cny_chris
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Saturday, March 20, 2004 7:33:24 AM
I know that there are a bunch of folks here that edit digital video for either personal use or to post on the web. I have begun to tinker with video, and am looking for some advice and input from those who are familiar with some of the various software packages out there for this purpose. I am looking for a program that is easy to use, but isn't short on the features, and isn't going to cost an arm and a leg to get.

At a minimum, I am looking for a program that will allow me to:

1) Edit and compress .avi raw video
2) Add audio tracks from various sources and of various file types (including from CD's)
3) Edit and compose slideshows with various timing and fade options, with option to add audio tracks
4) Edit .avi raw video and slideshows together into a composite video
5) Add titles and other text to video
6) Expand into editing footage from a digital video camera at a future time
7) Save the finished product in various formats

I am currently running Windows XP on a Pentium 4, 2.4 GHz, with 256 MB RAM, so I should be able to run most things that are out there.

What have you found to be good programs, bad programs, easy to use, hard to use, etc...........

Thank you in advance![:D]

Chris
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." - Lao-Tsu

"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King Jr.

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy
Carnie_Joe930
Saturday, March 20, 2004 8:33:37 AM
Hey cny_chris, check out CyberLink's Medi@Show. It's pretty easy to use and it does just about everything you want. I've used it to edit some videos and add text, images, and sound. They came out real nice.
http://www.gocyberlink.c...oduct_main.jsp?ProdId=30 
rdcolles
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RideMan
Saturday, March 20, 2004 12:45:51 PM
I use Avid Xpress DV to do my video editing, but that package retails for an excessive number of $$$. That said, every video editing package out there either copied from Avid, or didn't, and the ones that didn't tend to be pretty difficult to use.

It just so happens that Avid has released a DV-only limited version of their editing software. It's somewhat crippled, but you can't beat the price: $0.00.

http://www.avid.com/freedv 

I don't know about importing AVI files, but it can export QuickTime movies, and can probably import QuickTime as well.

It can be a bit overwhelming to jump into the Avid interface, but once you work with it a while, it's really an efficient way to work.

Any editing package you use ought to work with DV-25 video directly instead of recompressing it. Be aware that DV-25 is 25 Mbits/second, or 4m:59s per gigabyte of hard drive space.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Pinetar
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Saturday, March 20, 2004 3:39:00 PM
Preimer, about $600, check www.bhphotovideo.com , big in NYC, I was there, fabulous layout/operation, big on the web. They advertise everywhere.

Is your camera analog or digital? I have only used firewire with a dv camera although I had used an s-video cam. with a pc and a targa board 10 years ago.

There is a canopus xxx black box to convert analog to dig for about $270.. no experience with it but b&h recomended it for a variety of things.
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orphaned
Saturday, March 20, 2004 3:56:21 PM
From a professional standpoint, I have ordered from B&H on many, many occasions when I managed a TV Station and a couple of months ago when I ordered the new Canon Digital XLR Rebel....the only thing I can say about B&H from a negative standpoint is that most orders I've placed are always back ordered and it takes WEEKS to get it...it took me TWO months to get the camera after I ordered and the same with other video equipment. Software may be different, however since it can be stored on the shelf and take up very little room. But, I've learned that if you order from B&H you should ALWAYS ask them for a delivery date upfront. Call in your order...don't do it online...and ask the sales rep for a delivery date. Ask ahead if it is back ordered. They are NOTORIOUS for this. Otherwise, you can't hardly beat their pricing and if you don't mind waiting for your order then I'd reccommend them!
Pinetar
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Saturday, March 20, 2004 4:41:24 PM
Chris, where will you place your video, web, dvd's. You will need to compress for the web. Look at Cleaner 6, about $500 from Autodesk for compression, pc/mac.

Find a cheap used mac with osx, it has imovie, itunes in it already. Add quicktime pro for $30 and we will look for you on MTV. If you go mac, look at Final Cut Express-about $300, pro is $900 to $1000 and is what I use. It is amazing, I have not touched on all it can do.

For interactive applications, go to:www.totallyhip.com for LiveStage Pro, pc/mac, difficult, powerful,$450 if on sale, normally $850. It is good for wired sprites, active buttons, virtual tours. For the pros, what is similiar, Director from Macromedia.
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cny_chris
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Saturday, March 20, 2004 9:27:05 PM
Thanks guys for all the suggestions.

Pinetar, video will likely be for the web. At a future point, once the various format issues for DVD's are sorted out(+/-/etc.), that looks like a possible storage medium. (I found out big files are the norm in my experimenting today.)

Since I am only doing this for fun right now, the cost is a big issue. I'm sure that the more expensive packages do wonders, but they are something out of range for what I want to do.

I was playing around with some trial versions of shareware today and found that the programs I tried did only some of what I wanted, and I especially had problems with audio coming from a CD. The Medi@Show and Video Studio packages suggested, look like they might do what I want... will D/L the trial versions and check them out...

If anyone has any other suggestions, I'd appreciate it if you post them here. I am far from making a decision at this point, and would love to have some additional options.

Thanks again.

Chris
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." - Lao-Tsu

"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King Jr.

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy
Pinetar
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Saturday, March 20, 2004 11:31:07 PM
Upload your flics and post the link here so we can assist you.
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Pinetar
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Saturday, May 1, 2004 9:15:29 AM
I am currently dl Avid free to see what it is all about. Either way, you would still need QT Pro ($30), for further processing if you are going to use the QT format. Any progress Chris?
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RideMan
Saturday, May 1, 2004 12:30:53 PM
Do let us know what you think of it. I have been using the full version...well, ever since v1.0 came out for Windows NT...so it's difficult for me to be at all objective.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Pinetar
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Saturday, May 1, 2004 1:03:52 PM
Do you use QT with it, any special compression tools?
I know DVx is good but you need the full $100 lic. to use it on the web.

I'm going to open avid to see if my kids want to try it and also to simply evaluate the gui. I'm like you, I have Final Cut Pro since ver 1.0 and have no need to look further but I know Avid is good. I also have Pro Tools 6.0 from Avid/Digidesign for the Mac.

I need to play with GarageBand to create background sound tracks to get away from lic. situations.
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RideMan
Saturday, May 1, 2004 10:57:19 PM
Avid uses QT internally, so for exporting, it has available any QT codecs you have installed through it's "export>>as QuickTime movie" function. QuickTime 6 includes MPEG-4, which is a pretty good codec for high quality/low bitrate. You don't need QT Pro to use the QT codecs, but I have Pro because it was a cheap way to get some additional functionality. [8D] Back when it was still in beta, I downloaded the 3ivx codec (www.3ivx.com) but I haven't bought a license yet because quite frankly when I was ready to do so, they weren't ready to sell, and now I don't know which license I really need because they didn't have the terms posted on the site when last I visited. But legal issues aside, I've been really impressed with the 3ivx codec...and it's QuickTime-6 compatible...that is, you can encode with it, and QT-6 can play it back with the built-in MPEG-4 decoder.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
cny_chris
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Saturday, May 1, 2004 11:49:53 PM
In response to your question, Pinetar, I tried out some of the software that was recommended by folks here, and found Adobe Premiere Pro to be a workable possibility. Only problems I had was that it didn't like the particular .avi version that my camera spits out (had to convert to a .mpeg format to bring the video in) and I wound up with a black frame around the original raw video after importing it, effectively reducing the video size. Best end product was uncompressed, straight out of the program at 415 MB or so (for just under 2 minutes of video), but was able to get an OK version, with a relatively small picture in .mov (QT) format at around 9 MB. I may have to continue looking at the various programs to settle on one that meets 100% of my needs.

Still playing around with my trial video at present to obtain a better end product. Initial reviews of the work in progress have been positive, so I am pressing forward with a final tweaking. Will let everyone know when it is finalized, and post a link to it. (Video is from FSF of the Space Roller in action at night.)
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." - Lao-Tsu

"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King Jr.

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy
Pinetar
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Sunday, May 2, 2004 2:38:53 AM
Chris, what camera are you talking about, dig or analog video or digi still that shoots video also? It sounds like what you are using is the later. My nikon 990 still, would output qt movies, very easy to import to the computer and it was done except for compression. No editor necessary unless you care to use one or edit with qt pro.

I think having a digi vid. camera would simplify the importing format because it is universal, simply DV and it is up to you to determine the output format with your editor.

Dave, will you be making anymore videos available to us? I agree with 3ivx, good codec.
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