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Thread: Working with LARGE AVI Files

  1. #1
    I could stop if I wanted to cek's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Working with LARGE AVI Files

    As many of you know working with large AVI files is virtually impossible. I too have hit the AVI-wall with large files that won’t play back. Consequently we’ve been relegated to the “Shaded View” realm creating small, low quality animations.

    Well I’ve been on a quest for the Holy Grail of animations; high quality / low cost that will actually play. Of course the following recommendation while it will ease your pain on the post production end it won’t solve your processor speed limitation, which will ultimately be your next challenge.

    As you know Revit creates an AVI format animation. The problem with AVI’s is as they reach the 2 gig threshold they encounter major playback problems. The solution is to convert the large AVI’s to another format using a Video Converter. I initially tried what has to be the most promoted V.C. program out their “AVS Video Converter”

    You can try this program for free but the free conversion places a watermark right in the middle of your animation. Consequently if you want that removed you need to pay for the program. For the price it’s a nice little program and the results are very good; as you can see from the attached Video Conversion Test rendering I composited, showing an animation frame grab from the various converters I tested.

    However my quest was for a free converter and in that quest I discovered the following web site,

    which in turn lead me to the iWisoft and Format Factory converter programs which are freeware. I tested both with the results shown in the test rendering. While neither appeared to be as good as the AVS product I did discover a sweet spot in the iWisoft. The 720 x 480 AVI to ASF conversion at a 4000 bitrate appears fuzzy in the frame grab but the affect in the animation is smooth and clean. The anti-aliasing affect (blurring of the edges) reduces the edge crawl of building elements and the reduced pixel artifacting combine to create a beautiful animation. There also appears to be a correlation between a high bitrate sampling and a small resolution (ie 720 x 480 verses 1590 x 1220) in creating high quality animations. Both iWisoft and Format Factory allow you to vary these aspects but the iWisoft is the only one that will let you drive the bitrate sampling up to 9000 and has the ASF format option.
    So while I didn’t find the holy grail of animations the iWisoft application has at least made the journey worth the effort.

    I hope this helps those of you venturing down this path and look forward to your comments on further recommendations to this process.
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    Last edited by cek; 2009-12-22 at 07:03 PM.

  2. #2
    All AUGI, all the time
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    Default Re: Working with LARGE AVI Files

    Hi Carl,

    thanks for your very good post about this issue - it is insightful as a WIP and a useful addition in the scheme of things for this aspect of design / marketing communication.

    I just bought Luxology Modo to get proper animation capabilities (and a full high quality commercial rendering solution with things that Revit and mr will probably never have, like motion blur, fog, volumetrics, replicators, noise etc. etc.).
    One of the immediately obvious downstream issues is video editing - PIP for overlay segments, audio overlay and multi tracking etc.
    At the moment I use Corel Video Studio X2 Pro which is useful and has PIP , the video track, a music track, an audio track, and an image track, OK texting stuff and transitions etc. but not multi track audio. It manages avi OK, but mainly, being able to successfully stitch segments together on a frame by frame basis is critical.. (Video Studio can do this quite well) have you found any particular programs that do these things brilliantly that are not in the $200+ US range ?


  3. #3
    I could stop if I wanted to cek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Working with LARGE AVI Files

    Sorry Trombe,

    You are further down that road than I am. I've had some exposure to Adobe Premiere for video editing and it seems to be a very complete solution but at $800 doesn't even come close to your budget.

    I did notice in my search for the video converter that there were several freeware video editing solutions out there. I suspect that they all have some limitations and lack being a comprehensive all-in-one solution. So you may be left with having to apply several freeware applications to achieve what an Adobe Premiere solution would give you.

    If and when I get to that point and provided I can find an appropriate solution(s) then I'll do a post, but it sounds like you might get there first.

    Good luck!

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