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you can fly!?Project Dogwaffle - PD Pro Post Work Tutorial #1

Dissecting a Movie into Two Separate Clips.
(best viewed with 1024x768 or higher screen resolution - it's the 21st century, and you'll need this for Project Dogwaffle anyway.)

As mentioned earlier, we're dealing with a single AVI file which contains two clips, each of which are several seconds long. The total movie is 300 frames long and we want to break it into two separate clips, each saved into their own AVI file.

You will start by loading the AVI file into PD Pro. Then you'll strip one of the clips off the movie so that you can save the rest back as one clip.

For example, the first clip shown here is going to be extracted into a file named  theCave.avi, while the second clip will be saved as  theJump.avi.  The original clip can be found here in Quicktime format. You can use your own tools to produce an AVI version, uncompressed or with your favorite codec.

As a reminder, the original clip is courtesy of and copyright by :
Jack Whitney Studio
Digital Illustration, Animation & Design

Sea dog, Swamp dog,...
 anything's good for Dogwaffle...

1 - Loading the AVI file...

In most programs, opening an existing file is done through the File... menu. That is also the case with Project Dogwaffle,  but only for still images. (as of PD Pro 3.2 or earlier versions).

To open an animation in the form of image sequences or from an AVI file, select the option from the Animation menu:

Animation > Load AVI...

Note that there is also a simple Open... option in that menu. That option is used for animations saved in a .dwa file, the native DogWaffle Animation format -

The dialog box will let you navigate through the Windows file system to locate the AVI file.

When you click to open and load the selected AVI file, a progress bar will show the status, indicating the frames being loaded.

In this example there are a total of 300 frames.

While loading, the frames will be seen in the newly created buffer window of Project Dogwaffle.

Done! the AVI animation file is loaded.

An animation toolbar (also called scrub bar) appears. You can scrub through the frames of the animation by dragging the frame indicator along the scrollbar. You can also advance or reverse frame by frame with the left and right arrows, or the Left and Right cursor keys on the keyboard. You'll notice a familiar Stop and Play button too.

There's also a frame count indicator, and a button to add frames one by one ("+" plus sign). There is a pirate head icon to delete (kill) the current frame as well.

And there's a light bulb icon which enables the light table (onion skin mode). That's something useful for animators wanting to see the prior and following frames while lkooking at the current frame.

The last icon, "FPS", lets you adjust the frames per second used for playback. Of course, it can only try to run it at the selected speed. If you indicate 100 Hz in the FPS panel, you better hope you have a fast system or small image ;-)

2 - Filmstrip Mode

The Options menu in the scrub bar lets you switch to Filmstrip mode.

When in Filmstrip mode, you'll see the filmstrip of each frame as small thumbnails.

There are now possibly two sliders. One for selecting the frame, the other to scan through the portion of frames displayed in the filmstrip.

There is also an 'In' and 'Out' and 'Clear' (Clr). button to set access markers for editing a whole group of frames.

Note: The currently selected frame appears in the filmstrip with a fine yellow border. You can also just click the desired one in the filmstrip to select it.

3 - Editing to Cut a Block (group) of Frames

Using the scrub bar you can easily  look in the filmstrip for the last frame of the current clip and the switch over to the first frame of the next clip.

Find the first frame of the second clip, and click to select it. It will become highlighted with a yellow border.

You're now going to start selecting a range at that first frame. That's called setting the 'in' point or marker.

Set the "in" point by clicking the "In" icon to the right of the filmstrip.

Notice the frame counter field showing 151, which is the 152nd  frame. Frame numbers start at 0.

Slide to the last frame of the movie and select the last frame. Then click the "Out" icon to set the out point.

Since there are 300 frames in this clip originally, the last frame is #299 as shown in the frame counter field.

Now that the In point and the Out point are both set, a range of frames has been selected.  You are ready to cut this set of frames from the clip.

You can either right-click on the Animation menu, or find similar menu items by right-clicking directly on the filmstrip of the scrub bar, as shown here.

The first few items are for editing individual, single frames.

The second group of options is for operating on blocks of frames, and since you already selected the in and out points of a block, you can now cut that block.

You will see some visual updating of the filmstrip as it removes the frames contained in the block. Soon, the selected block will no longer be part of the current movie.

You can now scrub through the remaining clip and see the frames of the Cave.

4 - Saving to AVI File  


It is time to save the resulting clip. Select the menu item:

Animation > Save AVI...

You'll see a small dialog box titled "Animation to avi".

This is your last chance to set the frame rate, i.e. how many frames per second you want recorded in the AVI header info. All frames of your animation will be saved, but they will play faster or slower based on this number.

Use 24 fps for example.

The "Show..." option simply opens the last saved AVI file in your default AVI media player, which is typically Windows Media player but could be Irfanview or other.

Click on "Save AVI..."

Set the folder and filename for saving the animation.

Naturally, Dogwaffle will then ask you for the desired codec to use for compression.

Please be sure you understand the rules and limitations or constraints of your selected  codec. Dogwaffle assumes your animation has the required specifications. If the codec failes to record the AVI, Dogwaffle will report an error but may not tell you much about the reasons for the failure. You will want to make sure you have the right window size, aspect ratio, multiple-of-8, etc... or whatever the requirements are for saving to such codec.

If you don't know, and if you have plenty of disk space, save to uncompressed codec. You can recompress later if you use a tool to add audio tracks for example, such as with VirtualDub or debugmode Wax.

5 - Saving the Second Clip

Repeat the procedure for isolating and saving the second half of the clip.  However, try this:  when selecting the out point's frame, don't select the last frame of the Cave clip portion, but the frame or two before the last.

After cutting the block of frames, you might then still have one last frame left from the cave clip. You can easily select and delete it. Click to select it, then click the pirate-head icon to kill the frame.

The last frame of the first clip (the cave) is now gone, so you can save the remaining animation as the Jump movie in its own AVI file.

If the jump of the sea dog appears to fast or too slow, use the FPS button in the scrub bar to adjust it.

You can set the frame rate by clicking one of the preset speeds or by entering a number in the text field.

For now... say Bye-bye to doggie....

Ok, this completes this tutorial. You have found the basic tools in PD Pro to editing a video clip by cutting blocks of frames. There's more, and more to come in the future.

In the next tutorial you'll start using a tool which applies special FX filters all along the frames of the animation: The Timeline editor

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> this was tutorial #1
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