Video Editing

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adapter
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Joined: Nov 14 2005

Hi,

I'm new to video taking and i have a few queries. Hope you guys can help me with.
Firstly, is there any good video editing software on the market now? Secondly, what format does a camcorder record in?

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

You're in the right place for advice.

There are very many software packages for video editing. WindowsXP comes with editing software built-in (primitive and simplistic, but it works). There's a huge range, depending on your wallet and your ambition, take a look at Ulead software as a start.

Camcorders come in several flavours, the most common consumer camcorders are DV format (Digital Video). It compresses the video and records it digitally at 25 megabits/second. You can get about 1 hour on a tape cassette. The tape's 1"/4 wide and comes in little cassettes for about £2 sterling (should be cheaper in Singapore). All the editing software works with this format, any laptop will do it if all you want to do is edit onto DVD. Connect the camera to the laptop via a "Firewire" or IEEE1394 connection (all laptops have it these days). If you want to edit back onto tape, then you'll need something better than a Celeron laptop, a P4 or a desktop PC will be fine for it, pretty well any processor faster than 500MHz will do. But you'll need largish hard drives for storage, each hour of video takes 13GB.

Hope that helps.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

adapter
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Joined: Nov 14 2005

Thanks! I tried using adobe premiere 6.0 and I'm quite confused by the different available setting. If I want to edit the footage I've taken, whats the recommended setting? Is there a standard if I have just bought the video camera not too long ago?

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

If your computer has iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, then I'd forget Premiere for now and get you head around the timelines offered by either of these two programs. Once you've understood the options and limitations imposed by these simple but effective editing systems you'll be in a much better position to move up to Premiere.

tom.

adapter
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Joined: Nov 14 2005

Thanks. I am considering Pinnacle Studio Liquid. Is it good?

Senu
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Joined: Feb 2 2005
adapter wrote:
Thanks. I am considering Pinnacle Studio Liquid. Is it good?

Pinnacle Studio is an entry level product which( when it works well) can make video editing very exciting due to its ease of use and what you can ultimately do with it. It will allow you capture. divide your video into small chunks ( scenes) allow you trim these and then output transitions between them. it ill do nice titles and help you turn this to DVD or whichever format you want it to end up as. You can also add sounds from the program your mp3 or cds and do voiceovers: That should do for a starters: dont you think??
Liquid is a much more advanced product which costs more but ultimately allows you do a lot more with greater control but it is not really a beginers product.
Pinnacle has been bought over by AVID and Liquid has been rebranded AViD Liquid and is now on version 7.
Studio in on version 10. Studio has a version 10+ which has more and costs only a little more than the basic version so is considered better value for money.
" Is it good?" you ask: Studio has been dogged by complaints of occasional instability at best and downright total unusability at worst. While this does not apply to all users , there are a significant no of people who have reported thier dissatisfaction ( Hence "When it works well"). Dont let it put you off trying it.( You may have more joy with it, I certainly do)
Ulead VideoStudio 9, Sony Vegas studio , Adobe Premiere Elements , Canopus Lets Edit. are all Similar products aimed at getting new users get into video editing. They all have thier devotees as various threads in this forum will reveal. They have various degrees of complexity and usability but all are good products. There is no best product and you will be best served by downloading trial versions or getting them from magazine covers to have a go and see how you feel. Or " Ask a Friend" who has one or other.
All these programs have a bit of a learning curve, but most have books to help you learn them.
Just opening Adobe Premiere with no previous exposure or little knowledge of basics is a rather daunting prospect. As Tom said if you have WinXP have a little play with windows movie maker. you might find it interesting

svh

fuddam
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Joined: Nov 19 2005
yep
Senu wrote:
Ulead VideoStudio 9, Sony Vegas studio , Adobe Premiere Elements , Canopus Lets Edit. are all Similar products aimed at getting new users get into video editing. They all have their devotees as various threads in this forum will reveal.

as the man said, so I'll chime in on the Sony Vegas Studio option :D

Sony Vegas, one of the more professional programs (like Liquid, Premiere Pro, FCP, Avid Express etc), is itself very easy to get into, which is one of its strengths, and Movie Studio is aimed at the new user, so it's the bees knees for beginners. And once you're accomplished, yo can move into Vegas itself.

Studio has DVD authoring built in, plus export for Flash if you're going to the web (swf files)

as suggested, best to try the demos of all the prospective programs, then make your choice there. No point in paying big money for a professional editor - is just a waste at this stage. And since piracy isn't an option, why fork out 100's of dollars when something simpler will do the job / satisfy your needs?

:)

Terry Stetler
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Joined: Jun 2 2002

VideoStudio 9 is a very good beginners tool with a lot of very helpful features.

I personally find its Multi-Trim tool very handy. With it you can, for example, load in a long capture of a TV program and trim out the commercials in one operation.

Ulead has also released a free HDV & MPEG-4 plugin for VS9. This allows the capture, editing and export of these formats.

http://www.ulead.com/events/vs9_hdv/runme.htm

It's also capable of ripping *.vob's off unprotected DVD's and converting them to MPEG for re-editing, burning DVD's with both plain and motion menus and even exporting movie & slideshow screensavers.

Terry Stetler

Co-Moderator: Digital Media Net MSPro forum
Co-Moderator: Ulead User to User MSPro forum
Moderator: MURC Digital Video forum

adapter
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Joined: Nov 14 2005

Thanks alot guys for your advice. Really appreciate it. I currently own a Canon MVX45i. Actually i tried the window movie maker and get used to it. But I somehow feel its still not powerful enough so i was considering some other software. I got some questions.

Firstly, what format does a dvd player play in? AVI or mpeg2?
Secondly, what format does a mini DV record in?

fuddam
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Joined: Nov 19 2005
yep
adapter wrote:
Firstly, what format does a dvd player play in? AVI or mpeg2?
Secondly, what format does a mini DV record in?

1) mpeg2

2) DV - which comes across on a PC as AVI, usually

Senu
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Joined: Feb 2 2005
fuddam wrote:
1) mpeg2

2) DV - which comes across on a PC as AVI, usually

to clarify
mpeg2 ,Avi are video file formats which are differnt in the way they are formed but for our practical purposes the major difference is size . The software "methods" by which they are formed are called "codecs".
As such , Mini DV magnetic tape is able to store large amounts of data and the type of AVI it stores is the DV type hence DV AVI. when it is transferred to the pc, 1 hrs worth of video will occupy 13G of HD space .
DVD is a very efficient end use format in which the dv avi has been compressed( encoded ) to 4.7 G / hr with minimal loss in quality as mpeg2. A slightly different mpeg2 can also be found in SVCD but its encoding ( and size ) are different .
If this answer is more than you need just skip the irrelevant bits Fuddams answers were spot on but i just sensed a little more flesh would not be amiss

svh

adapter
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Joined: Nov 14 2005

I see... Thanks! From what i understand, we must capture the videos using the software before we can edit right? Is it possible that I transfer and edit using Mpeg then export or save as AVI format because I tried editing using Adobe Premiere 6 but it is unable to import AVI format into the library.

Senu
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Joined: Feb 2 2005

Not all programs allow you to capture as mpeg and certainly Adobe Premiere 6 does not (as far as i know) edit native mpegs. This perhaps because it is a compressed format and the means by which they are made makes frame by frame editing challenging. For Premiere mpeg is strictly an output/ export format.

To understand , imagine that an AVI is made up of rapidly displaying indiviual frames of taped scences.
PC Editing seeks to modify some of the frames to change percieved sequence of events ( removing some parts, creating new frames from existing ones to form transitions).
Mpeg (encoding) on the other hand relies on intelligently analysing the frames especially during quiet scenes and gets rid of those deemed to be surplus in order to compress the video file. The resulting mpeg video file is as such, a "slimmed down version" of original AVI with "surplus" bits removed. This is however done so cleverly that it is barely noticed in practice in terms of PQ.
Thats why poorly encoded Mpeg can struggle with fast moving rapidly changing scenes because they are more of a challenge to compress efficiently.( rapid movt appears " jagged")
Adobe Premiere Elements allows import ( not sure of capture ): and editing of mpeg .It is a much newer program and is more related in software heritage to Premiere Pro / Pro 1.5 which are much more recent versions of Premiere.
Some programs cleverly temporarily "uncompress" the mpeg for editing and then recompress for export.
Because of the way editing is achieved . It is more usual ( and much better) to import video as AVI and then export as mpeg2 for dvd.
Of course after editing, Avi can be re-exported back to tape or for encoding to mpeg by a " superior " standalone" encoder.
So,while it is possible to capture as mpeg and export as Avi it is undesirable as there will inevitably be some degrading in the picture quality, the very thing digital editing is supposed to prevent.

Your other export formats can be mpeg1: for vcd or any non-dvd or vcd compliant mpeg for viewing on the PC. More commonly for viewing on the pc or email are quicktime, window media video (WMV),real video, Divx or mpeg4 provided the codecs for these formats are on your system.
They all tend to be smaller compressed for export formats whose absolute picture quality and size is less than the starting avi or mpeg2.
As an aside, there is uncompressed ( not DV) AVI which I only mention for the sake of interest . It can take up to a 40g for one hr of video and you would struggle to even play let alone edit it on a modest machine. Quality wise it is practically indistingushable from DV AVI: best avoided

See this
http://forums.dvdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=35968

my post there is more " voluminous":o

svh

fuddam
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Joined: Nov 19 2005
adapter wrote:
I see... Thanks! From what i understand, we must capture the videos using the software before we can edit right? Is it possible that I transfer and edit using Mpeg then export or save as AVI format because I tried editing using Adobe Premiere 6 but it is unable to import AVI format into the library.

absolutely NOT desirable.

long version:

1) Premiere has always worked with AVI so there must be something wrong with your setup

2) mpeg2 is far more compressed than AVI and should be avoided whenever possible as an editing format. HDV uses mpeg2 which is unfortunate but then the image is far higher resolution which compensates somewhat, plus using mpeg for editing requires a computer with FAR more grunt than AVI - unless you use a proxy.

also, how do you intend to view the edited version ultimately? on DVD? as we said, that uses mpeg2, so there would be zero point in going to AVI first, just to rerender for DVD

the more you process your video, going from one format to another, the more you damage it. Mpeg2 was never designed to be an editing format; the fact that it recently has become one was unforseen. Mpeg2 is a viewing / output format.

short version: the route is AVI > Mpeg, not the other way around.

:)

Senu
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Joined: Feb 2 2005

.. Very Long Version
Re read my post above: same info , different delivery ( LOL ):)
Seriously
If you are new to video editing.,Why not try a simpler program than Premiere as suggeted earlier unless you really love challenges.
Premiere Elements is easier to use, more hand holding and you can still quickly graduate to Premiere. if you Must use an Adobe product ..
If you do stick to it, there are endless learning resources available . I might be able to dig out 1 if you pm me some time later there are also online resources. Do try to avoid reinventing the wheel .
Till then there are these forums and the Desktop video-General threads are especially full of hints tips etc
All the best;)

svh

adapter
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Joined: Nov 14 2005

Hey guys,

Really appreaciate your help and tips. Thanks a million. I manage to finish editing the whole clip using Adobe Premiere element. Anyway, just a simple clarification to let you guys know, I can't capture the vids from the camcorder via usb cable. In the end, I had to use Window Movie Maker to capture before importing it into element.