photographic mosaic made from a video

Movies are great for mosaics because they contain a lot of images. And as you know we need a lot of images for to create good photographic mosaics.

 

1.    First Step – Find a movie

Your first step is to find a movie and to import it into an AVI file. For example

- Use your video camera to make some nice movies while you are at holiday.

- Rent or Buy a VHS casette or a DVD

- Download a movie file from Internet

 

Downloading something from Internet is probably the simplest solution, because else you need a Card in your PC for to import the VHS into your computer and translate it in an AVI File. Another solution is read the movie from a DVD, but I never did this. At last the only requirement is that your movie file can be opened with Windows Media Player. If you have an MPG file and you can open it with Windows Media Player then you can open it also with AndreaMosaic (maybe you only need to rename it to .AVI).

 

2.    Second Step – Extract the Images from the Movie

AndreaMosaic have an integrated tool for extracting images from a movie. But of course you can use any kind of program that analyze the Movie file and extract a lot of Images. 

 

Instructions:

  1. Just open the Image Collection dialog by pressing button Find Tiles..
  2. Then press button Extract from Movie..
  3. You will be asked to open an AVI or MPG file. In fact you can choose any movie file that you can open with Windows Media Player. In other words you need to have the appropriate CODEC installed to view the movie.
  4. After you selected the file, AndreaMosaic will show a dialog box with the parameters for extracting the Images from the movie. Select the appropriate values and then press button Extract for to begin the process. For a description of the parameters see the next section.
  5. The programm will analyze the movie file and create new several subdirectories in the same location of the movie file and all the extracted images are written into that subdirectories. The program will never cancel or overwrite existing directories/images, so you have to remove the images manually if you repeat the process more than once.

 

 

Parameters of Extract from Movie Dialog

Position and Size - PosX,Y, Size:

The first four parameters are the size of the frame that you want to extract. Normally you can leave the default values, but if you see in the Sample Frame that the white rectangle is bigger than the image then you should change the values to a smaller frame. Whenever you change the position or size, then press the button Show Frame to update the white rectangle. If you do not see well the image of the movie try with a different frame by pressing the button Random Frame. It will choose another image.

 

Extract Frame From:

This two parameters let you choose which interval of frames should be extracted. The default values are all the movie. But you can setup smaller values, for example to discard the first images. You can press then button First Frame or Last Frame to show the first visible frame you choosed.

 

How many frames?:

Usually in a movie there are really a lot of frames, all similar each other. So practically we need only a small amound of images. Here you can choose how many images you want. I suggest 5000 as a minimum value, but if you can also try 20.000 frames, this will produce better mosaics since you have more images, especially with long movies.

The program will then extract 5000 frames evenly distributed between the first and last frame you choosed in order to get the best possible images without too many similar ones.

 

De-Interlace every frame:

Set this option only if you see “strange” horizontal lines disturbing the image. Typically when your movie file is recorded from a video camera or VHS cassette. Its better if you can avoid to use De-Interlace because technically this option reduce the image quality in order to remove the lines.

 

File Format:

If you want to use the images for to create mosaics then you have to choose [x] JPG Format. The BMP option is only for your convenience.

 

Quality of saved files:

This parameter is needed only if you save JPG Images, it says the compression of every image. Higher value give bigger files but with better quality. A default value of 50% is ok, but you can use higher or even lower values. Normally for the mosaic use the images will be resized to smaller images so usually it is not necessary to have a high quality.

 

3.    Third Step – Analyze Images

Once you have extracted a good amount of images use a Image Browser to take a look at all the frames. I suggest to delete duplicated or not nice images. I always check all the frames, with a good browser of images you can see the thumbnails of 50 images in one screen and delete immediately the one you don’t like.  At last you can create the Image Collection based on the extracted frames.