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Flipping an H264 footage

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les nemeth
Flipping an H264 footage
on Mar 27, 2010 at 9:51:49 am

What is the best way to flip a footage? I had my camera mounted up-side-down and naturally I'd like to flip the footage. However, the video from the camera is H.264 and I don't want to re-compress it to make it worse.

I do have AE CS3 where I can flip the footage, but I am looking at re-compressing the footage when I want to save it (and it takes a ridiculous amount of time).

Is there some utility software that can quickly rotate/flip H.264 footage and re-save it without applying compression? Or what is the best way to go about this?

Thanks!


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Erik Waluska
Re: Flipping an H264 footage
on Mar 27, 2010 at 3:54:58 pm

Quicktime Pro ($20 for the key from apple) can flip video without re-compressing. Open the movie in QT Pro and go to Window > Show Movie Properties then click on the Video Track and then select the Visual Settings tab, you will see the options to Flip/Rotate. Then just go to File > Save As... and be sure the "Save as a self-contained movie" option is selected.

There may be some file types that will require re-compressing, I'm not sure about that, but the ones I've tried do not seem to re-compress or lose any quality. You can check the file size and data rate in Window > Show Movie Inspector and compare the before and after versions to see if there's any change that would indicate re-compression. In my experience, the new file will generally be just a tiny bit larger, I assume this is just the extra data that Quicktime saves with the file telling it to flip the video. But the format and data rate should be identical to the original.

Quicktime Pro is very useful but I don't think many people even know what it can do. I use it all the time for taking a huge capture files and trimming all of the useless stuff out of them and saving them as much smaller files with only the parts I need and without a loss in quality -- and fast! It uses the same JKL shuttle system as most editing apps as well as the standard shortcuts for in and out points, cutting, pasting, etc.

-E


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Kevin Camp
Re: Flipping an H264 footage
on Mar 27, 2010 at 4:38:40 pm

quicktime pro is a good app, and it is very useful, but mpeg streamclip (squared5.com) should also do what you are asking.

it's free and multiplatform and can read and create a wide variety of file types and compressions and has a rotation option. to keep from losing any more quality, you can choose to encode as a lossless mov, or any of the uncompressed codecs you may have (8-bit, 10-bit, etc.)

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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les nemeth
Re: Flipping an H264 footage
on Mar 27, 2010 at 8:43:21 pm

First of all, thanks for the replies guys.

I've been using QT Pro for a few years and yes, I was aware of the basic editing functionality built into it, such as flipping. However, the problem with that is that if you flip the movie and resave it, it will only be visible in QT. That is, if you use any other player, the flipped "result" will have no effect. So that function probably just puts a flag of some sort in the file which can be interpreted by QT only.

I use other players beside QT, such as DivX player (hate it), and VLC player. So far VLC player was my choice for playback, since QT has some gamma issues with H264. Playgin an H264 footage back in VLC player does not resemble any faded or gamma issues that QT does.

I've read in the past times a few suggestion about this gamma thing that there are quirks in QT to change the dithering mode and blending and this that and the other. However, I found VLC player just fine without any quirks.

I will try mpeg streamclip. Heard of it but never installed it.


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Erik Waluska
Re: Flipping an H264 footage
on Mar 28, 2010 at 12:41:20 am

"if you flip the movie and resave it, it will only be visible in QT. That is, if you use any other player, the flipped "result" will have no effect."


I did not know that, but I'm glad I do now!

As for the gamma issue, have you tried checking the "Match Legacy After Effects Quicktime Gamma Adjustments" in the AE project settings dialogue before you render? It fixes some problems I've had with the Quicktime Animation codec rendering out too dark. I don't know if it would have any effect on the washed out H.264 problem you are having, but it's worth a try.





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les nemeth
Re: Flipping an H264 footage
on Mar 28, 2010 at 1:37:37 am

I don't remember if I ever checked that setting, but I will try to remember it next time. So thanks for reminding me.

At the moment, however, that's not my main concern, because the H264 footage is straight from my camera. If I play it back using QT it's washed out. If I play it with any other player it looks great.

I know I posted a few threads and also read quite a few about this playback issue in QT. So the footage has nothing to do with AE. Just in general.

I think I will look into getting a different mount so I can mount the camera normal side up and don't have to tinker with inverting the footage.


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Steve Roberts
Re: Flipping an H264 footage
on Mar 30, 2010 at 6:14:51 pm

In case anybody else out there is wondering (not you guys, 'cause you know) flopping is around the Y-axis, and flipping is around the X-axis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flopped_image
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flipped_image

So "upside-down" is flipped, not flopped. Kewl.





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