Saturday, February 9, 2008

2D Graphics all OPEN


If you feel that Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw will make a hole in your budget then you might really like conisdering this othr alternative for your creative self and needs. It comes for almost all the OS's and setting it up is not more than eating ice-cream.

Inkscape's primary function is an editor for the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format- the 3C's standard XML format for vector graphics on the web. Because SVG is nothing but plain text that is rendered to an image by the broweser, it is very bandwidth-friendly, and when used right can create some very impressive graphics. Writing XML code to create graphics is something that only the gifted can do without assistance, however, so such graphical editors are much appreciated by the community at large.

Overall, Inkscape is light, easy to learn, and an undoubted essential if you want to create SVG images for your website. And with the three major browsers supporting SVG, it might just be time to consider that.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


VirtualDub(VD)- An advanced video editor (only for AVI files). It comes with a package of lots of tweaks to satisfy the needs of the user of all skill levels.


Being primarily for the AVI files, cut, join, filter, encode, capture, etc. are some of the processes that it can put an AVI File through. It comes bundled with a host of features and add-ons to customize every aspect of processing AVIs. Various monitoring tools available in VD make it an experts pet. It does not come with an installer, just unzip and you have it ready to use, hassle free!! The extensive help file that describes VD’s features is quite useful in itself. Though having so many bundled features, there’s still one thing that can put it back, is its inability or may we say intolerance of VBR (variable Bit Rate) encoded Audio streams. When presented with such files, it will personally re-encode the entire audio to CBR (Constant Bit Rate) before taking the next step.

Editing an AVI file is child’s play. Open the relative file in VirtualDub by using the File>Open Video menu. Select the start and end of the clip you want to edit. It is highly recommended to use the Key frame button to mark these points. Since an AVI file has audio and video data interleaved, random cutting could lead to orphan audio or video data chunks causing the resulting file to be out of sync or difficult to seek. Cutting at a pre frame precludes these problems.

If this clip is to be removed from the rest of the movie then click delete from the Edit menu. If this clip needs to be put elsewhere, do a cut and paste after positioning the marker at the place where the clips needs to be inserted (again positioning marker at Key frame). After all necessary manipulations are over, set “direct stream copy” in the Audio and Video Menu. Then choose Save As AVI in the File Menu and select the destination.

If you would like to join two AVIs, VD will do so if following three conditions be fulfilled: The two AVI files must have the same resolution and frame rate and have been encoded using the same codec. Now first open the first file, the select the File>Append file segment option and add all segments you want to merge. Then select File> Save as AVI and choose a destination file.

Synchronize Audio and Video
Sometimes encoded audio and video are not in sync. VD offers a painless way to correct this. Load the video file. Set “direct stream copy” in the Audio and Video Menu. In the audio menu, under Interleaving, set the required audio delay- Positive if audio precedes the video and negative if audio follows. Since the figure is in milliseconds, you need to multiply the seconds with 1000 to get the relevant value. After entering the required figure, save the AVI from the File menu.

Direct Stream Copy mode is the fastest working mode since the data is not passed through the codec. Most functions of Virtual Dub require the use of other Processing Modes( especially when dealing with non AVIs since VD will not output in any other format ). This means that the source file is decompressed, and the processing is done to the uncompressed audio/video and then the audio/video is recompressed. But this surely takes some more time than usual.

Create a Compressed AVI
Uncompressed AVIs take up a lot of space. If while trying any of the procedures mentioned, you see that the final file size is too large, you can assume that you have not applied any compression. To apply compression, select the Video> Compression option (Will remain grayed out if Direct Stream Copy Mode is selected).

Here you can see all the codecs installed in your system and can choose which codec to use. The selected codec can be configured to suit you needs. The requirements of each codec are also specified. Unless the movie meets these specifications, the encoding will not take place. The Audio stream also can be compressed by using similar options under the Audio menu. If you would like to compress an MPEG file, open the file then apply the relevant codec from Video> Compression and select File> Save as AVI.

Capture Video
To begin a capture select File > Capture AVI. In the capture window, select a device to capture from, this can be a webcam or TV tune. Assign a file name for the captured file under File > Set Capture File. Under Video > Capture Filter, you can further tweak the settings for the device output like brightness, contrast, etc.

Video Editors

So now we start with Video Encoders....