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Thread: complete beginner at video editing

  1. #1

    Default complete beginner at video editing

    I am a complete novice when it comes to video editing and have read the reviews for most of the well known video editing programmes but have no idea how to go about choosing one that would suit a novice. I have a project which spans 5 years - creating a garden from a wilderness. I succeeded in getting it all onto mini DVs (from old VHS tapes) and using a Adobe Premiere (that a friend no longer needed) got some of it onto my external hard drive. However, I find it extremely complicated and wondered if Sony Vegas would be easier to use. Are there good online tutorials available? I have a new laptop with huge hard drive and fast processor so speed and space will not be a problem no matter what programme I eventually choose. I would appreciate advice from anyone else who has just started or from those of you who are now experts and can remember back to when you started out. Thank you in advance. Pegmac

  2. #2
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    If you really want to try something easy, try Windows Movie Maker. It's simple to use and will burn your finished project to DVD.

    Can't vouch for the finished product though. I haven't used it in years.

  3. #3

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    I did a lot of reasearch before buying Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9, and it appeared that the best programs for a novice while still being powerful are Movie Studio 9 and Cyberlink PowerDirector 7. As mentioned in another thread, you need newer hardware for PowerDirector, though (i.e. an nVidia card with CUDA, so 8xxx or newer).

    There is a learning curve with Movie Studio, as with anything new, but Sony has tutorial videos on their site which are actually very good, as well as text tutorials built in to the software that run with your actual project, so you are using a real example while learning. Sony even has forums on their own site, too.

    My personal opinion would be to download the free trials of both Movie Studio 9 (not Vegas Pro) and PowerDirector 7 and try them for yourself. They are fully functional (I believe) for 30 days, so you can still use the tutorials and such in the trial versions.

    The fact that you are even asking on this forum makes me think you have already outgrown Windows Movie Maker, but I am not a fan of that application to start with.

  4. #4

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    Have a look in Youtube and type in Sony Vegas Tutorials, there are plenty of them and both programs (movie Studio + Pro) work the same...

    there is also the SHOW ME HOW in both programs to get you going

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  6. #6
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    Something you have to remember is that not all codecs in software are created equal. That is, not all mpg2 codecs output the same quality. For example Divx and Xvid are both mg4 codecs, but benchmark tests consistently show that Xvid has the better output.

    You have to research your software based on output quality too. I have read that Power Director's mpg2 codec leaves something to be desired. You may want to skip that one.

    Personally, I use Sony vegas 8.0.

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    I agree about codecs - I recently tried the main concept DV codec - I found it suprisingly awful and incredibly slow compared to th panasonic DV codec I favour.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flickson View Post
    If you really want to try something easy, try Windows Movie Maker. It's simple to use and will burn your finished project to DVD.

    Can't vouch for the finished product though. I haven't used it in years.
    Thank you very much to all who took the time to reply. WELL, I DID IT - I PRODUCED A SHORT EDITED VIDEO, SET IT TO MUSIC AND BURNED IT TO A DVD. I am so pleased with myself as I have struggled with it for so long. My problem was that I started with a difficult programme - Adobe Premiere- and a difficult project. So, I took some of the advice I was given and started again with Windows Movie Maker and a short hour long analogue video I took in 1995 of a flitting to a lighthouse by ferry. I found Movie Maker so much easier to use as it is such a simple programme (suits my brain) and within a couple of evenings had a fairly presentable piece of film complete with transitions. I then set about including music from a CD of a local band. As the band leader is well known to me, obtaining permission was no problem. Also the music is local to my area so was able to use tunes in relation to where the action was at a given time. I was able to fade one tune out and the next one in. I then discovered that the first audio track is the sound that accompanies the original film so was able to modify it accordingly - turning the volume up or down as required. Then came the burning to DVD. Would it burn successfully? Would it play in my DVD Player? Would I be able to see it on the TV screen? Such excitement? I was afraid to continue incase it didn't work. But it did and I am so pleased with it. I showed it to one of the people in the original film and he was so pleased with it he ordered 3 for his family. I did not understand the part about menus at the beginning so they are not done correctly but if you press 'play' twice it bypasses them and plays. I need to brush up on how to do menus correctly.
    This little video has taken the mystery out of editing for me and I now feel I am ready to move forward to a slightly more complex, but not complicated, programme and like the sound of Sony Vegas so will take another piece of advice given and download a free trial.
    I will keep you posted. Thank you all so much. Peg.

  9. #9
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    You know what's really nice? it's when people come back and tell you how they made out!

    Despite what everyone say's, Windows Movie Maker is a good app for people starting out in video editing. It's simple and user friendly - and it's free with windows. i started out with Movie Maker, got a little more advanced , then tried others and finally landed on vegas.

    Thanks PegMac for posting your results!! People like you are worth giving advice to!!
    Last edited by Flickson; 01-25-2009 at 02:48 AM.

  10. #10

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    It is nice when they come back and take the time to explain how it all worried and if it went well. There are to many one post askers who just want to know the answer NOW and then never bother to give any feedback or even help others.

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