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      Thursday, May 09, 2013

08:42 AM - 05/09/2013

The topic: What can go wrong


Will go wrong.  That's been the story of my latest foray into movie making.

It started back in October 2011.  The Disney Meet. That first night, not getting to bed until 3:30 am and not sleeping well the next three hours. That day at Disney was fun, I was tired, though. Really tired. Saturday wasn't as hectic and on the way home Sunday, we stopped at the Carl's Jr in San Juan Capistrano. I had a burger and fries and soda.

That night, I had the worst chest pain I could ever remember. I knew it was my gallbladder, it wasn't an "OMG, I'm having a heart attack" pain. I threw up and felt much better afterwards. But the pain didn't go away in a couple hours like it usually does. Oh, it would subside, but it would come back. By the next Sunday, I could no longer stand it. Brian made us a fine breakfast that morning of potatoes and bacon and eggs. It was really good and I thought I was getting better, but the pain came roaring back.  Brian took me to urgent care and they called the hospital. Which is where we headed, the emergency room.

The ER waiting area was under construction and there was just a hallway with chairs. Brian had dropped me off and I checked in while he found a parking spot. While waiting I felt like I was going to puke, so I went into the restroom, just in time. I threw up that lovely breakfast. I was sitting on the floor and when I was losing breakfast, I also wet myself. I wasn't embarrassed, it wasn't something I had any control over. Luckily I had really loose sweatpants on and they didn't get really wet and my undies ended up in the trash. When I got out of there, I walked up to the reception desk and told her what had happened, she said "well, don't sit down anywhere!"  It was really kind of funny, even then.

Anyway, I ended up having the ducts from the gallbladder cleaned out one day and the gallbladder removed the next day. And my body is still adjusting. Last year the stomach acid was awful. I treated myself to Omeprazole, it worked. When I told my doctor, his eyes got really big and he told me to quit taking it, it's not meant for long term. So, my body had to adjust to that, which it finally did. It's been a pretty miserable year and a half.

Every year I request that everyone who takes pictures at the meet, send them to me. And I take these photos and make a slideshow with them. I usually get some video and I add that. And I put Disney music in the background. Well, I got a late start on the 2011 meet, but I was rushing last August to get it done before the next October meet. It kind of gets the "I can hardly wait" juices going.

My computer crashed. Badly. Majorly. Luckily I'd saved everything but I got so damned frustrated with the computer, the heat, my stomach that I just walked away from it. Brian was afraid I wouldn't finish it, but I just wasn't in the frame of mind to continue. I just wanted to sleep.

Fast forward to last month. I picked up where I'd left off. I got the photos in kinda sorta order (since some were 4:3 ratio and some were 16:9 ratio - think old tv vs new flat screen - I put them all ont the same background; and the time stamps were way off on most of them, like over half of mine had the wrong date ) and added them to the movie software timeline. I took the little videos I'd made and made seperate movie files on the same background for each of those. Then they got added to the timeline. Transitions between each. The software comes with a default obnoxious bright green color for some of the transitions. I've never liked that green on my videos. The old versions of this software kept my changes. The new version does not. I have to  manually change that color on each one. Time consuming. Anyway, got that all done, music picked out. I'm ready to put these babies together.

Now I start having problems.

Hey, let's do this high def this year!  So, I choose to save as 1080i 1920 x 1080 HD video. Takes lots of space, but wow, it's gonna look awesome!

When I transferred the first section over to my menu making software, it keeps putting this green background in at the beginning. I figure a workaround for that. I make the intro longer, then start the video in farther, bypassing the green screen. Great! But the software keeps crashing. I can't find any reason why it does this, I spend hours looking for the answers online. Can't find anything. I try the second half. Same thing. Damn it!  So, I try a short video using AVHCD, whatever the hell that is. Still HD, but not as intensive. Program doesn't crash! Video looks great! Sound is awful. Crap, crap, crap.

I do more research, read many forums. Find out that these many, many hours spent trancoding to any kind of high def, anything over 720x480 has been a waste of time. Because that's what televisions show. 720x480. I can do the higher resolutions for a computer, but not for a DVD player. (Blu ray is a different format entirely and not everyone has Blu ray and I don't have a Blu ray burner anyway.)  Scream. Just scream.

Fine. I transcode in regular DVD format. 720x 480. 16:9 ratio. I burn a disk. Hey! Look! I think I'll be able to get all two and a half hours on one dual layer disk! Woohoo! This is great.

Back to the movie making software. Add the two parts together, transcode as one humongous file. Take it back to DVDA (Sony DVD Architect). Add the chapter points (which is how the "next" button works, it goes to the chapter points that I've set). Not a problem for the Thursday and Friday sections,  those were set before I did the initial burn. They can be saved when you do your work. I saved. But the chapters I'd saved for the Saturday portion were gone when I added that section to the first section. I had to reset them. Good Lord, how time consuming that was. Getting them set at just the right place. But I did it. I got it done. And I had the menu done, it didn't take much time to do that.

And I burned my first full DVD for that meet. It took a while to do, but I was really happy with it. Until I realized that one of the menu items highlighted as a box, not an underlined text. NOOO!!!!!

Back to DVDA. Open my saved file. Open the menu for Saturday. Click the offending menu item, change the highlighting to underline. Whew. Done. Save my work. Transcode to DVD format. Again. Burn.

Looks great, I'm ready to burn them all.

I figure I'll do fifteen, because I know some of them won't work. That's always how it goes.

I found a software a while back that will burn to multiple burners at the same time. Great time saver. If you don't get greedy.

I got greedy.

The first five burned without a problem. Well, cool, let's add another burner to the equation. Mistake. Didn't work. I made six coasters. R+ dual layer coasters. I tried again. Another six coasters. WTF? (Ask me how glad I am that I got all this stuff a while back, I'm not really concerned about having too many coasters, but I'm hating the lost time.)

It took me one more run to realize that it was because my computer just can't handle burning six of these long assed videos at a time. It gets constipated, then just stops the program. The burners look like they're still burning, but they aren't. So, I take a deep breath and go to three at a time. That works nicely. (And if I hadn't been so freaking time greedy and done it this way to begin with, I'd be in bed fast asleep at this point, with my disks all nicely burned.)

Then onto the DVD jewelcase and inserts. Sometimes I know what I want, but I have a hard time figuring out how to get it. I got this Big Shot! embossing machine last February (Valentine's Day). I'd found out that I can make my own folders. The folder is where you put the paper you want embossed, then you run it through this thing (has a handcrank) and it smooshes the paper in the folder and it comes out embossed. Okay, I'll try to explain. Take a couple of pieces of chipboard (kind of like cardboard, but more compact and heavier). Cut them to the same size. Then cut a piece of cereal box (or box of similar weight) to that same size. Cut out a heart from that cereal box. Now, glue one side of the cereal box to your chipboard. Then glue the other piece to the other side. Make sure it's in the exact same place it would be if it was still on the cereal box. So when the two pieces of chipboard come together, the heart fits exactly onto the other part. Then tape the two pieces of chipboard together. And voila! Your very own embossing folder.

I made my very own embossing folder a couple of months ago. Then I made another one that was more better. (lol)  I made the cutout with my Silhouette Cameo machine.

My idea (which was simple enough in my mind), was to put glitter on the embossed area. Then I thought maybe it would pop more if I colored in the lettering first, then put the glitter on. But markers got the paper too wet. Colored pencils looked okay, they were pale, though and I couldn't press down too hard or I'd unemboss my paper (probably not, but it was a concern). Hey! I have a great idea! Let's run it through the printer, then emboss! That will work great!


My spacing was all off. I couldn't get the lettering to match up to my embossing folder. 

About that time Brian came in. He can't find any more labels for the hydraulics he makes and ships out. He needs more. Today. *sigh* I throw a tantrum. And I drag the crafting cart into the office. Then I spend hours looking for the label file. It's gone. I have to make new ones. Then the Silhouette acts stinky. Doesn't read the registration marks (these labels are on silver paper, sometimes there's a reflection problem). It cuts wrong after the first few (later I realize somehow the blade isn't "locked" in).

But one of the things I found looking for the that label file is the file I used when I made my embossing folder.

WOOHOO! That will take care of the spacing problem! And it did! I'm back in business! I got the music list done in Word, I have everything sized just so. (Insert is 9 3/4" x 7 7/16") I'm using letter sized paper, I'll have the Silhouette cut them down to size (time consuming, but accurate, more so than a papercutter). Let's print!

Yeah. Next problem. The damned printer is running through ink like crazy.  At least it seems like it is. I had two bad red cartridges in a row. Spent much time doing a clean and cleaning uses up ink. So I'd run out again. Once I quit trying to get the red to work and put in a third red cartridge of the day, the paper was printing. I was out of the office by 10:30 last night.

Today, I'll set up my cart in the other room. I'll sit at my table and emboss the resized paper. I shall paint glitter onto the paper. I will glue paper together. I will print onto the disks. I will print the outer jewel case cover. I will test the disks. Then I will be done!

Next up....Mother's Day....

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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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