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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 06:17 AM   #1
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how to chose the right software...

I have shot 17 hours of film on a Canon MV880X miniDV camera and was wondering what editing software would be most suitable, without taking up too much space. I have a 250 Gb external hard drive. On windows movie maker one hour of film takes up 13Gb, which is too much. I'm sure it's possible to compress without loosing too much quality... Ideally i guess something like 1Gb for 1 hour of film...
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 07:13 AM   #2
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Hi Henry,

DV takes up about 13GB of storage space per hour, thats just how it is. I am not aware of any other programs that will capture the footage via firewire into a different compression format. Any way doing so can cause problems further down the line (adding effect and rending etc will degrade picture). Harddrives are so cheap now a days that I personally would get a few more drives fitted if possible, another 250GB harddrive should do.

17hours is a lot of footage, is there not anyway that you can capture just the bits you need?
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 11:40 AM   #3
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Some NLE packages will capture to (or capture then convert to) MPEG achieving the level of compression you want. However, this compression comes at a price: permanent loss of detail and slower edits. I wouldn't suggest it, personally.

I know that the Pinnacle Studio software will do this. For consumer software it is quite capable near the high-end of consumer software (which includes Windows Movie Maker).

Another possibility is to bring in some of your video, cut out the shots that will end up on the floor anyway, render the result back to tape, erase all the old footage from disk, then re-import the now reduced footage for final edit.

Or, buy a bigger disk. Or an additional disk.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 03:16 AM   #4
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Another possibility is that if you have a few good shots mixed among material you won't need, batch capture just the bits you require. Essentially you watch the footage, entering 'in' and 'out' points as you go ... then the computer automatically goes back and captures only the bits you requested.

The big apps all do this, but few are as slick at it as this little one: http://www.scenalyzer.com/main.html
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 05:23 PM   #5
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250gb will fit 17hrs... depending on how u capture..

another option is to capture 4 hours a at a time, edit, then render out a master file, delete your original captures (but keeping the tape clip logs) then start the next four hours... and integratign the first four preedited hours... and so on and so forth..

in the past, before these huge drives were available, this is how we used to work.
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Old October 5th, 2006, 02:15 PM   #6
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ok, thanks. so basically the best is to keep everything big. i was just thinking that microsoft movie maker was extremely basic and that more expensive software would do something magical and reduce the size of my footage without loosing in quality (compression, MPEG...)

so why does compression exist?!?! i've heard things about MPEG and things like that...

also as a beginner (as you might have all noticed), i was wondering what editing software you would suggest to use (free or not too expensive). I was looking for a speeding up (or slowing down) effect to do a bit of time lapse on microsoft movie maker but they don't have...

another question, i know this is highly irrelevant, but how does one get around learning about editing and movie making in general without studying it. I have just in Earth Sciences and would love to get into the 'milieu'. Are books good (any suggestions?), the internet, courses...
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Old October 5th, 2006, 02:19 PM   #7
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and also, once i have made my final product, there's a risk that it'll be too big (as 13Gb -> 1 hour) to put on DVD, CD, etc. Is this where compression comes in?
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Old October 5th, 2006, 02:42 PM   #8
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Henry:

With most editors, when you capture from your DV camera, you are capturing to an .avi file. It captures the ones and zeros on the tape, and transfers them virtually verbatim to the .avi file you capture to. That highest quality to edit it in, and gives you the best results during the editing process.

Once you edit your final project, you render out to the compression you want. For DVD, you are going to a compressed mpg2 file. Most DVD burning programs give you 1 hour at maximum bit rate, for a 4.7 Gig DVD, and about 2 hours for a dual layer. The burning programs also allow you to force more on to the DVD, reducing the video quality. I have gone over 2 hours on some 4.7 Gig DVDs, and not suffered a lot of issues. But if there is a lot of action, etc, you may see problems more.

For a beginner, Pinnacle Studio 10 plus does a pretty good job, and will automatically adjust DVD burn to fit your project length. It also will capture and edit in mpg if you want to save disk space, but it is a hassle, in my opinion.
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