Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Returning to projects on hold, abandoned, forgotten, or some combination of the previous.

[For those who want to skip to the point, you'll find it after the second break.]

A while back it was looking like secondary computer was on the verge of breaking down, that would be bad.  Someone had a computer they weren't using and offered to send it to me.  That's what I was talking about when I said at Ana Mardoll's that people sending me stuff tends to be a "stars align" kind of thing.  People generally don't have working computer they're willing to give away (pay money to give away because they have to cover shipping) just because I happen to --maybe-- be in desperate need of one.

Hence trying to make a list of things that people might see as junk to be disposed of that would be of interest to me.  It seems more likely that people would be willing to part with junk than with marketable goods.

But, anyway, the problems with secondary computer turned out to be a passing thing and as a result I now have two secondary computers.  With so many other things going on in my life I didn't even unbox the replacement secondary computer until this week.  It just sat in the package it was mailed in for a while.

* * *

When I did unbox it I came to a fortuitous discovery: it has a DVD drive.  I haven't had a built in disk drive since two or more primary computers ago when I was forced to take a step down in most arenas in order to get a 4k screen.  (Oh my fucking god do my photos look fantastic in 4k.  I was worried that it would turn out to not be worth the loss in other areas, but it's really, really fucking worth it when you're a photographer, which I am, even if I'm not a particularly good one.)

So, here's why this matters: with all of the really, really bad shit happening to my family for these past six months things have kind of fallen apart, I've metaphorically curled up into a semi-depressed ball (thank you medication for keeping it from being a totally depressed ball) and let everything fall apart around me.

Even getting to the home entertainment center/column/shelf/thing --where the DVD player, VCR, Blu-Ray Player, record player, CD player, tape deck, and CRT TV that's too fucking heavy to move so it just sits there like some idol on a very high pedestal all live-- is an expedition.  The entropy known as "cat" has pushed everything that was sorted and clean on the edges of the room into a pile of mess in the center of the room and, quite simply, one does not want to go through that just to put a DVD in the player and turn on the TV.

One does not simply walk to the DVD player is my point.  You arrange a nine person expedition with two humans, four hobbits, an elf, a dwarf, and a wizard, fracture it at the end of the first volume which is technically the end of book two since each of the three volumes contains two "Books" find yourself an untrustworthy guide, sneak through the spider's den, and stumble toward the DVD player while a magical artifact destroys your willpower.

But now I can watch a DVD just by putting it into the drive on this computer which means that . . .

* * *

I never intended to stop my close readings of Deus Ex and .hack//Sign, nor my one of Kim Possible.

However, it's been so long that I'm not in the frame of mind for any of those things.  So what I was thinking was this: I could restart them all with updated posts.  The Deus Ex and .hack//Sign posts are entirely lacking in images, as I recall, and could do with a lot of clean up anyway.  The Kim Possible ones have images, but none of the completed episodes are in the format that I finally realized would be best (four posts for every one episode.)

So all of them could do with do-overs when it comes to format, and some of them could really do with overhauls when it comes to content.

Thus starting over and working my way back to where I left off would be useful in itself and also, hopefully, put me back in the right frame of mind for things.

What does this have to do with everything above the break?

Guess what format I have all three things in.  No, not DVD, cast a slightly wider net.

Deus Ex I have as a CD, the other two are DVD.  Having a computer with a working DVD/CD drive is thus a major help with all three.

It's not as if it's the only way I could continue some of the stuff, Kim Possible is available online for free, though how that works at any given moment depends on the ever-changing whims of Disney, and I picked up Deus Ex on Steam to save myself from constantly having to find the fucking CD, but .hack//Sign I only have on DVD and it really does feel like the best possible place to start.

So projects on hold: the deconstruction-like ones.

* * *

Being able to stick a .hack disk into the computer has reminded me of abandoned and forgotten projects.

The first is: how do you rip an audio track from a DVD, because I want to do that.

The next is a bit more complicated, still related to audio.

I've somehow done the above and ripped the audio from the DVD.  The track I'm interested in is the music-only track.  (Music is such an important part of .hack//Sign that when deciding what audio tracks to have they went with: Original Japanese, Local Language of place where we're selling the disk, music with no words or sound effects getting in the way.)

A big part of what I want to do with it is music matching.  There's been massive amounts of work in this field, mostly to help identify songs that aren't labeled (for when the CD tracks are labeled 1, 2, 3, and so forth) but also to identify different versions of songs.

I know almost nothing about the work that's been done beyond the fact that at least one method converts the audio into an image and then uses existing image comparison stuff to do the matching.

What I want to do is this:

I have the soundtrack CDs, I want to get the audio from the DVDs, then I want to compare the first against the second to determine:
  1. When a given song from the sound track is being used in the DVD audio
  2. What music on the DVD audio isn't on the sound track CDs.
I have no fucking clue how to do that.

Ideally part 1 would take the form of a time-stamped index, actually, as long as one is going for ideal, it would also include if the soundtrack track was played all the way through or just partially, anyway ideally something like this:

Track Uses Complete?
Track 01 [time]-[time]
Track 02 [time]-[time]

Or I suppose the last column could be what part of the track was played with "complete" corresponding to with [0:00.00] to [end time]

* * *

Thinking about cartoons (two of them, three if you count Teen Titans in the back of my mind) has me thinking of something I've wanted to do for a while with images.

Cartoons are kind of ideal for simple image matching rather than the more complex forms because they avoid angle changing like the plague: fervently but incompletely.

Usually you'll get levels:
  • unchanging or largely unchanging background
  • Far action
  • near action
  • overlay

Any given scene may have less than all of these things, the simplest shots are two levels: background and action.

Regardless, what I'd like to be able to do is automatically group together shots with the same background.  This requires being able to deal with obstructions (the moving foreground objects), tilts, pans, and zooms.

Obstructions are probably the easiest, just do a difference transform on the two images and if more than X% comes out as near black (smallest difference) then you've probably got the same background with only foreground differences.

Pans and tilts are next since unlike real world filming they're just showing different parts of the same flat image.  Do the above except do it repeatedly while moving one of the images relative to the other.  If they overlap one of the iterations should have close to zero difference in the overlapping area.

Zooms would seem annoying as all hell, but I could be overthinking the problem

Here's the annoying part: I know how to do this (well, where to look for the tools to do this) for more complicated things.  There has been so much work put into determining "these two images are pictures of the same thing taken from different positions" that grouping things that way is worked out in great detail.  The problem is that, since all the work is built to deal with a more complex problem, using those tools would be making the computer do way too much work for the task at hand and thus would significantly slow down any of the things I want to use this background matching for.

* * *



Things and Stuff

* * *

The above is probably full of typos, still getting used to a new keyboard.  For some reason more screw-ups in that arena have led to more screw ups of a less easily explained sort ("to" instead of "do".)

1 comment:

  1. For .hack specifically, there's an option that's specifically the audio backing tracks, so hopefully that will help with the synchro operations.

    (At least, the ones I have do.)