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Virtual Dub 2

Many of you may be familiar with Virtual Dub, but only recently I came across Virtual Dub 2.  Virtual Dub is a program for converting files and adding filters and for ages was one of the best ways to scale a clip because of it’s Lanczos scaling (now some programs, like EDIUS, have this built-in).  It has great de-interlacing and if you really got to know all its options you would find it can do nearly anything.  It is also completely free.

Virtual Dub2 is a variation on the same program but lets you save the video in formats other than AVI files because it uses the (also free) FFMPEG program.  It now saves in MOV and MP4 files, and because it uses FFMPEG can save in Apple Pro Res format.

You cannot officially make ProRes on a PC except in very specific programs but have always been able to make if for free using FFMPEG.  Many people say ProRes made by FFMPEG is fine, some say they have occasionally had problems when submitting it for broadcast.  However, one of the biggest PITAs is that FFMPEG is a command line program – so you have to work out what you want to do and type it.  There are many front ends and these vary in how easy they are.  Personally I found Virtual Dub2 to be the best compromise for me – I can add filters if I want to, set up batch conversion or just re-warp an AVI to a MOV without changing it – useful to get SD DV AVIs into DaVinci Resolve, for example.

And it is free.  Like all free programs it has its little quirks but it is well worth checking out.  You can read a bit more here http://virtualdub2.com/