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Old August 13th, 2005, 02:08 PM   #1
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BEST QUALITY VIDEO FILE for editing/saving

I'm in the middle of a big project clipping and editing many hours of DV tapes, and would apreciate your views or help.

I've got Adobe Premiere Pro software and mainly using a PC with 3-Gb processor, 1Gb Ram and 200 Gb hardrive + DV burners etc.

The problem with Premiere Pro is that I haven't used it much before and find it a nightmare to understand and work quickly around the interface.

I've been doing quite a lot of other editing on the simpler Ulead VideoStudio 8 and find this extremely fast to edit a lot of files; so I've decided to do the basic clipping and editing stages with Studio 8 (and the recent Ulead Studio 9 upgrade) and then transfer the files to Premiere Pro for any final more complicated editing and 'twitching' during the final stages.

However, there will be too many hours of edited files to remain on the computer throughout the editing, so I'm going to have to save and burn files to DVD Cds as I edit, and then download them again later when needed (so as to free-up hardrive space during editing).

What would be the best type of file to create each saved video file for burning to DVD-R discs (for later final editing stages back on the computer), so that full quality is mantained throughout:

1) Save as project file
2) PAL DV
3) Pal mpeg2 720x576 (25 fps)
4) or another type of file...

The final end product will be DVD discs, but I just need to know the best format to save the project files that will enable me to maintain quality, burn to DVD-R as I continue editing, be able to re-download files to PC when needed, and enable me to switch and transfer files easily between Premiere Pro and Ulead VideoStudio during all editing stages.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 02:23 PM   #2
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I would highly recommend getting an external hard drive for this purpose. Burning to DVDs, then pulling video off of the DVDs onto the computer on an as-needed basis will be an extremely time consuming (thus frustrating) experience. An external hard drive can be had for around $100. If you already have a har drive to use and are looking to save a little money, you can just buy an enclosure for 30-50 dollars.

--edit

Of course, you could always buy another internal hard drive for your footage. A 250gb drive goes for 110 at newegg.com
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Old August 13th, 2005, 03:05 PM   #3
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Jonathan, thanks for the advice, but I do have two other computers that I could 'piggy-back' for extra drives if needed. My main computer can cope with many hours of files on the hard drive without slowing down. I'm also not too concerned with the waiting time needed to download any files from a saved DVD disc back onto the computer, as I can be doing other work elsewhere while this is done.
My main concern is having those edited files onto disc (because I hate the thought of lost weeks of work due to crashed hard drives etc...which has already happened).

This still doesn't answer my question about the best files to save and burn. Premiere will not import a Ulead Project file directly unless I convert it first. Which type of file do you normally save all your files for easy import into any type of editing software without loss of quality during the process?
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Old August 13th, 2005, 06:57 PM   #4
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You want to burn them to DVD without a recompression step, so PAL DV (.avi) is your best bet. But ULEAD may recompress in converting them to avi. If so, you may want to do all the editing in Premiere Pro. If you force yourself to use it for a few days, it will get a lot easier and will be well worth the temporary frustration.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 09:19 PM   #5
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I myself found the learning curve for Premiere to be steep; however, now that I'm familiar with it I wouldn't want to use anything less capable. As Dan said, once you've forced yourself to use it for a bit and learn how to do things, you will be well rewarded for the effort.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 03:45 AM   #6
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"...But ULEAD may recompress in converting them to avi. ..."

Are you sure of this, Dan? If so, I would not use it because it may mean slight loss in final quality. I'm not sure that Ulead would actually do this though. Anyone know for certain?

I really like the way Ulead edits - it is so fast and easy. I can move around the clips in the timeline with ease, edit sections of clips, add and edit music/overdub in the timeline, control sound volume as I watch, import easily etc, and the whole sequence helps me obtain great end results. The main problem I'm having with Ulead lately is that it is not converting the clips correctly to the connected Project file. This may be a corruption problem with the software during my new updated computer, so I'm thinking of buying the the new Uplead 9 this week.

I think that it would take me many months of learning (time I haven't got at the moment) to work with Premiere at the same level as Ulead, so I'd rather stick with it for the first level editing and clipping...but if what Dan says is true, then I will need to think seriously about not working with Ulead at all (I hope the extra compression step to DV file is not true, because I've just managed to edit loads of tape on Ulead following days of editing!).
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Old August 14th, 2005, 04:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick
However, there will be too many hours of edited files to remain on the computer throughout the editing, so I'm going to have to save and burn files to DVD Cds as I edit, and then download them again later when needed (so as to free-up hardrive space during editing).
there should be *zero* hours of edited files remaining on the computer... all you have to do is to delete the rendered temp files after each edit is completed.

most editors will allow you to render or not render sections of the timeline as you go, and typically, there will be a colored bar above the timeline telling you what is rendered or not rendered... so you would do your pre-edits in ulead, and export the short segment(s) to a new hard drive, per the previous recommendation... that way, no work will be lost if the new drive crashes, you simply re-export the old ulead source footage.

i'm not trying to be critical, but if you don't know whether or not ulead re-renders everything in the timeline, you really don't know the software at all.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 07:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dan Euritt
i'm not trying to be critical, but if you don't know whether or not ulead re-renders everything in the timeline, you really don't know the software at all.
The concern was over whether or not Ulead VideoStudio 8 recompresses DV files when they are exported from the program, not about rendering filters/effects on the timeline inside the program.
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Old August 14th, 2005, 07:20 PM   #9
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I don't know for sure if Ulead recompresses. I know they have their own file format that you have to convert in order to import to Premiere. It could be that their format is just their own "wrapper" on the file so the "conversion" merely changes the wrapper to a Premiere-compatible one (e.g., "avi"), in which case there would be no recompression and no loss. That would technically be the best way to do it, but it doesn't necessarily mean that's the way Ulead does it. One crude test of whether it's recompressing or not is to do the conversion on a large file and a small one and note the amount of time it takes to convert. If the larger file doesn't take a proportionally longer time to convert, and if the conversion is very quick, that indicates that it's just "rewrapping" and not recompressing.
Dan (the other Dan) brings up a good point about your files. You may already know this, but just in case: the editing software (and I assume this is true of Ulead too) project files are just pointer and data files for your project. You aren't creating any files, except the project file, which is very small, until you render out the project. And you don't need to render out the project until you're all done. So in terms of backup, of course you might want to back up the raw video (or at least keep the original tapes as backup), then backup your project files (not video, just the project files) separately. If you have the raw files and the project files backed up, there is no reason to render out partially edited pieces and burn them to DVD.
Sorry if I'm telling you stuff you already know.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 04:50 AM   #10
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'...Sorry if I'm telling you stuff you already know...'

That's OK, Dan, because some of your other notes are welcome - a test does seem to show that it is not just "rewrapping" the files, although I could be wrong; I'll get in touch with Ulead to confirm.

Due to the large workload ahead of me (50-hours of tapes to download, clip and edit) I have decided to do almost the complete project in Ulead 9 and only convert the final stages for import into Premiere Pro if I find that software provides something that Ulead just doesn't provide and is required.

I've got to fly out again soon to USA for another month to hopefully capture the needed extra DV footage (many more hours of tapes to edit...), then its back to UK for a cold & wet winter sat in front of the computer, more editing, adding music and narrative.
By spring, I hope to have the complete project ready, before taking it to a large pro studio for the final 'tweaking' prior to DVD production (90% Pal DVD & 10% NTSC conversion).

Thank you for all your imput.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 02:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Lefchik
The concern was over whether or not Ulead VideoStudio 8 recompresses DV files when they are exported from the program, not about rendering filters/effects on the timeline inside the program.
i stated, and you quoted, "everything in the timeline", which clearly encompasses quite a bit more than just filters/effects.

the point remains that the only way there should be re-compression of the entire timeline is if you exported to another format... or put filters/effects on top of all of the footage, which he never indicated.

if ulead is using it's own dv file format(aka wrapper), it would ideally be applied as the footage is captured by the program, not after the fact somehow(?).

50 hours of footage sounds like a nightmare edit scenario to me, i can see the concern over backing everything up! keep making copies of the project file as you go, under different names that reflect the edit progression, but with everything you save backed up on two seperate hard drives.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 03:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick
Due to the large workload ahead of me (50-hours of tapes to download, clip and edit) I have decided to do almost the complete project in Ulead 9 and only convert the final stages for import into Premiere Pro if I find that software provides something that Ulead just doesn't provide and is required.

I've got to fly out again soon to USA for another month to hopefully capture the needed extra DV footage (many more hours of tapes to edit...), then its back to UK for a cold & wet winter sat in front of the computer, more editing, adding music and narrative.
By spring, I hope to have the complete project ready, before taking it to a large pro studio for the final 'tweaking' prior to DVD production (90% Pal DVD & 10% NTSC conversion).

Thank you for all your input.
Wow, that sounds like an enormous project! Good luck, and let us know how it turns out next year!
Since you'll be making some NTSC DVDs, do you know about DVfilm Atlantis? At $195 (110), might be cheaper than what the DVD house might charge for conversion, and then you can do your own NTSC conversions for this and other projects.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 04:23 PM   #13
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Yes, I've thought about Atlantis, but not sure how good it is, although of course any way of cutting costs without losing too much quality is a benefit (I of course expect some quality loss from original Pal with the conversion). We do have contacts with a pro studio which will hopefully cut some costs, but the more that I can manage to do myself, the better. The main sales will be as Pal DVD and TV, which is why we chose Pal-based equipment.

My main concern at the moment is maintaining the highest possible standards within our already stretched budget.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 04:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Euritt
i stated, and you quoted, "everything in the timeline", which clearly encompasses quite a bit more than just filters/effects.
Correct. That would mean anything that is added during the editing stage that would have to be rendered, such as titles, transitions, filters, effects, etc. Whether or not footage that doesn't have to rendered is also recompressed when exported is another matter, and that was what the concern was about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Euritt
the point remains that the only way there should be re-compression of the entire timeline is if you exported to another format... or put filters/effects on top of all of the footage, which he never indicated.
Yes, that's the way the program should handle exporting footage, but if that is the way it actually does is another matter. Premiere Pro has a setting that allows one to choose whether or not footage is recompressed when exported (aside from those portions of the timeline that always have to rendered, such as transitions). I doubt Ulead VideoStudio has such a setting, as it is a consumer-grade video editor.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 05:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
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My main concern at the moment is maintaining the highest possible standards within our already stretched budget.
Tony,

Speaking of the budget, your mic arrived in NY a couple of days ago. Good luck on the shoot. Let me know if you need anything else.

Mike
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