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Video traffic is widely expected to account for a large portion of the traffic in future wireline and wireless networks, as multimedia applications are becoming increasingly popular. Consequently, the performance evaluation of networking architectures, protocols, and mechanisms for video traffic becomes increasingly important. Video traces, which give the sizes, deadlines, and qualities of the individual video frames in a video sequence, have been emerging as convenient video characterizations for networking studies. In this tutorial we give an introduction to the use of video traces in networking studies. First we give a brief overview of digital video and its encoding and playout. Then we present a library of traces of single- and two-layer encoded video. We discuss the statistical properties of the traces and the resulting implications for the transport of video over networks. Finally we discuss the factors that need to be considered when using video traces in network performance evaluations. In particular, we introduce performance metrics that quantify the quality of the delivered video. We outline a procedure for generating video load for network simulations from the traces, and discuss how to meaningfully analyze the outcomes of these simulations.