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Video & Layout Updates Incoming

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TomFulp
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Important Announcements

1) Whirlguy is looking for Voice Actors, Musicians and Sound Designers to be part of an audio drama to celebrate the Audio Portal's 15th Anniversary!

2) Today is the deadline for our Pit People Art Contest.

3) Eleven days remain to make something for our Construct 3 Game Jam! The theme is "You are not the main character." If you feel like you've waited too long, think of it like a game jam with 11 days instead of 48 hours. You can do this!

4) Pico Day is May 5th and you can celebrate by making any sort of content about your favorite things on NG. There are cash prizes!

5) If you're a history buff, I've been updating the NG History page. I still have a lot to do but the past 8 years are more fleshed out.

6) We're gonna do a big series of Animation Jams this summer, prepare yourself!

7) SirLenward is hosting a Super Mario RPG Rawest Forest Reanimate Collab! Animators, check this out!

8) Become a supporter! Everything here depends on it.

News

As you can see by the site skin, we've got an NG in Space theme going this month, where we've been premiering new episodes of your favorite space-themed shows on NG. It hasn't gone exactly as planned; the timing hasn't worked out for a new Shooting Stars and the next Starbarians has been delayed a few weeks due to @HappyHarry putting TOO MUCH love into everything he does, which always ends up being a good thing for the rest of us.

We have premiered a new Space James and Captain Tardigrade, though! I've got a story about that one...

Anyone who was following closely was expecting the new Captain Tardigrade to release on Saturday and it was ready to go at 11am. However this episode has some insane full-screen fire animation and when it ran through our encoder, the visuals got REALLY BAD. Artifacts everywhere, it was completely unacceptable. I ended up manually encoding the episode for our three resolutions and having @liljim replace the ones created by our encoder. The end result looks great and appears to be streaming fine for everyone.

The experience made us realize it was time to update our encoding server. @BrenTheMan commissioned a new, faster server and has gotten it set up with all the latest software. We used Captain Tardigrade as our benchmark and tinkered until we got the right balance between visuals and performance. My one fear is that our larger video files will buffer more for low-end users but if you haven't had a problem watching the new Captain Tardigrade, you should be fine.

Here's an example of how our new server handles the most disastrous scene in this episode. I actually paid the $12 for one month of Vimeo Plus (necessary to upload more than 500 megs) just to compare outputs. Here's a 1080p comparison as well. Vimeo generally looks great but these fire scenes are a menace to compression.

The new encoding server hasn't gone live just yet but we're excited for the results when it does! NG might technically have the best quality of all the big sites and we're preparing to handle 4K as well. After new user pages launch with the new site header, I hope to break our video player out of the boxy layout and have it default to 720p dimensions (1280x720). Here's an example using a new 720p encoding of Cream, you'll have to download that pic to view full size since Dump is boxed in at the moment.

UPDATE: The new encoder IS LIVE! This doesn't apply to existing videos but anything submitted after 4PM EST today will have run through it. Quality will vary based on the source file but we did run Cream through it if you want to take a gander at that. Here are some Movie Standards you can look at if you're curious about providing good source files.

As far as what else to expect, our next update tackles user pages, site header and usability improvements in the feed. The header you see in that Cream screenshot is actually a functional header on our staging environment. We're just about there! Here's another screenshot from our staging environment:

Video & Layout Updates Incoming


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Mistarooni
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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 07:36:55 Reply

that screenshot looks pretty damn cool, Tom!

squidly
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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 07:37:56 Reply

Honestly having the best encoder around paired with a more streamlined video page would mean that this quickly becomes the best place to upload your animations.


Good.

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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 08:09:28 Reply

At 3/28/18 07:27 AM, TomFulp wrote: Important Announcements

1) Whirlguy is looking for Voice Actors, Musicians and Sound Designers to be part of an audio drama to celebrate the Audio Portal's 15th Anniversary!

cool, I'll check it out.

4) Pico Day is May 5th and you can celebrate by making any sort of content about your favorite things on NG. There are cash prizes!

This is going to be easy. So many good things...

5) If you're a history buff, I've been updating the NG History page. I still have a lot to do but the past 8 years are more fleshed out.

YES


The new encoding server hasn't gone live just yet but we're excited for the results when it does! NG might technically have the best quality of all the big sites and we're setting up to handle 4K as well. After new user pages launch with the new site header, I hope to break our video player out of the boxy layout and have it default to 720p dimensions (1280x720). Here's an example using a new 720p encoding of Cream, you'll have to download that pic to view full size since Dump is boxed in at the moment.

That's awesome that we may have the best quality. More popularity for NG, which could lead to more supporters, which could lead to oh wait we already used like 4 news posts to talk about this...

As far as what else to expect, our next update tackles user pages, site header and usability improvements in the feed. The header you see in that Cream screenshot is actually a functional header on our staging environment. We're just about there!

Excited!


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kungfuspacebarbarian
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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 09:40:03 Reply

I've been checking out some of Harry's live stream videos on YouTube the past couple weeks. It takes a long time but he's super precise and his work looks fantastic. I can't wait for the new Starbarians episode :D

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At 3/28/18 07:27 AM, TomFulp wrote: 1-5)

So much going on!

...actually paid the $12 for one month of Vimeo Plus

Just hope it's not stuff like this all hard-earned Supporter money is going to. :P

Here's a 1080p comparison as well.

Looks awesome and...

The new encoding server hasn't gone live just yet but we're excited for the results when it does! NG might technically have the best quality of all the big sites and we're setting up to handle 4K as well.

...like something for the history pages. :D Gotta showcase that feature somewhere. 4K too. Also wondering if if'd bring in some more financial aid was it marked as Supporter only... and it seems like one of those features those with money to spare would be most interested in. Lower/normal hardware: no chance to run it anyway.

Any thoughts on how 4K will impact hosting costs, and this encoding change impact filesizes overall? The more high-res it gets the more I miss Flash; the crispest possible quality all in a minimal amount of MB...

Awesome news, anyway. Hyped about all these changes, and looking forward to what remains of the Space Jam!

Notice the numbers on the monthly target are gone now too. Definitely reduces the impression of an impossible goal, though it was kinda interesting knowing the costs, transparency and all...
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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 10:28:41 Reply

At 3/28/18 09:55 AM, Cyberdevil wrote: Any thoughts on how 4K will impact hosting costs, and this encoding change impact filesizes overall? The more high-res it gets the more I miss Flash; the crispest possible quality all in a minimal amount of MB...

Bren built a new storage system last year and we have room to spare for the moment. Most artists shouldn't need 4K in the near future so I'm thinking it won't get a ton of use for a while. We're looking at possibly generating VP9 versions of existing content and serving that to users who support it. VP9 is a better compression format than H.264 but isn't as widely adopted. There's also H.265 but that's even less adopted (licensing fees for hardware manufacturers) and VP9 is looking like a stronger bet at the moment. In a perfect world, everything will move to a better / smaller compression format and some day we can delete the heavier H.264 files.

Notice the numbers on the monthly target are gone now too. Definitely reduces the impression of an impossible goal, though it was kinda interesting knowing the costs, transparency and all...

I posted about that in the supporter forum this morning. We're gonna add a daily progress bar to compliment the monthly, too. NG was the only site showing a dollar goal and it was time to try something different.


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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 11:06:22 Reply

Im a Newgrounds History weeb so that update is much more exciting than this dweeb nerd encoder stuff


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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 11:56:38 Reply

Thanks for the plug Tom! Also, considering the wiki...

This year was off to a bumpy start due to some mysterious performance issues, which ended up being due to an HTTPS-related bottlebeck. In the process of discovering the root cause, we actually spent a month heavily optimizing various parts of the site. The end result was NG running REALLY WELL, so it was time well-spent.

Just wondering if that was related to the choppy scrolling on PC when visiting the mobile friendly pages. After all, the issue does seem to have disappeared! That's awesome. Who do we thank for this?


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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 13:06:07 Reply

Some real exciting stuff coming up! Will miss the old design but the new one looks great!

Really hope work will stay mild through this summer so I can partake in the Jams. The 2016 summer Jam was some of the most fun I had making stuff!

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4k video support please.

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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 14:19:43 Reply

Screenshot looks really stylish Tom!


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Looks amazing! I can't wait!
Though I am curious, are the level badges going away?

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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 15:14:54 Reply

At 3/28/18 03:11 PM, VikingDave wrote: Looks amazing! I can't wait!
Though I am curious, are the level badges going away?

Nope, I just cropped them out. They are just below in the left column.


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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 15:28:01 Reply

Thanks Tom for the shout out! Means a lot!


The Rawest Forest Reanimated Collab!

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At 3/28/18 07:27 AM, TomFulp wrote: Important Announcements

Alright....so @TomFulp, I was browsing the new updated history, and then I hit 2016....to think I could ever make NG history and submit an idea that would become one of your favorite holidays on Newgrounds...I'm literally crying right now...I can't tell you how overjoyed I am right now. :) Thank you so much...for making this grown man cry lmao.

Also, the update to the layout...holy hell. That is perfect. That is how you reboot a site :) this looks amazing! Also, the fact you're going to be supporting 4K, definitely competitive, having the best encoding quality is a plus. Proud of you man, keep doing what you do on Newgrounds. You're doing a great job!

Video & Layout Updates Incoming

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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 16:49:50 Reply

I need a screenshot like that right now. lol
Well, with all my info of course. Very nice.


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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 16:54:17 Reply

That profile pic though....


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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 16:58:11 Reply

At 3/28/18 04:54 PM, BraydogNG wrote: That profile pic though....

Representin'


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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 17:07:26 Reply

Really looking forward to Pico Day coming up soon. There should be some greats entries this year. :)


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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 18:30:14 Reply

I'm getting Twitter vibes from that new user page screenshot -- not to say it's a bad thing


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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 18:32:05 Reply

I was wondering how the fire scenes looked so good! Here's the answer. Congrats on pulling this off so quickly and flawlessly!

Also good work on promoting the site the past few weeks!

My opinion: No hurry with 4K.


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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-28 20:45:29 Reply

It's beautiful 😍

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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-29 00:06:09 Reply

Some nice news and nice changes love all that's comming up that's what I love about this site always something to look forward to

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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-29 03:31:52 Reply

At 3/28/18 07:27 AM, TomFulp wrote: Here's an example of how our new server handles the most disastrous scene in this episode. I actually paid the $12 for one month of Vimeo Plus (necessary to upload more than 500 megs) just to compare outputs. Here's a 1080p comparison as well. Vimeo generally looks great but these fire scenes are a menace to compression.

maybe it's just me but that looks like it'd render very, very clearly in flash or some vector-based format


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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-29 06:39:51 Reply

Loving the look of the new pages.
Awesome news about 4k Rez as well. Can't believe I'd live long enough to see h.264 become out dated.. bring that Vp.9 or whatever!

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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-29 07:12:41 Reply

At 3/28/18 07:24 PM, CalmBound wrote: Looks like NG is headed for digital future. Looking forward to the changes.
Although, will there be more level badges? (some with different designs?) And will there be the return of the NewGrounds Store, and the expansion of the NG offices? (with the help of supporters?) :)

No plans on level badges in the near future, any store stuff in the near future will be via SharkRobot and no plans to expand the offices right now. Current supporter goal is to cover our costs and sponsor more artists, long-term is to build it into the rev-share system and not have anyone worry about ads ever again.


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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-29 07:12:45 Reply

At 3/28/18 07:27 AM, TomFulp wrote: 5) If you're a history buff, I've been updating the NG History page. I still have a lot to do but the past 8 years are more fleshed out.

Reading that was a nice way to start my morning. Thank you for finally filling that in! Your work ethic and dedication to the site and community is inspiring. It's so obvious how much you care and want this community to succeed and last--and it has, really; it's great that Newgrounds is still around despite the rough patches, still providing a good, welcoming space for sharing creative work.


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Response to Video & Layout Updates Incoming 2018-03-29 07:16:49 Reply

At 3/29/18 03:31 AM, Gimmick wrote:
At 3/28/18 07:27 AM, TomFulp wrote: Here's an example of how our new server handles the most disastrous scene in this episode. I actually paid the $12 for one month of Vimeo Plus (necessary to upload more than 500 megs) just to compare outputs. Here's a 1080p comparison as well. Vimeo generally looks great but these fire scenes are a menace to compression.
maybe it's just me but that looks like it'd render very, very clearly in flash or some vector-based format

Yeah but this is "the future!"

Jokes aside, there's a good chance a full-vector version of the episode would never exist, since it has post-processing effects.


Nightmare Cops, the game JohnnyUtah, Spazkid and I have been working on.

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