Forevid and x264vfw

Forevid, using the words taken directly from its home page, “is the world’s first free, open-source software for the forensic analysis of surveillance videos”.

My own take on the software is that it is an enhanced viewing and logging platform, for use during the visual analysis of surveillance videos. It does not communicate with proprietary or unwrapped video streams but does deal very well with transcoded or standard AVC streams.

The Forevid site has some very good tutorials and guides, so I wont duplicate what they have already done. However, it is worth highlighting a few points.

Once installed on a working system, the Program folder can be copied and placed onto a system that has reduced user rights. If a computer user is unable to install software then this is a useful workaround.

There are many systems now that export basic AVC streams. Each stream comes as a separate file. They can either be played direct using ffmpeg or rewrapped. Forevid is a really handy program to load all the video streams and then go through each one.

If the video needing to be viewed and collated does not allow for import into Forevid but you are able to transcode (For viewing purposes only), it just has to be in a format that ffmpeg can decode. I have been having some very good visual results using the x264vfw codec.

x264vfw Configuartion

x264vfw Configuration

These files drop and play in Forevid with no problems.

The best way to learn the program is to download, install, and then run it through with a few test scenarios.

I am finding it most useful when dealing with multiple and lengthy video files that need to be viewed and logged.

Two reports can be created at the end of that specific video investigation.

  1. Video summary, detailing what videos were used and whether filters were applied to them (handy for when you apply a 720 x 576 resize when importing 720 x 288 AVC streams.
  2. Bookmarks, detailing every image and it associated information. It works with frame numbers so is great when your original video is also frame based.

A couple of examples can be found here:

Forevid_Project_Summary

Image_Report

It definitely has its place within your video toolbox.

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