Tech Tips - MPEG Clip Extraction


PixelTools products can extract a frame accurate segment from any MPEG stream. You can also extract a specific frame from any MPEG stream.

Demo of Frame Extraction

Download the file to obtain a demo of MPEGRepairHD that can be used to extract a frame specific segment from an MPEG of your choice.

Download the file to obtain a working sample code that will program a demo of the Expert Workshop SDK to extract a segment of MPEG from an MPEG of your choice.

Clip Extraction using MPEGRepairHD
encoding example

MPEGRepairHD can extract a frame accurate clip from a larger MPEG via a simple two step process. First decode the segment and save the uncompressed frames in a folder. Then re-encode the frames using the MPEGRepairHD high quality encoder. Click on image for larger view.

Launch MPEGRepairHD and select your source MPEG file in the “MPEG File to Decode of Analyze” edit box.  Depress the Run button and view the video in the encoder’s mini-monitor or the full size display via the “de” speed-bar button.  You can use the decoders “Seek” button to advance to the region you wish to extract.  Note that the first few frames after seek may be corrupted.  You can also use the Step button to obtain better control than the Run button.  When MPEGRepairHD decoder is at the frame just ahead of the segment you wish to extract, depress the Pause button (if in the Run mode), check the Decode Configure |  Extract Frames | Store Decoded Frames check box, and enter the full path name of the first frame that will be saved.  The name must have an embedded 0 and must have an extension of YUV, TGA, or BMP to extract in the YUV, MicroSoft Bitmap, or Univision Targa file format.  Then depress the Run or repeatedly depress the Step button to decode until the end of your selected segment.

Next, encode your saved files by entering the first decoded frame name in the encoder’s Encode Input edit box.  Set up the encoding parameters as needed using the Optimize Encode | Configure options.  (You can use the Decoder’s Analyze button to obtain the encoding parameters of your source file.) Enter the name of the file you wish to use as the clip name in the Encode Output and depress the Encoder’s Run button to create the frame accurate clip.

Clip Tips
If you don’t require frame accurate clip extraction and have an elementary stream (IE not a multiplexed stream), you can use the Cut Segment Operation to extract the clip.  Just decode (using Seek if desired) to the area you wish to extract.  Depress the MarkIn button at the start of your segment and the MarkOut button at the end of your segment and depress the Cut button after about 15 frames have passes since your MarkOut point. MPEGRepair will have calculated the nearest GOP edit points.  Entering the name or your output clip in the Resultant Stream edit box and depressing the Cut Now button will cause your selected clip to be saved.

Clip Extraction Using Expert Workshop SDK

The Expert WorkShop SDK can be used to extract a frame accurate clip from a larger MPEG within your current application via a simple two step process. First open your source file, advance or seek to a point ahead of your extraction point, enable the frame extraction option, and then run the DecodeNextFrame function for the duration of your segment to be saved.

Load the Expert WorkShop Dll and extract the functions. Call the ExpDecodeOpen function with the name of the source file you wish to extract.  The ExpDecInfo structure will be returned with a plethora of information about your source MPEG.  Use the FirstTC and LastTC members to obtain the precise length of your source video.  Pick a point about a second ahead of the start of the clip you wish to extract.  Convert this start time to the stream time using the timescale returned in the ExpDecInfo structure.  Next make a call to ExpDecodeNextFrame to start the decoding and then execute the ExpDecodeSeek function with your computed offset time.  The seek function will return the actual time (in units of the timescale).    Next, call ExpDecodeNextFrame to advance to a frame just before the first frame of the clip you wish to extract.  Clear the WriteEnable boolean of the ExpDecConfigure structure and add the name of the first decoded frame to DecPicPrefix, DecFirstPic (number) and DecPicSuffix.  The DecPicSuffix must be YUV, BMP or TGA to cause the decoder to save the extracted frames as YUV, MicroSoft Bitmap, or Targa formats. Execute the ExpDecodeConfigure function to apply the new parameters.  Call the ExpDecodeNextFrame for the number of frames in the clip you wish to extract.

Finally, encode the extracted frames using the same parameters found in the source stream.  Call ExpEncodeOpen to launch the encoder and return the default parameters in the ExpEncParameters_str file.  Set up the appropriate parameters (as returned in the ExpDecInfo structure and load them using the ExpEncConfigure function call.   Call ExpEncodeNextFrame for the number of frames in the clip and then call ExpEncodeLastFrame to flush the encoding buffer.


The PixelTools MPEGRepairHD and Expert WorkShop can be used to extract a frame accurate segment from a larger MPEG stream.  The MPEG stream can be an elementary or multiplexed stream.  The resultant re-encoded clip will be an elementary stream.

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