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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old March 10th, 2005, 09:36 AM   #1
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These months I will be shooting lots of interviews in DV, which I would like to transfer to DVD in order to select shots and all that. It seems like a better idea than doing that from a VHS tape.

As I expect to shoot 40 to 60 tapes, I wonder what might be my best choices.

That is I would go from DV to PC, then AVI to MPEG-2, then MPEG to DVD files, then DVD burn. It should take an awful lot of time, probably like 3 hours per 60 minutes tape.

What I wonder is if something can't be done to shorten that.

Another idea, which I don't know if it would work, is to transfer the whole captured AVI files to DVD-RW discs. The problems I foresee for that option is the large quantity of media it will demand, and that I will only be able to view them on a PC instead of my DVD player.

On the other side by doing so I might preserve playing my original tapes, and from then on using those DVDs to handle the takes on my editing.

That is select what would become bins and copy the selected parts through my NLE program from the DVD's AVI files.

Would that work?


Carlos
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Old March 10th, 2005, 10:10 AM   #2
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Carlos,

I'm not clear on your work-flow here. You are shooting lots of inteviews, on mini-dv. Then you want to transfer them, UNCUT to a DVD so that you can 'select' shots.

Why the transfer, why not just review them from your tapes? If you are worried about shuttling through your master tapes and 'wearing them out' then just duplicate your master tapes. This is a 1:1 time ration, so faster than the transfer, compress, and burn by putting them on a DVD.

Maybe I'm missing your intent here?
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Old March 10th, 2005, 02:13 PM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Richard Alvarez : Carlos,

I'm not clear on your work-flow here. You are shooting lots of inteviews, on mini-dv. Then you want to transfer them, UNCUT to a DVD so that you can 'select' shots.

Why the transfer, why not just review them from your tapes? If you are worried about shuttling through your master tapes and 'wearing them out' then just duplicate your master tapes. This is a 1:1 time ration, so faster than the transfer, compress, and burn by putting them on a DVD.

Maybe I'm missing your intent here? -->>>


Sorry, I thought my point was clear. The idea is to preserve the DV tapes as much as possible, as well as the DV camera heads.

I would not be reviewing the tapes just once, but a lot of times. If the tapes were just a few I could just transfer to my PC and do that there.

In the past, when I shot in Betacam, I copied them to VHS and pre-edited them in my VHS edit setup (that was before affordable NLEs were available). One of the reasons for doing that, besides not having a Beta player at home, was to preserve the tapes from eventual wear outs that might become dropouts. That is also a very present danger in DV too.

DVDs you can also access at random, which you can't do with any tape. In any case second option for reviewing the material would be S-VHS, and never the originals.

Call me Mr. Safe if you wish, but I think I'm in the right direction with such procedures.

Whether that should be done from the original AVI files, instead of going the path I described, is another story to think of.


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Old March 10th, 2005, 03:19 PM   #4
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If you're using Avid or Final Cut, you could capture at offline resolution/quality which saves a lot of storage page. Then you can have everything on your computer. You might need to do a little testing to see if things will work out. If there are timecode breaks on your tapes you should dub the tape to a new tape.

Or just get 4 200GB hard drives and capture everything at DV quality. 60 tapes X ~13GB/hr = 780GB. It won't fit on 4X200GB drives but I assume you have another hard drive on your computer.
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Old March 10th, 2005, 04:01 PM   #5
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Glenns right, if you're can capture at low rez, you can save a LOT of disk space, and preview on the computer.

They DVD's wouldn't be 'random access' unless you took the time to edit in chapter points, no? Otherwise, it's beginning to end cue points for a straight dub.

I assume you trying to save head wear on a camera, not a deck?
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Old March 10th, 2005, 05:29 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Richard Alvarez : Glenns right, if you're can capture at low rez, you can save a LOT of disk space, and preview on the computer.

They DVD's wouldn't be 'random access' unless you took the time to edit in chapter points, no? Otherwise, it's beginning to end cue points for a straight dub.

I assume you trying to save head wear on a camera, not a deck? -->>>


Yes, first of all it's wear on the camera heads, as I have no separate deck.

Second, and this doesn't seem to find a response on anyone, is the tape wear. Hey, folks, aren't you aware how fragile a DV tape is? I have no intention of allowing even one little drop-out to happen, if I can help it. Some if these images might end up on theatrical screen, enlarged several thousand times, if I use them on the second stage of my project, which is a 35mm film.

So extreme care is in order.

Why wouldn't the DVD's be random access, at least within its chapter? I can access any AVI files I have and look for things within them. Though, of course, every AVI file end and beginning of the next would be random and at any place. I don't think there's much I can do about that, except separating the takes during transfer, if that's what you mean.


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Old March 10th, 2005, 05:42 PM   #7
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Carlos.

I am editing a documentary right now, with 28 hours of footage. I played the tapes ONCE through to capture. Now I am looking at it all on my computer with 360 gigs of media storage. The rough cut is running an hour nine minutes now, and I'm cutting it down to 57 minutes for marketing purposes.

If you compress your dv footage into mpeg to put on a dvd, it will all be one file. You won't be able to access the individual shots, unless you specifically mark each one. Not saying you can't mind you, just saying it's adding steps.

If I were working on a 'feature' with... say a hundred hours, I would do one of two things.

1)Budget for a larger capture array. At a dollar a gig, it's not that expensive to save wear and tear on your original stock

2)Capture at low rez and edit at low rez. Then, when it's time to output, up rez. (This is the same philosophy you are espousing in capturing to DVD... a 'lower' resolution than the native files)

The first way only requires one pass. But costs more for storage.
The second way, requires a second pass to capture THAT FOOTAGE THAT IS IN THE TIMELINE a second time.

What I hear you saying, is that you don't have enough disc space to capture ALL of your footage. So you capture SOME of it, compress it to mpeg,burn to DVD.

DUMP your captures, capture the REST of it, convert it to mpeg, burn to DVD.

Do a paper edit, then capture what you want again? Still comes out to two passes through a deck or camera, doesn't it?

But maybe I still don't grasp your workflow. The only way to pass the tapes once, is to have enough disk space to hold it all. If you pass it once to a lower resolution... either as mpeg to DVD, or say as 15:1 in Avid, then you will need a second pass to capture the material at higher res.

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Old March 10th, 2005, 07:16 PM   #8
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Richard,


Thank you very much for your suggestions. Perhaps I am being too careful or insecure with the two magnetic medias involved: DV tapes and hard drives. Maybe because I did have problems with both in the past.

Maybe that's why I am thinking of copying my captured AVI files straight to DVD-RW media as a backup. As a matter of fact that is what I am suggesting. No low-resolution involved at all, just capturing with maximum resolution to my HD and then right to the DVD. It would mean using the DVD's higher capacity just as recorded media, with no compression. This would be my first step.

What I don't know if I should do then is a DVD from those AVI files, to view and select my shots. This second step would involve hours of processing to convert the AVI files to MPEG-2 at max resolution. But as you suggest I can do that at a lower resolution just to pick my shots.

Disc space is not a problem really, as it's now quite cheap.


Carlos
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Old March 10th, 2005, 07:22 PM   #9
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Carlos,


I'm still lost as to the nature of your actual concern. I assume you are primarily concerned with wear and tear on the tapes? If, as you say, storage price is not an issue... then simply buy more storage. Problem solved, time saved. You have immediate access to all your footage.

Are you worried about hard drives crashing? Well, that's what backing up the project is about. You never say what NLE you are using, but in avid, after every edit session, I save the "project file' to a cd-rom.

IF my entire system died, I could use the project file, to open up the project, and recapture all the media.
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