As a new Blender user I am benefiting enormously from all of the excellent video tutorials that artists have been gracious enough to create and make available to everyone. I thought I’d post some tips regarding what I do to tailor the playback speed and easily pause\restart playback to make the tutorials easier to follow. I use Windows but I would guess that these suggestions can be adapted to any OS.
I use a browser plugin named “Flash Video Downloader” to download the tutorial videos to my local machine. Although it has “Flash” in the name, I haven’t yet encountered a file type that it won’t download. The plugin is available for most browsers from the following location: http://www.flashvideodownloader.org/
I use the VLC media player to playback the downloaded videos. It will play just about any file format without the need to add any additional codecs. It is available for most operating systems at http://www.videolan.org. The really useful feature of VLC is that it has a feature that can adjust the playback speed of the video from really slow to very fast without radically distorting the audio so you can still understand what the person is saying (but it does make them sound very, very laid-back). Just navigate to the playback menu and select either slower(fine) or faster(fine): each time you click the button it further incrementally decreases or increases the playback speed. During playback, simply pressing the space key will pause and restart playback.
I use a small utility named “MouseActivate” from Skrommel at http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Skrommel/MouseActivate/MouseActivate.exe which enables me to set the focus on the window under the mouse without the need to click the mouse button. That way I can easily mouse over the VLC window, press the spacebar to pause the video, and then move the mouse back over Blender to use the application . . . all with out needing to click the different application windows to change focus. Double-clicking the application’s tray icon will enable\disable it.
These tips enable me to effortlessly follow along with any video tutorial by tailoring it to my current experience level. Hope it helps you too.
After reading Kriosym’s great tip I looked at the VLC options and saw that you can actually set a global hotkey that will enable you to pause the tutorial without moving focus from the Blender application window.
- Navigate to Tools, Preferences, HotKeys
- Under the Global column, double-click the value in the Play/Pause row
- Press the key or key combination you want (I used the spacebar)
- Click Apply
- Click Save
You will have to quit and restart VLC for the new assignments to be effective.
To unset/clear a global hotkey: Proceed as if you wanted to set a new key, but press the pause/break key.
This eliminates the need for the MouseActivate application noted above.