1. Open a new file
Opens a wide selection of video and image file:
- Videos: .avi, .mp4, .mov, .flv, .webm, .raw
- Images: .bmp, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .psd, .tiff, .tga, .webp, .gif (not animated)
2. Export file
Let’s you choose one of the following file formats to export your file:
- Videos: .mp4, .mpeg, H263P format (.mp4), .wmv, .flv, raw AVI (.avi)
- Images: .bmp, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tga, .gif (not animated)
Note that except for the raw AVI format, all available video formats will try to compress the video, which can lead to undesired effects on low resolution graphics. It is therefore better to increase the resolution, or to switch to raw avi format. To keep an pixelated effect, higher resolutions can be combined with larger pixel sizes (see #11).
3. Take a Screenshot
Let’s you export the currently edited frame (the retro version!). For pictures this button does the same as the export button above.
4. Rotate the Image
Will rotate the output image by 90 degrees. The original image remains unaffected.
5. Load a Preset
This button will open a large selection of ready-made presets of old home computers, video game consoles and handhelds that you can apply to the current segment of your project.
Note that this will overwrite all settings for the currently chosen segment. Also be aware that in order to get the best possible result, you might need to readjust the brightness and contrast levels. after importing the preset.
Will open this manual that are you are reading right now.
7. Target Resolution
Increasing this will change the pixel size of the output video or image. Bigger pixel sizes will naturally lead to longer exporting times.
Final pixel sizes may differ slightly, due to one of the following reasons:
- The pixel resolution was too small for the output format and was thus automatically corrected.
- The output format does not support odd numbered pixel row sizes.
8. Choose the Main Color Palette
Allows you to choose which colors should be used to create the final video or image.
If you prefer to define your own color set, you can simply edit the file “palette_config.txt” in the Retro Video Editor installation directory. Note however that color palettes with only one single color will only be shown/available to the Foreground and Background Color options described in #22 and #23.
Choose one of several dithering styles.
Dithering is an effect whereby neighboring pixels are arranged in order to create the illusion of there being more colors than actually available. This effect is widely used on machines with only few colors to select from.
Error Diffusion uses the Floyd–Steinberg dithering algorithm. All other selections use different Ordered Dithering patterns.
10. Dithering Level
Choose how strong the chosen dithering effect should be present in the final video or image.
11. Pixel Size
Changes the size of single pixels – while the resulting video or image will still have the resolution defined at “Target Resolution”.
Therefore, if you e.g. chose a Pixel Size of 3×2, the resulting video or image would then consist of small 3×2-sized single-colored blocks (6 pixels each).
12. Local Contrast
Local Contrast or Unsharp Masking is an effect whereby a blurred version of the original image is subtracted from the image, resulting in a much sharper image, with clearly defined contours and color differences. Especially in lower resolutions and with only few colors to choose from, this effect can bring a huge increase in clarity to the resulting video or image.
Note that this effect is very time costly. Setting Local Contrast to 50% turns off the effect.
Contrast changes the overall contrast of the image. This will make dark areas become darker, and light areas lighter. Setting Contrast to 50% turns off the effect.
Let’s all colors appear more vivid and lively. Setting Saturation to 50% turns off the effect.
Changes the brightness of each single pixel. Setting Brightness to 50% turns off the effect.
16. Block Style
This effect simulates old-school graphic card limitations that could only display a certain number of different colors in a certain area.
The first two values define the block size, the third value sets the maximum number of simultaneously displayed colors for each block.
You may also try setting the block size to fit the whole image, in order to draw the final picture in only the X most common colors.
17. Edge Detection
This effect will attempt to recognize strong edges within the target image. The edge recognition algorithm will base the analysis on the target image that has already been reduced to the colors of the main color palette – it is therefore advisable to consider the main color palette when using this function.
The background color (everything except the traced lines) is defined by the color chosen at #23.
#18 describes the tolerance sliders that allow you to fine-tune this effect.
#19 describes the line width of these traced edges.
#20 describes a setting which lets the lines be drawn in a different color from the main palette.
18. Edge Detection Tolerance
These two values can be used to fine-tune the edge detection algorithm (#17).
Maximum tolerance describes how strong a color / brightness difference in the image needs to be, so that the algorithm considers it an edge.
Minimum tolerance describes how weak a color / brightness difference may be, so that the algorithm uses it to continue the line found above.
19. Edge Detection Line Width
This value describes how thick the lines for drawing the edges found with the edge detection algorithm above should be.
20. Use Different Color for Edge Detection Lines
Checking this option will use the color defined at #22 for drawing the lines found with the edge detection algorithm. Unchecking this option will use the original colors of the main palette for this task.
With this button you will open the font selection window. There you may choose from a selection of text characters of different computing eras to draw your final video or image. If you’d like to add your own font definitions, you may edit the file “font_config.txt” located in your Retro Video Editor installation directory.
You may try to combine this function with edge detection algorithm above. Both ways commonly yield good results.
22. Line / Font Foreground Color
Clicking this button you may choose the foreground color for text or the edge detection algorithm (as long as #20 was checked). These colors may also be changed by editing the file “palette_config.txt” in your Retro Video Editor installation directory. Note that color palettes with only one single color will only be shown for this option or for Background Color below.
23. Background Color
Clicking this button you may choose the background color for text or the edge detection algorithm. These colors may also be changed by editing the file “palette_config.txt” in your Retro Video Editor installation directory. Note however that color palettes with only one single color will only be shown for this option or for Foreground Color below.
Clicking any of the transition checkboxes next to an effect setting will cause a transition effect to be created from this segment’s beginning to the next. This of course can only be done if there exists at least one more segment after the currently selected one. Creating a new segment in the middle of an old segment, which uses the transition effect, will cause the intermediate state of that transition to be saved and used as the initial state of the new segment. As one would expect.
25. Original Image
This window shows the currently selected video frame or source image. #29 shows all currently selected settings applied to this original image.
26. Selection Slider
You may either use your mouse to directly select the desired frame or use the buttons at the side to either move one frame at a time, or to move to the previous / next segment beginning. The green line below the selection slider shows the whole area of the currently selected frame. Red markers above the slider show you the locations of where each segment begins.
27. New Segment
This button allows you to add a new segment starting at the current slider position. Each segment ends either at the end of the file or when a new segment begins. For each segment you may choose different effect settings and optionally add a transition effect (checkboxes to the right of each effect) that will cause the effects to slowly transition from this segment to the next. Using the leftmost and rightmost buttons above you can quickly jump from one segment start to the next.
28. Delete Segment
This button will delete the segment that is currently selected. In case of the very first segment to be deleted, the second segment will be extended backwards. Any transition effects of the surrounding segments will be adjusted to include this now empty area.
29. Resulting Image
This window shows the orignal image of #25 after all effects and transitions of the current segment have been applied to it. This is the image that you will see if you export the video or image.