Avi JPEG , CODEC, rotoscope, composit

I am confused on what can be used in Blender for an animated background for rotoscoping.

Is AVI (Jpeg or RAW) a CODEC and if so what is it’s name? Is it MPEG-1 or some other name?

I am trying to convert a digital camera video to a format that can be used in Blender for rotoscoping.

I’ve looked through the forums and manuals but can not find a clear explanation.


AVI is a file extension.
MPEG is a standard.

An AVI file can be compressed with different CODECS (compressor/decompressor), e.g. DivX, Xvid, Indeo, etc.

Blender can usually handle any format if you have the correct CODEC installed. Some people have problems with compressed formats, but they should work. Uncompressed AVI (or AVI raw) can be a huge file. This is more likely to work on any machine until the filesize causes memory problems.

MPEG-1 (really just MPEG) is a standard. There are different CODECS that are compliant with MPEG and will compress a file. The filename is usually: filename.mpg.

A digital video camera usually uses Firewire (or possibly USB) to output the video data. You need software to capture the stream. For a free tool, I would suggest Virtual Dub. For an affordable tool, I would suggest the latest editors from Pinnacle. Once you have the video ‘captured’ you can convert it to any format you want.

For Blender rotoscoping I would suggest saving the video as a series of JPEG stills (most editors have that option, you just have to find it) or uncompressed AVI for simplicity.

Here is a good site for digital video information.

Speaking importing AVIs into Blender, I was wondering if there’s a way that you can import an image sequence as an animated texture into Blender, for use with materials. I use the movie options on one of the texture panels and I can only get it to work if I import an AVI. I can import image sequences into the sequence editor, but not for animated textures.

Render it from the sequencer as an AVI

just load the first image in a numbered sequence, and it will see the rest. just set the frames, and youre good to go. don’t press the movie button though, unless you use an avi.

Hey, it worked! I always though that you had to press the movie button, that’s why I’ve always resorted to rendering it to a video. Thanks!


Could you please explain how this is done in steps given you have an mpg or something, or give a link?


I don’t think Blender has support for MPEG (I wish it used ffmpeg or something). The best you can do is use some video editing program like Premier (or better yet use transcode) and save the entire thing as a PNG sequence. Apperently Premier only has supoport for a BMP sequence. You can do a batch process on those and convert them to PNGs or JPEGs though.

Try removing the audio in an mpeg. In Premier deselect the audio under the “general” selection. I tried MPEG-4 and it worked but the picture was distoreted. Mpeg-1 worked better but I think there may be a bug in Blender becuase it doesn’t always work. I’m still checking it out and I’ll post the results here.


I’m working on incorperating ffmpeg into blender. I’ve got it planned out (for the most part) now I just need to get off my butt and code it. Pics of the GUI changes are on my site. http://scourage.servebeer.com/programming/blender-av/index.html



Is this a new format or a typo?

Also, your link isn’t working.


It’s not a format, it’s the name of a library used to open/write multiple formats.



Link looks down. I’ll fix that when I get home from work. I started coding last night, shouldn’t be too much longer now. Things are going pretty smooth.