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Old August 29th, 2008, 06:25 PM   #1
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Capturing video - does the size of the captured file matter in an NLE?

I am wondering if it matters whether a file is captured in smaller sizes (chunks) like 50 megs or if it is in bigger sizes like 12 gigs. Does it speed up the renders if it is smaller? Does it make a noticeable difference at all?
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Old August 29th, 2008, 08:48 PM   #2
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Your questions sounds a bit like, "is small vanilla better than big vanilla?" In my experience file size only matters in terms of compression/video quality. If you're asking if a lower resolution file will render faster than a larger one, the answer is yes if the input and output resolutions are the same.

But... the general rule is to keep quality as high as possible until you must down-res or compress.

I guess your question is a bit ambiguous. If you expound upon the details of your situation and your goals we might be able to get closer to the information you need.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 11:52 PM   #3
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Sorry, I will try and make it more clear.

When capturing footage via firewire - is it better to have smaller captured files - like 20 X 100 meg files or ONE 2 gig file -- or does it not matter at all? Does the NLE care if they are larger files or smaller ones?
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Old August 30th, 2008, 09:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by David Delaney View Post
Sorry, I will try and make it more clear.

When capturing footage via firewire - is it better to have smaller captured files - like 20 X 100 meg files or ONE 2 gig file -- or does it not matter at all? Does the NLE care if they are larger files or smaller ones?
Hi David,

Some folks are not even capturing by firewire. DV and HDV is giving away to new CODECs that will be "copied" from flash media.

But, to keep apples with apples, as long as the drive is capable of seeing the file size (NTFS) and the file type is good with the size (and it likely is - don't worry about it), sure, save on. Computers of the last few years and modern drives won't have problems with common routine off-the-shelf consumer tapes and capture.

DV and HDV are about the same size, around 13 GB or so an hour. You likely want to split them at the "Standby" - "Record" spots when saving as part of good workflow habits. Most good software does or can do this automatically. If you have a job or a project that is one long hour of mini dv/hdv tape that is continuous on the timeline, no sweat. Capture, lay it on the timeline. Fade in/Fade out, put a title on it lay off to DVD, collect payment. Life's sweet.

My best,

Mike
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Old August 30th, 2008, 09:34 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by David Delaney View Post
- is it better to have smaller captured files - like 20 X 100 meg files or ONE 2 gig file -- or does it not matter at all? Does the NLE care if they are larger files or smaller ones?
The main technical issue, as Mike pointed out, might be if the file system you are using doesn't support large file sizes. Otherwise, it's more about how you prefer to work. Personally I prefer having everything broken down into small files because it saves time. It's much easier to organize and search through small clips than searching through a large video file for those golden moments.
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Old August 30th, 2008, 10:15 AM   #6
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I usually use the "scene detect" option (or whatever it's called in the capture program I'm currently using) to split my captured video into separate takes -- one take = one file. It makes it easier to find and import the takes I want into the timeline, knowing I want file A2001.AVI, rather than having to pull in one big file and look for a take somewhere in the last third, cut out everything else I don't want at the front and end, and then repeat for the next segment. It also makes it easy to archive the project, where I save only the clips used, and not all the "cutting room floor" stuff. I honestly can't imagine using the "one big file" approach.

I use Scenalyzer Live for capturing and Premiere CS3 for editing, if that makes any difference. I've found Premiere a tad too flakey for reliable capturing, especially very LONG takes.

Martin
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Old August 30th, 2008, 10:25 AM   #7
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I use Scenalyzer Live for capturing and Premiere CS3 for editing, if that makes any difference. I've found Premiere a tad too flakey for reliable capturing, especially very LONG takes.

Martin
Hi Martin,

I with you on all points for DV work. Scenalyzer Live Video Capture Software and Scene Detection - Scenalyzer is one nice program to have, and I use it for all my DV capturing (Premiere's capturing can be pretty awful).

HDV capturing can be terrible, too, depending upon the camera/device, unfortunately. One program I've found to be reliable and handy is HDVSplit utility for HDV capturing with scene split - HDV capture utility. Each of these applications will prove to be a great boon to the editor, breaking down takes for the DV and HDV scenes.

Scenalyzer is too cheap not to have and HDVSplit is free.

My best,

Mike
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