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Thread: Thief movie playback + nVidia physx = /FAIL/ *RESOLVED*

  1. #1

    Thief movie playback + nVidia physx = /FAIL/ *RESOLVED*

    I recently upgraded to the new nVidia drivers (177.83) that include physx support under XP x64 - and while the 15% framerate boost to Gothic 3 is cute, and the demos are fun, it introduced a new problem.

    ALL the old fixes for getting video playback to work appear to have broken in all the DarkEngine games... Again. iv5play.exe, no-go... regsvr32 the .ax file, nada. The 'video fix' option in ddfix.ini - nothing. The videos don't even play right in media player classic, skipping and stuttering like I was on a 386. (Bad since we're talking Q6600 + ge8800GTS here)

    After all these years of problems with the videos in the game, I got a little pissy and finally said "well, how about re-encoding them in a codec that does work?"... So I started up STOIK and started playing with codecs. (I have several dozen encoders here since I've got the Klite Mega Codec pack installed)

    My first attempt was h264 - the two codecs really just hate each-other, the net result being ugly in MPC, and even uglier in game since DarkEngine games will only show videos in 8 bit mode and h264 has no dithering or palette conversion... Likewise mpeg and all it's offshoots like divx (I tried 6.8) or more 'open' formats like Ogg are unsuited to the task due to that same color limitation. (I saw some threads talking about using divx for Fan missons - how are you getting around the lack of dithering and color depth?) - I was actually suprised the original video files seem to be a higher color depth than the game engine can show them in. (Timeslip: hint, hint?)

    Was pouring through the available codecs on my machine, when I came across VP62. I know T2X uses VP31 which still works fine for me, so I gave it a stab. After some tweaking I was able to set a decent bitrate that visually I can't see the difference, and decreased the file sizes 30% or so... Actually, that's not true - the dithering in the 'success' video in-game is a different pattern and does not 'freeze' like it did under indeo. Since VP6 is the de-facto choice for flash videos these days, it's not like many machines are not going to have it installed. (I was playing with VP7, but the encoder is slower than molassas in january)... and the different down-sampling dithering method looks better to my eyes since ON2's VP seems to be random dither, while Indeo is fixed. (you can really see the difference between the two codecs in-game at the end of 'success.avi')

    So that's a more permanant solution to the problem - just re-encode the videos with Stoik and VP6.

    Out of morbid curiousity I took a stab at trying them under WINE, and they play there too in Ubuntu 8.04 on the latest devel build - though the game itself is unplayable at 3-4fps. (I hear some people under other distros have it working at a decent framerate) so this may be a better solution for linux users too than trying to play with getting indeo working.

    For those that care, I put my recodes of the videos for Thief 2 up on rapidshit (146 megs!):
    http://rapidshare.com/files/137423596/MOVIES.rar

    I set a noise reduction to 50%, and decreased the codec sharpening which while adding some noise/errors, probably looks better since it would compensate partly for the indeo codec loss. Even so the videos ARE slightly lower quality if viewed side-by-side in media player or VLC (garbage in, garbage out) - but they look much the same in the game, possibly better due to that whole difference in dithering and color reduction techniques in the codecs themselves. (lets face it, indeo was never all that great in the first place)

    I'm tempted to load up success and death into premier to play with the levels on those - they really shouldn't be 'bright enough' on the dark screen to even be seeing the dithering/artifacting - especially since Intro and the starting cutscenes don't seem to have that issue... Problem is making changes of that nature is just introducing more distortion to the signal... Perhaps a task for someone more versed in video than I.

    But hey, at least I have my videos back in x64 on my 8800 WITHOUT downgrading my video drivers and without the 'other' fix methods - AND they're smaller files too.
    Last edited by deathshadow; 14th Aug 2008 at 23:58.

  2. #2
    New Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    i ve got the same (or a similar problem) with 16x nvidia drivers: indeo codec is installed and all the videos in T1G and T2 play, but they don't play very smooth, i think it's the same problem you had, it's like they are playing fine for 2-3 seconds or so, then "freeze", then play, then freeze however the sound is continuos... this is very strange.

    i've got win XP SP2 btw, and ive got also the newest klite codec pack installed..

    i m sorry to dig this thread out, but how do i get your new videos to work?
    when attempting to play a video, thief2 crashes. what do i have to do?
    in media player classic, all your files play quite nice, but only thief can't handle them.


    please help

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow View Post
    ALL the old fixes for getting video playback to work appear to have broken in all the DarkEngine games...
    Why people are have some many basic problems, these same said issues are coming up again and again

    1. I have installed xp and or vista
    2. I have installed the current driver for my gfx card (gtx280, 180.43) and the latest directX
    3. I have installed thief 1/2
    4. I have then installed any required patches for thief
    5. I then installed DDfix and the WS patch.
    6. I installed the K-lite codec pack making sure to tick the "indeo" options on the 1st page.
    7. I then play thief.


  4. #4
    New Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikerdude View Post
    Why people are have some many basic problems, these same said issues are coming up again and again

    1. I have installed xp and or vista
    2. I have installed the current driver for my gfx card (gtx280, 180.43) and the latest directX
    3. I have installed thief 1/2
    4. I have then installed any required patches for thief
    5. I then installed DDfix and the WS patch.
    6. I installed the K-lite codec pack making sure to tick the "indeo" options on the 1st page.
    7. I then play thief.

    i did exactly this, but i also installed indeo before installing the klite codec pack, because i thought it was supposed to fix the "freezes" in the video.
    now what i did is:
    1. i had indeo installed
    2. i uninstalled indeo
    3. i installed klite 4.3.4

    -> nothing changes... it's the same in all three configurations and i'm pretty confused about what to do about this, so i downloaded his videos but i don't get them to play in thief, so i would like to know how thief would accept them.

    maybe one reason for this is, that i had to install modified nvidia drivers because my laptop manufacturer disallowed regular nvidia drivers to be installed (dell vostro 1500, gforce 8600m gt, centrino 2.2 ghz dual core).

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by ShippO- View Post
    # i did exactly this,
    # maybe one reason for this is, that i had to install modified nvidia drivers because my laptop manufacturer disallowed regular nvidia drivers to be installed (dell vostro 1500, gforce 8600m gt, centrino 2.2 ghz dual core).
    Ok, did you when installing the K-lite codec pack making sure to tick the "indeo" option/s...???

    you should be able to install the latest nvidia drivers on that laptop, what error do you get when trying to install..?

    biker

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ShippO- View Post
    i m sorry to dig this thread out, but how do i get your new videos to work?
    when attempting to play a video, thief2 crashes. what do i have to do?
    You should be able to just drop them into the video directory and be good... though it may help to have the latest flash plugin installed since it uses the codec from that (which I'm not 100% certain is in the latest Klite Mega or not)

  7. #7
    New Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    yeah, now it works! i had to restart, it didn't work in the beginning, thief did just crash. i don't really know why, but now it works with your videos.

    only thing to do for me is to get the Thief Gold videos running as well.
    did you by chance encode them as well? if not, which encoding program would you recommend and which codec? the same as mentioned above?

    thanks for your help!

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow View Post
    For those that care, I put my recodes of the videos for Thief 2 up on rapidshit (146 megs!):
    http://rapidshare.com/files/137423596/MOVIES.rar
    Original link is down.

    Re-uploaded:

    mirror 1:
    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=HRA6JN8E

    mirror 2:
    http://rapidshare.com/files/41026110...OVIES.rar.html

  9. #9
    New Member
    Registered: Jul 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by KoHaN69 View Post
    Many thanks!

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2009
    Location: 22 Jump Street: Jump Harder
    Sorry to bring this back up, but now those re-ups are dead, too!

    Anyone care to re-up again?

  11. #11
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia
    Quote Originally Posted by Albert View Post
    Sorry to bring this back up, but now those re-ups are dead, too!

    Anyone care to re-up again?
    T2_reencoded_MOVIES.rar
    Thief1Gold_MovieReplace.rar

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2009
    Location: 22 Jump Street: Jump Harder
    Thanks!

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