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Thread: What video editing software would help with these tasks?

  1. #1

    Default What video editing software would help with these tasks?

    I need to take a long image with an aspect ratio of, say, 1:50, and turn it into a video that pans slowly across it from left to right. My intention is to produce video suitable for Youtube, perhaps 10 minutes long.

    I have a sound track that I need to match precisely with the panning (i.e. it finishes exactly when the panning reaches the end).

    I need to add a "cursor", which would be something like a vertical line sitting right in the middle of each frame.

    At times I might need to halt the panning of the image, and move the cursor at the same rate instead.

    I need to add text labels that move with the panning, although it might be simpler if I just add these directly to the image.

    Optionally, I might want to be able to zoom into the image in places, or magnify a portion of the image, with its own cursor (which will be moving faster because of the magnification).

    Can anyone recommend software that can do these operations, preferably free, or a least with a free trial so I can make sure it'll work for me? I know almost nothing about video editing, and if there are technical terms for the processes I've described above, I'd appreciate knowing them so I can google them more efficiently. I'd prefer Windows software, but Linux is an option if I can't find anything for Windows.

    If anyone's curious about the project, I'm trying to produce animated, annotated audio spectrograms. The general method of creating these is to use screen capture software with an audio program like Audacity, etc.

    Here's a sample someone has placed on Youtube: Zebra Finch Song - YouTube. In that example, the cursor is moving rather than the spectrogram, and it's only one "page". Note that the cursor is very jumpy. This is the downfall of this method - it seems difficult to guarantee a smoothly moving display, and it gets worse when you have to deal with scrolling to the next page.

    I'm wondering if video software if really what I need, and whether I should be trying to generate all the frames using ImageMagik instead.

  2. #2
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    There is one, 123VideoMagic that was referred to me by one of my photographer friends. However my problem was already solved so never needed to give it a try. Check once if it might be of your use.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by williamsteffe View Post
    There is one, 123VideoMagic that was referred to me by one of my photographer friends. However my problem was already solved so never needed to give it a try. Check once if it might be of your use.
    Thanks for that, I'll investigate it. A quick look shows it to be heavily oriented to "green screen" operations. I suppose that could be used to add the cursor, but can it do the rest? It's not a program I would have bothered to investigate, going by their description.

    I'm now wondering if AviSynth is the right tool. I Know it's all batch operated, but can anyone confirm if I can use that to pan across an image, add a vertical line down the middle, add the audio?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by pshute View Post
    I'm now wondering if AviSynth is the right tool. I Know it's all batch operated, but can anyone confirm if I can use that to pan across an image, add a vertical line down the middle, add the audio?
    I've almost managed to do what I want with a suprisingly simple AviSynth script using the zoom external filter to do the panning, and cropping with the internal crop filter. I even generated a cursor track and overlaid it.

    But I'm seeing odd results from the output. If I play it directly with Media Player, the audio gets way ahead of the video very quickly, with the video moving perhaps 1/5 of the speed it should. If I manually change the play position, it starts off in synch again, but then immediately drifts out of synch again.

    Is this normal? I'm assuming that the heavy video processing to pan and crop means the computer can't serve frames as fast as it can serve audio.

    I then tried VirtualDub to play the script. This keeps the video and audio in synch by halting the audio till the video catches up, so I'm assuming now that I've correctly matched the audio and video and just need a way to play them.

    I figure that if I can output the rendered video to a file then I can just play it and it'll work. I've actually go no idea how to do that and can't see how to do it in the documentation.

    I tried VirtualDub's "save as AVI" command, but it only created a 10KB avi file that won't play. Can someone please explain this last step?

    I'd ask on the doom9 Avisynth forum, but I can't post there for 5 days after registering, and I've still got 4 days to go.

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