Scary Things About Trying Something New

Something you may not know about me – and may seem odd considering how little I watch television – is that I ADORE YouTube.

In the past couple of years, I started watching a lot of YouTube, mostly WoW-related machinima and other videos at first. I really liked Nobbel87‘s lore videos, and SlightlyImpressive‘s machinimas, and then discovered Nixxiom and Moocluck and fell down a rabbit hole. Now I’ve added people to my sub list like ShoddyCast who do Fallout and Skyrim lore (and an amazing “Rethinking” series, where they use in-game problems and relate them to the real-world), and people like Laci Green and Feminist Frequency for food-for-thought type videos. I’ve got a really long sub list, now.

It got me thinking about making my own videos.

Part of the reason I thought about doing videos is that currently, I do not have the capability to stream. My internet download speed is 6Mbps, my upload speed is…something I don’t want to think about. It’s definitely too slow to stream anything without major hiccups and freezes. My computer is a beast and so can handle it while laughing at Twitch, probably, but my internet would have a field day. So, I thought about doing videos instead.

I took a film class in college where I learned the basics of using video editing software. I know essentially how it works, and downloaded Lightworks to start with. I began recording a few of the games I play. It’s nice that recording is relatively simple with my graphics card and ShadowPlay, and so have a nice recording of one of my first League games of the season and the first hour of my playthrough of Rise of the Tomb Raider.

I was pretty confident that I’d be able to video edit easily. I learn new software super quickly, and I’d done video editing before, albeit 5-6 years ago. What could be hard about it?

Turns out, a lot.

For full disclosure, this does not mean I’m giving up. Or that this is too hard for me, because it’s not. But the types of problems I’ve had are incredibly frustrating and it’s scary to think you’re going to do something relatively easily and then have obstacles all along the way.

First of all, I’ve been using Audacity to record my voice separately from the Shadowplay mic recording because it tends to make the game audio far too loud while my voice is drowned out by dramatic music, no matter what game I’m playing, and it doesn’t separate the tracks by default. This means I have to add in the audio later, and with something like a League game where I’m only going to upload highlights or funny moments, isolating the audio to the right parts of the game is mostly very time-consuming. This is something I need to expect, but something I hadn’t thought about much before beginning. I have a video from that game that I’ll likely upload soon, but it’s most likely going to be a shorter rendition of what I had originally planned, but hopefully will be much more entertaining.

Then, I thought of the fact that I was eagerly anticipating the Rise of the Tomb Raider release for PC. I had been incredibly disappointed that it had been released as an Xbox exclusive, and was admittedly smug when they announced the PC release date about a month after the Xbox exclusive release. (They released it the same day as Fallout 4. Probably not a good idea.) I thought I’d start a Let’s Play of the game since I adored the first game and love Lara Croft as a character so much that I had a hard time getting into other games because a. they weren’t Lara and b. they weren’t ladies, usually.

I recorded about a full hour of gameplay with webcam and separate audio on the Monday after I bought it for PC. I excitedly uploaded the video into Lightworks to separate it into 15-minute intervals to edit together and upload to YouTube. However, I ran into a concerning problem – the audio and video did not match up. By quite a lot.

This is a problem that is fixable in post-processing, but I was confused as to why it would even be out of sync. I read a ton of forum posts, and most people who had asked the question hadn’t received a satisfactory answer, and were usually using a different editing program. I downloaded a trial of Adobe Premiere and tried it there, and had the same result, possibly even worse. I downloaded Handbrake and re-encoded the video for constant framerate vs. variable framerate, but it didn’t help – if anything, it made things worse. At the moment, I’m still trying to find a solution, and trying to avoid having to record the whole thing again, or completely readjust the audio by hand over four 15-minute segments where the audio could be in one of the other segments I’m splitting it into. Recording it again wouldn’t be the worst thing, since I could actually make sure to time myself and stop a little before 15 minutes so I wouldn’t have to split it, but I’m still not sure which direction to go at the moment. If you have any suggestions or have had this problem before, please let me know!

Honestly, I’m not discouraged as far as I’m going to throw it on the ground and say “Nope, this isn’t going to work”. It is frustrating, though, and I’m going to have to fight a little bit of an uphill battle to get started on this thing I want to do. I’ve been thinking about if I have this much issue with this type of recording, what would happen if I wanted to do machinima? Having to use green screens and WoW ModelViewer? The main thing is for me to try to push down my own self-doubt and keep my own stubborn willpower going. I can do this, even if I have to hop a bunch of obstacles along the way.

What obstacles have you run into trying out something new? Do you have any advice for me? Do you know how to solve my audio/video sync problem? Let me know in the comments! 

Proud to be Generation Y

Since I was born in 1989, it’s safe to say that I am a part of Generation Y, the current generation of people who have graduated from college and are becoming “full-time” adults. We are the generation that’s been different from the previous ones: unable to get a job after college, staying in our parents’ houses for longer periods because we lack the income to pay for our own house, car, groceries, much less our mounds of student loan debt. However, I’m proud to say that I’m part of Generation Y. Here’s a couple of reasons why.

1. We don’t fear technology.

The first computer I remember having in our household was an old tan computer that ran on MS-DOS, and only responded to simple commands. It came with a printer that had the holes on the sides you had to rip off at the perforation. I wrote short, five-year old appropriate stories on that computer and printed each one because I couldn’t save it.

In short, I was introduced to technology when I was pretty young. In my earlier years, I remember learning Microsoft Word because my mom taught me about it while she was taking computer classes at the local community college. Later, when I got my first desktop computer, I learned quickly and just poked at things to find out how they worked.

It amazes me how people my age are not afraid that they are going to “mess up” technology. They experiment, explore, try different things until something works. Or if all else fails, or they have nowhere to start, they Google it. I’ve learned skills that I’m going to need throughout my career such as basic HTML, Internet troubleshooting, the ins and outs of different programs, etc. And how did I learn this? Simply by using the Internet, even outlets like MySpace and LiveJournal, and later WordPress, Twitter, Facebook. I surprise myself that I can take those basics I learned and use them to edit a webpage’s HTML and produce a good product.

2. We are more tolerant, diverse, and are able to see both sides of the situation.

While I know this is not by any means always true, it seems that my generation as a whole tends to fit this dynamic. We are living in a world now that brings this huge space that we call the Earth closer to home, and people who are different are not so scary anymore. Although a lot of this has to do with who raised us and how, we stand up for each others’ rights, whether they be for marriage, women’s rights, or our opportunities we’re supposed to have in America. However, we also try to see both sides of the situation, rather than blindly following one viewpoint, leader, or idea.

My generation is one of the most culturally/ethnically diverse ones to date. We have more mixed race people within our midst (like me!) and 91% of us believe in interracial dating/marriage. 

3. We overcome the obstacles in our path.

As I stated earlier, my generation is the one that has been set back as far as financial stability and independence goes. Most of us have had to move back in with our parents after college, often for more than a year. Employers refuse us jobs either for our lack of experience or overabundance of it. We are saddled with student loan debt that we accumulated receiving the education that alluded to soaring careers and success rather than working retail or food service or days spent canvassing our cities in search of a job.

More and more people of us are finding ways around and over these obstacles. We push for what we want, we network, we volunteer, we create new things and new concepts, we start our own businesses, we work more than one part-time job to make ends meet, we freelance. We survive. We make it. And we continue pushing forward toward our goals.

I’m pretty proud of being part of Generation Y. Are you a part of my generation? If so, are you proud?