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Thread: HD editing advice

  1. #1

    Default HD editing advice

    Hi there

    Im looking for some advice on editing HD footage please. Please consider me a complete amateur.

    Ive previously had to convert the HD format in order to edit and ive had trouble rendering it. I edited on my laptop which only has 4GB on Adobe Premiere

    I have hours of 1920 - 1080 footage which I'd like to edit in the same format.

    I also previously had problems getting the exact timing of cutting movie clips and music to where I wanted them. Was this because of my small laptop screen, the 4GB of memory and because I was using Adobe?

    Can someone please advise on the following:

    Do I need to buy a PC to edit efficiently? If so, what?
    How much RAM do I need to edit efficiently in HD?
    Do I need to get a large monitor in order to get my timing exactly right (where clips and music align)
    What is a simple editing software package that will edit HD?


    Im looking to edit movies of about an hour in length.

    Many thanks for your advice

    John

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JT1980 View Post
    Hi there

    Im looking for some advice on editing HD footage please. Please consider me a complete amateur.

    Ive previously had to convert the HD format in order to edit and ive had trouble rendering it. I edited on my laptop which only has 4GB on Adobe Premiere
    For clarification, what are the rest of the machine specs? 4GB doesn't give us much to go on!

    Adobe products tend to be memory hogs. While you can edit in Premiere with only 4GB, andit's something they can say as a minimum spec, Premiere really benefits from more ram, 8GB minimum, 12GB is good, 16GB much better.

    However, RAM is not the only factor (though more ram always helps). CPU type and in particular the GPU can make a huge difference. I had a machine with fast i7 and 16GB ram but it ran like a lame donkey with it's integrated GPU. Add a new GPU and that same computer flew. So when considering computer specs for editing HD (don't rule out 4K some time in your future) then RAM and GPU as equality as important.

    Fast storage also helps, as does transcoding to a more edit friendly format, such as DNxHD on Windows, or DNxHD or ProRes on Mac. DNxHD is a free Avid codec download that Premiere Pro can use quite easily.

    Quote Originally Posted by JT1980 View Post
    I have hours of 1920 - 1080 footage which I'd like to edit in the same format.
    You don't say what format that is. Is it AVCHD? If so, seriously consider transcoding to DNxHD or ProRes for editing on a low power machine. It makes a huge difference to playback.

    Quote Originally Posted by JT1980 View Post
    I also previously had problems getting the exact timing of cutting movie clips and music to where I wanted them. Was this because of my small laptop screen, the 4GB of memory and because I was using Adobe?
    The first thing to do would be to (temporarily) turn the Premiere Pro playback resolution down, maybe 1/4 or 1/8 until you get good playback performance. Once you have this, use the 'm' for marker key to add markers to your clip or timeline on the beats (most people just mark the start of the bar) in the music. This helps you align things big time. Once you have this you can of course turn the resolution back up if you want.

    Once you've made your initial cuts, don't forget you can move any cut, if I remember correctly, the 'n' key takes you in to trim mode in Premiere Pro (I remember the 'n' key by thinking that's 'N'ot where I wanted that cut). In this mode you can trim you cut backwards and forward as little as one frame at a time. You can also have it loop play around the cut so you see / hear the new cut live without having to start / stop play all the time. Hit the 'v' key to get back to your normal edit mode.

    Quote Originally Posted by JT1980 View Post
    Do I need to buy a PC to edit efficiently? If so, what?
    Yes and no. Lots of people edit on laptops, others prefer desk tops. The CPU/RAM/GPU make a huge difference and you can get some pretty healthy laptops that edit very well, but they won't be cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by JT1980 View Post
    How much RAM do I need to edit efficiently in HD?
    I'd normally say 8GB minimum, 12GB or more preferred, but as said above, you 'can' get by on 4GB as long as you do things right. Try transcoding a few short clips to DNxHD and see what it's like before spending more money. This is a free option!

    Quote Originally Posted by JT1980 View Post
    Do I need to get a large monitor in order to get my timing exactly right (where clips and music align)
    No. Timing is timing. Seeing more pixels won't make your timing any better. Timing is something you feel as well as see. Of course, I always prefer editing on larger monitors, but that doesn't mean it can't be done on smaller screens too.

    Quote Originally Posted by JT1980 View Post
    What is a simple editing software package that will edit HD?
    Premiere Pro can work just fine, but I'm sure other windows users will chime in with their favourite packages, such as Elements, Vegas etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by JT1980 View Post
    Im looking to edit movies of about an hour in length.
    As long as you have the storage, editing 30 mins, 60 mins, 120 mins makes little difference. Once you have too much to hold with ram, your storage becomes the bottleneck.
    Last edited by David Partington; 10-12-2014 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Typos! Warning - there could be more!

  3. #3

    Default

    thanks for your help David

    Laptop properties:

    Acer
    Aspire 5734Z
    Pentium R Dual-Core CPU T4500 @2.30GHz
    64 bit operating system
    500GB HDD
    4GB DDR3 Memory
    I currently have 150GB free from 452GB.

    Does this give the correct info?

    The files are in MVI_...MOV format. This is how they are recorded on the camcorder.

    Im going to look into Adobe Pro as you recommend and ill take it step by step

  4. #4

    Default

    You have a couple of problems here...

    The first is that you're editing off a small system drive. Windows will also be using this for it's virtual memory, so every time you need to exceed your (small) 4GB of ram, windows is busy swapping to/from the same HDD you're trying to edit from.

    Second, MVI_...mov sounds very much like it's an AVCHD type codec, so your CPU is going to be decoding this in real time, which is not ideal.

    Transcoding to a more edit friendly codec would be highly recommended, with the caveat that you really don't actually have enough HDD space to do this. Does this computer have USB3? If so I'd recommend getting yourself an external USB3 HDD to edit from. If not, I've be looking at what it takes to upgrade your computer if you're serious about editing going forward.

    If this is a one-off project then you may just have to put up with it until you're through it.

  5. #5

    Default

    This is a hobby im keen to get into, so editing HD isn't a one off

    The laptop does not have a USB3 drive

    I ended up converting the MOV files into xvid.avi format in order to edit (Using "any video converter"). This is what im trying to get away from because im losing the HD quality.

    I was editing on Adobe Premier Elements. It was the exact point of change between audio and video on my timeline that was half of the problem with get ing the videos right. The other half was the painfully slow working of the laptop.

    Im all ears on how to upgrade or simply buy something new

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JT1980 View Post
    I ended up converting the MOV files into xvid.avi format in order to edit (Using "any video converter"). This is what im trying to get away from because im losing the HD quality.
    AVI is not a good editing container / codec selection either.

    DNxHD is used professionally throughout the world, including broadcasters and film makers. You won't lose HD quality. If you transcode using other (often free) converters then there is no guarantee.

    I missed the point you were on Premiere Elements, I (wrongly) assumed Adobe Premiere meant you were on Premiere Pro. Sorry about that. While Elements is a very capable program for the price, I'm unfamiliar with any of the later versions and have forgotten more about the older the versions than I remember! I don't know what codecs it's able to use.

    You may be better for a windows use to come along and help you.....

    Cue: Windows users jump in here!

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