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View Full Version : What happened to Pixlet?


lakhdip
Dec 18, 2003, 02:56 PM
What's going on with Pixlet?

I read this on the Quicktime 6.5 page...

"Pixlet is the first studio-grade codec for filmmakers. Tuned for use with high-definition source, it allows digital film frames to play back in real time on any 1GHz G4. For Mac OS X v.10.3 only."

This sounds quite cool, but we don't have pixlet content, or do we? I remember a bit of text on the quicktime page saying watch this pixlet video of a space shuttle taking off, but there was no link!

Does anyone know where we can view some? Has anyone encoded any pixlet?

Makosuke
Dec 18, 2003, 03:29 PM
This is probably #3 in the frequently asked questions here. The page you're thinking of is this one:

http://www.apple.com/macosx/

And it's apparently a mistake--there is no demo download (either they decided that 355MB is too big, or it only works if you have FCP installed or something).

That said, there's absolutely no use for Pixlet for anyone other than those doing very high end professional video editing. None. If you don't actually own Final Cut Pro, and use it for your work, then you don't care about Pixlet.

To quote that page: "Pixlet is the first studio-grade codec for filmmakers. Pixlet provides 20-25:1 compression, allowing a 75MB/sec series of frames to be delivered in a 3MB/sec movie ... click below to download a 355 MB sample of Pixlet encoded high definition video."

It is a pro-level codec, designed for lossless compression on extremely high-end video. Just the demo movie, were it up, would be 355MB! Most of us, at absolute max, use DV compression--there'd be little sense recompressing DV with Pixlet, since it wouldn't get any smaller and you'd gain nothing in quality. It's designed for High Definition video, particularly video from uncompressed sources like film or special effects.

You're not going to use Pixlet to distribute movies on the internet (that's what lossy codecs like MP4 and XviD are for, which can manage compression dozens of times what Pixlet does) and you're not going to need it to edit DV in iMovie or FCE.

That said, it would be interesting to see a little Pixlet clip, just to see what extreme quality it's capable of.

lakhdip
Dec 18, 2003, 03:58 PM
Ah ok. Thanks for the explanation.

I figured Pixlet was a lossy codec though,
since they said it's name was based on a combination of Pixlet and Wavlet.

Wavelet compression is quite different from the more commonly used DCT encoding. It's really impressive when used for still images at least.

I figured that Wavelet compression was inherently lossy and considering the figures apple is peddling on their pages,

"Or a series of frames that are over 6GB in size can be contained within a 250MB movie"

I'd be real shocked if it wasn't lossy.

Regardless, even if it is for professionals, there is hardly any information about it and we definately do need a test clip to see it's stuff.

Is it possible that this is perhaps slightly vapourware in nature, and we're some time away from it being used properly, hence the low profile?

Wes
Dec 18, 2003, 04:07 PM
Nah, I've used it for a few of my clips, 800x600 1 minute is about 200 megs.

Makosuke
Dec 18, 2003, 05:29 PM
Originally posted by lakhdip
Wavelet compression is quite different from the more commonly used DCT encoding. It's really impressive when used for still images at least.There you go--that's what makes Pixlet special: no interframe compression. Meaning that, given the horsepower, you can smoothly scrub in both directions without issue, hence its benefit to high-end video folks. Good stuff.

In truth, I'm not 100% sure Pixlet is lossless, but I believe it is, and if it's not it's VERY nearly lossless, since it's designed for studio work.

I think what you meant to say was "Pixar + Wavelet" = "Pixlet", and that is probably why Steve bothered to make it happen, since there are other, similar codecs on the market already.

jelloshotsrule
Dec 24, 2003, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by Wes
Nah, I've used it for a few of my clips, 800x600 1 minute is about 200 megs.

how/where did you even get it to use it?

Wes
Dec 24, 2003, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by jelloshotsrule
how/where did you even get it to use it?
I use it to store all my 3d animations I have done in pristine quality and then export them to different formats when I want to share them.

vniow
Dec 24, 2003, 08:35 PM
Originally posted by jelloshotsrule
how/where did you even get it to use it?

I found it when looking around today, its near the top of a pull-down menu in Video settings under Quicktime Video when you hit Export.