qTool User Manual

Background

qTool is a collection of supporting scripts created for CG/VFX artist that makes commandline tools such as FFmpeg easier to use.

Since early 2015, I was using ffmpeg frequently for compressing online videos at work. To save myself time, I made a droplet script so I can just quickly drop a video on it to make a compressed mp4 without typing any codes. 

Over the years, that one script became many, it expanded from supporting FFmpeg to other tools like ImageMagick, Youtube-dl and even 3D rendering app such as Redshift. It came to a point when I decided to publish these scripts on the internet, hopefully to benefit other graphic artist like myself as well as encouraging me to make the scripts better.

You probably are wondering what is benefit of using FFmpeg verses using a commercial video transcoding applications such as Adobe Media Encoder. The answer is — it is much faster, more versatile, more controls! 

However, qTool was never meant to be a replacement for AME, there are certainly times people including myself prefer tools with graphic interface over scripts. In fact, to fully utilized these script, you will need modify with codes within, and learn a bit of scripting.

Here is a breakdown of some of the key features of qTool.

Key features

Transcoding

  1. Supported codecs (formats).
  • h.264 (mp4,mov,mxf)
  • h.265-cpu (mp4,ts)
  • h.265-gpu (mp4,ts)
  • apple prores422, 4444 (mov)
  • hap (mov)
  • vp8 (webm)
  • you can use other codec/format by customizing my script.
  1. Small footprint, fast encoding, simple drag-n-drop.
  1. Support image sequence (png/exr) as input source.
  1. Able to run multiple instance of the script to maximize CPU utilization.
  1. Batch process multiple files inside a directory.
  1. Crop/resize the output video without needing to create different size master.
  1. Scripts are highly customize-able to do everything ffmpeg can do.
  1. Run on windows 10, required no admin privilege to install.

Video to animated GIF

  1. Create animated GIF from a source video.
  1. Crop to any start point and duration.
  1. Resize, color count, fps, dither… and more.
  1. Overlay logo graphics on the GIF.

Adobe After Effects command-line Rendering Scripts

  1. launch multiple instance of “aerender” After Effects command-line render.
  1. Build-in auto retry to resume renders if “render clash” happen.
  1. If you have a multi-core system with a ton of RAM, you may see huge speed gain depending on the type of project you are rendering.

Maya/Redshift command-line Rendering Scripts

  1. Redshift command-line rendering script.
  1. Customized to use selective number of GPUs.
  1. Sort AOV/per-light passes to folders
  1. Frame repeater, dupilcate repeated frames

Download web videos

  1. Download videos from youtube, vimeo,  and more…
  1. Using youtube-dl engine

Installation

These scripts will run on native Windows 10 machine, (Win7 is not tested but should work as well) using off-the-shelf cmd and powershell to run FFmpeg.