Chapter 12 Video Formats and Software OBJECTIVES At the end of this chapter, you should be able to: 1. state four main types of video formats and standards; 2. identify several examples of codec formats and video file formats that INTRODUCTIONthe market; and are currently available in 3. learn several basic techniques of processing video using the Adobe Premier software. INTRODUCTIONIn the previous chapters, you learned about video components in multimedia. Inthis chapter we will focus on some of the video formats and standard that areregularly used. You would also be given explanations, regarding the types ofcodec formats and video file formats that are currently available in the market. Atthe end of this chapter, you will also learn about several basic techniques forprocessing video with the use of the Adobe Premier software, which is the videoapplication software used extensively today.12.1 VIDEO FORMATS AND STANDARDSAs what we have learnt, video broadcasts are based on frame rate per second orfps. Do you know that video is played on different frame rate per seconddepending on the country? For example, in the United States, video is played at a
CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 213rate of 30 frames per second. This is based on the guideline or standard,prescribed by the committee of the country, which is the National TelevisionStandards Committee (NTSC), while countries like United Kingdom, Australiaand most countries in Asia, use the PAL broadcasting system or PhaseAlternation Line. Unlike the NTSC system, the PAL system uses 25 frames persecond for videos and television playback. Hence, majority of the television setsand video recorders have multiple systems capability (multi system ready). Thisgives the audience the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of both the systems.The four main formats and standards for broadcasting and video are, NTSC,PAL, SECAM and HDTV. These standards may be converted or interpretedamong each other but usually, the conversion process causes the quality to drop,and there are some processes that require specific hardware. Therefore, it isimportant to understand each of these standards, and identify where yourmultimedia project will be played, or presented.The following are brief discussions on the video formats and standards that areavailable currently;(a) NTSC NTSC or National Television Standards Committee is a standard based on specifications fixed by the National Television Standards Committee, 1952. It is used in the United States of America and Japan. These standards define a method for encoding information into the electric signal that ultimately creates a television picture. According to NTSC standards, a video frame consists of 525 horizontal scan lines that is produced every 1/30 of a second.NTSC is also known as, Never Twice the Same Colour.(b) PAL PAL or Phase Alternate Line is a standard that is used in Britain, European countries and most of the countries in Asia. According to Vaughan (2001), PAL is an integration method that adds colours to black and white television signals. It produces 625 lines at a frame rate of 25 frames rate per second (fps); each line requires a time of 1/50 per second to be produced (50 Hz).(c) SECAM SECAM or Sequentiel Couleur avec memoire is a standard that is used in France, Russia and a few other countries. Although it is almost the same as PAL and NTSC, the broadcasting technology and method of SECAM
214 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO distinguishes it from the other standards. To tackle this problem, the majority of television sets sold in European nations have components that can accept both the PAL and SECAM systems.(d) HDTV HDTV or High Definition TV is a new standard of television technology. HDTV provides clear and quality sounds and pictures just like 35mm movies. The main difference between the old television standard and HDTV is its high resolution. HDTV consists of 1080 active lines compared to the current television pictures standard of only 486 active lines. REFERENCES To obtain more information regarding video formats and standards, refer to Chapter 12 of the book, „Multimedia: Making It Work, 5th Edition,‰ by Tay Vaughan, 2001. Advanced Television Systems Committee is an International Organisation involved in the development of standards for digital television. Visit its website at http://www.atsc.org.12.2 CODEC FORMATSCodec format is defined as an algorithm to compress and decompress. It is amechanism that is used to compress digital video. In the previous chapters, youlearnt about the methods and techniques of compression. In this chapter, we willview several digital video formats that are currently available in the market.Among them are CinePak and Indeo, which can be used in various platformssuch as Macintosh, Windows or Unix. Examples of other codecs are JPEG, MPEGand Sorenson. You can choose any of the codecs that are available in the marketto produce videos. (See the table quoted from the multimedia book, MultimediaLiteracy, by Fred T. Hofstetter, on the following page).
CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 21512.2.1 CinePakCinePak format was formerly known as, Compact Video. It is the most popularcodec for the Quick Time file. CinePak is a lossy compression format. If you usethe CinePak format, you must ensure that the original video source that has yet tobe compressed is of high quality.CinePak can support frame differencing. It is asymmetrical whereby it requires alonger time for compression. For example, a video that is only 15 seconds willtake up to an hour to be compressed. However, the video produced is smoothand its file size is satisfactory.12.2.2 Indeo/DVIBesides CinePak, Indeo (also known as DVI) is a codec format developed by Intel.Generally, Indeo can be in lossy or lossless compression forms and can supportframe differencing. However, it is less asymmetrical compared to CinePak.Indeo requires more processing time for decompression. This causes the videoproduced to be less smooth compared to CinePak. Indeo is a special codec formatfor the VfW (Video for Windows) file, but Quick Time 2.0 can also support thisformat. Therefore, it has become the second most popular codec format for digitalvideo.12.2.3 JPEGWhen you view a JPEG format, you may think that it is one of the file formats forgraphics or images! In fact, it is the same as the JPEG graphics format. Sometimesit is dubbed as JPEG motion. You must remember that video comprises of a set offrames, where each image in a frame can be compressed using JPEG compression.JPEG assumes that each of these video frames as static images. This produces arather large file size and a sizeable drop in terms of quality with a correspondinglarge compression ratio.Compression using JPEG entails specific hardware, but the process ofdecompression can be implemented without hardware, but with softwaresupport particularly QuickTime for Apple and Video for Windows.Choosing suitable codec is not an easy task. Read the quotation below regardingthe Comparison of Codec Formats, to help you make the right decision.
216 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 12.1: different codec format
CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 217 To obtain more information regarding video codec, visit its website at http://www.icanstream.tv/CodecCentral/index.html. Exercise 12.1 Give ONE difference between Indeo and CinePak.12.3 VIDEO FILE FORMATSAfter the video has been digitised and converted into a digital video file, youshould choose a video file format to store the video clip. For use on the computer,the main choice is the Microsofts Video for Windows (.AVI), QuickTime andsome versions of MPEG. Although there are many file formats such as theAutoDeskÊs FLC, most of the digital video files comprise of formats from MPEG,AVI or QuickTime. Figure 12.2: Main digital video file formats
218 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO12.3.1 QuickTimeQuickTime is among the best video file formats and it is developed by AppleComputer. Both the MacintoshÊs system and Windows support this file formatextensively. Most of the Windowss 95/98 systems can play the QuickTime video,but it may require a device installation software if the version of QuickTimeneeded to play the video is later than the version supported by the computersystem.Although, you may be forced to equip your computer with the requiredQuickTime installation software, QuickTime is still the main choice for crossplatform multimedia development.QuickTime does not require a high cost as the files required to replay video clipsin QuickTime format are circulated free of charge by Apple computer.12.3.2 Microsofts Video for Windows (.AVI)Microsoft first introduced Video for Windows in 1992. Its aim was to prepare astandard for video under the WindowsÊ operating system. Although the AVIformat is not the best format in the market, however, it is the most widely used.This is because most of the personal computer owners in the world use theWindowsÊ operating system. Therefore, you do not require any additionalsoftware to play AVI files in the WindowsÊ system environment. For systems thatare not in the WindowsÊ environment such as the Macintosh computer that doesnot support the AVI format, you need special software that can be obtained fromMicrosoft to view the video clips.The Microsofts Video for Windows program is based upon the .AVI (AudioVideo Interleave) file format where the audio and video is "interleaved." Thisenables audio and video to be played simultaneously.12.3.3 MPEGMPEG (Motion Picture Expert Group) is gaining popularity in tandem with theincrease in computer systems. MPEG-1 encodes video-clips on 352 x 240, 320 x240, 176 x 112 or 160 X 112 screen sizes only, but it can be played on full screen at30 fps with neat frame rate and satisfactory image quality.There are many MPEG versions in the market such as MPEG 1, MPEG-2 andMPEG-4. MPEG-1 is the original format designed for quality VHS pictures atCD-ROM data rate. It is a cross platform format supported by both theMacintoshs system and Windows. MPEGs main problem is that its compression
CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 219method is asymmetrical and thus, needs expensive software to encode thisformat.MPEG-1 compression standard usually has a compression ratio within the rangeof 26:1. It supports random access, meaning that the users can play the video clipat any part that is required.MPEG-2 was introduced in the middle of 1990Ês and has better quality comparedto the MPEG-1 format. It enables data to be transferred, at a speed of 5MB persecond for quality multimedia broadcasting, and up to 10MB per second forstudio quality. MPEG-2Ês standard also enable basic video modes to be used suchas, fast forward, reverse play and slow motion.Now, a new format has emerged which is the MPEG 4 that promises good qualityat a low data rate and the capacity to encode playback at a different data rate.Adobe Premiere (a topic that you would study later) supports the coding formatof MPEG 4.Before using MPEG, make sure that the system you are using can supportMPEGs version. Just like AVI and QuickTime formats, you probably need ainstallation device. Besides that, for some versions of MPEG such as MPEG 2,users may need to install encoder hardware to the computer system. The explanation above about MPEG may be limited. Visit its website at; http: //www.mpeg.com., to obtain more information. The website at http://www.digitalvideosolutions.com/index.htm contains many interesting topics on digital video including Codec, formats and video standards.The extract below explains about audio and video streaming.
220 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Audio and Video Streaming?Streaming audio is the sound that is delivered to the user as it is being receivedfrom the website that you are visiting. The audio file is broken up into smallpieces (streams) and then sent from the server to the clients machine, thebrowser on the clients machine uses a helper application (like Real Audio) toreassemble the audio stream. This is different from downloading a file to a harddrive and then playing it after the entire file has been downloaded. Theadvantage of streaming is that there is usually no waiting (or very little) from thetime the mouse is clicked until the time the sound starts playing. The sameapproach could be used to stream video files across the Web. According to recentreports published, the streaming technology industry is the fastest growingindustry on the net and this trend is expected to continue and grow. The keyproviders, as far as streaming technology is concerned are: Real Networks, Appleand Microsoft.Real Audio is streaming audio technology developed by Real Networks. TheRealAudio player (the client software) is available for free from Real NetworksWebsite. RealAudio is capable of sending audio files in two different formats.1. Stereo 8 KHz sampling rate for 28.8 kbs connections (-2.5 KB/sec.) and2. Stereo 16 KHz sampling rate for 56+ kbs connections (~5 KB/sec).)Another emerging technology in creating audio content for the web is the use ofcompression techniques and namely MP3. In order to create streaming audio orvideo files, the multimedia designer firstly needs to create the digital audio orvideo file format (acceptable file formats are .Wav, .aif, avi, .rnov, .mpg) and thenusing a RealAudio producer or similar type of software the digital file format isbroken into streams ready for broadcasting over the Internet.(Source: „Designing Interactive Multimedia Systems,‰ Mohammad Dastbaz,2002: pg173) Figure 12.3: Audio and video streaming Exercise 12.2 1. Explain the differences between MPEG-1 and MPEG-2. 2. State TWO advantages of QuickTime.
CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 22112.4 VIDEO SOFTWARELately, the role of video has been receiving a lot of attention in multimediasystems. Including the video element in multimedia presentations is one of theeffective ways to deliver information that other media failed to do. The reasonsfor this development are: Demands from users for video; Multimedia technology has progress to a stage where video is easily integrated into multimedia systems; and The emergence of sophisticated hardware such as video capture cards, video RAM and AGP cards.According to Tannenbaum (2001), there are three basic levels in the use ofmoving images in the interactive multimedia applications such as capturing,editing and presenting. There are various software that can help you toimplement these basic functions. Depending on the difficulty levels of theequipment and the functions offered, these software are probably expensive.Professional video clips require a studio, cameras and professional soundengineers. In fact, in large multimedia project cases, contracts are usually given toprofessional film studios to produce videos.Most of the video capture cards also provide several basic software that cancapture and store digital videos. Video for Windows and AppleÊs QuickTime areamong the earliest videos that are available in the Macintosh and WindowsÊenvironments. For more professional results, Adobe Premiere provides morechoices and functions. Other than Adobe Premiere, you can also try other videosoftware such as Video Fusion and UleadÊs Media Studio Pro. Although thisvideo software are expensive, each has their own advantages and uses inproducing high quality digital videos. Have you ever watched a computer using support software such as MPEG or viewed a short video-clip on web sites such as CNN.com? If you have never viewed video-clips on web sites, visit CNN.coms website at: http://www.cnn.com/.
222 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Besides Adobe Premiere software, Lumiere, and UleadÊs Media Studio are also famous video editing software. Visit UleadÊs Media Studios website at www.ulead.com to obtain more information.Now, we will discuss one of the popular video software that is available in themarket, which is the Adobe Premiere.12.5 ADOBE PREMIEREAdobe Premiere is popular video application software in desktop computerplatforms. The new premiere interface supports professional video work, audioequipment with studio quality, and editing tools with long formats.With Adobe Premiere, users can edit long or short video formats, online oroffline more productively and effectively for the purpose of broadcasting, filmproduction, story boards or preparation of web based videos.Another productive feature of this software is that, it has good mediamanagement tools such as palette transition that is used during the transitionprocess. In addition, this software also offers extensive hardware and softwaresupport where it allows users the flexibility to carry out their tasks. This isbecause Adobe Premiere integrates very well with other AdobeÊs family such as,Photoshop, After Effects and Illustrator. With this integration, users can carry outthe task of developing videos more efficiently where the project being developedcan be transferred among these applications.By using Adobe Premiere version 5 and above, users will be faced with aninterface that has various media management tools and dialogue boxes. It is veryeasy to use and suitable for common users as well as professional video makers. REFERENCES To know more about the method of recording and editing digital videos in the Windows and Macintosh environments, refer to Chapter 35 in the book, „Multimedia Literacy,‰ by Fred T. Hofstetter, 2001.
CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 22312.6 GUIDELINES FOR USING ADOBE PREMIEREBefore we learn the basic features and techniques of Adobe Premiere, we mustremember that Adobe Premiere is the most widely used video application ondesktop computer platforms. Nevertheless, all editing programs are generallyalmost the same, it uses metaphors that resemble the traditional video and filmediting.The following are several features and basic concepts of Adobe Premiere.12.6.1 Selecting Initial WorkspaceWhen you first use Adobe Premiere, you will see a screen display as shownbelow in Figure 12.4. You must select Initial Workspace. There are two choiceshere and that is, A/B Editing and Single-Track Editing. Figure 12.4: Initial Workspace12.6.2 Determining Project SettingAfter selecting Initial Workspace, a dialogue box Load Project Settings willemerge such as shown in Figure 12.5. Each time you start a new project onPremiere; this dialogue box will be displayed. Here, you need to determine themost suitable setting for your videos project. For example, MultimediaQuickTime for Macintosh users and Multimedia Video for Windows, forWindows users.
224 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 12.5: Load Project Settings12.6.3 Adobe Premiere’s Main ScreenAfter deciding on the Project Settings, you will come to the PremiereÊs mainworking environment screen as shown in Figure 12.6 below. Figure 12.6: PremiereÊs Main Working Environment ScreenThere are five different key areas on the screen as explained in the followingsections.
CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 225(a) The Project Area Figure 12.7: The Project area The Project Area tracks all the different AVI/MOV files that contain raw footage which are used to generate videos. In this illustration, the Project Area contains five different files that have been imported into the bin. Each file contains a raw footage which is a cougar, an elephant etc. Bin is like a folder, which is a collection of materials or files.(b) The Monitor Area The Monitor Area contains two video windows. The left window is known as the source window; it allows you to see different AVI files so that you can identify the IN and the OUT points of the video clip that you wish to use. The right window is known as the Program window; it enables you to view the movie while it is being developed on the timeline. Both these windows contain standard controls for play, stop, repeat etc. Figure 12.8 shows the monitor area.
226 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 12.8: The Monitor Area(c) The Timeline Area Figure 12.9: The Timeline Area The Timeline Area, as shown in Figure 12.9, is the area where you collect audio and video clips for the final movie. Even though the timeline area shown above has space for two video tracks and three audio tracks, it actually can accommodate dozens of clips if required.
CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 227(d) The Transitions Area Figure 12.10: The transitions area The Transitions Area enables you to choose various types of transitions so that you can place it on the timeline area.(e) The Navigator Area Figure 12.11: The Navigator Area The Navigator Area enables you to see the whole project at a glance no matter how large the project is. It also enables you to decide the zoom level on the timeline area.
228 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO12.6.4 Capturing VideoAfter you have captured the raw footage with the camera, you should load thisfootage into your computer. To do this, connect your camera to the computerwith the FireWire cable. Choose File -> Capture -> Movie Capture from theAdobe Premiere menu. You will see a window as shown in Figure 12.12 below. Figure 12.12: Capture window from Adobe PremiereThe control button at the lower part of the Capture Window allows you to controlyour camera. You can rewind, fast forward and play. Generally, you should dothe following: Press the Rewind button at the window to rewind the tape in the camera. Press the Play button at the window to start playing the tape. Press the Record button in red colour, to start capturing the section or the raw footage to the hard disk After the section or footage has been played / recorded, press the Stop button. Premiere will ask for the fileÊs name that you wish to use for this section.You can capture all your footages into a large file or capture it into severalsmaller files. Make sure that you know the size limit of the file for the operatingsystem and editing software package that you are using. You should also makesure that you have adequate disk space to store all footages captured.
CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 22912.6.5 Video ClipsYou might not want to use all the raw footages that you have previouslycaptured. You probably want to choose the part or the scenes that are suitable foryour project only. Therefore, you would need to clip these areas that you want touse in your movie. To do this, follow the following steps.Firstly, you must import the file containing the raw footage into your currentproject so that Premiere can use it. If you capture the footage in Premiere, it willbe imported automatically. Choose File -> Import and identify the AVI or MOVfiles that you wish to add to the project. Adobe uses the "Bin" concept to keepAVI and MOV files. "Bin" is like a folder, which is a collection of files. In largeprojects, you probably have several "Bin" to keep the various types of sections.To assist with your understanding, we will use the cougar file as shown in Figure12.13 as an example of the imported file that you wish to Âclip.ÊFigure 12.13: This project area contains five AVI files that have been imported into a Bin.‰ Drag the cougar file from the Project window to the source window. Press the Play button to view the result being played on the source window. Mark the IN and OUT points at the clip that you wish to use in the source window.
230 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO The small bar placed on the time code shows which section of the raw footage that you have chosen for the Âclip.Ê After you have chosen the Âclip,Ê you can then add it to the timeline (Figure 12.4).12.6.6 TimelineOnce you mark the clip by choosing the IN and OUT points in the sourcewindow, you can add the clip to the timeline. Just drag the image from the sourcewindow to the timeline. The display that you would see is as shown in Figure12.15 below. Figure 12.15: TimelineWhat is displayed at the timeline now is your movie, containing a 5 secondsduration clips.Now just repeat this process by dragging several clips to the timeline. The resultis as shown in Figure 12.16.
CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 231 Figure 12.16: Timeline with three clipsWhat you have learnt so far is only an example of how to generate a simplemovie by gathering several clips and placing them at the timeline. Nevertheless,it is better than just the mere raw footage. This is because you have picked thebest parts from the raw footage to be gathered in the timeline.To play your movie, click the Play button at the program section in the monitorarea or click the time section in the timeline area to move the pointer, and thenpress the spacebar to start playing from the selected point.12.6.7 TransitionsSometimes, simple cut from one clip to another clip is sufficient; at times, youmight wish to use more sophisticated transitions from one scene to another scene.For example, you might want to use dissolve, wipe or fade transitions. Premierehas many types of transitions. You only need to choose one type of transitionsfrom the transition area and then drag it to the spot between the two clips on thetimeline.
232 UNIT 3 MULTIMEDIA COMPONENTS II: AUDIO & VIDEO Figure 12.17: Dozens of transition typesOnce you are at the desired place in the timeline, right click on the transition ifyou wish to adjust it. Figure 12.18: Timeline with the placed transitionWhen the movie is being played, you cannot instantly see how the transitionshould actually be seen. This is because the transition requires more processingtime for it to accomplish its impact or effect. Premiere will tell you that additionalprocessing is still required, by indicating it through a small red bar placed on thetransition (see Figure 12.18). To activate the additional processing, you mustRender the timeline. From the Timeline menu, choose Render Work Area. Oncethe processing ends, you can play the movie to view the transition.
CHAPTER 12 VIDEO FORMATS AND SOFTWARE 233 Exercise 12.3 1. In your opinion, what are the advantages of digital video editing? 2. Which of the following video file formats utilise the least storage space: AVI, QuickTime or MPEG? 3. List FOUR types of CODEC formats that you know. 4. When you open Adobe Premiere, you need to ensure Initial Workspace first by choosing either A / B Editing or Single-Track Editing. State the differences between both these options. SUMMARYJust like audio, digital video integration for desktop computers has opened a newpage for multimedia applications. Apart from requiring a video capture card thatcan communicate and read the analog video sources, video integration inmultimedia applications also require software that can capture and edit thedigital video for storage.In the world of multimedia, digital video editing is not only used to increase titlesand impact of animation, it is also used to generate web animation, post processand combining morphs in large productions and also to enliven static images.With the availability of various sophisticated video application software such asAdobe Premiere in the market, it not only helps but also draws out your talents toproduce a more creative, attractive and dynamic pieces of work.