Almost all modern consumer HD video cameras and camcorders use a version of the H.264 codec to record HD video. They mostly use either - .MTS - .m2ts - .MP4 or .MOV - for the video file extension.
These are all highly compressed video formats, which are not well suited to editing - especially when it comes to the type of timed 'slo-mo' clips we are looking to create for this project..
To help overcome the problems that can occur when trying to edit these compressed video files, we'll be temporarily converting them into an 'intraframe' format using Virtualdub2
(An 'intraframe' format is one that makes every frame a 'key' frame - and that makes things a lot simpler, when it comes to creating accurate slow motion clips.)
For this project we'll be converting the video clips into the Grass Valley HQX intermediate format.
You can read more about HQX by clicking on the box below:
You can download a copy of the HQX codec from here:
To install the HQX codec -
DOUBLE LEFT click on the downloaded codec .exe file and follow the installation instructions.
(You will need to re-boot your machine to complete the codec installation)
CONVERTING THE VIDEO -
To convert your video clip into the HQX format:
• Open Virtualdub2
• Click on 'File' then 'Open video file' from the drop down menu
• Select the required video clip to be converted
• Click on 'Video' from the top menu selection, and then click on 'Compression' from the drop down menu
• Select 'Grass Valley HQX' from the list of codecs offered, then..
• Click on the 'Pixel Format' button
• From the 'Output format to compressor' list select: '4:2:2 YCbCr (YUYV, YUY2)' instead of 'No change'
(it's the 5th line down in the left hand column)
• Click 'Save as default'
• Press 'OK'
(These last four actions will ensure the new 'intrafame' file pixel format is suitable for use with MVTools)
• Click on the 'File' menu again, and select 'Save video'
• Save the clip as a '.avi' video file at your chosen location
Notice that this new '.avi' file is much bigger than the original file (typically around 10 times larger).
There's no need to worry though... these large files are only working files, and do not need to be kept after your project is finished..
Select 'File' - 'Open video file' to open your new .avi file in Virtualdub2.
One thing you will notice is just how easy it is to 'move around' this new file. There will be almost no lag as you scrub along the timeline... That's one big advantage when using an 'intraframe' intermediate codec like HQX... it needs a lot less computing power and is decoded easily, for smooth replay in real time - even on modestly specified computers .
These HQX files are the ones that will be used in the following stages of our 'slo-mo' project..
It's now time to move on to the 'Installing AviSynth' heading below - or at the top of the page...