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Virtualdub and file compatibility


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#1 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 01:32 AM

Ive just tried importing some GoPro video files into Virtualdub and to my surprise, the software does not recognise the file type. I also tried opening some MPEG 2 (m2t) files and some MOV files and Virtual Dub couldn't open those either. Ive discovered what appears to be a really useful plugin for Virtualdub which removes distractions from footage (like this annoying dark spot that keeps appearing in my GoPro footage.) As most people know, GoPros record MP4 files. What kind of file type would I have to convert the MP4 videos to in order for VD to open the files? And would there be any software that someone could recommend that could do the conversion without quality loss?


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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 05:52 AM

VirtualDub is still a handy tool sometimes, but it does work mainly with AVIs (it has the ability to read MPEG-1, too, but that isn't very useful these days).

 

If you absolutely must use a filter that's only available for it, about all you can do is to convert it to an uncompressed AVI using something like ffmpeg. The AVI wil be large, but it'll work. If it's a long sequence - a complete feature, or something - the storage space may become a bit impractical, but it's OK for short clips. Then you have to figure out something to transcode it back into for editing, unless your machine can handle the uncompressed stuff. ProRes is traditional.

 

But do look at things like ffmpeg, which have much wider file compatibility. There's no user interface, so you can't see what you're doing as well, but it's very capable.

 

P


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#3 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 07:06 AM

VirtualDub is still a handy tool sometimes, but it does work mainly with AVIs (it has the ability to read MPEG-1, too, but that isn't very useful these days).

 

If you absolutely must use a filter that's only available for it, about all you can do is to convert it to an uncompressed AVI using something like ffmpeg. The AVI wil be large, but it'll work. If it's a long sequence - a complete feature, or something - the storage space may become a bit impractical, but it's OK for short clips. Then you have to figure out something to transcode it back into for editing, unless your machine can handle the uncompressed stuff. ProRes is traditional.

 

But do look at things like ffmpeg, which have much wider file compatibility. There's no user interface, so you can't see what you're doing as well, but it's very capable.

 

P

 

Ffmpeg? Thanks for the suggestion. Yea I notice that Virtualdub really likes AVIs. It's a very long stretch of footage that needs to be converted but it will be cut into several short clips. I wish I could cut the footage with my main NLE program (before importing into ffmpeg) but I guess the quality would suffer from the extra rendering. Then again, it's underwater footage and the clarity is not going to be quite as good as land footage and I guess viewers would expect that. After compiling time lapse clips with VD, Ive never had any issues bringing the finished AVIs into my NLE.


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#4 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 03:01 AM

Ive downloaded ffmpeg but can't work out how to open the program. I extracted all the downloaded contents into a folder but I cannot see any .exe file. I do see a bunch of random folders with names like compat, doc, libavcodec, libavdevice etc. I'm pretty lost.


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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 05:51 AM

Did you get the source code or an executable binary?

 

Anyway, I tend to get ffmpeg Windows builds at http://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/

 

Naturally, get the 64 bit version if you're running a 64-bit OS. This will include an ffmpeg.exe but it's still a commandline program, so you'll probably need to look at a few examples. There are graphical front-ends for it, but the commandline version gives you all the options.

 

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#6 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 08:47 AM

I managed to extract an .exe file from the link you provided. Strange thing is I can't open it. Well it does open but very briefly. I double click on the .exe file and I see a small black screen with white text appear for about half a second. Right-clicking on 'Open' has the same effect. Btw, would any of the graphical interface options allow conversion to avi? Cos that's all I want.


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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 09:07 AM

Yes, that's because it's a command line application. You need to put it somewhere you can access it from a command line.

 

Let's say you have a video storage drive d: and input file d:\input.mov. Let's say you want to create d:\output.avi

 

Note that you can drag files into a command prompt to avoid having to type their whole path out - try it, you'll see what I mean.

 

If you ffmpeg.exe in, say, c:\ (which you will be asked for administrator approval to do), and open a command prompt, you can then type something like:

 

c:\ffmpeg -i d:\input.mov -c:v rawvideo -pix_fmt yuv420p -c:a pcm_s16le d:\output.avi

 

This will get you an uncompressed component-ish AVI with uncompressed 16-bit stereo sound. It will be very very big.

 

Doing it this way is useful because you can make up a text file with a whole load of those commands it in and run them, converting a whole bunch of videos all at once.

 

Google around for lots (and lots and lots) of more things you can do with ffmpeg.

 

P


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#8 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 10:04 AM

Oh man, that reminds me of learning how to use computers back in the 80s. All that code seemed like a complex, mysterious and alien language to me. I was so thankful for the invention of Windows and the mouse in later years - that made computers so much easier to use.


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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 11:02 AM

Ha.

 

For the sake of completeness:

 

Use the ffmpeg executable:

c:\ffmpeg

...to read the input file:

-i d:\input.mov

...and convert the video codec to uncompressed:

-c:v rawvideo

The image is stored in 8-bit 4:2:0 progressive format:

-pix_fmt yuv420p

Audio is stored as pulse code modulated stereo 16-bit little-endian samples:

-c:a pcm_s16le

...in the output file: 

d:\output.avi

Thus:

c:\ffmpeg -i d:\input.mov -c:v rawvideo -pix_fmt yuv420p -c:a pcm_s16le d:\output.avi

 

You could try something like this, but I've never used it. The command line approach is a bit fiddly but it is very capable and comprehensive; you can do all kinds of things by adding more and different options, right up to creating ProRes quicktimes.

 

P


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#10 Freya Black

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 12:26 PM

I recomend MPEG streamclip which I think is FFMpeg based but has a user interface that is easy to use.

 

Sadly the Windows version doesn't work as well as the mac version as it's a bit quicktime based but it's still worth looking at and is free.

 

Freya


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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 12:44 PM

I do much like MPEGStreamclip.


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#12 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 06:29 AM

I do use MPEG Streamclip. It's good for creating MOV files. I do note that it has an option for creating avi files but for some strange reason, that capability does not work. I either end up with a blank file or a file that plays back audio but no video.


Edited by Patrick Cooper, 19 January 2016 - 06:29 AM.

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#13 Freya Black

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 11:34 AM

The old Blackmagic codec is available for both quicktime and .avi I think?


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#14 Keith Walters

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 07:00 PM

SUPER from eRightSoft  is more or less a windows front-end for FFMPEG. It will convert just about anything to anything at any frame rate and resolution.

 

It's also completely free, HOWEVER  you can only get it from an insanely convoluted website that's full of misleading "Download Now" buttons, that are actually for other crap that you aren't interested in, and if you're not careful with what you click, will install unwanted toolbars and other rubbish.

 

And no, you can't make a hyperlink to the actual SUPER download button when you eventually get to it, that still takes you back through the same "ski slope". Basically the first few  times you find a button that is actually related to SUPER, it just takes you on to another SUPER brag screen full of more misleading links to dodgy sites.

___________________________________________________________________________

Edited to add:

Hang on, maybe you can:

Try this link:

http://zlexopalvim.g...?SUPERsetup.exe

It never used to work, but maybe they've changed it. It should just start downloading an exe file.

____________________________________________________________________________

 

Eventually, when you make it to the end, it does download normally. Just don't click anything that says "Advertisement"!! Some of the buttons have names that sound like "Super" but aren't...

But I think the only people who persevere that far  are the ones who have actually used it before and found it useful.

 

I would have given up on it  long time ago, except that it's the only product I know that can cope with some of the weirdo video formats that come out of domestic video cameras these days.

 

The odd thing is, once you DO manage to get it installed, it works really well, and there's no sign of any software shenanigans running in the background. Its only other vice is that it wants to do an automatic update check each time you fire it up, and if it finds there is an update, your current version stops working until you upgrade. Which gets you back to square 1.

 

There's no option to disable that, but even more bizarrely, they actually tell you how to prevent this, by setting the windows firewall to prevent  SUPER automatically  accessing the internet. Once you do that, it seems to run happily. To do that you have to add it to the windows firewall, then disable it, but they give you all the details of how to do that!

 

What I'd suggest is that you load it on an old PC that you don't particularly care about or a virtual machine. Once you've got the installer file itself, you can freely use that on other machines. I've run it by a number of virus checkers, and sound nothing suspicious.

 

Incidentally, if you ever do manage to get a Trojan accidentally installed, I can thoroughly recommend a program called unHackMe
http://greatis.com/unhackme/

His website looks a trifle dodgy, but it's 100% genuine. The trial version is fully  functional but the automated features only work for 30 days unless you upgrade. In most cases the free option will get you out of trouble, and I've used it quite a few times on various computers (including one of my own)


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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 08:21 PM

I do use MPEG Streamclip. It's good for creating MOV files. I do note that it has an option for creating avi files but for some strange reason, that capability does not work. I either end up with a blank file or a file that plays back audio but no video.

 

What I suspect is happening there is that you're creating AVI files which are probably fine, but the software you're trying to read them in doesn't know how. With sufficiently flexible software it's possible to create almost anything - you can create ProRes AVIs, and Quicktime will play them, or at least it used to.

 

I would suggest getting hold of VLC Media Player, which will handle more or less anything and has some useful diagnostic and engineering options. It operates essentially like any other media player, but it's very capable.

 

P


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#16 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 12:35 AM

I already have VLC but did not play those particular avi files (created with MPEG Streamclip) with that. Regardless, VirtualDub could not recognise the files. In the meantime I have found another option - a website that does the conversion online.


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