Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Copyright dispute on youtube (part 2)

About a month ago I posted on my copyright problems with youtube, at the time the Harry Fox Agency had claimed ownership of audio on my video, well that dispute timed out and was released on the 24th of November 2012 and I applied to monetize the video again. And guess what? Another company, this time called UMPG publishing claimed ownership of the audio. I guess this is another one that will just remain 'under review' until it times out on Christmas eve!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Copyright disputes

A while ago I uploaded this little video to my youtube channel.

It's nothing spectacular and it was just some video I had kicking about and it isn't that bad to just delete it. Anyway, I tried to spice it up a bit with some music. Vivaldi - Four Seasons Spring seemed to be a great fit for this video. So I found a copy of this track (, licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 1.0 Generic (License available here and finished my video, uploaded it and all was good. I monitized it and that was that. I doubt it ever made a penny from the monitization but I'll never know as that was before the youtube revamp to list Ad Revenue per video. That isn't important anyway.

Some time later it was flagged as "Matched third party content" and the claim was made by CD Baby. At the time I just set the video to private and decided to deal with it later. Later came, about a week and a half ago when I filed my dispute with this claim. I cited the source and license of the music and the claim was released. I tried to enable monitization again on the video and CD Baby claimed ownership, again. So I disputed it again and it was released again. I tried to enable monitization again and this time an anonymous "Rights collecting society" claimed ownership. So once again I disputed the claim and it was released. Once I tried to enable monitization again it was then claimed by APM Music and again I disputed the claim. Turned monitization on again and had another claim for ownership of the music filed. This time by the Harry Fox Agency.

So here I am, 5 disputes into this one video and every time I dispute it another claim is filed.

It does leave me with some questions:

a) Why are claims submitted one by one by different companies?
b) My dispute has been accepted once and nothing has changed in my video - why do I need to submit it again and again for each company?
c) Why is the company involved the only one reviewing these claims?

Thursday, 4 October 2012

A bit more on Sketchup ASE exporter for Muvizu

Previously I wrote a piece about a Muvizu ASE Exporter for Sketchup, with download link to it. Today I have a video tutorial for it done!

A big thanks to everyone who has uploaded models to the Muvizu website, it fitted nicely for a village scene!

3D Assets


Autumn leaves texture at

Sound effects and music

Private eye by Kevin MacLoud -

Friday, 27 April 2012

Sometime ago Muvizu introduced a unsupported feature; ASE file imports. The feature immediately expanded the possibilities of the software by allowing users to import object (static meshes only) into the application to customise their scenes and animations. In the course of testing this feature I found an ASE exporter for Google Sketchup to the Unreal 3 engine. The original file was called hskp2unr.rb and supports a number of import and export formats - which arn't needed for Muvizu. This was made by a chap called HardPCM, who seems to have disappeared, although his twitter account is still there!/HardPCM

The exporter that he made was extremely useful and stable and made the whole of the Google 3D Warehouse available to anyone with Muvizu, Sketchup and the ASE exporter. The only downside to it was that it would only export the geometry of an object and not the collision mesh and left you editing the ASE file manually to either paste in a generic collision model to use or merge in the exact collision you wanted for your object.

So it go me thinking - why not just update it to allow the collision to be exported as well as the geometry? Well that's what I did. Back in 2010 I updated the code to make a Muvizu ASE Exporter plugin for Muvizu and after testing it for about a year it's now been published for anyone to use.

Download here

The plugin itself is licensed under GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

All credit goes to HardPCM for the original code.

How do I use it?

Well, just download it from the link above and then copy and past the .rb file in to your Google Sketchup\Plugins folder and start Google Sketchup. Once you have your object ready for export, make it into a component and then either copy and paste the component (making it unique and removing all textures) or build a new object that will be the collision mesh. You probably want to rename your collision object component to include collision in the name as it'll be easier to identify which is which.

Once your ready to export the object, just go to the Plugins drop down menu, and select the export option under the Muvizu ASE export option. Then all you need to do is give your model a file name and select which component is the geometry and which is the collision. It's that simple. I've added an option to export without geometry as well. This lets you use the default collision mesh generated by Muvizu.

Any questions, problems or update suggestions just let me know.

Muvizu ASE Exporter.rb

Monday, 31 October 2011

Transparent AVI in Muvizu in 4 easy steps

So I've been playing around with transparent AVI files in Muvizu recently. They are actually really useful for making videos with as you can do all sorts of neat tricks with them that would be impossible otherwise. There's a couple of videos that have been made already using this tip, check them out here.

I've made a tutorial video to take you through the process of making an AVI with transparency and importing it into Muvizu. All you need to do is -

Step 1
Configure Muvizu. You need to make sure Muvizu 3D animation software is not running and then go to c:\program files\muvizu\muvizugame\config and open the file DefaultGame.ini and change the tag bStripVideoAlpha to false.

Step 2
Image editor and Virtual Dub. Make sure that you have an image editor that will allow you to save transparency within a PNG file. Microsoft paint will not allow you to save the transparency so you will need something like GIMP ( or Adobe Photoshop ( Then you will need to have the latest experimental version of Virtual Dub ( this is version 1.10.0, either of the 32bit and 64bit versions will work fine.

Step 3
Create your transparent video frames. In this example we take a screen shot of the "Axe in the head" character attachment and using Photoshop generate 24 frames of this axe spinning around 360 degrees.

Step 4
Import your video frames into Virtual Dub and then configure Virtual Dub to output the transparency within the AVI. To do this you will need to go to the Video - Colour depth option and make sure that "Decompression format" is on "Autoselect" and that "Output format to compressor/display" is on "Same as decompression format". Then you need to ensure that Virtual Dub is using the "(Uncompressed RGB/YCbCr)" codec. That's it. Save your file as an AVI and import it in to Muvizu.

There are other things you can do with this technique. In my example I've basically stop motioned the axe spinning around however, you can use other existing video - of a character walking about, for example - and using a mask or other tools remove the background to import just the characters movement. You could even film yourself on a green screen background and chroma key out the background to leave only yourself in the video to be imported, and then interact with a Muvizu character.

Hopefully this tutorial is clear and easy to follow and the technique is useful to you!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Directing cameras in Muvizu 3D - An overview

I thought I'd do a little overview video this week to explain all of the available controls for directing your cameras in Muvizu 3D animation software.

There are a lot of options to do this however, most of them take a bit of practice to get the most out of them.

To begin with you have the keyboard controls. These are WASD, Q, E, [, ], Page Up, Page Down and the arrow keys.

The W and S keys will let you move the camera forward while, the A and D keys will let you strafe your camera left or right. The Q and E keys will let you move your camera up and down respectively. Next up are the square bracket keys (that's [ and ]). These will let you roll the camera to the left and to the right. Additional to the roll you can tilt the camera up and down with the Page Up and Page Down keys and finally the arrow keys will allow you to move the camera forwards and backwards as well as rotating the camera view to the left and the right. The main difference between the forwards and backwards arrow and the W and S keys is that W and S will move your camera on the level it is at, regardless of the angle that the camera is facing whereas the forward and backwards arrow keys will let you apply the tilt angle to the forwards or backwards movement.

Next up is the mouse, you can use the left mouse button to move the camera forwards, backwards and steer to the left and right at the same time. The right mouse button allows you to rotate the camera around 360 degrees without moving it from the current position. Finally you can use both mouse buttons together to lift the camera up or down as well as strafing to the left and right.

My big tip for directing camera movement is to use the mouse wheel. If you push this forwards then the camera will start moving forward and continue to do so until you pull the mouse wheel back a little to stop the movement. The same will happen if you pull the mouse wheel backwards, the camera will automatically continue to move backwards until you push the mouse wheel forwards to stop the movement.

This is my preferred method of directing camera movement in Muvizu 3D as it allows me to set the camera moving and then all I need to focus on is using the keyboard to rotate left, or right and tilt up, down and so forth without trying to hold another key to keep the camera moving.

So what do you do when you direct cameras? Leave a comment with you top tips below!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Royalty free and commercial use audio

I've struggled for a while to find good sound effects and music that can be used on my youtube videos. There are a lot of sites out there that offer royalty free content however, they want you to buy the music or sound effects first of all. Other sites give you Creative Commons non-commercial attribution licenses. These are mostly good to use but, as the license states they do not allow for commercialisation of your video on youtube (or else where for that matter).

It's taken a long time to track these sites down but so far I have these 2 main sites as the best source of audio content online that will allow you to commercially distrabute your videos and animations on youtube. Or else where.

The first site has a lot, and I mean a lot, of music. Especially considering that it is all produced by one person (Kevin MacLeod) and the only condition on use is that the audio is listed within the video as coming from that site, by the musician and which track it was you used. The second site is a collection of sound effects. Well, the audio there is not specifically made as sound effects and a lot of it can be a bit raw as it's just a site for people to upload any and all noises to. Most of them are within context (tagged, titled, etc) to make it easy to find the type of noise that you want and you just need to register a free account to download a track. All of the sounds there are listed under the creative commons no rights reserved license, so you can download them and then edit them and include them in your own videos, animations or other works for commercial distribution without any problems.

Of course, the best way to get sound effects is to make them yourself. The music on the other hand is not as easy for those of use less musically inclined. Producing the content yourself is time consuming though.

The one site I found that was of interest as well is it's a site that lets people offer services for $5 - hence the name of the site, everything is $5 - and they have a lot of voice over artists listed there. Most of the ads say it's limited to 60 seconds which sounds ideal for my own videos as I tend to be between 2 and 5 minutes in  length and I don't think any of my characters would have more than 1 minute of dialogue in the whole video. I've not tried this yet but I will and report back here once I do.

Does anyone else know of good resources to use or what do you use or do?