Updated: May 9, 2011
VirtualDub is a lovely, lovely video editing program. It can do pretty much anything. But you do not discover its awesome powers until you really need them. Which is exactly what happened to me when I tried to manipulate the Woodland house video created by my wife in her Interior Design gallery section. I needed a tool to resize the video.
Now, if you have followed my multimedia articles closely, you know this is a five-second job in Avidemux or perhaps Kdenlive, which I've used in my Frankenstein production. But what about VirtualDub? Is it up to the task? You bet your kidney it is. So please allow me to show you how you can use filters in VirtualDub, which is a tutorial unto itself, with specific focus on resizing. You get two guides for the price of one, both free. Awesome.
The filters are available only if you plan to fully process your video. It won't work with direct streaming or recompression. In addition to choosing the right codec and the frame rate, you can also configure the filters.
VirtualDub has a ton of built-in filters, plus you can use and import external ones, some of which offer unique new functionality, others which merely make the existing set work better.
Now, let's see what we've got - the main window, empty and boring. Click Add to add one of the available filters. This is where the fun starts.
Now, there's a long list of available filters. We want the resize filter.
After you load it, you can reconfigure the settings. You need to understand what you're doing in order to use the filters properly
You can always preview your work.
Furthermore, you can crop the area that is affected by the filter, in case you're aiming for a particular effect. Again, it is important that you understand what you're trying to achieve rather than just garble the video.
Now, why is this important? Well, we will learn that once we get to work with AviSynth, which allows us to create slow-motion videos from regular output, enhancing the drama and detail of the media. The last step is to save the file, using any which compression and codec you want. The new file will have the changed video size, which is exactly what we've tried to achieve here. The file size on the disk will also be different.
VirtualDub is a great program, and this tutorial proves it. You have a simple, modest and a powerful video editing software available for free, on your Windows, and hint, it works well in Linux, too, using Wine.
Resizing is only one of many changes you can do to your videos, but now that you know what filters are and how to use them, you can start making nice and reasonable clips, in the vain hope of becoming next Stanley Kubrick.