Best Movie/Animation Format for LARGE files

Best Movie/Animation Format for LARGE files

Post by David Fanni » Mon, 21 Feb 2000 04:00:00




> I have been working on some large image time series (long in time and
> large in size) and am wondering what the best format (jpeg/mpeg) for
> saving them with the least distortion to the frames.

> Ideas? (I'm already breaking up the time series into smaller clips.)

I've been getting reports--John Broccio's article today is
only the latest--of poor resolution when making MPEG movies.
I don't know what to make of it. I thought I might check with
the folks at RSI and see what I can find out. But in light of
what I have been hearing, I'd be thinking about JPEG, probably.

Cheers,

David
--
David Fanning, Ph.D.
Fanning Software Consulting

Coyote's Guide to IDL Programming: http://www.dfanning.com/
Toll-Free IDL Book Orders: 1-888-461-0155

 
 
 

Best Movie/Animation Format for LARGE files

Post by wcape.. » Tue, 22 Feb 2000 04:00:00


I have been working on some large image time series (long in time and
large in size) and am wondering what the best format (jpeg/mpeg) for
saving them with the least distortion to the frames.

Ideas? (I'm already breaking up the time series into smaller clips.)

Thanks much
Bill Capehart

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

 
 
 

Best Movie/Animation Format for LARGE files

Post by Peter Suetterl » Tue, 22 Feb 2000 04:00:00




Quote:>> I have been working on some large image time series (long in time and
>> large in size) and am wondering what the best format (jpeg/mpeg) for
>> saving them with the least distortion to the frames.
>> Ideas? (I'm already breaking up the time series into smaller clips.)
> I've been getting reports--John Broccio's article today is
> only the latest--of poor resolution when making MPEG movies.

I had one try at the built-in MPEG creation of IDL and immediately
dumped it.  I'm creating my mpegs using mpeg_encode (Version 1.5).

You have to store the single frames on disk, so no memory
limitations.  Of course mpeg (and jpeg, too) are lossy compression
tools, I only use them if I only want to look at them, and don't
intend to do (e.g.) photometric work..

  Peter

PS: That's under Unix.  Not sure, but mpeg_encode might also compile
    under other OS.
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dr. Peter "Pit" Suetterlin                 http://www.astro.uu.nl/~suetter
Sterrenkundig Instituut Utrecht

__________________________________________________________________________

 
 
 

Best Movie/Animation Format for LARGE files

Post by wcape.. » Tue, 22 Feb 2000 04:00:00






> >> I have been working on some large image time series (long in time
and
> >> large in size) and am wondering what the best format (jpeg/mpeg)
for
> >> saving them with the least distortion to the frames.

> >> Ideas? (I'm already breaking up the time series into smaller

clips.)

Quote:> > I've been getting reports--John Broccio's article today is
> > only the latest--of poor resolution when making MPEG movies.
> I had one try at the built-in MPEG creation of IDL and immediately
> dumped it.  I'm creating my mpegs using mpeg_encode (Version 1.5).
> You have to store the single frames on disk, so no memory
> limitations.  Of course mpeg (and jpeg, too) are lossy compression
> tools, I only use them if I only want to look at them, and don't
> intend to do (e.g.) photometric work..
> PS: That's under Unix.  Not sure, but mpeg_encode might also compile
>     under other OS.

I agree with the degradation issue.  Small mpeg movies (in time steps
and in the image sizes) are fine but larger ones, tend to "coarsen up."

Bill Capehart

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

 
 
 

Best Movie/Animation Format for LARGE files

Post by William Thomps » Wed, 23 Feb 2000 04:00:00







>> >> I have been working on some large image time series (long in time and
>> >> large in size) and am wondering what the best format (jpeg/mpeg) for
>> >> saving them with the least distortion to the frames.

>> >> Ideas? (I'm already breaking up the time series into smaller clips.)
>> > I've been getting reports--John Broccio's article today is
>> > only the latest--of poor resolution when making MPEG movies.
>> I had one try at the built-in MPEG creation of IDL and immediately
>> dumped it.  I'm creating my mpegs using mpeg_encode (Version 1.5).
>> You have to store the single frames on disk, so no memory
>> limitations.  Of course mpeg (and jpeg, too) are lossy compression
>> tools, I only use them if I only want to look at them, and don't
>> intend to do (e.g.) photometric work..
>> PS: That's under Unix.  Not sure, but mpeg_encode might also compile
>>     under other OS.
>I agree with the degradation issue.  Small mpeg movies (in time steps
>and in the image sizes) are fine but larger ones, tend to "coarsen up."

I wonder if the larger movies "coarsen up" to be compatible with Microsoft
Windows mpeg players.  We've been making MPEG movies on our Unix workstations
using mpeg_encode for some time now.  The movies always play well on our
workstations, but sometimes the movies don't play correctly on Windows
machines.  This problem has always been attributed in the past to the size of
the individual frames.  However, recently I was told that a movie which
wouldn't play in Windows in its original format, was made to do so when it was
regenerated at the same frame size, but with a lower quality parameter.  The
current theory is that Windows players refuse to play MPEGs unless they can
decode them fast enough to play the frames at the correct frame rate.

William Thompson

 
 
 

Best Movie/Animation Format for LARGE files

Post by stev » Wed, 23 Feb 2000 04:00:00



> I have been working on some large image time series (long in time and
> large in size) and am wondering what the best format (jpeg/mpeg) for
> saving them with the least distortion to the frames.

> Ideas? (I'm already breaking up the time series into smaller clips.)

> Thanks much
> Bill Capehart

> Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
> Before you buy.

Hi Bill:
    Well, this is the one issue in this NG that I can add something to
the discussion (though I program in IDL for 5 years or so, I'm no
expert). I use direct graphics (too lazy to learn Object graphics) and
make animations from 1 MB to 300MB (mpeg's and mjpeg's). I don't
know if you can fix IDL's image quality problems, but I do know that
there is a default 'quality' factor of 50 or 75 % written into the MPEG
routines provided with IDL. I use a separate encoder, already mentioned
by another poster here, and generate frames in IDL. The quality is much
better than those produced in IDL (btw, IDL makes MPEG-2, while the
Stanford encoder, is MPEG-1, an older standard, but more common).
I use PPM or GIF format for the frames, as I recall, JPEG didn't give as

nice of results. I think the reason is JPEG is a lossy compression, and
the
Stanford encoder will take that JPEG and convert it to PPM and then to
.Y .U .V component files, then use the MPEG compression, so you are
compressing something that has already undergone compression. I could
be wrong about that, but my experience is JPEG gave lower quality
MPEG's.
GIF gives you nice clean colors and a small file size. PPM is akin to
TIFF
in that it is not compressed and has the full color palette included,
but is
much larger that GIF. I didn't see a difference for my animations in
terms
of quality when using GIF instead of PPM, though the frame file size is
much reduced.

I got to the stage where I couldn't hold all the frames of my animations
on disk,
and began to use MJPEG. I make each frame and then have IDL run a
shell script that compresses each frame into MJPEG format. The MJPEG
compression does not use intra-frame statistics, like MPEG does, so you
can avoid having to save all the frames on disk before encoding, like
you
would need to do if you make an MPEG. The exact format of MJPEG
will depend on your playback hardware, and you would need that hardware
to view the animation. If you have $$$, you could write the MJPEG to
DVD, though I hear the DVD writer is a small fortune. The MJPEG will
ultimately not achieve any more compression than MPEG, but you can
avoid the huge slew of frames in production. For instance, for my
animations,
with 30 frames/second, 720x480-24bit frames, that's 1.8GB / minute !
You can use lower frame rates, smaller frames, maybe lower color quality

to conserve disk space. Generally MPEG gives you about 30:1 compression.

In an ideal world, I would always use MPEG, as the movies look the best.

Since MPEG only uses a few frames for statistics, it should in principle

be possible to generate only a short sequence of frames and send these
to your own custom-compiled mpeg encoder, and get around having
to generate all the frames beforehand, but I don't know of an encoder
you could use for this. I haven't looked in detail into the Stanford
encoder
source, but it is freely available.

 
 
 

Best Movie/Animation Format for LARGE files

Post by David Fanni » Wed, 23 Feb 2000 04:00:00



> I wonder if the larger movies "coarsen up" to be compatible with Microsoft
> Windows mpeg players.  We've been making MPEG movies on our Unix workstations
> using mpeg_encode for some time now.  The movies always play well on our
> workstations, but sometimes the movies don't play correctly on Windows
> machines.  This problem has always been attributed in the past to the size of
> the individual frames.  However, recently I was told that a movie which
> wouldn't play in Windows in its original format, was made to do so when it was
> regenerated at the same frame size, but with a lower quality parameter.  The
> current theory is that Windows players refuse to play MPEGs unless they can
> decode them fast enough to play the frames at the correct frame rate.

Just five minutes ago I got a longish response from RSI
technical support on this topic, which seems to confirm
this theory. It's fairly technical, and I didn't understand
a lot of it on first reading, but I'll see what I can do
to clean it up and pass it along.

In the meantime, it would probably help to know which
*viewers* people are using when they notice problems.

Cheers,

David
--
David Fanning, Ph.D.
Fanning Software Consulting

Coyote's Guide to IDL Programming: http://www.dfanning.com/
Toll-Free IDL Book Orders: 1-888-461-0155

 
 
 

1. New: BCS video/animation file format

Introducing Brian's Compression Shell (BCS)
-------------------------------------------

BCS is a new shell file format for animation/video compression. Different compression
sub-formats can be used within the BCS files. This is reminiscent of the .AVI
file format, where the compression sub-formats are called codecs.

Currently two sub-formats exist as part of BCS:
   One is a very simple format which is mostly for demonstration purposes.
   The other is LZA v3, which is a further development of the old stand-alone format
LZA v2. While version 2 only supported 256 colors, the new version 3 can also handle
24 bit truecolor animations. Both a lossless and a lossy compression algorithm
has been devised for the LZA v3 format.

Two tool programs have been developed for BCS:
The BCS player program can play BCS files on a full screen.
The BCS converter program takes PCX and/or Flic files as input, and converts
them to BCS files.

These tools are FREEWARE OPEN-SOURCE programs. This means that anyone (including
you) can modify or extend these programs. You can also use parts of the code in
your own applications.

If you are interested in the BCS file format, you can find more information, as
well as the tool programs and their source code, on the BCS homepage:

   http://www.geocities.com/bcompshell
--
---

http://www.geocities.com/brianjensen1.geo

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