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The best video format for editing and methods used to convert?

MrBThatsMe's picture
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2008 - 8:30pm

I'm new to video editing and I have Sony Vegas and Adobe Premiere available for me to use. I had problems in Vegas when deleting parts of a video clip (the first few frames of the remaining video would freeze/stutter), and in Premiere I'm also having problems. I've tried finding information about the possible causes and have narrowed it down to the fact that the video I'm using is compressed avi (using xvid or divx codecs). Apparently using compressed video for editing causes a range of problems and the best thing to do is use DV or 'Lossless AVI' as the standard format.

Is this correct, and if so what methods/software should I use to convert my videos? I've tried using 'Super' to convert to avi using 'DV Digital Video' as the codec but the available options were limited and as a result the aspect ratio was severely modified.

Thanks for any help you can give me :)


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 6 months 3 days ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

Well, all video is compressed. You can record truly uncompressed video, but that would require a lot of hard drive space and a very fast RAID in post production. And recording uncompressed video is most likely not necessary for you.

I've never used Vegas (I use Final Cut), so I can't relate because I've never experienced your problem. The best I can tell you is if you record onto miniDV tapes, then in your editing program you should be capturing the footage with the DV/DVCPro NTSC codec. I'm not sure how Vegas is set up, but in FCP there is a set-up menu with a who list of codecs to choose from, and DV/DVCPro NTSC is in that list. If you are capturing 24p you need to use the 2:3 pulldown and set it up to capture progressively.

If you are shooting HD, then you need to set up for the proper codec, resolution and frame rate. For example, if you're shooting with the HDV codec, you will have to choose between HDV1080/60i, 1080/30p, 108024p, ect....


MrBThatsMe's picture
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 11/29/2008 - 8:30pm

Thanks for the reply

I'm not 'shooting' anything though. I'm using files that are already on my hard drive and have been compressed using the xvid codec.

Since posting here, i've managed to use Super to convert the video into lossless avi using the huffyuv codec and this seems to be working ok. Trouble is, for a clip that is less than 2mins long the file size is 1GB :s Is this normal? Are there any codecs that will produce smaller file sizes? I downloaded and installed a panasonic DV codec as it was reported to produce much smaller file sizes, but it's not available from the codec list in Super :(


Coreece's picture
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 08/08/2007 - 7:56pm

You should convert the xvid AVI files to an AVI using the native format of the program you're using. Typicaly on a PCrunningpremiere the native format is microsoft DV AVI.

This will give you a file that will play smoothly without having to be rendered and it will have a size of about 1GB per 5 mins.

I use a program called canopus procoder, but it runs about $500.

I would guess that the "DV digital video" codec in Super should've worked but it sounds like you can't set the pixel aspect ratio which is causing the distorion.

Another option would be to import the xvid avi into a premiere timline and export a movie. This should automagically convert your file to the correct format. Even if it doesn't play right on the timeline, the final export should play back just fine.

Make sure your your compression settings are set to Microsoft DV AVI

If you'revideo is widescreen than you'll obviously have to set the aspect ratio to 16:9 and the pixel aspect ratio to 1.20.

If you're video is fullscreen than it'll have to be 4:3 with a pixel aspect ratio of 0.9.

These settings should be the default but you may have to tweak them a little.

Good luck!


BarefootMedia's picture
Last seen: 7 years 6 months ago
Joined: 01/13/2007 - 8:13pm

You're right, lossless or uncompressed AVI files are huge. If you are starting with xvidcompressed files, I'd recommend going to MPG2 as your source for editing. It is far less compressed than xvid and works great for editing in Vegas. Then if you want an AVI file, you can select that when rendering your program in Vegas. But just use the standard "NTSC DV" format, you will have minimal compression (intra-frame compression) and the resulting files will be the typical 5 min. per GB of file. But I don't see that you'd get any advantage out of upconverting the compressed video. Just keeping it in MPG2 will maintain the quality of the files you started with. And MPG2 is becoming the defacto standard of video compression so it is generally easier to find programs to convert other video formats into it. If you have problems using Super, I have found & tested several free video format conversion programs on C-net's download.com that could do a good job.

So good luck and if the problems continue, just give us an update on the issues and I'm confident a solution can be found.


jerronsmith's picture
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 06/04/2008 - 1:24am
Plus Member Moderator

>>you're right, lossless or uncompressed AVI files are huge. If you are starting with xvidcompressed files, I'd recommend going to MPG2 as your source for editing.<<

But not if you are going to stay in Premiere Pro. The preferred format for working in Premiere Pro is either AVI or MOV files using NTSC DV compression.

@Barefoot Media

>>And MPG2 is becoming the defacto standard of video compression so it is generally easier to find programs to convert other video formats into it.<<

Can you elaborate on that a bit. I was under the impression that MPEG-2 was becoming less and less viable outside of DVDs.

Jerron Smith Editor-Animator-Educator blog: www.thepixelsmith.blogspot.com


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

Also, don't rule out AVCHD - Yes, it's highly compressed but I use it fine on my core 2 duo laptop with Vegas Pro 8.

There is also a program from VASST and New Blue FX (called Upshift I believe) that will convert the MTS files to lightly compressed MPG2 specifically for editing on boxes that can't handle the compressions of AVCHD.

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


chuckengels's picture
Last seen: 6 years 7 months ago
Joined: 12/19/2007 - 9:39pm

Converting to Microsoft DV will be better and a bit smaller, DV-AVI files. Those will work fine in Premiere Elements. The biggest problem is that the Xvid files you are wanting to edit are so highly compressed that it won't take much to seriously effect quality. You really don't want to edit those files directly anyway and good luck trying to find a good editor for Xvid files anyway. You will lose some quality just in the conversion alone.

AVCHD is becoming a format that is being forced on consumers, not realizing that it takes a super computer to edit them. The average consumer with a dual core or core two duo processor and 1 or 2 gb of RAM will be very dissappointed with the speed of editing these files. They are highly compressed and really not as good as the M2t files you get from a HDV Tape camcorder like the Canon HV20 or HV30. Hard Disk camcorders are popular and the owners don't really have a choice, but I would think twice before getting one of them it I ever planned on doing any editing :)

Everything you wanted to know about Premiere Elements
http://muvipix.com
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chrisColorado's picture
Last seen: 1 week 1 day ago
Joined: 04/03/2008 - 10:48pm

A Good converter for Xvid files is Avidemux. This program is a free download from the internet and I'm pretty sure it works on any platform, Windows, Mac or Linux. It's under GNU GPL license, so you can use it for Commercial purposes.

You might even be able to import DivX files, but I don't think you can export. For DivX, VirtualDub, another free thingwill help you to convert to MPEG or something else.


JhonBong's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 week ago
Joined: 03/26/2013 - 7:54pm

The best format for editing in Premiere is MPEG-2 or WMV. To get the work done, you can try using brorsoft video converter for Mac, which can help you change AVI into a different format (e.g. .mov, .wmv, .mpg) with least quality loss. 

 

Brorsoft imported all my avi files and gave me perfect .wmv files to work with. Besides AVI, this  video converter app can also help you convert camcorder videos like AVCHD, MOV, MXF, MP4 etc to an editable format for FCP, FCE, iMovie, Avid MC and more for smooth editing. What’s more, it’s combined with powerful editing features like cropping, trimming, adding watermark… to meet your needs.

 

For encoding avi for premiere, you can refer to a guide here:

 

Converting AVI files with best results when using Adobe Premiere