I'm working on a scientific project to digitize videotapes of the great Leonid meteor storm of 1999. I have somehow bumbled my way through to the point where I can digitize the tapes, but I have run into a nasty little problem: when I use QuickTime to export the movie into a sequence of stills, QuickTime seems to balk at exporting more than 65K stills. My guess is that the programmer never anticipated that anybody would want to export that many files, and simply used a 16-bit word for the file count. However, that's only a bit more than half an hour of video, and we'd like to handle two full hours in a single pass. It will make the treatment of the stills easier for the next program that processes the data.
So my question is two-fold:
1. Is there some way to coax QuickTime 7 into exporting more than 65K stills without choking?
2. If not, is there some other software that can do this? We're running on a tight budget here -- NASA can't seem to spring any money to digitize data that cost several million dollars to obtain, so we're running this project on my hobby money.
You could use a stand alone program such as Adobe After Effects to process the QT movie. You would import the QT file and Render Out an Image Sequence. I've never tried exporting so many frames directly out of QT so I can't speak to the limit but sometimes I render out over 160,000 frames from AE and it's rock solid. If you're on a super tight budget you may be able to pick up an older version of AE and it would be fine for your needs.
Thanks for the suggestion, Eric. I can't afford Adobe After Effects for this project, but I have decided that I can just write a bit of AppleScript to control QuickTime to handle the video in segments. We'll just let it run overnight. I've worked out a schedule that should permit us to get all the videotapes digitized over the summer, when we have a summer student to help.