Ppmtompeg User Manual(0)                              Ppmtompeg User Manual(0)

ppmtompeg - encode an MPEG-1 bitstream

ppmtompeg [options] parameter-file

       This program is part of Netpbm(1).

       ppmtompeg  produces  an MPEG-1 video stream.  param_file is a parameter
       file which includes a list of input files and  other  parameters.   The
       file is described in detail below.

       To  understand this program, you need to understand something about the
       complex MPEG-1 format.  One source of information about  this  standard
       format is Introduction to MPEG (1).

       The  -gop,  -combine_gops, -frames, and -combine_frames options are all

       -stat stat_file
              This option causes ppmtompeg to append the  statistics  that  it
              write  to  Standard  Output  to the file stat_file as well.  The
              statistics use  the  following  abbreviations:  bits  per  block
              (bpb),  bits  per frame (bpf), seconds per frame (spf), and bits
              per second (bps).

              These statistics include how many I, P, and B frames there were,
              and information about compression and quality.

       -quiet num_seconds
               causes  ppmtompeg  not to report remaining time more often than
              every num_seconds seconds (unless the time estimate rises, which
              will  happen  near  the beginning of the run).  A negative value
              tells ppmtompeg not to report at all.  0 is the default (reports
              once  after  each  frame).   Note  that the time remaining is an
              estimate and does not take into account time to read in  frames.

               causes  ppmtompeg  to run silently, with the only screen output
              being errors.   Particularly  useful  when  reading  input  from

               This option prevents ppmtompeg from printing a summary line for
              each frame

               forces ppmtompeg to use a more accurate, yet more  computation-
              ally expensive version of the DCT.

       -gop gop_num
              causes  ppmtompeg  to encode only the numbered GOP (first GOP is
              0).  The parameter file is the same as for  normal  usage.   The
              output  file  will  be  the  normal  output file with the suffix
              .gop.gop_num.  ppmtompeg does not output any  sequence  informa-

               causes ppmtompeg simply to combine some GOP files into a single
              MPEG output stream.  ppmtompeg inserts  a  sequence  header  and
              trailer.  In this case, the parameter file needs only to contain
              the SIZE value, an output file, and perhaps a list of input  GOP
              files (see below).

              If you don’t supply a list of input GOP files is used, then ppm-
              tompeg assumes you’re using the same  parameter  file  you  used
              when you created the input (with the -gop option) and calculates
              the corresponding gop filenames itself.   If  this  is  not  the
              case, you can specify input GOP files in the same manner as nor-
              mal input files -- except instead of using INPUT_DIR, INPUT, and
              END_INPUT,  use GOP_INPUT_DIR, GOP_INPUT, and GOP_END_INPUT.  If
              no input GOP files are specified, then the default is to use the
              output file name with suffix .gop.gop_num, with gop_num starting
              from 0, as the input files.

              Thus, unless you’re mixing and matching GOP files from different
              sources, you can simply use the same parameter file for creating
              the GOP files (-gop) and for later turning  them  into  an  MPEG
              stream (-combine_gops).

       -frames first_frame last_frame
              This  option causes ppmtompeg to encode only the frames numbered
              first_frame to last_frame, inclusive.  The parameter file is the
              same as for normal usage.  The output will be placed in separate
              files, one per frame, with the file names being the normal  out-
              put  file  name with the suffix .frame.frame_num.  No GOP header
              information is output.   (Thus,  the  parameter  file  need  not
              include the GOP_SIZE value)

              Use ppmtompeg -combine_frames to combine these frames later into
              an MPEG stream.

               This option causes ppmtompeg simply to combine some  individual
              MPEG  frames (such as you might have created with an earlier run
              of ppmtompeg -frames) into a single MPEG stream.   Sequence  and
              GOP  headers  are  inserted  appropriately.   In  this case, the
              parameter file  needs  to  contain  only  the  SIZE  value,  the
              GOP_SIZE  value,  an  output  file,  and perhaps a list of frame
              files (see below).

              The parameter file may specify input frame  files  in  the  same
              manner  as  normal  input  files  --  except  instead  of  using
              INPUT_DIR,   INPUT,   and   END_INPUT,   use    FRAME_INPUT_DIR,
              FRAME_INPUT,  and  FRAME_END_INPUT.  If no input frame files are
              specified, then the default is to use the output file name  with
              suffix  .frame.frame_num, with frame_num starting from 0, as the
              input files.

       -nice  This  option  causes  ppmtompeg  to  run  any  remote  processes
              "nicely,"  i.e.  at low priority.  (This is relevant only if you
              are running ppmtompeg in parallel mode.  Otherwise, there are no
              remote processes).  See ’man nice.’

       -max_machines num_machines
              This  option  causes  ppmtompeg to use no more than num_machines
              machines as slaves for use in parallel encoding.

       -snr   This option causes  ppmtompeg  to  include  the  signal-to-noise
              ratio  in  the reported statistics.  Prints SNR (Y U V) and peak
              SNR (Y U V) for each frame.   In  summary,  prints  averages  of
              luminance only (Y).  SNR is defined as 10*log(variance of origi-
              nal/variance   of   error).    Peak   SNR    is    defined    as
              20*log(255/RMSE).  Note that ppmtompeg runs a little slower when
              you use this option.

       -mse   This option causes ppmtompeg to report the  mean  squared  error
              per  block.   It  also  automatically reports the quality of the
              images, so there is no need to specify -snr then.

       -bit_rate_info rate_file
               This option makes ppmtompeg write bit rate information into the
              file  rate_file.   Bit  rate  information is bits per frame, and
              also bits per I-frame-to-I-frame.

               This option causes ppmtompeg to print a histogram of the motion
              vectors  as  part  of statistics.  There are three histograms --
              one for P frame, one for forward B frame, and one for backward B
              frame motion vectors.

              The  output is in the form of a matrix, each entry corresponding
              to one motion vector in the search window.  The  center  of  the
              matrix represents (0,0) motion vectors.

              This  option  causes  ppmtompeg to print to Standard Output mes-
              sages that narrate the communication between the  machines  when
              you run ppmtompeg in parallel mode .

              This  option  causes  ppmtompeg to print to Standard Output mes-
              sages that narrate the progress of the conversion on the various
              machines when you run ppmtompeg in parallel mode .

       The  parameter file must contain the following lines (except when using
       the -combine_gops or -combine_frames options):

       PATTERN pattern
              This statement specifies the pattern (sequence) of I  frames,  P
              frames, and B frames.  pattern is just a sequence of the letters
              I, P, and B with nothing between.  Example:


              See I Frames, P Frames, B Frames .

       OUTPUT output file
              This names the file where the output MPEG stream goes.

       INPUT_DIR directory
              This statement tells where the input images (frames) come  from.
              If  each frame is in a separate file, directory is the directory
              where they all are.  You may use  .  to  refer  to  the  current
              directory.  A null directory refers to the root directory of the
              system file tree.

              To have ppmtompeg read all the  frames  serially  from  Standard
              Input, specify
                INPUT_DIR stdin

       INPUT  This line must be followed by a list of the input files (in dis-
              play order) and then the line END_INPUT.

              There are three types of  lines  between  INPUT  and  END_INPUT.
              First,  a line may simply be the name of an input file.  Second,
              the line may  be  of  the  form  single_star_expr  [x-y].   sin-
              gle_star_expr  can have a single * in it.  It is replaced by all
              the numbers between x and y inclusive.   So,  for  example,  the
              line  tennis*.ppm [12-15] refers to the files tennis12.ppm, ten-
              nis13.ppm, tennis14.ppm, tennis15.ppm.

              Uniform zero-padding occurs, as well.   For  example,  the  line
              football.*.ppm  [001-130]  refers to the files football.001.ppm,
              football.002.ppm, ..., football.009.ppm, football.010.ppm,  ...,

              The  third  type of line is: single_star_expr [x-y+s], where the
              line is treated exactly as above, except  that  we  skip  by  s.
              Thus,  the  line  football.*.ppm [001-130+4] refers to the files
              football.001.ppm,  football.005.ppm,   football.009.ppm,   foot-
              ball.013.ppm, etc.

              Furthermore,  a  line  may specify a shell command to execute to
              generate lines to be interpreted as described above, as if those
              lines  were in the parameter file instead.  Use back ticks, like
              in the Bourne Shell, like this:

                ‘cat myfilelist‘

              If input is from Standard Input (per the  INPUT_DIR  statement),
              ppmtompeg  ignores  the INPUT/END_INPUT block, but it still must
              be present.

                   JPEG | JMOVIE} ppmtompeg must convert all  input  files  to
              one of the following formats as a first step of processing: PNM,
              YUV, JPEG(v4), or JMOVIE.  (The conversion  may  be  trivial  if
              your  input  files  are  already in one of these formats).  This
              line specifies which of the four formats.   PPM  is  actually  a
              subset  of PNM.  The separate specification is allowed for back-
              ward compatibility.  Use PNM instead of PPM in new applications.

       INPUT_CONVERT conversion_command
              You  must specify how to convert a file to the base file format.
              If no conversion is necessary, then you would just say:

                   INPUT_CONVERT *

              Otherwise, conversion_command is a shell command that causes  an
              image  in  the format your specified with BASE_FILE_FORMAT to be
              written to Standard Output.  ppmtompeg executes the command once
              for  each  line  between INPUT and END_INPUT (which is normally,
              but not necessarily, a file name).  In the  conversion  command,
              ppmtompeg replaces each ’*’ with the contents of that line.

                   If you had a bunch of gif files, you might say:
                   INPUT_CONVERT giftopnm *

                   If  you  have  a  bunch of separate a.Y, a.U, and a.V files
                   the U and V have already been subsampled), then  you  might

                   INPUT_CONVERT cat *.Y *.U *.V

              Input conversion is not allowed with input from stdin, so use

                   INPUT_CONVERT *

              as described above.

       SIZE widthxheight

              width  and height are the width and height of each frame in pix-

              When ppmtompeg can get this information  from  the  input  image
              files, it ignores the SIZE parameter and you may omit it.

              When  the image files are in YUV format, the files don’t contain
              dimension information, so SIZE is required.

              When ppmtompeg is running in parallel mode, not all of the  pro-
              cesses in the network have access to the image files, so SIZE is
              required and must give the same dimensions as  the  input  image

       YUV_SIZE widthxheight
              This is an obsolete synonym of SIZE.

                                    EYUV  |  pattern}  This is meaningful only
              when BASE_FILE_FORMAT specifies  YUV  format,  and  then  it  is
              required.  It specifies the sub-format of the YUV class.

       GOP_SIZE n
              n  is  the number of frames in a Group of Pictures.  Except that
              because a GOP must start with an I frame, ppmtompeg makes a  GOP
              as  much  longer  than n as it has to to make the next GOP start
              with an I frame.

              Normally, it makes sense to make your GOP  size  a  multiple  of
              your  pattern  length  (the  latter is determined by the PATTERN
              parameter file statement).

              See Group Of Pictures .

              n is roughly the number of slices per frame.  Note, at least one
              MPEG player may complain if slices do not start at the left side
              of an image.  To ensure this does not happen, make sure the num-
              ber of rows is divisible by SLICES_PER_FRAME.

       PIXEL {FULL | HALF}
              use  half-pixel  motion  vectors,  or just full-pixel ones It is
              usually  important  that  you  use  half-pixel  motion  vectors,
              because  it  results  in both better quality and better compres-

       RANGE n
              Use a search range of n pixels in each of  the  four  directions
              from  a  subject  pixel.   (So the search window is a square n*2
              pixels on a side).

                   SUBSAMPLE | LOGARITHMIC}  This  statement  tells  ppmtompeg
              what kind of search
                  technique  (algorithm)  to use for P frames.  You select the
                  combination of speed and compression.  EXHAUSTIVE gives the
                  best compression, but LOGARITHMIC is the fastest.
                  TWOLEVEL is an exhaustive full-pixel search, followed by a
                  local half- pixel search around the best  full-pixel  vector
                  PIXEL option is ignored for this search technique).

              This statement tells ppmtompeg what kind of search
                  technique (algorithm) to use for B frames.  SIMPLE means
                  find best forward and backward vectors, then interpolate.
                  CROSS2 means find those two vectors, then see what backward
                  vector best matches the best forward vector, and vice versa.
                  EXHAUSTIVE does an n-squared search and is
                  extremely slow in relation to the others (CROSS2
                  is about half as fast as SIMPLE).

       IQSCALE n
              Use n as the qscale for I frames.
                   See Qscale .

       PQSCALE n
              Use n as the qscale for P frames.
                   See Qscale .

       BQSCALE n
              Use n as the qscale for B frames.
                   See Qscale .

              This statement determines whether ppmtompeg  uses  the  original
              images  or  the  decoded  images  when computing motion vectors.
              Using decoded images is more accurate and  should  increase  the
              playback  quality  of the output, but it makes the encoding take
              longer and seems to give worse compression.  It also causes some
              complications with parallel encoding. (see the section on paral-
              lel encoding).  One thing you can do as a  trade-off  is  select
              ORIGINAL  here,  and lower the qscale (see QSCALE if the quality
              is not good enough.

              Original or Decoded? (Normalized)

              Reference   Compression   Speed   Quality I   Quality P   Quality B
                Decoded      1000       1000      1000         969         919
               Original       885       1373      1000         912         884

       The following lines are optional:

              This statement is obsolete.  It does nothing.

              Before Netpbm 10.26 (January 2005), ppmtompeg would drop  trail-
              ing  B  frames from your movie, since a movie can’t end with a B
              frame.  (See I Frames, P Frames, B Frames .  You would  have  to
              specify  FORCE_ENCODE_LAST_FRAME to stop that from happening and
              get the same function that ppmtompeg has today.

              This statement specifies a custom non-intra quantization  table.
              If  you  don’t  specify this statement, ppmtompeg uses a default
              non-intra quantization table.

              The 8 lines immediately following NIQTABLE specify the quantiza-
              tion  table.   Each  line  defines a table row and consists of 8
              integers, whitespace-delimited, which define the table  columns.

              This  is  analogous  to NIQTABLE, but for the intra quantization

       ASPECT_RATIO ratio
              This statement specifies the aspect ratio for ppmtompeg to spec-
              ify in the MPEG output.  I’m not sure what this is used for.

              ratio  must  be  1.0,  0.6735,  0.7031,  0.7615, 0.8055, 0.8437,
              0.8935, 0.9157,  0.9815,  1.0255,  1.0695,  1.0950,  1.1575,  or

       FRAME_RATE rate
              This  specifies  the  frame rate for ppmtompeg to specify in the
              MPEG output.  Some players use this value to determine the play-
              back rate.

              rate must be 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, or 60.

       BIT_RATE rate
              This  specifies  the bit rate for Constant Bit Rate (CBR) encod-

              rate must be an integer.

       BUFFER_SIZE size
              This specifies the value ppmtompeg is to  specify  in  the  MPEG
              output for the Video Buffering Verifier (VBV) buffer size needed
              to decode the sequence.

              A Video Verifying Buffer is a buffer in which  a  decoder  keeps
              the  decoded  bits  in  order  to  match the uneven speed of the
              decoding with the required constant playback speed.

              As ppmtompeg encodes the image, it simulates the  decoding  pro-
              cess in terms of how many bits would be in the VBV as each frame
              gets decoded, assuming a VBV of the size you indicate.

              If  you  specify  the  WARN_VBV_UNDERFLOW  statement,  ppmtompeg
              issues a warning each time the simulation underflows the buffer,
              which suggests that an underflow would occur on playback,  which
              suggests the buffer is too small.

              If you specify the WARN_VBV_OVERFLOW statement, ppmtompeg issues
              a warning each time the simulation overflows the  buffer,  which
              suggests  that  an  overflow would occur on playback, which sug-
              gests the buffer is too small.


              See BUFFER_SIZE.

              These options were new in Netpbm 10.26 (January  2005).   Before
              that, ppmtompeg issued the warnings always.

              The following statements apply only to parallel operation:

              This statement, paired with END PARALLEL, is what causes ppmtom-
              peg to operate in parallel mode.  See Parallel Operation .

              This goes with PARALLEL.

              The master starts off by measuring each slave’s speed.  It  does
              this by giving each slave n frames to encode and noting how long
              the slave takes to finish.  These  are  not  just  test  frames,
              though -- they’re real frames and the results become part of the
              output.  ppmtompeg is old and measures time  in  undivided  sec-
              onds,  so  to  get useful timings, specify enough frames that it
              will take at least 5 seconds to process them.   The  default  is

              If  you  specify FORCE_I_ALIGN, ppmtompeg will increase the test
              frames value enough to maintain the alignment.

              If there aren’t enough frames for every slave to have the  indi-
              cated  number  of  test  frames, ppmtompeg will give some slaves

              When you specify this statement, the  master  attempts  to  feed
              work to the slaves in chunks that take t seconds to process.  It
              uses the speed measurement it  made  when  it  started  up  (see
              PARALLEL_TEST_FRAMES)  to  decide  how many frames to put in the
              chunk.  This statement obviously doesn’t affect the first  batch
              of work sent to each slave, which is the one used to measure the
              slave’s speed.

              Smaller values of t increase  communication,  but  improve  load
              balancing.  The default is 30 seconds.

              You   may  specify  only  one  of  PARALLEL_TIME_CHUNKS,  PARAL-
              usually best.

              When  you  specify  this  statement, the master distributes work
              like with PARALLEL_TIME_CHUNKS, except that the  master  chooses
              the  number  of  seconds for the chunks.  It starts with a large
              number and, as it gets closer to finishing the job, reduces  it.
              That way, it reduces scheduling overhead when precise scheduling
              isn’t helpful, but still prevents a slave from  finishing  early
              after  all  the  work  has  already been handed out to the other
              slaves, and then sitting idle while there’s still work to do.

              You  may  specify  only  one  of  PARALLEL_TIME_CHUNKS,   PARAL-
              usually best.

              If this statement is present, ppmtompeg schedules on the assump-
              tion that each machine is about the same speed.  The master will
              simply divide up the frames evenly between the  slaves  --  each
              slave gets the same number of frames.  If some slaves are faster
              than others, they will finish first and remain  idle  while  the
              slower slaves continue.

              This  has  the  advantage of minimal scheduling overhead.  Where
              slaves have different speeds, though, it makes  inefficient  use
              of  the fast ones.  Where slaves are the same speed, it also has
              the disadvantage that they all finish at the same time and  feed
              their  output  to  the  single  Combine Server in a burst, which
              makes less efficient use of the  Combine  Server  and  thus  can
              increase the total elapsed time.

              You   may  specify  only  one  of  PARALLEL_TIME_CHUNKS,  PARAL-
              usually best.

       RSH remote_shell_command
              ppmtompeg  executes  the  shell  command remote_shell_command to
              start a process on another machine.  The default command is rsh,
              and whatever command you specify must have compatible semantics.
              ssh is usually compatible.  The command ppmtompeg  uses  is  one
              like this: ssh remote.host.com -l username shellcommand.

              Be  sure to set up .rhosts files or SSH key authorizations where
              needed.  Otherwise, you’ll have to type in passwords.

              On some HP machines, rsh is the restricted shell, and  you  want
              to specify remsh.

              This  statement  forces  each  slave to encode a chunk of frames
              which is a multiple of the pattern length (see PATTERN).   Since
              the  first  frame in any pattern is an I frame, this forces each
              chunk encoded by a slave to begin with an I frame.

              This document used to say there was an argument to FORCE_I_ALIGN
              which  was  the  number  of  frames ppmtompeg would use (and was
              required to be a multiple of the pattern length).  But ppmtompeg
              has apparently always ignored that argument, and it does now.

              This  statement  causes  ppmtompeg  not  to delete the temporary
              files it uses to transmit encoded frames to the combine  server.
              This means you will be left with a file for each frame, the same
              as you would get with the -frames option.

              This is mostly useful for debugging.

              This works only if you’re using a shared filesystem to  communi-
              cate between the servers.

              This option was new in Netpbm 10.26 (January 2005).

   Parameter File Notes
        If you use the -combine_gops option, then you need to specify only the
       SIZE and OUTPUT values in the parameter file.  In addition, the parame-
       ter file may specify input GOP files in the same manner as normal input
       files -- except instead of using INPUT_DIR, INPUT, and  END_INPUT,  use
       GOP_INPUT_DIR,  GOP_INPUT,  and GOP_END_INPUT.  If you specify no input
       GOP files, then ppmtompeg uses by default the  output  file  name  with
       suffix  .gop.gop_num, with gop_num starting from 0, as the input files.

       If you use the -combine_frames option, then you need  to  specify  only
       the  SIZE, GOP_SIZE, and OUTPUT values in the parameter file.  In addi-
       tion, the parameter file may specify input frame files in the same man-
       ner  as normal input files -- except instead of using INPUT_DIR, INPUT,
       If  no  input frame files are specified, then the default is to use the
       output file name with suffix .frame.frame_num, with frame_num  starting
       from 0, as the input files.

       Any  number  of spaces and tabs may come between each option and value.
       Lines beginning with # are ignored.  Any other lines are ignored except
       for those between INPUT and END_INPUT.  This allows you to use the same
       parameter file  for  normal  usage  and  for  -combine_gops  and  -com-

       The  file  format  is case-sensitive so all keywords should be in upper

       The statements may appear in any order, except that the order within  a
       block statement (such as INPUT ... END INPUT) is significant.

       ppmtompeg  is  prepared  to  handle up to 16 B frames between reference
       frames when encoding with input from stdin.  (To build a modified  ppm-
       tompeg  with a higher limit, change the constant B_FRAME_RUN in frame.c
       and recompile).

       The quantization scale values (qscale) give a trade-off between quality
       and  compression.  Using different Qscale values has very little effect
       on speed.  The qscale values can be set separately  for  I,  P,  and  B

       You  select  the  qscale  values  with the IQSCALE, PQSCALE, and BSCALE
       parameter file statements.

       A qscale value is an integer from 1 to 31.  Larger numbers give  better
       compression,  but worse quality.  In the following, the quality numbers
       are peak signal-to-noise ratio,  defined  as:  signal-to-noise  formula
       where MSE is the mean squared error.

       Flower garden tests:

       Qscale vs Quality

       Qscale   I Frames   P Frames   B Frames
            1       43.2       46.3       46.5
            6       32.6       34.6       34.3
           11       28.6       29.5       30.0
           16       26.3       26.8       28.6
           21       24.7       25.0       27.9
           26       23.5       23.9       27.5
           31       22.6       23.0       27.3

       Qscale vs Compression

       Qscale   I Frames   P Frames   B Frames
            1          2          2          2
            6          7         10         15
           11         11         18         43
           16         15         29         97
           21         19         41        173
           26         24         56        256
           31         28         73        330

   Search Techniques
       There  are several different motion vector search techniques available.
       There are different techniques available for P frame search and B frame
       search.  Using different search techniques present little difference in
       quality, but a large difference in compression and speed.

       There are 4 types of P frame search: Exhaustive,  TwoLevel,  SubSample,
       and Logarithmic.

       There are 3 types of B frame search: Exhaustive, Cross2, and Simple.

       The  recommended  search  techniques are TwoLevel and Logarithmic for P
       frame search, and Cross2 and Simple for B frame search. Here  are  some
       numbers comparing the different search methods:

       P frame Motion Vector Search (Normalized)

         Technique   Compression 1   Speed 2   Quality 3
        Exhaustive       1000         1000       1000
         SubSample       1008         2456       1000
          TwoLevel       1009         3237       1000
       Logarithmic       1085         8229        998

       B frame Motion Vector Search (Normalized)

        Technique   Compression 1   Speed 2   Quality 3
       Exhaustive       1000         1000       1000
           Cross2        975         1000        996
           Simple        938         1765        991

       1Smaller numbers are better compression.

       2Larger numbers mean faster execution.

       3Larger numbers mean better quality.

       For  some  reason,  Simple  seems  to  give  better compression, but it
       depends on the image sequence.

       Select the search  techniques  with  the  PSEARCH_ALG  and  BSEARCH_ALG
       parameter file statements.

   Group Of Pictures (GOP)
       A Group of Pictures (GOP) is a roughly independently decodable sequence
       of frames.  An MPEG video stream is made of one or more GOP’s.  You may
       specify how many frames should be in each GOP with the GOP_SIZE parame-
       ter file statement.  A GOP always starts with an I frame.

       Instead of encoding an entire sequence, you can encode  a  single  GOP.
       To  do  this,  use  the  -gop  command  option.  You can later join the
       resulting GOP files at any time by running  ppmtompeg  with  the  -com-
       bine_gops command option.

       A  slice  is  an independently decodable unit in a frame.  It can be as
       small as one macroblock, or it can be as big as the entire frame.  Bar-
       ring  transmission  error,  adding  slices  does  not change quality or
       speed; the only effect is slightly worse compression.  More slices  are
       used  for noisy transmission so that errors are more recoverable. Since
       usually errors are not such a problem, we usually just  use  one  slice
       per frame.

       Control  the slice size with the SLICES_PER_FRAME parameter file state-

       Some MPEG playback systems require that each  slice  consist  of  whole
       rows  of  macroblocks.  If you are encoding for this kind of player, if
       the height  of  the  image  is  H  pixels,  then  you  should  set  the
       SLICES_PER_FRAME  to  some  number which divides H/16.  For example, if
       the image is 240 pixels (15 macroblocks) high, then you should use only
       15, 5, 3, or 1 slices per frame.

       Note:  these  MPEG  playback  systems  are really wrong, since the MPEG
       standard says this doesn’t have to be so.

   Search Window
       The search window is the window in which ppmtompeg searches for  motion
       vectors.   The  window  is  a  square.  You can specify the size of the
       square, and whether to allow half-pixel motion vectors or not, with the
       RANGE and PIXEL parameter file statements.

   I Frames, P Frames, B Frames
       In MPEG-1, a movie is represented as a sequence of MPEG frames, each of
       which is an I Frame, a P Frame, or  a  B  Frame.   Each  represents  an
       actual  frame  of  the movie (don’t get confused by the dual use of the
       word "frame."  A movie frame is a graphical image.  An MPEG frame is  a
       set of data that describes a movie frame).

       An  I  frame  ("intra"  frame)  describes a movie frame in isolation --
       without respect to any other frame in the movie.  A P  frame  ("predic-
       tive"  frame) describes a movie frame by describing how it differs from
       the movie frame described by the latest preceding I  or P frame.   A  B
       frame ("bidirectional" frame) describes a movie frame by describing how
       it differs from the the movie frames described by the nearest  I  or  P
       frame before and after it.

       Note  that  the  first frame of a movie must be described by an I frame
       (because there is no previous movie frame) and  the  last  movie  frame
       must  be  described  by an I or P frame (because there is no subsequent
       movie frame).

       Beyond that, you can choose  which  frames  are  represented  by  which
       types.   You  specify  a  pattern,  such  as IBPBP and ppmtompeg simply
       repeats it over and over throughout the  movie.   The  pattern  affects
       speed,  quality,  and stream size.  Here is a chart which shows some of
       the trade-offs:

       Comparison of I/P/B Frames (Normalized)

       Frame Type   Size   Speed   Quality
         I frames   1000   1000     1000
         P frames   409     609      969
         B frames    72     260      919

       (this is with constant qscale)

       A standard sequence is IBBPBBPBBPBBPBB.

       Select the sequence with the PATTERN parameter file statement.

       Since the last MPEG frame cannot be a B frame (see above), if the  pat-
       tern  you specify indicates B frames for the last movie frames, ppmtom-
       peg makes it an I frame instead.

       Before Netpbm 10.26 (January 2005), ppmtompeg instead drops the  trail-
       ing  B  frames  by  default,  and  you need the FORCE_ENCODE_LAST_FRAME
       parameter file statement to make it do this.

       The MPEG frames don’t appear in the MPEG-1 stream  in  the  same  order
       that the corresponding movie frames appear in the movie -- the B frames
       come after the I and P frames on which they are based.  For example, if
       the  movie  is  4 frames that you will represent with the pattern IBBP,
       the MPEG-1 stream will start with an I frame describing movie frame  0.
       The next frame in the MPEG-1 stream is a P frame describing movie frame
       3.  The last two frames in the MPEG-1 stream are  B  frames  describing
       movie frames 1 and 2, respectively.

   Specifying Input and Output Files
       Specify  the  input  frame images with the INPUT_DIR, INPUT, END_INPUT,
       BASE_FILE_FORMAT, SIZE, YUV_FORMAT  and  INPUT_CONVERT  parameter  file

       Specify the output file with the OUTPUT parameter file statement.

       ppmtompeg can generate a variety of statistics about the encoding.  See
       the  -stat,  -snr,  -mv_histogram,   -quiet,   -no_frame_summary,   and
       -bit_rate_info options.

       You  can  run ppmtompeg on multiple machines at once, encoding the same
       MPEG stream.  When you do, the machines are used as shown in  the  fol-
       lowing diagram.  We call this ’parallel mode.’


       To do parallel processing, put the statement


       in  the  parameter  file,  followed  by  a listing of the machines, one
       machine per line, then


       Each of the machine lines must be in one of two forms.  If the  machine
       has filesystem access to the input files, then the line is:

       machine user executable

       The executable is normally ppmtompeg (you may need to give the complete
       path if you’ve built for different architectures).  If the machine does
       not have filesystem access to the input files, the line is:

       REMOTE machine user executable parameter file

       The  -max_machines command option limits the number of machines ppmtom-
       peg will use.  If you specify more machines in the parameter file  than
       -max_machines  allows,  ppmtompeg  uses only the machines listed first.
       This is handy if you want to experiment with different amounts of  par-

       In  general,  you  should use full path file names when describing exe-
       cutables and parameter files.  This includes the parameter  file  argu-
       ment on the original invocation of ppmtompeg.

       All file names must be the same on all systems (so if e.g. you’re using
       an NFS filesystem, you must make sure it is mounted at the same  mount-
       point on all systems).

       Because  not  all  of the processes involved in parallel operation have
       easy access to the input files, you must  specify  the  SIZE  parameter
       file statement when you do parallel operation.

       The  machine  on  which  you  originally invoke ppmtompeg is the master
       machine.  It hosts a ’combine server,’, a ’decode server,’ and a number
       of ’i/o servers,’ all as separate processes.  The other machines in the
       network (listed in the parameter file) are slave machines.  Each  hosts
       a  single  process  that continuously requests work from the master and
       does it.  The slave process does the computation to encode MPEG frames.
       It processes frames in batches identified by the master.

       The  master  uses  a remote shell command to start a process on a slave
       machine.  By default, it uses an rsh shell command to do this.  But use
       the  RSH  parameter  file statement to control this.  The shell command
       the master executes remotely is ppmtompeg, but with options to indicate
       that it is to perform slave functions.

       The  various  machines  talk  to each other over TCP connections.  Each
       machine finds and binds to a free TCP port number and tells  its  part-
       ners the port number.  These port numbers are at least 2048.

       FECT parameter file statements to control the way the master divides up
       work among the slaves.

       Use  the  -nice  command  option  to  cause  all slave processes to run
       "nicely," i.e. as low priority processes.  That way,  this  substantial
       and  long-running  CPU load will have minimal impact on other, possibly
       interactive, users of the systems.


       Here is a look at ppmtompeg speed, in single-node (not parallel) opera-

       Compression Speed

       Machine Type   Macroblocks per second1
        HP 9000/755             280
       DEC 3000/400             247
        HP 9000/750             191
           Sparc 10             104
           DEC 5000             68
       1A macroblock is a 16x16 pixel square

       The measurements in the table are with inputs and outputs via a conven-
       tional locally  attached  filesystem.   If  you  are  using  a  network
       filesystem  over  a single 10 MB/s Ethernet, that constrains your speed
       more than your CPU speed.  In that case, don’t  expect  to  get  better
       than 4 or 5 frames per second no matter how fast your CPUs are.

       Network  speed is even more of a bottleneck when the slaves do not have
       filesystem access to the input files -- i.e. you declare them REMOTE.

       Where I/O is the bottleneck, size of the input frames can  make  a  big
       difference.   So  YUV input is better than PPM, and JPEG is better than

       When you’re first trying to get parallel mode working, be sure  to  use
       the  -debug_machines  option  so  you  can  see what’s going on.  Also,
       -debug_sockets can help you diagnose communication problems.

       ·      Kevin  Gong  -  University   of   California,   Berkeley,   kev-

       ·      Ketan   Patel   -   University  of  California,  Berkeley,  kpa-

       ·      Dan  Wallach  -  University  of  California,   Berkeley,   dwal-

       ·      Darryl   Brown   -  University  of  California,  Berkeley,  dar-

       ·      Eugene   Hung   -   University    of    California,    Berkeley,

       ·      Steve    Smoot    -    University   of   California,   Berkeley,

netpbm documentation             14 July 2001         Ppmtompeg User Manual(0)

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