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Revision as of 06:52, 13 October 2012 by VAG (talk | contribs) (→‎File Format)
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  • Extension: hnm
  • Company: CRYO Interactive Entertainment
  • Samples:

HNM6 is the latest variant of HNM video format by Cryo. Unlike its previous versions, it has Hi-color video support.

File Format

File consist of a main header, followed by frame chunks. Each frame chunk consist of individual audio and video chunks. All numbers are little-endian.

u8   sig[4]           -- file signature, "HNM6"
u8   reserved[2]      -- usually 0
u8   audioflags       -- nonzero value indicates file has APC sound (not authoritative), bits meaning:
                            7 : stereo
                         6..5 : frequency in units of 11025Hz (i.e. frequency = value * 11025)
u8   bpp
u16  width
u16  height
u32  filesize
u16  frames           -- number of frames
u16  frames2          -- upper part of frame counter, ignored by some implementations
u32  reserved3        -- usually 0, but sometimes "V107", "V108" - version?
u16  speed            -- playback speed in fps, may be zero (?assume 15 fps then?)
u16  maxbuffer        -- number of frame buffers used
u32  maxchunk         -- max frame chunk size
u8   note[16]
u8   copyright[16]    -- "-Copyright CRYO-"

Each frame chunk begins with u32 chunk size (including this size field), then followed by frame's individual chunks:

 u32  chunksize       -- chunk size including this field, excluding padding
 u16  chunkid         -- TWOCC chunk id
 u16  reserved
 u8   data[]
 u8   padding[]       -- pads chunk to 4-byte boundary

AA Chunk


BB Chunk

Audio continuation.

IW Chunk

Video frame, WARP format.

IX Chunk

Video frame, normal format.

Format modifications

At least one known game (Riverworld) uses slightly different HNM6 container format, most likely due to different sound encoding. This format is just a small enhancement of the original, but it's not backward compatible.

Standard HNM6 header continues with additional audio description header:

u32  freq
u32  bits
u32  channels
u32  ?
u32  ?
u8   copyright[28]  -- "HNMS 1.1 by SARRET Hubert\0\0\0"
u32  ?              -- some initial audio samples?
u32  ?
u32  ?
u32  ?

Each frame chunk followed by an audio chunk, however, this audio chunk size is not counted by frame's chunk size field. Frame chunk format:

u32  sig[4]          -- "SOUN"
u32  chunksize       -- including this preamble
u8   data[]

Video Format

The video compression relies on a concept of Key-blocks, encoded with JPEG-like algorithm and motion blocks, derived from previously drawn blocks. The frame is encoded in 8x8 or smaller blocks. The Key-blocks are always 8x8 and directly encoded, while motion blocks heavily rely on D&C approach and various block transformation techniques. Generally, this codec is quite similar to 4XM codec and Mobiclip codecs, because it's written by the same people.

There are two variants of HNM6 video codec.

  • WARP codec. Prototype codec, simplified version. Used in a very little number of games circa 1997.
  • Normal (yes, that's how it's called internally) codec. Fully-featured version, widely used.

Both version has identical bitstream layout. Frame data begins this the following header:

s32  quality            -- JPEG quality index, negative value indicates that the frame is a keyframe
u32  bitbuffer          -- offset of bitbuffer
u32  motionbuffer       -- offset of motion vector buffer
u32  shortmotionbuffer  -- offset of short motion vector buffer
u32  jpegbuffer         -- offset of jpeg data buffer
u32  jpegend            -- offset of jpeg data buffer end

All offsets are little-endian and relative to this header.

  • quality is a standard JPEG quality value (0..100%). Negative value is used to specify a keyframe (for Normal codec only.)
  • bitbuffer points to frame's VLC-encoded macroblocks. This kind of data is accessed by a bit-reader with 32-bit internal queue, MSB bit comes out first.
  • motion buffer points to array of u16 motion vectors, used to copy blocks from various areas of the frame
  • short motion buffer is used for accessing blocks near the current macroblock. Each entry of buffer is 12 bits long, accessed in LSB order.
  • jpeg buffer points to array of encoded JPEG macroblocks

Key-blocks decoding

Key-blocks are JPEG-encoded blocks in YUV 4:4:4 format. The requantization, IDCT and colorspace conversion steps are identical to standard JPEG. Standard zigzag (0,1,8,16,9,...) and quantization tables (16,11,10,16, 24,...; 17,18,24,47,99,...) used as well.

The only custom feature used is the coefficients encoding. Instead of Huffman coding they are stored using RLE scheme.

Macroblock's jpeg data is accessed by 4-bit nibbles, lower nibble of each byte first. Also, the following primitives are used:

  • half - half of a nibble, upper part first, then lower (i.e. read a nibble, process upper part of it upon first use, lower part upon second)
  • s2 - signed two-bit 2's complement value of a half, no zero point (i.e. 0b00 -> 1, 0b01 -> 2, 0b10 -> -2, 0b11 -> -1)
  • s4 - signed four-bit 2's complement value of a nibble, no zero point
  • s44 - signed eight-bit value of two nibbles, with zero point (this is basically (signextend(nibble1) << 4) | nibble2)

For each plane of 8x8 coefficients, the first coefficient is s44, then read nibbles and fill the rest of coefficients as follows until the whole plane is complete. Repeat for each Y, U and V plane.

 0 - fill remainder of a plane with zeros
 1 - 0, 0, 0, 0
 2 - 0, 1
 3 - 0, -1
 4 - 0, 0, 1
 5 - 0, 0, -1
 6 - 0, 0, 0, 1
 7 - 0, 0, 0, -1
 8 - zeros = half, tail = half
     fill (zeros+1) coefficients with 0
     fill (tail+2) coefficients with s2
 9 - zeros = half, tail = half
     fill (zeros+1) coefficients with 0
     fill (tail+1) coefficients with s4
10 - s2, s2
11 - s4
12 - s4, s4
13 - s4, s4, s4
14 - 0
15 - s44

WARP decoding

Macroblocks are encoded using the following VLC codes:

Block type 8x8 4x4
Keyblock 11 n/a
Motion 10 0
CrossCut 0 1

  • Keyblock is a JPEG-encoded macroblock.
  • CrossCut means that the current block should be cut on to 4 smaller subblocks and each one processed independently, using the same scheme recursively.
  • Motion means that the block is motion-coded and should be copied from some other part of the frame. To do so, read the next entry of the motion buffer and process it as follows:
    • transformation mode = next 2 bits from bitbuffer (upper part) combined with bit 15 of motion (lower bit)
    • xmotion = 128 - (bits 7..14 of motion)
    • ymotion = (if block is not 8x8, then 4) - (bits 0..6 of motion)
  • 2x2 blocks are always short motion coded, using no extra VLC:
    • transformation mode = bits 1..3 of short motion
    • motion index = bit 0 || bits 4..7 || bits 8..11 (total 9 bits)
    • decode the index as follows:
if index < 12 * 8
  xmotion = -2 - index % 12
  ymotion =  6 - index / 12
  index -= 12 * 8
  xmotion = 19 - index % 32
  ymotion = -2 - index / 32
  if ymotion <= -8
   ymotion = ymotion - 1

Block's source coordinates are the sum of current 8x8 macroblock's coordinates (not its subblock's!) and the xmotion and ymotion respectively. If x-coordinate happens to go out of frame, it should be wrapped around the line. Copy block at the following coordinates to the current, applying the transformation as specified.

Normal decoding

Normal compression introduces interframes, more split modes and different short motion encoding.

Macroblocks are encoded using the following VLC codes:

Block type 8x8 4x8 8x4 4x4 2x4 4x2 2x2
Keyblock 110 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
HorizontalCut 00 0 n/a 01 1 n/a n/a
VerticalCut 01 n/a 0 10 n/a 1 n/a
CrossCut 10 n/a n/a 11 n/a n/a n/a
Motion 111 1 1 00 0 0 n/a
Keyblock 011 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
HorizontalCut 100 10 n/a 101 111 n/a n/a
VerticalCut 101 n/a 10 110 n/a 111 n/a
CrossCut 1110 n/a n/a 111 n/a n/a n/a
Skip 110 11 11 100 110 110 11
ShortMotion 00 00 00 00 0 0 0
Motion 010 01 01 01 10 10 10
  • HorizontalCut splits the block horizontally, producing two subblocks of smaller height. Each one then processed recursively.
  • VerticalCut is identical to HorizontalCut, but splits the block vertically.
  • Skip simply copies the block from the previous frame.
  • ShortMotion copies block from previous frame, using the spiral-encoded motion. Unlike regular motion, short motion is relative to subblock's coordinates, not the whole macroblock. Read ShortMotion index, then obtain block's relative coordinates as per illustration:


  • Motion blocks are similar to WARP motion block, with minor enhancements:
    • For keyframe motion is the same as for WRAP, with the exception for blocks smaller than 4x4. For such blocks:
      • transformation mode = bits 12.14 of motion
      • xmotion = 63 - (bits 0..6 of motion)
      • ymotion = 6 - (bits 7..11 of motion)
    • Keyframe's 2x2 blocks are always motion-coded as above.
    • For interframe motion is different. For blocks 4x4 and larger:
      • transformation mode = next 3 bits from bitbuffer
      • if bit 15 of motion is zero then source is the previous frame, current frame otherwise
      • xmotion = 128 - (bits 7..14 of motion)
      • ymotion = (if from previous frame then 64, otherwise if block is not 8x8, then 4) - (bits 0..6 of motion)
    • For blocks smaller than 4x4:
      • if bit 15 of motion is zero then source is the previous frame, current frame otherwise
      • if from current frame - same as for keyframe, see above. for previous frame:
      • transformation mode = next 3 bits from bitbuffer
      • xmotion = 31 - (bits 0..5 of motion)
      • ymotion = 31 - (bits 6..11 of motion)
    • Don't forget to wrap x motion around the line if it goes out of frame.

Block transformation

During block copying, it can be additionally transformed. Transformation modes:

0 - Normal copy

Copy block as is.

1 - Horizontal flip

Swap left and right:

abc -> cba

2 - Vertical flip

Swap up and down:

a    c
b -> b
c    a

3 - Cross flip

Swap both up-down and left-right:

ab    fe
cd -> dc
ef    ba

4 - Forward flip

Swap block around / :

ab -> db 
cd    ca

5 - Forward rotate

Rotate block 90 degrees clockwise:

ab    eca    fe
cd -> fdb -> dc
ef           ba

6 - Backward rotate

Rotate block 90 degrees counterclockwise:

ab    bdf    fe
cd -> ace -> dc
ef           ba

7 - Backward flip

Swap block around \ :

ab -> ac
cd    bd

Bitexact decoding

While you can use stock JPEG routines to decode Key-blocks, if you want to produce bitexact output you need to use very specific code to do so.