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 Virtualdub HOW-TO? 
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Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:38 pm
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Location: Andøya, Norway
Post Virtualdub HOW-TO?
Hey to all and welcome to myself to this forum.

I was wondering if anyone could be so kind to write an howto guide for using virtualdub to make a movie out of image frames.
This day I have spent hours trying different things with out any luck. I own PS CS4 and have tried the different rendering options there with the image sequency export thing, but the results seems so random and it is very confusing. I dont own Premiere or any video editing tools, and i read that users here like to use virtualdub. I downloaded virtualdub but find it hard to understand.
I used to use VIPBase for this use, but it is crashing if i try to make a movie of too many frames, like 600+.

If one already is made please notify me, I didnt see that post then. If anyone have some other good tips on a freeware or cheap program that will make a movie file from image frames, please tell me. :) I want this to work so badly, especially now when i got a power adapter for my old 350D and a dedicated laptop for it..


Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:33 am
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Location: Oslo, Norway
Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
Hi Terje, and a warm welcome to the cold north!

Virtual dub is really quite a nice program if you don't want to use one of the commercial NLE. To process image sequences to time lapse movies you can do it like this:

1. File... open video file... mark file type: Image sequence, mark the first image. The images need to be numbered (img_0001.jpg, img_0002.jpg, ...). the press open.
You see then a dialog saying "scanning for images" and the number of found frames.
2. Choose under Video... the frame rate. 24-30 Hz should be fine.
3. Choose the Compression (under Video...). XviD MPEG-4 is a nice one with the standard setting.
4. Video... Filter... Add... Resize... to resize to full HD (1920x1280) or whatever you like. Tip: The width and length is with advantage a multiple of 4!
5. File... Save as avi... to process and save.

Cheers,
Michael

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Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:41 am
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:54 pm
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Location: Aars, Denmark
Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
Hello and welcome Third.

Here's a quick summary of how I use VirtualDub. It uses keyboard shortcuts, but you can of course find the corresponding commands under the menus.

1) Open VirtualDub (duh! :-))
2) Hit Ctrl+o for the open file dialog box
3) Locate the directory with your image sequence, double-click the first image. (Note: Image files have to be sequentially numbered without gaps)
4) To change frame rate (default is 29.97fps) hit Ctrl+r, choose "Change frame rate to" at the top and type in the desired frame rate.
5) To choose an output resolution, hit Ctrl+f (Filters dialogue box), click "Add..." (Add Filter dialogue box) and choose Resize. You'll probably want to choose a new size in absolute pixels at the top. Once you hit OK, the Resize filter should show in the Filters dialogue box.
6) As you could see in the Add Filter dialogue box, there are plenty of other filters you could play around with. I'd advise you to download the free MSU Deflicker. Once you put the downloaded, unzipped file within the VirtualDub plugins folder, the filter will be available from the Add Filter dialogue box. Applying it will help smooth out small exposure differences from frame to frame.
7) To choose a compression codec, hit Ctrl+p (Select video compression dialogue box). I currently use Xvid myself. To access the detailed compression settings for the codec, select it in the list and click the "configure" button. If output video suffers from compression artifacts, you'll need to adjust these settings, increasing the bitrate.
8) Hit F7 to compile the video. Once you've chosen a filename and clicked save, a status window will appear showing the progress.

Well, Michael beat me. :-) Anyway, if you get stuck just come back with questions. As you can see we are eager to help.

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Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:17 am
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Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:38 pm
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Location: Andøya, Norway
Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
Thank you both very much! I cant wait to get home to try this out. Also like the posting of shortcuts, I like to use those. :)
Seems like virtualdub is the favourite app, eh? I have been needing something like this for so long.
Appriciate the help :)


Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:34 am
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Location: Oslo, Norway
Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
Yes Poul, but I am also 9 hours advanced :-)

I actually use Premiere Elements, the poor man's solution. Editing is much easier with that than with Virtual Dub!

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Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:19 am
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
I managed to make movies with virtualdub and it seems like an awesome program.

But im still wondering about encoding the videos properly.

I played around with ffdshows 264 encoder, to get some nice quality high definition movie, so I can get it in HD-quality on youtube and vimeo. Ive never had issues with vimeo but on youtube i get an annoying loading animation on top of my movie, and it is a bit stuttering. It may be some youtube issue, ive asked in their forum, but it also be that im coding the movies wrong. I tried both to have the movie coded with ffdshow h264, and i tried to make a non compressed movie, then encode it with mencoder manually after, but i still get that annoying loading thing.

This is an example with one of my movies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps908L8hj7s&feature=hd

Anyone else have this problem and/or have an solution?


Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:28 am
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:25 pm
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
I get the same problem, also with it stopping 1sec into playing back until the file completely loads, then skips through the file at 3x speed. I don't understand why those loading problems and the stuttering loading icon appear either. I also encode in h264 for HD.


Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:42 am
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
Have you tried xvid? It can also do hd.

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Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:54 am
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
No, I use Adobe Premier Elements to watermark it and it does not support AVI output for some reason. If it did, it would not only make more sense but make life a lot easier haha.


Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:00 pm
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
Michael wrote:
Have you tried xvid? It can also do hd.

XVID worked like a charm. And so does virtualdub with that deflicker plugin! So nice, Im happy now :)
Today Im trying out my newly bought power adapter for my old Canon 350D for the first time. Its standing in my classroom taking one pic per minute outside. Will be interesting to see it tomorrow. Thanks again :)


Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:04 pm
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
Michael wrote:
Yes Poul, but I am also 9 hours advanced :-)

I actually use Premiere Elements, the poor man's solution. Editing is much easier with that than with Virtual Dub!

Actually 10 hours - Alaska has its own time zone. ;-)

Editing capabilities are indeed limited with VirtualDub, but that's somewhat the beauty of it too - it is small, simple and extremely efficient when all you want to do is to make videos of your stills. The first thing I do after downloading new footage to my laptop is to pop it into VD and compile it for a quick preview.

That reminds me of a useful trick: If you end up using the same settings for resolution, compression etc. often, you can save those settings in a file (hit Ctrl+s once you've adjusted the output settings as desired). Then all you have to do is open VD, load the footage (Ctrl+o), load the configuration file (Ctrl+L), export (F7) and your video is on its way.

As for the YouTube/Vimeo playback issues I can only confirm that the HD videos I've compiled with VirtualDub and encoded with Xvid play back fine in HD on either site.

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Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:02 pm
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
Since I'm referring to this thread a lot I'd like to add that by now I'd generally recommend the Graft deflicker filter over MSU. The MSU filter tends to reduce the contrast, occasionally quite drastically in case of abrupt changes in the scene. On the other hand Graft has an issue with ghosting which can be particularly visible for some cloud scenes. Lower the "Softening" parameter value for the filter to reduce these artifacts.

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Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:31 am
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
flyvhome, thanks for the update on your currently recommending Graft over MSU.

This* webpage give a convincing argument contrary to your observations showing how they feel it is the better option. But I'm interested in what you've found regarding reduced contrast because the early 1900's b&w sample they use isn't a good example for current time lapse video conditions. Can you show us or tell us more about what you've learned.

Also, MSU Deflicker has three processing types. The first one (which I assume is the simplest/fastest because the next is 'normal' and the last 'best') is "Mean brightnes (like Deflick by D. Graft)" -- that is exactly how it's written with the parenthesis.

Have you tried using this processing type with MSU Deflicker and is the claim it gives results like Graft true? Would you now recommend using MSU Deflicker with this processing type as much as using Graft?


Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:45 pm
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
I have no idea if this is any good, but it seems like a very thorough step by step guide (Virtualdub and other stuff)

http://www.setvak.cz/timelapse/timelapse-movie-guide.pdf

Lots of other info on his site, and being a meteorologist he can actually name all those cloud formations that we time-lapse...

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Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:15 pm
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
thanks for getting that posted Michael and flyvholm ... almost forgot about following up on that topic... well back to the salt mines and happy new year to all...
30'
55'
and 73'
kd7

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Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:03 am
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
I know this is late to the game, but have you tried just using Quicktime Pro? It has an import function for image sequences that can then be exported into any movie file for Mac or PC. I use it often and it's rather straightforward.


Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:03 pm
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
Kinda of a bump, but this is my first time making a timelapse (just a simple one of the clouds)
But the picture aspect ratio is 3:2, and using the resize tool in VirtualDub I can't seem to crop the image, just stretch it to 16:9...
Anything I am doing wrong, I guess I just didn't find the correct tool.


Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:00 am
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
Yeah, the way to do that isn't the most obvious. In the resize filter dialogue box, set your desired resolution in absolute pixels, disable aspect ratio and click ok. Then, back in the "Filters" dialogue box choose the resize filter you just added and click the "Cropping..." button on the right to do the cropping to the format you want.

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Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:30 am
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
Still isn't working perfectly;
When I load the picture batch into Virtualdub, it seems to crop and stretch the image right away...
When I select the crop, I can only see about 1/4th of the original picture I took, so that sucks quite badly...


Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:07 am
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
If you added filters previously, those settings remain when you open up new footage, but if you hit Ctrl+f and the filter dialogue box shows up empty there should be no cropping/stretching going on. As for the cropping, try downloading the latest version. Older versions didn't resize the image, but that has been fixed in newer versions so you can see the whole image when cropping.

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Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:57 pm
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
A downside to VirtualDub (at least for some) that I have neglected to mention is that it only exports videos to AVI. But a new feature (introduced with version 1.10.0 which is still 'beta' as of writing) allows using an external encoder. That means you can now export to Matroska and MP4 containers. Furthermore you can use 64-bit encoders even though you're using the 32-bit version of VirtualDub (which is necessary to make use of filters like deflicker, deshaker etc.). You need to do a little prep work to set it up. Here's what you need to do for ability to export MP4 files using x264 codec, optionally with sound in AAC format:

    1) Download x264 encoder (video), Nero AAC Codec (audio) and MP4Box (multiplexer to combine video/audio).

    2) Download a configuration file (right click, save as) with basic settings for external encoding . To import this in VirtualDub, go to "Options -> External encoders..." and click the "Import..." button in the dialogue box. After importing, select the "Encoders" tab at the top, select the "MP4Box" entry, click "Edit..." button and make sure the box for "Delete output file..." at bottom is checked (a bug prevented this setting from being saved to the config file). Also note that this is where you specify the paths for your external encoders. In the config file the locations are set to C:\Program Files\VirtualDub\encoders\, subfolders x264, NeroAAC and MP4Box respectively.

Having done this you can now export your videos in MP4 format via "File -> Export -> Using external encoder...". You should see two options; one for video only and one for video + audio. If you want to look into other encoder tools and configuration options visit this thread.

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Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:44 am
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
On request I've updated the configuration file for external encoding to include options for 2-pass encoding with x264. I updated to VirtualDub 1.10.1 (still experimental), and here are updated instructions on how to use the configuration file... it is assumed that you have installed VirtualDub, x264, Nero and MP4Box already (see above post for links). It's a lot of text, sorry, but it's actually a fairly quick and easy setup. Some day I'll get around to doing video tutorials. ;-)

    1) Download the new configuration file from here (right click, save as).
    2) In VirtualDub, go to "Options -> External encoders..." and click the "Import..." button in the dialogue box. Select the downloaded file.
    3) Select "Encoders" tab at top, select "MP4Box" in list, click "Edit..." and check box "Delete output file..." (VirtualDub didn't save this setting in the config file :-|).
    4) For each encoder profile in the list correct the program path for x264/Nero/MP4Box if needed (click "Edit...", correct the "Program" entry).
    5) Exit dialogue box, import footage/audio.
    6a) If doing 1-pass go to "File -> Export -> Using external encoder..." and choose the appropriate non-2-pass option (with or without audio).
    6b) If doing 2-pass go to "File -> Queue batch operation -> Export using external encoder...", choose "MP4 2-pass pass 1" and click ok. Specify your output name. This file is actually not written to and will be empty after the 1st pass (the statistics needed for the 2nd pass is saved in a log file in your VirtualDub root folder), but if you give it the same name as the final output this empty file will just be overwritten in the 2nd pass. Then repeat "File -> Queue batch operation -> Export using external encoder..." and now choose "MP4 2-pass pass 2" (with or without audio). Specify the output video file, click "Save" and the 2nd pass is added to the job list. To execute the job list, go to "File -> Job control..." (or just hit F4) and you should see the 1st and 2nd pass in the jobs list. Click Start and hopefully no errors will happen. :-) (Otherwise, hit F8 to check the log for error messages.)

Note that for 2-pass encoding a bitrate is specified - in the configuration file it has been set to 5000kbps (the Vimeo recommendation for HD content). You may well want to add other output modules with different bitrates to fit your purposes. Here's how to do that:

    1) Go to "Options -> External encoders...", click "Encoders" tab at top.
    2) Select a "5mbps" profile, click "Duplicate" and you'll get a new profile. Name appropriately, click "Edit..." and specify the desired bitrate under "Command arguments". Duplicate the profiles for the 2nd pass too, the bitrate must be the same for the 1st and 2nd pass.
    3) Now select "Encoder sets" tab at top. Again, select a "5mbps" entry, hit "Duplicate", name appropriately, go to "Edit..." and select your new encoder profile in the drop-down menu for the video encoder. Do this for both 1st and 2nd pass. Your new encoder sets with different bitrates should now appear in the dialogue box when exporting (step 6b above).

I hope that will be useful for a few people. :-)

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Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:49 am
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Post Re: Virtualdub HOW-TO?
Getting a "No audio decompressor could be found to decompress the source audio format (source format tag: 00ff)" when using source .mp4 files. Trying to build-in the subtitles.
It works fine with .avi files tho.

Any way how to fix this problem?


Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:06 am
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