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Old September 18th, 2005, 10:13 AM   #1
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Sleepless in Canada...

I gave it the old college try and am now coming to you folks for help. I have been an serious amateur photographer for years and decided to enter the realm of digital video (also because I have an 8 week old daughter and am looking to capture those special moments on video). In any case, I just purchased a Panasonic GV 250. It was recommended by some friends, so I bought it.

After taking 30 minutes of video, I endeavoured to edit it and make a dvd to send to family. Here is where the interesting part is... I spent the whole day trying to do just that and wound up with minimal, if any success at all. The software that comes with the camera seems hokey and NOT user friendly. Though a software manual might have been nice (panasonic are you listening???)

I tried using Premiere 6.0 to access it, but to be honest, I am a complete beginner with video.

Question 1: How do I transfer the video from my camera to my PC? (not a usb question, rather official transfer)

Question 2: Once on there how do I get it into a format to edit?

Question 3: Is Premiere the wrong software for this?

Question 4: Is there a documented (detailed) workflow around to help me understand the entire process start to finish?

Its heaps more complicated than I thought. I had anticipated loading it in, using software to trim peices, drag and drop other sections and voila... turn it into a fun to watch video. The learning curve is steeper than I thought.

Help...... please.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 12:46 PM   #2
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Yes, Premiere should do perfectly fine for what you are trying to do...it should automatically import the video from the camera into the application in a dv stream / edit ready format. After editing, it can also give you appropriate options for export, including DVD compression, but I don't use Premiere and so I cannot offer insight as to how Premiere handles this specifically.

...but just to verify first off (since you mentioned usb)...I am pretty sure that if you are trying to use usb, this will be your first problem...Transferring dv tape into the app does not use usb, but rather firewire (also called iLink or iEEE1394). This is a high speed data transfer port. It will be denoted on the camera as the 'dv' port and on some consumer cameras it can be well hidden.

Once you put your camera in VTR or VCR mode with the tape loaded and the camera turned 'on', your application (Premiere) should 'recognize' it and let you 'REW' or 'ff' 'stop' 'play' or 'import' your video by controls presented on the screen....that is to suggest that your camera is in fact compatible and recognized by the application, but it is really quite rare to find one that is not - I mean really rare.

If your computer does not have a firwire (iLink - iEEE1394) port, than I would suggest that this is your problem. Unless your video is stored in compressed format on an SD card or something, I am pretty sure you will not be able to transfer it using usb.......other options, install a 1394 card into your PC or buy a new PC. There might be more options, hardware configuration is not my area of expertise.

If this post sits here for a while....perhaps a moderator can move it to the 'non-linear editing on a PC' thread where you might get some more knowedgable input.

Good luck.
-Jon
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Old September 18th, 2005, 01:12 PM   #3
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if you cant get premiere to capture it... you could always capture it with windows movie maker, then import it to premiere. If you do this, just be sure to have movie maker set to capture a dv-avi(720x480 25mbps)
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Old September 18th, 2005, 03:42 PM   #4
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Not a slight at all, but hit Chapters and pick up a copy of Digital Video For Dummies. It does a really good job of taking you through all the questions like this, and the dozens more you will encounter. Asking here is fine, but it's much faster if you have reference material on hand and to read ahead of time.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 07:11 PM   #5
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I went and purchased a firewire connection. I am now able to view the video as per the camcorder, but am not having much success editing and saving the video. For some reason, I thought it would be easier than this.

I'll do some more reading and then come back with questions. All I really want to do is capture a heap of video, come back to the computer add it in, edit it so that its a watchable show, then save it to dvd or cd for viewing by family. Also, make the odd show for emailing to friends. Sounds simple enough, but I am not finding it as easy.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr..............
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Old September 18th, 2005, 07:13 PM   #6
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Sorry, one other question before I leave. When I do get a peice of video into Premiere, which I have managed to so far, what format does it save it too? It looks as though there is only a premiere picture .ppj extension??? How is this viewable by those who don't have this softare? Or is it a viewable extention by most programs?
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Old September 19th, 2005, 06:29 AM   #7
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in response to your question 3. is Premiere 6.0 the wrong software for this?

It might be the wrong software for you but not the project. If you have windows xp you already have windows movie maker. This is an easy software for editing. It is great for getting a handle on basic editing. Just capture the video in it, play in the preview window, and split the footage up in the preview window. Then drag the parts you want onto the timeline. Now click on file and go to save movie file and it will walk you thru it. Just start with small amounts like under a minute.

When you have done this a few times you will have a basic understanding which will help you with all editing programs. This will get you up and running with the least amount of headache. Then move on to Premiere which is much less intuitive. I think this approach might be better for you at this time. Its how I started learning. I still use it for just sending friends quick point and shoot footage.
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Old September 19th, 2005, 07:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tomljenovic
Sorry, one other question before I leave. When I do get a peice of video into Premiere, which I have managed to so far, what format does it save it too? It looks as though there is only a premiere picture .ppj extension??? How is this viewable by those who don't have this softare? Or is it a viewable extention by most programs?
Editing in video applications like Premiere is generally "non-destructive." What that means is the various source audio and video files are stored intact in one or more folders. When you place them on the timeline and trim/edit/mix them what you're really creating is a set of instructions on what should be done with them in the final product. The file you're asking about, the project file with the extension ppj, is a record of those instructions along with references to the location of the source media and the type of output want to get among other things. This way you can use a shot repeatedly, even different parts of the same shot, at various places in the project or even in separate project's. When you have completed the editing you "render" the project, which means that the software assembles an actual video/audio file(s) for output based on the instructions in the project file. As a still photographer, think of the captured audio/video clips as your negatives, the final rendered video file as a collage from the negatives put together on one big sheet of print paper in the darkroom, and the project files as your notes where you've recorded all the negative numbers and their locations on the final print, dodging and burning instructions, print exposure times for each negative, developing times, etc so you can make additional prints in the future.

Your ppj project files won't be readable in anything except Premiere because they're not really video files at all, just instructions to Premiere on how to make a video file when the time comes. Premiere saves the project info as a ppj file but when you render the project it will generate the output in your choice of video formats, usually an NTSC format avi or a windows wmv file or an mpg file or ... You can also "print" the rendered output file back to DV tape or to an analog vhs deck through an A/D converter or transfer it into a CD/DVD authoring program to burn to a video CD or DVD that can then be played on a regular TV with a DVD player.

BTW, Premiere 6 is rather dated. The current version is Premiere Pro 1.5 and there is also a simplified (and much less expensive) version called Premiere Elements which lacks some of the advanced bells and whistles needed by the pros but is still pretty capable and is a good foundation for moving on to the big guns if you need to later. Regadless of the tools you choose, the skill of the edit is in telling a coherent and interesting story visually.
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Old September 19th, 2005, 08:26 AM   #9
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Jerry,
A few PC things to note. It is best to save video files to a separate drive from the boot drive. Make sure the drive never fills up past about the 80% mark for best results too.
For Premiere capture under File>capture>movie capture. With the camera switched on in playback mode Premiere should display a box with device controls for play etc. Once at this screen it is possible to capture the whole tape or just pieces by setting in and out points and creating a batch capture( for when you get sophisticed!!!) Also on this screen box there is a settings tab which allows you to set where the captured file will be saved.
Once saved the file can be "imported" into the project and dragged to the timeline. You can now cut out pieces or put in effects etc. When finished you will now have the option to "File>export>export to tape" back to the camcorder or encode to MPEG2 for DVD or WMV etc for WEB viewing. Just as with still photos I keep the original tapes and make tapes or DVD's for viewing.
Making DVD's requires encoding to MPEG2 from the DV original and then "authoring" to create the correct files for a DVD ( and to make menus if you want) when that is done you will still need burning software like Nero to actually burn a DVD
Using all these seperate programs gives a lot of flexibility but you might find it easier at first to try one of the integrated programs from Ulead or Pinnacle that have everything needed in the one program.

Ron Evans
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Old September 21st, 2005, 06:45 PM   #10
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I am looking into upgrading my movie editing program. Is there a particular program out there that is powerful enough for the needs of most, yet simple enough to use? Adobe Premiere 1.5? Thoughts?
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Old September 24th, 2005, 12:16 AM   #11
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program

Jerry,

I am relatively new to the video editing game. I have used four different softwares.
I would not recomend pennicle as it seems to have some quirky bugs at inopportune times.
Windows movie maker will do just about anything you want for family stuff and is simple to use.

Premiere 1.5 will swamp you for sure!!

Adobe elements is very user friendly and more advanced than movie maker.

I recomend adobe elements for now.

I have adobe pro and elements. When I want to do a short quick project I always go to elements.

I have not used Ulead but have heard it is good.


gus
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Old September 24th, 2005, 11:21 AM   #12
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ha! oh great, i just purchased pinnacle off ebay. good thin it wasn't overly priced. perhaps i will look into elements then.
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