Need a simple video editor

Brownie

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
2,273
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Tim
I'm going to digitize some old 8mm family movies as a winter project. I want to be able to do a few simple things, like combine individual reels into a longer film, maybe do some contrast or color adjustments. I used to use MS movie maker, and I think something that simple would be fine for this. I am not going to do these in HD, there's no reason. I plan to use an older JVC 4:3 digital camcorder I have laying around and one of those old 1st generation mirror duplicators that you use with a projector.

I downloaded an open source called Shotcut and have messed with it some, but not really interested in a steep learning curve. I really know nothing about video, all of the different speeds, etc.

What do I need? Cheap is good, free is better. Once I'm done with this the odds of me doing any kind of video editing with it are slim. Family video, grandkids etc. are the most likely.

What speed would reproduce these old movies without unnecessary file size?

What basic tools would be the most helpful?

Thanks.
 

Brownie

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
2,273
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Tim
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
You can still download and install Movie Maker on Windows 10 - nothing wrong with using that.

For what you're doing, 24/25/30 FPS is fine. Since you're in the US, the standard would be NTSC at ~30 FPS.
Thanks. I messed with it tonight and the flicker is so bad using the converter it's unwatchable. I tried using the old screen and just taking a video of that, but it's in bad shape. Dead in the water for now.
 

tkbslc

Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
7,612
Location
Salt Lake City, UT, USA
If your projector has a speed setting, try to speed up or slow down the footage so it can be a multiple of your video camera's framerate. If you can do 15fps and record at 30fps, for example, that will match up nicely.

If you need a cheap screen, get some white foam board at the dollar/craft store. Move the projector close and you can use a 2x3" board as a decent screen.

Also, I'd probably use one your m4/3 cameras on a tripod for the video. Bound to be much higher quality than your older JVC camcorder.
 

Brownie

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
2,273
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Tim
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
If your projector has a speed setting, try to speed up or slow down the footage so it can be a multiple of your video camera's framerate. If you can do 15fps and record at 30fps, for example, that will match up nicely.

If you need a cheap screen, get some white foam board at the dollar/craft store. Move the projector close and you can use a 2x3" board as a decent screen.

Also, I'd probably use one your m4/3 cameras on a tripod for the video. Bound to be much higher quality than your older JVC camcorder.
I messed with the speed setting last night some. I got close with the fastest setting, of course it looked exactly that way. I suppose if I dig deep enough there's a way to correct the speed once I get it in the computer. Good tip.

I have a 24" product softbox that I am going to try today. The opening is large enough to line up both the projector and camera.

I set up my G7 last night as an experiment. WAY too much detail! These old films are so low resolution that you can see more of the screen than the video.

I am going to try both the old video camera and the G7 on the softbox today.

Thanks all! I'll check out some of the programs.
 

Brownie

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
2,273
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Tim
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Tried twice to download OpenShot and get this. Not being a computer person, any ideas?

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

junkyardsparkle

haunted scrap heap
Joined
Nov 17, 2016
Messages
2,309
I was hesitant to suggest this, but if you want to try an actually simple editor (as opposed to something trying to present a simple interface to massively complicated stuff it tries to handle quietly), you might want to take a look at avidemux. It doesn't do many of the magical things a full editing suite will do, but for basic cutting from homogenous source material it's capable enough, and much leaner and meaner. One of the nice things it can do is create a new cut from suitable (eg h264) formats without re-encoding, with the limitation that cuts start on I-frames (not a limitation at all if you're working with all-I sources, which I would guess your G9 can produce). I use this for the initial cull when I come back from a family event with tons of minute-longish shots from which I only want to keep a few seconds each. It may or may not be enough for your project (don't expect fancy transitions, etc), and I have no idea if it works as well on Windows as it does on Linux, but anyway...
 

Brownie

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
2,273
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Tim
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
Well, I hit a brick wall with converting them. I've tried everything I can think of. Ultimately had a good screen using the matte side of poster board. For that matter the little converter worked very well for a screen. What I can't overcome are the black bars. I get it adjusted and it changes. Sometimes it's just a shaded area that moves vertically across the screen, and sometimes it's a very black bar, kind of reminiscent of horizontal hold on old televisions. Pretty sure what's happening is the very old projector is changing speeds as it runs, either the motor itself, or slipping belts, etc. Could also be dirty power.

I checked into having a service do it but the cost is astronomical. The cheapest was around $400. It ranged to well over $1,000. I ended up buying one of these. It scans each frame and then advances the film automatically. They say it takes about twice the amount of time as it does just to watch the film, so about 8 minutes for a 3" reel. Once done it saves the entire scan to a single file in MPEG 4. It runs a bit fast but can be corrected with a 20-25% reduction in speed on the computer.

Not only was this less costly but once I'm done I'll check with family to see if anyone else needs some converted, and then sell it. They seem to have decent resale value and it's far less than paying someone else.

https://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTUwMFgxNTAw/z/dgkAAOSw1qVeQERP/$_10.JPG?set_id=880000500F
 

Brownie

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
2,273
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Tim
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17
Update: The digitizer came and it works pretty well. Takes some trial and error, instructions are limited. It allows you to make minor color and exposure corrections in the machine, although with old home movies those can vary so greatly from segment to segment it's easier to do it post. One thing, the reviewers were flat wrong about how fast it works. It scans 2 frames/sec., much slower than the 18 or so frames of the original film. It actually takes about 34 minutes to scan an average 3" (50') reel. If you go much over 34 minutes it auto-stops and you have to restart, then join the two files in post. Not a big deal, and it's only happened once out of the 7 films transferred.

I downloaded and messed with several of your program suggestions (thank you all), and sheepishly admit I ended up sticking with ShotCut. I've sorted out how to isolate clips for different processing in the same film, how to delete, add, use their fades, change speeds, stabilize, etc etc yadda yadda yadda. Some of the more common filters like contrast/sharpness/noise reduction are familiar enough to reduce the learning curve. I have to remember that the final output is highly dependent on the quality of the input, which can be pretty sketchy with those old movie cameras. Some of the film goes back to the early 1950's.

One thing I haven't been able to decide is what aspect ratio to use. 8mm film was 4:3. I've tried the NTSC option as well as leaving it on the native 720p recorded by the machine, and even higher definition options. I think the lowest definition is probably more than enough, higher definition only seems to accent flaws in the film. Any help on this would be appreciated.
 

kinlau

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
998

Top 8 free video editors just posted by Explaining Computers. He explains the options fairly well.
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom