Mac (and did I mention is free) and supports Playlists. Create a playlist and it will step right through it. Oh yeah.... and it supports all kinds of audio and video codecs. More details here: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/features.html
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