noobish Question re: animation file formats

  • When I render an animation (full frames uncompressed to avi), I've found that windows media player (and, Moviemaker) sometimes can not read the finished AVI file. It does not adhere to a strictly file size contingency. I recently rendered 999 frames into a 4GB avi that played fine. But today I render about 600 frames to 2.77 GB file that will not play.

    I've found I can use Format Factory to change the unplayable avi files into wmvs which do play on media player and in moviemaker, but have discovered that trying to edit together video clips of different file types (such as using avi and wmv files in the same moviemaker project) messes up the timing and throws the audio off. A simple solution would be to just use format factory to change all the avi files int wmv files, but I've also found that it will not change the avi files that already play.

    Is there a codex missing? Why do some avi files created by poser not play? I do not understand the difference between avi and wmv files, I'm afraid.


    (ETA: I just tried the avi video clip that would not play on Media Player nor Moviemaker in Blender's editor. It does work there, so I'm thinking my moviemaker and media player must be the problem! But how do I find out what codex I'm missing?)

  • @jagobc Another thing I've discovered is that the avi files that don't play in WMP or Moviemaker will play in VLC, altho I get an error message saying the index is broken or missing, but it plays fine. When I look at the media info it says the codec is 32 bits RGB (RV32).

  • This will probably not help you understand the differences between file formats , however if some times it works and other times it doesn't you are probably not missing any codex's. At the college where I work we upload about 12 h.264 video files a day to a third party hosting site and we run into conversion issues with a small number of files. They all come from the same encoders running the same settings and they will play using either VLC or Windows Media player at our location however when they are uploaded there is something the far side does not like about the video and will drop the sound, encode only a single frame or turn a 2 hour video into 30 seconds. When we re-encode the video and try again it works. Long story short it only takes a small "Defect" to make a video not playable in a codex even if it will play in another.

    If you are truly going to be making video clips and want to put them together then I would suggest outputting your scenes as individual images and tying them together in a proper video editing program such as Maxig Movie Edit, Sony Vegas, Adobe Premier Essentials or any number of other editing programs.

    I just ran a couple of fast tests using a 30 frame scene and outputting to an AVI uncompressed or WMV file or as frames and there is little to no speed difference and the file sizes are: AVI 36MB, WMV 13.5MB and frames 5.9MB. So you are not saving any disk space by rendering to AVI/WMV not saving any time and if Poser hiccups you can also restart at the last good image made by the frames method and not have to restart the whole make movie process again.

    Another advantage of rendering to frames is that you can Rotoscope single images or series of images to add in some effects after the fact. The last benefit to rendering frames is that there is no loss of quality in any single image and that when you do get ready to make your final project you can make it a DVD quality (720x480) or Full HD (1920x1080) using a single set of renders instead of either re-rendering for each size or suffering from recompression artifacts as you encode and decode multiple times.

  • @richard60 Yeah, I've been hearing that a lot for a long while. I just object to adding another step/spending even more money on a hobby. Are there any free apps that will take 400+ images and convert them to a video file?

  • I have heard that blender will do that, however I don't use it so can not verify if it does or how good it maybe.

  • @richard60 Ooh, I just watched a tutorial on that. Looks simple enough. I may try it out.

  • hitfilm express is free and will do that:

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