Cut Assistant (en)

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Cut Assistant is a Windows Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the cut applications Asfbin (which can cut wmv files) and VirtualDub (for cutting avi files). By use of these applications it can cut video fast and without recompressing, preserving the original video quality.

Current version is 0.9.12.2. Versions prior to 0.9 have been developed under the name Asfbin Assistant.

The Cut Assistant is also the main application for cut list sharing.

Features:

  • Support for WMV and AVI (DivX/XviD)
  • cuts can be searched by help of a video player
  • can show 12 Frames directly before/after the current position, or 12 Frames in a selected interval
  • cut lists can be saved and loaded
  • cut lists can be shared with other users over a server
  • cut *.wmv prcisely regardless of keyframes (only with AsfBin starting from version 1.5.53x)

If you experience problems with this program which are not adressed on this site, try searching in the forum OTR Tools: Video Editing (german).

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Download and (no) installation ;-)

System requirements

The respective codecs for the movies are installed. Reasonably new DirectX-version should be present (see also Problems and Solutions). So far the programme was used successfully with:

    • Windows XP
    • Windows 2000
    • Windows XP MCE 2005 (SP2), DirectX 9.c, all Microsoft patches
    • Windowx 98 SE, DirectX 9.c
    • Windows XP Professional SP2 mit DivX 6.2
    • Windows XP Professional SP1
    • DirectX 9.b + 9c
    • Windows Vista

You are asked to add your own OS and config you have successfully used with the app here, details about DirectX-version and ServicePacks are welcome!

List of download sites

http://sourceforge.net/projects/cutassistant/ (main site)
http://www.videohelp.com/tools?tool=Cut_Assistant (mirror)
http://www.digital-digest.com/software/Cut_Assistant.html (mirror)
http://www.afterdawn.com/software/video_software/video_tools/cut_assistant.cfm (mirror)
http://www.chip.de/downloads/c1_downloads_22228001.html?tid1=27706&tid2=0 (mirror)

Installation

Unpack the application to a directory of your choice and start. No installation necessary. All settings are saved in an .ini-file in the same directory. The registry is not touched at this stage.

Programmes and Codecs needed

Settings

3rd party application paths

Before the first cut you must set the path to at least one of asfbin.exe, VirtualDub.exe, vdub.exe, avidemux2.exe or mp4box.exe (the core cutting-applications) under "Options->Settings" in the appropriate tab.

Frame-accurate cutting/editing (only for .wmv and .avi so far)

In the panel beneath the path to asfbin.exe, additional command-line parameters may be entered, which will be executed with AsfBin (= *.wmv!). In case AsfBin 1.5.0.530 or higher is used, the option "-rkf" (without the quotation marks) may be entered to enable frame accurate cuts.

Setting Cut Application and Codec for SmartRendering for different video types

For avi files enable "smart rendering" rsp. "smart copy" in the virtualDub rsp. AviDemux settings. Note that this feature is available only for virtualDub Versions 1.7 or later and AviDemux v2.3.0 or later. If you use VirtualDub with SmartRendering, you have to choose a codec (encoder) which is compatible with your video. This allows VirtualDub to re-encode some frames between cut and next keyframe. If you choose FFDShow as Codec, you must further click on "Config" to enter the settings for ffdshow. There, go to the "Encoder" tab and choose the appropriate encoder and FourCC (e.g. "H264").

Settings for FFDShow (here H264)

Username

Should you wish to sign your cutlists before exchanging it through the cutlist-exchange-server, you can enter your nickname in "Options->Settings->Userdata". The nickname will be saved together with the cutlists and shown on the server.

URLs and proxy servers

  • In "Options->Settings->URLs" the URLs for the cutlist exchange server may be entered or changed.
  • Beneath it a proxy-server may be entered, if necessary. Warning: If you enter a password for the proxy server it will be saved in the settings file cut_assistant.ini without encryption!

The remaining tabs are used to specify the directory for saving cutlists and the cut movie files and here also may be set, if file-names are to be generated automatically or manually, by a save-as dialog.

Using the application (This part is currently under construction. Some parts are still Version 0.7.4)

Basic procedure

  1. open movie
  2. define cuts or load cutlist
  3. start cutting-process, the cuts will be passed to AsfBin or VirtualDub, which executes the actual cutting and saves the new, cut file of the movie.
  4. check cut movie
  5. if your cutlist was downloaded from the server: please rate it! If you created it yourself: Please consider sharing it with other users an upload it!

Controls

First the task-bar:

Symbolleiste
  1. exit
  2. open movie
  3. load cutlist
  4. search matching cutlist on server
  5. save cutlist
  6. save cutlist as
  7. upload cutlist
  8. send rating for cutlist to server
  9. show frames window
  10. scan interval
  11. show last 12 frames
  12. show next 12 frames
  13. start cutting
  14. open help pages in browser


Player

The integrated player has the usual play-back functions, Play, Pause, Stop, Volume-control and Mute. The two buttons left and right of the Play-button are used for single frame steps forward or back respectively.


Zeitleiste


On the timeline the actual position in the movie is shown. By clicking and dragging the control the position may be changed. Pressing the CTRL-key simultaneously, a part of the movie is selected (see below). The control beneath the timeline allows for fine-tuning. The actual position will be changed by +/- 50 frames max., just click the control and drag.


Schnittdefinition

In the "From" and "To"-panels a new cut is defined. The simplest way to enter the time-code is using the buttons beside them: "Current" enters the actual movie-position, "0:00" the movie-start and "End" the last position of the movie. For other methods see below. "Jump to" sets the movie to the position indicated in the fields.


Schnittliste (Cutlist)

This is the cutlist with start-time, end-time and duration of the segments. With "Add" a new entry on basis of the "From"- and "To"-panels (see above) is entered, "Replace" replaces a selected entry in the list. "Edit" enters the data of an entry into the "From"- and "To"-panels for editing (or simply double click on the entry), "Delete" deletes it.


Schnittmodus

"Cut Mode" selects what will be done with the defined segments: "Cut out" = the defined segments will be cut out, "Crop" = the segments will be kept, the remaining parts will be cut. Use the "Convert"-button to toggle between the two views.

Have all cuts been entered into the cutlist you can start the cutting process (either by using the menu or the task-bar). Before cutting for the first time you must enter the path to the cutting applications (Asfbin.exe and VirtualDub) in the settings.

Any other menu function should be self-explanatory.

Drag&Drop

You may drag files by drag&drop into the programme-window. Should the file be a cutlist, it will be opened as a cutlist. All other files will be interpreted as movies and AsfBin Assistant will try to play them back. A cutlist may only be opened, if a movie-file is opened simultaneously or is already open.

Command Line Options

These are still experimental. Syntax:

   cut_assistant.exe 
    [[-open:]<movie file> [-cutlist:<cutlist file>]] 
    [-tryCutting] 
    [-exit]
    [-batchmode] 
    [-uploadCutlist:<cutlist file>] 
    [-getemptycutlist:<cutlist file>]
-open open movie
-cutlist load cutlist (only if movie is open)
-tryCutting tries cutting (surprise... ;-))
-exit exit application after processing the command line
-batchmode like -exit, plus all dialogs will be suppressed.
-uploadCutlist: <cutlist file> Upload cutlist to server
-getemptycutlist: <cutlist file> Open Cutlist-Info Dialog and save the data to an empty cutlist file (without any cuts defined).

Enter Application into Windows Registry

In the menu "?"->"Associate with file extensions" the app will make an entry into the registry. For .wmv and .avi files the context-menu than will contain a "Edit with AsfBin Assistant"-item.

Keyboard Shortcuts

[Space],[K] Play / Pause
[J] Frame back
[L] Frame forward
[Ctrl+A] Add Cut
[Ctrl+C] Edit Cut
[Ctrl+V] Replace Cut
[Del] Delete Cut
[Ctrl+Space] Scan interval
[F1] Help
[Alt+F4] Exit

Choosing Cuts: Advanced techniques

Show frames

Frame-Anzeige

To determine a cut, you may also use the following procedure: The two buttons "Previous/Next 12 Frames" open a new window, where the immediately following / preceding 12 frames of the actual position are shown. The buttons beneath the displayed frames/images transfer the time-code to the "From" and "To"-panels respectively. A double-click on any of the frames in the frame-window will set the movie to that position in the main window.

Scan Interval

Ausgewählter Bereich
Frames-Fenster (Großes Bild)

With "Scan Interval" (keyboard-shortcut: CTRL+space) 12 frames from a selected area are displayed. There are two possibilities to select an area for scanning:

  1. Press and hold the SHIFT-key, drag the slider with the mouse to the target-position
  2. In the frames-window select two frames (single click onto the image, a selected frame will get a yellow border). The area between the two frames will be selected.

In both cases the selected area will be shown in the timeline. So if you are searching the beginning of a commercial block you can proceed like that:

  • Select an interval in which you expect the beginning of the commercial block.
  • Scan interval [Ctrl+Space]
  • In the frames window select the last shown frame belonging to the movie and the first frame of the commercials. Repeat scanning.
  • Repeat this until you find the precise beginning. If necessary you can finally use the function prev / next 12 frames to set your cut very precisely.

Cutlists and Cutlist-Server

Cutlists may be saved and loaded as .cutlist-files. As default the movie-name with the extension ".cutlist" is used for the cutlist file name. The file name of the movie the cutlist has been created for will be saved in the .cutlist-file.

You can share your cutlists with other users. Upload a cutlist to the server with the "Arrow up" button. You can search a matching cutlist on the server with the "Arrow down" button. If you downloaded a cutlist you can send a rating for this cutlist to the server with the "thumbs up"-button.

See here for Details (german): Cutlist-Austausch

Version History

Since V.0.9.0

See readme.txt

Earlier Versions

See Asfbin Assistant.

Problems and solutions (FAQ)

Application reacts very slow, esp. when playing or fast searching a movie

This behaviour is observed often. The most likely reasons are incompatible DirectShow-filters. If a movie is loaded into the app, the used filters may be checked in "Info->Used Filters". V. 0.7.5 (and higher) displays the CLSIDs additionally:

Benutzte Filter

With the filters used as examples here (the CLSID - the long number at the beginning - is far more important than the name,!) the app will run smoothly and without problems (possibly other filter-graphs will work as well). To determine the installed filters on the system, the programme AVIcodec may be used, download here: http://avicodec.duby.info/

Should these filters be missing, it would be advisable to update DirectX, eventually other Microsoft-Updates may be useful. The above-mentioned filters are contained in the following DLLs (file-name in Windows-directory\system32 and version-number):

wmvdmod.dll, 10.0.0.3802 
wmadmod.dll, 10.0.0.3802 
quartz.dll, 6.05.2600.2749 
qedit.dll, 6.05.2600.2180 
qcap.dll, 6.05.2600.2180 
qasf.dll, 10.00.0000.3802

With these DLL versions it will run in any case, earlier ones would work possibly well, but they should not be really old. If you wish to update these dlls manually: Don't forget to register them to the system. Simply enter e.g. "regsvr32.exe qasf.dll" at the command line window. The Microsoft-Update "Microsoft KB 89112" contains some of the dlls: Microsoft KB 89112

Application crashes on loading movie

  1. Probably a codec is missing. Check if you are able to play back the movie with any other application
  2. Possibly DirectX-version too old. See above.

When I start cutting I get an explorer window

  1. Wrong path of cutting application enterd in settings

Cutting Application Error

  1. The asfbin.exe-path is wrong
  2. Wrong command-line-options are set in the asfbin.exe-settings

AsfBin throws "Decompression Error"

  1. see here: Decompression error: VCM decoding driver is not available

The video is displayed in a seperate "Active Movie Window"

Try to disable "Extended video overlay" in the settings for your DivX Codec. This solution should help if you've a Version 6.51 < DivX < 6.8.x!
If you try it with a DivX-version > than 7.x there's no chance to disable this "feature".

There are 3 possible solutions:
1.)Try it with goldcut instead of Cut Assistant.
2.)Downgrade DivX to < 6.8.x!
3.)Use FFDS also for "normal" avi's anD put the DivX-Codec on the black-list (see window "used filters")!

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