12 Replies Latest reply on Aug 23, 2007 5:14 AM by (Michael_Kubert)

    Using VMware movies in Premiere

    Level 1
      Can anyone offer some tips for how to go about using AVIs created in VMware? The videos import alright into the project file list, but just show a black screen when played in the source monitor.

      I've installed the proprietary VMware codec and have tried converting the AVIs to other codecs using VirtualDub, SUPER, and MediaCoder. So far there's always been a significant loss in quality in the output file.

      All suggestions are welcome, from Premiere tweaks to file conversion tips.
        • 1. Re: Using VMware movies in Premiere
          Harm Millaard Level 7
          Adobe likes DV AVI type 2. Anything else may not work. YMMV.
          • 2. Re: Using VMware movies in Premiere
            Level 1
            Thanks Harm. I tried converting to DV AVI type 2, but the same problem with loss of quality still results. I can't say if it's entirely an issue with the VMware codec or the free software tools I'm using to convert. It sure would be nice if Premiere supported the codec, since I'll be doing a lot of work with these files.

            I did find a workaround worth mentioning for anyone in the same situation. I created an uncompressed AVI using VirtualDub, which Premiere handled alright. The downside is it took ages to convert, and the resulting file size is 4.7 GB...from a 38 MB original file with 2:20 min of footage. Not ideal, but it'll work until I have a longer video to convert.
            • 3. Re: Using VMware movies in Premiere
              Harm Millaard Level 7
              > It sure would be nice if Premiere supported the codec, since I'll be doing a lot of work with these files.

              I disagree. It is always wise the improve on your strength's and disregard or get rid of weaknesses. If IBM, HP or Dell were to announce they are getting into the baby food market, would that inspire confidence? Or alternatively, if Nestle were to announce they would be going into oil exploration? Not wise IMO.

              If people want to use esoteric codecs, that is up to them, but for companies like Adobe it is better to keep a clear view of where their strengths are and how to expand these. That means going with the mainstream codecs, not the niche ones.

              A lot of people here would vehemently argue that it is far better to get 64 bit OS support than support for DivX or Xvid or whatever other codecs one can come up with. The same applies to a preference for smart rendering and render farm options rather than iPod or telephone codecs, especially with the long render times for BR output.
              • 4. Re: Using VMware movies in Premiere
                Level 1
                I see your point, and I suppose I didn't mean it in the sense that it's Adobe's responsibility to cater to ever codec out there. I certainly dislike the fact that VMware is using a proprietary codec and would love it if they used something more standard.

                Unfortunately I'm stuck using it, so I need to come up with a solution. (I get these videos submitted to me by a team of engineers, and then must create videos for the Web.) Does anyone know of any Premiere plugins that support the VMware codec? What about commercial-grade video conversion tools that could output decent quality AVIs with reasonable file sizes?
                • 5. Re: Using VMware movies in Premiere
                  Harm Millaard Level 7
                  Can the engineers submit a more common format of the videos, like DV AVI, HDV MPEG, or TIFF sequences? That would make your life much easier. What kind of software are they using and what kind of export possibilities do they have?
                  • 6. Re: Using VMware movies in Premiere
                    Level 1
                    The engineers use VMware, recording their actions in the session using the VMware Movie feature. Essentially they're creating screencasts of virtual machine sessions. Sadly the only export option for these videos is this proprietary codec.

                    I wish there were other options for them to record video, but we're talking about around 100 engineers, and the priority in this project is minimal impact on their other activities. They're already familiar with VMware, so no need for training, new procedures, etc. Hence the business requirement of converting the video on this end, either through a Premiere plugin or a video conversion tool.
                    • 7. Re: Using VMware movies in Premiere
                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                      >I wish there were other options for them to record video

                      There are.
                      • 8. Re: Using VMware movies in Premiere
                        Level 1
                        While I appreciate the outside-the-box suggestions for working around my problem with the VMware codec, they're just not an option. We're not an AV shop or even a graphic design lab, and we don't have budget to outfit our engineers with equipment like that.

                        I'm stuck with what I get (such is corporate life sometimes) and I'm looking for help converting it or getting Premiere to read it. Any suggestions on those two options would be greatly appreciated.
                        • 9. Re: Using VMware movies in Premiere
                          Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                          benn333,

                          Since you are already using VirtualDub to convert, you should try a couple of lossless, free codecs. I've had good results with both HuffYUV and Lagarith .

                          HuffYUV, in particular, is faster than uncompressed on my system, and produces a file that is smaller by half than uncompressed.

                          Lagarith is the slowest of these 3 options, but the file size is reduced even more than HuffYUV.

                          Some numbers from a DV project, DV clips totaling 1 minute, 5 seconds, no effects:

                          1. MS .avi uncompressed time to transcode = 55 seconds; final file size = 1.9 GB.

                          2. HuffYUV .avi time to transcode = 44 seconds; final file size = 848 MB.

                          3. Lagarith. avi time to transcode = 1 minute, 27 seconds; final file size = 701 MB.

                          Win XP SP2 32-bit
                          P4 3.0 GHz w/HT
                          2 GB RAM
                          7200 RPM SATA drive handling both read and write
                          • 10. Re: Using VMware movies in Premiere
                            Level 1
                            Perfect. HuffYUV and Lagarith produced 1.58 Gb and 566 Mb files respectively, both of good quality. Thanks for your help Jeff, this should do just what I need.
                            • 11. Re: Using VMware movies in Premiere
                              Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                              You're welcome. :)
                              • 12. Re: Using VMware movies in Premiere
                                Level 1
                                benn333, I used one of the QuickTime codec compression settings (I think it was "Animation") with quite good results.

                                I will send a feature request to VMware as I think they should also support standard codecs at least as addition to their proprietary one.