I want to cut out the intro from an .avi file, but the key frame is unfortunately in the middle of it. What settings should I use to cut it accurately, but with as little quality loss as possible?
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IIRC Avidemux does not smart render, so the specific answer to your question is you can't do it the way you're trying to do it.
However, you may want to look over this earlier thread:
It covers the basic issues: .avi is a container so the term is too generic to be meaningful, there are several tools and methods depending on what's in the .avi.
Avidemux can do smart rendering. I've done it many times. It uses what they call Smart Copy mode, which reencodes just the area cut out. That's not avoidable.
But only on certain formats. It definitely works with mpeg-4 visual., which could be an .mp4 or .avi file.
A simple search got me this ...
You'll need to open the file in mediainfo or something similar to get the actual video format.