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Imagination Pilots Transparent AVI Driver (Codec)

IPMA (Imagination Pilots Matte) is a video codec Imagination Pilots used for transparent AVI files in their games.

Download (Decoders only)

Download the decoders version 1 and 2 (14 KB)

With this package you can install the video codecs manually, so you can watch the videos without the game being installed. To install, right click Install.inf and choose "Install".

Attention: This driver is 16-bit only, so it will only work on 16- or 32-bit Windows versions. 64 Bit is not supported.

See also some example videos for version 1 (ipma) and version 2 (IP20).

Codec "ipma"

The first version of the codec was used in the games "Blown Away" (1994) and "Panic in the Park" (1995) and has the FourCC code "ipma".

  • The official name is "Imagination Pilots Transparent AVI Driver [ipma]" as shown in the Windows 95 Multimedia Device Manager.
  • As seen in VirtualDub, the first frame is the background of the video, and the rest of the frames are a video which has a green background. I do not know how the transparent color is exactly determined.
  • Before the codec was renamed to "ipma.drv", the original filename is stated as "lzwcodec.drv" . Since the game also uses LZW for its graphics files, it is likely that the video codec also utilises LZW.
  • In VirtualDub, following information are displayed for this codec:
    • Name: Imagination Pilots Matte Compressor[16]
    • 16 Bits
    • Delta frames: Yes
    • FOURCC code: 'ipma'
    • Driver name: IPMA.DRV
    • About dialog: "IP-MATTE, Imagination Pilots Matte Compressor"
    • Configuration dialog: Imagination Pilots Transparent AVI Driver, Copyright (C) Imagination Pilots 1994, Version "1.10
    • IPMA.DRV is probably only a decompressor. VirtualDub is not able to encode videos using IPMA.
  • "IP-MATTE" appears in the "Details" page of an AVI file in Windows 95.
  • File "IPMA.DRV" has modification date 26. September 1994
  • Vague mechanism: The first frame contains the background. The other frames contain the transparent video which is placed on top of the background.

Codec "IP20"

The second version of the codec was used in the games "Where's Waldo? At the Circus" (1995) and "Where's Waldo? Exploring Geography" (1996) and has the FourCC code "IP20".

  • 16 Bit codec
  • Its name is "Imagination Pilots Matte Compressor Ver 2"
  • The version is still 1.10 and the copyright year still 1994. These things were probably missed during update.
  • File "IP20.DRV" has modification date 16. March 1995
  • Vague mechanism: The first frame is not interpreted as background. Instead, the whole video is pure transparent. (You can see the difference between IPMA and IP20 by changing the FourCC code of an AVI file using an hex editor and see the result. Beside the first background frame, the video data is compatible)

© 2020 Daniel Marschall - -

Please also see my pages for other Imagination Pilots games:
Blown Away | Panic in the Park | Waldo at the Circus | Waldo Exploring Geography | Eraser Turnabout | Virtual K'Nex