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Please help me with video!

Discussion in 'Video Post-Production' started by laser8, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    After having finally got in a routine process for editing my pictures, I'm trying now to get my videos sorted, but it feels like I'm bouncing into a rubber wall!

    Basically, what I've got is three years of videos, first shot with the LX5, and later with the GX1. I started with the .MTS format, but could not stand that each time I formatted the card, the numbering started from scratch so I switched to .mp4. I set the quality to the highest available.

    So far, I've been using Windows Movie Maker and found it quite ok for my needs (cutting, titles, fades...), but it lacks some kind of image stabilisation (filming a lot with the 25) and post processing similar to what one would do with .raw images. I'm also completely shocked by the number and variations of available formats for video. Photography is so much simpler...

    I hope that in this video jungle of programs and formats there is a simple equivalent of raw for shooting (is it AVCHD or mp4?) and Lightroom for editing. If so, please point me there! What I'd like to do is understand
    a) which format is best to use when filming in order to process it lightly (shake, wb, maybe contrast and ev)
    b) which program to use
    c) which format to export to that would maintain the best quality and future-proofness (all videos are of my daughter, I'm sure in 30-40 years I'll want to be able to watch a good quality video!)

    I'll greatly appreciate your assistance, as I've been googling this for days and seem to wonder around in circles.
     
  2. Lobbamobba

    Lobbamobba Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    May 15, 2013
    Sweden
    There are codecs for filming, editing and distribution.

    The eqivalent to RAW is RAW. The Blackmagic cameras, Bolex, Canon DSLRs with Magic Lantern, Red and so on shoot RAW-video. Everey second of video consists of in my case 25 individual Raw-frames. I then process them in Adobe Camera Raw, lightroom or what ever just like you do with your photos.

    But what I think you are looking for is Prores or DNxHD. Thoose codecs are ideal for editing. They are large but hold up great to collor correction and you dont need such a powerfull computer as if you are editing AVCHD.
    Blackmagic Cameras shoot Prores and DNxHD in camera, others do it with an external recorder.

    People that for instance use high end videocameras like Sony FS100 or Canon C100 often convert their footage to Prores or DNxHD Before editing.

    So unless you dont plan on buying a new camera or recorder you can keep shooting in mp4. If you are editing a big Project you could convert to DNxHD Before editing, but that codec is not good at all for distribution and archive since it takes up alot of space. The codec is free from Avids home page.

    Ok, I hope thats confusing enough :)

    Now to you actual questions,
    a) which format is best to use when filming in order to process it lightly (shake, wb, maybe contrast and ev)?
    Best = Raw, Medium best = Prores or DNxHD, My recomendation = mp4 because of the easyer workflow and the problems you experienced with the AVCHD.

    b) which program to use?
    Adobe Premiere or Premiere Elements if you are on a budget. Its easy to learn, great for beginners but also used by pros so you can grow within the same system.

    c) which format to export to that would maintain the best quality and future-proofness (all videos are of my daughter, I'm sure in 30-40 years I'll want to be able to watch a good quality video!)?
    A really good format thats balance pretty good between quality and file size is h.264. Its pretty much the standard on the web as well as Bluerays.

    I will be happy to answer more questions since this was probably not the easyest answer :)

    /Mattias
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    Thanks Mattias, much appreciated. It does make things clearer, I'll try Premiere elements and see how I do. I'm sure I'll have to PM you, though!:smile:
     
  4. Lobbamobba

    Lobbamobba Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    May 15, 2013
    Sweden
    Im happy to help if I can.
    Allso look for some tutorials on youtube.
     
  5. Dewi

    Dewi Mu-43 Regular

    138
    Jan 11, 2014
    Lancashire, England
    Dewi
    I know absolutely nothing about the technicalities of editing video, but I do like to shoot a few on our travels (just to bore the kids with when we return :smile: ). I used Movie Maker for a while and although it was ok I found it quite limiting in what could be done. My son suggested I try Corel VideoStudio Pro, which I did and found it more than adequate for my needs and very intuitive to use. I just drag and drop the film into the timeline and away I go. I find that movies from the Olympus though have to be converted first which I do in VLC Media Player.

    Not much info, but hope it helps a bit.

    D
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    Thanks Dewi! I got Premiere Elements and been working with it for few days, it is really ok. Maybe I'll move up the foodchain when I master it. One question though: when exporting, the files are bigger than the clips I used - is it the addition of titles/transitions, or the output format (mp4, h.264, 1080/25p)?
     
  7. Lobbamobba

    Lobbamobba Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    May 15, 2013
    Sweden
    Its because you are outputting a format for distribution. In other Words less compression so that its easier for a computer or player to play the video without hiccups.

    Most cameras shoot in a very compressed format such as AVCHD to save space on the memory card. There footage makes it harder on your editor since it has to decompress and playback at the same time. Thats why one would convert to Prores first.
    The Prores files are huge but very easy for the computer to play back. Thats why high end cameras can shoot in Prores/DNxHD in camera.

    When the video is done you dont need the huge editing codec and you dont want the super compressed in camera codec. You want a good compromise between file size, playback and quality.
    When you export in h.264 a good starting point is the "Youtube Widescreen HD" preset. Thats going to look good and not take up so much space relative to the quality.
    But then you can also increase the videos bitrate to lets say at least Target 20/Maxium 30. Thats going to give you a bit bigger but better files. even if Youtube and Vimeo convert the bitrate to 10 its going to look better if its starting point was 20-30.

    I hope that clarified it a bit :)
     
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  8. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
    I use Premiere and use to make them youtube-compatible with h.264 @ 720p (there are presets for that) good quality and if you upload them on youtube you preserve the good quality. That should be quite future-proof also I believe. 1080p if you have resolution for it and wants better quality but bigger files.
    (isn't it the same codec as blueray also?)
     
  9. Lobbamobba

    Lobbamobba Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    May 15, 2013
    Sweden
    It is, if you up the bit-rate a bit.

    Another thing you both could consider is to raise the audio quality on your youtube presets to max (320). Its almost not noticeable in the file size but gives you much better audio, and audio is 70% of your video :)
     
  10. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    Thanks again. It looks like video will take me quite some time to get accustomed. Lobbamobba, your inputs are extremely valuable and make it a lot easier though.
     
    • Like Like x 1