9 Replies Latest reply on Apr 20, 2009 5:29 PM by Kurvah

    PE4 & .avi files & MPEG-2 Files from Camcorders

      HI.  I have recently acquired a Sony DCR-SR220 camcorder (which has led me into a "research project" to insure I have everything set up as best as possible).  The files from the Sony DCR-SR220 are in MPEG-2 format.  I am a football coach and I slow the video down to 40% of original so I can study the kids in action and see what needs to be "fixed" with our team.  I need to have slow moving video which is as smooth as possible.  I might also do PIP or other similar effects in the slow motion video.  My previous camcorder, Sony DCR-TRV280, was tape.  PE4 would capture it as .avi and I could manipulate these files to great affect.  Now, it is appearing as when I slow down the DCR-SR220's MPEG-2 files - the motion is herky-jerky. Herky-jerky being defined as seeing the core object in one frame and then a "ghost" of the object behind it and a ghost of the object in front of the core object in the direction of movement.

       

      - Is this "herky-jerky ghosting of an object in motion" caused by the video coming from the Sony DCR-SR220 camcorder being more compressed than .avi?

       

      - I have heard that PE4 works best with .avi files??

       

      - If that is the case, should I import my MPEG-2 files into PE4 and convert them to .avi and then edit them and then burn my DVD??

       

      If anyone can enlighten me, I would appreciate it.

        • 1. Re: PE4 & .avi files & MPEG-2 Files from Camcorders
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          You're going to run into jerkiness issues when you slow MPEGs. It's kind of the nature of the MPEGs. Unlike AVIs, MPEGs use master frames (called I-frames) followed by several frames that borrows video information from those I-frames. That means not every frame is a complete frame -- so doing a time stretch could be challenging.

           

          You can mute some of that jerkiness by right-clicking on slowed clips and selecting Frame Blend. And make sure, before you judge the quality, that you press the Enter key and let the clip render on the timeline.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: PE4 & .avi files & MPEG-2 Files from Camcorders
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            Usually, PE will internally convert MPEG-2 to DV-AVI Type II files, and do a pretty good job of it. Some will give it problems, however, and that internal conversion can cause slowdowns. I always do the conversions outside of Premiere, with 3rd party software.

             

            Now, the actual conversion does not degrade the image to a noticeable degree. However, the footage from that camera has already been compressed to create the MPEG-2, and there is a big loose there. Along with this, there is the compression, that Steve outlined. Converting to DV-AVI Type II creates a full I-frame file, i.e. each frame is represented 100%. That's why converting from MPEG-2 to DV-AVI Type II will yield a much larger file - each frame is represented.

             

            As if the initial MPEG-2 conversion was not enough, if you output to DVD, you will then re-compress everything to MPEG-2, yet again. Quality WILL take a hit, and especially with quick motion, a hit that can be seen.

             

            A miniDV tape-based camera would be a better choice.

             

            If you are locked into the camera, and are doing a lot of time re-mapping, you might want to explore Adobe AfterEffects. It handles this better, but beware that it comes with a fairly steep learning curve and is not an inexpensive program. The best "deal" might be to invest in the full "suite" to get PremierePro (which offers more time re-mapping, than does PE), AfterEffects and Photoshop. Usually, Adobe offers some upgrade path from programs, like PE, but I do not know how good that deal might be now.

             

            Good luck,

             

            Hunt

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: PE4 & .avi files & MPEG-2 Files from Camcorders
              Level 1

              Thanks again for a detailed answer.  I am not quite soaking up everything you are saying, although it seems appearant you know what you are talking about.

               

              Hunt Says:

              Now, the actual conversion (my MPEG-2 to AVI?) does not degrade the image to a noticeable degree  (so my new AVI file is as "good" as my original MPEG-2 file?) -or- (are you talking about the camera's internal conversion of its source video file unknown format to final MPEG-2 format?) .

               

              However, the footage from that camera has already been compressed to create the MPEG-2, and there is a big loss there. Along with this, there is the compression, that Steve outlined.

               

              Converting to DV-AVI Type II creates a full I-frame file, i.e. each frame is represented 100% (Which is good for editing?). That's why converting from MPEG-2 to DV-AVI Type II will yield a much larger file - each frame is represented.

               

              As if the initial MPEG-2 conversion was not enough, if you output to DVD, you will then re-compress everything to MPEG-2, yet again. Quality WILL take a hit, and especially with quick motion, a hit that can be seen.  (Can a person get a camcorder MPEG-2 file to DVD MPEG-2 format without being compressed the second time??  MPEG-2 is MPEG-2?) -or- (All camcorder MPEG-2 files are always re-compressed on the way to a DVD and therefore always take a quality hit?)

               

              Usually, PE will internally convert MPEG-2 to DV-AVI Type II files, and do a pretty good job of it. Some will give it problems, however, and that internal conversion can cause slowdowns. I always do the conversions outside of Premiere, with 3rd party software.  (This does not really pertain to me, you are just stating good pro-active procedure and sharing not commonly known knowledge?)

               

               

               

               

               

              The rest of this message and the other message you left me was informative, but not what I wanted to hear of course.  It sounds as if I need to get in line at the Treasury dept.

              • 4. Re: PE4 & .avi files & MPEG-2 Files from Camcorders
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Sorry that I wasn't clear. The difference between the camera's MPEG-2 (already compressed by the camera) and the converted DV-AVI will be minimal. Unfortunatly, the RAW data, that the camera recorded, cannot be accessed, or used. This is not the real problem, but the additional conversion back to MPEG-2 to Burn a DVD.

                 

                There are several programs that do editing with MPEG-2 footage, and then Burn to DVD, without having to do to DV-AVI and then re-Transcoding back to MPEG-2. One of these might be better, though most allow simple cuts, and not full NLE functions.

                 

                Good luck,

                 

                Hunt

                 

                PS I feel the same, about the price, however I bit that bullet many years ago, so the pain has subsided a bit.

                • 5. Re: PE4 & .avi files & MPEG-2 Files from Camcorders
                  RedSanders

                  Experts, please correct whatever I am saying wrong here.  But, it appears to me that the sad note is that camcorder producers are moving away from tape-based (e.g. MiniDV) that record in AVI format.  I recently shopped for a camcorder for my daughter with the intent of her giving her videos to me to edit in PE.  So, this trend by manufacturers became quite apparent.

                   

                  Complicating things even more are warnings/concerns expressed in this forum about processing video in other formats (MPEG-2, HD, etc.), and indeed, threads that focus on problems with PE interacting with specific brands of camcorders, for example Canon, narrows choices even more.  Sill more concerns arise even if one has had success editing a video - how to archive.  Here again, there are concerns expressed in this forum about storing many archives on a hard drive.  Putting all one's eggs in one basket, so to speak.  If the drive fails...there goes your archives!  Else, one must buy drives to backup drives.  Or, if archives (original or edited versions) are stored on DVDs - space available on a DVD either requires that a video in AVI format be of short length, or it must be converted to DVD format - thus being compressed, thus reducing the value of the archive!  And, there is debate as to which has the best lifetime - tapes or DVDs.

                   

                  In summary, as PE has been improved to provide more features and options to video editors, camcorder sources are moving away from creating videos  that work best in PE to formats that are difficult and disappointing for folks like Coach Kurvah to work with.

                   

                  BTW Coach, our children were in a number of athletics, and we now have a bunch of grandkids that are now there, it is a constant disappointment to me of how few coaches utilize videos as part of their training.  Football coaches have been doing so for a long time - just don't see it being done in a variety of other athletic activities. And I'm talking about in different schools (elementary, middle & high) and different cities in Texas & Louisiana.  I've even filmed events, and offered.edited products on DVDs to their coaches for such uses, and generally received little interest.  So, good for you for doing so, keep up the good work!  And keep coming back here for help with this topic or others.  The folks here are- very patient, reliable and knowledgeable.

                  • 6. Re: PE4 & .avi files & MPEG-2 Files from Camcorders
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    With the exception of some HD formats, I agree that mfgrs. are doing a horrible disservice to consumers with the various HDD and miniDVD formats, most of which require significant compression. If one is only going to show on a TV, then all is well. If they wish to actually edit the footage, then all is not so good.

                     

                    HD uses a form of either MPEG-2, or H.264 (Apple) formats. Some of these do edit better, provided that one has a newer NLE, a secondary program, like Cineform, and a fast, powerful computer. Then, if they go to BD for distribution, all is pretty good.

                     

                    If one is doing SD footage, editing it, and then going to DVD-Video, they are best advised to go with miniDV tape cameras.

                     

                    Hunt

                    • 7. Re: PE4 & .avi files & MPEG-2 Files from Camcorders
                      Level 1

                      wow.  I did not even have the slightest inclination of the importance of the .avi files to what I have been doing for slow motion and other effects. 

                       

                      Thanks for the insight everyone.  I will make the best of my situation with the information you have given me.

                      • 8. Re: PE4 & .avi files & MPEG-2 Files from Camcorders
                        Robert J. Johnston Level 2

                        First try the Frame Blend option on the clip on the timeline. I don't think you need to convert your MPEG-2 to DV-AVI. And if you do have to convert it, go get a different video editor.

                        • 9. Re: PE4 & .avi files & MPEG-2 Files from Camcorders
                          Level 1

                          Hi.  I am closing the loop on things I found out since my last post.

                           

                          - I did get an MPeg Editior which allows me to put together a DVD with a minimum of re-encoding.  I then tested and compared what was coming off my MPEG-2 camcorder through this MPEG Editor to DVDs or through PE4 to DVDs.  I can tell a quality difference, but only because I am looking closely.  The testing is with video which has not been significantly modified (ie time shift).

                           

                          - With slowed down video off of the MPEG camcorder, PE4 was able to handle the time shifting better than the MPEG editor.  The way I am going about this is to export the slowed down clip from PE4 as a computer file with VB-2 pass & high quality settings.  Then I let the MPEG editor write it to a DVD with no encoding.

                           

                          - I have not yet tried out the suggested "Frame Blend" option - as I have ran out of time on this project.  I will try Frame Blend when I get my next batch of team in action video next season.  Go Wolf Pack!