Vegas 4.0d editing tips w/ m2t transport streams at DVinfo.net

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What Happens in Vegas...
...stays in Vegas! This PC-based editing app is a safe bet with these tips.


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Old October 5th, 2003, 05:06 AM   #1
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A few tips on editing using Vegas 4.0d with m2t transport streams on a PC.

First off, I am totally new NLE software and the HD1 is my first DV camcorder. I am fairly PC savvy as I build PC’s as a part time side business and my full time job is writing Visual Basic Software for a major automotive parts supplier. I have seen a lot of information flying around this forum about using NLE software with this camera. I have tried to assemble all that I have know from using Vegas for a few days editing transport streams from this camera. Note I am far from an expert but this seems to work well for me.

My PC Equipment
  • Motherboard: Asus P4B800 Deluxe. Has Built in Raid controller, Firewire and 5.1 channel sound not the greatest sound card but it works.
  • Intel Pentium 4 3.0 Ghz/800 Mhz FSB w/ Hyper-Thread Technology
  • 2-512 Mb DDR 400 Ram modules totaling 1 Gb: Note using 2 modules allows you to use dual channel ram mode that will improve memory throughput.
  • (Sapphire) Radeon 9600 non-pro ATI video card with 128Mb Ram. Try to find one without a fan. If you do any voice over work in the same room as you edit you need a PC as quiet as possible.
  • 120 Mb Seagate SATA150 Hard Drive as a minimum. A striped raid set would be faster but this is what I use for now.
  • At least a 19” CRT Monitor running 1280X1024 resolution. The Bigger the better of course. Flat panels are ok but I prefer a CRT for video editing.
  • 400 Watt Power supply with a quiet fan. You will most likely be adding more hard drives to your system so you need a beefy power supply for them. You can find lots of hardware to make your PC as quiet as possible from quietpc.com. They are not the cheapest but they have a lot of tips and hardware on how to keep your PC from sounding like a hovercraft.
  • DVD writer. Assuming your going to down-res your movies to DVD’s

This is assuming you have installed all the software and drivers provide with the camera and you are able to edit with the very lame MPEG Studio Edit Pro.

The HD edit workflow:[list=1][*]Connect camera to your computers firewire port.
[*]Capture your clips with the HD Capture utility provided with the camera. Be sure to create a unique folder for the project your working on and download the files into that folder. The Capture program will default to a file naming convention as cap0001.mt2, cap0002.mt2 and so on. You can rename or move the clips now but if you change the location or rename the clips after you add the clips to the Media Pool in Vegas then all your reference will be broken and you will have big mess on your hands. I just leave as is because Vegas creates a thumbnail anyway in Media Pool and you can rename them in there.
[*]Start Sonic Foundry Vegas 4.0.
[*]If you have never use the Mainconcepts Decoder then you will need to register it by dragging an mp3 file into the timeline then fill out all registry field for the decoder like serial number and email address. You must have a legal registered copy of Vegas because during the registration process it must contact Sonic Foundry via the web to register the codex. There are other ways to register such as the telephone or email but HEY this is 2003 everyone is connected to the web. You only have to do this registration one time so it really not a bad as it sounds. Note: The demo version will not decode mpeg files.
[*]Close and Restart Vegas.
[*] Set the project Properties by selecting “File>Properties” from the menu.
[*]In the Project Properties Dialog box, select “HD 720-30p (1280x720, 29.970 fps)” In the Template drop box then click on OK.
[*]Select Media Pool tab on the lower left of the main window in Vegas.
[*]Open Windows Explorer but don’t maximize the window. Navigate to the files that you already downloaded with the capture utility. If you want to include all clips in the folder select all files by clicking on the first file then holding down the shift key and clicking on the last file. Or do the ctrl-click thing to select a group of files. Drag and drop the files from explorer to the Media Pool window on the lower left of Vegas. Note: All the files stay selected in Media Pool so if you don’t deselect them and you and drag them up to the timeline Vegas will try to put all files in the timeline. This will really bog down the system when you move 20 clips to the timeline at the same time. Be sure only one file is selected before you drag it into the timeline.
[*]Edit your little heart away. [/list=1]
I have seen a lot of information here telling users you must Demux the files before editing. I have not seen where this is necessary and I have imported over a hundred m2t files into Vegas without problems.

Note about performance: I am able to edit in real time, two HD video tracks for a picture in picture effect. In my little demo I used a 4 window picture in picture effects. This does drag the real time rendering down considerably but your finished render is fine. Simple dissolves are smooth as silk but more complex transitions are a bit jerky but again all is well in the final render. A faster disk sub system such as a striped raid set may improve this and I may install one in my system at a later date.

Uploading the edited file to the camera or JVC D-VHS Deck[list=1][*]Edit your clips.
[*]Do your final render in Vegas by selecting "File>Render As" from the menu.
[*]In the render dialog box select the folder for the final render.
[*]Enter the name for the final render in the File Name field.
[*]Select “MainConcept MPEG-2” in the Save as Type drop down.
[*]Select “HD 720-30p” in the Template drop down.
[*]Click on OK.
[*]The final render can take a great deal of time to perform. With my little 1 minute demo it took about 15 minutes to render to a MPG file.
[*]Check your final render with a MPG file viewer such as VideoLan or any other mpg viewers. I like WinDVD that came with my Asus Motherboard but other also work well.
[*]The camera and D-VHS Deck will only playback transport streams so your file must be converted to a transport stream prior to writing to D-VHS or the camera. Alex Raskin from this forum put me on to Womble-VCR that is able to convert the MPG from the final render in Vegas to a transport stream m2t file. Cost is $129 and there may be other free software out there, but this is the only one I know works and you can use it for 20 days free so why not try it.
[*]Install Womble-VCR.
[*]Open Womble-VCR an Icon is installed on the desktop.
[*]Select "Tools>MPEG Stream Converter" from the menu.
[*]In the input field select the final render file you created in Vegas.
[*]After you select the file MPEG Elementary Steams Input List box should contain 2 entries. Click the “Add All” button.
[*]Enter the file and path in the output field.
[*]In the MPEG Format group select MPEG-2 Transport stream.
[*]Click on convert.
[*]Upload your file to the camera or D-VHS deck with the utility that came with the camera.[/list=1]

I do not consider this a replacement for the Cineform product. I have not used their tool and I am assuming it performs better than this process but I wanted decent NLE capability without spending $1800 on software. If you make your living with this stuff, AspectHD is probably the way to go but for cutting home movies and shorts this seems like a decent alternative and the fact that Sony bought Vegas tells me they think the software has great potential.

Some have suggested converting all the files to AVI's and editing them. HD AVI are HUGE and it just adds another conversion step to the process. It may be faster editing realtime with an AVI but I have not tried it so I have no comments on this method at this time.

I am obviously not a technical author so these instructions are probably full of holes if anyone finds a mistake let me know and I will correct it.

I would also like to thank everyone that contributed to this thread and helped me get started editing.


Mike
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Old October 5th, 2003, 05:10 PM   #2
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Mike, great guide!

I appreciate your reference, but in all fairness, an idea to use Womble to convert PS/ES mpg into TS m2t file is not mine but Steve Mullen's.

As of this writing, it is not clear whether Womble can accept *multi-channel* sound-encoded mpgs (like if you have a 5.1 Dolby movie, for instance). My experiments with Premiere Pro's surround sound mpg output did fail in Womble, while *stereo* sound mpgs were supported just fine.

Also question of AVIs: you will never be able to stay in NLE only. In many cases, you'll have to shuffle your video between your NLE and Adobe AfterEffects (with all its plug-ins). This obviously is not possible with TS m2t files at this time, as AE does not support them.

MPEG2 in general is not a format to edit video in. Rather, it's a good content delivery format due to its low artifacts. And MPEG2's good compression=low file size.

So I'd say, if Vegas is not your only video processing software, then you probably still want to demux TS m2t files into AVIs before editing.

Mike is doing a great job of experimenting with the bleeding edge technology and logging his experience for the benefit of all of us.

We owe him a big Thank you for his ongoing efforts, and his time and good will investment!
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Old October 5th, 2003, 09:24 PM   #3
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Mike -- what speed P4?

Looks like you have a great low-cost solution!

With Vegas you may never need to go to AE.

It seems the only missing function in Vegas is that the MC encoder will not generate TS files.

Does MC offer any kind of upgrade?
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Old October 5th, 2003, 10:03 PM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Steve Mullen : Mike -- what speed P4?

Looks like you have a great low-cost solution!

With Vegas you may never need to go to AE.

It seems the only missing function in Vegas is that the MC encoder will not generate TS files.

Does MC offer any kind of upgrade? -->>>

Steve,
My NLE machine is a 3.0 Ghz. I don't know how I missed that. :). Yea the missing link is the Program Stream to TS Stream generation. I would think with Sony buying Sonic Foundry this could change soon but will have to see.

Mike
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Old October 5th, 2003, 10:22 PM   #5
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Hi Mike,

I follow your guide. After I get the final m2t file after editing, I try to send the m2t file back to d-vhs. During the transfer, I can see the video in my HDTV, but when I play back the clip by d-vhs, there is only a white screen.

Do you have this experience?

Fred
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Old October 5th, 2003, 10:28 PM   #6
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Peter, are you sure you are actually transferring the TS file?

There are 2 buttons in the HD utility that let you see the file - one actually Records it onto the device (D-VHS recorder), the other only Previews it.

Maybe you are just Previewing it, thus no recorded video on your box.

Both modes produce the same output on the control monitor connected to the D-VHS box's outputs, including Component.
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Old October 5th, 2003, 10:30 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Peter Robert : Hi Mike,

I follow your guide. After I get the final m2t file after editing, I try to send the m2t file back to d-vhs. During the transfer, I can see the video in my HDTV, but when I play back the clip by d-vhs, there is only a white screen.

Do you have this experience?

Fred -->>>

Fred,
No I don't. I don't actually have a DVHS deck the only thing I transferred to was the camera. I am glad that someone tried it. I just assumed it would work because this is the method JVC suggests and it work fine back to the camera. I will check a few things and get back to you.

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Old October 5th, 2003, 11:04 PM   #8
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main concept codec is that good?

only one question and your solution will work really fine...

The Main Concept codec works with a lower data-rate than the original M2T file.

when the original captured file has 50mb, the same file encoded as a mainconcept mpg from the vegas has 28mb or something...

so, is this file worst by resolution than the original ones?

if yes, it isnt a good thing if you had to have all your work with a lower bitrate than the possible...

ciao
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Old October 5th, 2003, 11:38 PM   #9
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Re: main concept codec is that good?

<<<-- Originally posted by Daniel Moloko : only one question and your solution will work really fine...

The Main Concept codec works with a lower data-rate than the original M2T file.

when the original captured file has 50mb, the same file encoded as a mainconcept mpg from the vegas has 28mb or something...

so, is this file worst by resolution than the original ones?

if yes, it isnt a good thing if you had to have all your work with a lower bitrate than the possible...

ciao -->>>

Daniel,
I think I what your asking is can you mix previous rendered clips with native m2t clips. After checking because I didn't know myself the answer is YES. You can even intermix SD avi files. They come in 4:3 cropped of course but they do work. I did notice some combing effect in the real-time render but in the final render the effect is gone. In starting a new project to answer your question I did notice a step I left out on setting the default properties for your project. I will edit the original post accordingly so if you printed it out you may want to reprint it.

Edit:
After playing around a little more I realized what your asking and I think what I update in the original post should work. I went one step further for my little test. I set the project properties to 1080i 60 fps and was able to add a “Lord of the Rings” HiPix ts capture file into the timeline. The audio did not come across because its encoded with DD but the video came across fine, it was bit slow though. I then drop the PaulMogg_couple clip into the timeline then transition them together and they rendered fine. Thanks for the sanity check on leaving out the project properties instruction.

Mike
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Old October 6th, 2003, 03:50 AM   #10
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Like Mike said, decompressed m2t files are huge. The ones I've done with Vegas end up being around 435 GB per hour of footage. So, I'm wondering, if I would only be working in Vegas and no other programs (e.g. After Effects) what would be the problem in not decompressing? I've heard you can't get frame accurate editing, but apparently Mike didn't notice any problems.
Has anyone actually had any problem editing the raw m2t?
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Old October 6th, 2003, 08:09 PM   #11
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Yesterday, I talked about the failure to send the edited m2t file to d-vhs. I also try to send the edited clip that is encoded by Mainconcept to HD1. During the transfer, the following message appeared in the screen of HD1 : Can't decode the video and audio. Of course, after the transfer, there is nothing in the tape.

I follow the guide given here.

Do you have any special settings in the Mainconcept?

In AVS Forum, someone told me this failure due to Womble. It needs more expensive multiplexer, such as Manzanita or MPEGCarver Premium to do the job. In Vegas forum, a member said that he suceeded in editting and transferring the clip back to HD1 by Vegas 4.0c and MPEGCarver Premium.
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Old October 6th, 2003, 08:49 PM   #12
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I've spent months trying to get back to D-VHS. Bottom line -- using DVHSCap:

Everything captured from D-VHS goes back. Everything from HD10 goes back. Everything from Womble will go to the VCR and be decoded to HD video. It will also record. But playback is seriously flawed.

I too assumed it was Womble. Then I tried an HD10 and everything worked fine.

Contrast this with the Heuris encoder. Everything it encodes goes to D-VHS. Nothing it encodes will record on the HD10.

In my experience there are real differences between the two JVC products. And, the only two companies that can record to both are CineForm and KDDI. But even CineForm issued a post-release patch to make D-VHS work for long recordings.

I suspect it is going to take a real engineer to look at "timestamps" etc and solve this. I was happy to record to the HD10. I gave up on D-VHS.
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Old October 7th, 2003, 09:40 AM   #13
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D-VHS ?

I personal don’t think there is much future in D-VHS but then again I thought Beta-max was the way to go. (Oops, now you know how old I am) The format itself seems bulky, complex and antiquated to most consumers. Combine all this with the unreliability of tape transports on many of the JVC 3K decks and this could spell disaster for the format. The unreliably is proven by the number of refurbished units on the market. I have heard stories of $30 D-theater tapes being eaten by their JVC decks, have you ever had a DVD player eat a disk? Blue laser maybe, but costs have to be reduced significantly before it reaches the main stream. My money is on WMP once I saw what it could do with the T2 Extreme package I was sold, although the licensing issue was a total joke. Like most people don't like the idea of M$ controlling even more of my life but the technology does seem to work very well. Combine this with the proven reliable of the mechanical format and the fact that M$ is not gouging for the encoder makes it a very attractive package. With this press release I don’t think STB are very far off. All of you are right if you do have to distribute it now, then your only choice is D-VHS but IMO its days are numbered.

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Old October 31st, 2003, 01:36 PM   #14
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Mike, is this Vegas+DVD or just Vegas 4.0d?
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Old November 1st, 2003, 12:28 AM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Alex Raskin : Mike, is this Vegas+DVD or just Vegas 4.0d? -->>>

I have Vega+ DVD but I have not used the DVD module. So I guess you would say its just Vegas 4d.


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