Step II: Configuring AVI Properties
Whenever you save the Timeline you have worked on as a media file, by default it will be saved in a 320 x 240 display size (if it is a video file) and no compression will be used. However you can define custom options for your AVI file in this step of the Wizard.
Video Edit Magic can even decide the best AVI properties for you based on the media files in the Timeline and the Video Compressors available on your computer. Video Edit Magic will scan your files in the Timeline and automatically select AVI Properties for optimum settings depending on your Auto Select option. By default the AVI Preset is done on the Best Quality.
You can choose between the following AVI Presets:
- Best Quality
- High Compression
- Most Compatible
If you prefer, you can control all the details of AVI properties yourself.
Video Edit Magic lets you either create your movies with the original dimensions or in any dimensions imaginable. You may select one of the standard formats or specify custom dimensions.
- By default your Timeline is saved in the same dimensions and frame rate as your project.
- To use different display dimensions, open the Video Dimensions list and choose your preferred settings.
- To specify custom dimensions for your video, select "Custom" from the Video Dimensions list. This will enable you to specify width and height of the video. If you want to alter the aspect ratio of the video, clear Lock Aspect Ratio first.
- As with images, it is not a good idea to save video to a display dimension that is higher than the original. For example, if the file added to your Timeline originally had 320 x 240 dimensions, saving it to 640 x 480 pixels might decrease the video quality. If there are many files in your Timeline with varying display dimensions, it is best to save with the smallest picture dimensions of any of the files. That is, if the smallest file on the timeline has dimensions of 512x384, use those dimensions when you Make Movie.
- Since many of the compressors do not support odd-numbered dimensions, it is strictly recommended that you convert dimensions to a multiple of 4 so that there is no compressor failure while making movie. To do so, check the Automatically convert dimensions to the nearest multiple of 4 option.
Video Compressor and its capabilities
Compressing a media file is usually a good idea as you can drastically reduce the files size without greatly affecting the quality. To apply a video compressor: open the Video Compressor dropdown list to see all the compressors that are available to you. Click on a compressor name to select it. Depending upon the compressor you choose, you will be able to select the Frame Rate, Key Frame Rate, Quality and Predicted Frame Frequency.
The Frame Rate of a video file is the number of frames that are displayed in one second. Files with a higher frame rate such as 25, 30 to 60 FPS (Frames Per Second) play more smoothly than files with lower frame rates. However lower frame rate media files are much smaller than higher frame rate ones. 15 FPS is the norm that is usually followed for video created for the Web. You may change the Frame Rate of the media file that you are creating from your Timeline, by moving the slider until you get the desired frame rate.
Key Frame Rate
AVI files are compressed using a process called "temporal compression". In this process, the file contains all the information to display one frame, but for later frames instead of the full frame, the file contains information about the differences between each frame and the previous one. This can save a lot of space in file storage, but can make it difficult to start playing a movie anywhere but at the first frame.
To minimize this problem, compressors insert key frames into compressed sequences at regular intervals. Key frames store the full information for that frame. They define a starting point for a temporally compressed sequence. Subsequent frames depend on the previous key frame.
The key frame rate indicates the maximum number of frames you will accept between key frames. Higher key frame rates (which would be a lower number here) can produce higher-quality video that is easier to "seek" in, but also produce somewhat larger file sizes.
Quality refers to the image quality of the video frames. You can set the quality of the video that you are saving. The default quality of each compressor is different and if you are choosing a video compressor it is best to NOT define the quality using the slider. A quality of 75% is only the Video Edit Magic default and may be too low or too high for a particular compressor.
By default, the audio in your Timeline is not compressed when you save it to file. To apply a audio compressor:
- Open the Audio Compressor dropdown list to see all the compressors that are available to you.
- Click on a compressor name to select it.
While working with AVI files, you need the codec which was originally used to compress the file. You should check whether that codec is installed on your PC.