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Old 04-25-2006, 10:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: LV-426
Video editing question

This is kind of hard to explain, but here goes.

I'd like to know how it would be possible to take a video clip, any format really (avi, mpeg, whatever) and isolate a certain small area of it, and turn that area into a clip of its own.

Since i'm not sure if I am making that very clear, picture this, for an example's sake. Let's say there is a video clip of a man sitting at a desk, facing the camera, and he's talking. Let's presume the clip is at 640x480 resolution, or something. Now, if I wanted to make an avatar sized video clip (like 100x100 or something) of nothing but the guy's head as he talks, how would I do this? How can I isolate that specific area from the center of the clip and turn that area, with all the frames running but everything else excluded, into a separate clip?

I know this is doable, but I've never known how. I'd like to know. Please help me out.
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That's something quite "specialised", so I would doubt that you would be able to find a freeware tool with such a feature. You may have to use a more professional application.

Anyway, the feature you are looking for would probably be reffered to as an ability to crop a video - at least that is what it is referred to when it comes to editting photos.

Sorry I can't be of more help.
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Actually, I was wrong, it can be done with free software.

Download Virtual Dub, an Open Source video editing program.

To get this to work, you need to apply at least one filter to your video - since you don't actually want to change anything in the video, you can just apply a "sharpen" filter with a value of 0, so this will be a filter that doesn't do anything.

Then click on that filter in the list of filters and click 'cropping'. Once there you can set the coordinates of the area of the video that you want to use. It includes a preview screen so you can set it properly.

EDIT: oh and here's a link to download Virtual Dub: http://www.virtualdub.org/
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I use a program called Vegas (Sony Vegas).

You would simply load the video into the application, split at the beginning and end points of the clip you are looking for and throw everything else out.

Then you would resize the frame so that it would be just around the portion of the video you want (the talking head).

I'm not in front of my computer at home at the moment, but Vegas may have an export to .gif function.

If not, then personally I would "render stills" from the individual frames; batch process them in Photoshop to be the correct size and then use a .gif animator to create the avatar.

I'm not sure if MovieMaker or iMovie have any of these capabilities.
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Old 04-26-2006, 04:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Awesome. I downloaded a trial of Vegas, and it did the job fantastically! Thanks!
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