VirtualDub Tutrioal: How to Use VirtualDub

VirtualDub dedicates to processing AVI files and can be extended with third-party video filters. Although it's not so fully-featured as other professional video editors, it certainly can accomplish more than a few tasks that you might think you need other separate applications for. Here let's see how to use VirtualDub.

Part 1: Download VirtualDub

First download VirtualDub and install it. You'd better take the 32bit version, not AMD64, to avoid problems with codecs.

Part 2: Edit Video with VirtualDub

Launch the program and select "File">"Open video file" to add a video file. Please notice that VirtualDub only supports AVI by default. If you want to edit other types of videos like MP4/MKV/WMV, refer to this guide >>

Now let’s take a look at video editing in VirtualDub.

1.Split & Trim

VirtualDub has the ability to split videos or trim a portion of a video file with the position slider. To do this:

1. Go to the Video Menu and check the "Direct stream copy" option. Then go to the Audio Menu and do the same.

2. Use the "Edit" > "Set selection start" and "Edit" > "Set selection end" commands to select a portion of video. This can also be done through the mark-in and mark-out buttons below the position slider or through the Home and End keys on the keyboard. Then the currently selected part will now turn blue at the slider.

3. After that, click the "File" > "Save as AVI" menu command to save the AVI segment.

edit video virtualdub

2.Join & Merge

To join/merge multiple video files:

1. Go to "File" > "Append Avi Segment" to add another AVI video you want to have in your big video. You can only add one file at a time, so if you have many small video parts, you have to repeat this step and that may cost a lot of time.

2. Go to Video menu and make sure "Full processing mode " is selected there.

3. Click "Compression" under the Video Menu and choose the video codecs for your output videos. After that, go to "File" > "Save Segmented AVI" to save your work to your computer.

edit video virtualdub


VirtualDub allows you to crop at the beginning of any video filter, you can do it by following the steps below:

1. Check that you're in "Full Processing mode" and then go to "Video" > "Filters". You’ll notice that there’s a Cropping button that’s not quite clickable (because it’s only enabled after you have chosen a filter).

2. Then click on Add... and choose "null transform". That doesn't do anything to your video, but will ungray the Cropping button now.

3. In the Filter input cropping dialog box, you can either drag sides or adjust the offsets 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.

edit video in virtualdub


VirtualDub also enables you to rotate video in different angles. Here's a little trick to rotate your videos with it.

1. Choose the Video Menu and go to "Filters".

2. Then click on Add..., choose "rotate" and click "OK". Then the Rotate filter will provide you will all the necessary options to rotate your videos.

You will certainly notice the presence of the "rotate 2" filter. Indeed, it allows you to can choose the degree of rotation of the video.

edit video in virtualdub


VirtualDub is an ideal program to compress a video file while still retaining the quality of the original. Follow the steps below to see how it works.

1. Make sure "Full processing mode" is selected in the Video menu. Then go to "Video" > "Compression" to bring up the following dialog.

2. As shown in the image, select the XVID MPEG-4 codec and click Configure button to make Xvid settings. You can lower the "Target bitrate" to make your video smaller.

3. Then go to the Audio Menu and select "Full processing mode", and click "Compression" to open the dialog, where MPEG Layer-3 is recommended.

4. Now, to create the compressed file, choose the "File" > "Save as AVI" option and give a new name for the compressed file. Virtualdub should now start saving the compressed file to your chosen location.

edit video in virtualdub

6.Remove/Add audio

Quite a few people like removing sound from the original video file and replacing with new audio. You can easily achieve this with VirtualDub:

1. Go to the Audio Menu and choose "No audio" to remove the original audio.

2. Alternatively, add new audio by hitting on "Audio from other file".

3. Go to the Video menu, select "Direct stream copy" and then go to "File" > "Save as AVI" to save the new audio.

edit video in virtualdub

7.Add Subtitles

You can use VirtualDub along with the VobSub filter filter to embed subtitles (*.srt, *.sub, *.ssa, *.ass, etc) into your movie permanently. Here is how:

1. First download VobSub filter and then unzip to install it. During the VobSub installation, please make sure that you've selected both "VobSub for VirtualDub" and "TextSub for VirtualDub and AviSynth" under plugins. You'll also need to specify the directory where you've unzipped VirtualDub.

2. Then go to "Video" > "Filters" to bring up the Filters dialog. Choose TextSub, click OK to browse to your subtitle file. When You’re ready, press OK.

3. Go to Video menu and make sure "Full processing mode " is selected there. Then click "Compression" and choose the video codecs for your output videos. After that, go to "File" > "Save as AVI" to save your work.

edit video in virtualdub

8.Add Logo/Watermark

You can use the built-in logo filter to add a watermark to your video in VirtualDub within few clicks.

1. Go through "Video" > "Filters" , click Add.. .

2. In the Add Filters dialog, select "logo" to bring up the video logo setting dialog. Here you can add the logo image and adjust the settings as you like.

3. After that, go to the File Menu, select "Save as AVI". Enter a new name and save the file.

edit video in virtualdub

9.Change Contrast/Brightness

Have some dark videos which you would like to brighten up so you can see them better? Let's lighten them up with VirtualDub.

1. Choose the Video Menu and go to "Filters".

2. Then click on Add..., choose "brightness/contrast" and click "OK". Raise a bit the brightness or contrast as you wish, try some combinations until the output is the way you want.

3. Then go to "File" > "Save as AVI". Enter a new name and save the file.

edit video in virtualdub

10.Take Snapshot

Want to save images from video? VirtualDub is the best tool to do this. To do so:

1. It’s preferable to create a new folder so you can contain all of your images there because there’s no option in VirtualDub to make a new folder when you’re choosing your target folder.

2. After that, go to "File" > "Export" > "Image Sequence..." to bring up the Filename format dialog and make settings before exporting images from video.

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".

edit video in virtualdub

Part 3: Capture Video with VirtualDub

VirtualDub also enables you to capture video from any webcam or video device attached to your computer. This part will explains how.

1. Switch to the Capture Mood

Turn on the webcam or video device and make sure that it's correctly connected to the computer. Then launch VirtualDub. Go to "File" > "Capture AVI" and the capture dialog box will pop up.

2. Choose the Capture Device and Output Folder

Then hit the "Device" button to elect the attached device that you want to use. Then go to "File" > "Set Capture File" and choose the save location for the captured video. Enter a name for the video file in the "File Name" input field. Click the "Save" button.

edit video virtualdub

3. Start to Capture Your Video

When you're ready, click "Capture" > "Capture Video" from the drop-down menu. Then VirtualDub will capture the video from the attached device. When you want to stop recording, click "Capture" on the menu, then select "Stop Capture" from the drop-down list.

Tip: If you want to test the capture before recording your video, select "Capture" > "Capture Test Video". This gives you the opportunity to practice before you can properly capture the video. You can also enable or disable audio capture from the Audio Menu.

edit video virtualdub

Part 4: VirtualDub FAQ

Here is a quick VirtualDub FAQ to save your time searching the Internet.

1. How do I get MPEG-2 Support in VirtualDub?

MPEG-2 is not supported by VirtualDub. However, it can be frameservered to VirtualDub using an avs script. Other solutions are to use VirtualDubMod or fccHandlers MPEG2 mod.

2. What does "Pack Synchronization Error" Mean?

It means one of two possibilities:

1. You have an MPEG-2 file, which VirtualDub doesn't support. See previous question for possible solutions.

2. You have an MPEG-1 file that is corrupted. VirtualDub's MPEG-1 parser is intolerant to errors compared to its AVI parser, so unfortunately there is no easy solution to this problem.

3. Why VirtualDub Say No Capture Device?

VirtualDub needs a Video for Windows (VFW) capture driver to capture. Most Firewire (DV) devices do not provide such driver, and thus cannot be used by VirtualDub at all. If your device has a Windows Driver Model driver (WDM), this can be used indirectly by VirtualDub through a Microsoft wrapper (shown as "Microsoft WDM Image Capture (Win32)"), but it's crippled in functionality and it also appears that the wrapper is buggy.

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Hi Liza, Did you try to capture anything with VD? Many use VD to capture content with a webcam, and then upload to YouTube or similar. YouTube recommends uploading MP4 files with x264 video +AAC audio. Your Tutorial is missing critical details in capture section. - before capture starts, one needs to select capture format from choice of native formats output by the attached device - try it yourself with a webcam - by default VD captures audio and video to .avi files with MJPEG video & PCM audio. - VD can compress native RGB & PCM webcam output to MP4 on the fly. You need to figure out and explain readers, how to mux AAC audio and x264 video from webcam to MP4 on the fly - If the webcam outputs MJPEG & PCM in hardware, no compression by VD is needed to save in AVI - if your webcam outputs h264 & AAC natively, no re-encoding by VD is needed when saving to MP4
Hi, Martin Vrbovsky, check this forum:
Martin Vrbovsky
you forgot to mention, which plug in in virtual dub allows this for .mp4
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