Well I’ve been trying to put together my FSX/TileProxy/FRAPS videos together into a singular “music video” type format to upload to YouTube and all I have to say so far is that it has been somewhat of an exercise in frustration.  FSX and TileProxy work fine, FRAPS works fine, what’s being a thorn in my side is the video editing lack-ware that I’ve been trying to use – namely Windows Movie Maker (which is pretty lame) and some version of Nero that came with one of my DVD burners (and isn’t much better than MM).

The first attempt I tried was with MM, since I’m pretty sure I used that with my first YouTube test video (just music and a “visualizer”) and that seemed to work fine. But it didn’t like all my FRAPS/FSX flight clips for some reason and it wasn’t a simple matter of just telling MM to treat all the clips a single unit, so I had to render them all as one file. I think by this time I was mad enough at MM to do this “clip condensation” in Nero.  But MM did have one feature that I wanted, and that was to speed up the playback of the video, since the whole FSX flight lasted 30 minutes in real time and I wanted to compress that down to something that could be played within the time constraints of  a single song… 

So after I got my now condensed/stitched into a single clip rendered, I threw it into MM and doubled the speed – twice, making the clip play back at 4x speed, making my final clip just under 7.5 minutes.  I dragged the MP3 file over that I wanted to use as my background music and hit save or render or whatever it is that’s supposed to create a final movie clip in MM.  10 minutes later I open up my final movie and no sound.  Tried it again, and again no sound.  So getting all P.O.’d at MM again I pulled up Nero, plopped in my new 4X non-sound movie and added my MP3 file and rendered from there.  Thump, thump, thump….  The new video had audio, but it had a very annoying “thump” or “click” throughout the whole soundtrack – GRRRR!

After doing some GoogleResearch, I found that both of these problems are quite common to both MM (no sound from MP3’s) and Nero (bad audio from MP3’s). So I’ve now downloaded the free trial of Sony’s Vegas Movie Platinum to see if that will actually do what I’m hoping to do.  It looks sort of promising just from the 15mins I’ve played around with it. It still doesn’t look like it will “auto-magically” stitch together all of my clips and treat them as one, so that will still have to be a two-step rendering process. BUT it will let me dynamically adjust the playtime of that one clip after I get it rendered, so I will be able to force it to match exactly with my chosen soundtrack.  And it also looked and sounded like it didn’t distort the MP3 file that I quickly tested with.  I should have a final output sometime this evening and I’ll add a link to this article if I actually get something usable. Until then, Enjoy!

Think I got it to work here’s the YouTube Link, and below should be the embedded object if I did this right…

The flight starts at “Mineral Canyon Airstrip” on the Green River and ends at Hite at the Northern tip of Lake Powell.  Midway through the flight you pass over the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers.  This flight took appx. 30 mins to complete but has been sped up nearly 4X to make it fit within the song and youtube time limits.  The song is the instrumental version of “Meadows of Heavan” by Nightwish from their special 2-CD version of “Dark Passion Play” (an awesome album, if I do say so myself). I think that about covers it.  I think my next ventures will be the San Rafael Swell and it’s twin, the Comb Ridge which sit on either side of Utah’s canyonlands (they’re opposing anti/mono-clines about a hundred+ miles apart from each other, with Utah’s canyonland in the rift between them).