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Up: SGI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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SGI movie Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

From: sgi-faq@viz.tamu.edu (The SGI FAQ group)
Subject: SGI movie Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.sgi.misc,comp.answers,news.answers
Followup-To: comp.sys.sgi.misc
Reply-To: sgi-faq@viz.tamu.edu (The SGI FAQ group)
Approved: news-answers-request@mit.edu
Organization: Visualization Lab, Texas A&M University

Archive-name: sgi/faq/movie
Last-modified: Wed Oct 20  1:00:04 CDT 1999
Posting-Frequency: Twice monthly
URL: http://www-viz.tamu.edu/~sgi-faq/

    SGI movie Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This is one of the Silicon Graphics FAQ series, which consists of:

    SGI admin FAQ - IRIX system administration
    SGI apps FAQ - Applications and miscellaneous programming
    SGI audio FAQ - Audio applications and programming
    SGI diffs FAQ - Changes to the other FAQs since the last posting
    SGI graphics FAQ - Graphics and user environment customization
    SGI hardware FAQ - Hardware
    SGI impressario FAQ - IRIS Impressario
    SGI inventor FAQ - IRIS Inventor
    SGI misc FAQ - Introduction & miscellaneous information
    SGI movie FAQ - Movies
    SGI performer FAQ - IRIS Performer
    SGI pointer FAQ - Pointer to the other FAQs
    SGI security FAQ - IRIX security

Read the misc FAQ for information about the FAQs themselves. Each FAQ is
posted to comp.sys.sgi.misc and to the news.answers and comp.answers
newsgroups (whose purpose is to store FAQs) twice per month. If you
can't find one of the FAQs with your news program, you can get it from


(rtfm.mit.edu is home to many other FAQs and informational documents,
and is a good place to look if you can't find an answer here.) The FAQs
are on the World Wide Web at


If you can't use FTP or WWW, send mail to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with
the word 'help' on a line by itself in the text, and it will send you a
document describing how to get files from rtfm.mit.edu by mail. Send the
command 'send usenet/news.answers/sgi/faq/misc' to get the SGI misc FAQ,
and similarly for the other FAQs. Send the command 'send
usenet/news.answers/internet-services/access-via-email' to get the
"Accessing the Internet by E-Mail FAQ".

You may distribute the SGI FAQs freely and we encourage you to do so.
However, you must keep them intact, including headers and this notice,
and you must not charge for or profit from them. Contact us for other
arrangements. We can't be responsible for copies of the SGI FAQs at
sites which we do not control, and copies published on paper or CD-ROM
are certain to be out of date. The contents are accurate as far as we
know, but the usual disclaimers apply. Send additions and changes to

Subject:    -1- Is there a QuickTime movieplayer available for SGI?
Date: Fri May  3 10:23:53 PDT 1996

  SGI provides QuickTime movie support as part of Movieplayer in IRIX
  5.1 and later.  If you can't or don't wish to upgrade, you may wish
  to investigate a public domain program called Xanim which offers
  QuickTime capability.

  The XAnim Home Page is:


  and it's available for anonymous ftp from:

    ftp.portal.com   /pub/podlipec/xanim2703.tar.?

  If you are running IRIX 4.0.5 (any variant) or earlier, please
  consider upgrading to IRIX 5.3 (if you have an R3000-based system)
  or best of all, to IRIX 6.2.  Both releases contain a more
  full-featured set of movie tools bundled with the system.
  If you upgrade to IRIX 5.3, you should download the Digital Media
  Tools 5.5 product from SGI.  They can be found at the following
  This is an enhanced set of digital media tools for IRIX 5.3 systems.
  It provides additional support for QuickTime features and MPEG.
  You do not need to download the Digital Media Tools 5.5 product
  if you have IRIX 6.2.

  IRIX 6.2 contains all of the enhancements in Digital Media Tools
  5.5, as well as additional features and updated applications.
  (Note: if you need to create content in MPEG-1 or CinePak format,
  you will still need to purchase codec licenses).

Subject:    -2- I cannot play a QuickTime movie on my Silicon Graphics
                computer. How can I make it work?
Date: Thu May  2 16:33:54 PDT 1996

  Here is a checklist of things to try:

  - You should be using the 5.1 MR version of the OS or later. Later
    versions, in particular Irix 6.2 support more QuickTime files.

  - The QT movie must be "flattened".  Use the Apple Movie Converter
    program and choose BOTH "Make playable on non-Apple systems" and
    "Make self-contained" in the Save As dialog.  The file must
    also be compressed with an algorithm we support.  For example,
    do not choose "Cinepak" or "Compact Video". 

  - Try changing the compression to something else, say "none" to see
    if that may be the problem.

  SGI has licensed the QuickTime movie file format and three
  compressors from Apple.  In IRIX releases 5.1 through 5.3, you can
  display QuickTime movies compressed with the RLE or RPZA algorithms
  (Apple Graphics and Apple Video) with the bundled SGI movieplayer.

  If you have IRIX 5.3, you can download the Digital Media Tools 5.5
  product.  This will allow you to create and view QuickTime movies
  using Cinepak compression, and it can also read QuickTime movies on
  Macintosh filesystems which have not been "flattened".  See the first
  question in this FAQ for information on downloading the tools.

  If you have IRIX 6.2, CinePak and Indeo3.2 decompressors are included.
  The CinePak compressor requires a license which is included with SGI's
  WebForce software product.
  Prior to OS release 6.2, the SGI movie tools did not support QuickTime
  movies which contain an edit list; version 6.2 and beyond supports
  QuickTime movies with edit lists, and with multiple image tracks.

  Typically, a QuickTime file on the Macintosh stores all of the movie
  parameters and header information in the resource fork, and the
  actual media (sound + video) in the data fork.  To be used on a
  computer which has a conventional file system (such as the Indigo),
  you must first "flatten" the movie on the Macintosh before
  transferring it to the Indigo.  This is what the "Make playable on
  non-Apple systems" option in the Apple Movie Converter does.

  The Apple Movie Converter is part of the QuickTime Starter Kit, a
  software package sold by Apple Computer for Macintosh systems.  It is
  available from retail software distributors.

Subject:    -3- I cannot play a QuickTime movie created on a Silicon
                Graphics computer on my Macintosh.  How can I make it
Date: Thu Feb 16 15:37:32 PST 1995

  When going from an SGI to a Mac, the file must have a creator and
  file type.  This can be done in "ResEdit".

  To move a file to the Mac...

  1. Save the file in a QuickTime format.  See elsewhere in this FAQ
     for more details on how to create QuickTime files.
  2. Move the file to a Mac (using the floptical, or ftp).

     NOTE:  If using ftp, make sure the mode is binary, *not* macbinary

  3. Open the Mac program "ResEdit".

  4. Select "Get File info..." from File menu.

  5. Type "MooV" into file type field, and "TVOD" into creator field.

  6. Close dialog (Choose Yes to save changes).

  7. Quit "ResEdit".

  It should just work from here.

Subject:    -4- What version of QuickTime does Silicon Graphics support?
Date: Thu May  2 16:26:48 PDT 1996

  Silicon Graphics does not provide support for the QuickTime
  programming library, but only for the QuickTime file format.

  The definition of the QuickTime file format has not changed since its
  original release.  Apple's enhancements have mostly been in the form
  of performance improvements and new features to QuickTime which have
  not changed the basic file format.  So, in some sense SGI supports
  every version of QuickTime.  But to answer the question practically,
  we do not support every features which Apple has introduced in later
  releases of QuickTime, such as MIDI tracks in QuickTime files,  
  or QuickTime VR.
  SGI is working very hard to enhance its QuickTime support over time.
  In the Digital Media 5.5 tools software product for IRIX 5.3, SGI
  provides support for reading and writing QuickTime movies with
  Cinepak compression, as well as support for reading "non-flattened"
  movies which contain separate resource and data forks.
  To download the Digital Media 5.5 tools, see the first question in
  this FAQ.

  In IRIX 6.2, SGI also provides support for reading QuickTime files 
  stored with Indeo3.2 compression, and also other features of QuickTime
  which were not previously recognized.

Subject:    -5- How can I create a QuickTime file on an SGI?
Date: Wed Sep 22 13:01:17 CDT 1999

  The answer to this question depends upon the IRIX system
  release you have:
        - If you are using IRIX 5.2 or earlier, you must obtain
  	  quicktime_dev, SGI's QuickTime development option, or else
  	  find or purchase a tool which supports QuickTime output.
  	  SGI does not provide a method to create QuickTime movie
  	  files in the 5.2 release of the Movie Tools.  If you
  	  obtain the Digital Media Development Option, together
  	  with the QuickTime Development option, you can obtain a
  	  tool which will create QuickTime files on an SGI system.
  	  See elsewhere in this FAQ for more information on both
  	  the Digital Media Development Option and the QuickTime
  	  Developer's Option.
  	- If you are using IRIX 5.3 or later, you can use the
          Movie Maker or Movie Convert applications to write a
          QuickTime file.
        - If you use IRIX 5.3 with any of the following:
        	-  WebFORCE software product,
          	-  Desktop Special Edition 1.1,
          	-  the Digital Media 5.5 Tools
          or if you use IRIX 6.2 or later, you can also use the 
	  Movie Master/mediaconvert, dmconvert, and makemovie 
	  utilities to create the QuickTime file.  You can also 
	  record a QuickTime movie using the Capture Tool.  See 
	  the first question in this FAQ for information on obtaining
	  the Digital Media 5.5 tools, or IRIX 6.2.

	- If you use IRIX 6.2, note that the QuickTime Development
	  option has been incorporated into the Digital Media
	  Development option, and is no longer needed; additionally,
	  it supports the features found in Digital Media Tools
  There is a commercially available tool called Image Independence
  which will allow creation of both SGI and QuickTime movies
  under IRIX 5.2 and later.  It is a batch image converter with A
  GUI and command-line versions.  It can also convert movies from
  one type to another, or split movies into separate frames.  It
  comes with over 20 image formats, is fast and flexible.  It lists
  for $495, and it can be purchased from Elastic Reality, Inc.

Subject:    -6- I need to play MPEG movies.  Does SGI offer MPEG
Date: 4 Nov 1998 00:00:01 MST

  Again, the answer to this depends on the IRIX system release
  that you have.
	- In all releases of IRIX up to and including IRIX 5.3,
	  the SGI movieplayer does not support MPEG movies.

  	- If you use IRIX 5.3 with the Digital Media Tools 5.5
  	  software product or IRIX 6.2, the SGI movieplayer
  	  supports MPEG-1 movies.  
	  You can also create MPEG movies using the dmconvert or 
	  Movie Master (mediaconvert) tools.  See the first question
	  in this FAQ for information on downloading the Digital
	  Media Tools 5.5 software product from SGI.

  For free, you have several options:

  1) You can use the Berkeley mpeg_play. You can get the file
  mpeg_play.Z by anonymous ftp from


  2) A Motif-based MPEG player is available via these URLs:

  3) An MPEG player from Greg Ward <greg@bic.mni.mcgill.ca>, who 

  glmpeg_play is a feature-rich, GUI-poor player for MPEG-1 video
  streams for SGI workstations.  It supports memory or disk buffering,
  zooming by pixel doubling/tripling/ whatever, pause, single step
  forward or backward, continuous play, continuous back-and-forth play,
  and a few other obscure features.  It is entirely controllable 
  through the keyboard, and most features are also accessible via 
  pop-up menu.  No pretty buttons, though.  Playback status is
  available through a rather ugly (but informative) text window.

  glmpeg_play is available from 


Subject:    -7- I created a movie with Capture, but now I can't edit it
                with Movie Maker or play it with Movie Player.
Date: Mon Mar 25 10:04:18 PST 1996

  Check to see that you are using compatible versions of the tools.
  Odds are that you created the movie with Capture (an application in
  IRIX 5.1 and later), but are trying to use the tools from an IRIX
  4.0.5 to view and manipulate them.

  The IRIX 5.x and 6,x versions of the movie tools can read files
  created by the 4.0.5 tools, but the reverse is not true.

  Also, in order to edit a movie, be sure to check that you have write
  permission to the file.

Subject:    -8- How can I write a program to create, edit, convert, or
                play movies?  Where can I get a copy of the SGI Movie
Date: Thu May  2 16:33:54 PDT 1996

  The Digital Media Development Option contains the Video,
  Audio, Audio File, MIDI, CD, DAT, Movie, and Compression
  Libraries.  It allows you to perform tasks like these
  inside your application:

  - perform audio, video, MIDI I/O on SGI machines (including
    programming the IndyCam)

  - convert audio/video data between different formats
    (this includes software and hardware
    compression/decompression for audio and video)

  - read/write digital media file formats (SGI movie,
    QuickTime, AIFF/AIFF-C sound files)

  - read/write DAT audio tapes using SGI SCSI DAT drive, read
    CD audio disks using SGI SCSI CD drive.

  The part number for the Digital Media Development Option is
  SC4-DMDEV-2.0.   For releases prior to IRIX 6.2, if you would 
  like to develop applications which manipulate QuickTime files, 
  you must also order the companion product, QuickTime 1.0 Compressor 
  Library, part number SC4-QTCL-1.0.  The Digital Media Development 
  Option requires IRIX 5.2 or later (both part numbers above are
  for the IRIX 5.2 versions).

  In order to use the Digital Media Development Option, you
  also need to have IDO 5.2.  This is the basic IRIS
  developer option, including compilers, basic C library
  headers, graphics libraries, etc.

  In the United States, you can order these products by
  calling Silicon Graphics toll-free at 1-800-800-SGI1
  (1-800-800-7441).  If you live in a country other than the
  United States, contact your nearest Silicon Graphics
  office, or call one of these regional telephone numbers:

  Europe		(41) 22-798.75.25 	(Geneva, CH)
  North Pacific		(81) 3-5420.71.10
  South Pacific		(61) 2-879.95.00
  Latin America		1(415) 390.46.37
  Canada		1(416) 625-4747

  Starting with IRIX 5.3, the Digital Media Development
  Environment has been included as a standard piece of IDO,
  and you no longer need to order it separately.  However,
  the QuickTime 1.0 Compressor Library remains a separate
  product in IRIX 5.3.

  Starting with WebForce 1.1 (and including IRIX 6.2), the
  QuickTime codecs have been moved into the CL, so the
  QuickTime 1.0 Compressor Library option is no longer needed.

Subject:    -9- I can't use images exported with Moviemaker in any of my
                applications.  What image format does Moviemaker use?
Date: Thu May  2 16:33:54 PDT 1996

  In IRIX 5.2 and earlier, Moviemaker exports images using the
  ImageVision FIT file format.  This library is supported by the
  SGI ImageVision Library and its assorted tools.

  To convert FIT files to another file format, such as SGI rgb or TIFF,
  use the imgcopy(1) program, part of the ImageVision Tools (imgtools)
  product.  The ImageVision Tools are bundled with the basic IRIX

  The following shell script will convert a batch of image files to SGI
  format, using imgcopy:

  #----------------------- cut here ---------------------------
  # iv2sgi - convert a batch of imagevision-supported files to SGI
  # .rgb format using imgcopy
  # usage: iv2sgi <filenames>

  foreach image ($argv)
      imgcopy -fSGI $image $image.rgb
  #----------------------- cut here ---------------------------

  Moviemaker 2.1, which is available in the IRIX 5.3 release,
  supports image export in SGI and TIFF, as well as FIT formats.

  NOTE: the IRIX 5.3 version of Moviemaker contains a bug which
  prevents it from exporting images to TIFF format.  Exported images
  will look all black or all white.  If this is important to you,
  you can download the Digital Media Tools 5.5 software product,
  which contains a version of Moviemaker which corrects the bug.
  See the first question in this FAQ for details on downloading
  the Digital Media Tools 5.5 software product.

  If you have IRIX 5.3 or later, you can also use Movie Convert to
  extract image frames from movie files.  Moviemaster converts between
  movies and images. 32 different image formats are currently
  supported. All sgi movie formats are supported.  Moviemaster can
  extract frames from a movie, build a movie from frames, or image
  convert from one format to another.

  In IRIX 6.2, moviemaker allows you to choose an image file format 
  to output to (TIFF, RGB, etc); choose "Collection of Images" from the
  pop-up menu in the dialog box, and then choose the appropriate format
  from the pop-up menu in the Image Settings dialog.

Subject:   -10- Can anyone provide details on the SGI movie format?
Date: Thu May  2 16:33:54 PDT 1996

  The contents of the SGI movie file format are not documented.  To
  create and manipulate SGI movie files in your own application, we
  recommend that you use the SGI Movie Library, part of the Digital
  Media Development environment.  This will not only save you work in
  your application, but will ensure that your program remains
  compatible with any revisions SGI makes to its movie file format.

  If you need to manipulate movie files for cross-platform purposes, we
  recommend that you obtain the QuickTime Developer's Option to create
  QuickTime movies which can be used cross-platform.  Additionally,
  if you have the WebFORCE software product, or Digital Media Tools 5.5
  software product for IRIX 5.3, you can create MPEG movies which can
  be used cross-platform.

  See elsewhere in this FAQ for more information on both the Digital
  Media Development Environment and the QuickTime Developer's Option.

Subject:   -11- Can anyone provide details on the QuickTime movie
Date: 20 May 1994 00:00:01 EST

  For more details on the Apple implementation of QuickTime and its
  file format, see "Inside Macintosh:  QuickTime" (ISBN 0-201-62201-7)
  and "Inside Macintosh:  QuickTime Components", both by Apple Computer
  and published by Addison-Wesley.  The former book contains a detailed
  description of the QuickTime file format. 

Subject:   -12- How can I convert from SGI movie format to MPEG?
Date: Fri May  3 11:12:41 PDT 1996

  - If you are using IRIX 5.3 with the Digital Media Tools 5.5
    software product, or IRIX 6.2, you can use the Movie Master
    or dmconvert utilities to create MPEG movies.  See the first
    question in this FAQ for information on downloading the
    Digital Media Tools 5.5 software product from SGI.

  - If you are using IRIX 5.3 or earlier, SGI provides no bundled
    tools to convert SGI movies to MPEG.

    There is a publically available program which can convert SGI
    movie files to MPEG.  It was developed by Andreas Paul
    <paula@informatik.tu-muenchen.de>.  It can be obtained from:


    It is for IRIX 5.x systems, and supports all versions of the SGI
    movie file format.

    If you are using IRIX 4.0.x, then get mov2mpeg from


    Finally, another way to convert to MPEG is to export all of
    the images and audio track from the SGI movie file by using
    moviemaker or makemovie,  and feed the result (a sequence of
    still frames) into one of the public domain MPEG encoders
    available on the net.
  There is yet another freely available tool, mv2mpeg, for creating
  MPEG files.  Here is a quote from its README file:
    mv2mpeg is a tool to convert a SGI-movie-file into a mpeg-movie.

    It consists of a shell-script ('mv2mpeg') and two binaries:


    mpeg_encode has been compiled with the '-mips2' switch, so if
    you are using a R3000 machine get the mpeg_encode package and
    compile it yourself. (shouldn't be much of a problem)
    It can be found at:
    If you don't find it there use 'archie' to locate the nearest
    site that has it.

  Regardless of IRIX software release, there is at least one
  commercial product which can create MPEG files, called MpegExpert:

    MpegExpert is the highest performance and most featured MPEG
    playback solution for SGI platforms. It plays compressed MPEG-1
    audio, video or system level multiplexed audio+video bitstreams in
    realtime with stereo CD quality sound. With the integrated
    CAPTURE_TOOL it lets the user cut and save pictures or sequences
    from an MPEG source, allowing a simple form of editing. And with
    the CD_TOOL user can play Video_CD and CD-I digital movies from a
    CDROM player. Its specially designed data input architecture
    enables smooth MPEG playback from video servers over networks.
    MpegExpert can be integrated into other applications or it can be
    used interactively through its motif based user interface.
    MpegExpert software, documentation, and demo version are available
    on line via anonymous ftp from ftp.portal.com:/pub/apvision or
    ftp.netcom.com:/pub/ap/apvision.  Any further inquiry if required,
    can be sent to apvision@netcom.com

  For more information on MPEG, and a list of places where you can
  obtain MPEG encoder software, consult the MPEG Frequently Asked
  Questions document. You can FTP it from


  These documents are versions 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 of the MPEG FAQ

Subject:   -13- How can I convert from Microsoft AVI movie format to SGI
                movie format?
Date: Mon Mar 25 10:04:18 PST 1996

  Starting with IRIX release 6.2, we can read Microsoft AVI files
  compressed with CinePak or Indeo3.2. (We do not have the rights
  to CRAM or ULTI, which are Microsoft proprietary algorithms.) All
  of our tools support reading the supported AVI files, and writing
  them out to other formats.

Subject:   -14- Is there a way to bring up a movie (using movieplayer)
                within Showcase using a button click...and having it
                place itself automatically in a certain location and
Date: 20 May 1994 00:00:01 EST

  Not that I know of.  When we want to play a movie, we usually
  hyperscript the object to run a script, and in the script we place
  the movie where we want to.  Here is an example of the script.  Call
  it with the movie name as an argument.

  /usr/sbin/movieplayer -fNv -S$X1,$Y1,360,243 -l 1 -z $ZOOM $1

  Define your zoom factor ($ZOOM) and position ( X1 Y1 ) in front of

Subject:   -15- I am using Mosaic.  When I try to view a movie,
                movieplayer starts, but then shows a message: no movie.
                How can I make it work?
Date: 20 May 1994 00:00:01 EST

  Check the following:

  - Is your system running IRIX 4.0.5?  The movieplayer in IRIX 4.0.5
    does not support QuickTime movies.  You will need to upgrade to
    IRIX 5.2 in order to receive QuickTime support in movieplayer.

  - Check to see that the movie file was copied over completely by
    Mosaic.  Sometimes Mosaic will fail to transfer the file completely
    if the network load is very high.
  - Finally, the following information submitted by Dave Babcock
    (daveb@merlin.mti.sgi.com) may prove helpful:

  xmosaic includes the capability to automatically play SGI movie files
  referenced by a html document.  Unfortunately, there is a "bug" which
  keeps it from actually working.

  Fortunately, there is an easy fix.  Just edit the
  /usr/local/lib/mosaic/mailcap file and change the following line:

    video/x-sgi-movie; movieplayer -l 1 %s; compose=moviemaker %s; \

  to be:

    video/x-sgi-movie; movieplayer -f -l 1 %s; compose=moviemaker %s; \

  that is just add the -f.

  For those who care, the problem is: mosaic copies the movie file to a
  local temp file; spawns movieplayer passing it the name of the temp
  file; when it sees movieplayer "terminate" mosaic nicely deletes the
  temp file.  But by default movieplayer runs in background mode which
  mosaic interprets as it being done and deletes the temp file just
  before the background task trys to open the temp file.  The symptom
  is that you get the error message:

    Could not open: /usr/tmp/gaaa000-0.mv: No such file or directory
    could not open movie file

  and nothing happens.

Subject:   -16- I have the Galileo (or Indy Video/Indigo2 Video) option,
                but I can't get Capture to use it.  When I run it, the
                IndyCam shows up.  What do I do?
Date: Fri May  3 10:23:53 PDT 1996

  When run on a system with more than one video device (for example,
  an Indy with both Indy Video and the built-in IndyCam support),
  Capture will use the IndyCam by default.

  To force Capture to run using Galileo or Indy Video, enter the
  following command line at a shell prompt:

  capture -ev1

  Make sure that you are using Capture with IRIX 5.2 or later.
  If you are using IRIX 6.2, there are two new icons in the Icon Book
  called capture_cosmo and capture_galileo.  They invoke Capture such
  that it is recording from the Cosmo Compression board, or from
  Galileo Video (or Indy/Indigo2 Video).

Subject:   -17- I cannot get the right video to show in the Capture
                tool! I get a video source other than the one I want or
                the screen is black.  What do I do?
Date: Tue Nov 15 15:39:30 PST 1994

  Capture does not allow you to choose a signal source.  It uses the
  system video settings.

  To change the system settings for signal source (and hence the signal
  source for Capture), do the following:

  Run vcp or videopanel.
  Choose the device (VINO or Galileo/Indy Video) you are using.
  VINO is for the Indy's built-in video (both the IndyCam and
  its analog video input port).  Galileo/Indy Video is available
  only if you have those optional hardware products installed.
  Then choose the input.  For VINO, this control is labeled
  "Default In".  For Galileo/Indy Video, this control is labeled
  "Input Source".  You may need to close other video apps
  (including Capture) to do this.
  Don't forget to make sure that your camera or VCR is plugged
  in correctly, and that your camera can see video.  Look into
  the camera's viewfinder to make sure it is working.
  Choose "Live Video Input" off the Utilities menu to check.
  The video you see here is what Capture will use.  Close this
  window when you are satisfied.
  If you closed Capture, start it again (don't forget -ev1 on
  the command line if you are using Galileo/Indy Video; see
  above).  You should get the video you want.

Subject:   -18- Why does Capture tell me to "Please Stand By", instead
                of capturing video?
Date: Tue Nov 15 15:39:30 PST 1994

  Capture presents the "Please Stand By" message in two circumstances:

    1) It is processing video that you just captured.
    2) Your system has video support, but Capture for some
       reason cannot use it.

  Symptom 1) is normal operation for the program, and is nothing
  you should worry about.

  Symptom 2) can happen for several reasons.  Check the following:

    - Make sure to close down all other applications which use

    - If you are using the IndyCam, make sure it is plugged in
      to the back of the machine.  Perhaps the connector may have
      worked itself loose.

    - If you still get the "Please Stand By" message, reboot the
      system.  It might be possible that the system video services
      had become wedged for some reason; a reboot fixes this

    - Make sure that you have the signal source set correctly,
      and that video shows up onscreen from the Video Control
      Panel.  See above question, "I cannot get the right
      video to show in the Capture tool!" for details on how
      to do this.

Subject:   -19- Capture just grabbed a file for me, but now I can't find
                it.  Where did Capture hide it?
Date: Thu Nov 17 09:08:40 PST 1994

  Capture always places its file in the directory it was run
  from.  If you ran it from the Indigo Magic desktop, odds are
  that it placed the file in your home directory.

  To find out the name of the file, look in the title bar, or
  choose "Settings" from the "Actions" menu and look in the
  first typein blank.

Subject:   -20- Under IRIX 5.3, my system has a video board and/or
                IndyCam, but Capture won't let me use it.  It just greys
                out the video options on its menu.  How can I make it
Date: Thu Nov 17 09:08:40 PST 1994

  Odds are that you do not have video support installed on your system.

  Here is what you need to have installed, at a bare minimum:

  I  dmedia_eoe.sw.common 11/07/94  Common Execution Environment Components
  I  dmedia_eoe.sw.compression  11/07/94  Compression Execution Environment
  I  dmedia_eoe.sw.video  11/07/94  Video Execution Environment

  For IndyCam users, you also need the following:

  I  vino.sw.eoe          11/07/94  Indy Video-In Execution Software

  For Galileo/Indy Video users, you also need the following:

  I  galileo.sw.eoe       11/07/94  Galileo Video Execution Software

  For users with the Cosmo Compress option, you also need these
  systems installed:

  I  cosmo.sw.eoe         11/07/94  Cosmo Compress Execution Software
  I  dmedia_eoe.sw.utilities  11/07/94  Media Record, Playback, Convert Commands

Subject:   -21- I created a movie with audio using makemovie, but the
                soundtrack plays back really garbled and choppy.  What
                do I do?
Date: Thu Nov 17 09:08:40 PST 1994

  You created a movie with image and audio tracks of unequal length.
  This probably happened because you chose a frame rate for the
  movie which caused the image track to not match the length of the
  audio track.

  There are a few solutions for this problem.  The easiest is to
  choose a frame rate which makes the image track match the audio
  track in length, and then use makemovie to create a new movie file
  with the correct frame rate.  Another way is to pad the shorter
  track (image or audio) out with additional content to match the
  longer one.

  In IRIX 5.3, Moviemaker will automatically detect movies like these
  and offer to correct them for you.  You can choose either of the
  above methods of correction.  If you choose to pad out the shorter
  track, Moviemaker adds blank material, which you can later edit.

  In IRIX 6.2, the restriction that image tracks and audio tracks must
  be the same length has been removed, so this should no longer be a 

Subject:   -22- Does anyone know the maximum size a movie file that
                MovieMaker or MoviePlayer can handle?  Is it limited by
                free memory, or will it play from the hard drive?
Date: Mon Mar 25 10:04:18 PST 1996

  Movieplayer plays movies from the hard drive.  In general,
  Moviemaker edits movies directly on disk, although in 6.2, 
  some types of edits are made in memory (to be written to
  disk later). 

  It is entirely possible to write an application which plays
  movies entirely from memory (see below for details), but
  Movieplayer does not support that.

  We can read a movie up to 2 gigabytes long off the hard drive.
  Please note, however, that some file formats may impose smaller 
  maximum file sizes.

Subject:   -23- How do I write a program to access the pixels of a video
                frame in a movie file for image processing purposes?
Date: Mon Mar 25 10:04:18 PST 1996

  Basic overview:

  You need to write the program using the Movie Library.
  Open the file using mvOpenFile(3mv), get a handle to the
  image track using mvFindTrackByMedium(3mv), then read the
  individual image frames using mvReadFrames(3mv).

  Details on the format of image data:

  The following libmovie calls return information to describe
  the format of the data returned by mvReadFrames():

  int           mvGetImageWidth      ( MVid imageTrack );
  int           mvGetImageHeight     ( MVid imageTrack );
  double        mvGetImageRate       ( MVid imageTrack );
  const char*   mvGetImageCompression( MVid imageTrack );
  DMinterlacing mvGetImageInterlacing( MVid imageTrack );
  DMpacking     mvGetImagePacking    ( MVid imageTrack );
  DMorientation mvGetImageOrientation( MVid imageTrack );

  For interlacing, packing and orientation, the types of
  formats can be found in <dm_image.h>.

  Once you have the description of format for the data in the
  image track, you can treat the buffer of untyped data
  returned by mvReadFrames() as an array of pixels.  If you
  need the data in a different format for your image
  processing or file I/O, you will need to perform the
  conversion yourself.

  For writing movies, the process works similarly.  Create a
  DMparams structure that describes the format of the data
  you will be writing, and pass that to mvAddTrack().  This
  creates an image track with the data format you want.  Then
  pass pixel data in that format to mvInsertFrames().

  Note that the Movie Library uses the MVid data type to
  represent both movies, and tracks within the movies.  So
  when you write a program to read or write image frames,
  you will have two MVid variables - one for the movie as
  a whole, and one for the image track embedded within the

  Check the Digital Media Programmer's Guide and the Movie
  Library Manual pages for more details, as well as detailed
  instructions on how to use these calls.

  As of IRIX 6.2, since movies with multiple image tracks are
  supported, we recommend the use of mvRenderMovieToImageBuffer
  instead of mvReadFrames. Please see the man page for 
  this function.

Subject:   -24- How do I write a program which can write individual
                frames from a movie file out to a still image file?
Date: Wed Nov 16 13:04:20 PST 1994

  Once you have managed to read individual frames from a
  movie file (see above), you have several options for
  writing the still frames to an image file.

  There is an image library, libimage.a, which supports
  reading and writing the Silicon Graphics RGB file format.
  Sample programs for using this library appear in the
  4Dgifts subsystem.

  Also, you can purchase the optional SGI ImageVision
  Library.  ImageVision supports output to several image file
  formats, including SGI, TIFF, JFIF, and its own proprietary
  FIT format.  C++ developers can add their own file
  formats.  ImageVision also provides several powerful
  operators for converting, procesing, and displaying image
  data, and also provides hardware acceleration on SGI
  platforms which support it.  Contact your SGI sales office
  for more details (see above for details about where to

  Finally, make sure you've installed the Movie Library
  example programs.  They contain a program called
  editmovie.c which writes still frames to image files, using
  ImageVision to write the data to disk.

Subject:   -25- I'm using the Movie Library to create QuickTime movies
                using Apple's Video compression.  When are default key-
                frames placed in a QuickTime movie made with the SGI
                movie library?
Date: Mon Mar 25 10:04:18 PST 1996

  For releases prior to Irix 6.2, key frames are placed by 
  default every fifth frame.  

  Beginning with WebForce1.1 and IRIX 6.2, it is possible to
  control the keyframe distance.

  To do so in a program, set the parameter 
  DM_IMAGE_KEYFRAME_DISTANCE parameter when you create an 
  image track.

  The tools (dmconvert/makemovie/movieconvert) also have 
  options to allow you to control keyframe rate.

Subject:   -26- The Movie Library has calls to play a movie in a file,
                memory or a file descriptor.  But all of them seem to
                assume that the complete movie is available locally.
                How can I play a movie all of which is not available
Date: Wed Nov 16 13:04:20 PST 1994

  It's really not possible at the moment.  The Movie Library
  needs access to both the header/indexing information stored
  in the movie file, as well as the media data itself in
  order to play the movie.

  It may be possible to do this by passing a socket
  descriptor instead of a file descriptor.  There definitely
  is a problem of seeking to a particular frame.  If the whole
  movie is streamed in with no mvSetCurrentFrame() kind of
  calls, it may work.

Subject:   -27- When programming with the Movie Library, can we insert
                and delete frames from a playing movie?
Date: Mon Mar 25 10:04:18 PST 1996

  For versions of IRIX prior to 6.2, absolutely not.

  As of 6.2, editing a movie is supported while a movie is
  bound for playback, and the playback instance will update
  as the movie is edited, but it is NOT possible to edit a
  movie that is currently playing--you must call mvStop first.

Subject:   -28- When writing frames to a movie with the Movie Library,
                if we fix the image track parameters, does the byte size
                of the frame remain constant across frames?
Date: Mon Mar 25 10:04:18 PST 1996

  In general, no.  The compression codecs return variable size byte
  counts for the frames they compress. 

  However, in later versions of the movie library (eg, IRIX 6.2),
  some codecs support generation of a constant bitrate. Use the
  parameter DM_IMAGE_BITRATE when creating an image track. (Note
  that this is not supported by all codecs; CinePak is the only
  one currently supporting this feature.)

Subject:   -29- How do I write a program to play a movie entirely from
Date: Wed Nov 16 13:04:20 PST 1994

  Typically, you open the movie file using the Unix open() system
  call.  You then allocate a memory buffer as large as you need, and
  use the read() system call to read the entire movie into the memory
  buffer.  Then pass the pointer to this memory region to mvOpenMem()
  and you're set.

  If you want to get more fancy, you can use the mpin() system call
  to attempt to lock your memory buffer in physical memory, so
  it does not get swapped out.  Or, you can use the mmap() system
  call to associate your disk file with a memory pointer, and pass
  the memory-mapped region to mvOpenMem().  This has certain advantages
  which are outside the scope of this FAQ; consult the manual pages
  and a good book on Unix system-call level programming for details.

Subject:   -30- How do I capture movies from live video within my
Date: Wed Nov 16 13:04:20 PST 1994

  In IRIX 5.2, your only choice is to write your own code using
  the Audio, Video, and Movie Libraries to capture live video
  and audio and save it to disk - not an easy task.

  In IRIX 5.3, your program can use the Capture Tool to do this
  work.  You can invoke the Capture tool, passing it a file name
  and a set of options telling it what media to capture and what
  compression to use.  When the user exits the Capture Tool, you
  simply open the movie file it recorded for you.  Check the
  5.3 manual page for Capture for more details.

Subject:   -31- How do I write a program to read and write compressed
                data to a movie file?
Date: Wed Nov 16 13:04:20 PST 1994

  Check out the manual pages for the mvGetCompressedImageSize(),
  mvReadCompressedImage() and mvInsertCompressedImage() calls.
  They should do what you need.

Subject:   -32- I want to write a program which creates a JPEG-
                compressed movie file, but I need to control the
                compression quality.  How do I do this with the Movie
Date: Fri May  3 11:05:05 PDT 1996

  As of IRIX 6.2, there are additional parameters that you can pass
  in to mvAddTrack to control the compression quality: 
  Note that not all codecs support all of these parameters.

  JPEG in particular, supports only the SPATIAL setting.

  (Certain Apple codecs support both TEMPORAL and SPATIAL quality 
  settings; CinePak also supports the BITRATE setting.)

  Additionally, you can do the compression yourself (as could be
  done prior to IRIX 6.2): create a movie file with all the appropriate
  image track parameters (see above),  But instead of simply writing
  frames to the movie and letting the Movie Library automatically
  compress the frames for you, you handle the compression yourself.
  To do the compression yourself, you open a Compression Library JPEG
  compressor, set the quality factor, and use it to compress each
  frame.  Then you write the *compressed* data to the movie file
  (see above for instructions on how to do this).

  The tools (dmconvert/makemovie/movieconvert) support these settings
  in Digital Media Tools 5.5 (see the first question in this FAQ) and
  IRIX 6.2.

Subject:   -33- I want to write a program which can create a JPEG-
                compressed movie file compatible with the Cosmo Compress
                board, SGI's hardware JPEG accelerator.  How do I do
Date: Fri May  3 10:23:53 PDT 1996

  Movies which are compatible with the Cosmo Compress board
  have the following characteristics:

    - Image compression must be JPEG.
    - Width must be video (NTSC or PAL) sized,
      and an even multiple of 8.
    - Height must be video sized, and an even multiple of 8.
    - Image frames must be interlaced (odd interlacing for NTSC,
      even interlacing for PAL).
    - Image frames must be oriented top to bottom.
    - Image packing must be RGB.
    - Image track frame rate must be 29.97 for NTSC,
      25.0 for PAL.

  Here is a piece of code which will check an existing image
  track for you.  C programmers will hopefully forgive the use
  of C++ style comments:

  // Check to see if the video track is one of the subset of
  // JPEG-encoded tracks that the cosmo board can play.

  static DMboolean isCosmoCompatible( MVid videotrack )
      // must be JPEG.
      if ( mvGetCompression(videotrack) != IMAGE_COMP_JPEG ) {
    	  return DM_FALSE;

      // width must be video sized, even multiple of 8.
      int width = mvGetImageWidth(videotrack);
      if ( width < 16 || width > 768 || width % 8 ) {
    	  return DM_FALSE;

      // height must be video sized, even multiple of 8.
      int height = mvGetImageHeight(videotrack);
      if ( height < 16 || height > 2*296 || height % 8 ) {
    	  return DM_FALSE;

      // image frames must be interlaced.
      if ( mvGetImageInterlacing(videotrack) == DM_IMAGE_NONINTERLACED) {
    	  return DM_FALSE;

      // image frames must be oriented top to bottom.
      if ( mvGetImageOrientation(videotrack) != DM_TOP_TO_BOTTOM ) {
	  return DM_FALSE;

      // image packing must be RGB.
      if ( mvGetImagePacking(videotrack) != DM_PACKING_RGB ) {
    	  return DM_FALSE;

      // we've run the gauntlet.  dmplay can play this movie.
      return DM_TRUE;

Subject:   -34- I simply want to create a JPEG-compressed movie which is
                compatible with the Cosmo Compress board.  I don't want
                to write my own program.  How do I do this?
Date: Thu May  2 16:47:44 PDT 1996

  In IRIX 5.3, there are three ways to do this:

  1) Use the dmrecord utility to record live video from the Galileo
  or Indy Video options.

  2) Use the Capture tool to record live video from the Galileo
  or Indy Video options.

  3) Use the makemovie utility to generate a cosmo-compatible movie
  from a collection of still images.  Here is an excerpt from the
  manual page:

    To make an odd interlaced, 640x480, JPEG compressed movie with
    top-to- bottom orientation (of the sort that can be played back on
    the Cosmo compression board) from image files img1.rgb, img2.rgb,
    and img3.rgb:

    makemovie -o movie3.mv -c jpeg -s 640,480 -i odd -t \
		 img1.rgb img2.rgb img3.rgb

  In IRIX 6.2, you should use the dmconvert utility to accomplish this
  task.  (makemovie has been retained as a compatibility layer atop
  dmconvert).  See the manual page for dmconvert.

Subject:   -35- I want to capture a still image from video using a shell
                script. The Capture tool doesn't seem to be appropriate
                because it waits for the user to click the mouse button.
                How can I accomplish this?
Date: Thu May  2 16:47:44 PDT 1996

  Check out the vidtomem program.  It will do just what you want.

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