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MJPG from Digital Cam Output from AE

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James M. Sheats III
MJPG from Digital Cam Output from AE
on Jan 31, 2010 at 5:07:04 pm

I've searched around a bit and found some info on MJPG A and B formats per QuickTime legacy codecs, but my problem is a little out there.

I've got some vids from vacations etc. that I'd like to enhance in After Affects and then play on my digital picture frame. The video clips from my digital camera will play directly on the DPF but I have to jump through some hoops to get the videos into AE. I've tried nearly every permutation in terms of outputing in AE to no avail.

I've run GSpot to get some info on the original clips to help figure out what exactly the output should be and it says that the video Codec is MJPG (alone without any additional parameters etc). These clips have a .AVI extension and are 320x240 @ 20 fps.

Has anyone ever come across this issue and managed to get past it. There has to be some way even if I cannot output directly from AE but possibly achieve something close and then convert it outside of AE for final input onto the digital picture frame. I have to say of all the things i've come across and figured out the work around for, this seems like it should be the easiest yet is turning out to have me really stumped.

Thanks in advance for any input!



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David Johnson
Re: MJPG from Digital Cam Output from AE
on Jan 31, 2010 at 9:47:02 pm

Sorry, but I'm not sure I understand what the question is ... AE can definitely read MJPG (lots of stock footage firms use it) and can render back to MJPG or whatever other codec you have installed. You may run into issues with the 20fps, but even that should be fine as long as your comps etc match that frame rate.


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James M. Sheats III
Re: MJPG from Digital Cam Output from AE
on Feb 1, 2010 at 3:50:56 pm

I understand what you are saying, theoretically AE should import these .AVI files from my digital camera, but it will not. I get an error telling me that the file is damaged or in an unsupported format. I am thinking it has to do with the odd 20fps frame rate that my camera puts out. Just to be clear I am talking about an inexpensive point and shoot model that happens to record low quality 320x240 videos as well as take still shots. I know the codec is installed because the videos play in WMP fine, just cannot import into AE or Premiere Pro etc.

I downloaded a trial from Accusoft of a codec called PICVideo 4 and now I can drag and drop into AE. Unfortunately the license is a little expensive -- $179 for the 64bit compress/decompress version which is justifiable expense for me to play around with getting my videos onto my DPF after editing.

At least I know that it is possible now and that the problem is codec related. I have to believe that I have the appropriate codec already (since I can view the videos inside of WMP etc) and that it is just not registered or recognized within AE. Possibly it is just the decompress version for viewing and that is why I cannot ouput using the codec.


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Kevin Camp
Re: MJPG from Digital Cam Output from AE
on Feb 1, 2010 at 3:43:14 pm

i have a feeling that your dpf works with mpeg compression, but not in a quicktime container (not .mov). so you'll need to try rendering to another format (.dv, .avi, .mpg, .m2v, .mp4, etc.) until you find one that works... or check the manual or the manufacturer's site for information on the codecs and formats that the dpf will take.

in addition to the format, you would also like to know the bit-rate that the dpf can sustain.

also, you'll probably get the best quality-to-compression ratio if you use a compression utility to compress the video. ae can't handle inter-frame compression too well, and that's a common type of compression for streaming media (mpeg-2, h.264, etc), but a compression utility will. adobe media encoder may work for you (it's part of cs4). also, mpeg streamclip is free and may work to, and there are many others out there.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Dave LaRonde
Re: MJPG from Digital Cam Output from AE
on Feb 1, 2010 at 6:15:46 pm

[James M. Sheats III] "I've run GSpot to get some info on the original clips to help figure out what exactly the output should be and it says that the video Codec is MJPG (alone without any additional parameters etc). These clips have a .AVI extension and are 320x240 @ 20 fps....

...theoretically AE should import these .AVI files from my digital camera, but it will not. I get an error telling me that the file is damaged or in an unsupported format. I am thinking it has to do with the odd 20fps frame rate that my camera puts out. "


AE has absolutely no problems with frame rates such as yours. None.

But it DOES have problems with video codecs used in many point 'n shoot cameras. Is there any possibility whatsoever that what you read as MJPG is actually MPEG, a far different thing? If it is, you can get MPEG Streamclip (free!) to convert the video to something AE can use.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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James M. Sheats III
Re: MJPG from Digital Cam Output from AE
on Feb 1, 2010 at 7:13:36 pm

These are the details on the codec that works from Accusoft, Pegasus Imaging PICVideo setup.

- - Type VFW
- - Function Decoder
DSH 4CC MJPG
DSH Friendly Name PICVideo M-JPEG 4 32-bit VfW Codec
DSH DirectShow CLSID CLSID_AVIDec {CF49D4E0-1115-11CE-B03A-0020AF0BA770}
REG Driver File C:\PROGRA~2\COMMON~1\PEGASU~1\pvmjpg40.dll
REG Merit 0x00200000
VFW Name PVMJPG40
VFW Description PICVideo M-JPEG 4 32-bit VfW Codec

This one was pre-existing on my system which meant I could play in WMP but it didn't allow for import into AE, Prem Pro etc.

MJPG Motion JPEG - It lists no vendor or other details, though the info below might be the more complete info

- - Type DSH
- - Function Decoder
DSH 4CC MJPG
DSH Friendly Name MJPEG Decompressor
DSH DirectShow CLSID CLSID_MjpegDec {301056D0-6DFF-11D2-9EEB-006008039E37}
FIL File Description DirectShow Runtime.
FIL Company Name Microsoft Corporation
FIL File Version 6.6.6000.16386 (vista_rtm.061101-2205)
FIL Internal Name Quartz.dll
FIL Legal Copyright © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
FIL Original Filename Quartz.dll.mui
FIL Product Name Microsoft® Windows® Operating System
FIL Product Version 6.6.6000.16386
REG Driver File quartz.dll
REG Merit 0x00600000


I was able to choose this codec to output to the DPF (I had to select MJPG in the settings under configure options) and this works but without audio :-(

- - Type DSH
- - Function Decoder
DSH 4CC MPEG2_VIDEO
DSH Friendly Name ffdshow Video Decoder
DSH DirectShow CLSID {04FE9017-F873-410E-871E-AB91661A4EF7}
FIL File Description DirectShow and VFW video and audio decoding/encoding/processing filter
FIL File Version 1.0.7.3095
FIL Internal Name ffdshow
FIL Legal Copyright Copyright © 2002-2008
FIL Original Filename ffdshow.ax
FIL Product Name ffdshow
FIL Product Version 1.0.7.3095
FIL Legal Trademarks GNU GPL
REG Driver File C:\Program Files (x86)\K-Lite Codec Pack\ffdshow\ffdshow.ax
REG Merit 0xff800001

Seems I am getting closer...


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Dave LaRonde
Re: MJPG from Digital Cam Output from AE
on Feb 1, 2010 at 9:49:59 pm

From what I recall from my Media 100 days, there's Motion JPEG and then there's Motion JPEG.... meaning that the codec isn't very consistent. A file encoded with one manufacturer's version may not play properly in in another manufacturer's player, for example.

Even if your fancy picture frame can play other codecs, you may be stuck paying for that one from Accusoft to do your AE work. I regret to say that I haven't kept up the subtle variations of MJPEG.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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James M. Sheats III
Re: MJPG from Digital Cam Output from AE
on Feb 1, 2010 at 10:17:20 pm

From everything I've read I have to agree with you that there are definitely a variety of Motion Jpeg codecs out there. I originally thought I was on to something when I found the enable legacy codecs switch in Quicktime and it opened up the option to either MJPG A or MJPG B but of course they didn't output for me in .AVI format. There is also MJPG 2000, Morgan MJPG on the list goes on. Then I got turned onto G-spot and saw just how many MJPG codecs there seemed to be on my system though most were apparently for decompression and didn't include compression functionality.

Finally I found that ffdshow would work in MJPG mode, but without audio - I believe this is because its a video only codec but I'm a noobie so don't hold me to that.

I really appreciate all your help and input -- I am defintely learning alot about codecs as I go along.


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