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Video Fun Box Help ideo Fun Box Help

For Help With Video fun box version 2 click here!

 

Problems running Video Fun Box on Windows Vista?

If you find Video Fun Box won't run on Windows Vista, then you almost certainly have an Nvidia graphics card with the Aero Interface active on Vista. If you disable the Aero interface, Video Fun Box will work fine.

1.  Open Appearance Settings by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, clicking Personalization, and then clicking Window Color and Appearance. If the Appearance Settings
dialog box is not displayed, at the bottom of the page, click Open classic appearance properties.

2.  In the Color scheme list, select Vista Basic, and then click OK.

 

Nvidia Drivers: Out with the old, in with the new

We've recently discovered a problem that affects Video Fun Box on systems with Nvidia graphics cards. When you update your Nvidia graphics driver, you should always insure that you completely uninstall the old driver before you install the new driver. Once the old driver has been removed from your system you should reboot before installing the new driver. Failing to do this can cause a conflict between the old and new drivers. Elements of the old driver can get left behind. These can cause problems with OpenGL (the graphics system that Video Fun Box uses).

If you notice graphical corruptions on the screen, or if elements of the Video Fun Box GUI fail to work correctly or cause the program to crash, this can be due to an incorrectly installed Nvidia driver. In some cases an incorrectly installed driver can even prevent Video Fun Box from running.

In all cases this problem can be solved by uninstalling the graphics driver, rebooting then reinstalling the driver or installing a new driver.

 

Problems importing NTSC AVI's in Pinnacle

There is a problem with Video Fun Box NTSC Avi's in Pinnacle. This is due to Video Fun Box exporting NTSC AVI's at 30 frames a second rather than 29.97 frame a second. Most editing packages automatically adjust the frame rate of imported footage, but Pinnacle doesn't. However, there is work around that will allow you to use Video Fun Box NTSC .AVI's with Pinnacle.

It's not ideal, since it requires the use of a third party software package, but at least the package is free.

RAD game tools produce an excellent little Video conversion package called RAD Video Tools. Since the problem is be due to Video Fun Box producing NTSC Avi's with a temporal resolution of 30 frames a second (rather than the
29.97 required by Pinnacle) you can use RAD Video Tools to alter the frame
rate of VFB AVI's.

You can download it here

Here's how you can convert Video Fun Box NTSC AVI's for use in Pinnacle:
1. Create your NTSC AVI in Video Fun Box and save it to disc.
2. Open RAD Video Tools and Select the AVI
3. Click the "Convert a File" button
4. Alter the frame rate to 29.97 in the "Force (no adding or removing)
to:" box
5. Click Convert and select the same codec you used in Video Fun Box to
create the AVI
6. Load it into Pinnacle Studio.
We realize this is a rather long winded process just to use a Video Fun Box AVI in pinnacle, so we're currently investigating ways to allow users to alter the frame rate of VFB AVI's. However, this is proving slightly problematical, since our AVI engine was only designed to produce AVI with whole integer frame rate values. Most Video Editing packages work on the principle of converting the frame rates of component AVI's on the fly, so in many cases this doesn't present a problem. Pinnacle doesn't appear be able to do this, which as a shame since it's one of the most popular home
editing packages.

 

Problems Starting the Program

If you don’t have Opengl graphic drivers installed, the program will fail to start with a “Failed to create empty document” error. Opengl graphic drivers are included in drivers for all major graphic cards. In most cases, installing the latest drivers for your graphics card will solve any start-up issues.

 

How can I find out what sort of Graphics Card I have on my System?

Open the Control Panel and double click on the System Icon. Click the Hardware Tab and Click on Device manager. Click the “+” to expand “Display Adaptors”. Right click on the device shown and select properties. The type of graphics card you have is shown under the General tab.

 

A Few Words About Graphic Card Drivers

If your graphics card is made by a company that licenses technology from a company like ATI or Nvidia, then there's a very good chance that the driver supplied with your card is out of date. This is because, in most cases, third party manufactures use very early reference drivers that just about get the hardware working. It can take months (or sometimes years) for drivers to be perfected in order to milk the best from the hardware. Frequently, upgrading to the chipset makers latest driver will significantly improve system performance. Below is a list of graphic card manufacture's and their websites. It's a long way from being comprehensive, but since the graphics market is currently dominated by ATI and Nvidia, it should suffice in most cases.

 

Graphic Card Manufacturers

3DLabs
Developer of high end workstation graphics cards.
ATI Technologies
Manufacturer of the Radeon line of video cards and graphics chips.
Matrox Graphics
Manufacturer of the premier line of workstation 2D and multidisplay graphics cards.
NVIDIA
Developer of the most widely used video graphics processors used in the PC hardware market.
SiS Inc.
Developer of the Xabre value line of graphics processor units for PC video cards.
ABIT Ltd.
Manufacturer of PC graphics cards based around the NVIDIA graphic processors.
AOpen
Manufacturer of PC graphics adapaters based on the NVIDIA graphic chipsets.
ASUSTek Computer
Manufacturer of PC graphics cards based on the NVIDIA chipsets.
Gainward
Maker of a wide range of NVIDIA based graphics cards.
LeadTek Research
Manufacturer of PC graphics cards based around the NVIDIA chipsets.
MSI Inc.
Manufacturer of PC graphics adapters based on the NVIDIA graphic processors.
PNY Technologies
Manufacturer of PC and workstation graphics cards based on the NVIDIA chipsets.
Sapphire Technologies
Manufacturer of PC graphics cards based around the ATI graphic processors.

 

Graphical Resources

In the installation directory (C:/Program files/Video Fun Box by default) you'll find two folders; Data and GFX. The GFX folder contains 26 seamless bitmap textures which can currently be used in conjunction with the Tunnel and Text effects. In the Data folder you'll find a collection of 12 Grey scale particle bitmaps. These are designed to be used with both the Stars and Particle effects. However, these textures can also be used with the Tunnel and Text effects. You can easily add your own bitmaps to these folders and use them with Video Fun Box. All of the Default textures are 64x64. However, you can use much larger images as long as the horizontal resolution is a power of 2 and they are saved in Windows 24 bit bmp format.

Eg:
128x128
256x256
512x512
1024x1024
2048x2048

The largest bmp size currently tested as working is 2048x2048. This allows for Jpeg photos (cut to the apprpriate size and converted to .bmp format) to be used effectively in Video Fun Box.

 

What is "Loop and Bounce"?

Several of the effects dialogs in Video Fun Box feature loop and bounce controls. These are designed to allow for the easy creation of motion based actions within individual effects. For example, if you want to alter the amplitude values of the particle effects in real-time, the loop and bounce controls are what you need.

Both loop and bounce are controlled by setting the start position of the effect then setting the end position. If loop is selected the effect will move from the start position to the end position at the specified speed then
repeat. If bounce is selected, the effect will move from the start position on the end position, then move back from the end position to the start position and repeat. Think of a ball bouncing up and down.

 

Controls

Title text can be rotated by clicking the left mouse button and zoomed with the right.

X rotation: Press Left Button,Move Mouse Left and Right.
Y rotation: Press Left Button, Move Mouse Up and Down.
Z rotation: Hold Down Shift and left mouse button and move mouse.
Zoom: Press Right Mouse button and Move mouse.
2D Position: Hold Down Control (CTRL) Press Left mouse button and move mouse.

The cursor keys provide context sensitive 2D positioning of Text and effects. The effect controlled by the cursor keys is dictated by which control dialog is currently in focus.

 

Video Controls

Play, Pause and Record buttons. Effects can be tweaked while paused, allowing you to control effects values with precision. The record button overides the pause button and starts recording.

 

Working with Codecs

The default setting of the Codec Selection box is set to "Full Frames Uncompressed".
While this option will create a high quality lossless AVI, it creates huge files. This is hardly surprising when you consider that it does exactly what its name suggests. It writes each frame of your animation to the AVI file without using any compression technology at all. Therefore a 500 frame clip is roughly equivalent in size to 500 separate 24bit bitmap files.

As a result, these files take up a lot of hard drive space. This is where the codec selection combo box comes into play. If you've been using a variety of video editing software or if watch a lot of movies and video clips on your machine, you're likely to have accumulated a wide range of video codec’s. Every Video Codec installed on your machine is available for selection from the codec selection combo box in Video Fun Box, but the default settings of these codec’s often leave a lot to be desired in terms of Video quality.

Fortunately it's easy to fix. By clicking on the Configure button once you've selected a codec, you can, in most cases, alter the default settings in order to increase the quality of the Video. Take DIVX for example. When you select this codec and click the configure button, you'll be greeted with a complex codec cofiguration screen.
Selecting the optimal setting for a DIVX Avi is an art form in itself and there are several websites devotes entirely to this subject. For a fast and dramatic improvement in visual quality, just drag the bit rate slider up until the bit rate is around 1000. While this will result in an increase in the AVI file size, the file will still be much smaller than a Full Frames Uncompressed AVI. The same is true of most other Video Codec’s.

Known Problems and Limitations

Graphics Cards

Writing an AVI on a machine with a graphics card based on the ATI Radeon graphics chipset can take several times longer than on an equivalent machine with a Nvidia Geforce based graphics card. This is due to a difference in the accelerated implementation of the GLRead Pixels command. At this stage we're uncertain if this is due to a hardware issue or a driver related problem.

 

Particles Dialog

Even though you can input higer values, the maxium number of particles is 30,000. The particle routine is the only effect that is really demanding in terms of resources. Frame rates will suffer on lower spec machines with a large number of particles. However, you can still render an avi that will play at either PAL or NTSC frame rates.

 

Load / Save Routine

The Save routine only stores effect settings. It does not contain any platform specific information such as which font is used or which texture has been selected for a given effects. When you load in an effect you'll need to open the effects from either the tool panel or the Show/Hide menu in order to restore your settings.

 

Download a free demo of Video Fun Box. Try it out and see what you think!