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Thread: Where is my problem? Most likely?

  1. #1
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    Question Where is my problem? Most likely?

    A friend videoed our wedding, and after editing I am disappointed with the quality.

    He did an excellent job of videoing. Gave me some good footage to work with.

    He hired a camera, I am not sure of the format, but it wasn't a straight out DV, there was something unusual about it - something like DAT or whatever.

    He had the shop download the video onto a DVD for me to edit. (after moving a couple of times I am having trouble laying my hands on it - thought it is packed away somewhere)

    I downloaded a program from the net to convert the file into something that I could edit. I am not sure of the program now, but I have downloaded 'imtoo DVD ripper' and 'movie DVD maker'. I think I used the imtoo program and converted it into a wmv format.

    I edited it with video expression 2, a free program I got with another application.

    It looked fine while I was editing, but when I enlarge the media player window it loses some quality.

    I burned it to a CD using Nero. and when I watch it on TV the quality is fairly bad (pixelated)

    I would have thought that I would have got a much better image than this.

    Any ideas where my degradation happened (OK it might have happened at every step)

    Where am I most likely to have lost the most quality?

    1) In the download to DVD
    2) In the conversion to wmv
    3) Using the editing program
    4) Burning the CD

    or may there be something else.

    The computer is Aopen, running windows XP,

    I need to redo the video, but where should I start (and what order) in improving the quality.

    Thanks in advance.

    Jon

  2. #2
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    1, 2 and 4.

    The 'shop' would have to have compressed the video to get it onto a DVD. There'd a big loss there already.

    Converting a lossy format to a different compressed (lossy format) wmv would lose more.

    Cutting a CD would lose even more. Why a CD anyways? Why not a DVD. Much better quality.

    The trick with video edittign is to always use raw uncompressed footage and only downconvert at the end stage, i.e. when exporting for DVD production.

  3. #3
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    Hey Alan

    Thanks for the quick and informative answer.

    So if I can get the raw material downloaded onto my PC that is the best solution. T/F/Other

    As much as I love playing with video editing, I don't have a lot of time for it, so I don't really want to pay too much for software.

    What video formats can I edit in software programs?

    Or perhaps a better question might be;

    What formats would you recommend for retaining quality (HD space is not really an issue), and what am I looking for in the way of software to edit this/these formats (price may be a governing factor here).

    What programs are there to convert the to the necessary formats, and does the program itself have a bearing on the quality?

    To answer your question, I burnt to a CD because

    a) I don't know how much quality I'm losing here
    b) I don't have a DVD burner (and I don't know how to burn a DVD)
    c) I needed a quick copy for some friends to view - the video editing was only about 90% complete, but we had some overseas visitors.

    When I saw the quality I didn't have the heart to finish the editing. I am figuring that I will need to do it again (the hard work of selecting scenes, arranging them, background sounds and music, etc. is already done), but if I can improve the quality I would be happier about the whole thing.

    1) Raw footage - not compressed to DVD is best? (If possible)
    2) What formats are good for retaining quality and editing in?
    3) What software is recommended for converting?
    4) What editing software would I need? Is my Video Expressions 2 good enough?

    I understand that there may be some fairly complex questions here. (or perhaps basic )

    I really appreciate your help.

    Jon

  4. #4
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    Can you get your hands on the original tape(s) as this would be the best place to start. It couldn't have been recorded onto DAT as that is Digital Audio Tape and would only record sound. The highest quality to start off with is an avi file which is transferred (captured) to the computers hard disk, it is then edited on the computer (yes you will have to spend time doing this - what with the long winter evenings coming in now, perhaps a wee project over the next month or two?) and when the editing is done you then burn it onto a DVD using mpeg. Adobe Premiere Elements 3, which is a video editor, costs around 70 or less and will do everything you need.

  5. #5
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    I really appreciate the clear replies you guys are giving here. Pretty refreshing for a forum! Thanks!

    I am not sure about the originals, I have emailed my friend and I am waiting for a reply. I don't think my chances are very good.

    I know that DAT is for sound, as I remember it, it sounded something like that. There was something unusual and said friend (Lets call him David) said that I wouldn't be able to edit the format so they had to download it to DVD. At least that's what I recall. Maybe a special play back unit/program was required for it. i don't really know/remember.

    I am trying to get hold of originals anyway. If not I will just have to work off the DVD I have. If this be the case I will probably ask a few questions specific to this problem.

    AVI file is what I would have if I downloaded directly from a DV to the PC?

    I am not entirely sure, but I think I had VOB files from the DVD.

    Do I need to purchase a program like Adobe premiere? I visited the Adobe website and it had a tag of US$799. Will my freebie program (video expressions 2) affect the quality of the picture? Sure it will have limited functions, but what about quality? or working with AVI?

    Appreciating this help a great deal.

    Jon

  6. #6

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    I'm going to throw a little spanner in the works, sorry, but it could save you from continuing and losing lots of quality again.

    The highest quality video is usually contained in an avi format, not neseccarily, but I wont go to deep into that.

    AVI, as with wmv, QT etc. is just a container to hold the information in, within that container the information is defined by the codec.

    You want to work with a DV codec held within an avi container. It's often called dv avi. The ideal would be to convert your original footage to dv avi, you may be able to do this in a free program called virtualdub mod. If you can't get hold of the original footage you will be able to convert your vob files using vdub mod. Mark put a tutorial on how to do this on the site.

    David.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GCZ View Post
    He hired a camera, there was something unusual about it - something like DAT or whatever.


    Jon


    Could it be that you misheard, it could have been that they said it was D8, that could have sounded like DAT, I know that may sound silly but you can latch on to something you have heard of rather than something you haven't heard of......sorry, just clutching at straws

    Alan
    Alan Hodkinson
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    Viking Video

    3.2 Ghz P4 800FSB CPU, 2Gb DDR400 PC3200 memory, 128Mb AGP ATI Radeon 9200 DDR Graphics, 40 Gb H/D, 250 Gb H/D, 1.5 Tb H/D, NEC ND-2510 dual layer DVD 8X, LG Gsa-4081B DVD, Creative soundblaster live, Windows XP SP1, Premiere Pro, Premiere Elements 2.

  8. #8
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    You really need to go back to the beginning here and recapture the original tapes in an uncompressed format (often as AVI fiuels as previously explained).

    Rememebr a few years ago if you took a picture and photocopied and thencopied that copy and did this a few times. After half a dozen copies you end up with a crap version. Well this is what you are effectively editting by working with compressed files. Each copy (or level of compression) deteriorates the clip so obvisouyl best to start with an untainted copy or you just might find you are whacking the proverbial deceased pony in this project...

    As to Premeir Pro costing a fortune. indeed it does (especially if you don't have the cash) but fear not... if this is a one off project then you can download the 30 day trial and use that

    No DVD burner. Get one. Cheap as chips nowadays. Pretty much state of the art DVD dual layer burners cost under 20 nowdays so no real excuses anymore.

  9. #9
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    Yes, DV avi is the preferred codec use version 2 rather than version 1 as version 2 gives less problems with NLE's. I wouldn't bet my lifes savings on Virtual Dub doing a good job on the conversion process and then you go and try and open it up in a NLE.

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