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You don't say how you ripped the files from the DVD and how you got them converted to AVI files.
That said, version 3.0 is about 8 years old. The technology has changed dramatically over the years, and version 11 of the program is much better at working with a wider range of video formats, including DVD/VOB video. Version 3 could pretty much work successfully with miniDV footage and that's about it. You may well want to consider upgrading.
Version 3 will not sub-divide the clips from your DVD. You get your video as completed video files. The program has no facilities for breaking these larger files into individual scenes.
How well the program will be able to do anything with these files depends on how you converted them to AVIs and what codec these AVI files use. When you open one of these AVIs in a program like G Spot or MediaInfo, what codec, resolution and frame rate does it show?
It appears that maybe you're trimming the video yourself and then trying to add the shorted clips back to your media panel. Is that right?
If so, this will not work if you cut the video on your timeline.
Instead, open your clip in the Clip Monitor/Preview Monitor by double-clicking on it in your media panel. Set in and out markers and then you can dragged this "trimmed" clip to the media panel from the Clip Monitor for later use.
Note that it will still technically be the same long clip. It will just be pre-trimmed to the in and out points you use to create each sub-clip.
Thanks, Steve. The two AVI files were created by a local commercial firm that transferred old home movies to digital format. I can see if they can provide some of the parameters you've asked about.
Do you know if Version 11 will break the larger files into individual scenes?
Yes, I have attempted to trim the video myself, and I hope to add them back to the media panel to work further with them. I'll try the approach you've suggested tomorrow. If I take this approach, can I then reorder/resort the clips?
Premiere Elements will create sub-clips based on content (automatic scene detection). However, these sub-clips are technically not shorter clips. They are copies of the larger clip with in and out markers automatically set so that you can use them as sub-clips.
But before you get too deeply into any commitment, I'd ensure that the AVIs your firm delivered to you are DV-AVIs and that you give them a full test drive, as I recommeneded above. Otherwise, you're going to put a lot of time and money into a project and not be happy with the results.