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Nancy Foster
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Canon Vixia HF R400

Apr 16, 2013 12:30 AM

Tags: #photoshop_elements_11

I have a new Canon Vixia HF R400 and I am using Premiere Elements 11. When I add video to my timeline the audio plays fine, but my video drags or stops altogether. Any suggestions?

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2013 5:19 AM   in reply to Nancy Foster

    Did you shoot your video in 1920x1080i AVCHD, and did you use Premiere Elements' Add Media/from Flip and Camera tool to get the video from your camcorder to your computer over a USB connection?

     

    Do you see yellow lines above your video in Expert view? If so, your project didn't set up properly. If you used the workflow I just described, you should not see yellow lines (or any lines) above your clips until you add transitions or effects to them.

     

    Finally, what are your computer specs? AVCHD can require a pretty hearty system for editing (particularly if you're shooting in 60p).

     

    How fast is your processor and how much RAM do you have? What operating system are you using and, if Windows, have you manually gone to Windows Update and ensured you have the "hidden" updates that don't install automatically?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 5:18 AM   in reply to Nancy Foster

    Meantime, do some test footage by shooting with in the video format I listed above and use Premiere Elements' Add Media tool, as I described.

     

    Most likely you will NOT see the yellow lines above your clips and your playback should be smooth.

     
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    Apr 17, 2013 6:27 AM   in reply to Nancy Foster

    If you want to troubleshoot this, you'll need to try what I suggested/

     

    Otherwise, the best I can offer you is to render (press Enter) often as you work. As you do, the yellow lines above the clips in Expert view will turn green and your playback will be as smooth as possible with this video format.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 7:04 AM   in reply to Nancy Foster

    Nancy,

     

    I looked up your camera.  It's brand new.  I follow and participate in a camcorder forum where I've read that MP4 at 35Mbps is rare in consumer camcorders.  You have something new to consumer level video editing.  At that bit rate, the video files will be enormous. 

     

    You've written that you put your video files on an external drive.  You didn't say anything about that drive or how it is attached to your new laptop, but I suspect a major bottleneck.  Your computer may not be able to read those huge files off an external hard drive fast enough for smooth preview. 

     

    The first thing I would try is create a project specific folder on your internal drive, copy your video files from your external drive to that folder and start a new project.  When you start the new project, be sure to Add Media from Files and folders and verify they are coming from the internal drive.  Then drag the first clip from Project Assets to the timeline.  PrE11 will then pick the best Project Settings it can.  It may not have the perfect setting for 35Mbps files, but it will pick the best it can.

     

    Your computer is also new if it has Win 8 on it.  Windows 8 is new to video editing too.  The combination of Windows 8, PrE11 and editing 35Mbps files is new territory.  You chose a computer with an Intel i5 processor and 6 GB of ram.  I do not mean to be rude, but that is "mid grade" for editing "high grade" video files.  I had a similar laptop with Windows 7.  Doubling the RAM made a huge difference editing 28Mbps video files.  If you are going to do a lot of video editing, you may have to upgrade the RAM.

     

    The preview window may continue to be a little "draggy" because the computer has to work at maximum to provide real time preview.   Nothing in consumer level computing provides a greater work load on the CPU and drives. 

     

    When Steve asks about the yellow line, he did not mean in the video and audio tracks.  He meant above it.  When PrE11 can't keep up with real time preview, a line shows up above the video tracks.  That line is a signal that PrE11 needs to make or "render" a preview file for smooth editing.  It does so, when you press the Enter button.

     

    Even if the preview is jerky, all may not be lost.  When you create your final product, you tell PrE11 what you want.  It then goes to the source files and makes a new file to your specifications.  Since it is not trying to make "real time" previews, it can take more time to process or "render".   In other words, it may take an hour to make a 10 minute video one frame at a time. 

     

    In the future you might try lower quality settings on your camcorder.  Unless fast action, say kicking a soccer ball, is involved you may have much faster video editing with no loss of visual quality.

     

    If all this fails, you may have to use the software that came with the camera.  I am familiar with Sony and Panasonic software, but not Cannon.  But all three brands provide editing software that is limited in features and tuned to work with the files produced by the matching camera.  By limiting the features and targeting a single camera, the software runs more efficiently on computers with limited resources.

     

    Good luck!

     

    Bill

     
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    Apr 17, 2013 7:26 AM   in reply to whsprague

    You've written that you put your video files on an external drive.  You didn't say anything about that drive or how it is attached to your new laptop, but I suspect a major bottleneck.  Your computer may not be able to read those huge files off an external hard drive fast enough for smooth preview.

    Bill,

     

    This is a very good point, and were I Nancy, one that I would explore.

     

    There are two prime elements, that will affect video performance, with HDD's (internal or external): the disc's speed (both RPM and transfer speed), and then the connection type. Many externals are 5400 RPM, where at least 7200 RPM is needed for smooth playback. Next, if the connection is either USB 2.0, or FireWire 400 (IEEE-1394a), then the transfer of data will be too slow for really smooth playback, and especially with HD (High Def) material. If the connection is FireWire 800 (IEEE-1394b), it should be OK, and if USB 3.0, or eSATA, it should be good to very good.

     

    Your computer is also new if it has Win 8 on it.  Windows 8 is new to video editing too.  The combination of Windows 8, PrE11 and editing 35Mbps files is new territory.  You chose a computer with an Intel i5 processor and 6 GB of ram.  I do not mean to be rude, but that is "mid grade" for editing "high grade" video files.  I had a similar laptop with Windows 7.  Doubling the RAM made a huge difference editing 28Mbps video files.  If you are going to do a lot of video editing, you may have to upgrade the RAM.

    An i5 will struggle with HD material w/ the H.264 CODEC, even without that high 35Mbps Bit-Rate, as H.264 takes a lot of CPU power to process. The only way around that is by having a very fast CPU, or more of them.

     

    With Win7-64, 4GB of RAM is just about enough to run the OS, with almost nothing left over for programs, and especially an intense operation, such as video-editing. Six GB is certainly better, but I have not seen any benchmarks on RAM with Win8, so do not know if it's resources usage is equal to Win7, or perhaps a bit more. I recommend 12 - 16GB RAM as about the minimum for video editing on a 64-bit OS. This will cut back on the OS's need to rely on slower Virtual Memory, when running a program, like PrE.

     

    Also, with a new computer, unless it was home-built, or built specifically by someone, who knows about video-editing, will have tons of bloatware - programs that might seem neat, but load at bootup, and sap resources, often getting in the way of the utilization of the computer's resources for video-editing.

     

    Some very useful programs, like real-time scanning anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-anything, can really get in the way, keeping a video-editing program from being able to work, unobstructed. When doing video-editing, I turn all of those off, and just do not have an Internet presence, and do not check my e-mails. I only will do that, after the editing session. When I get a new computer, even if custom built for me, the first thing that I do is remove any utilities, etc., that I will not need to run, from the boot loading with MSCONFIG in the Services, and Startup Tabs. I can still run them, when I need them, but do not want them running in the background. Then, before I start the editing session, I turn OFF Norton, StopZilla, and anything else, that is basically protective, but will not be useful, when I am editing. When done, I turn those back on, or just reboot. I want to diminish the CPU cycles, the RAM access, etc., to the minimum, so that most resources are available for my NLE (Non Linear Editor) program.

     

    Thank you for taking the time to offer some great tips and observations. Nancy will benefit from those.

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 8:30 AM   in reply to Nancy Foster

    As a beginner you have a lot of fun in learning ahead of you.

     

    So far, the most important piece of advice is to get the video clip files off your external drive and try them on your laptop's internal drive.  A key clue is that you say it does not take long to render and there is no improvement when you do.  Don't do anything until you try that simple step.   

     

    For fast action, your camera has two settings of equal value.  They use 60 full frames per second.  One is referred to as "MP4" and the other "AVCHD".  It may be that Premier Elements likes one more than the other for smooth editing, so you should try them both.  Using the chart and description at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AWZFJ22/ref=s9_simh_gw_p421_d0_i1? pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0AYZX4WF3T8VQGQNDVST&pf _rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846), you can see a relationship between file size, recording time and Mbps.  The bigger the files, the more data in them to keep fast action crisp and clear.

     

    There will be some trial and error involved.  It may seem like a stretch but you may be the only one on earth with the combination of a Canon HF 400, Windows 8, Premier Elements 11 and 6 GB of RAM.  I'm quite sure you are the only one with those things that is trying to keep their video source files on an external drive!

     

    Even using the Canon software, it is not going to work well if you keep your video files on an external drive.

     

    Consider making a video work folder on your computer.  In that folder create folders for specific projects.  Keep everything in the individual folders for each project.   When the project is complete, you can transfer it to your external drive for storage.  If you want to work on it again, transfer it back on the primary drive.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 8:32 AM   in reply to whsprague

    Nancy,

     

    I'm going to be driving most of the day and won't be able to see the results when you move the files from your external to internal drive.  But, I will check later to see how it goes.

     

    Bill

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 4:21 PM   in reply to Nancy Foster

    Nancy Foster wrote:

     

    It will be awesome if that fixes everything!!  I am very frustrated right

    now, but I will not give up!

    I'm betting it will do most of the fixing. 

     

    I'm done with my days drive so am looking forward to results!

     

    Bill

     
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