Making of Making Waves, Part 2


As I was playing with the idea for the sinewave animation, I decided that what I’d do is have the 2’s sinewave run first, hit the main convergence point on the x-axis, and then fade it out. I’d follow with the next cycle having the 2’s and 3’s sinewaves running together, and fail. Repeat with 2’s, 3’s and 5’s, etc. Since each cycle has 250 frames, that’s 250 individual gif images that had to be copied into MovieMaker. With 8 cycles, that’s 2,000 total files for about 16 meg.

MovieMaker can’t cope with that many individual files. As the movie was playing, MM started marking certain files as “damaged”. The only way to “repair” them is to delete the entry in the movie and drag the file back in again. Since the files were being lost randomly every time I played the movie, trying to fix them would just mean other files would get lost when the movie played back the next time. The only option was to scale back, having separate movies for each cycle. That is, 8 movies.

Now, when you drag a block of files from one point to another in Windows, even though the names may have sequential numbering (file1, file2, file3…) Microsoft succeeds in getting the order wrong at the target application. So, every time I created a new movie and dragged over the files I wanted for the frames, I had to go through the movie and correct the frame order. Sigh. Not insurmountable, but still a pain.

Actually, I kind of brute-forced the creation of the animation frames in the script to show the sinewaves past the convergence point. Since the joke was that the majority of the sinewaves died at the convergence, the excess frames weren’t needed. That is, I’d made 8 cycles of 250 frames each, but only needed 1-225 for cycles 1-7. I only needed all 250 frames for the cycle at the 19’s sinewave (movie #8). After trimming the files and setting the frame time to 0.05s for each one, I tested the timing, built the opening title and closing credits cards in GIMP, and added the “dots of death” to the convergence point frames of each movie. MovieMaker still managed to lose frames in the smaller movies, though. When this happened, I had to close all other applications, including MM, make sure that all available memory was freed up, and then try again.

Anyway, the overall animation was starting to look pretty good. The next issue was “what to do about a sound track?”

To be cont.

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