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avidemux is a very good free converter and basic editor(cut, join, filters).

It supports most video input formats like avi, mov, wmv, asf, mkv, mp4, flv, vob, mpg and can convert to many video formats like avi xvid, avi-dv, mpg, mp4 h264, flv. This is a very basic guide to get you started with avidemux.

Required tools Guide Problems

Required tools

avidemux (Or download the latest beta from http://www.razorbyte.com.au/avidemux/ but may be a bit buggy)

Guide

Open and Join Open your video file. You can also join files by choose File->Append(Note that video clip must have same width, height, framerate or else wont it work). If you are opening a DVD then choose the VTS_01_1.vob(the main video might be under a different number so you migh try different VTS_XX_01.vob) and all vobs will automatically be imported. Select Yes if you want index images.

Cutting If you want to cut then drag the bar at the bottom and click on A to set the start and B to the end. You can also delete parts like for example commercials, set the A and B and press delete on your keyboard.

Auto format If you want to convert to VCD, SVCD, DVD, PSP, IpoD or FLV then choose Auto in the menu and select the format and avidemux will automatically change all settings for you.

Custom format If you want to convert to an another format then choose the video and audio codec under video and audio. Like H264, Xvid, DV, MJPEG, Huffyuv. If you just want to cut or join video then change to Copy under video and Audio.

Custom output file size If you want to convert to a custom file size then click on Tools->Calculator, choose AVI, set the file size, set the audio bitrate(128-192kbit/s is good for most stuff) and avidemux will automatically set the video bitrate so the output file size size will be correct.

Filters You can also add video filters like Resize, Black borders, Color adjustments, Sharpness, Subtitles(srt,ass/ssa,sub), Deinterlacing. Just click on Filter under Video to add the filters you want to use.

Container Select the output container Format like AVI, MPEG, MP4, MKV, FLV. If you are making DV, XviD, Huffyuv video use AVI. If H264 video use MP4 or MKV. If MPG(VCD,DVD) use MPEG-PS(A+V).

Preview Output Select Output at the top middle to preview the video, like for example look so the resolution/size and black borders look correct.

Save Last save the file, avidemux wont automatically add the extension like .avi so name your file with the extension like video.avi , video.mpg, video.mp4, etc.

Problems

It can only output AVI-DV with PAL settings(720x576 25fps).

Guide to Anime Conversion

This is a guide to configuring the options in the Xvid (version 1.xx) codec for encoding. Specifically these settings are optimized for encoding animation, such as cartoons and anime. These encoding options should be available in any operating system where the Xvid encoder is installed. The bold options are the specific changes that are recommended. The italics are the comments on the options. MAIN:

Encoding Type: Two Pass Target size (MBytes): ??? (Whatever size of video you want) Quantizer: ?.? (Useful only for single pass quantizer based) o [ ] Interlaced (Only useful if you need to Deinterlace - generally do not use; filters are better for deinterlacing) o [ ] Cartoon mode (Only for very flat color cartoons, generally do NOT use) o [X] Turbo Mode (Increases Speed in 2nd pass 2pass mode) o [ ] Greyscale o [X] Chroma Optimizer o [ ] Packed bitstream

MOTION ESTIMATION:

Motion Search Precision: "6 - Ultra High" VHQ Mode: "4 - Wide search" o [X] Chroma Motion o [X] 4MV o [X] HQ AC o I-frame interval - Min: 1 Max: 300 o CONFIGURATION NOTE - Numbers for framerate NTSC [American & Japanese] = 300 PAL [European] or FILM [some DVDs] = 240 HDTV = 1200 o Advanced Simple Profile Numberof B-frames: 3 (Use three as the number minimum, greatly improves video quality) [ ] Qpel (Stands for quarter pixel) [X] GMC (If you plan to only playback on PC use it, if you want to be compatible with standalone dvd player don't) [X] BVHQ (Produces nicer looking B-frames)

QUANTIZATION:

[X] H.263 (Better for cartoons & anime) [ ] MPEG (Generally better for live action) [X] Trellis quantization Quanitization restrictions o I-frame quantizer Min : 2 (or at 1 for full CD, requires experimentation) o I-frame quantizer Max : 31 o P-frame quantizer Min : 2 (or at 1 for full CD, requires experimentation) o P-frame quantizer Max : 31 o B-frame quantizer Min : 2 (or at 1 for full CD, requires experimentation) o B-frame quantizer Max : 31

SECOND PASS:

Two pass tuning o I-frame Boost (%): 10 o I-frame closer than... (frames): 1 o ... are reduced by (%): 20 o Max overflow improvement (%): 5 (default) o Max overflow degradation (%): 5 (default) Curve compression o High bitrate scenes (%): 0 o Low bitrate scenes improvement (%): 0 o Overflow control strength (%): 5 (20 is good for full movies -- requires more testing)

Bilinear is fast but rather low quality. Best avoided unless you are looking to reduce bitrate. Bicubic delivers sharper results than Bilinear. It is best for enlarging. When reducing it can lead to a lot of moire artifacts. Lanczos is best for reducing. It gives sharp results with less artifacting than Bicubic. For enlarging it about the same as Bicubic.