2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 4, 2009 5:57 AM by the_wine_snob

    Importing AVI files into PE 7

      Newbie poster here, hope I'm doing this right.

      I am using Premiere Elements 7 on a Vista computer. I imported some files from a DVD (which had files I had copied from VHS), then trimmed to the part I wanted to keep. I exported, which is what I thought I needed to do to make the output readable on a DVD player, as opposed to saving as a PE project. The only option for format was AVI, so I picked that. I then tried to read back into PE, but it says that file format isn't supported and needed the codec. I searched the Adobe Help files (which I admit I had trouble finding my way around in), and found information about compatible video formats with PE7. AVI is listed, but the help document also said that when connected to the internet, the appropriate format files will automatically be downloaded. So, I'm not sure what I need to do to be able to read my AVI files.

      I hope there is a simple answer to this; I'm trying to convert old home movies from VHS and have a bunch to do, but I don't want to only be able to export to Microsoft AVI format.

        • 1. Re: Importing AVI files into PE 7
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional
          Some confusion there, Dan.

          1) The ideal format to bring into Premiere Elements is a DV-AVI. That's an AVI that uses the DV codec. There are hundreds of codecs out there, so not every AVI is a DV-AVI, and most will cause nothing but problems in Premiere Elements. That sounds like what's happening when you say "The only option for format was AVI, so I picked that. I then tried to read back into PE, but it says that file format isn't supported and needed the codec."

          2) You don't say how you're getting your original files from VHS to DVD but, if you're planning to edit your files in Premiere Elements, this isn't the best way to get them into the program by any means. Since Premiere Elements uses a DV-AVI workflow, everything you put into it (included DVD footage) must be converted by the program to DV-AVI before the program can work with it -- and that can take a lot of resources, can cause quality problems because of the extra conversion and simply isn't a very efficient way to work. Particularly because you will be going from a DVD to an AVI and then back out to a DVD, which means yet another conversion is taking place!

          Maybe if I knew more about the hardware/software set-up you're using to capture your VHS I could make a better recommendation. Remember that most under-$100 capture devices are designed pretty much to work with the software that comes with it and aren't compatible with programs like Premiere Elements.

          On the other hand, DV bridges (which start at $100-150) can take any input and can capture it as DV-AVIs, perfectly compatible with Premiere Elements. We make some recommendations in the FAQs at the top of this forum.
          • 2. Re: Importing AVI files into PE 7
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            As Steve points out, the ultimate workflow with Premiere (Pro, or Elements) is to Capture via an Analog to Digital bridge (Canopus, ADS Pyro, or others) to DV-AVI directly from the VHS tapes.

            By going VHS to DVD, you have already compressed the files once as MPEG-2. Then editing these, you are basically converting to DV-AVI, but with that first compression. You will then need to compress again to MPEG-2, if your final output is back to DVD-Video. With a bridge, you are compressing to DV-AVI, but will never see any real world quality hit. Most good bridges will also allow timebase corrections during capture, to get you the best possible material, with which to edit.

            I've used my Turtle Beach A-D card for this, and it works perfectly. Were I buying something for the job now, I'd probably go with the Canopus 300, which is a FireWire connected external box.

            To tell which CODEC your system chose for the AVI export, you can use G-Spot (www.headbands.com/gspot) to tell you eveything about YOUR .AVI files. Still, you will be far better off to export/Capture as DV-AVI (file will look the same to your eyes, but will be much different inside).

            Along with the aforementioned FAQ's, you can pick up a lot of useful info at www.muvipix.com, with recs. on bridges and workflow to yield the ultimate results.

            Good luck,