Video Offset:

When the Mazaika-Video indexes your video footage it processes some sample frames at predefined time marks. These frames are Base images or Base frames that will be used for assembling the mosaic.

The Mazaika-video will then collect these Base Frames in the library and build your video using these frames.

Time marks for Base frames can be set in the the Video Library Options in the New Library panel. This will control the image variance.

Please note that the Base frames used in Mazaika are just movie still images taken at even intervals. This is not the same "keyframe" term that is usually used when describing video codecs.

This is the New Library Panel:

Here are the Video Library Options:

Index with interval - This is the time between two indexed Base frames. For example, if the value is set to 10 seconds, the program will index one frame for every 10 seconds.

Offset before first indexed frame - This is the time between the beginning of the movie clip and the first indexed frame.

Left after last frame - This is the time between the last indexed frame and the end of the movie clip.

You may need to set non-zero values (any number but zero) for the Offset before and Left after for two reasons.

The first reason is because your movie clip may have blank frames, a studio logo, cast credits, uninteresting leading or ending footage, or even damaged or overexposed footage.

The second reason is a little more complex. Do you remember how the program only indexes base frames at certain time intervals? This means that the mosaic is assembled from these Base frames only. When you export the mosaic into a movie sequence, the first exported mosaic frame in the mosaic is drawn from the Base frames.

The next mosaic frames are generated not from Base frames but from nearby frames. From the frames taken before or after Base frames.

To generate the second mosaic frame the program moves the timeline in all video clips to the next set of frames and replaces all Base frames in the mosaic with these frames.

The program remembers which particular clips have been used in particular mosaic cells and will step forward in it's timeline to get the next image for the cell.

For the third mosaic frame the program makes one more step in timeline and so on.

By stepping forward on the timeline one frame at time, the program generates the whole length of video mosaic.

As you can expect, the best looking mosaic is a mosaic assembled from the indexed Base frames. While the video mosaic is built, the frames are visually changing and the mosaic becomes less and less similar to the main mosaic image. This is because the frames will look differently from when they were originally inserted into the mosaic cells.

After a few seconds, it is possible that your cell clips may look so different that your mosaic will fall apart and look like an unorganized cell collection.

After a few seconds, it is possible that your cell clips may look so different that your mosaic will fall apart and look like an unorganized cell collection.

If you want a mosaic that starts with a zoomed out image (a whole image visible from afar) and to then zoom in within a clip duration, it's a good idea to use Base frames at the beginning. This is because the program is designed to create the best video mosaics from Base frames. When the video mosaic continues to build, the Base frames in the mosaic cells are replaced by subsequent clip frames that don't resemble the original image.

As your mosaic zooms in to a more narrow viewing field, you'll notice that some remaining cells are still changing. These are just a few cells that are in constant movement before the video ends on a final full-screen clip of a single image.

For a mosaic that starts zoomed in from one cell and then zooms out to reveal a whole picture, it doesn't matter if the zoomed mosaic cell at the beginning is similar to something. Instead, you want the cells at the end of your mosaic video to form your main image. That means that you'll want the program to place Base frames at the end of the video instead of the beginning.

We have solution for this situation. It's called Video Offset.

Video Offset:

If we set the Video Offset to a negative value, Mazaika starts to draw mosaic frames with cell images before Base frames. The more we move into mosaic movie, the closer we are stepping toward Base frames.

If you want a 9 second mosaic that starts with one cell in the center that gradually zooms out and reveals a whole image at the 9th second, then you just have to set the Video Offset to -9. Your mosaic starts 9 seconds before the Base frames and when it zooms out to the entire image at the 9th second, it will then display Base frames that are incredibly similar to the main mosaic image.

Here are some examples of using Offset before and Left After settings.

If you want your mosaic to start with a whole picture and zoom into one cell for a 10 seconds duration, you need to set Left After = 10

If you want your mosaic to start with one cell and zoom out to a whole picture for a 10 seconds duration, you need to set Offset before = 10