Scrubbing in flipbook is too slow playback compression tips

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Question

I am experiencing a problem when scrubbing in the Flipbook viewer. As a result of this issue, I am looking for suggestions for compressing movie files. For example, when exporting to a movie format such as Quick Time or AVI from the SOFTIMAGE|XSI Flipbook utility, there is an option to use a codec such as Indeo or Cinepak, however the resultant movie file size is enormous.

I imagine that some sort of compression is taking place (I cannot tell precisely what) but the file size is still too large. I have been successful creating compressed movies in the past in other 2D applications, but am wondering what methods and codecs are the best to use in SOFTIMAGE|XSI.

Answer

Here are a few caveats to consider concerning movie compression and scrubbing, in the context of the Flipbook utility:

  • Scrubbing will generally be sluggish in the Flipbook viewer if you use compressed movie files. The reason being that video compressors only store the difference between frames, so getting a single complete frame usually means reading several frames to get the complete picture. This is slow, the worse case being playing backwards.

    Video compressors only store full frames at every key. By default the video compressor is often set to using a key every 24 or 30 frames. This means that to display frame 23, it will need to read the 22 previous frames from the movie file. More keys translates into faster scrubbing, but larger file sizes; you cannot have both.

  • The same Codecs that are available with Quicktime Pro should be available in the SOFTIMAGE|XSI Flipbook utility. All you need is to do is choose Quicktime as the output, and press the Codec button to view and pick codec options from the list. When saving or playing .avi or .mov files, Flipbook in fact will only delegate to Quicktime or Video For Windows.

    If this is only to pre-visualize your animation, try using .pic of .jpg image sequences. When it comes time to publish the animation, you will indeed likely be better served by a dedicated software such as Media Cleaner.




Applies To: XSI 2.0,XSI 2.0.1 on NT,Win2K

Posted: 2/1/2002


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