11 Replies Latest reply on Nov 5, 2008 10:19 PM by (editmachine)

    Scene Detection: What am I missing?

      I have recently installed PE7, the first version I have tried. I like the PSE catalog integration it has so got off to a good start there. However I have now imported all my video which is about 40 or so .wmv files that I captured from my old camcorder a couple of years ago and have hit my first big issue.

      I am trying to get scene detection working properly but must be doing something wrong. In Window MovieMaker for example when you import the video you can create clips on import, doing all my 40Gb of video took it about 2 or 3 minutes and then everything was organised into collections by imported file.

      In PE7 I have figured out that I have to include a clip in a project to do scene detection on it but when I start, the initial estimate FOR ONE FILE is about an hour and then this gradually increases sometimes to two or more hours, in other words slower than real-time. This means that doing my whole batch would likely take up to 80 hours to do! I say 'would' because generally speaking PE7 gets so far through the process and then dies with an unexpected error.

      This is just scene detection, no smart tagging of quality or faces etc. What am I doing wrong that causes PE7 to be hundreds of times slower than WMM? Is it just trying to be perfect? I don't care if scene detection is a bit hit and miss and generates too many scenes, so long as I can stitch them together and I would far rather have a quick and dirty scan than have to sit and twiddle my thumbs for hours on end (because there's no CPU or memory left to do anything else).

      This is on XP SP3, 3GHz Intel Dual Core and 2Gb of RAM, ~90Gb of free space. Hopefully somebody can tell me what I am doing wrong.

        • 1. Re: Scene Detection: What am I missing?
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional
          It's a WMV issue. You're asking the program to assimilate, convert and do scene detection (unlike MovieMaker, which will do that to the native WMV file).

          Best advice is to convert that WMV file to a DV-AVI before you bring it into Premiere Elements. Then things will work much more efficiently, per the FAQs at the top of this forum.
          • 2. Re: Scene Detection: What am I missing?
            Level 1
            Thanks for the quick response. I am now trying this to see if it makes any difference. The trouble is at the moment that is going to take just as long, according to WMM, to write DV-AVI files as to do the scene detection (though hopefully it won't just crash when 90% of the way through like PE7 does). The one hour WMV files has been converting for 20 minutes already and has an hour and twenty or so left to go.

            Also it wants to turn a 1Gb 640x480 WMV file into a 15Gb 720x576 AVI file!! Ie fifteen times the size and to a larger and not native resolution, so requiring interpolation. The size means I don't have space to do this for more than a handful of files so I still need a way of getting PE7 to do it for the rest of them without crashing all the time even if this works.

            It does seem odd to me that PE7 which costs a lot of money can't support common formats as well as an effectively free tool can and needs it's help to do the job.

            • 3. Re: Scene Detection: What am I missing?
              Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional
              That all sounds about right, Philip.

              Except that Premiere Elements BY DESIGN uses a DV-AVI format rather than a WMV format. Sometimes that can be to a disadvantage, as you've experienced; In most cases, though, it's the better format.
              • 4. Re: Scene Detection: What am I missing?
                Level 1
                Thanks again.

                So by design PE7 uses a format that takes 15Gb to store an hour of video amd which imposes an artificially large resolution and takes 5-10 minutes to do scene detection plus costs a lot of money?

                I'm not really seeing the benefit of it over WMM which is free, takes 1Gb to store an hour of video and can do scene detection in 5 seconds.

                As I said before this is my first time with PE of any variety and so far everything I've tried is more fiddly, takes a lot longer and is more complicated than with WMM, and far more likely to crash. I'm not interested in fancy transitions etc, all I want to do is tag a bunch of videos and cut and splice them into bite size files that I can author onto a DVD. I am beginning to think I have wasted my money here.

                Ok, a much simpler question here then. In PSE I can open the Properties docker and when I click on an item in the organizer it will tell me how large it is, when it was taken etc. In PE7 if I select Windows->Properties it just complains that nothing is selected unless it is in the project already. The thing is, I want to know when a video was recorded and how large it is before I add it to the project. Even something as simple as that I am struggling with now.

                I am not optimistic.... :(

                • 5. Re: Scene Detection: What am I missing?
                  Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional
                  Well, as we often say on this forum, there is no one right best solution for everyone -- any more than there is one perfect car that fits everyone's needs.

                  It all depends on your goals, your workflow, your source files and what you ultimately intend to output.

                  It sounds as though this is not the program for you, Philip. That's not a negative for either you or the program. It just sounds as though this app is not going to meet your needs.

                  You may want to look into Sonic MyDVD. It works with small files (an MPEG workflow rather than a DV-AVI workflow), works very efficiently, handles all the basic edit functions and creates a nice looking DVD.
                  • 6. Re: Scene Detection: What am I missing?
                    Level 1
                    Just to follow up on my own post from earlier. Having waited 2.5 hours for WMM to convert my 1Gb WMV file to a 15Gb AVI file, PE7 now expects to take another 2.5 hours to do scene detection which is even longer than the hour it said for the WMV file, though it never made it through any of them before crashing.

                    This cannot be right surely? WMM takes 5 seconds, PE7 takes several hours for the same file even using PE7 'native' format? As I said before I don't care if an app creates too many scenes. I would rather it take 5 seconds and I have to take 20 minutes to correct it than it take 2-3 hours by which time I've lost the will to live (and do any more video work). Quite honestly I don't see what is 'smart' about 'smart tagging' and scene detection, it would seem that the only smart thing to do is avoid it altogether.

                    • 7. Re: Scene Detection: What am I missing?
                      Level 1
                      Thank you Steve for your input. I have to say I am disappointed in PE7. I think PSE is great and it has been my photo organizer of choice for the last few years. I was looking forward to being able to work with videos in the same logical and organised manner but PE7 just doesn't cut it.

                      I realise that people have different requirements but it is a shame that, to use your car analog, a 2008 model costs more, takes longer to get me where I want to go, refuses to go to the parts of town I want to visit and breaks down more often, than if I'd just taken the free bus!
                      • 8. Re: Scene Detection: What am I missing?
                        Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional
                        Now that's not fair, Philip. You're messing with my metaphor.

                        It's more like this.

                        I love my Mazda. It gets great gas mileage and totes me around town.

                        But if you try to haul wood in it or car pool with 6 people, you've got the wrong car, and I think you're going to be very unhappy with my choice.

                        Seriously, there are choices out there that will meet your needs. Why not choose a program that will meet your needs rather than choosing a program first and then complaining because it doesn't do what you want?
                        • 9. Re: Scene Detection: What am I missing?
                          Level 1
                          I do appreciate your input and have had a look at Sonic now, though as soon as I realised it had anything to do with Roxio that immediately rang alarms bells. I think I will probably just stick to WMM for compilation and if I need something else for authoring then I will cross that bridge later.

                          My problem with PE7 I guess is that there aren't any programs out there that say 'works really slow with .wmv files' and so on. They all say they are the best at everything so until I bought and paid for one I don't know if it does the job or not. The blurb for PE7 says 'makes it easy to create incredible movies' and 'Get started quickly with automated moviemaking options'. Well I don't think it is easy at all and yes I could get 'started' quickly, it was waiting for things to 'finish' that takes forever, or often doesnt happen at all but nobody is ever going to say that are they.

                          I did make the mistake here of not getting a trial I admit but that was because I wanted to upgrade PSE anyway and I went for the bundle. None of the official release information ever really gives you a true picture, it's only on user reviews and on forums like this that you get a better picture of how things really work. So if someone reads this and decides PE7 isn't worth the money then that is a good thing and I am going to make sure I put my impressions of it on Amazon etc because I surely would not have bought it if I had been aware of how painful it is to use and if I can help other people to avoid wasting money when better and cheaper alternatives are available.

                          Thanks again Steve for taking time out of your day to contribute here. That's the one good thing I have got out of PE7 so far, it's the fastest forum I've been onto for a while even if PE7 itself is just about the slowest software I've used.
                          • 10. Re: Scene Detection: What am I missing?
                            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional
                            I've appreciated the dialog, Philip. It's nice when we can disagree and have a civil discussion.

                            Sorry your experience has been so bad though. I don't work for Adobe, but I am a very enthusiastic user, so I always wish everyone the same success I've enjoyed these past 4 or 5 years of using it.
                            • 11. Re: Scene Detection: What am I missing?
                              Level 1
                              Are you trying to perform scene detect via the "Smart Tagging" mode .. or are you trying to do scene detect via the project mode.

                              If you are entering via the "Smart Tagging" mode, you should ensure that you have deselected all the Filters.

                              However you can directly perform Scene detect in the project view (right clicking on the clip and choosing scene detect - and then choosing 'Scene detect - by video content analysis'), this automatically performs only scene splits.