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So You Want To VirtualDub... - tranquility... best achieved in chaos
So You Want To VirtualDub...
For nyuszi and roothekittykat who I want to encourage in the making of very pretty things. ;)

How to use VirtualDubMod to save a clip from an episode for use in a video editing program (for music vids).
The free download can be found at http://www.doom9.org/

Get The Video File:

File --> open video file

For our purposes, I will grab stargate_atlantis.2x09.aurora.xvid-umd.avi

And then, popup: it tells me that a VBR audio stream was detected. This basically means, as far as I can tell, that the audio is not going to be in sync with the clip. There are ways to fix this, but since we’re just after silent clips, click no.

A is your scroll bar. By dragging it to the left or right you can skim your way through the entire episode. Also helpful are the arrow keys on your keyboard which allow you to step frame by frame.

B allows you to jump through the episode by keyframes (a special-purpose marker that denotes the instantaneous state of the value of an applied effect parameter. Or basically, whenever there is a new shot).

Get The Specific Clip:

Okay, let’s say we want to just get the scene where Elizabeth has her flirty moment with Shep aboard the Daedalus.

Scroll, keyframe jump or frame-by-frame the episode until you find the beginning of the clip you want. Personally I don’t like clips where the camera angle changes back and forth a lot, so scrolling with keyframes helps me pinpoint every new shot. It also jumps me to the first frame of each shot so I don’t have to go frame-by-frame very much. All right, I’m going with C - Frame 4829 (0:03:21:410). The [K] following it denotes that it is a keyframe.

Now I can delete the beginning of the episode up to this point.

D and E are markers that let you capture parts of the file (similar to the way you can highlight text on Word). D sets the beginning and E the end. What we are going to do is make our way highlighting things we don’t want and deleting them so in the end all that’s left is the clip we do want.

So, click E and you will notice a little black arrow appear under your trackbar. Now scroll all the way back to the beginning of the episode (to frame 0) and click D. A second black arrow will appear, and the space between them should be highlighted grey. Press the delete button on your keyboard (or edit --> cut), and frame 0 should now be the beginning of the clip we chose.

It’s the same process for the ending of the clip.

Scroll your way to the frame you want this clip to end on. For me it’s Frame 130 (0:00:05:422). Click D to mark the beginning of the section you want to delete, then scroll to the very end of the episode and click E, then delete!

How To Save:

Since we don’t need sound, we can tell the program not to save the clip with sound (it will drastically reduce your file size).

1. Go to Streams --> Stream list

2. Your avi audio stream will be there. Click disable (it will cross out your audio), then ok.

Depending on what movie editing program you’ll be using (and the ability of your computer), you can either compress this video clip or not. Quality is important to me, especially with action or fast paced vids, so I tend to save my clips uncompressed. This takes up a huge amount of space on my computer, however, so it’s not an option I recommend. So, to compress:

Video --> Compression

If you have a lot of codecs on your computer, you’ll have a lot of compression options. I like DivX except it puts that little DivX symbol in the bottom right corner on my clip and that bugs me (sol_se has a tutorial on how to get rid of the divx symbol! yay!). XviD tends to cause errors (still don’t know why, it might just be a bad install on my part) (melibabe informs me that changing the .avi extension to .mpg does wonders! whee!). I really love Microsoft MPEG-4 Video Codec V2, and it was perfect for Windows Movie Maker, but Adobe Premier Pro doesn’t like it (sometimes the clips take on a bizarre pixel-y and green tint).

So this is where you just have to try different ones to figure out what will a) work on your movie editing program, and b) create a file size that’s manageable. And if you feel up to experimentation, you can also configure a codec to more precise specifications.

Anyway, once you’ve got your compression...

File --> Save As

Find the folder you want this clip to be stored in, and then save! Now you have a handy little .avi file that can be opened directly in your movie editing program without having to import the entire episode.


21 whispers :: tell me a secret
mspooh From: mspooh Date: October 5th, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're such a geek. :P

And I hate that Adobe and MPEG4 aren't fully compatible. Stupid Premiere would also make all my clips jumpy. Grr.
melibabe From: melibabe Date: October 5th, 2005 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've found that if I change the extension on my Xvid files from .avi to .mpg they work pretty well in Adobe. Not sure it's a smart thing to do, but it hasn't caused any errors so far.
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: October 5th, 2005 08:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Really? Ooh, interesting. I'd rather confuse my computer a bit than take up the MOTHERLODE of space these uncompressed clips do. ;)
melibabe From: melibabe Date: October 5th, 2005 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yup, the only reason I even tried it was because Xvid is essentially an MPEG-4 format. The fact that Adobe then seems to deal with them fine (and WMP still plays them properly) makes me think it's a problem within PPr rather than a problem with the codec being non-compliant. Hmmmm.
mspooh From: mspooh Date: October 5th, 2005 09:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aha. I was scared about doing that, but if you haven't run into any problems with it, then I think I'll give it a try. *crosses fingers* :D
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: October 5th, 2005 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
But I'm an adorable geek and that makes all the difference. ;)

Dude, and I KNOW! The uncompressed files on my computer ARE TAKING OVER. But I know Adobe can compress clips while it imports them, so maybe it's just a matter of finding the right combination.

Meh. *lazy*
mspooh From: mspooh Date: October 5th, 2005 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, you're super adorable, for sure. Hee!

*sigh* Wish there could be a button you push and it'll just read your mind or something... lmao.
melibabe From: melibabe Date: October 5th, 2005 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you very much for doing this! I was playing with VirtualDub this weekend and getting highly frustrated (then again, I was trying to get the audio to sync up because sometimes I like to be able to hear that when selecting clips). I have only done a quick peruse of your information right now (since I'm surfing at work!), but I'll definitely be going over this in detail when I'm at home.

One question - how different and VirtualDub and VirtualDubMod? Should I definitely be using the Mod over the original?
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: October 5th, 2005 08:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah yes, audio sync is the DEVIL to figure out. It involves exporting an uncompressed version of the .wav file and then recompressing with a bitrate encoder and omfg it's crazy.

I actually prefer using VirtualDub (it's pretty much the same program, especially when used for getting clips for music videos). I think I only downloaded VirtualDubMod because it included AviSynth as a side program (which I needed at the time), and because it's the latest release (so most people new to vidding who needed the tutorial would have this version).
I have both on my computer, but unless you're planning huge video productions, I don't see why you'd need to go get Mod. :)
astrum_presul From: astrum_presul Date: October 5th, 2005 09:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
*doesn't make anything that complicated because she is uber!stupid and can't do it* But I did enjoy staring at the pictures of Lizzie. hehe :)
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: October 5th, 2005 10:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh no, if I can do it, you can do it. I am incompatable with technology most of the time... it's all trial and error and temper tantrums with me. ;)

Hee, and piccies! Oh, that totally reminded me that I have to do the photo recaps. Oops.
icarus_abides From: icarus_abides Date: October 5th, 2005 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gaaaah!!! This is exactly the type of thing I wanted to know!! *sekritly wants to make music videos like WHOA*

The only problem is, VirtualMod doesn't work on Macs. *points to computer* Fuck you Powerbook.

I think I may cry.

(Any of you geeks know a similar program that I could use? *bats eyelashes*)
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: October 5th, 2005 09:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, did a little searching and the only thing consistently recommended was Final Cut Pro... which unfortunately is a $1000 program.

However a simple bittorrent search and download... and my god it's free!

But apparently Mac takes out all the inbetween steps and FCP allows you to do everything in one so you don't need something like VirtualDub.

The only other thing I found, but I don't know anything about, is a freeware program called avidemux which is hailed as the virtualdub for linux. I'd peek around their site and do some google searches on it, but it doesn't look too bad. :)
mspooh From: mspooh Date: October 6th, 2005 12:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Dude. Be grateful. People keep telling me Macs are made for video editing.
roothekittykat From: roothekittykat Date: October 6th, 2005 02:33 am (UTC) (Link)



*runs off to try to make a music vid*
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: October 6th, 2005 02:59 am (UTC) (Link)
HEE! YAY! *bounces*
roothekittykat From: roothekittykat Date: October 6th, 2005 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
why can't i open windows media file thingies with it?? I only have 4 clips cause everything else I'm trying to use I can't open in the program! *cries*
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: October 6th, 2005 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Ahh, VirtualDubMod will only open avi and mepg2 files. The problem with .wmv extensions is that Windows Movie Maker compresses video files with its own marking (kind of like the way the US does with their DVDs (thus why we have "regions" and stupid crap like that).

You should be able to open the .wmv files in windows movie maker and edit from there, though. It's a pain in the butt because you'll have to import the entire episode to just get a clip you want, but it should work.
roothekittykat From: roothekittykat Date: October 6th, 2005 03:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I have no idea how to do that.

I've figured out how to put things together in WMM, but have no clue how to make clips from there.
From: nyuszi Date: October 6th, 2005 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
yay! tutorial! thank you so much!

in the mean time i've figured out how to cut stuff in windows movie maker, but i haven't had the patiente to actually make anything.

hopefully this'll get me to actually work on that vid that's been on my mind, cuz it sounds easier. i just wish i wasn't so damn impacient. :)

thank you! *worships you*
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: October 6th, 2005 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee, I know... I have a bunch of projects started that just end up taking too damn long and so I move on to a new idea... and the cycle continues. ;)
21 whispers :: tell me a secret