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How To Join Scenes, Edit Audio And Add Effects To An Avi Video

alexsandralyn By alexsandralyn on
Badge: Advisor | Level: 17 | Computers & Laptops Expertise:
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"Technology Impaired"

This AVI video is actually two completely different digital camera video files that were taken separately and a few minutes apart in time that I was able to join together with VirtualDub 1.9.8. This same append technique can be used to join different scenes together for your own home movie. Open VirtualDub, then go to File > "Open video file", and open the first AVI scene file of your movie. Then go to File > "Append AVI segment" and select the second AVI scene file of your movie. VirtualDub will place the second scene directly behind the first scene and create one continuous movie file as the output. You can test the output movie by going to File > "Preview output from start".

The append function will only work if the frame size, the frames per second (fps) and the codec of the desired movie scenes are all the same. For example, you can't append a 640 x 480 scene to a 320 x 240 scene, nor can you append a scene that was shot at 25 fps to a scene that was shot at 30 fps, nor can you append a Cinepak codec to an Xvid MPEG-4 codec. You can check the frame size and frames per second by going to File > "File information". If you need to adjust the frame size of a scene, use the Video > Filters... > Add... > "Resize" function. To adjust the frames per second to be a match with other scenes, use Video > Frame Rate... And finally, to adjust the codec that was used to compress the file, go to Video > Compression..., select the codec that you're going to use for all of your appended AVI scenes, then go to File > Save as AVI and save the compressed scene in the new codec before trying to append it again.

There is some background hiss in the audio of my original AVI video that I want to remove to make our voices a little clearer. VirtualDub comes with pre-installed audio filters. Go to Audio and select "Full Processing Mode", and then select "Use advanced filtering" to open up the grayed out Filters function. In the Audio Filters menu, select "Add", and then select "Input" from the list of Audio Filters to tell VirtualDub to input the audio from your current movie selection. Then select "Lowpass" to remove all of the audio frequency components above a certain cutoff point to remove high hissing sounds. That cutoff frequency can be adjusted by clicking on the box of "lowpass" in the audio filters screen. Then select "Output" to tell VirtualDub to output the filtered audio file to your current movie selection. Clicking on "Test" in the Audio filters screen will let you test different combinations of audio filters to find the filters that best suit your own needs and audio preferences. Note that if you have to stretch or shrink the fps of the video scene for an append function, you will also want to use an audio stretch filter to match the sound to the video again.

Since I'm working on my audio anyway, now would be a good time to select an audio codec for my movie, or COmpression/DECompression algorithm, to keep the final file size of my movie as small as reasonably possible for an internet upload. Go to Audio > "Compression...", and a list of audio codecs that are currently available on your computer will be displayed. I'm going to use an MPEG Layer-3 codec, or an MP3 codec as it is more commonly known, and I'm selecting the 56kBit/s, Mono for my audio sample rate. The 128kBit/s stereo sample rate is CD quality audio, but for general internet quality audio, the 56kBit/s mono sample rate is commonly used for audio compression. Smaller MP3 sample rates will result in smaller compressed file sizes at the expense of quality, and higher MP3 sample rates will result in higher quality audio at the expense of file size.

I want to add a fade-in and fade-out visual effect to my movie rather than have my movie open abruptly in the first frame. Although VirtualDub does not come with a pre-installed FadeFX filter, VirtualDub's nature as open source software makes it easy for computer buffs to design new software plug-ins for the filters that they want to have. After a little searching, I found the FadeFX filter by Scott Elliot on the internet. Installing the VirtualDub plug-in filter was easy. Just save the FadeFX.vdf file to the VirtualDub Plug-in folder, and VirtualDub will automatically add the new plug-in filter to the Video filters menu the next time it opens.

To add the fade effects at the beginning and end of the movie, I selected Video > Filters > "Add..." > and I selected the FadeFX plug-in from the menu. On the FadeFX screen that opened up, I applied the "fade-in from black" fade parameter effect on frames 0 through 10 and clicked OK. Then I selected "Add..." > and "FadeFX" again and applied the "fade-out to black" fade parameter to frames 440 to 450 and clicked OK.

A fade effect was not the only plug-in effect that I used for this movie. With MSU's "Old Cinema" plug-in filter for VirtualDub, I made my AVI look like an old black and white movie, complete with the specks and lines that are commonly seen on old film reels. And finally, I used the freely available XDiv MPEG-4 Codec for the video codec to compress this AVI movie. The final result of all of this VirtualDub editing, filtering, and compression work is the 15 sec, 3.2 MB AVI video that I call "Technology Impaired".