Thursday, December 11, 2008

DigiBlue and the Indeo Codec

My son's school have been using the DigiBlue video system to make short stop-motion animations. The results have been wonderful, but there was a problem when we tried to take his creation home. The film plays fine on the school computer using Windows Media Player, but fails to work at home using the same program. What's occurring?

A quick look at the file using GSpot (bad name) shows the video is encoded with Indeo version 5, an ancient codec from before the dawn of time (1992). The current owners, Ligos Corporation, will sell you a decoder for $15 called "Indeo XP", but no open source decoders exist for versions 4 and 5. There do appear to be many free sources for this codec on the internet, but some may be more legitimate than others.

The legitimate installer doesn't work out of the box with Windows Vista either, but this thread includes a command you have to run to force it to register.

A creative and free solution to this problem is to upload the video to YouTube, which has decoders for all known video formats. It is likely that you will want to share your child's creations anyway with adoring grandparents etc...

Being huge Ray Harryhausen fans, my son and I are keen to do some stop motion at home, probably using an old web cam and some free software. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

No comments: