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Old 08-10-2005, 08:48 AM   #1
Andrew B.
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Default Need Suggestions for Movie Editing

Not the usual topic, but maybe someone has dealt with this. We need to process movie files. We receive them as mpegs, but we can request a different format. Once we have them, we need to pull segments from the movies and make a shorter movie. Or, there might be combining of clips from different movies. We will be dealing with hours worth of material. IOW, large file sizes. We want to output to mpeg, but this is flexible if you have a better idea.

My question is, what software should we look into, and what format should we request for the files we receive. The person doing this has no experience with editing movies, so a complex package is not the way to go. But he is a fast learner.

BTW, we were looking into Sony Vegas as a possibility. The Adobe products require Windows XP, and he is running Windows 2000.
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Old 08-11-2005, 03:48 PM   #2
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Adobe Premier???

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Old 08-11-2005, 04:14 PM   #3
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The Adobe products require Windows XP, and he is running Windows 2000.
Really? They won't work with Win 2K at all? Maybe a slightly older version? I don't know a lot of folks editing movies but AFAIK they all use Adobe. They're also on Macs which of course isn't much help. :-/

   
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:54 PM   #4
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Andrew, For years I've used what was Video Factory, then ScreenBlast Movie Studio - what now is apparently Vegas Movie Studio. Out of all the programs I tested, it was the easier to learn and gave me the least trouble to actually produce an end product.

I have not been doing any video editing recently and now I think I will have to download the new version trial to see how it works. but unless Sony really mucked up the program, the basic version should do a whole lot and provide an upgrade path if more features are desired.

When I was working with Video Factory, all that Vegas provided extra were more transitions and more tracks and layers. For most purposes, those are not needed.
Anne

PS I never could get Adobe Premiere to work properly.
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Old 08-11-2005, 11:25 PM   #5
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Ann,

How are Video Factory/Screen Blast/Vegas for editing mpegs. I know almost nothing about movies, but my understanding of mpegs is they compress by using a master frame, followed by frames that only show what has changed. I would guess that makes it sort of hard to cut just anywhere, unless the software makes a new master. Or, at least, that's my wondering based on my very limited knowledge.

What format did you prefer to start with?
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Old 08-14-2005, 08:29 PM   #6
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Andrew, Any time you edit video, the entire edited piece has to be re-rendered, so it really doesn't make much different what format you use as far as that is concerned.
I prefer to start with AVI since that is uncompressed and higher quality, no matter what the resolution. But that makes for very large files - I think it is roughly 10MB per second of video if I remember correctly.
ScreenBlast 3.0, the version I have, makes editing very simple. Explaining how it works is harder than actually using it. It is very intuitive - basically you select the area you want to preserve and can slide the ends of the selection back forth while seeing the frames change as you slide. Once you have selected the area you want to keep, render it as a new file. Once you have all your edited files ready to assemble, you drag and drop them into the video track in order. Soundtracks can be edited - since I got a combo deal from the guys that had Video Factory, I have SOund Forge Studio which seamlessly interacts with the video editor.
Video needs a large fast hard drive - at least 7200rpm speed. My video/audio editing computer has two 200GB drives - I keep the second one almost completely empty to save projects before burning to DVD.

By the way, I was looking at the upgrade options and I think I will get the upgrade to Vegas Movie Studio+DVD Platinum - the upgrade price is good and the new title features look cool. My version of ScreenBlast uses MyDVD for burning and although it is OK, I'd like to try the DVD burner included with the new version.
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Old 08-17-2005, 09:43 AM   #7
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Very helpful. I passed this along to my coworker, and he asked me to thank you for your help.
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Old 08-17-2005, 07:20 PM   #8
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Andrew, Certainly - I hope this really does help. I tried a LOT of editing programs, free, shareware and demos of expensive commercial programs before I settled on Video Factory (aka Screen Blast aka Vegas Movie Studio). And after two years it still does everything I want - now you've got me wanting the time to edit movies again!
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Old 08-17-2005, 07:50 PM   #9
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I don't think your assertion that "any time you edit video, the entire edited piece has to be re-rendered" is correct. I've been using a program called MPEG-VCR from Womble to trim the ends and remove commercials from television programs that I've transferred from my ReplayTV to my computer in MPEG2 format, and there's no re-rendering going on: the quality is undiminished, and the speed of a file save is far beyond the capacity of my ThinkPad to encode in MPEG2 format. Quoting from the MPEG-VCR web page:
Frame accurate editing: step forward and backward through your video, frame-by-frame, to find exactly the scene you want, or to cut out the ones you don't.

No re-encoding when editing DVD-compliant MPEG2 captures from the latest USB/DVD capture boxes. When using these sources to create a movie for DVD burning, you will not have to wait for many hours while your movie is re-encoded. Instead, your edited video will be written back to disk as fast as any disk-to-disk copy operation.
So it's not impossible to do at least some types of editing on MPEG2 files without re-rendering them.
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Old 08-23-2005, 08:23 AM   #10
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Stephen. After reading your post we tested Womble's other software called MPEG Video Wizard. The people doing the tests were so happy with the speed, features, and ease of use that we are going to order two copies.
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