> Guide Index

Method 1: Creating Clips for Source Footage:

Before I actually get onto the conversion details I would like to emphasis a few things:

DO NOT USE DIVX OR XVID or any divx variant. They are very difficult to edit with and the quality, no matter how good it looks to you when you are editing, will make things look worse than if you used a lossless compression codec. MPEG4 codecs may well be small but they are not good things to edit with.

DO NOT USE MPEG1 - lots of people like using mpeg1 for editing. However, even in Premiere and other programs that have mpeg1 support, the editing will not be frame accurate and you may find that the cut you thought was spot-on actually pops into the next scene when editing. This is very bad, not to mention that the quality will be pretty aweful when it's all done too.

Preparing the Clips

If you have followed the guide so far you should have an avisynth script that

  • Imports Footage
  • Removes Interlacing (makes the footage progressive)
  • Corrects any Aspect Ratio issues
  • Is generally nice, clean and looking good
If you have not being going through this guide sequentially and have skipped parts to try and hurry your way through these instructions then do yourself a favor and go back and read them. It's useful information, will really help you get the most out of your footage and it's free - it only costs your time in reading it.

Compressing with UtVideo

There is one codec which I highly recommend that you use, and that is the UtVideo codec. This codec is VERY fast, and compresses the files quite small (relatively speaking, of course).

Open up VirtualDub and load your avs script into it, and in the menus go to  Video -> Compressor and in the list choose Ut Video Codec YUV420. You will probably see 4 different versions of the Ut Video codec, so be sure to choose the "420" one. This one encodes to YV12 colorspace, which will have a smaller filesize than the others. The options are very simple: The frame divide setting should be set to the number of cores that your CPU can handle. If you don't understand this setting, the default should be ok. The other setting is a choice between better compression, or faster speed. I personally go with better compression, so my files will be smaller.

Once you have the compressor selected you must make sure that you select Video -> Fast Recompress which will ensure that there will be no colorspace conversions between your input to your output.

Making the Clips

Once you've got the codec and the compression method set up, you can search through your source using the bar at the bottom and then use the two rightmost buttons (Mark In and Mark Out) to select the area you want to convert into a clip. After you have chosen the range, simply go into the File menu and choose "Save as avi..."

Now if you like, you can simply save an entire episode or movie, rather than cutting clips out from it. This is in fact what I do. But, just make sure you have plenty of free space available, because it will probably use about 6-8gb per episode.

Now you may be interested in using VirtualDub's Job Control to encode several clips at once in a batch, rather than doing them one at a time. Instead of doing "File > Save as Avi...", instead do "File > Queue as Batch Operation > Save as Avi...", or simply press Ctrl+Shift+F7. Once you have added all of your jobs to the queue, you can bring up the Job Control menu by going to "File > Job Control". From there, you will see all of the jobs listed, and you can encode them all by pressing the "Start" button.


Now that you're done, you should have a look at how to set up a project in your video editing application.