Having always used movie cameras and camcorders in the upright
position, I hadn't realized how many turn them sideways to get a
portrait-mode video clip, or create/receive clips that need rotation.
Movie Maker can rotate clips by 90 or 180 degrees, but it results in mis-shaped
and/or black borders... and sometimes you need something other than a 90 degree
this newsletter, I'll use Movie Maker and VirtualDub together... rotating scenes
as needed, and cropping and resizing to appropriately resize the content to
fill the screen. It's something that's easier to do than to
I videoed my grandson's football game on Saturday, I forced myself
to take a couple scenes at angles that would need correcting
during editing... to get a couple real clips to use for
Here's a frame from each of 4 scenes as they look in VirtualDub. Two are
normal. One needs a 90 degree clockwise rotation, and the other
needs turning about 45 degrees clockwise.
I'll open the same file in both Movie Maker and VirtualDub, and move back
and forth between the two apps as I work on the selected segment. They don't
took the footage in widescreen mode. I'll use the widescreen option in
Movie Maker, and the images will appear a bit squeezed in
VirtualDub... ignore the squeezing and all will be fine. VirtualDub doesn't
reshape pixels to maintain the aspect ratio as Movie Maker
... before getting into
are a few notes...
My Toshiba laptop was officially
declared a 'lemon' by CompUSA last week. Three days after being returned from
the last repair trip, it needed a new mother-board (again). As it was under a
3-year extended warranty, I was able to select anything up to the
original purchase price to replace it; an HP laptop is on order.
I'll be at the Microsoft MVP Summit
next week, and doing some vacationing on the way back... traveling with my
old Dell laptop while I wait for delivery of the new HP. Being cramped
for time and computer capabilities, I'll publish this and the next issue
#72 very early, and then skip a week before #73.
.... on to the main
Rotating Selected Scenes with
Older versions of VirtualDub don't handle the newer type
I DV-AVI files from Movie Maker 2 but VirtualDub
1.6.0 (build 215490) does. With the Panasonic DV codec
installed on the computer, it's easy and lossless to go back and forth between
Movie Maker and VirtualDub during project editing.
When Movie Maker has a file open, it doesn't lock it from being used by
other software... and VirtualDub acts the same way. One result is
being able to use Movie Maker and VirtualDub with the same file at the
I'll emphasize this point as we go, starting by showing you the screen
shot at the right... with the same source file open in both software
When you see a segment that
needs rotating, select the segment in VirtualDub
by marking its first frame (press the Home key) and last frame (press
the End key)... that tells Virtual Dub to use that segment when rendering
a new file with your changes applied.
can apply rotation and cropping filters at the same time, but I prefer doing
them in two steps... rotating the segment first, and then cropping
while looking at... the clip rightside up.
this rotation, after selecting the range in VirtualDub, apply the rotate2
filer with a setting of -47 degrees, select the Panasonic codec for video
compression, and then render the segment to a new file (File > Save as AVI).
There's no need to resize; it's DV-AVI in and DV-AVI out... and DV-AVI (NTSC) is
always 720x480 pixels.
Leaving VirtualDub open, import the new clip into Movie
Maker and see how it looks... I named it a temporary file because I knew it
would need cropping also... unless you like this kind of black-border effect, in
which case you're done.
Preview the rotated clip in the MM2 collection and note that its made
from just the selected segment of the larger clip.
Leaving MM2 open, go back to VirtualDub, this time to crop the rotated clip to
show the center of interest... and resize that part to the full 720x480
the resize filter (Video > Filters > resize). Opt for 720x480 for DV-AVI
Cropping option isn't a filter in VirtualDub... it's an option
that you can use when adding any of the filters.
It's grayed out until you add a filter. In this case, adding the resize
filter ungrays the button.
Pressing the Cropping button opens this window... where you
tweak the 4 controls to get the desired offset dimensions.
Many scenes such as this one don't need precise arithmetic. I
eyeball/estimate it as I set the cropping lines. When it looks OK, press
the button and move on.
With the cropping settings selected, the resizing ready to
make it 720x480, the Panasonic DV codec selected for video compression, save
it as an AVI file (File > Save as AVI), and you have what should be
the final corrected clip.
... from VirtualDub, go back to Movie Maker 2,
import the new clip and take a look at it in the preview monitor.
If it's good enough, put it into your project and keep going.
If you want to tweak it further, it's still an open project in Virtual Dub... go
back and adjust the settings some more, and save it again to a new avi
Here's the rotated, cropped and resized clip in
Check the clip's audio track. The wave
patterns show the audio track made it through the two rendering
processes without us having to think about it.
That's all there is to it.