How to Make MPEG Movies

General Overview

To create an MPEG movie on a Unix system, several things are needed:
  1. A Series of image files containing the movie date
  2. A program that converts these images into three separate Y, U, and V files (ppmtoyuvsplit)
  3. An MPEG encoder (mpeg)
  4. An MPEG display program (xanim)

  5. Quick and Dirty

    1. Create a series of image files.

      Filenames: Need to be in the format "base.xxxx.ext" where base=basename xxxx=number, and ext=graphic extension.
      Numbering method: You have to use xxxx (with 4 digits), ie. 0001, 0010, 0720
      Image formats required: Utah Raster Toolkit (.rle), SGI RGB Format (.sgi or .rgb), or PBMPLUS Format (.ppm), GIF (.gif), XWD (.xwd), JPEG (.jpg)
    2. Have plenty of temporary space.
      By default, the program will make the directory /var/tmp/username (with username being your username). Since system resources are low, this space will run out really quickly, so you'll probably want to create a temp directory in your home directory (call it tmp or temp) and then make a symbolic link to it from the /var/tmp directory.
      Try something like this: ln -s ~/tmp /var/tmp/username.
      Of course, you may run out of space in your home account, so if you need more space, let me know.
    3. Run the "makempeg" script (it should be in /image/bin)
      Command synopsis:
      makempeg [ -fs start_frame_number ] [ -fe ending_frame_number ] [ -fi frame_increment ] [ -base name ]

      -fs start frame number: Use this option to specify the starting image frame number. Default: 1
      -fe ending_frame number: Use this option to specify the ending image frame number. Default: 1
      -fi frame_increment: Use this option to specify the frame increment if other than the default of 1
      -base name: Use this option to specify the base name of the image files. Default: "image"
      makempeg -fs 1 -fe 100 -base truck
      From the series of image files name truck.0001.rle to truck.0100.rle, make an mpeg movie file named truck.mpg.

      (The program will automatically convert whatever graphic format you have into the proper one.)
    4. The resulting mpeg file will be found in the temporary directory.
      It can be viewed (under X) with the xanim application.
      Use the command: xanim file.mpg