Process recommendations for newbie (+ batch conversion hlp)

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    • #39180

      Hi. With a first baby on the way I’ve taken the plunge into the world of digital video. I’m an avid digital still photographer and technophile so I’m pretty excited and have been doing my reasearch. I bought a Canon Elura 100 MiniDV camcorder as a start and am planning to use the following process to create/edit/manage my video content but wanted to open it up to suggestions from more experienced users before I get too deep into various software investments.

      1) Record on MiniDV tapes
      2) Capture to PC via firewire and WinDV
      3) Use Sony Vegas Movie Studio for editing (I’ve already played around with the 30 day trial and really like this package)
      4) Render using VMS into desired output format: either an MPEG2 file for use in DVD authoring or WMV9 for online distribution (chosen to maximize likelihood of compatibility for inlaws, etc..)
      5) Store a copy of the final project on a RAID file server
      6) Batch convert the original DV avi files into MPEG2 for archival in case I want to reuse the footage in a future project without recaturing and store on same RAID file server
      7) Store original DV tapes as backup

      What do you think?

      The item I have the biggest question about is #6. I’d like to store the captured files for future use but don’t think storing in DV format is practical due to size. I want a format that offers better compression than DV, is easy to import directly into VMS for future projects, yet is still fairly high quality. I also would like a way of batch converting the files WinDV generates so I don’t have to render every file in VMS. Is this something avisynth or another free product would be good for?

      Thanks in advance,

    • #169773

      "Hank" You beat me! πŸ™‚

      First of all congrats on the soon to be new family addition. You’re going to find out that getting a video camera and recording sections of your child’s life will be the BEST thing you ever did. TRUST ME! I did the same thing. Now I’m going to have to drag my camera to his high school graduation next weekend. :'(

      Regarding your #6 issue. NLE systems don’t really like to work with compressed (.mpeg) files. The problem you’ll end up having is when you edit other types of formated files into the mix on a timeline. Then when you’re all done and you render you just finished time line again, some weird things will start happening again.

      You are correct in that storing native AVI files is very space consuming. The are some options you could do. 1) Break up your AVI files into about 18 minutes segements and then just copy them to a DVD. It’s a lot of fooling around but it would work. 2) Get yourself a USB add-on monster hard drives and store them there. For $150.00 you can store a lot of footage. 3) You can do what I did and that was to just leave them on the MiniDV tapes. Of course you would have to take care of them and you would have to keep them labled but it would work. All 3 ideas would maintain the high quality video you are looking for.

      Regarding batch capturing: Usually that’s a function of the editing software being used. I use a high end program called Premier Pro by Abobe and I can batch capture with that. I think the program you are using might not have this feature. If you moved up to Sony’s Vegas (big brother) I’m pretty sure you can do it in there.

      Good luck!


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