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As an intermediate step in creating an animation, I need to put a bunch of sequential PNGs into a movie file. I tried ffmpeg but was getting compression and artifacting even when I set quality to maximum.

Because this clip will be used in ANOTHER clip, I'd very much rather not compress it twice.

So I'm looking at Imagemagick to get a lossless PNG to Video conversion but am having trouble finding an equivalent command line call.

Any help?

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You could supply the original command you used and we can tell you what's wrong with it. – slhck Mar 26 '12 at 5:48
did you use "-vcodec rawvideo" and not select a specific codec , nor shrunk the resolution in ffmpeg and still got compression? – Psycogeek Mar 26 '12 at 5:59

As you haven't given the command line you used we can only guess, but this ffmpeg command will generate a lossless video clip from files named frame00.png, frame01.png, frame02.png, etc.

ffmpeg -i frame%02d.png -codec png

The resulting video should work as input to at least ffmpeg, mplayer and VLC.

Adjust the framerate using an -r option before the -i.

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I don't think Imagemagick has an appropriate tool, but this can be done with mencoder. You didn't specify how the encoded video should look, so I suggest lossless (crf=0) h.264, and will use that for this example.

mencoder -ovc x264 -x264encopts crf=0 -of rawvideo  mf://*.png -o video.h264

This will result in a raw h.264 stream with one frame for every *.png file in the current directory.

The stream can be muxed into a container or directly modified with some other software.

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