Welcome, dear Amped aficionados! Today we’ll see how you can export the currently displayed image in Amped Replay. The operation itself is of course very easy, but we’ll also point out some important facts on the output format you choose, and a nice feature you’ve probably never known about 😉 Keep reading!
What’s the point in doing an amazing job if you can’t export the results? With Amped Replay, you have plenty of export options one click away. Today we talk about how you can export the currently displayed image, leaving exporting video to the next post of the series.
Let’s say we’ve been given this foggy picture and we’ve been asked to look for some useful details about the depicted airplane.
Using the filters in the Enhance tab we can quickly crop the image, improve the contrast and sharpen pixels.
Ok, much better isn’t it? You see, although video forensic analysts can’t do (and shouldn’t do) magic tricks like they do in CSI and similar series, having the right set of tools can truly make the difference in an investigation.
Now we want to export the result. We just need to go to the Export tab and click on Export Current Image.
A file browser will pop up to let us choose where the image should be saved. We can also choose the output format, and Replay offers three possibilities: JPEG, PNG, and BMP.
Choosing the output format
JPEG, PNG, BMP… these three innocent words span three parallel universes of image coding. Let’s keep it simple and present each one in terms and pros and cons.
- JPEG is the most compatible and common digital image format out there. It uses lossy compression to store the image to a file of reduced size. However, in doing so, it drops some of the original information (hence “lossy”), depending on the quality settings. Replay uses the best possible quality so you won’t lose much. However, JPEG is not the best choice if your output has to be processed again or it’s produced for forensic use, while it could be a good choice when compatibility with any possible receiver is important (e.g., release to the media).
- BMP is an uncompressed image format. You lose no quality at all, but files may get beefy (we’re talking of 34 MB for a 12 megapixels image, while using JPEG would have lowered it to 5 MBs).
- PNG is a lossless compression format: it takes the best of both worlds. You still have the guarantee that no information is dropped at all, but at the same time you save some disk space (file size is 12 MBs in our previous example). How is this possible? Well, instead of saying 000000111111 we could say “6 times 0, 6 times 1” (e.g., written as 6_0-6_1): it’s the very same information, just stored in a smarter way. PNG is a widely supported format so you can safely use it and everyone should be able to open the file.
While the default output format is JPEG, since the Version 22229, Replay allows changing the default by editing the admin-settings file (here’s a guide to do that).
Exporting before/after images
Okay, that was about the output format. And now, let us show you a nice feature. Sometimes it is useful to export a mix between the original and processed image. This is especially handy when you need to show the degree of improvement.
Let’s go back to the Enhance tab, and select the Mix option from the View menu on the top right.
The viewer shows a vertical separator over the image which allows creating the classical before/after effect: on the left side, you have unprocessed pixels, while on the right you have the processed ones. Now, when the Enhance panel is set to Mix mode, the mixed image is sent to the Annotate and Export panels. You can thus optionally annotate such image and export it to a file, as shown below.
One final remark: by default, Amped Replay will generate a PDF report every time you do an export. It will be placed just in the same folder as your image. The report documents all you’ve done and provides information about the created output file, including its hash value (you can customize the hash algorithm to be used from the admin-settings file).
Click here to have a look at the full report created for this work, you’ll be amazed to see how complete it is!
That’s all for today! We hope you’ve found this issue of the “Amped Replay Tutorials: How do I do this?” series interesting and useful! Stay tuned and don’t miss the next ones. You can also follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook: we’ll post a link to every new tutorial so you won’t miss any!