7.10 Video encoding

VEGA ZZ can encode video streams that the user can include in PowerPoint presentations, HTML documents, Video CD/Super Video CD/DVD medias, on-line video streaming applications, etc. At this time, it's possible to convert MD trajectories to high quality videos choosing the Save trajectory item in the File menu. When the video format is selected, the codec option window is shown:

 

Codec configuration

 

A codec is a software component with the capability to encode and decode audio/video streams. In the Codec list, you can select the codec that will be used to encode the video stream. Each codec has specific application fields and you should select the more suitable one. As an example, if you want to perform video editing, the best choice is a codec with low compression ratio for the best quality and full frame encoding (e.g. Huffyuv, DV, M-JPEG, Lagarith). In this specific application field, you can't use MPEG-1, MPEG-2, DivX, XviD (MPEG-4) because not all frames are full encoded but some of them are compressed by difference from the previous one. The  video editing requires "single frame" precision cut,  that isn't possible when you use MPEG encoding methods.
In the Video codec information box, the properties of the selected codec are shown: the FOURCC code is a four character string used by  Windows Multimedia System to recognize and manage the codec and it's the same used in the AVI file header, Driver name is the DLL file name encapsulating the codec, Delta frame indicates if the codec supports delta frames and Format restrictions reports limits and warnings about  the codec.
The Quality slider allows to change the compression quality (high quality = low compression ratio) or the bitrate for MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 (VOB) compression. The bitrate must be correctly selected if you want obtain standard medias: e.g. if you want to create a Video CD (VCD), you must select MPEG-1 compression and 1150 as bitrate to obtain a full compliant media.
About button shows the codec copyright message and Configure button opens the codec control panel, if it's available. To configure the codec, you must consult its documentation.
In Rendering mode box, you can select the rendering method (for more information, see the Save image section).
In Resolution box, you can select the frame size only if the Hardware or the Software rendering modes are selected. It's also possible to enter custom resolutions. In the following table, the standard frame sizes are shown:

Width Height Aspect ratio Video Standard Name Application
160 120 4/3 PC QQVGA  
176 120 4/3 NTSC CIF  
176 144 4/3 PAL QCIF  
320 200 4/3 PC
Amiga
CGA/MCGA
NTSC Lo-Res/Euro36 Lo-Res
 
320 240 4/3 PC QVGA  
320 256 4/3 Amiga PAL Lo-Res  
320 400 4/3 Amiga NTSC Lo-Res Interlaced
DblNTSC Lo-Res
Euro36 Lo-Res Interlaced
 
320 512 4/3 Amiga PAL Lo-Res Interlaced
DblPAL Lo-Res
 
320 800 4/3 Amiga DblNTSC Lo-Res Interlaced  
320 1024 4/3 Amiga DblPAL Lo-Res Interlaced  
352 240 4/3 NTSC CIF, SIF, 240i, 240p Video CD, LDTV
352 283 4/3 Amiga PAL Lo-Res Overscan  
352 288 4/3 PAL CIF, SIF, 288i, 288p Video CD, LDTV
352 480 4/3 NTSC 2CIF  
352 576 4/3 PAL 2CIF  
368 290 4/3 Amiga PAL Lo-Res Max Overscan  
400 300 4/3 Amiga Super72  
400 600 4/3 Amiga Super72 Interlaced  
480 480 4/3 NTSC - Super Video CD (SVCD)
480 576 4/3 PAL - Super Video CD (SVCD)
640 200 4/3 PC
Amiga
CGA
NTSC Hi-Res
 
640 256 4/3 Amiga PAL Hi-Res  
640 350 4/3 PC EGA  
640 400 4/3 PC
Amiga
VGA70
NTSC Hi-Res Interlaced
 
640 480 4/3 PC
Amiga
VGA
Multiscan
 
640 800 4/3 Amiga Euro72 Interlaced
DblNTSC Interlaced
 
640 960 4/3 Amiga Multiscan Interlaced  
640 1024 4/3 Amiga DblPAL Interlaced  
704 480 4/3 NTSC 4CIF, 480i, 480p SDTV
704 576 4/3 PAL 4CIF  
720 348 4/3 PC Hercules Graphic mode
720 350 4/3 PC Hercules Text mode
720 480 4/3 NTSC DV, TV, SDTV DV Camera, DVD
720 576 4/3 PAL DV, TV, SDTV DV Camera, DVD
736 566 4/3 Amiga PAL Hi-Res Interlaced Max Overscan  
800 300 4/3 Amiga Super72  
800 480 16/10 PC - Eee PC laptop LCD
800 600 4/3 PC
Amiga
SVGA
Super72 Interlaced
 
1008 1024 4/3 Amiga A2024  
1024 576 16/9 PAL - D1 PAL Widescreen
1024 768 4/3 PC XGA  
1024 1024 4/3 Amiga A2024 Require the A2024 monitor
1280 200 4/3 Amiga NTSC Super Hi-Res  
1280 256 4/3 Amiga PAL Super Hi-Res  
1280 400 4/3 Amiga NTSC Super Hi-Res Interlaced  
1280 512 4/3 Amiga PAL Super Hi-Res Interlaced  
1280 720 16/9 PC
HDTV 720
WXGA
720i, 720p
High Definition TV, HDV
1280 768 16/9.6 5/3 PC WXGA  
1280 800 16/10 PC WXGA  
1280 960 4/3 PC SXGA  
1280 1024 4/3 PC SXGA  
1360 768 16/9 PC WXGA LCD TV
1366 768 16/9 PC WXGA LCD TC
1400 1050 4/3 PC SXGA+ Laptop LCD
1440 900 16/10 PC WSXGA, WXGA+  
1440 1080 16/9 HDTV 1080 1080p, 1080i HDV
1440 1152 16/9 HDTV 1152 1152i DVB
1536 1152 4/3 HDTV 1152 1152p High Definition TV
1600 1200 4/3 PC UXGA  
1680 1050 16/9 PC WSXGA+ Laptop LCD
1920 1080 16/9 HDTV 1080 1080p, 1080i High Definition TV
1920 1035 16/9 HDTV 1035 1035i DVB
1920 1200 16/10 PC WUXGA  
2048 1536 4/3 PC QXGA  
2560 1600 16/10 PC WQXGA  
2560 2048 5/4 PC QSXGA  
3200 2048 25/16 PC WQSXGA  
3200 2400 4/3 PC QUXGA  
3840 2400 16/10 PC WQUXGA  
4096 3074 4/3 PC HXGA  
5120 3200 16/10 PC WHXGA  
5120 4096 5/4 PC HSXGA  
6400 4096 25/16 PC WHSXGA  
6400 4800 4/3 PC HUXGA  
7680 4800 16/10 PC WHUXGA  
1354 732 1.85 1.5K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.85
Digital Film
1354 760 16/9 1.5K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.78
Digital Film
1354 816 1.66 1.5K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.66
Digital Film
1354 988 1.37 1.5K 35mm Academy Offset Digital Film
1354 1148 2.36 1.5K 35mm Academy Offset
Cinemascope/Panavision
Digital Film
1536 642 2.40 1.5K 35mm full screen
Super 35/Super Techniscope
Digital Film
1536 674 2.28 1.5K 65mm 5 Perf Digital Film
1536 700 2.20 1.5K 35mm full screen
70mm 2.2:1 AR
Digital Film
1536 830 1.85 1.5K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.85
Digital Film
1536 830 1.85 1.5K 35mm full screen
Super 1.85
Digital Film
1536 862 16/9 1.5K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.78
Digital Film
1536 924 1.66 1.5K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.66
Digital Film
1536 1026 1.50 1.5K 35mm Vistavision Digital Film
1536 1100 1.40 1.5K 65mm 8 Perf
IWERKS
Digital Film
1536 1120 1.37 1.5K 35mm Academy Offset Digital Film
1536 1148 4/3 1.5K 65mm 15 Perf
IMAX/OMNIMAX
Digital Film
1536 1152 4/3 1.5K 35mm full screen Digital Film
1536 1302 2.36 1.5K 35mm Academy Offset
Cinemascope/Panavision
Digital Film
1806 976 1.85 2K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.85
Digital Film
1806 1014 16/9 2K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.78
Digital Film
1806 1086 1.66 2K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.66
Digital Film
1806 1316 1.37 2K 35mm Academy Offset Digital Film
1806 1530 2.36 2K 35mm Academy Offset
Cinemascope/Panavision
Digital Film
2048 854 2.40 2K 35mm full screen
Super 35/Super Techniscope
Digital Film
2048 898 2.28 2K 65mm 5 Perf Digital Film
2048 932 2.20 2K 35mm full screen
70mm 2.2:1 AR
Digital Film
2048 1106 1.85 2K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.85
Digital Film
2048 1108 1.85 2K 35mm full screen
Super 1.85
Digital Film
2048 1150 16/9 2K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.78
Digital Film
2048 1232 1.66 2K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.66
Digital Film
2048 1366 1.50 2K 35mm Vistavision Digital Film
2048 1468 1.40 2K 65mm 8 Perf
IWERKS
Digital Film
2048 1494 1.37 2K 35mm Academy Offset Digital Film
2048 1530 4/3 2K 65mm 15 Perf
IMAX/OMNIMAX
Digital Film
2048 1536 4/3 2K 35mm full screen Digital Film
2048 1736 2.36 2K 35mm Academy Offset
Cinemascope/Panavision
Digital Film
2708 1464 1.85 3K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.85
Digital Film
2708 1520 16/9 3K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.78
Digital Film
2708 1632 1.66 3K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.66
Digital Film
2708 1976 1.37 3K 35mm Academy Offset Digital Film
2708 2296 2.36 3K 35mm Academy Offset
Cinemascope/Panavision
Digital Film
3072 1284 2.40 3K 35mm full screen
Super 35/Super Techniscope
Digital Film
3072 1348 2.28 3K 65mm 5 Perf Digital Film
3072 1400 2.20 3K 35mm full screen
70mm 2.2:1 AR
Digital Film
3072 1660 1.85 3K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.85
Digital Film
3072 1660 1.85 3K 35mm full screen
Super 1.85
Digital Film
3072 1724 16/9 3K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.78
Digital Film
3072 1848 1.66 3K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.66
Digital Film
3072 2052 1.50 3K 35mm Vistavision Digital Film
3072 2200 1.40 3K 65mm 8 Perf
IWERKS
Digital Film
3072 2240 1.37 3K 35mm Academy Offset Digital Film
3072 2296 4/3 3K 65mm 15 Perf
IMAX/OMNIMAX
Digital Film
3072 2304 4/3 3K 35mm full screen Digital Film
3072 2604 2.36 3K 35mm Academy Offset
Cinemascope/Panavision
Digital Film
3612 1952 1.85 4K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.85
Digital Film
3612 2028 16/9 4K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.78
Digital Film
3612 2172 1.66 4K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.66
Digital Film
3612 2632 1.37 4K 35mm Academy Offset Digital Film
3612 3060 2.36 4K 35mm Academy Offset
Cinemascope/Panavision
Digital Film
4096 1708 2.40 4K 35mm full screen
Super 35/Super Techniscope
Digital Film
4096 1796 2.28 4K 65mm 5 Perf Digital Film
4096 1864 1.85 4K 35mm full screen
70mm 2.2:1 AR
Digital Film
4096 2212 1.85 4K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.85
Digital Film
4096 2216 1.85 4K 35mm full screen
Super 1.85
Digital Film
4096 2300 16/9 4K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.78
Digital Film
4096 2464 1.66 4K 35mm Academy Offset
Standard 1.66
Digital Film
4096 2936 1.40 4K 65mm 8 Perf
IWERKS
Digital Film
4096 2988 1.37 4K 35mm Academy Offset Digital Film
4096 2732 1.50 4K 35mm Vistavision Digital Film
4096 3060 4/3 4K 65mm 15 Perf
IMAX/OMNIMAX
Digital Film
4096 3072 4/3 4K 35mm full screen Digital Film
4096 3472 2.36 4K 35mm Academy Offset
Cinemascope/Panavision
Digital Film

 

2CIF Double CIF.
4CIF Quad CIF.
CGA Color Graphic Adapter.
CIF Common Intermediate Format.
DV Digital Video. The standard for consumer digital video recording.
EDTV Enhanced-definition television (SDTV with progressive non-interlaced frames).
EGA   Enhanced Graphic Adapter.
HDTV High-definition television.
HDV High Definition Video. It's the evolution of the DV standard.
HXGA   Hexadecatuple eXtended Graphic Array.
HSXGA   Hexadecatuple Super eXtended Graphic Array.
HUXGA   Hexadecatuple Ultra eXtended Graphic Array.
MCGA   Multicolor Graphic Adapter.
NTSC    National Television System Committee, the TV standard of USA, Japan, etc
PAL Phase-Alternating Line, Phase Alternation by Line or Phase Alternation Line. It's the European TV standard.
PC Personal Computer.
QCIF Quarter CIF.
QQVGA Quarter Quarter VGA.
QSXGA   Quad Super eXtended Graphic Array.
QUXGA   Quad Ultra eXtended GRaphic Array.
QVGA Quarter VGA.
QXGA   Quad eXtended Graphic Array.
SDTV Standard-definition television (e.g. NTSC, PAL, SECAM).
SIF Source Input Format.
SVGA Super VGA, Super Video Graphic Array.
SXGA Super XGA, Super eXtended Graphic Array.
UXGA Ultra XGA, Ultra eXtended Graphic Array.
VGA Video Graphic Array.
WHXGA   Wide HXGA, Wide Hexadecatuple XGA, Wide Hexadecatuple eXtended Graphic Array.
WHSXGA   Wide HSXGA, Wide Hexadecatuple Super XGA, Wide Hexadecatuple Super eXtended Graphic Array.
WHUXGA   Wide HUXGA, Wide Hexadecatuple Ultra XGA, Wide Hexadecatuple Ultra eXtended Graphic Array.
WQSXGA   Wide QSXGA, Wide Quad Super XGA, Wide Quad Super eXtended Graphic Array.
WQUXGA   Wide QUXGA, Wide Quad Ultra XGA, Wide Quad Ultra eXtended Graphic Array.
WQXGA   Wide QXGA, Wide Quad XGA, Wide Quad eXtended Graphic Array.
WSXGA   Wide SXGA, Wide Super XGA, Wide Super eXtended Graphic Array
WUXGA   Wide UXGA, Wide Ultra XGA, Wide Ultra eXtended Graphic Array.
WXGA   Wide XGA.
XGA eXtended Graphic Array.

The AntiAlias option is active only if the Software rendering mode is selected and enabling it, the jagged edges are smoothed. The algorithm performs a super-sampling (4x or 16x) increasing the image size to 2x or 4x making the rendering more precise. Finally, it resizes the image to the user-defined dimension applying a smoothing pixel algorithm. The 16x AntiAlias generates better images but it requires a lot of memory.
In Frame rate box, you can select the number of frames that will be displayed for each second. If you want to obtain files t compatible with video standards, you must select the correct frame rate as shown in the following table:

Frame rate (fps) Standard Description
23.97602 720p24, 1080p24 HDTV
24 720p24, 1080p24 HDTV
25 576i50, 576p25
720i50, 720p25
1080i50, 1080p25
PAL, SECAM
HDTV
HDTV
29.97003 480i60, 480p30
720i60, 720p30
1080i60, 1080p30
NTSC, equivalent to 30 / 1.001 fps
HDTV
HDTV
30 720i60, 720p30
1080i60, 1080p30
HDTV
HDTV
50 720p50 HDTV
59.94006 480p60
720p60, 1080p60
EDTV, equivalent to 60 / 1.001 fps
HDTV
60 480p60
720p60, 1080p60
EDTV
HDTV

About the standards: the first number is the number of scan lines (vertical resolution), the character could be i (interlaced scan) or p (progressive scan) and the last number is the field rate and not the frame rate. The interlaced scan requires two fields to build one frame and so the frame rate is half field rate (e.g. 720i50). The progressive scan requires one field to build one frame and so the frame rate is equal to the field rate.

 

The 4/3 aspect ratio switch forces the width and height frame ratio to 4/3. This is useful for the Super Video CD (SVCD) resolutions (e.g 480x576 and 480x480) that don't have the 4/3 aspect ratio.

Ok button starts the encoding and Cancel button abort it.

 

7.10.1 MPEG-1 & MPEG-2 settings

When you select MPEG-1 video stream or DVD VOB (MPEG-2) as output file, the Configure button is active and clicking it, the MPEG settings are shown:

 

MPEG settings

 

In Bitrate box, you can activate the Variable bitrate encoding (preferred to the constant bitrate encoding for the better quality and the better compression ratio), the High quality mode, the automatic maximum bitrate selection (Auto max bitrate, not all DVD players support the high-bitrates selected by the algorithm. For better compatibility, it shouldn't activated) and the maximum bitrate in kilobits per second (Max bitrate, this field is disabled if Auto max bitrate is checked). The GOP (Group Op Pictures) box contains parameters about the GOP structure. The MPEG encoding is based on special frames called I-frames, B-frames and P-frames (for more information about the MPEG standards, see http://www.chiariglione.org/mpeg). The periodic pattern of frames resulting from the combination of I, B and P frames is called GOP (e.g. IBBPBBPBBPBB). The GOP size is the GOP length. The standard values are 12, 15 (PAL) and 18 (NTSC). The Max B-frames filed allows to specify the maximum number of contiguous B-frames (e.g. 1 IBPBPBPBPBPB, 2 IBBPBBPBBPBB) and it must be a number from 0 to 4. Checking Force closed GOP, the GOP structure will be terminated with a P-frame, reducing the GOP size subtracting the Max B-frames value. This option is useful if you want edit the stream using external software. In  Aspect ratio box, it's possible to choose the pixel width/height ratio that will be used playing the stream. The Advanced settings are only for expert users: they allow to enable the Trellis quantization, the Extreme & slow settings, the Interlaced encoding (MPEG-2 only), the field order in the interlaced scan (Top field first) and the automatic Scene detection. In the Profiles box, you can select pre-defined settings in order to simplify the encoder configuration (Default, Digital Versatile Disk (DVD) NTSC, Digital Versatile Disk (DVD) PAL, Super Video CD (SVCD) NTSC, Super Video CD (SVCD) PAL, Video CD (VCD) NTSC and Video CD (VCD) PAL). Not all options are accessible at the same time, because DVD and SVCD require MPEG-2 encoding and VCD requires the MPEG-1. The profile selection changes the settings in Codec configuration dialog also (e.g. Resolution, Frame rate and 4/3 aspect ratio), but remember that the resolution is not changed if the Snapshot rendering mode is selected.

 

WARNINGS:
At this time, VEGA ZZ isn't able to produce MPEG-1 files VCD full compliant, because the encoding algorithm doesn't use a real constant bitrate (CBR) inserting fluctuations in the bitrate value. This is not a real problem for the modern DVD players.

 

7.10.2 Video formats

The following table show the most common video format that you can use to realize full compliant medias:

Format VCD SVCD DVD HDDVD
HDTV
(WMVHD)
AVI
DivX
XviD
WMV
MOV
QuickTime
RM
RealMedia
AVI
DV
AVI
DV50
Resolution
NTSC/PAL
352x240
352x288
480x480
480x576
720x480
720x576
1440x1080
1280x720
640x480 640x480 320x240 720x480
720x576
720x480
720x576
Frame per second NTSC/PAL 29,97003
25
29,97003
25
29,97003
25
60/30
50/25
12-30 12-30 12-30 29,97003
25
29,97003
25
Video
Compression
MPEG1 MPEG2 MPEG2, MPEG1 MPEG2
WMV9
MPEG4 Sorenson, Cinepak, MPEG4 ... RM DV DV
Video bitrate 1150 Kbps ~2000 Kbps ~5000 Kbps ~20 Mbps
(~8 Mbps)
~1000 Kbps ~1000 Kbps ~350 Kbps 25 Mbps 50 Mbps
Video codec Built-in Built-in Built-in Built-in
WMV9 
DivX 5
XviD
WMV
N/A N/A Matrox DV/DVCPro Matrox DVCPro50
Audio
Compression
MP1 MP1 MP1, MP2, AC3, DTS, PCM MP1, MP2, AC3, DTS, PCM MP3, WMA, OGG, AAC, AC3, DTS QDesign Music, MP3 ... RM DV DV
Audio bitrate 224 Kbps ~224 Kbps ~448 Kbps ~448 Kbps ~128 Kbps ~128 Kbps ~64 Kbps ~1500 Kbps ~1500 Kbps
Size/min 10
MB/min
10-20
MB/min
30-70
MB/min
~150
MB/min
(~60 MB/min)
4-10
MB/min
4-20
MB/min
2-5
MB/min
216
MB/min
432
MB/min
Min/74 min CD
(650 Mb)
74 35-60 10-20 ~4
(~10)
60-180 30-180 120-300 3 1.5
Hours/DVD
(4.7 Gb)
N/A N/A 1-2
(2-5)
~0.5
(~1)
7-18 3-18 14-35 20 min 10 min
Hours/DL-DVD (9 Gb) N/A N/A 2-4
(5-9)
~55 min
(~2)
13-30 6-30 25-65 37 min 18 min
DVD Player Compatibility Great Good Excellent None Few None None None None
Computer CPU Usage Low High Very High Super high Very high High Low High High
Quality Good Great* Excellent* Superb* Great* Great* Decent* Excellent Broadcast

 

Kbps   Thousand bits per second.
Mbps Million bits per second.
Not directly supported by VEGA ZZ.
Approximate resolution: it can be higher or lower.
~ Approximate bit rate: it can be higher or lower.
DVD with lower video quality, similar to VCD/SVCD video quality.
* The video quality depends on the bit rate and the video resolution: higher bit rate and higher resolution generally mean better video quality, but bigger file size.

  

7.10.3 How to obtain the codecs

The recommended codecs are all free and available as shown in the following table:

Codec Description
Radius Cinepac Included in Microsoft Windows.
DivX MPEG-4 codec. The free edition is available at: www.divx.com.
Huffyuv Ultra high-quality lossless codec. Please remember to enable the 32 bit support in the control panel.
http://neuron2.net/www.math.berkeley.edu/benrg/huffyuv.html.
Indeo Video 5.10 Included in Microsoft Windows.
Lagarith Ultra high-quality lossless codec.
http://lags.leetcode.net/codec.html.
libavcodec This is a library for MPEG-1 & 2 encoding. For more information, see http://www.ffmpeg.org.
Matrox DV/DVCAM DV/DVCAM codec (25 Mbit). It supports 720x576 and 720x480 resolutions only. It's included in the Matrox DigiSuite software-only codec pack, available after registration at:
Matrox DVCPRO DVCPRO codec (25 Mbit). It supports 720x576 and 720x480 resolutions only. It's included in the Matrox DigiSuite software-only codec pack, available after registration at:
Matrox MPEG-2 I-frame MPEG-2 codec with I-frame encoder for video editing. It supports 720x576 and 720x480 resolutions only. It's included in the Matrox DigiSuite software-only codec pack, available after registration at:
Matrox M-JPEG codec High quality Motion JPEG codec. It supports 352x288, 352x240, 720x576 and 720x480 resolutions only. It's included in the Matrox DigiSuite software-only codec pack, available after registration at:
Microsoft Video 1 Included in Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Windows Media Video 9 VCM High quality codec especially designed for HDTV applications.
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/9series/codecs/vcm.aspx.
XviD MPEG-4 codec.
http://www.xvidmovies.com/codec/.

The YUV only codecs aren't supported by VEGA ZZ because it uses the 32 bit RGBA color space.

  

7.10.4 Recommended tools