Using Video Game Footage - Part 1
This article is going to discuss various concepts and ideas that have come up when using full motion video scenes from video games in music videos and other video projects. Many games are including visually stunning and elaborate cut scenes, and sometimes games based on an anime license will include scenes and videos not originally in the anime.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive study of all of the options, just a walk through of the tools and tricks that I have learned. This is also not going to be a discussion of music video concepts in general, as it will focus on maintaining video quality, and not deal with artistic quality. What makes a good video is discussed elsewhere.
A lot of the concepts and tricks that will be gone over can apply to other sources of footage (like DivX ;-) and low bit rate MJPEG), and other concepts of video work, as the main goal of this is to teach you how to extract the maximum quality out of low quality files. As long as you understand the ideas that were used to work with video game footage, you can apply it to almost anything where you are trying to recover quality.
Quality is my highest priority, second being speed, and last being file size. The entire process will eat up a lot of hard drive space, easily measuring files in the gigabyte range. When ever possible, I use the Huffyuv CODEC.
The process can be divided into four distinct parts.
I will use a couple of my projects as examples, since all of this was learned through trial and error. I will include one example each of a Sega Saturn game and Sony PlayStation game. Your results may vary, but the concepts should be the same. A lot of screen shots will be used as examples. All of this is done on a Windows system.