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Where are you getting a 1280x720 AVI?
Generally, AVIs (which are the file format for standard video) are 720x480 (NTSC) and MPEGs (the file format for hi-def video) are 1440x1080.
About all you're going to produce with an AVI 1280x720 is a file so huge that almost no one will be able to play it!
Maybe if we knew what you were trying to accomplish, we could offer you more efficient ways to do it.
I thought I was quite clear. I use CamStudio to capture screen activity to create tutorial videos. I want to record at 1280x720 and make video that is sharp at 720p HD resolution so the text on the screen is clearly visible.
CamStudio allows me to capture the AVI at this resolution using its loss-less codec. The resulting file is very small! The files can be played fine in Windows Media Player and edited smoothly in Windows Movie Maker. The final output of WMV files are also very small.
If you want to see an example, here is a youtube video:
There are some limitations in Movie Maker so I wanted to try PE7. Until last night I was still struggling with get the AVI in PE7 to look normal. Somehow PE7 just cannot handle the file even thought the Movie Maker can.
After some deeper search, I found another codec Lagirith for Camstudio seems to work for PE7. I am trying it now.
I would expect you'll run into lots of problems using video from either of those files in Premiere Elements, Max. Sorry.
This programs runs deep, but it also runs rather narrow. And chances are that any AVI that is very small is using some codec that's going to give Premiere Elements problems.
It's possible the CS3 version of Premiere will work better with these files. I'm just not sure you're going to be able to edit them as video on the consumer level. (Although Ulead's Movie Studio is more versatile with non-standard video formats.)
So far, AVI with the Lagirith code works fine in PE7 and I don't see any problem editing and exporting them so far. This also works in both Windows Movie Maker and Sony Vegas. Both are "consumer" level programs. Therefore I cannot understand what you said about the "deep" and "narrow". Perhaps it is a simple bug.
I'm glad it works for you, Max. These things vary wildly from system to system, depending on what codecs are installed. (And you may want to do a test output to make sure you don't run into issues during the final encoding that don't show up until the end.)
If you had asked me before you started this, I could have told you not to use the Camstudio Codec.
What you can do now is convert those files using VirtualDub (free). For the video codec, you need to select Microsoft Video 1 and force keyframes to every 1 frame. For frame rate, you should convert to the project frame rate, such as 30 or 29.97 or 25. Do a File Save As.
When you add the new video to the HD 1280x720p project, you will have to render a preview to see clear playback, although when the CTI isn't moving, you get a clear image.
In the future, use Microsoft Video 1 for the codec when recording with Camstudio. Remember to force keyframes every 1 frame.
There is another option. You can use Camstudio to convert the AVI that was originally created with the Camstudio codec to the SWF format (Macromedia Shockwave Flash). Premiere Elements 7 can import SWF. Your video may be split up into multiple SWF files if your captured AVI file exceeds a certain number of frames.