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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
Discussing the editing of all formats with Matrox, Pinnacle and more.

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Old October 21st, 2007, 10:19 PM   #1
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Please help me with software decisions

Hi. I'm a long time serious wildlife photographer but total video novice. Because of my upcoming first baby, it's time to get into video. I've decided on the HV20, but now I'm trying to figure out workflow and editing solutions, taking into account my objectives and my current system - this is where I could use help from all the experts.

System - PC is a Dual Core Athlon 64 with 2 GB RAM and 128MB NVidia 7600 GeForce graphics card. XP system. 21" Samsung LCD. Should be a pretty solid piece, but it's not a problem to upgrade if you think I should. Home theater has a 60" 1080p HDTV.

Goals - primary goal is to just shoot high quality video clips to share with family. Obviously I don't need HD for that, but I also want high quality archiving for future HD DVD burning. So, I plan to shoot HD all the time and probably just downsample/compress for online purposes while archiving/burning in original HD format. My preference is to burn to HD-DVD rather than Blu-Ray but it doesn't really matter.

What I won't be doing is 24p shooting, fancy menus/titles on the DVDs, or heavy workflow at all. Just typical cutesy amateur baby/cat clips. So...

1) Any suggestions for computer system?

2) Am I on the right track to shoot in HD for archival purposes and compress/downsample for the web when I want to share?

3) What is the best editing software for my simple needs, meaning basic editing and burning to HD-DVD? Pinnacle?


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Old October 21st, 2007, 10:58 PM   #2
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Moved from Canon HV20 to Non-Linear Editing on the PC.

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Old October 21st, 2007, 11:31 PM   #3
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Hi Brian.....

Download the Ulead Video Studio 11+ and Adobe Premier Elements 3 (4?) free trials and take them for a spin. If they load, run and do it for you, take your pick and go get on with it.

Ulead has such a comprehensive PHD (press here d.........) interface that a kid could use it (come to think of it, even I can use it!). From there it's an easy learning upgrade to the more upmarket NLE bundled into the package.

Adobe is not as simple from the off but is possibly more comprehensive when you have mastered it.

Don't think either freebie will "do" HDV but the "real" versions do. Can't see either having an issue with the pc you've got.

If you don't need rocket science, no point in paying for stuff you'll probably never use.

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Old October 22nd, 2007, 07:53 AM   #4
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Pinnacle Studio 11 ULTIMATE!

If I were you, I would go with Pinnacle Studio 11 Ultimate for your uses. This has the ability to work with HD, AVCHD, and HD DVD, as well as direct upload to websites within the program. This is a really future proof program that will allow you to be ready for the future. It also has improved rendering speeds in the new version, and is supposed to never crash or freeze. I have been hearing nothing but good things about it, and it is fairly cheap. Make sure you get the ultimate version, as the plug-ins it includes make it worth it's price. You will get Scorefitter, which is perfect for instant, customizable background music, exactly the kind of stuff you need behing cutesy nature material. It has Soundsoap, which will clean up your audio and automatically take your video to the next level, as it will unconsciously feel more pro with good audio. It also has MovingPicture included, the same software that Ken Burns uses, which will allow you to use all those pictures you've probably got. It has Vitascene, which costs about $400 by itself, and is used professionaly to give that film look, with various presets. I would highly reccomend going with this program.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 10:35 AM   #5
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i do very little editing, but had pinnacle 8, 9 and 10.
very easy and good basic add ons, but the 10 version was a big disaster, constant freezing and crash. in the end i had to return it.
i did purchased liquid 6, but have no clue how to operate this. (is laying around at the desk)
now i am back to a simple version of ulead video studio 11.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 10:16 AM   #6
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I am in the same boat - not sure what software will best suit an amateur (newbie at that), but starting a video effort (school projects for distribution to parents of featured children, etc) that is important to the small circle involved in it. In any event, since it has my name on it, I would liek it to look polished. Am using PC, not Mac. Have read the Adobe CS3 thread here & searched to the best of my ability, and read reviews in Videomaker mag, PC mag. Seems that in the pc NLE camp there is a host of personal preferences. I see here primarily about Ulead, Pinnacle & Adobe CS3, all seem to have good points. I am, unfortunately, not experienced enough to know what things I gain or lose with each. Recommendation for a newbie who wants to produce dvd's for distribution that have chapters for selecting viewing points, etc & look, hopefully, at least semi-pro?
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Old October 28th, 2007, 12:26 PM   #7
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I believe Sony vegas movie studio which you can download and try would be great. Check by using the fully functioning demo. The great thing is it is a stripped down version of their pro version so if you need to do more
you can upgrade without having to learn a new workflow. Very stable software.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 04:08 PM   #8
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Thanks Jim. I was put off by some of the discussion in the "NLE Software" thread in this section, wherein some discusison centered around some limitations Vegas seemed to have. However, if you & others have used it with success, I will add Sony Vegas to the list of possibles. This is one of my major frustrations at the moment - I do not know enough to make good decisions without pestering others here to assist. Am not used to not knowing my suibject matter fairly well.

Guess I really should download some of these & try them. What I am struggling to identify is a compromise between a pure "consumer" level pkg, and the very difficult to learn/pro pkgs.

Last edited by Bill Spearman; October 28th, 2007 at 05:06 PM.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 05:28 PM   #9
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Look on the major NLE software vendors sites and you will find that they all have a consumer version, usually including a DVD authoring/burning application too. Canopus have Neo to complement the EDius Pro version, Premiere CS3 has Premiere Elements, Vegas has Vegas Studio, Ulead have several including Moviefactory, Pinnacle has Studio rather than Liquid as the Pro version. Most have some capabilities that the Pro versions do not do so well such as deal with DVD camcorder discs, or editing from DVD recorders. Some are wizard driven, which is the real restriction, but they work well for beginners to actually get a real output rather than spend frustrating hours with crashes and no output!!!!! Although I have Premiere CS3, Vegas 8 and Edius 4.5 I also have Womble and Ulead Moviefactory too. For my SR7 AVCHD camcorder I mainly use the Sony Motion Browser software that came with the camera and is essential to import the video anyway. IT does a good job of making SD DVD's from the AVCHD clips. IF I want to get fancy I can import these into Vegas or Edius. For DV and HDV from my FX1 I would normally use Edius, audio in Vegas and author in DVDLab or Adobe Encore CS3. Most of these consumer versions are less than $100 and allow upgrades to the pro versions at a later date usually at some discount.

Ron Evans
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