22 Replies Latest reply on Jul 12, 2015 2:46 PM by fabioa15437023

    Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13

    fabioa15437023

      Hi All,

       

      Complete beginner here. I have been shooting aerial footage with a drone and editing the outcome with iMovie on a Macbook Air. I need to switch to a regular Dell laptop now and I am in dire need of some professional advice.

       

      The video I shoot has been 1080p, 50 fps (don't ask why 50fps, it just sounded better at the time). The drone can shoot 4K but when I tried to watch or edit that, it was awful. That was the first time I realized shooting in 4K sounds nice but who on earth can watch let alone edit 4K? Most of the files I shoot end up on Youtube anyway.

       

      Getting back to my question, the resulting .mov files ran smoothly in iMovie and the saved files came out quite good. Mostly saved in smaller size files. Like I would shoot about 10 gigs of footage, cut, edit, down to 2-3 gig and iMovie could save it as a smaller file, like 3-400 megs that could be uploaded to youtube in "HD". Perfect for an unprofessional like me.

       

      Now I am on a Dell Laptop with Elements 13.1 (on Windows 7). I was eager to start with Elements until I imported the first .mov. It looked horrible and played back horrible, choppy, jerky, etc. Impossible to edit. The raw footage plays perfectly in VLC player on this laptop by the way.

       

      My laptop is Intel Core i3 CPU, M350 @ 2.27GHz, 6 GB RAM. And a nice display. No clue about the video card or if it has any.

       

      Now my question is how would you do it? What would you do with the files so thay are editable in Elements?

       

      Really appreciate any advice (other than get some better gear).

      Have a nice day, folks.

        • 1. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
          A.T. Romano Level 7

          fabioa

           

          Let us begin

           

          Your Premiere Elements 13 is on Windows 7 64 bit. Have you updated 13 to 13.1 using an opened project's Help Menu/Updates? If not, please do that.

          Do you have the latest version of QuickTime installed on your computer with Premiere Elements, and are you running the programs as administrator? Is your video card/graphics card driver up to date according to the web site of the manufacturer of the card or the manufacturer of the computer?

           

          From your report, you have 1920 x 1080 @ 50 progressive frames per second as AVCHD (MPEG4 AVC/H.264).mov file. What is the audio - Dolby Digital Stereo 2 channel or 5.1 channel or something else?

           

          Please consider working in the Expert workspace of Premiere Elements 13/13.1. You can see better what is going on and thus have more control.

           

          At the onset you need to assure that your Premiere Elements project preset matches the properties of your source media - either you do it manually before you import your source file or you let the project do it for you based an its analysis of the properties of the first file that you drag to the project's Timeline.

          You want project preset

          PAL

          AVCHD

          AVCHD 1080p50

           

          And, if you or the project have set it to that, you should see the following under Edit Menu/Project Settings/General.

          p50.JPG

          If you have to set the project preset manually to make sure it is right, the use the following scheme

          • Open the project to the Expert workspace, and go to File Menu/New Project and Change Settings.
          • In Change Settings, set the project preset to match the properties of the source media. OK out of there.
          • In the New Project dialog that opens, rename the project and make sure to have a check mark next to "Force Selected Project Setting on This Project". OK out of there.
          • Back in the Expert workspace, import your source media using Add Media/ choice.

           

          If you have the right project preset, when you drag the source file to the Timeline, there will be no colored line over its contents. That means you are seeing the best possible preview at playback of the Timeline content in the Edit area monitor.

           

          Up to this point, have you been there, done that, and gotten good results? Apparently not by your report. So, please go over what I have just described to determine if there might be some consideration that you have overlooked. After we are OK on setting up the project, next comes how to set export settings for your 1080p50. Please find out what the bitrate is for your 1080p50 import so that we can match the import and export as best possible.

           

          Please review and consider. If any questions or need clarification on any of the above, please do not hesitate to ask. We can go at whatever pace you prefer in working through the details.

           

          Thanks.

           

          ATR

          • 2. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
            fabioa15437023 Level 1

            Thanks for your prompt help.

             

            Yes, I updated in an open projects help menu.

            I did not have any Quicktime for some reason so I have installed Quicktime 7 just now.

            I am running everything as administrator. The video card's driver is up to date according to Window's Device Manager.

            There is no audio on the raw footage. The drone only records video. When I edit my videos, I put some music under it myseld and always cut to the music's feel and rhythm.

            Yes, I am in Expert view, always.

             

            I forgot to mention that I set my drone to record in NTSC, not PAL. Reason is I am in Costa Rica and it is all NTSC here so if I have to give someone a DVD, I guess it would only play in NTSC on a regular TV here. In this case, I have to chenge the setting to NTSC, AVCHD, AVCHD 1080p50, correct?

            • 3. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
              A.T. Romano Level 7

              fabioa

               

              Thanks for the reply.

               

              If the drone is recording NTSC, then you should have 1080p60 and not 1080p50 which would be expected from the PAL set.

              If your source from the drone is 1080p60, then your project preset should be

              NTSC

              AVCHD

              AVCHD 1080p60

              And then, when the 1080p60 project is established with Timeline 1080p60 content, the Edit Menu/Project Settings/General should look like

              60p.JPG

              Please let me know if you are OK with the above. Any clarification needed, please do not hesitate to ask.

               

              Thanks for the follow up.

               

              ATR

              • 4. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                fabioa15437023 Level 1

                Sorry for my late reply. The weather has not been very kind to flying drones. But now I do have footage in 60 fps NTSC.

                I have imported one clip. The colored line is now gone. The settings were automatically chosen by Elements and they seem to be perfect, just as you described.

                AE 60fps settings.png

                Playback is also fine until there is faster movement on screen. Then it starts to stutter terribly. Picture is sharp and amazing.

                For your information, when I play the file outside of Elements in VLC, it also stutters terribly (VLC updated to newest). Could my laptop be incapable of handing such a video?

                • 5. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                  John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Could my laptop be incapable of handing such a video... My laptop is Intel Core i3 CPU

                   

                  That is a "light" duty laptop to edit HD video... especially if you only have one hard drive, and REALLY especially if your hard drive is 5400 RPM

                  • 6. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                    fabioa15437023 Level 1

                    Thanks for your input John. If I was to assemble a desktop PC capable of high-end editing, what are the key components and parameters?

                    • 7. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                      A.T. Romano Level 7

                      fabioa

                       

                      Thanks for the reply.

                       

                      Referring to your post numbered 4.

                       

                      What is the file size and duration of this one clip that arrives on your Timeline?

                       

                      Does the playback become poor for both VLC and Premiere Elements at the same spots in the footage?

                      How many video files from the drone have behaved like this....all or just a few?

                       

                      Thanks.

                       

                      ATR

                      • 8. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                        John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        This is more oriented to Premiere Pro but, except for not using CUDA hardware video acceleration, most of the ideas work in Premiere Elements Tweakers Page

                         

                        Again more about Premiere Pro, but my ideas would be at Adobe Notes

                        • 9. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                          fabioa15437023 Level 1

                          All footage 50 fps and down played well in VLC. This is the first time any footage stutters in my VLC, and this was the first 60 fps footage played. And it stutters all the way.

                           

                          In Elements, both 50 and 60 fps stutters. This 60 fps clip actually playes a bit better in Elements than in VLC (confusing) and only becomes jerky at somewhat faster on-screen movement.

                           

                          The one clip imported is 11 seconds long and 53,9 MB.

                          • 11. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                            A.T. Romano Level 7

                            fabioa

                             

                            Thanks for the follow up.

                             

                            I am not seeing where an 11 seconds clip (file size about 54 MB) should be having computer resource issues in this particular case, and issues which sound more like those from interlaced footage instead of progressive footage.

                             

                            Taking Premiere Elements out of the equation for the moment, what does the VLC playback look like if you go to VLC Video Menu/Deinterlace and assure that "Off" is selected? What happens if you have VLC Video Menu/Deinterlace "On" and Deinterlace Mode set at one of the Deinterlace Methods?

                             

                            ATR

                            • 12. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                              fabioa15437023 Level 1

                              I have tried your suggestion, A.T. and it still stutters. There is no visible change at playback with Deinterlace OFF or ON (with a deinterlace mode set).

                              • 13. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                                A.T. Romano Level 7

                                fabioa

                                 

                                This is the plan....

                                 

                                Take the source 1080p60 into the free HandBrake program to obtain a 1080p60 as H.264.mp4. Then import that H.264.mp4 into Premiere Elements with Premiere Elements' Expert workspace Add Media/Files and Folders/Project Assets from where you drag the file to the Timeline. If the project does not set the project preset correctly for NTSC AVCHD AVCHD 1080p60, then set that project preset manually using File Menu/New/Project. Does that H.264.mp4 version play back better in the Edit area monitor?

                                https://handbrake.fr/

                                Under the Video Tab of HandBrake, be sure to set the frame rate to an actual number, in this case 59.94 and dot the constant for the frame rate. If you need how to information for HandBrake, please let me know. HandBrake should be supported by Windows and Mac.

                                 

                                Thanks.

                                 

                                ATR

                                • 14. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                                  fabioa15437023 Level 1

                                  Wow, A.T., I have done it and it plays back PERFECTLY. However there is an orange line over the clip in the edit area. I have checked the settings and they are fine. What did Handbrake actually change? It was in H.264 originally. Maybe the constant framerate is the key...

                                   

                                  You must be close to solving this problem and I really appreciate your efforts!!

                                  • 15. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                                    A.T. Romano Level 7

                                    fabops

                                     

                                    Wonderful news "I have done it and it plays back PERFECTLY". Great job.

                                     

                                    What were the following for the H.264.mp4 video with constant frame rate from the HandBrake process

                                    Frame Width and Frame Height

                                    Frame Rate

                                    Was it 1920 x 1080 with a frame rate of 60.00 or 59.94 constant?

                                     

                                    When you see the orange line over the H.264.mp4 Timeline content and hit the render button, does the orange line turn green after Timeline render is complete, and does that Timeline play back great?

                                     

                                    The major HandBrake offerings

                                    1. Variable changed to Constant Frame Rate

                                    2. Frame Width and Frame Height should have stayed the same.

                                    3. The audio would be AAC Stereo

                                    4. Video compression would be H.264 with the .mp4 file extension.

                                     

                                    When you took the HandBrake's H.264.mp4 into the Premiere Elements project, did you set the project preset manually or did you let the project set the project preset automatically.

                                     

                                    Very excited about your good news. Let us see if we can clear up the additional details.

                                     

                                    Thanks for the follow ups.

                                     

                                    ATR

                                    • 16. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                                      fabioa15437023 Level 1

                                      Do you mean I should check the file in VLC video info after it is processed by Handbrake. Or where can I check these info?

                                       

                                      When I hit the Render button, it does not do anything, just starts to play the video. Orange line stays there. Which is strange because when I used to push render, it launched a lenghty rendering process... but now nothing happens, just starts playing the video in the playback window.

                                       

                                      About the project presets, I tried both. Opened a project with forced presets, it was fine. If I just dropped the video in, it also set the preset correctly. NTSC AVCHD 1080p square pixel, 59,94 frames/second, display format 60fps Drop-Frame Timecode, etc..

                                      • 17. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                                        A.T. Romano Level 7

                                        fabioa

                                         

                                        Thanks for the information in your post 16.

                                         

                                        From what you wrote, all may be fine. It may just be an interpretation issue. Let us see.

                                         

                                        You wrote

                                        When I hit the Render button, it does not do anything, just starts to play the video. Orange line stays there

                                        This suggests that possibility that you are not referring to the same orange line that I am. There are two orange lines possible -

                                        a. The Render Indicator Line above the Timeline content

                                        and

                                        b. The orange line that runs horizontally across the video clip or the audio clip. That orange line is referred to as rubberband.

                                         

                                        Our focus is the Render Indicator Line above the Timeline content.

                                         

                                        Render11.JPG

                                        The above screenshot is from Premiere Elements 11, but is representative of the Render Indicator Line and Render Button on 12/12.1 and 13/13.1 as well.

                                        If the Render Indicator Line is no color or green, no Timeline rendering is available nor possible. Rendering gives the best possible preview. In the case of the no color or green line, the program is telling you that you have the best possible preview.

                                         

                                        After you import your file into the project, go to Expert workspace Project Assets and right click the thumbnail for the file. Then select Properties from the menu that appears. Note the frame size, frame rate, and pixel aspect ratio there. There are properties readout programs that you could download and install, but the project's Properties readings may give us all the information we need.

                                         

                                        Please consider. Any questions or need clarification, please let me know.

                                         

                                        Thanks.

                                         

                                        ATR

                                        • 18. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                                          fabioa15437023 Level 1

                                          Here are two screenshots for video info. This one is for clip unprocessed by Handbrake (the one that stutters):

                                           

                                          AE screenshot2.png

                                          And this is for the one that runs perfectly, processed by Handbrake:

                                           

                                          AE screenshot1.png

                                           

                                          There are only rubberbands as you see. And only the file size is different. Handbrake reduced it to exactly half of the original. (Is this because the constant framerate was ticked?)

                                          • 19. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                                            A.T. Romano Level 7

                                            fabioa

                                             

                                            Looking good.

                                             

                                            You have maintained the frame size and have the constant 59.94 frames per second frame rate.

                                            You do not have an orange line over the Timeline content with the 1920 x 1080p59.94 content. That tells me that you have the correct project preset.

                                             

                                            From what you show in those screenshots and from your report of perfect playback, you have success.

                                             

                                            Timeline rendering is to direct the project to show you the best possible preview. But, the render line indicator (no colored line) is telling you that you have the best possible preview. In that condition, you will not get Timeline rendering when you hit the Render button. All you will get is Timeline playback (as you are getting).

                                             

                                            Please let me know if you are OK with the details.

                                             

                                            Thank you.

                                             

                                            ATR

                                            • 20. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                                              fabioa15437023 Level 1

                                              Yes, OK with the details so far. So does that mean I have to put all my clips through Handbrake first then import them to Elements? What does Handbrake do to them? Is it the variable/constant framerate the only difference? Could my raw footages be variable framerates even if I set the drone to record in 1080p 60fps? Thanks for all your help so far, we have progressed a lot.

                                              • 21. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                                                A.T. Romano Level 7

                                                fabioa

                                                 

                                                Thanks for the follow ups.

                                                 

                                                Please check out the drone setup menu to determine if you are really setting for a "up to 60 progressive frames per second" or whether you are really setting for a fixed 59.94/60 progressive frames per second.

                                                 

                                                For me, I have been basing my decision on variable versus constant frame rate in the original by putting the original through MediaInfo and inspecting the file's video properties frame rate. If variable frame rate, the file typically displays 3 frames rates - minimum frame rate, frame rate, and maximum frame rate.

                                                 

                                                If you are not dealing with a variable situation, then HandBrake might be offering a different variation in video codec and the way it is wrapped with the .mp4 file extension.

                                                 

                                                Moving forward, you could periodically test the drone recordings to determine if there is any batch to batch variation in raw recording performance in Premiere Elements projects.

                                                 

                                                In the end, the HandBrake run through at the constant frame rate may be the solution which may be manageable on a HandBrake batch recording set after you have established HandBrake settings on a one by one video basis.

                                                 

                                                ATR

                                                • 22. Re: Editing drone videos on a laptop... moving from iMovie to Elements 13
                                                  fabioa15437023 Level 1

                                                  Thank you for your patience and expert help.

                                                  Regards,

                                                  Fabio