I spent the entire day (and night) yesterday editing a video. This video, which was on my camcorder, covered a span of two years. We got the camcorder a month or so before Hurricane Katrina hit, and the first shots filmed were taken after we moved to a small camp (shack) to live in while our area was put back together. The camp is all about "getting back to nature", so we did get some pretty interesting nature shots. If you aren't squeamish, you can watch along as we watched a snake fight a large fish, for example.
Anyway, I'm veering off topic. So there's all kinds of things on this camcorder, from camp nature shots to baby birthday parties, and I wanted to finally download all this stuff onto my computer, pick it all apart, and save it all as separate movies. My granddaughter's 2nd birthday party was held last week (or was that two weeks ago?), and I wanted to pull out the best parts, make a movie of it, and upload it to our new, private family site at myfamily.com.
So...I'm still a newbie at this whole video thing. I've managed to create some short videos and upload them without edits a couple of times, but I've never gone through the process of editing clips, adding titles, etc. Nor have I ever worked with anything that was more than just a few seconds long. If you have never worked with a video that's a few minutes long, then you may not realize how much space those few minutes take up. I sure didn't.
Anyway, after several hours, I finally figured out how to cut out parts, add transitions, etc. I tweaked the birthday video down to a measly 3 minutes, 45 seconds, which I considered "short". Turns out that 3 minutes, 45 seconds of video translates to a 64 MB file. Ouch. With my not-so-speedy satellite internet connection, that meant 2 hours of upload time only to find out at the end that the file got corrupted along the way. /Sigh.
There's GOT to be a better way. Actually, there very likely IS a better way, but after an accumulated hour or two of searching, I never could figure out what that way might be. If there is a better way, it needs to be promoted better. If there's not a better way, someone needs to create one.
We need easier video editing tools. We need smaller resulting file sizes. We need some video/techy guru to show us the way. Or at least show me the way. Maybe you already know the way. 😉
I want to participate more fully in the Universal search action. I just need to get past this video editing hell I found myself in yesterday.
3 thoughts on “Video: Someone Make It Easier”
The problem with compression is that it quickly ruins the quality of the video, especially if you are going to continue working on the video.
Here’s how I do it (ok, mostly did it in the past, since I haven’t done it in a while now, I’m mostly a photo-guy now):
– I grab the movie from the camera using Scenalyzer. What that does is split each scene (every time you start/stop the camera) into separate files, which really makes it much easier to process later on. It’s not that expensive and works great.
– Cut and cut, etc. I haven’t found the best tool for that, I’ve tried lots of tools, some are easy (but limited), others are not so limited (but complicated). Sigh.
– When I’m done with processing I compress the video to the size and quality I need. I have used Windows Media formats but also DIVX (or xvid) with mp3 audio, both can be used to get the size down nicely. Youtube has recommendations at http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55745
I found a neat tool that can convert existing videos (provided you have the codecs) to other formats and sizes, but I don’t have the link here…
I generally convert my “family videos” to something like TV quality and keep those versions. I do however also keep the original tapes so that if I need to, I can go back and re-do the videos at a higher quality. If you compress the videos before you start cutting, the quality really goes down quickly… keep a lot of storage free when working on videos, unless you just want a 1:1 copy 🙂
Donna, if you ever need help, shoot me an email – my husband has quite a bit of experience in video editing (including titles and special effects).
And I’m learning to do this stuff too! My first edited video should be coming out this week! 🙂
editing is definitely the less appealing side to owning a camcorder. the trouble is, of course, that editing is the kind of work that you cannot outsource so easily, because only you understand what it is that you really want to capture in the final frames. – Stephen
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