A request for feedback.

General discussion about Celestia that doesn't fit into other forums.
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Janus
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A request for feedback.

Post #1by Janus » 31.07.2017, 20:55

I have been working on something for a while now.
Several years ago I did a solar system tour as a favor for a customer.
Nothing came of it however, so I didn't worry about it.

Recently, I was asked to update it by someone, and I did.

Now I am looking for feedback on ho wit is doing.
This is a work in progress.

The tour is recorded using Celestia, done in real time after I patched the script time base to stay in sync with the real time and render clocks.
I then took the AVI into virtualdub to split it up as needed.
I sourced the music from creative commons, which is credited, but I am still working on all the attribution screens.
Using Winamppp & mp4join, I made the music tracks.
I used screen captures from celestia for backgrounds.
I used dvdstyler to create menus, and compile the dvd to iso.

It is a DVD designed to be put into a regular player.
Vlc does not play it correctly, not does mpc-hc, which does better, but I have not run across any regular players that any issues with it.
The ISO is at

http://celestia.simulatorlabbs.com/Tour/

It is both a single ISO file, and as collections of RAR files.
Both have par2 data recovery files with them.

Please remember, this is a work in progress, it is not complete, and not necessarily in its final form.
Little or much may change according to feedback.

Thank you for whatever feedback I get.


Janus.

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John Van Vliet
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Post #2by John Van Vliet » 01.08.2017, 00:25

grabbing it now

VLC should play the videos in a iso image - you just have to mount it as a loop
your normal everyday way to mount a disk image

the mounted iso works just fine in VLC
Screenshot_20170731_205754.png

also it works just fine if the iso is opened as a file in vlc

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Janus
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Post #3by Janus » 01.08.2017, 15:01

I am glad it works for you in VLC.
Since you mention loop mounting, I think you mean under linux.
It played funky in VLC for me under windows.
Tried as ISO and drive letter mounted both.

I have never done any video stuff in linux at all, other than an embedded media player I tweaked.
But that was just unbricking and updating a couple files in the squashfs image because the factory borked the update.

Please let me know what you think of it.
I need feedback if I am going to improve it.


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selden
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Post #4by selden » 01.08.2017, 23:41

I'm in the process of downloading the full .iso, but I'm confused by the naming of the individual files that are in the Web directory with it. I expected them to have video and audio filetypes rather than being called "iso part N"
Selden

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Janus
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Post #5by Janus » 02.08.2017, 00:19

I had thought I made it clear, my bad.
The ISO has its own par2 files.

The rar files are the ISO file, only broken into smaller chunks.
They have their own par2 files.

You can use quickpar or multipar to verify the files using them.
It is a standard practice when relaying large amounts of files or data over flaky connections to include parity and recovery data.
Since I am using web file standards which are light on parity or data recovery, I added them to prevent multi GB redownloads.
My host being in the US, which is the definition of a flaky internet backbone, I always include them.

Many protocols such as cvs, svn or git include the same function as part of their overhead.
Though they tend to use retransmit over recover.

I just put it out where it is more visible, instead of behind the curtain so to speak.


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selden
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Post #6by selden » 02.08.2017, 10:03

Ok.

I had no problems downloading the single ISO image. After mounting it using MagicISO, I had no problems playing it and viewing various sections with both PowerDVD v10 and Kodi v18 alpha under Win7.

To the extent that it's supposed to be instructional, I think that it would be appropriate to include alternative methods of obtaining the information. A couple of possibilities would be
a) freeze-frame sections which display the information in large blocks of text on individual frames
b) selectable soundtracks which provide verbal discussions as an alternative to having the information presented as subtitles.

Different people learn best with different techniques. Personally I find long videos with slow presentations of information extremely irritating, although I know others find them indispensable.

You might want to consider using a more modern, higher resolution compression method, maybe MPEG4/H264 AVC instead of MPEG2.
Selden

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Janus
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Post #7by Janus » 02.08.2017, 15:26

selden wrote:Ok.

I had no problems downloading the single ISO image. After mounting it using MagicISO, I had no problems playing it and viewing various sections with both PowerDVD v10 and Kodi v18 alpha under Win7.

To the extent that it's supposed to be instructional, I think that it would be appropriate to include alternative methods of obtaining the information. A couple of possibilities would be
a) freeze-frame sections which display the information in large blocks of text on individual frames
b) selectable soundtracks which provide verbal discussions as an alternative to having the information presented as subtitles.

Different people learn best with different techniques. Personally I find long videos with slow presentations of information extremely irritating, although I know others find them indispensable.

You might want to consider using a more modern, higher resolution compression method, maybe MPEG4/H264 AVC instead of MPEG2.

Thank you, I am glad the download works for others.

Honestly, I have no idea how to do the freeze frame other than increase the wait time between text sections.
I have debated mostly trimming them out, or dropping them all together.
Perhaps trimming them back to the bare minimum, though I am also having trouble deciding what defines bare minimum.

I also have no subtitles in it at all.
Everything is presented exactly as Celestia presented it.
That was part of the point.

As for sounds tracks, I have not figured out how to do that yet.
I can put them in, that much is easy at least, but I have not figured out how to put the selection into the menus to select.

I am not a dvd programmer, I am only playing with dvdstyler.
I did some tools and specs, and have debated writing a decompiler for dvds so I can study how professionally made dvds work.
I normally work more at that level, than where I have been lately.

As stated, this is a work in progress.

I originally did this thinking of grade schoolers, K-6 was the target to be specific.
I know that different people prefer different techniques, or styles.
My own preferences are very different than mainstream, and I am sure others are as well.

As for compression, I am stuck with the DVD spec.
DVD players use mpeg2, and that is it.
This is intended to be played on a standard dvd player.
I do not have any blu-ray {Which is the spec you mention} equipment, nor is there open software to make blu-ray menus that I know of.

Based on your comments however.
I take it there is to much opening text on SOL, I can reduce or alter that. Longer delays, change fonts, etc.
Also, I have no one to do voice overs even if I could figure out the alternate audio track stuff.

As you can tell from watching it, the whole thing is based on algorithms.
The sun calls planets, which then calls moons if there are any.
My questions is, does it work as a basic introduction to the solar system?
If not, any thoughts on why?


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Post #8by selden » 02.08.2017, 16:16

Honestly, I have no idea how to do the freeze frame other than increase the wait time between text sections.

My comments were written assuming you were planning to distribute a video disc, so I used terminology appropriate to that instead of Celestia.

Single-frame stepping is a feature provided in DVD and Blu-ray authoring tools. When the disc player encounters a section which uses that feature, video playback freezes, showing the the section's first frame. The user then usually has to press the "advance-to-next-chapter" button to step from one frame of video to the next. It's often used in Extras sections of movie discs to provide individual pages of text (e.g. actor bios) and/or many pages of production artwork.

If you're going to distribute it as a Celestia Addon, individual pages of text can be displayed using any of a number of methods.

I have debated mostly trimming them out, or dropping them all together.
Perhaps trimming them back to the bare minimum, though I am also having trouble deciding what defines bare minimum.

I also have no subtitles in it at all.
Everything is presented exactly as Celestia presented it.
That was part of the point.
By "subtitles" I was referring to the informational text that Celestia shows on the screen.

When watching a video, many people intensely dislike subtitles since they distract from watching the imagery. They can do one (read the text) or the other (watch the video) but not both at the same time. Providing the same words in the soundtrack is far preferable, especially if you're targeting young people, many of whom cannot read well (or at all).

As for sounds tracks, I have not figured out how to do that yet.
I can put them in, that much is easy at least, but I have not figured out how to put the selection into the menus to select.
Sorry, I can't help there. I'm sure it's done differently by different DVD authoring products. TBH, I have no personal experience at all in authoring video discs, only in watching the results.
I am not a dvd programmer, I am only playing with dvdstyler.
I did some tools and specs, and have debated writing a decompiler for dvds so I can study how professionally made dvds work.
I normally work more at that level, than where I have been lately.

As stated, this is a work in progress.

I originally did this thinking of grade schoolers, K-6 was the target to be specific.
I know that different people prefer different techniques, or styles.
My own preferences are very different than mainstream, and I am sure others are as well.

As for compression, I am stuck with the DVD spec.
DVD players use mpeg2, and that is it.
This is intended to be played on a standard dvd player.
I do not have any blu-ray {Which is the spec you mention} equipment, nor is there open software to make blu-ray menus that I know of.

Based on your comments however.
I take it there is to much opening text on SOL, I can reduce or alter that. Longer delays, change fonts, etc.
Also, I have no one to do voice overs even if I could figure out the alternate audio track stuff.
Well, you might consider doing that yourself.
As you can tell from watching it, the whole thing is based on algorithms.
The sun calls planets, which then calls moons if there are any.
My questions is, does it work as a basic introduction to the solar system?
If not, any thoughts on why?

For presentation ideas you might want to look at the YouTube videos produced by Frank Gregorio (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8zZZZzppIM ) He made extensive use of Celestia in producing them. Some of his Addons are available on the Motherlode ( http://www.celestiamotherlode.net/catalog/educational.php ) and on discs that you can purchase directly from him.
Selden

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Janus
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Post #9by Janus » 02.08.2017, 16:51

I actually have no plans to distribute a disc, this is just a kind of an exercise in learning.
The most I will do is leave out an ISO people can grab if they like.

I have never seen single framing, I have also never gone through any extras or bios on dvds, it holds no interest for me.
I see nothing here to make a celestia addon out of.
The intent of this was to make a stand alone thing.

I myself have no problem watching the video and reading the text, as long as they have the same type of rhythm.
I actually find voice overs more annoying, as I do music with a different rhythm than what is being presented.
My opinion of background music in TV and movies would be fit only for a symposium on cussing and cuss words, and may be censored even there.
I started school already reading, tracking video and text is easy, verbal is harder.

I looked at the video you linked to.
Then at several of the other ones he made.
Thank you, I now have a specific guide of things I wish to avoid doing.

Presentations of that style I walk out on, which got me in trouble in school more than once.
They drive me bonkers, and give me headaches, though ear plugs do help as long as I close my eyes.
The discordance between video, text and audio is jarring, and at a high volume like everywhere likes to play them, disorienting.

I know I am in the minority on my preferences.
But if that is what people actually want, then I will not even bother to learn to make videos beyond the amusement hobby level for myself.

Thank you for your time and feedback
It is appreciated.

Now I go back to making the updated code from github compile with VS2013.


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selden
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Post #10by selden » 02.08.2017, 17:01

As I mentioned and you've confirmed from your own experience, different people learn in different ways. Some are visually oriented, some learn best from listening, some by doing and others much prefer reading. (I tend to be in that last category, although creating astronomical visualizations fascinates me.) I'm sure there are other ways I'm not thinking of. You just have to decide which audiences you want to serve and be sure to describe your product appropriately.
Selden

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Post #11by Janus » 02.08.2017, 20:54

Other than not the one that likes over powering noise in the place of information or content, I have no intended audience.

I mostly just humored someone who wanted me to push myself some, to expand my horizons.

My questions are more along the lines of thus.

Does it give an idea of the scale and astronomic equivalent to geography of the solar system?
Does is give an idea of how the planets are arranged?
Does it show off the moons ok?

Amusingly, I actually have a job using celestia.
Someone asked me to take some shots with it, from earth focused toward venus, toward mars, & from above the ecliptic looking down.
One frame per second per day, covering two martian years.
Then sync those videos to show them at the same time, so you can see the mars vs venus, and look down on it from above.
If he doesn't want it kept private, I will post it when I am done.

The intent is to show how the orbital mechanics work, compared to how they look.

Janus.


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