Newsletter #180 - Dec 15, 2007
Are You Ready
Over the years I've seen Dean Rowe and other programmers use
GraphEdit to take screen shots of the interactions of codecs/filters. It
seemed too geekie a tool for me.
It still seems that way... but hey, it can't hurt to open it up
and take a peek. At worst, we can always close it for another day. At best, we
can start learning about and using a useful utility.
What is GraphEdit?
GraphEdit is a visual tool for building filter graphs (read
filters being codecs). With GraphEdit, you can experiment with a filter graph
before you write any application code. You can also load a filter graph that
your application creates, to verify that your application is building the
correct graph. If you develop a custom filter, GraphEdit provides a quick way to
test it: Simply load a graph with your custom filter and try running the graph.
If you are new to DirectShow, GraphEdit is a good way to become familiar with
filter graphs and the DirectShow architecture.
Where do you get it?
That website section says it's a utility that comes with
DirectShow. Instead of getting it from the large DirectShow download, I found it
at Digital Digest. Scroll down to the link to the
graphedit011008.zip file... 431 KB.
I'll limit this issue to setting it up and taking a peek at what
it shows us. Here's a couple notes before getting into it further.
My 6 session KPBX radio series
about Movie Maker with Frank Delaney is coming to the final segment on
Wednesday. The weekly series started Nov 14th... scroll down to the links
on Frank's Raw Bytes page...
I'll be putting together some
final comments for the series. Being broadcast on radio, the subject of video
editing is addressed on a very surfacy level... the opposite extreme of a
newsletter about GraphEdit.
My Chicago Summer Fun video
ended up in 4th place in the Microsoft Virtual Earth contest. Scroll down this
to see a Dec 10th entry listing the final
vote count is:
- Welcome to Planet Earth – Meet our Machines 534 votes
- Derek’s 3D tour 178 votes
- Baseball Stadium tour 136 votes
- Chicago Summer Fun 105 votes
- Climbing Little Tahoma/Mt. Rainier Trip Report 48 votes
Scroll to the bottom of the
page to see that there were... looks like 5 entries.
the 'Stage' for How To Screen Capture
I want to show you my evolving setup for the How To
capture session background 'stage'.... you might want to do something
similar with Camtasia or the Encoder capture wizard. Use this How To link to see
the 2 minute video.
Here's the stage as it's being moved into
the capture area. The stage is the full working window of Paint.NET with a
'canvas' size of 884x500 pixels, 10 extra on each side over
the 864x480 size of a widescreen video. I have a second
Paint.net .pdn file that looks the same but is 660x500 pixels for a
standard 4:3 stage.
The black rectangle on my HP laptop
desktop shows the capture area I'm using for Camtasia Studio. I'll
turn on Camtasia first, start the capture session so the 4 corners of the
capture area start flashing, then move the Paint.NET window into
position. You can see it happening in the How To
Paint.NET supports working with 'layers'...
like Photoshop... one of my layers has the How To logo on it. Another has the
NASA night picture of earth. If you have a dozen background layer pictures,
it's as easy as unchecking one and checking another to use a different
one... even change graphics during a recording session.
Here's the link to a 3 minute How To... about
GraphEdit... showing the main working window of GraphEdit and
the filters that are used to play a VOB file from a DVD, and a
HighDef Motion JPEG file from a Canon TX1 camcorder.
Some are just informational but others
The video doesn't show additional features
GraphEdit, such as manually inserting filters into the graph to test
different scenarios. The available filters come from the info in your
system's registry. This newsletter was done on my XP laptop... not my Vista
A sample filter that can be adjusted is
the Dolby digital AC3 filter. Set the equalizer and tweak audio
That's enough for this first look.
Conclusion and Closing... and What's
Maybe GraphEdit isn't listed on my website as I've
thought of it as a programmer's tool. It's time to add
it, as any utility that can help us understand what's happening
in the codecs/filters area can only be good. There are more
codecs and conversion apps rolling out every month, and more need to
understand what you have when conversions or movie projects don't work
I don't have aspirations of becoming a programmer, but I
enjoy looking over their shoulders as they do their work, and even reading their
code. Casually browsing filters with GraphEdit may be as close as I want to get
to the complexities of multimedia filters... as I say that I'm well into that
book about Digital Video Compression, and it's a whole lot
technically deeper than GraphEdit.
GraphEdit opens doors to lots of details for those who
want to explore and learn. Enjoy it if you're inclined!
Have a great week!!