Author Topic: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos  (Read 9455 times)

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Offline Davyboy

Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2012, 10:11:47 AM »
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  • Just for kicks I was messing around trying to find .wve players (without much progress of course) and snagged a couple of images (NOT printscreens)

    Although it's a bit rough, I set "HalfwaytoAnywhere" as wallpaper on me XPbox.
    It highlight why movies are not rendered in fullscreen.

    (Red pill, Blue pill...)

    Offline Davyboy

    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #31 on: June 18, 2012, 02:22:11 PM »
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  • "I've got two words for you, just two words.
    Mario Brito!!!"

    aka 'HCl'

    And his site at  http://hcl.solsector.net (found through an obscure Google link to an Apolyton thread dating back to 2005 which I can't now find again on the XPbox where I am now, but is bookmarked on the Linbox so that I can link/attribute at a later date)

    (ed - found it  http://apolyton.net/showthread.php/137832-SMAX-video-files-converter )

    This lad has been busy! and it turned out that the Apolyton interestees had just discovered that HCl had this movie player by the name of "Wing Commander Movie Player" and that although the GUI played .tre and .tgv vids; - from a command line, the undelying wcmv.exe did an excellent job of playing .wve files too.

    Not only that, but from a command line the .wve can be extracted to an .avi file. Which would be "10 times as big".

    So I tried this with 'believe.wve' as a test file (same folder as wcmv for convenience) and ran

    wcmv believe.wve -avi

    from a cmd line (the Apolyton thread described it differently) and gained a 24 meg 'rip.avi' file in raw bitmap. The screener is taken as I ran THAT through vlc, which played it very nicely, took a nice colour screenshot --- but rendered it in midnight blue...

    (Maybe it was pole-dancing night in Godwinson's Bordello)

    (ed - 20120619 00:19 - added discussion link)

    « Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 11:19:50 PM by Davyboy »

    Offline Davyboy

    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #32 on: June 18, 2012, 02:51:02 PM »
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  • http://hcl.solsector.net/information/video_wcp.cpp

    This looks promising too.
    With:-

    http://hcl.solsector.net/information/tables_wcp.h

    My best guess is that HCl and crew figured out the .wve codec. Espescially considering that the TQI format (.wve) had a pretty 'zig-zag' coding deely in it:

    http://wiki.multimedia.cx/index.php?title=Electronic_Arts_TQI

    Iff so, does anyone have a clue about how to go about turning this into something practical? I'm starting to exit my comfort zone  :-X

    « Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 03:01:51 PM by Davyboy »

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    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #33 on: June 18, 2012, 03:42:32 PM »
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  • The key is whether vids can be converted the other way, isn't it?

    Offline Davyboy

    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #34 on: June 18, 2012, 04:57:40 PM »
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  • Certainly.

    But with what I discovered today (.wve --> .avi) the decoder certainly works. Don't be fooled by the 'midnight blue hatdance' that I posted earlier. That's a vlc whoopsie, probably because raw bitmap AVI video hasn't been used for a decade.

    In fact, within the wcmv_1_2a file it's odds-on that the actual codec resides in the xanlib.dll courtesy of Origin Systems Inc (that brought back fond memories of Orc hunts). If so, it may be possible to plug it into something like Flask or TMPGenc for a bit of encoding.

    Seven years ago they wanted to turn the .avi files into Bink video .bik ones for CivIV.
    I'm a bit hazy on how that turned out in the end.

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    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #35 on: June 18, 2012, 05:47:13 PM »
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  • Well obviously, being able to put our own movies in has a lot of storytelling potential for scenerios and full mods.  This is potentially very important work.

    Offline Kilkakon

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    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #36 on: June 19, 2012, 06:13:24 AM »
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  • Great work on this DavyBoy. :)

    That C++ is pretty nasty stuff though. :| Almost assembly from the looks of things.

    Offline Davyboy

    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #37 on: June 19, 2012, 07:23:55 AM »
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  • That C++ is pretty nasty stuff though. :| Almost assembly from the looks of things.

    33 years ago (sigh) I cut my teeth on Hex assembly for an 8060 (8A/600) evaluation kit. Even got it to do some useful control work through a UART and some external electronics I slapped together. But circumstances pushed me in other directions as Life does and I didn't get to transition to later (non-toy) processors/ instruction sets.

    I think that the best strategy atm would be to see if Mario Brito still answers his email and ask him if he's interested or whether they actually did something along those lines for Wing Commander.

    Offline Davyboy

    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #38 on: June 19, 2012, 09:34:21 AM »
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  • Brief u/d

    After finding this recent post http://ffmpeg.org/trac/ffmpeg/ticket/794#comment:1 I get the impression that some poor soul was trying to go from a .wve file to raw video using Ffmpeg. It's been a while since I used Ffmpeg and that was on a windows setup, but I have it installed right here on a bash command line.

    Hmmmm..

    (ed 20120619 13:18)

    Looking through the Ffmpeg documentation the developers are now up to (D)ecode for (V)ideo for the EA formats TGV TQI (for wve) and a couple of others. But not going the other way for (E)ncode at the moment. My install of Ffmpeg is from 2009 and doesn't include these codecs so if I try ffmpeg -i weatherParadigm.wve weatherParadigm.avi it just rips the (uncompressed) audio to the output container without any video stream. At least it doesn't crash. Since it was doing this in under a second (!) I ran

    ffmpeg -i weatherParadigm.wve weatherParadigm.mp3

    and got the following, less confusing output. It's just the soundtrack of course.
    « Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 12:36:01 PM by Davyboy »

    Offline Davyboy

    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #39 on: August 30, 2012, 01:13:39 PM »
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  • Can't believe more than 2 months have elapsed since I contributed "work" to this thread, but there were some extenuating circumstances.
    I was about to u/d my ffmpeg installation on my production Linuxbox when it suffered a h/d whoopsie - lost the bootsector MBR bootloader - and just generally decided that it was taking the summer off.
    I wouldn't have cared too much if I hadn't had several hundred Gigabytes of data sitting in other ReiserFS volumes that, although backed up, I wasn't prepared to give up on without a fight. ;) Restoring b/us is a tedious drag.
    Anyhoo, I got the MBR patched up and got back into the Mandriva 2008 system (after ReiserFSTools replayed all the journals and told me a tale of woe about the h/d being on the way out) but it wasn't stable. Maybe it would run for a couple of hours, maybe 5 mins, and then freeze up. Couldn't work with that. Couldn't even back anything up with that kind of unreliability...
    Just to narrow the focus a bit, I booted the (never used) MS Vesta partition that also lives on this particular box. Very frustrating, couldn't browse files :-\ , couldn't 'find' anything  >:( , web-browsing was, well, a chore..  :o and for all I knew, these  ;roze; darlings had hacked it and could file it with other dehydrated curries  :) But it ran for 24 hours without trouble - so it was "stable" if you don't count hibernation freezes.

    The upshot of this is that my h/d - attempting to swap out a dodgy disk sector through its SMART tech has casually shafted my /root directory in the process. The question now arises "Since I have to reinstall /root, what is my ultimate strategy? Do I care? Do I want an u/g? Do I want a complete change?"

    While ze lettle grey cells cogitate these many elements - I push off to the other (Winbox) comp for a few AC thrashes.

    (Used Knoppix 6.2.1 to retreive /root and /home volumes, and anything else)
    Installed Mandriva 2011.1 which comes with a pretty up-to-date version of ffmpeg which in turn took 2 seconds to produce this .avi ...


    Offline Kilkakon

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    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #40 on: August 31, 2012, 03:22:42 AM »
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  • Sorry to hear about all the hard drive pain! :( Poor guy.

    Offline Davyboy

    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #41 on: September 16, 2012, 04:00:37 PM »
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  • Quick u/d about ffmpeg.

    I snagged a Windows compatible "static" package and decompressed it to a folder-of-choice and played around at the cmd line with the ffmpeg.exe in the 'bin' subfolder.

    Because it's necessarily interpreted by Microsoft's superefficient software it works -- but about 5-10 times more slowly than in an equivalent bash environment.

    Of further note is the accompanying 'ffplay.exe' which you can actually drag and drop 'movie.wve' files onto just like playuv15.exe.
    The difference being that the playback is in a maximizable window, handy if you want to see all the imperfections in almost fullscreen mode.
    Also seems to like playing other legacy formats like .tgq and smacker files (untested)
    Plays those pesky .bik files that modern gamesmakers seem to be in love with.
    Preserves the colour balance in screenshots too. Examples to follow..

    Offline Kilkakon

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    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #42 on: September 17, 2012, 07:36:06 AM »
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  • Yeah lots of modern games use bik for some reason. :O

    Online BUncle

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    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #43 on: September 17, 2012, 06:37:15 PM »
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  • Fascinating stuff, and important.  You da man.

    Offline Davyboy

    Re: Playing the Alpha Centauri and expansion WVE videos
    « Reply #44 on: September 17, 2012, 07:54:36 PM »
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  • Fascinating stuff, and important.  You da man.

    LOL! As it turned out the civ4 stuff played like a charm in ffplay, a damn sight better than the game itself ever rendered them as I recall.

    I'm just wondering when the ffmpeg contribs will get around to Encoders for the stuff that we're interested in, and I'm a bit mystified about how to contact them... No doubt when they do, if they do, we'll start hearing about proprietry software lawsuits and copyright violations.
    Of course, ffmpeg is copyleft.

    (Wonder if I can snag stuff from Total Annihilation? hmmmm...)

     

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