The AMVapp - What it is and how to use it.
IntroductionThe AMVapp is an installer that was developed in order to bring together many of the applications needed in order to do many of the things described in this guide. Before you start reading the guides and start capturing footage or ripping dvds, these pages will show you how to install the AMVapp and what all of the different applications do.
The guides are written for people using the AMVapp. If you do not want to use it then that is fine but you will have to download and install the programs by yourself. The AMVapp also contains helpful scripts and profiles to make settings and procedures easier - so if you don't use the AMVapp you will not have the benefit of these things but they can all be done manually. A list of all the programs in the AMVapp and their version numbers can be found here.
Downloading and InstallationYou can download the AMVapp here. The AMVapp will be an exe file approximately 11mb in size. Double-click the installer to get started. First of all, the installer will check your system to see if you have version 2.0 or later of the Microsoft .NET Framework installed. If you don't have it, you will be prompted to download and install it before you run AMVapp. A few of the programs in AMVapp require this framework in order to run, but most things will work without it. If you think you can live without using those programs that need it, then you can proceed without installing it. I recommend that you go ahead and install it though.
If you already have the .NET Framework installed, or if you choose not to install it, then you will be greeted with the following warning:
"Warning: Never install new versions of the AMVapp when in the middle of a video project.
You have been warned. It will save you a lot of hassle. You should never alter the programs on your system in the middle of a project - if you break something theres no guarantee you will be able to fix it in return. Likewise you should always uninstall applications before installing new ones - old registry entries can linger and cause problems for new versions of programs... especially video programs which often rely on registry entries to decide how to process the video for you.
Click 'OK' and read the Welcome page. It will tell you about the AMVapp, just like this page does.
When you click 'Next' you will be shown a copy of the GNU Public License, which you must agree to in order to use this software. Most, but not all applications in the AMVapp are licensed under the GPL. Once you've agreed you will be given a list of possible things to install that looks like this:
There are a lot of programs contained in the AMVapp and by default all of them are selected, with the exception of the Premiere plugin, which will only be selected if Adobe Premiere is detected on your PC.
The only times I recommend that you might want to deselect a component are a) the program causes some sort of instability on your system or b) you already have a newer version of the program or a better alternative.
The AMVapp will hopefully be often updated with new versions of software wherever possible. However, if you need to update any parts yourself it is now easier to do so as applications such as AVIsynth, DVD Decrypter, XviD and so on all come with their standard installer applications. The AMVapp does not add anything to the installers for these programs but will occasionally set convenient registry entries to configure the programs in tune with this guide.
Let me quickly explain what each of these components are:
Avisynth 2.57 - A recent version of AVIsynth which has powerful video manipulation possibilities which are essential to any windows user wanting to handle video data.
Avisynth Plugins - This is a selection of the best filters and plugins for Avisynth. They have been personally configured for autoloading and will install by default into whatever default plugin directory is used on your system. This component contains some scripts and settings which are unique to this guide.
Premiere AVS Import Plugin - This plugin gives Premiere 5/6/Pro (but NOT Elements) the ability to import Avisynth files for editing.
DVD Decrypter - This is, in my opinion, the best DVD ripper around. Also can be used for burning CD/DVD images.
DGMPEGDec 1.4.9 - This program is designed to index MPEG2 streams in preparation for editing. You will absolutely need this if you plan to use DVDs.
BeSweet and Lame - BeSweet is an audio processing program that can decode and encode WAV/AIFF/AC3/MP2/MP3/ACC and OGG audio. Lame ACM is a version of the Lame MP3 encoder engine (available in BeSweet) that works in programs like VirtualDubMod.
VirtualDubMod 188.8.131.52 - This is an adapted version of the famous and essential VirtualDub which includes an in-built avisynth script editor, support for alternative containers and audio muxing, good b-frame handling and native MPEG2 support.
XviD 1.1.2 - This is the latest release of the excellent XviD Mpeg4 codec.
HuffYUV and Lagarith- Two codecs which are useful for editing, HuffYUV and Lagarith. Huffyuv is an excellent lossless RGB24/32 and YUY2 video compressor. Lagarith is also a lossless codec which can also compress YV12 and compresses to a much smaller file than huffyuv. It is a little slower, however.
Helix YUV Codecs - Uncompressed YV12 and I420 encoder/decoders. Used for displaying YV12 material but good for lossless transfer of data too. You should install these with all options selected.
H.264 Encoding Tools - Contains everything you need to compress your AMVs to the great H.264 format. Includes x264, MP4Box, Nero AAC Encoder, and Zarx264gui. Zarx264gui is only available in AMVapp.
Support Tools - A number of small tools that are useful for various things. Included are VFAPI (lets you import avisynth scripts into any editing program that supports AVI files), avi_tc (lets you convert 120fps avi files into a framerate that is good for editing), AVIFrate (lets you change the framerate of AVI files. AMVapp contains a custom build of this program which fixes some problems that the original had), Graphedit (lets you build custom DirectShow filter graphs), and AMV Resize Calculator (a resize calculator, duh!).
During the installation process, each component will run its own installer. This installer is unchanged from one usually distributed with the program to ease upgrading. Please read each new page and message box that appears carefully before continuing.
Some of the installers will ask you to choose an install directory. The AMVapp is designed so that any directory you choose will work (I hope) but it is advised that you keep the default directory for predictability and easier problem-solving.
Installer notes: What options to choose in individual installers...AVIsynth
When installing AVIsynth you will be prompted to choose options on this menu.
The Documentation should always be installed and it is available in multiple languages.
The "Select Association" components need explanation. I recommend that you select all 3 of these.
With AVIsynth, you create scripts that are text files with a ".avs" extension. If you select the option to associate AVS with Notepad, when you double-click on a .avs file, it will be opened in Notepad for editing. If you select the option to associate with Media Player 6.4, then when you right-click on a .avs file and choose "Play", it will play the script in Windows Media Player, which can be handy. The other option is to add AviSynth Script to the New Items menu. If you choose this, then when you right-click inside of a folder and select "new", you will have the option of creating an AviSynth script.
Lastly, there is a section called "Select Extra Files." You should not need any of these, so leave them unselected.
If you are installing the Avisynth Plugins for the first time, then they should install automatically without any intervention from you. If the installer detects that you already have plugins installed though, it will pop up this dialog asking you what to do.
This setup box allows you to choose how the avisynth plugins installer handles plugins already installed. The safest method is the default which is backup any plugins you have into a folder before making a clean install. However, in my opinion deleting all the plugins and replacing them with new ones is also a good option and doesn't leave lingering plugins lying around. The two options on the right are not recommended.
Premiere AVS Import Plugin
If the installer does not automatically detect your Premiere Plugins folder, you will need to select it yourself. When it asks you if you want to configure the settings for the plugin, you can skip it for now if you like, as it will be covered later on. If you would like to go ahead and configure it though, see this page for more information.
This one is mostly straightforward. When it asks you if it should connect to the internet to check for updates, you should choose NO. DVD Decrypter is no longer developed, so this function will not work. You can also deselect the option to go ahead and run DVD Decrypter.
XviD has two options of interest during installation. Firstly is the option to 'Decode all Supported FourCCs'
which will mean that all Mpeg 4 codecs that XviD can decode (including DivX) will be decoded using the XviD decoder when playing them. XviD is actually one of the most accurate mpeg4 decoders around, but it also one of the slowest. It's not a bad option, but it's up to you if you want the XviD decoder playing back your files - it doesn't have as many options as some of the other decoders. Personally, I disable this.
H.264 Encoding Tools
This gives you the option of installing Zarx264GUI and Nero AAC encoder. In order to encode audio with Zarx264GUI, you will need to have the Nero AAC encoder. Due to the license that this encoder is released under though, it can not be included directly in the AMVApp. Instead, AMVApp will attempt to connect to the internet to download and install the file for you. It is recommended that you allow the installer to do this, but if you choose not to, you can download and install this encoder manually later on.
Once the installer is finished, you will be asked if you want to run the AMVapp Tests. This is a little Wizard that can test to see if AVIsynth and DVD Decoding in AVIsynth are working on your system. I recommend that you run this in order to test that things are working properly. We are going to talk about the this program on the next page.