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Thread: Beginners Blues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    6

    Default Beginners Blues

    I've just tried starting video editing on my new all-singing-and-dancing PC running Windows XP but I'm stumped immediately. I have a basic JVC digicam, a GR-DX25 which I initially connected to my PC with a USB lead (my PC has Firewire but I don't have a lead yet). The PC asked for a driver, I inserted the CD which came with the camera but the PC didn't want to know - couldn't find the driver.. I looked at the JVC site and it said (I think..) that JVC didn't provide a driver and I would have to get one somewhere else. Uhhh? The JVC site FAQ section was very unhelpful. I also read in the notes to this forum that my PC would recognise my camcorder.. Yes, GR-DX25 came up but then I got stuck.
    (I managed to get a picture onto my old PC from the same camera via USB to the JVC supplied Pixela programme but I was never able to record the picture to the CDRW, I don't know why... The picture was very dark anyway.)
    In my innocence, I assumed that with Windows XP, having a video editing programme built-in, that everything would be easy..
    The new PC has two 120Gb hard drives, a top-flight graphics card and a DVD drive and DVD recorder so the PC is all set, but what else do I need? Any help most welcome. Due to illness I have memory problems and tend to get very confused by technical jargon and descriptions with many TLA's and FLA's, so I apologise if the answer to my question is screamingly obvious to others! (Three Letter Abrreviations, etc.)

  2. #2
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    Jan 2004
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    Hertfordshire, England
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    Default

    I have just spent 20 mins replying to this and got a timed out page so I am really p***ed off!
    Here is a very edited version for you.
    I have same cam. Dont bother with usb. Wait 'til you get a firewire cable.
    Go to Windows Update if you havent already. Update sytem and get Windows Movie Maker Update, version 2 I believe.
    Loads of guides here and elsewhere to make dvds and lots of helpful people on this forum will see you through.
    Let us know what software you have for burning dvds and authoring, ie making menus etc. If you have not got that kind of software, you can get trial versions.
    Please, do yourself a favour and give up with usb. Its just for webcam function of cam and for emailing clips. You will just get fed up with it as quality cant be improved.
    Also have a look here to get the whole process in mind so you know what you are trying to achieve.
    http://www.marcpeters.co.uk/index.html
    I hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    6

    Default

    Many thanks for that, just going out to get a Firewire lead.. I have Nero StartSmart which has a video function as well as stills functions, but of course I haven't tried it yet with video. Also the Windows XP video editing function. Will this not be suitable? Everyone seems to buy an after-market product.. I don't want to do anything fancy, just edit out the boring and badly shot scenes (and the 10 minutes of the snow when the camera was left on....) and put the finished film onto DVD.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2004
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    Hertfordshire, England
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    Default

    Hello again. I am just going out but I will have a look on google later for the software you have and see what it can do.
    I would try the windows movie maker first of all to capture 5 mins or so of video from the cam in AVI format. I can't remember what you need to click to get that setting but I imagine some options come up when you choose "capture video". Be prepared for large file sizes.
    When you've done that, have a look at the file it's created and maybe have a play with the editing functions and cutting and adding a transition or two. This will just get you used to the software and help find your way around.
    Should you get this work you are essentially ready to create your dvd, on a small scale anyway. This is where the after market software usually comes in.
    DVD players recognise their own structure of folders and files. Authoring software creates these for you. You can do it yourself but from the posts I've seen on here, it seems a long winded process when you you just want to click a few buttons and let it get on with it.
    I don't know for certain, but I believe that the free software everyone gets with cams doesn't usually have the ability to make mpeg2 files as payment is required for the use of that technology. As always, I stand to be corrected on that.
    So the simplified process is roughly as follows, please feel free to correct or add to this everyone.
    1 capture video to computer in AVI as it's best quality and easier to edit
    2 when editing complete, convert AVI to mpeg2 dvd compliant video file. (Easiest with software for that will do both the above. Movie Maker doesn't make mpeg2 as far as I know.)
    3 create dvd with burning software that has a menu maker and will also create the file structure for you. An example of which, Nero Vision Express.
    I hope this helps more than it confuses! Post back and let us know how you get on and I will try and reply when I get back. If you find you need more software, don't get the credit card out just yet. There are trial versions available.
    Cheers

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    6

    Default

    I got a Firewire cable today and got footage onto the Windows Movie Maker programme, albeit in the standard poor quality it uses. What got me REALLY confused was that the Firewire socket on the front of my PC isn't connected! The one at the back is, though.... An hour wasted... Got to move scenes onto the 'storyboard/timeline' too. Just trying to find out how to record in .avi now. The destructions mention it but don't tell you how to do it!
    I think recording to a VCR is MUCH easier!!
    I'd appreciate being pointed at a software trial.. Does one stand out from another?? I can go out and get a big box with a CD in it from PCW, though, as I'm in town tomorrow.. (I live in the sticks of deepest Inverness-shire, where the men are men and sheep are nervous..)
    Why is everything SO complicated!!!

  6. #6
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    Go to the link below to get trial software of Ulead Video Studio or MediaStudioPro. In my humble opinion the latter is by far the better of the two. But Video Studio is reasonable enough for newcomers, and will let you capture in a variety of formats.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Hertfordshire, England
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by purejammy
    Video Studio is reasonable enough for newcomers, and will let you capture in a variety of formats.

    Good luck!
    I agree. With the requirements you have stated Edf, that software will be fine. I have used it and although basic compared to much more expensive software, it doesn't have the "toy town" feel of the free stuff that comes with the JVC.
    If I remember correctly, in Movie Maker you capture AVI by clicking on "File" then "capture" then choose from a drop down box, DV AVI.
    Keep us informed of your progress.

  9. #9

    Default

    What about giving Ulead DVD Movie Factory V3 a try? I have dabbled with all the others, either high end and low end, and this one does a damn good job with not much effort.
    It has good reviews in the latest PC magazines and the surprising thing is, it cost only 29.99 in PC World.
    Doug

  10. #10
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    Jan 2004
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    Hertfordshire, England
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    Default

    Edf, I have just looked at the Nero website for that Smart Start software. Do you have Vision Express among your Nero package? If so, you can use that I believe , to make menus etc for dvds as well as turning AVI files to mpeg2.

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