I am new to the forum and to movie editing, so please excuse my ignorance and help if you can...
I am converting some old VHS tapes into PC movies for archiving using Elements 11, which I just bought. According to the capture program I've been using (AVS Video Recorder and a Hauppauge Haup610 composite video to USB device), the format of these mpg (mpg2) movies is:
720x480 29.97 fps NTSC video (I'm in the U.S.)
But of course it makes large, unedited mpgs when first captured. So I am using Premiere to turn these into a mp4 of the same specifications (720x480 29.97 fps NTSC video) using its "Publish And Share" to Computer / AVCHD / MP4 - NTSC DV Standard format.
This makes mp4s which are about half of the size of the original-capture mpgs. Ok, all that's cool... any comments on this general approach are welcomed!
But my pressing question / problem is that Premiere ALWAYS makes me change the beginning preset format for each new project (i.e. VHS tape), and ALWAYS makes me change the ending output format.
It's annoying and prone to faults. (If I don't get the project preset right, it ruins the output by putting a big black border - which I might not realize til I check the output, after Premier has spent an hour outputting it.)
Isn't there some way to permanently change the input and output defaults, so that they never have to be changed or selected again (as long as I'm doing this conversion work)? I have dozens of tapes to go.. it's a month-long project.
Thanks if you can help!
a frustrated noob in Atlanta GA USA
Welcome to the forum.
When one creates/adjusts a Project Preset, that is "sticky," in that when you next go to New Project, that will be the Preset selected.
For the Export/Share/Publish, things are not quite so "sticky," but if you are outputting to the same format, with the same CODEC, and adjustments, most should be there waiting for you, when you go to Export/Share/Publish again, though maybe not as quickly, as with the New Project Preset.
For the VHS capture, you might want to look at this article: http://forums.adobe.com/message/3748554#3748554
First, MPEG is heavily-compressed, so if you Export/Share/Publish to a compressed format, the quality will degrade. Same goes for creating a DVD-Video, which will require additional MPEG-2 compression.
Also, many users have had issues with Hauppage units in this forum.
PS - for a "quick start," I highly recommend Steve Grisetti's Basic Training Series at Muvipix.com.
Thanks very much for the quick reply, Bill!
1. If I have already selected a VHS prject and create a new one, it will inherit the 720x480 input. But most of the time I am starting Premiere anew (no project). And when I do that, it defaults to HD. So: How do I permanently change the default to 720x480? Any ideas? (I suppose I can always temporarily load a previous VHS project but I prefer the idea of using a brand new one, so nothing carries over from old ones.)
2. Thanks for the many tips about capturing, etc. But past the many methods of doing it, do you agree in general that I should be preserving the 720x480 29.97 fps format throughout the process?
Thanks for your help!
I edited the first point to reflect how I like to start with a clean slate
For # 1, once you have done a DV Project, and set that as the "default," in your choices, I would expect that the DV Project setting would come up with New Project.
For # 2, you are correct in that for NTSC (set by where you live), the 720 x 480 (probably Standard 4:3, as VHS did not have Widescreen 16:9) w/ 48KHz 16-bit Audio would be the way to go.
The positive for using an A-D Capture method is that the VHS footage will be digitized to DV-AVI, which, while compressed, is only very lightly compressed and is the ultimate format/CODEC for editing in Premiere.
While MPEG-2 can certainly be 720 x 480 w/ 48KHz 16-bit Audio, it is heavily compressed, and is also in a GOP structure, which presents some issues, and also degrades the quality pretty greatly. For more info on GOP Frame Structure, see this article: http://forums.adobe.com/message/2722687#2722687. Premiere needs to covert that GOP to all I-Frame for Frame-accurate editing.
PS - if you are set on using the Hauppage card, do a Search on this forum for "Hauppage," without the " marks, as there might be some useful tips on using it.
Thanks again Bill, this is really helpful.
I am now using AVI capture with AVS Video Recorder on the front end, so there's that. (Thanks!) So I'm capturing in AVI (it says it's UYVY format, whatever that is), and using PE11 to export to mp4. Keeping the 720x480, 29.97 fps NTSC throughout. (I have tried, but can't yet get PE to do the AVI capturing, itself. Not without a big green block along the bottom of the video. Maybe it's the Hauppage; read on.)
As you suggest, I will research the Hauppage and/or start a new message on recommendations for DV bridges. I may not be looking at the right stuff, but bridges seem to start at $170 (or really more like $200) at NewEgg. It seems like a lot to pay for going from something that's certainly "adequate" to see everything happening, to ... ? Ultimately, old home VHS recordings are never going to be the height of quality anyway. Plus I suspect my old VCR's head is getting irreversibly dirty very quickly, despite using a Maxell wet cleaning tape on it. (Sigh.)
PrE will not be able to do direct Capture from the Hauppage. If you were using an A-D bridge, connected via FireWire and set up properly, they you would have the Capture module in PrE available. The only thing missing would be direct Device Control, as the deck/camera would be connected to the A-D bridge via composite, or other one-way only cables. In such a setup, instead of Device Control, I just have the mouse in my right hand, and the deck's remote in my left. I start my Capture, and immediately start the deck. I get a few blank Frames, but those are easily cut out, in editing. After a few times, the coordination of the start of Capture and start of Play on the deck, will be very, very close.