There’s a certain point where it becomes very hard to demonstrate to a large audience what you do. As we strive towards the limits of the extreme, it becomes more and more difficult to demonstrate in a simple way the results of our work.
Last couple of month, we’ve been working very intensively on the new release of MediaMaster (version 1.1 – which should be out very soon). One of our goals for this release was to improve radically our engine to be able to run a couple of movies at monitor rate with no frame drops.
60 fps that is.
And we did it.
This means that you will be able – of course depending on the computer and the movies you are displaying – to run movies perfectly locked to the monitor sync.
The result is brilliant – even for movies at 30 fps – because your eye directly catches the smoothness of the playback.
But let’s go back to the beginning of our article. How do you show that ? If we want to show you a smooth 60fps stream, every step of the chain needs to be perfect.
The first step is to be able to capture the stream. We have a couple of BlackMagic cards that allow us to record the dvi output from one computer to another, but it’s always a bit of a bummer to setup since we don’t do that on a regular bases.
Enter Fraps. Fraps is the essence of programs I love. They’re simple, possibly ugly, but work like a charm. It’s been originally mentioned on our forum by Blindskunk and I have to say I’m deeply impressed.
Fraps is a Windows-only program. It hooks to directX and records full screen output. It’s fast, and it works. Just what you want.
So here we are, on a fairely beefed up machine, running at the same time MediaMaster who’s pumping movie pixels at 60 fps (1024×768) and fraps which catches it – also at 60 fps – and we don’t loose one single frame. How amazing ?
The next step is of course how do we display this to you guys ? We’ve tried a couple of flash-based solution and none of them worked. We tried YouTube, Vimeo, standelone player and they all failed miserably… so in the end we decide to use good ol’QuickTime. Click on the image below to view a reduced version of the file.
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For people that don’t have an efficient QuickTime Player, or want to see the thing in all of it’s glory, you can download a full size (22 mb) version in flv format. We recommend you to play it with VLC, it’s really smooth with it.
This movie is running two layers. The first one (the speakers) is a 30 FPS 1920×1080 movie loop from our friends at MotionLoops. The second one is a relatively lightwheight curtain swipe running at 60 FPS. The thing is that with that swipe, if you loose one frame, you see it directly.
Note also that if your monitor frequency isn’t at 60 fps, you will see glitches. At that rate, ALL the elements have to be perfectly tuned.
As you can see, the output is as smooth as the pie for which that town was named after…
Thanks Fraps people !