VirtualDub (May 2014)
VirtualDub (May 2014)
VirtualDub— is an application for capturing / video
processing for 32 and 64 bit Windows. The biggest
disadvantage is that it does not have the option to edit
on a general purpose level but it is focused on the fast
linear operations over videos. There are possibilities
for processing large numbers of files and can be
extended with a variety of video filters.
VirtualDub can be used to delete segments of video
files, adding new segments or reorder existing
segments. However, segments of different files cannot
be mixed and transition effect cannot be applied.
IRTUALDUB is one of the most popular tools for
auxiliary video editing. Its true power lies in the manner in
which it operates, and the fact that it offers a variety of filters
with which it is possible to really achieve small miracles and
do it frame by frame. VirtualDub is designed as a tool for
easy-grip videos with different devices and recording material
in the form of AVI files.
VirtualDub is able to open a record in AVI2 and multipart
AVI clips , has integrated MPEG - 1 and Motion - JPEG
decoders , allows easy removal or replacement of soundtracks
without thereby affecting the input video, comes with a
significant number of video filters (blur , un-sharp , turning
and rotating video , adjusting brightness and contrast ,3D
transformation , etc. ) that you can make yourself, with a little
will and knowledge.
The program can decompress, compress and re-adjust the
compression level for audio and video inputs. Ripping is used
for rapid removal of a segment of the video without the need
to re-summarize the whole video, and allows adjusting the
number of frames per second.
It displays a preview video with applied filters together
with sound and without the need to previously render the
entire movie, which makes a big advantage over many other
tools for editing videos.
It is very convenient for quick cutting video, drawing
individual frames, sound processing and applying a range of
special effects and other filters which can be achieved
by all sorts of things - from removing logos or noise from
video or colorizing to define various transitions between
VirtualDub does not need a installation. Unzip it from the zip
file you downloaded into the folder that you specify (C: \
Program Files \ VirtualDub 1.9.10 or 1.10.0). In the same
folder, copy folders Plugins and Plugins32, which are the
filter packages. Virtual Dub will automatically recognize
When you first launch, a window will appear with basic
instructions on GNU license, click on the Start Virtual Dub
and that's all. Right-click on the VirtualDub.exe file - Send to
- Desktop (create shortcut) and you will get the icon to launch
the Virtual Dub on your desktop.
On the Figure1. We see the layout of the program
VirtualDub. Its interface is very simple. The first top from left
to right we have menu File (for opening and saving processed
files), menu Edit (for cutting, copying and pasting parts of
video), menu View (for configuring preview and others
options), menu Video (for configuring video filters and video
compression), menu Audio (for configuring audio filters and
audio compression).
On the Figure1, we also see the two video frames from
which the input video is on the left (original video), while on
the right side we have the output video (with applied filters).
The slider below allows us to navigate thru the video. From
left to right we have the buttons:
1. Stop replay
2. Start replay the input video
3. Start replay the output video
4. Go to begging or end of the video
5. Next/previous frame
6. Next/previous key frame
7. Previous/next scene
8. Selection Start/End (for cutting or deleting video)
There is also a status display to the right of the control
buttons, like Frame X (the frame number being displayed
currently) and Time (the time of the displayed frame in
The most common use of audio options in VD is for
conversion from audio Variable BitRate (VBR) to Constant
BitRate (CBR) for compatibility with home video player and
some other programs for video processing.
For this purpose, it is necessary in the Menu Audio to specify
Full processing mode and then Compression. The third
command (Conversion) is for the purpose of conversion
from 44.1KHz to 48KHz (better and more compatible with the
majority of players)
Figure 1.Layout of VirtualDub
Let's start with the basic settings for Audio-Video
Processing in Virtual Dub. If we want to open our AVI video
we need to go to Menu File and click Open Video File.
Figure 4. Menu Audio
Clicking on the Compression option we can select the
compressor (codec) which will perform the compression of
Figure 2.Opening the video
After opening the video, the following message may appear
(see Figure 3.), which is in fact a warning that the audio is in
variable BitRate.
(Warning can be turned off in settings VD, but it is not
Figure 5.Audio compression
If you want to increase the intensity of your video tons,
Virtual Dub has that ability.
Put Audio (in the Menu Audio) on Full processing mode, and
then click the Volume. Set desired volume and then set codec
and compression as explained.
Figure 3.Warning about audio
Setting the filter is done by double-clicking on them.
We can check the sound command of the Test.
If we are satisfied, we need to click OK and continue with
other settings.
The most importing basic operations for us are in menu
Video. That’s the place where we set all the options for video
Figure 6.Setting Volume
It is possible to use some basic VD filters that come with the
installation by clicking on the Use advanced filters
Clicking the Filters window opens to select the filter.
Procedure must be as followed:
Figure 9. Menu Video
Figure 7. Audio Filtar
It finally looks like this:
First we have Filters. We use them for choosing different
things to alter the way our video looks such as resizing and so
on. Next we have, Frame Rate , which allows us to alter the
frame rate of video, reduce the number of frames, or remove
3:2 pull down. Then, Color Depth. There are two formats in
Color Depth, Decompression format and Output format. In
decompression format we select a color format to target when
decompressing the input video and in output format we select
a color format for output. During preview, this is the format
sent to the display panes. When video compression is active,
this selects the format received by the video compressor. Next
important thing is Compression, it’s where we set the Video
Compressor we want to use when saving the file. This can be
any Video for Windows compressor that is installed - the ones
that will be used mostly in this guide will be HuffYUV,
PicVideo Mjpeg and XviD.
A. Video merging
One of the reasons why we use VirtualDub is due to merging
videos in a very simple way.
To be able to merged video they must have the same
characteristics, such as:
1. Frame rate
2. Compression
3. Frame size
Figure 8. Audio Filtar look
In my case, the characteristics were not the same, so we had to
rearrange videos.
The first problem was the frame rate. Video on which we
append the second video, had a frame rate of 25.000 fps,
while the second video had 30,000 fps. Frame rate we change
in the video menu, frame rate, and set a new value frame-rate
at 30.00fps.
Figure 12. Compression
After all problems are taken care of, in the first video we
get to a certain point where you want to insert the second
video, we go to the File menu and click append AVI segment.
Figure 10. Fram Rate
Another problem was that they were not of the same size. This
problem is solved by using the resize filter. Resize filter is in
video menu, and then filters. In the settings write a certain
size, in our case, the size of the video was 720x480.
B. Cropping videos
Cropping is a very common method of reducing the
resolution in the video. Cropping is actually cutting off a
certain part of the image on the top, bottom, left or right side.
Part of the image that remains after cropping is unchanged.
Cropping is done by cropping filters that are embedded in
almost all programs for encoding. Typically, this is done so
that there are four fields in which you can enter the number of
pixels that will be cut from the top (top), bottom (Bottom), left
(Left) and right (Right) side of the image.
Cropping should be used if the original video is of a
different size than the output. For example, if you have a
television in widescreen format and the resolution is 4:3, we
get black bars at the top and bottom. To solve this problem we
crop each frame in an appropriate ratio.
Figure 11. Filter Resize
The third problem, not the same compression. This is taken
care of easily in the video menu, compressing, where we set
the desired size.
Figure 13.Example of bad ratio
We don’t need the bits of black parts so we are going to cut
them, leaving only the part that contains important to us.
To crop inside the video, first we need to go in Menu Video
and put in Full Processing mode. After that, we need to go to
We’ll add a filter (click Add and choose Null
Transform) which doesn’t do anything, but will un-gray
the Cropping button now.
blue components of the pixel color. Getting gif using
VirtualDub is pretty simple. After we uploaded the video, we
need to mark a particular clip that we want to convert to GIF.
It's simply done by Mark In and Mark Out buttons.
Figure 14. Filter Null Transform
In the new window (Filter input cropping), we can
manually enter how much we want to cut off in pixels w, or
we can drag the mouse over the edges. Of course, it is
advisable to first seek a brighter part of the video in which one
can clearly see the edges. Since the video in this case is cut
across just vertical, the value of Y1 and Y2 offset are
significant. In my case I put Y1 offset on 36 and Y2 on 37.
Figure 15. Filter input cropping
Figure 16. Result of cropping
Cropping the black bars will change the dimensions and
quality of the video, so we need to use the resize filter to
change the cropped video to the original video’s resolution.
C. Saving AVI like animated GIF
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is the old format, which
is still popular to display simple pictures on the Web. GIF
images have a pixel depth of 8 bits (allowing the image to
have up to 256 different colors) and are always compressed.
GIF format uses a color index, which differs considerably
from the RGB format. In RGB images, for each pixel are
listed numbers which determine the amount of red, green and
Figure 17. Mark In and Mark Out
In VirtualDub press "File" then select "Export" and finally
"Image Sequence." Save the files to "Animated GIF"
Figure 18. Saving GIF-s
D. Filters
A filter is anything that changes a frame or multiple frames of
a video. VirtualDub has a wide range of filters that can further
process your film. There are different types of filters and we
can put them in five categories using their function as
1. Dimensions: 2:1 reduction, crop, resize
2. Add details/Remove noise: static and motion blur,
smoothing, 3D emboss
3. Color: adjust brightness/contrast, conversion to grayscale
or black and white, Hue/Saturation/Value (HSV) adjust,
inversion, histogram adjustment
4. De-interlace: field bob and swap
5. Miscellaneous: generic convolution, horizontal/vertical flip,
perspective, rotate by an angle theta, and logo superimpose
If we use filters, then we must be sure to choose "Full
processing mode" in the Menu Video.
To use Filters we need to go to the Menu Video. When we
click on it, the filter dialog box will open. Clicking on “Add”
we can see the list of available filters. After we click on the
desired filter in the list we simply add it.
That will take us back to the main filter window, where its
name and related information will appear. Clicking on the
name of the filter in the Filter dialog box will open its own
dialog box where we can configure it.
Once we upload a video first we need to go to menu Video,
and select “Direct Stream copy” and analog in Audio Menu.
We need to do that because it protects the original quality and
resolution of the video file when we are going to split it. After
that, using the buttons Mark In and Mark Out, we select the
preferred clip that we want to turn into a new separate video.
Figure 19. Adding Filters
We can use multiple filters at once. We will list here some
of the most interesting. When we add a filter we need to start
fast forwarding through the movie in the main window and in
the output window we can preview how the filter affects the
Some of filters are:
1. 2:1 reduction - reduces the image resolution by half
2. Resize – resizes the video on a desired scale
3. Brightness/Contrast - for editing light and contrast of
the video
4. Flip horizontally - we get the picture as in a mirror
Figure 21. Splitting AVI Files- Saving
F. Removing/Adding audio from video
Removing or changing the video in VirtualDub is a very easy
thing. If we want to remove the audio track we just need to go
to menu Audio and click “No Audio” button, also if we want
to change the audio track we need just press the button "Audio
from other file".
5. Invert - inverts the colors in a image (something like a
negative film for photos)
6. Rotate - rotates the whole movie to 90, 180 or 270
7. Rotate2 - rotates the whole movie for a set number of
8. Grayscale- converts the color of a film in black and
Figure 22. Display Audio Menu
Figure 20.Exemple of filters
E. Splitting AVI files
Another very simple thing what can we do in VirtualDub.
The ability to split an AVI file can be very useful for breaking
a large AVI file into pieces.
Before we are going to save it, we first need to choose Bit
Rate Support. There are three options:
1. AutoDetect - automatically chooses the mode based on bit
rate analysis of the file.
2. Constant Bit Rate - means that the rate at which a codecs
output data should be consumed is constant. More compatible,
but introduces sync errors with VBR-encoded streams.
3. Variable Bit Rate - vary the amount of output data per time
segment. VBR allows a higher bitrate (and therefore requires
more storage space) to be allocated to the more complex
segments of media files while less space is allocated to less
complex segments.
4. Non - standard; typically supported by software players, but
may cause compatibly issues with other softwares or some
hardware players.
original file. We can see it by clicking on Menu File - "File
information" in "Sampling rate".
G. Compression files
The video is a very complex piece of information and requires
a lot of space to be recorded. As we know, the video consists
of a series of static images. In non-compression form, the
video takes up very much space. Imagine a video with a
dimension of 640x480, 25 images (frames) per second, which
lasts five minutes. If you use 24 - bit color, the calculation
looks like this: 640 * 480 * 3 * 25 * 60 * 5 = 6,912,000,000
bytes = 6.5 GB *. That does not seem acceptable and means
we need to use video compression in order to reduce its size.
If we want to compress the video, we need to go to the Menu
Video and then click "Full processing mode".
Then we need to click again on Menu Video and click the
"Compression". It will open a new window with a list of all
the video codecs we have installed.
We need to choose DivX or XviD codec. We can possibly set
the parameters of codec on the "Configure" option.
Here we can specify the keyframe interval as well as what will
be the "Bitrate" compression.
Bitrate is expressed in "Kbit / s". The higher bitrate we put the
higher the image quality will be, but that naturally increases
the memory we need to record the video. We want to save the
file in the MPEG format so we select "save as type", "all files"
and enter the file name in the "File name" textbox and just add
the extension .mpeg.
Figure 24. Saving compression
H. Removing photo or sound from video
If we ever wish to take only music from the video, or we just
want to have a snapshot, then VirtualDub is an ideal solution
for it. I think that's one of the easiest and very useful things
you can do this program.
It’s very simple and easy. Using the order by Mark In and
Mark Out buttons we choose a part which we want to save as
a sound. After we do that, we need to go to Menu File and
click Save Wav. And that’s it. Now we have only the sound of
the video.
Figure 23. Compression and configuration
If we want to compress the audio we need to go to the
Menu Audio and click "Full processing mode".
Then we need to go again on the Menu Audio and click
"Compression". It will open up a window with a list of all the
audio codecs that we have installed.
We need to select "MPEG Layer-3" and select the
appropriate frequency sound in "HZ".
The frequency must be the same as the frequency of the
Figure 25. Saving wav
We need to find the picture we want to copy and then click
on Menu Video and then click "Copy source frame to
Figure 26.Copying source frame
Now we open a program for editing images, it can be the
Windows "Paint" software. Click on "Edit" - "Paste" and take
a picture with the "Menu File" - "Save As" where we choose
save as type JPEG format.
VirtualDub is one of the jewels of the Open Source
community, but also proof that one man can make a program
that surpasses many commercial solutions in the field of video
processing. VirtualDub is an application for digitizing video,
as well as the processing of digitized videos. It was written by
Avery Lee, thanks to the fact that he could not find a program
that will quickly and well do basic operations with a video
material (for details, see the /
VirtualDub_ history). Unlike the "big" packet processing,
VirtualDub is not a program for nonlinear processing, but a
program for fast and efficient processing of linear video
materials. This means that all the actions that you perform on
the material occur linearly, while respecting the time axis: it's
easy to throw out part of the material which you do not want
in the final video (this is a linear operation) while it is
impossible to relocate to another part of the place in the video,
at least not easily.
VirtualDub will allow you to experiment and open horizons
on a completely new way of using your computer. With a
minimal investment, a little good will and a desire to
experiment, your old videos can get a new glow and stay
Figure 27.Picture jpeg format
G. Diamantopoulos, S.Salehi, J.Buechler “Learning VirtualDub
The complete guide to capturing, processing, and encoding digital
video, 1nd ed. Pack Publishing , 2005
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