YouTube Channel Update – Best laid plans…

Alright folks, as the saying goes, ‘the best laid plays go astray.’ I hit a minor hurdle with the banner, well not a super hurdle, but an annoying one. YouTube tells you its recommended banner size is 2560 X 1440 pixels. What it doesn’t alert you to, is the fact this is the banner size for all mediums, specifically it has TV’s in mind. So when it comes to looking at the banner on a laptop, you miss pretty much everything, but the centre. I tested out that first nebula field background experimentally and I only got blue and some stars. I am not saying it’s terrible, but considering the hard work that went into making planets happen, it was a little bit annoying.

That’s easy fixed though, just means moving in the planets, adjusting the background here and there. She’ll be right again before we know it. Onwards and upwards, I did a little bit of research into recording software and tried out FRAPS and OBS (Open Broadcaster Software). FRAPS doesn’t seem to like windows ten or at least doesn’t like my laptop. I jumped straight into a game of Stellaris, hit record and all I got after I had finished up, was sound and a black screen. It’s highly likely it could be my knowledge of the program, but it seemed to be working perfectly fine.

So back to the drawing board after FRAPS (It was the main one I knew). I had a hunt around, looked through forums and posted on the website for the organisation I am a part of for Star Citizen. I even managed to get into contact with ‘BoredGamer,’ a YouTube veteran I’m subscribed to.

After a few really helpful people chucked in their two cents, I did some more research, ummed and ahhed, then tried out a few more recording software. I am currently on OBS or Open Broadcaster Software, freebie and open source.

OBS

I’m no video techie, but I managed to get it recording, utilising different sources e.g. my display, video camera and Stellaris. The quality out the other end was brilliant. Most of the hard yards was done by a setup wizard which is in beta, but I had a bit of a looksee in the settings.

Stating the obvious, you don’t want to change your file format to one with any compression for recording, lose quality (Think lossless image format like PNG then going to JPEG or something) and if it’s like any video software I used back in 2006….. Very bad things happen.

Here is a link to OBS if you are interested: https://obsproject.com/

Anyway, when plans go astray, just come up with a new idea. At present OBS is it, my placeholder draft banner can be modified and the next stage is finding some video editing software.  I will probably start by looking at Adobe Premiere, cause that’s what I know, but I will most likely do research and throw my net wide to find the best thing for me. Most likely a free open source alternative to begin the experiment.

If you have any thoughts on good video software, free or otherwise, feel free to comment or tweet me.  Happy also for any advice, video editing, banner creation etc etc.

Take care now.

Seb

 

 

YouTube Banner – A human needs a ship

There is of course the most important feature missing from my universe designs. That is a spaceship. What sort of spaceship? Well I am thinking of maybe trying to create a spaceship for one of my races in my sci fi universe from my stories. Going with sleek and elegant with a very advanced tech feel that outpaces humanity by a crazy long time.

What inspires me for ships currently well at the moment one of my favourite ships is a Romulan D’Deridex Warbird out of Star Trek the Next Generation onwards. I love the profile and the sleekness of the vessel and whilst it is sleek it is also intimidating in appearance. I mean look at them wings and profile. See that decloak and you sure as hell are not going to hang around for long.

Here is a picture of a model I own:
warbird
You can see a much cooler picture, which Memory Beta have used here: https://goo.gl/images/bBVPAS

My next inspiration is Star Trek Voyager, I mean Voyager is a real smart looking ship that also gives it an air of speed. The slight ovoid primary section and streamline nature of the vessel just is cool.

If you haven’t see Voyager before, here is a link to Memory Alpha’s picture of it: https://goo.gl/images/bgDygZ

Ok ok, so from that info we know I’m a fan of Star Trek (My childhood), but I also have inspirations from outside that.

Turning to Star Citizen, the Endeavour class science ship. I love the fact she is big, sleek for a big ship and still manages to pull off a science look. Even with out bio domes attached, it looks pretty damn nifty. Gives me the feel, of older science fiction. Big lumbering behemoths, ploughing through space. Very very cool.
Image with bio domes: https://goo.gl/images/1UFtE4
Image without: https://goo.gl/images/dt4sED

I really like the reliant from Star Lancer, for similar heavy set old school feel that isn’t too old school sci fi. It of course like that D’Deridex is more military focused.
Image: https://goo.gl/images/DwQyvf

So these inspirations, what does that bring to the table? Well it brings me sitting at the table, trying to remember how to sketch and draw, another skill I haven’t used since the dawn of time.
DSC_0175

Let’s just say work in progress. I also need to devise how to turn an end product sketch into a fully blown 3Dish ship for the banner. But you know, I’m sure I will either figure it out or find a tutorial for that. I think it extends a bit beyond my grade 8 or 9, digital production skills.

I really want that advanced exploration feel, without dipping into old school or completely retro sci fi ship concepts/hard sci fi (E.g. no big rings for gravity or super bubble ships).  But we shall just have to see were my imagination takes me on this one.
Anyway, I am all up for tips, any thoughts or advice, feel free to comment.

Restoration of the plan!

Ok so I had a pretty damn good set of goals laid out. ‘The plan: Finish the ending for a fantasy novel, finish a novel, complete 5 shorts and start editing.’ Well that went out the window, moved apartments, visited family back in Perth (Many years overdue sadly) and a myriad of other things. So next semester has crept in for my studies. But hat doesn’t mean the plan is over! It just means a modification will arise.

This year, I won’t be getting Chrissy break holidays, because I am accelerating my degree. So how am I to resolve this decline in time. Well that seems simple enough for me. I am going to get up at 6am, when I am freshest and assign 2-3 hours for writing time each day. If by some miracle I find more time or secret moments between the hours then I shall steal them too. I think whoever coined the adage, early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise, deserves a medal. A good sleep cycle, helps a lot and for me it feels like every hour slept before midnight is like two to three.

The important part, will I cut my cloth to fit me? No, I don’t think I will at this time. I have knocked out three short stories, so I just need to knocked out a final two and that is sorted. The novels now that is a bigger project. I am at about 75,000 words into my science fiction novel, I probably have four to five chapters to go. I think most of my energies will go there. If the end of the year comes slinking along and I find myself drowning, the fantasy novel’s edit will have to go by the wayside, but I am confidant to try to do it all. We can but try and I think we should reach for the stars, that way there is always room to manoeuvre.

Anyway, I am happy with what I have accomplished at the end of this set of holidays. What does progress to me look like, when busy with life? About 17431 words.

When nothing comes out of twitter or this webpage, it means I am hard at work on a project. I will hopefully try and be a bit more active.

Onwards! Step by step, we get there. A hill only looks like a mountain, until you are at the top of it.

DSC_0191

 

Going Green…. Tea.

There is one great perk about the suburbs of Rhodes and West Ryde. What perk you ask? Isn’t it just another Sydney suburban area you’ve stumbled upon? No. No it is not.

The greatest joy of exploring and traveling around the area is the café gems they hold. Naturally yes there are other restaurants there too, (Actually they are exceptional) but its the trendy little cafes which offer quite interesting food, that I love. Probably also cause I’m a lover of great coffee. I mean nothing really excuses a bad cup and a good cup is worth travelling miles for.

Today I went green! I love green tea. I mean back in Perth were I grew up, I would hunt green tea ice cream down. It really was a sparse treat that you couldn’t buy to take home, when I was living there. I’d drag my dad through countless little Asian super markets and grocers. Down random alley ways. There was never much of a great success. The main satisfaction for this craving, was usually at Senoji in Vic Park. Which to this day, is still my favourite Japanese restaurant.

When I went to Auvers café, it was a done deal. Green tea pancakes! Why not. This was my second time having them and the café didn’t disappoint, as I ordered the pancakes and a green tea latte.

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The pancakes were very light and packed with green tea flavour, layered with red bean paste and green tea sauce. I have to say the berries and sorbet are delicious, but I could quite easily eat a stack with just the green tea pancakes and the sauce. It wasn’t bitter at all, like one might expect of green tea. I’d definitely have again.

What a treat, Auvers did a great job.