Playing a Video | Getting Information | Additional Features
IVIPlay is a tool for playing video files that are in Video for Windows* format (.AVI files). IVIPlay supports
the latest Indeo® video interactive features, such as active
palettes, alternate-line zoom, and transparency.
To play a video with IVIPlay:
Figure 1. The IVIPlay Icon
The initial IVIPlay window appears, as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2. The Initial IVIPlay Window
Figure 3. The IVIPlay Movie Window
The movie window includes a status bar along the bottom, showing the number of frames skipped and the time elapsed during playback. When stepping through a video one frame at a time, the letter K indicates that the currently displayed frame is a key frame
NOTE: Unlike the other information in the status bar, the key frame does not updated during playback.
When the video has finished playing, select File > Close to close the video file or File > Exit to quit the IVIPlay application.
Navigating through Videos
View keyboard shortcuts by selecting Movie > Info and clicking the Shortcuts tab.
Table 1. Navigating Videos
In addition, you can click the right mouse button inside the IVIPlay movie window to see a slider bar. Use the slider to move to the part of the movie you wish to see.
IVIPlay allows you to access information about both the video file you have opened and program itself.
Information about IVIPlay
Figure 4. About Dialog Box
Information about the Video
A dialog box appears, such as that shown in Figure 5, indicating:
IVIPlay provides access to the features available only with Indeo video interactive.
Setting the Number of Colors
The Options > Bits per pixel menu item allows you to choose the number of bits of color information per pixel to use in playing the video file.
If you select more bits per pixel than are currently available on your display, the operating system dithers the video as required. Both image quality and performance can suffer as a result. It's better to set your system color depth for the best quality possible and use IVIPlay to view videos only at or below the system color depth.
The more bits per pixel you use for video playback, the better the image looks but the more demands are placed on the processor. Specifying more bits per pixel requires IVIPlay to handle more data during playback, which can cause the video to drop frames on slower systems.
Using a Different Palette
Clipboard plays the video using the palette currently copied to the clipboard.
File opens a file dialog box, allowing you to specify the palette (.PAL) file with which to play the video.
Default plays the video using the Indeo video default palette.
Resizing the Video Window
NOTE: Alternate line window doubling is available only for videos compressed using Indeo video interactive.
Other Indeo Video Interactive Features
Selecting Options > Indeo Video R4 > Scalability opens the dialog box shown in Figure 6. This dialog box allows you to specify the maximum number of milliseconds to devote to decompressing each frame. If the available processor power does not allow the codec to decompress the frame in the allotted time, then, assuming the file was encoded using the scalability feature, Indeo video interactive can display a less detailed image rather than drop the frame altogether. This feature is useful for multimedia developers who wish to preview playback of their video files on systems with more or less powerful processors.
Figure 6. Scalability Dialog Box
Selecting Options > Indeo Video R4 >Color Controls opens a dialog box, allowing you to adjust brightness, contrast, and saturation as the video is playing. Moving the slider to the right increases the relevant parameter; moving it to the left decreases it. Click OK to close the dialog box and play the video using the new values; click Reset to return the video to the color settings with which it was created.
Figure 7. Color Controls Dialog Box
Indeo video interactive allows developers to protect their video files by assigning an access key to them during compression. Video files compressed with an access key cannot be played by any application that cannot supply the key. Selecting Options> Indeo Video R4 >Access Key opens a dialog box, allowing you to enter an access key to play a protected file.
NOTE: This dialog box has no effect on video files compressed without an access key.
Figure 8. Access Key Dialog Box
Indeo video interactive allows multimedia developers to create videos containing transparent areas. Using a digital technique analogous to chroma keying, developers can specify that a color or range of colors be decoded as transparent, allowing a background image to show through. This allows figures of arbitrary shape and size to move through a background image that is separate from the video file. Figure 9 shows an example Indeo video file that is set up for transparency; in this file, the blue background will be rendered as transparent when the video is played over a background image.
Figure 9. Video File Including Transparency
Selecting Options > Indeo Video R4 >Background Image opens a dialog box, allowing you to specify an 8-bit bitmap to use as a background image. The result is shown in Figure 10.
NOTE: Only 8-bit .DIB files can be used as backgrounds. The background must be at least as large as the .AVI video dimensions.
Figure 10. Transparent Video File Playing with Background Image
Although this feature is intended for video files that include transparent objects, you can play any video file over a background image if it was compressed with Indeo video interactive.
NOTE: When playing transparent video files with a background image in place, the Options > Bits per pixel and Options > Resolution menu items are disabled.