Monthly Archives: November 2007

Processing a video in a proprietary format with CamStudio [How to]

One of the biggest problem during investigations on CCTV footage is the fact that most of the systems records in some proprietary format. Although usually encoding algorithms employs the standard mpeg-like algorithms, you won’t be able to view them on common media players. Some are providing a DirectShow or VideoForWindows codec, but most of them allows to view the recorded material on some custom media player. If you want to try to process the video with Amped Five (or some other editing software, I hope not), you’ll need to capture directly what’s happening on screen and encode it back with a more standard codec. Some of these players have some options to save the frames of the video in image files or to export it in the avi format, but quite often you have to save manually all the single frames one by one (what will you do for hours of video?) and the avi file exported will be very badly compressed, further damaging footage that proabably was having a bad quality.

Here it comes in help a beautiful free tool, called CamStudio. You can download the program from here. A very important thing to note is that you need also to recompress the captured video (your hard drive won’t be big enough if you nedd to record more than few minutes) with the minimum loss of quality. For this purpose the CamsStudio author makes available also a lossless codec to install on the system, that you can download here. In the last days the website wasn’t accessible because of traffic limits, but you can still access it by SourceForge.

CamStudio screenshot

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Hello world!

If you are here, probably you already know what is Amped Five. If not, I’ll tell you now. But first of all, since a blog is something personal, I want to tell you who I am.

My name’s Martino Jerian, I live in Trieste, a beautiful city between the Adriatic-Sea and the Alps in the north-east of Italy. If English is your first language please be tolerant to my typos and grammatical errors. And remember that probably your Italian is worse than my English (lol).

Main main job is as electronic engineer, but I also work in my spare time (I like this sentence) in my familiy business, which consists of some bakeries. I love snowboarding, surfing and the so-called alternative music. Now that the alternative music is becoming mainstream I should find something new to be alternative.

At the beginning of next year I’ll become the founder of Amped, this website’s company. Amped main product will be Five, which is actually an acronym for Forensic Image and Video Enhancement. Five is an innovative tool for image and video editing and restoration, targeted to forensic and investigative applications (yes, like the stuff you see in CSI-like TV-series, where from a grainy picture of a building taken from a satellite they can zoom in to see the brand of cigarettes a person is smoking). The project started some years ago with my thesis at the University of Trieste, with a Matlab tool called MIPE (Modular Image Processing Environment) and has been thus further developed in the Area Science Park (in the surroundings of Trieste) thanks to the Innovation Factory project.

Currently Amped Five is in the last period of beta testing and it will be officially launched at the very beginning of next year. It is already used by several specialists in the field of scientific investigations and has been tested on many different real cases, but as you can guess, I can’t show publicly the results. Anyway you can find some real world (but not court critical samples in the Five samples page). Feel free to write me if you want to try the software.

The purpose of this blog is to keep in touch with the growing base of our users, and possibly to get new ones, to update you about latest development news and give some hints for using Five at its best.