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MPEG is still going to be a bit difficult to edit because it has a total different structure as (dv)avi does, but yes you can mix them in the timeline.
If you do, you should right-click on every MPEG and select Field Options/Reverse Field Dominance. Otherwise, when you output your DVD, the MPEG segments will look all jittery, due to the different methods of interlacing.
Thank you, Ann & Steve, for your answers.
I have never had luck mixing MPEG with DV-AVI (I assime that is what you meant - not AVI). It seems like PE4 has a mind of its own. Even when I reverce filed dominance, it still gets messes up.
Your best bet is to convert the MPEGs to DV-AVIs.
If you really meant AVI, I would not recommend that format with Premiere Elements.
I didn't know the difference between DV-AVI and AVI, so I did some research and found that DV-AVI is compressed. The .avi I'm asking about is what I think of as the "raw", uncompressed files that PE4 captures from my camera's Mini-DV tape to my computer. Then I add them to my movie timeline. I was asking if I could add already compressed MPEG file formats like .vob and .mpg to the movie timeline with the avi files (which I think are uncompressed--but I may be wrong).
I think I'll try Steve's suggestion and see what happens.
The Mini-DV tapes you capture over firewire come in as DV AVI files, that is an AVI file with DV compression. Note that DV compression is relatively light and is confined to each frame independently, unlike MPEG. One hour of DV AVI takes up about 13 GB of disk. Uncompressed AVI would take significantly more (5 times?).
AVI (Audio Video Interleave file) is just a "wrapper." It can contain many things, dictated by the CODEC used to create it. For work in Premiere (Elements of Pro), the DV-AVI is the best choice. An AVI can be an "uncompressed" file. This is what you are refering to as the "raw" file. The visual difference between a DV-AVI and an uncompressed AVI file is very tough to spot, and the uncompressed version will be gigantic in comparison. As Peter states, the DV-AVI compression is very light indeed. An AVI might also contain DivX, Indeo, VidX or any number of other compression CODECs. Most of these highly compress the data. If your viewing tests of DV-AVI vs uncompressed AVI indicate that too much is lost (mine do not), then you might wish to explore two other CODECs for intermediate files: Lagarith and HuffYuv. Both are "lossless" compression. First Warning, to encode/decode either, you will need to acquire and install these CODECs. Both are free. Second Warning, both take time to encode and decode. They WILL slow your editing system down.
I've done identical Projects using uncompressed AVI's vs DV-AVI's and cannot spot any differences on a 60" TV with direct SD feed, i.e. no upsampling to HD. I don't have the figures handy, but would guess that the uncompressed AVI's are about 3-5x larger than DV-AVI's. Take Peter's 13GB/hr (which is right about where the DV-AVI's come in) and you get 39GB/hr to 65GB/hr. It doesn't take too many to fill up a 1TB HDD.
Because Premiere (Elements and Pro) are designed around the DV-AVI workflow, that is the format that most of us use. I have found no reason to use uncompressed AVI and stay very, very far from any of the others, like DivX, except as final delivery formats, i.e. used only
all editing has been done.
Establishing a good workflow, DV tape to DV-AVI, into Premiere, Export to whatever delivery format is needed, is the best solution for ultimate quality. Do try the experiment yourself, but choose a small Project and expect giant honking files with uncompressed AVI.
I love this forum where people take the time to explain and clear up misconceptions! Peter and Bill, I now understand that captured files are somewhat compressed (and it's a good thing they are.)I've also been convinced that DV-AVI is the best format for PE4, so thank you, JohnnyO, for mentioning converting MPEG to DV-AVI--I didn't know that could be done. I'm new to video editing, and y'all have really helped me; I appreciate your kindness.
You are most welcome. Everyone had to start at some time.
I highly recommend reading this forum, plus the "Community" at www.muvipix.com - its forums. There is a lot of useful info here and there, plus people wishing to help others.
With the world of NLE video, things are really pretty simple, however there are a lot of choices out there, and the marketing departments for all of the software companies do not make it any easier - they lead one to believe that you can do anything with anything. It's easy to get confused. Most of us have tried to work with all sorts of Assets, whether we downloaded them, or a client gave them to us. It doesn't take too long to realize that some conversion BEFORE you Import these is the best route. It also becomes readily apparent that with certain types of Assets, end quality will take a hit. Maybe we can live with that, or maybe we cannot.
Feeding your NLE the files that it likes best will help insure all possible quality and speed things up greatly. It will also go a long way towards having a stable NLE and a stable Project.
[EDIT] I forgot to add a note on reading the FAQ's at the top of this page. Read them all, even for earlier versions, as so very much applies to all later versions.
Is this also valid for PE3?
Ogul, I had PE3 before PE4, so I'm sure the answer to your question is "yes." As Bill said, "Feeding your NLE [non-linear editing program (in our case, PE3 or PE4)] the files that it likes best will help insure all possible quality . . .], and both PE3 and PE4 like .avi files the best.