Need help with overall technique

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    • #44952

      I am a newbie to the forum. I have a panasonic dvd camcorder for which I have 30+ clips of our vacation I want to use premier elements for to complie them into a movie. I have been trying things for about 1 month now and have some questions. When I try to edit all 30+ clips into a movie premeier gets very slooooowwww. So I have been trying to break the clips into groups (say all the Florida clips) save them as a mpeg or avi or dvd or….. Then add all say all four group to a movie and burn to a dvd.
      The problem is this requires editing and saving each clip 3 time and the quality of the finished movie is not very good. 😕

      The fottage was captured using the VR format on the panasonic, maybe this was not a good idea 😕

      It is possible to create a project of multiple projects?

      I thought avi was a non-lossy format, but it seems that it is. Is there a non-lossy format I could use to save the groups?

      Can the codec that premier uses be changed, I also have Nero which produces better quality video, but the editing capabilties are not so good. Perhaps I could use the nero dvd.

      Any pointers would be greatly appreceiated.

    • #187583

      I think I’d be able to help you more if I could get the model number of your camera so I can look up it’s specifications.

      In the meantime….AVI is a very good format but it is not lossless. microsoft DV AVI (premier’s native format), and other types of AVI’s are compressed and their is always a loss when compressing video. However, the loss is more technical and really should not be visible to the eye. If the quality is so poor that you can easily notice the difference from the original video….something is wrong. This suggests that you are converting the video too many times between different formats.

      The best way to preserve the quality is to hook your camera up to the computer via firewire and capture the video through elements as the video plays back directly from your camera. (as I said before, I think it would be better if I had the model of your camera because I don’t even know if you have firewire. I need to know the specifications so I can give you the best specific answer.)

      When you capture via firewire through elements on a windows system, the program creates a microsoft DV AVI. This is the best format for premiere because it does not have to be rendered and plays back very smoothly. (depending on quality of computer)

      You could also copy the DVD video files which are typically VOB files to your hard drive. Elements and other editing software do not accept VOB files so you will have to use conversion software that will let you convert the VOB’s to AVI (microsoft DV AVI)

      A VOB is essentially an mpeg2 but it has some differences that are exclusive to DVD. When you convert a VOB or any format to another format such as AVI, there is always a loss of quality, but the loss is barely noticeable if you convert it only a couple times. Once you get your files to the AVI format, keep them in the AVI format until you are ready to output the final video to DVD. You can take all your AVI clips and convert them to an AVI movie multiple times without any loss. (just make sure your render settings are at maximum bit depth and that your output settings do not have the "recompress" box checked.

      Create a project with multiple projects

      You can make one project and when finished with that project, you can start a new project and import the older one…..But I found it is best to just make a "New Sequence" this will give you multiple timelines within one project. I use premiere pro, but I think this feature is in elements as well.

      I apologize if this reply is hard to follow, just give me your model number and I can give you step by step instructions on what to do and how to maintain the best quality. Elements is a great program and the quality of your video should not look as bad as you say. As I said earlier, usually this just means the video is being converted too many times or the quality settings are way off….Also elements should not be slow unless you have an old computer or are using non native formats in premiere eg. anything that isn’t microsoft DV AVI.

      Best Regards,


    • #187584

      Thanks so much for the reply.
      My Video camera is a Panasonic VDR-D300, I don think it has fire wire.

      I have been recording in VR format, that could be be the problem, I have not tried in video format yet.

      I had been using the software that came with the camera to read the dvd via USB from the camera. Then import the resulting MPEGS into Permier elements. After editng them and creating DVD the quality was pretty bad.

      Then tried converting the DVD to MPEGS using nero, the resulting DVD out of premier has much better quality.

      I was saving the clips at most 3 times, the inital conversion to mpeg, the edit and save of a clip, the assembly of all clips and then dvd creation.

      I am trying to figure out if I need to use the deinterlace feature in premier or not. I dont think the MPEGS are progressive, is there a way to tell? Should I just always use the deinterlace feature?

      I dont see an import->project under file, is there another way to access this feature?
      Could you elaborate on a new sequence?

    • #187585

      Actually, nesting sequences is a feature not available in Elements (nor can it work with more than one timeline per project). Only Premiere Pro has that ability (unfortunately).

    • #187586

      There’s actually many variables that could be causing the poor quality. I don’t know exactly what the camera software is doing. I have a feeling that somewhere along the line there is an unnecessary conversion taking place. (eg. if you are exporting a regular mpeg and than having premiere or nero or some other program burn a DVD with that mpeg, it is very probable that the software is converting that mpeg into another mpeg that is DVD compliant(VOB); which will cause additional and unnecessary loss.)

      There also may be a problem with the encode settings being too low…I just can’t tell, so instead of just posting a whole page of speculations, I’m just going to tell you what I did when a customer gave me their DVD camera files to edit. (The finished project had no noticibale quality loss whatsoever…I was a little suprised because I did expect a little loss.)

      1. I had no DVD camcorder so I placed the DVD into my computer and copied the video files to a folder on my computer’s Hard Drive. (there may be different types of files. I’m assuming that the video files will have the .VOB extension like the files I had, but I’m not sure. They may just have the .mpg extension. In either case, the video files will have an extremely larger file size than the rest of the files.

      2. Since the files I had were VOB, I could not import them into premiere. I had to convert them. I used a program called Canopus Procoder. I loaded the files into the program and converted them to Microsoft DV AVI – not just any type of AVI. (Before you buy conversion software or search for free software, try to import the files into Elements. If you can, than great! You can just use premiere as the converter. Once the files are imported, I would place one file at a time on the timeline, and than export the clip by going to File>Export>Movie. In the settings, make sure the "recompress" box is not checked. Also, you should find the render settings and make sure it is set to maximum bit depth. I apologize if these settings are not available in Elements. If not…don’t worry its no big deal, they probably just set it as default. Save the file to another folder called "converted" or something like that.

      If premiere doesn’t let you import the video files than the only way this will work is if you have conversion software. Procoder is $500 dollars but there are other programs that cost around $30 or even free. Whatever you get, just make sure it can convert your files (VOB or Mpeg) to Microsoft DV AVI…very important.

      3. I than imported the newly converted AVI files into premiere. (I would suggest you start a completely new project and then import your newly converted AVI files.

      4. I edited my AVI files and than burned a DVD directly from the timeline. You can also export another AVI without any quality loss. You can than import that AVI into another project and burn your DVD from that timeline. The type of exporting you should be doing is either File>Export>Movie or File>Export>DVD. Do not create your own mpeg and than have that mpeg coverted to DVD.

      You might be saying.."this is similar to what I’ve already been doing" But doing it this way will ensure that the camera software is not making additional or substandard conversions.

      I have a feeling this still may be a bit confusing and I apologize that I can’t give you a better answer. I wanted to research your camcorder a little more, but I’m a little swamped and the information I wanted is not readily available online. I do not have a camera similar to this one, so I can’t troubleshoot. I don’t even know any video buddies that use a dvd camcorder.

      I do know that your camcorder doesn’t have firewire so DV capture on the fly is not possible. If you want to skip the information I’ve posted and just get it over with, you can buy an "analog to digital converter" This will allow you to plug your camera into the converter via the S-video and audio ports on your camera. You than plug the firewire port on the converter to your computer’s firewire port (if your computer has one X-D …it never ends does it…you always need something you don’t have.) Once you have everything plugged in, you can just capture the video in Elements as it plays back from the camera. converter prices vary from $30 – 100’s and if your computer needs firewire ports, you can get these for $15 – $150.

      This last option is a little funny, but if you have access to a regular old digital camcorder, you can plug your DVD camcorder into it and hook that camcorder to the computer via firewire. Your DVD camcorder’s video will run through the old digital camcorder right into the computer. It’s a little ridiculous but some of those old camcorders are cheaper than buying an analog to digital converter. You’re starting to get an idea of how important firewire is to us video guys.

      I understand this is alot of info, so if you still need help, my business phone should be fixed either tomorrow or thursday and you can give me a call. It might be a little easier and more practical than writing a book in a forum. 😀 just let me know if you need the number.

      Best Regards,


      Also, if it gives you the option…make sure your DVD encode settings are something like 7mb 1 pass CBR. Anything lower than 7mb will cause more loss.

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