How to Edit MP4/MKV/WMV/XVID in VirtualDub
VirtualDub is a free video capture/processing tool in Windows platforms (inlcuding 2000/XP/Vista/7). The editing functions maybe not as powerful as general-purpose editors like Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas, and DVD Slideshow Builder. But it's featured for fast linear operations over video. It enpowers you to deal with a large number of files, and can be extended with third-party video filters. VirtualDub dedicates to processing AVI files, although you can read and edit MP4/MKV/WMV/XVID in VirtualDub after some tweaks. Also see how to compress large MPEG2 videos using VirtualDub MPEG2.
Download and install Virtual Dub
VirtualDub is an open-source video editing and conversion software that you can download and use at no charge. To edit MP4/MKV/WMV/XVID, download VirtualDub and unzip first (portable video editing software, no need to install). Launch VirtualDub and open a video file, but if you try to open MP4/MKV/WMV videos, you will get failed. That's because VirtualDub doesn't support these formats by default. But I will show you how to get it works.
Install VirtualDub plugins to support more video formats
With the help of VirtualDub plugin pack, you can directly import videos in extra formats to VirtualDub, including but not limited to MP4/MKV/WMV/XVID. Then you can trim, crop, convert, and enhance videos with specific plug-ins.
If still has problem to open desired videos in VirtualDub, you can use GSpot to detect the codec needed and install corresponding codec before importing to VirtualDub.
Video editing in VirtualDub
As described above, now you can open MP4/MKV/WMV/XVID in VirtualDub besides the original AVI video files. Following is the daily video editing tasks you can achieve using VirtualDub.
Convert MP4/MKV/WMV/XVID to AVI encoded with MPEG-4 or desired codec: When opened MP4/MKV/WMV/XVID video file, go to Video/Compression (if inactive, switch to Full processing mode) to select compression method and click File/Save as AVI... to start converting to AVI format.
Splitting, Extracting & Joining Video Files: VirtualDub has the ability to split videos or trim a portion of a video file that you have selected with the position slider, provided you're in Direct stream copy/Full processing mode in both the Video and Audio menus.
By 1-5 steps, you can save any portion of video to a new video file. But if you are in Full processing mode, you'd better select a suitable Compression method (Video/Compression...), otherwise the file size would be very large.
To join/merge multiple video files, open your video, then go to File > Append AVI segment. Note that this function only takes effects to AVI video files. However, you can convert video to AVI using VirtualDub before merging files.
Cropping Videos: To crop inside the video, first check that you're in Full Processing mode and then go to Video > Filters. In the pop up dialog, click on Add..., then highlight 'null transform' and click OK. As shown below, you can either drag sides or adjust the offset to crop videos.
Tips: Change the dimensions will reduce the video quality, but you can use the resize filter to make the cropped video as the original video's resolution.
Saving AVI As Animated GIF: The GIF animations are useful to illustrate articles. So after you've loaded your video, getting your GIF animation is pretty easy. Just select the portion of the video you want to save by moving the slider and go through File > Export and selecting Animated GIF....
Extract Images from Video or Saving JPEG/PNG/BMP Snapshots: Want to save images from video? VirtualDub is the best tool to do this. To do so, go to File > Export > Image Sequence...to bring up the following dialog and make settings before exporting images from video. Note that the image number could be very large. The tips is to delete unnecessary portion before exporting images (refer to split and extract video part).
If you're interested in getting a single snapshot from a scene in the video and editing it in, say, MS Paint, you can easily use the slider to position it at the right scene, press Ctrl + 1 or go to Video > Copy source frame to clipboard.
Adding A Logo/Watermark to Video: Use the logo filter to add a watermark to your video and save to AVI. After open the video, go through Video/Filters, click Add.. and in the Add Filters dialog select logo to open the video logo setting dialog.
Embedding Subtitles Permanently: You can use VirtualDub along with the TextSub filter to embed them in your movie permanently, in what is called hardsubbing. But first you need to prepare your subtitle files. They are usually in *.srt, *.sub, *.ssa, *.ass, etc. Not yet subtitle file? Google it.
First install TextSub filter, Download TextSub filter here and place to VirtualDub installation folder (usually at C:Program FilesVirtualDubplugins, but if you don't have that plugins subdirectory, just create one). Then go to Video/Filters to bring up following dialog. Choose TextSub to make subtitle settings and save video by File/Save as AVI....
Add Zoom in/out Effect to Video: VirtualDub can achieve a Zoom in/out effect with the Zoom VirtualDub filter. Download the filter and add the .vdf file to VirtualDub's Plugins folder (usually at C:Program FilesVirtualDubplugins, but if you don't have that plugins subdirectory, just create one). Refer to the above instructions to open Zoom effect setting dialog and then save to a new video file with desired zoom effect.
Tips: VirtualDub is a good free video editing software, but the interface is to some extend quite complicated and not that user-friendly. To get a better user experience in video editing, you can turn to Wondershare Video Editor, which support all regular video formats and is very easy to use.