Codec

This is a slight repeat from another thread, but I figured it’d deserve a new thread just for it. In the topic of Codecs, does anyone have clarification from FIRST if we are allowed to use DivX? If we can, that’ll be AWESOME, but I’m just afriad they’re gonna pop it into, as they put it last year “Not the greatest of machines”, and attempt to run our animations, and be presented with a black screen, at which point they’ll simply get mad and toss out our entry. Before we all go and submit our animations in Divx, what say we get an offical ruling (…Maybe in that unused section of the team updates for Autodesk would be nice…).

I’d also like to reiterate:

FEB. 21!!! AHHHHHHH!!! :ahh:

Ask here:

http://jive.ilearning.com/index.jsp

found this on the first website…but it isn’t specific…once again.

• Animation saved as a 640 x 480 compression to fit on a CDROM. Compression amount is at
the discretion of the participants.

*Originally posted by TEAM_74 *
**found this on the first website…but it isn’t specific…once again.

• Animation saved as a 640 x 480 compression to fit on a CDROM. Compression amount is at
the discretion of the participants. **

Yeah…that “Compression amount” is what’s scaring me… I’m kind of figuring they meant Cinepak (BTW, I found cinepak is a copyright of autodesk… ::hmm…::slight_smile: and that the amount of compression we use WITH cinepak is at our discretion…

Otherwise, wouldn’t they have said something to the extent of “Compression [algorithm/software/codec] is at team’s discretion”

Oh, and on the http://jive.ilearning.com/index.jsp , where do you suppose I should post it, awards? I don’t want to bug the wrong group of people and get them made at the animators…we’re always treading on thin ice regardless…

*Originally posted by Specialagentjim *
**Yeah…that “Compression amount” is what’s scaring me… I’m kind of figuring they meant Cinepak (BTW, I found cinepak is a copyright of autodesk… ::hmm…::slight_smile: and that the amount of compression we use WITH cinepak is at our discretion…

Otherwise, wouldn’t they have said something to the extent of “Compression [algorithm/software/codec] is at team’s discretion”

Oh, and on the http://jive.ilearning.com/index.jsp , where do you suppose I should post it, awards? I don’t want to bug the wrong group of people and get them made at the animators…we’re always treading on thin ice regardless… **

Autodesk does not own cinepak. It was originally made by Apple computer and bought by Radius.
http://www.cnet.com/Resources/Info/Glossary/Terms/cinepak.html

It was the best codec around 6 years ago, but things have changed, and now Cinepak is not that really good anymore.

Cinepak is a lousy codec, it made our animation last year look like Cr*p last year.

To conform to standards they should make teams encode it into the ISMA MPEG-4 codec.
http://mpeg.telecomitalialab.com/standards/mpeg-4/mpeg-4.htm
http://www.isma.tv
http://www.apple.com/mpeg4/

DIVX has many variants, and would not really be a codec to submit.

What would really by nice if you made an SVCD, which encodes video in the MPEG-2 format.

What about MPEG1?
You can still VCD, it compresses well, and it’s a faster transfer (at least for me) from uncompressed .avi and .wav files (mostly because I’m familiar with TMPGEnc)
Neway, we really do need some clarification on this.
Time to email that autodesk address in the rules updates…

We are planning to show all the animation entries to the Arizona Regional during the Team Social on a huge wall at the entrance to the Science Center.

Wanted to put all entries on one DVD using Divx. But need to know what codecs I need to have to play and convert the files.

I’ve e-mailed Autocad to find out what codec they require or prefer, it’s been almost two weeks now and no answer.

:confused:

Any suggestions from the masses…

*Originally posted by Don Knight *
**We are planning to show all the animation entries to the Arizona Regional during the Team Social on a huge wall at the entrance to the Science Center.

Wanted to put all entries on one DVD using Divx. But need to know what codecs I need to have to play and convert the files.

I’ve e-mailed Autocad to find out what codec they require or prefer, it’s been almost two weeks now and no answer.

:confused:

Any suggestions from the masses… **

Last year’s requirement was a Cinepak Compression…Which many of us were ready to wring somebody’s neck for… Basically, I’d say get the Mpegs, get Divx, and make sure you’re using premiere, and you should have enough codecs to get most of us…

Of course, you could just require that everybody not using divx or an mpeg codec include their codec on their submission. You’d need to email all the teams in your area, but that’d probably be easiest for any of those rare xvid fans.

We prefer Cinepak, Intel Indeo, or QuickTime.

Cinepak has been a very popular choice, and has had good results in most situations. (Codecs have strengths in different situations.) This is a good recommendation.

Intel Indeo is another one supplied by Windows, but is not as popular. People can use it if they like.

The rules also allow for QuickTime. This is another widespread and popular codec, and in fact it is included on the 3ds max CD.

The main issue is if the 900 frame animation be compressed to fit on the CD and not lose quality. Without compression, the animation might need 1 and 1/2 CD’s!

With the codec’s compression quality slider (0 - 100%), you can squeeze it down so it’s nice and small, but a rather poor image. You need to keep it high enough (say, 65%) to get it to look good and small enough to fit on the CD. (This quality slider choice displays as part of the Render options within 3ds max.)

Test! Test!

One tip:

1.Create the original animation and render it out as a series of sequentially number 640x480 Targa files (e.g. Targ0000,tga, Targ0001.tga, Targ0002.tga…Targ0899.tga).

If necessary, use the Network Rendering feature to help shorten the rendering time. This is covered in the 3ds max Reference Manual, and essentially consists of installing 3ds max on several other computers that have a network connection to the master. These other computers can be accessed by the master copy of 3ds max and harnessed to help with the rendering. Even without getting licensed!

2.Then clear the scene from 3ds max, and select the Targa file sequence as a background image environment. The steps are covered in the Ref Manual about how to choose an environment background from a bitmap. The sequence of files is something that 3ds max calls an Image File List (IFL) file, and that’s pretty easy too, once you’ve done it. The environment Browse window has a checkmark for an option called Sequence. So you choose Targ0000.tga, check the Sequence option, and 3ds max automatically assumes you wish Targ0000.tga and all the other Targ*.tga files after that.

  1. The last step is to render the Animation file. This can be a test of, say 50 - 100 frames, to see how the compression settings are going to work out. Testing this way is quicker than rendering the geometry each time for each test. This method only needs 3ds max to convert previously rendered images to an animation file since there’s no geometry in this cleared-off scene.

If you have any other qustions, please visit the discussion forum on www.discreet.com.

Thank you,
The Autodesk- FIRST Robotics Team

Uhh…I already posted this…I started a new thread to draw attention to it…

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=17195

Thank You Don Knight for posting something that was already posted in another thread word for word and not even giving credit to the person that actually took the time to ask autodesk.

*Originally posted by Cipher X *
**http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=17195

Thank You Don Knight for posting something that was already posted in another thread word for word and not even giving credit to the person that actually took the time to ask autodesk. **

CIPHER X - apparently Autodesk is sending out the same replies to all then. :smiley: I emailed them on Jan 9th and again on Jan 28 after not receiving a response. Upon receiving “my” response yesterday I posted it into the thread “I” had previously posted to. I see your “handle” no where in the thread . If you “CIPHER X” would have taken the time to read the first post in this thread you would have known that it was a “repeat of a similar thread” as stated in the post.

My concern is that “YOU” the students will be left in the dark as the compression requirements are so vague to be non-existent. And if “YOU” as a student submit a animation in a compression format that Autodesk can’t decode, it doen’t matter how many hours you worked on it or how good it is. IT WILL GET DUMPED!

And I don’t want you all to be forced into using Cinepak, again like last year.
If you’re involved with a animation group you will understand its shortcomings.

To Specialagentjim glad to see you posted the same information too

PS - I didn’t know we had any teams in INDIA?

So…they “prefer” Cinepak, Indeo, and QuickTime? Does that mean we can ONLY use those, or that we simply take a chance of it not working if we don’t?
And here’s a better plan: Render everything as uncompressed .avi’s in seperate sections (you’ll probably want/have to anyway), get a copy of Adobe Premier, and put it together and time it with that. At least, that’s what we’re doing…:stuck_out_tongue:

Rendering to targas MUCH BETTER!! (Juss do a search on the animation thread for targa rendering and you’ll see all my reasoning behind targa rendering)

*Originally posted by Don Knight *
My concern is that “YOU” the students will be left in the dark as the compression requirements are so vague to be non-existent. And if “YOU” as a student submit a animation in a compression format that Autodesk can’t decode, it doen’t matter how many hours you worked on it or how good it is. IT WILL GET DUMPED!

And I don’t want you all to be forced into using Cinepak, again like last year.
If you’re involved with a animation group you will understand its shortcomings.

To Specialagentjim glad to see you posted the same information too

PS - I didn’t know we had any teams in INDIA?

Yo sorry about that dude, i kinda just reacted to the first impression i had. yeah u are right i shoudl have actually searched a bit more. Lol no there are no teams from india atleast not to my knowledge. But i am from there and well i didnt want to give my team a bad name because of my stupidity. once i realized that autodesk might have send like 30 ppl that same email. sorry. my fault. will think next time before i post

Cipher

what is the quick time codec? It says it’s included on the cd…I know this my have been adressed in a different thread…but how do I export using a quicktime codec?

I did some checking on what Quicktime codec means.

Check out http://mornmist.2y.net/~blibbler/CODEC_discussion/.

Summarizing, the ones that I can see available in 3DSMAX are:

3ivx
Motion JPEG
On2 VP3
Open DivX :wink:
Sorenson

Some details copied from above web site:

Quicktime comes with three varieties of Motion JPEG:

Motion JPEG A; Motion JPEG B; and Photo JPEG.
When JPEG was first released, different groups were impressed with the compression ratio that it gave, and decided that it would be useful to use it as the basis for a small, relatively lossless hardware video codec. They added interlacing support to it (Interlacing is a video, not an image concept) and released. Different groups released different implementations of it, but they were essentially the same. To support both implementations, Quicktime needs to have separate codecs to deal with each one. Thus: MJPEG A and MJPEG B.

Photo JPEG is a different beast. While MJPEG A & B were based off of hardware implementations of JPEG, Photo JPEG exists due to the magic of Quicktime. It works similar to the other image based codecs, such as TIFF, BMP, and PNG. Basically, it uses Quicktime to display a series of JPEG images in quick succession. Because it is just a series of quicktime images stored, and played in quick succession, it does not support the video concept of interlacing.

Encoding:
All of the Motion JPEGs (including Photo JPEG) are very fast at encoding. In my very informal tests, I found that they are some of the fastest encoders available for quicktime.

Since all of these codecs use the quicktime JPEG component to create JPEG images, they should all be roughly the same size, and the same speed.

Decoding:
Comprehensiveness of settings:
MJPEG A & B both have support for interlacing.

Current Version:
Unknown… probably varies slightly with each Quicktime release.
Price: Free.
Encoder Platforms:
Many.
Decoder Platforms:
Many.
Block Size:
16
Automatic Keyframes?:
Since every frame is a keyframe, this is not relevant.

Sorenson first appeared as the flagship codec of Quicktime 3. It was significantly better than the codecs that were used previously (Mainly CinePak). The encoder was updated when Quicktime 4 was released. Sorenson 2 encoded films could be played back on Quicktime 3. It was faster, had higher quality, and had a lot more features. Through versions 2.1, and 2.2, Sorenson added Altivec, and Multiprocessor support to the Sorenson codec.

Quicktime 5 was meant to include Sorenson 3. Due to unexplained bugs, it was not included in the final releas. Unlike Sorenson 2, Sorenson 3 would not run on previous versions of Quicktime. Sorenson released a beta of their profestional codec to the public… so many people got a glimpse of what it could do. It encoded much faster, and produced smaller files, and looked better than Sorenson 2.

The final of Sorenson 3 was finally included with Quicktime 5.02.

Quality/Size:
Compared to the codecs that were available on Quicktime before Sorenson, it was a big deal, but compared to modern codecs such as: 3ivx, and On2 VP3, it is left in the dirt. Sorenson 3 is better than Sorenson 2, but even it can’t compare to 3ivx, or VP3.

Sorenson 2 is comparible to MPEG1. Since there are many different encoders for MPEG1, some are better than Sorenson 2, others are worse. Sorenson 3, is generally better than MPEG1, in my opinion.

Other people have achieved much better quality from Sorenson 3 than I have.

Encoding:
Sorenson 2 is fairly slow at encoding. Even with fast encoding turned on, it is still quite slow.

Sorenson 3, on the other hand is very fast at encoding. It is the fastest codec that I played around with, and that was without it on its fastest setting.

Decoding:
Sorenson 2 seems to be optimised for the playback of smaller movies. It doesn’t handle large movies too well. When it gets a movie that is a bit big for it, it generally stutters.

Sorenson 3 seems more geared to larger movies.

Comprehensiveness of settings:
Both Sorenson 2, and Sorenson 3 professional codecs have more settings than most people will ever need.

Objective ratings:
Current Version:
2.2 (or 3)
Price:
free,$300 or so
Encoder Platforms;
Classic MacOS, Windows
Decoder Platforms:
Classic MacOS, MacOSX, Windows
Block Size:
16
Automatic Keyframes?
Yes

*Originally posted by Markfuscius *
**Of course, you could just require that everybody not using divx or an mpeg codec include their codec on their submission. You’d need to email all the teams in your area, but that’d probably be easiest for any of those rare xvid fans. **

If you are an xvid fan, would you happen to have an install file for the xvid codec? Any xvid i have plays all green, and when i try to re-encode it it gives me problems with the audio and stops.

For Xvid, try nic.dnsalias.com, or just punching Xvid into google.
I did and saw at least 5 sites saying they had the binaries and .dll files.

On another note: quicktime supports mpeg1? Then I guess I’ll use Quicktime :smiley:
Now I just need to find a way to convert a standard .mpg into a .mov so I can or vice versa so I can make VCDs for the rest of the team :wink: