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Old 10 May 2006, 03:23 AM   #1
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Default Need help using Xvid in VirtualDub

Hi, I'm new here and need help with an alternative to Movie Maker and WMV. I use Game Cam to capture video gameplay which uses Mpeg4 technology, but want to try a compression method with better image quality than Movie Maker offers. MM also restricts me to slightly over 200MB project size before needing to split it into two parts.

I've read there are two versions of Xvid, ffdshow and ffvfw. What I don't get is that ffdshow is supposed to make it compatible with Movie Maker, but ffvfw is the only version that is recognized in the VDub codec list. Is there any way to compress a video using the ffdshow Xvid without resorting to expensive editors that cost $100-$300?

Ideally I'd like to keep everything Windows compatible, so anyone downloading my videos and I myself can use Media Player no problem to watch them. I have Windows XP with SP2, and I don't want to corrupt any of my Windows files in using Xvid. I have read about and experienced first hand the green artifacts that can appear in Media Player if you try to play non Windows compatible Xvid files.

This is what I assume is necessary based on what I've read so far. To do this inexpensively I need to download the latest ffvfw version of Xvid, import it into VirtualDub, and only use VirtualDub to play the Xvid compressed movie.

I may be able to go from there on my own, but I'd like to be sure of what Xvid codec to use and where to download it from.

Last edited by Video Idio; 10 May 2006 at 03:25 AM
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Old 10 May 2006, 03:39 AM   #2
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There are many versions of XviD. v1.0, v1.2, etc.

XviD has its own VfW frontend. What people typically refer to as XviD is an installer containing XviD VfW and a dshow decoder.

ffvfw was merged back into ffdshow some time (years?) ago. So they are basically the same thing. In terms of MPEG-4 ffdshow can encode via XviD (if installed), libavcodec MPEG-4 and x264 AVC.

XviD with a few exceptions of older versions is MPEG-4 spec compliant (also when packed bitstream is enabled). There is no such thing as windows compatible. When you encode to MPEG-4 specs, any spec compliant decoder, no matter the OS/platform can handle it fine.
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Old 10 May 2006, 04:35 AM   #3
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All I know is I have read experiencd users say Xvid can cause issues with Media Player, and I myself have seen evidence of it. I just installed the ffvfw from this site, it's the latest build version I could find. http://divxstation.com/softwareId.asp?sId=269

At least I'm getting somewhere as I now have finally gotten VDub to save a compressed avi. There are major problems though with the end video looking overly bright green and showing multiple colors like that of a thermal camera where light sorces are in the video. This is similar to the problems experienced in Media Player running an Xvid movie that's not compatible. I don't know why you're saying there's no compat probs with Windows and Xvid, many others have acknowleged there are.

I used a test clip of about 35 seconds of Far Cry I captured with Game Cam, which uses Mpeg4. I bumped up the bit rate to 2000 kbps from the default 900, set the resolution to 640x480 with nearest neighbor as the parameters (capture is 512x384), and used "Save segmented avi" to save it. The file size came out as predicted, but the video quality is atrocious. I did not expect the video to look stellar at the set bit rate (would have used at least 2500 in Movie Maker at that res), I was just testing the codec to see what it could handle. I didn't expect it to look that bad though.

There must be some incompatability or wrong settings somewhere. I have the latest build of VitualDub as far as I know (1.6.14). When I try to click on the saved avi, or even open a folder it's in containing the uncompressed Game Cam avi's, I get a "Send Error Report, Wndows has experienced a problem and needs to close" message and Windows crashes to desktop, the icons on the desktop dissapear, the reappear. I tried saving another one to the desktop itself, and browsed for it with VDub. That time I did not get the error, but VDub played it as mentioned above.

I was considering trying x264 as well, which some say is actually better than Xvid. Is it any safer or easier to use than Xvid on a Windows system?

Last edited by Video Idio; 10 May 2006 at 04:46 AM
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Old 10 May 2006, 08:00 AM   #4
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nearest neighbour resize is likely the cause of the low quality output-- use lanczos

there is nothing wrong with xvid, likely an issue at your end.

Quote:
I was considering trying x264 as well, which some say is actually better than Xvid
provides better quality, but a little slower & higher system requirements for playback
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Old 10 May 2006, 02:34 PM   #5
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As I said ffVfW was merged back into ffdshow (some time in 2004 from recollection). This is the reason why you can't find new versions of ffVfW. Install ffdshow instead, although I would personally recommend XviD over libavcodec.

I would also not recommend using x264 via VfW. If you want to encode x264, do it via the cli encoder, mencoder, etc.
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Old 10 May 2006, 03:20 PM   #6
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Well, I installed and tried the x264 VFW. It shows in the VDub codec list and will compress files, but VDub wont play the file. I get a message saying it can't play ffdshow type files. Some say that is why ffdshow codecs won't show in VDub's codec list, which is why I DLed the ffvfw instead.

I finally found out why I couldn't compress any WMV movies with VDub, I didn't have the VCM version, which I installed and it compresses and plays fine, but appears to be not nearly as efficient in file size as the version Microsoft uses in Movie Maker/Media Player.

I will try the Lanczos setting for resizing. I left it at the default as I was concerned about file size. The Help file for VDub is not very thorough. I'm glad I can at least use VDub as an alternative for WMV videos if nothing else. It should be able to handle any of my videos in one segment, which are generally under 25 minutes and no bigger than 250 MB. When they say 2GB limit for VDub though, do they mean before compression or after?
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Old 10 May 2006, 09:38 PM   #7
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x264 doesn't contain a decoder, so it can't decode what it has encoded. The message would have said that VDub can't use directshow decoders. Despite being called ffdshow, ffdshow works via VfW and ACM as well as dshow. ffvfw is probably too old to even contain a h.264 decoder.

WMV9 VCM uses exactly the same encoder as WMM/WME. Just that by default it has bframes disabled (probably since VfW wasn't designed to handle them). They can be enabled via a registry key though. You won't get WMV files though. Just avi's containing WMV3 video.

I wouldn't recommend using VDub to resize either, since it means converting to RGB24. If your software captured as MPEG-4, then it would have already converted to YV12.
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Old 13 May 2006, 05:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtic_druid
ffvfw is probably too old to even contain a h.264 decoder.

WMV9 VCM uses exactly the same encoder as WMM/WME. Just that by default it has bframes disabled (probably since VfW wasn't designed to handle them). They can be enabled via a registry key though. You won't get WMV files though. Just avi's containing WMV3 video.

I wouldn't recommend using VDub to resize either, since it means converting to RGB24. If your software captured as MPEG-4, then it would have already converted to YV12.
Sorry, I was referring to the ffvfw version of Xvid when I said ffvfw. There was something I read about having to manually engage (install?) H.264 before using x264.

I don't know how to enable b frames via the registry, or what b frames even are. I've heard of key frames, but not b frames.

If I don't use VDub to resize it's not going to be much good to me. I capture in 512x384 to keep the gameplay FPS up, but that's a bit too small for videos, so I bump it up a bit.

I know a guy that claims to capture in 640x480 using the more FPS draining Fraps, even though his system is lesser equiped than mine. I don't like playing at 30 or less FPS though while capturing my videos, it makes it harder to pull off the things I put in them.
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Old 13 May 2006, 07:29 AM   #9
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Basically keyframes contain the whole image, p frames contain motion since a last keyframe and b frames are bi-directional. This is why bframes and VfW don't mix. VfW is a simple one frame in one frame out model which goes against referencing ahead.

Basically bframes increase efficiency at lower bitrates.

VDub is still good for encoding. Just not filtering.

Since most games aren't designed for SMP systems, a X2 setup should give you decent captures as one core would basically be free during gaming. Still if you are heavily into gaming, I guess a single core 64 would make more sense.

Still ffvfw is probably too old to recognise XviD devapi4 (xvidcore.dll) and probably requires devapi3 (xvid.dll).

x264 generates H.264 video streams, so I don't know what installing H.264 would mean.
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Old 13 May 2006, 10:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtic_druid
Still ffvfw is probably too old to recognise XviD devapi4 (xvidcore.dll) and probably requires devapi3 (xvid.dll).
Well I've read that if you want to use Xvid with VDub you use the ffvfw, which sounds to be a different but similar codec that uses the same design principles.

I just tried running a ffvfw compression again, this time using Lancos3. It shows the same problems the other had using nearest neighbor.

I could try to duplicate the compression of the MS codecs if I knew how to add that registry entry for b frames you were referring to, but VDub is horribly slow at compressing with WMV9. It would be a lot of trouble just to be able to do one segment videos on the few projects I do that exceed 200MB.

VDub has been handy for syncing audio, removing/adding audio, taking screenshots, and segmenting captured avi's before compression, but I'm not liking it at all for actual compression.

Occasionally my onboard sound will record audio both out of sync and looping back at a given point, which can cause a needed portion of audio to be missing. With VDub though if I can't resync I can restructure using game sound files, by layering it in in passes.

I currently have a single core CPU but it IS a P4 HyperThreading type (Northwood 3Gig). I can compress with it rather quickly using Movie Maker, I just don't like the file size limitations of MM. When Media Player 11 comes out I hope they have some needed changes for MM too.
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Old 13 May 2006, 07:41 PM   #11
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To use XviD with VDub, you use XviD. To use libavcodec MPEG-4 with VDub, you use ffdshow. You don't use ffvfw for anything since it is a redundant app.
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Old 14 May 2006, 11:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtic_druid
To use XviD with VDub, you use XviD. To use libavcodec MPEG-4 with VDub, you use ffdshow. You don't use ffvfw for anything since it is a redundant app.
So the only way to use Xvid in VDub is to purchase the Xvid codec. I saw an Xvid forum, but it's locked, I can't even ask them such questions.
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Old 14 May 2006, 06:43 PM   #13
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Well you can use ffdshow, but you need to have XviD installed first.

Purchase XviD??? XviD is free. Although GPL license doesn't exclude selling it.
The only official releases are source code though. Koepi's, mine and Nic's builds as well as every other build I have seen have all been free.
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Old 14 May 2006, 07:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtic_druid
Well you can use ffdshow, but you need to have XviD installed first.

Purchase XviD??? XviD is free. Although GPL license doesn't exclude selling it.
The only official releases are source code though. Koepi's, mine and Nic's builds as well as every other build I have seen have all been free.
Then where can I download ffdshow and Xvid from?
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Old 14 May 2006, 08:55 PM   #15
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http://www.google.com
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