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Mike Janowski
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Best practice for smooth workflow in PrE?

Feb 2, 2013 1:30 PM

Tags: #edit #format #11 #premiere_elements #transcode #easy #sceneline #usb2

Hi all.  I'm an FCP user for many many years, but I'm helping an artist friend of mine with a Kickstarter video...and he's insistent that he's going to do it himself on his Dell laptop running Win7 and PrE (I believe v11, from the CS3 package) I'm turning to the forum here for some help.


In Apple Land (that is, those of us still using FCP 7), we take all our elements in whatever format they're delivered to us and transcode them to ProRes, DVCPro HD or just makes it easier not to deal with mixed formats on the timeline (please, no snarky comments about that, OK, I turn out broadcast work every week doing this so this method's got something going for it...).  However, when I fired up PrE I see that you can edit in all sorts of formats, including long-GOP formats like .mts and mp4 files that I wouldn't dream of working with natively in FCP...I don't enjoy staring at spinning beachballs that much. 


Now, remembering that he's working with a severely underpowered laptop, with 2 gig of RAM, and a USB2 connection to his 7200 rpm "video" drive...and also considering that most of the video he'll be using will come in two flavors (AVHCD from a Canon Vixia 100, and HDV from a Canon EX-something or other), what would be the best way to proceed to maximize the ease at which he can edit?  I'm thinking that transcoding to something like Motion-JPEG or some other inter-frame compressed AVI format would be the way to's a short video and he won't have that much material so file size inflation isn't an issue...speed and ease of processing the video files on the timeline (or do they call it a "Sceneline") is.


Any advice (besides "buy another computer") would be appreciated...

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2013 2:58 PM   in reply to Mike Janowski

    Premiere Elements is consumer software and is designed to work with consumer video formats: miniDV, HDV and AVCHD primarily. It can not work with ProRes, DVCPro or XDCAM.


    If you're going to work with those professional formats, I very much recommend you invest in a professional editor, like Premiere Pro CS6.

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    Feb 3, 2013 6:15 AM   in reply to Mike Janowski

    Premiere Elements 11 can handle AVCHD and HDV with equal ease on an adequately powered machine.


    You don't say how fast your processor is, but I you can edit some basic AVCHD video on a 2.5 ghz dual core processor with a good RAM load. But that's kind of a minimum hardware load.


    For working with a heavy load or a longer (over half a hour or so) of high-def video, you'd be best working with quad core machine.


    So I'd give it a good test drive using some real life footage. If you're getting a lot of spinning beach balls, Premiere Elements may not be the best program to use for your workflow.


    I'm not clear how the other formats (including MJPEG) fit into your workflow or what you mention them, but they won't work nearly as efficiently as AVCHD and HDV in version 11. (In fact, MJPEG usually don't edit at all in Premiere Elements.)

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    Feb 3, 2013 12:51 PM   in reply to Mike Janowski

    Hi Mike. One thing that might help is knowing that PrE relies on processor speed and the number of cores the machine has and not the power of the graphics processor. Having said that I think it will depend on your friends final output. Does he want stay in the hidef world or does he want to down rez? If he stays in the hi rez world he will probably be looking at long render times. He should have at least 4gig of memory minimum for hi def and a i7 processor would certainly help. You should also tell him about this forum. There is a ton of knowledge and helpful people willing to help out.



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    Feb 3, 2013 2:48 PM   in reply to Mike Janowski

    Ok, if he stays in the AVHCD format it's going to be a slog depending on how many minuets of video he is dealing with. There are lots of people using laptops and PrE 11 with AVHCD files natively with success but they have the higher powered laptops. There seems to be a lot more problems with the under powered one's. As you probably know video is hog when it comes to  computer resources. There are many tips and strategies on the forum on how to setup your computer for video editing ahead of time. If he has to stay with a low powered laptop I suggest you or he dive into the tips and suggestions on the forum to have a fighting chance. One more thing. If he can get his hands on a higher powered laptop make sure it is a 64 bit version of windows. PrE 11 supports both 32 and 64 bit versions but the 64 bit allows access to much more ram. The 32 bit has a limit of 4 gigs much of which is used by the OS.



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