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Old January 18th, 2004, 05:00 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: North Ridgeville, Ohio
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Hints and Kinks for the JVC-KDDI Editor

As promised, I'm putting together some thoughts about the software from KDDI Labs that comes with the HD1/10. I have version 1.0, so maybe there are some improvements in 1.2. Believe it or not I'm running everything on a 900MHz PIII Toshiba laptop with a firewire 120 Gig HD and DVD burner. Previewing clips is a little jerky, but workable. Remember, it's the shooter-editor that makes the big difference in the end result, not the equipment. I wanted a simple, direct path to watch my stuff on my HDTV, hence my determination to make the KDDI software work.

These are suggestions to help you use the software more effectively - not teach you how to use it. I assume that you are somewhat familiar with it, and can use the included help files to fill in gaps.

The capture software seems to work pretty well. But don't shoot any scenes less than five seconds. The program saves a separate file for each scene, and if it's too short - too bad. You can't get it to disc.

The editing software is a pretty standard timeline configuration, but it comes with some serious glitches. First, it may give you an error message and refuse to save your work. There are a couple of workarounds for this. First, save early and often. I do my first save after loading some files into the bin. Usually, if this first save is successful, subsequent saves will be OK. Sometimes, when you later open a file, you can no longer save future changes - it's troublesome. The only salvation is to render your partially edited show. Rendering creates a new m2t file reflecting all the edits you have made. This file can then be the first clip on the timeline for a new editing session. You can then make additional changes if you wish, but at least you won't have to do the whole thing over. While "rendering" is the common name for this process (creating a new audio-video file reflecting the editing decisions you have made), KDDI chooses to use the name EDIT (underTIMELINE drop down menus) to accomplish this. You could alternately use the CREATE button in the lower right of the screen. (C'mon KDDI, if you're not going to be in tune with the rest of the world, at least be consistent.)

The program seems to bog down when the timeline becomes too full. The solution - do your program in pieces, then put all the pieces together in one glorious final session. This isn't a bad idea anyway, since it splits the program into smaller, easier to edit chunks. I recently edited HD video I took on vacation, and wanted to add some music on some portions (mostly doing away with location sound), while wanting just to keep the sound on other portions. I ended up with 26 pieces for my final edit - each piece having either only location sound, or only a music track. Since this software has only two timeline tracks for picture, and two for sound, the following technique makes things simpler. For the music clips, I first created the video track - complete with dissolves. (Dissolves work great with slow paced beauty scenes.) I then render this into a new file. Drop this clip into the timeline in a new edit session, and separate the audio from the video by right clicking on the clip and choosing ASYNCHRO from the menu. You can then select only the audio track and delete it. This leaves two audio tracks available so you can even crossfade music. If you wish to keep some location sound, and possibly mix it with the music, you can use the CLIP DIVIDE tool to cut away the portion you want to keep, then delete everything else. Using the "Audio SE" tool in the lower right corner of the screen select MIXING instead of FADE, and you get a very primitive tool to mix the two tracks. You can also use this basic technique to accomplish a number of things. For instance, you could fade in a title by superimposing a title for the duration of a clip. Render this and dissolve between the plain clip, and the title clip. Use the CLIP DIVIDE tool to enable you to dissolve where you want to - and remember the top clip supersedes the bottom clip.

The timeline has its share of quirks too. There are far too few scales - even something between one second and one frame would be helpful. If you are dropping one clip after another on the same track, it's very easy to leave a frame or two between the clips. The software renders this as black - and it's no good! You could simply drop the clip into the TRACK 1 (or TRACK 2) square to the right of the track, but I've seen it leave a hole as well. The safest way is to drop in clips using the 1 FRAME scale. You can then use the right hand button above the TRACK 1 square to advance the yellow timeline cursor to the next transition. This prepares for the next edit AND keeps the cursor in the visible portion of the timeline. That way when you zoom the timeline you wont get lost. This makes things a lot smoother. Use these two buttons to move around the timeline instead of the scroll bar - and as you zoom the timeline, the cursor stays in view. Using the 1 SECOND scale works nicely for effects, as it's easy to overlap the tracks a second or so.

When it's time to lay your project back to tape, you'll want some black at the front as well the end. Remember this is tape, and it takes time for everything to lock up! I couldn't find any easy way to do this - so here's my solution. Drop a very short clip (any Clip) onto the timeline - but drop it 10 seconds from the beginning. Now render this clip. You now have ten seconds of black followed by your dummy clip. Start another edit session, and put that clip into the MONITOR window. Select only the black, and drop it into the timeline. Render this to a file called BLACK. (creative ain't I?). You now have some black to add here and there. You can use it to fade out of one scene, then fade into another too! You can always shorten it when you don't need the whole thing.

Just using these will keep you out of a heap of trouble! Watch for more hints and kinks as I think of them.
David Kennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 20th, 2004, 10:32 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 23
Any hints for handling mpeg errors in the .m2t files? I had a clip that kept causing the KDDI software to abort processing. I even downloaded from the camera again and I got the same thing at the same place.

I ended up using Tmpeg to re-encode the .m2t file to a 8Mbps mpeg PS file, but then I couldn't bring it back into the KDDI software since that feature is disabled.

My main problem with the KDDI software is that it doesn't seem to handle any abnormalities gracefully.
John Hatchett is offline   Reply

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