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If you're completely done, you can dump everything except the DVD files you've created, Scott.
The FAQs at the top of this forum offer more information.
I am done, I think, but if I want to pick it up again, could I create the project again from, say, the combined avi file or do I need the 166 individual ones that APE created?
You only need the files you've used, Scott.
If you've been working on video from a miniDV camcorder, you can port the finished video back to your camcorder and save your AVI master to tape. That's a common way to back it up.
Yeah, I'm going to back up the critical stuff to an external drive. The last question I have is, "Can I create a movie from the consolidated avi (if I needed to do it over) or do I have to have 166 individual avi files that APE captured from my camera?"
Well, that all depends.
If you're only using the video you've edited, you only need that AVI.
If you need more than what you're outputting as your final, you'll need more.
That's right! The consolidated AVI would be fine as a basis (the edited video) to use to re-create my project if I should have to do that. Maybe I should ask if the menu markers have been maintained in the new AVI? In other words, can I create a new disk (menus, menu markers present, etc.) from this single AVI w/o having access to the 166 original individual ones?
I feel like we're answering the same questions over and over, Scott.
Here's the upshot.
1) If you want to back up your DVD with its navigation, burn your DVD to a folder on your hard drive or create a "master" DVD.
2) If you just want to save your project in pristine quality and there's the possbility that you might want to edit it again later, save it as a DV-AVI or, better, back to tape in your miniDV camcorder. This will not include this menu markers. Just the final cut of the video you used to make the project.
3) Finally, if you want to save your project, its source files and menu navigation, you can use Premiere Elements Project Archiver. With the archiver, you have the option of either save every video source for your project or only the ones you used in your project. Unfortunately, you can't archive to your camcorder and you probably can't archive to a DVD, since the files will be huge. But you can archive to an external hard drive or other backup server.
If you want to add more footage to the timeline from those 166 files then you can't delete those 166 avi files however if you are done with the editing i.e if you have selected the best part of those 166 files which you want in your project then there is no need to keep those files. To edit your project later on, just archive it and you can open it anytime later for editing purpose.
Regarding burning the DVD, burn it to a folder and the folder created on burning will keep all the menu markers and when you burn that folder on a DVD, the markers will be intact.