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Video editing on computer Q

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I have a nice Sony DCR-PC330. Now I want to edit what I have filmed on my computer. What kind of program do I need. On the MS moovie maker I can look at what I have filmed but I would like to edit and make my own skiing moovie. Also, how about the picture format? I have filmed some nice material on the 16:9 format. The moovie maker doesent seem to recognice that kind of format. Everything looks squashed. Please advise!
post #2 of 23
Windows movie maker is garbage IMO
However, you should be able to do basic editing- I dont think windows movie maker supports 16:9. I would just stick to normal video.

I suppose I am a bit spoiled- I use adobe Premiere- If you want to shell out- its $750 You might find a slightly older version on ebay for much less money.
Slighly more viablie is imovie (comes with macs)
There are also a host of mid range programs of variabile quality.
post #3 of 23

A spread of candidates @ ZDnet

Assuming your on the Wintel platform, there's a few candidates @ ZDnet:

http://downloads-zdnet.com.com/3120-...&qt=video+edit

If you have a Mac you give FinalCut Express a shot
post #4 of 23

Making Video

I was using my DV last Friday at Heavenly. Really a thrill to try to hold stable video at 35 MPH following a good carver! The free movie maker software has some limitations, but does a surprisingly good job and is versitile in its selection of special effects, transitions and addition of title, audio and other effects. To get a 16:9 setting, you must set your capture settings before capturing the video. Go to Tools, Options, Advanced settings. Set the capture to NTSC and 16:9 ratio. Default is 4:3 ratio. Your camera is capable of 16:9 ratio, but the camera settings also need to be set through the menu prior to recording. If you capture in 4:3 ratio then convert to 16:9 in editing, you will get a squashed (fat skier) effect. Its best to match camera settings and capture settings.

Be sure to capture to the computer in full DV-AVI with a Firewire connection. This consumes about 178 MB per minute of video, so you need a large hard disk. I run dedicated dual 200 GB Raid 1 hard disks for video capture (400 GB total) and editing, and the rest of my system runs on dual 200 GB disks in RAID 0. When rendering video from the Movie Maker, the default compression is to make a WMV file. If you want true DVD quality, its best to save the edited video in full uncompressed AVI format, and use a DVD authoring software to apply MPEG2 compression, or MPEG4 for streaming. The WMV file format is fine for display on computers, but most DVD players don't know what to do with it, assuming you want to watch the final production on your widescreen TV.

Ok, here is the bad news. You have a $1400 plus camera, the best software that allows you to realize the potential of that camera, will still set you back at least $100, and probably more. Don't expect the free Movie maker to compare with Vegas, Premiere, or other top end editors.

Sony Vegas Movie Studio 4 and DVD Studio Architect is very inexpensive consumer level capture, editing and DVD writing tool. You can download a free trial here: http://mediasoftware.sonypictures.co...p2.asp?DID=531. Purchase is only $29 because this software intends to whet your appitite for the full prosumer Vegas 5. If you really want to see what editing software can do, try the full version Vegas Video 5 and DVD Architect. It gives you great color and sound correction tools 5.1 surround sound and loads of other high end features, at a high end price ($600 upgrade from Studio). I use this software and found it much easier to learn and less expensive than Adobe Premiere (only used trial version).

At a lower price, Pinnacle Studio Plus 9.0 is a fairly powerful product at $99 (or $69 if you are upgrading). Plus should give you everything you need but will include deactivated HFX (3D transitions and effects tools). So, they also push you to upgrade to their Liquid Edition 6.0 ($299 upgrade). Have not tried this but looks good for HD editing capability.

I predict that eventually, you will upgrade to a prosumer level software and probably a more powerful computer. BTW, you have found a hobby that costs more than skiing. Merry Christmas!
post #5 of 23
If convenient, you might check out what is available on Macs. As noted above, you already have a big investment in your camera - and your time is worth something. It can be a slippery slope upgrading hardware and software in bits and pieces - and in the end yield a lesser result than just deciding what you want/need to get the job done.

I confess I have not looked at video editing tools in depth in about 1-2 years. However, last I looked, Mac was the easy winner. Among people I know (amateur and pro), Macs are still the clear favorite for all video, audio, and photo editing and management.

Of course, this is not exactly an answer to the question you asked
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Cirquerider - thanks a million. Im stuck with the 16:9 format since my video is captured that way but now Im able to view it to the computer in the right format. Great..... however, the quality seems to be a lot less inspiring... so now I have downloaded the Vegas free trial version to check it out. Ill keep all of you posted here in this thread. I wish you could see me ski the bumps....
post #7 of 23
I think you will really like Vegas once you get used to it. I just got done doing a ski video with the Vegas studio version and used the audio envelopes to make the stereo sound follow the skier, added slow motion and stills and a Leonard Skynard (Breeze) sound track. Video quality will improve with final rendering. Good luck. Feel free to PM if you have any questions.
post #8 of 23
Windows Movie Maker can do basic editing--creating clips and splicing them together on a timeline with a variety of transition effects. It can also create a few special effects, a variety of title options, and sound tracks. That's fine for many basic projects.

If you get into Adobe Premiere or other high-end programs you can do a lot more, but there's a bit of a learning curve.

Halfway between are packages like Pinnacle Studio (I think Version 9 is the latest, but I could be wrong). It's a bit more robust than Movie Maker, and also includes DVD authoring software so you can put your finished, edited projects onto DVD's with menus, chapters, and such.

I think--but I'm not certain--that Pinnacle Studio can handle wide format DV.

Good luck!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
My IBM thinkpad doesent have a fire wire port! Should I get a new computer before investing in an expensive software. This computer is brand new
post #10 of 23
You can add a Firewire connection with a PC card.

One option for the software, of course, is the full Avid Xpress Studio suite ... only $6,489 at B&H Photo, but it includes a bunch of hardware too.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston
You can add a Firewire connection with a PC card.
See my prior post

Seriously. I know these babies represent a real expense. And I am more than aware that there are lots of business application availability issues that may drive you to a PC. However, any modern Mac is a safe bet for A/V editing. I'm not trying to start a religious war and I'm not saying you can't put together a reasonable setup using a PC. However, if you are going to slide into the high end consumer or prosumer editing world (likely if you play with 16:9/HD), the Mac is just the easy platform.

I don't know the configs of recent thinkpads, but if you are going to start adding things like Firewire cards to random machines, you probably need to check on real bandwidth capabilities of your hardware, quality of drivers, blah, blah, blah...

Just my .02.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
yeah.... I might as well scrapp the whole thing....

However, this is cool and Im not going to give up. Adding new hardware to a laptop is offcourse something Im going to look into but also check how its with my regular PC that is a 5y old 500.

BTW, the 16:9 format is a problem I cannot overcome.... In the Vegas software there are lots of options but I cannot seem to fin one that suits this format all through the prosess of capturing, monitoring and viewing.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift
See my prior post
You may well be right. I was just throwing out the information, not recommending the best course. I will leave that to the more knowledgable.

It does seem that expecting that you can use one portable box to handle all your business applications, play music, surf the Internet and edit video might be asking a bit much.
post #14 of 23
It's very easy to add a Firewire connection to a laptop, assuming it has a card slot. Firewire cards are not expensive, and all you have to do on most computers is plug them in, then attach your camera and you're all set (at least in theory--sometimes they can be little finicky).

But you should realize that Firewire is not the only limiting factor. Video editing is one of the most demanding things you can do on a computer. Very fast processors and lots of memory are also important (although I have edited video in the past on a 350 MHz Pentium 2 with just 96 MB of memory--it's frustrating, but it's possible). Most importantly, you need a fast and LARGE hard drive. It takes about a gigabyte of storage for 5 minutes of digital video. 250 GB is not excessive. And it must be fast. Multiple disk "RAID" arrays are nice, although typical 7200 rpm disks work quite well.

In short, while a simple card may solve your Firewire problem, it's possible that the rest of the computer may not be up to snuff either.

Here's an excellent site for more information, as well as a variety of products for digital video editing: Videoguys.com

Good luck!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #15 of 23
Is firewire a necessity? My computer doesn't have it, but it does have USB 2.0. I have a Sony TRV-22 and am using the included USB cable to capture. I'm only able to capture 10 minutes at a time, though.
post #16 of 23
Hi Skiobsessed--welcome to EpicSki!

I've never used USB to connect a camcorder to a computer, but apparently USB 2.0 is fast enough. Firewire (IEEE 1394--Sony calls it "i-link") has been the standard for a while. Most editing software can run your camera remotely through Firewire, which is extremely useful when capturing video to disk. I don't know if USB 2.0 connections can do the same thing--again, I've never used one. Perhaps they can.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #17 of 23
Also, Skiobsessed, the 10 minute limit you are experiencing is possibly due to older operating systems that limit captured file size to 2 GB. You can always splice together multiple 10 minute clips on one timeline, and save it back to tape. But you probably will NOT be able to save your edited video longer than 10 minutes to a single computer file in full DV (.avi) format. Of course, most current editing software allows you to save the edited video in various compressed formats (mpeg, Windows Media Video, and such), and to burn it to a DVD.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #18 of 23

Video Editing horsepower

I edit on a custom desktop machine: ASUS P4C800E-Deluxe MB with 200 GB in SATA RAID 0, 400 GB in SATA RAID 1; 3.52 Ghz P4 Prescott Processor, 1 GB OCZ Gold dual channel PC4000 SDRAM; Canopus 1394 firewire digital/analog input bay, ATI 9600 AIW video card and dual monitors (21" CRT and 19" LCD), and a 500 watt 5.1 surround system. The components are packed into an aluminum Thermaltake case with lots of fans for drives, CPU, power supply and case. I don't consider this overkill, but its more than the requirements for most editing tasks. Now if we could get dual Xeon processors..... BTW, business expense for me.

In my last post, I predicted you would upgrade your computer and software to cope with video editing. A laptop platform is a great business machine, but it is not a viable video editor in the long run. For example, you have a 40 GB hard drive, and a single project can consume nearly half of that between capture and edited output. If you enjoy building stuff, start doing your homework on www.newegg.com to build your own custom system. I built the system above for about $1700, and you could get away with less today. This hobby is a blast in terms of creative potential, but you really need the equipment to realize the potential, because DV is MOSTLY in the editing, and a little bit in the camera. In DIGITAL video, the camera is a component of the editing system. Does this remind you of your other expensive hobby?:
post #19 of 23
I know next to nothing about video editing, but I am currently using Pinnacle Studio 9 for digital video capture in a research project (using their AD moviebox hardware). It does do dv capture and can use USB2 (which is faster than firewire, but not faster than firewire2 or whatever it is called), and will accept 16:9 aspect ratio input. I am using an IBM T40 laptop with 768mB RAM and a 1.6g centrino processor, but, of course, the stuff I am doing does not require any semblance of fancy video editing- I need a portable system that will let me capture video bronchoscopy in the operating room direct to disc for later analysis. This is a fairly simple software package that actually works quite well, once you download the patches from the Pinnacle web site, and is very reasonably priced for the beginner with simple needs. I am sure that it is not as good as the Mac stuff, however- nothing is!
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
Also, Skiobsessed, the 10 minute limit you are experiencing is possibly due to older operating systems that limit captured file size to 2 GB. You can always splice together multiple 10 minute clips on one timeline, and save it back to tape. But you probably will NOT be able to save your edited video longer than 10 minutes to a single computer file in full DV (.avi) format. Of course, most current editing software allows you to save the edited video in various compressed formats (mpeg, Windows Media Video, and such), and to burn it to a DVD.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
Bob,

Thanks for the tips. I'm running Windows XP, so the OS hopefully is not the problem. I think I just need to upgrade to a more robust capture/editing software.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much for all the good information.

I will go and look if I can get a fire wire card for my laptop. I know that it is just a temporary solution but it will have to do for the moment.

The Vegas Moovie Studio is really a cool program. Im gonna purchase the cheap version first and see how far I get.

One thing came up though.... I made 2 editings today. One with music on it and it was only one and a half minute long and the other without maybe 7 min long but only half the size. The one with music must have been over 6GB, now how in h**l am I going to save that to a CD that takes only 700MB? What format should I use? Do I need DVD CD discs?

tom
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6
The one with music must have been over 6GB, now how in h**l am I going to save that to a CD that takes only 700MB? What format should I use? Do I need DVD CD discs?

tom
Once you buy ($99) the Vegas Movie Studio + DVD you will be able to create DVD, and digital video CD using MPEG2 compression. This will change your 6 GB (avi?) file into about a 250 MB file, while retaining all the formatting and fidelity. The program will also write the DVD or VCD with an introductory screen, menue and chapters if you choose. The program also includes capability to super-compress the video for email, or playback on computers. For example, it will write a windows media file (WMV) for email from 1 to 10 megabytes; and can produce wmv files with less compression to fit the file to a size you specify. Extremely compressed programs will have blurry pictures and skipped frames, so larger is generally better. What sucks is, the demo program is disabled for MPEG and Video CD compression, and you will get a prompt to buy.

I really think this program is all you need to produce very high quality, fun to watch programs, and is a good value. Curious, Did you figure out how to use the audio envelopes? If you have a hotmail account, you can transmit email file attachments up to 10MB. If you want to see an example, let me know, and I will send one.
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Cirquerider - a million thanks for the info. Im going to buy the Vegas Movie Studio + DVD. On the www site it says that the Vegas Movie Studio CD is too large to download and that they will send it to me by mail. Does this mean that I can download the application but that some sort of additional CD is going to be sent to me by mail?

Yes, please send me the sample. And I have problems with saving my work to a compressed format in the demo version but now I know it is a feature and not a bug. Im not really shure what you mean by envelope... please explain. The 16:9 format is not working however. Somehow I have it all screwed up. If I capture it in PAL Widescreen format I cannot find a way to monitor it in a compatible format. There are lots of different formats and I guess I should use PAL here in Europa but there is no format PAL 16:9! This have to be cleared out before I order. The Moovie Maker supports brilliantly this format. I made two demo projects using regular format in the Vegas software and the results are stunning. As soon as I get the compression done Ill mail you a sample.
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