5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 13, 2009 3:42 PM by the_wine_snob

    Editing strategy for 15-hour scientific seminar video?




      Should I break the 15 hours of video into a series of 15-30 min files that contain only one or two specific topics or should I create one or more larger files that use bookmarks to help the user navigate to their topic of interest?  I’ve never worked on a large project like this and I have never worked on anything for ‘business’ purposes, so I am open to all suggestions!  Thanks in advance.




      For the last 4 years I’ve used PE for many home videos, typically 1 hour in length.  I am a scientist at a very large pharmaceutical company and I just initiated my first ever work-related project to convert a 15-hour seminar from VHS tape to digital video.  Almost 20 years ago my company videotaped a seminar by a world-expert in our field and I want to make that info available to our current staff (most of whom have no training in our field – no wonder our industry is in a slump!).  I also plan to have the seminar handout (~300 pages) scanned into a PDF file that can accompany the digital video (fortunately, our company will do this paper-digital conversion for me at no charge).


      Rather than simply convert tapes to a series of DVDs with menus (or as iso files), my goal is to make the specific topics covered in the training more readily available on our corporate network. 


      I think the final project would be on our corporate network either as a series of files (ISO or mpg) on a networked shared area or perhaps on our department’s website.  (This is only for internal use within our company – a mega-corporation with 50,000 employees.  No, we no longer due this sort of video-work inside the company – everything is outsourced and no one would every pay to do the project I have in mind).


      My questions is:  Should I break the 15 hours of video into a series 15-30 min files (mpg?) that contain only one or two specific topics or should I create one or more larger files (ISO?) that use bookmarks to help the user navigate the topics?


      In the first scenario, I envision creating a ‘menu’ in a Word document that contains hyperlinks to the smaller mpg files.  The user would simply read the Word menu and click on the topic of interest to launch the video file containing. I could event create a ‘playlist’ to list series of related topics.


      In the second scenario, I would envision a series of 1-hour “DVD-like” files with conventional menus to launch the subtopics.  The product could either be a physical DVD (which I’m not enthusiastic about) or an ISO version of the DVD-like files that could be accessed by anyone on our network.



      Regarding the actual editing, for version one – I only plan on cutting and pasting.  To make sure related topics are together (not split across different files).  I don’t plan on any true editing of content or special effects.  For version two (depending on how well received version one is) I may replace some of the video footage with still images scanned from the seminar handouts (which I still have).  A good deal of the video footage shows projected overlays of scientific charts onto a screen.  Many of these did not come out clearly in the video.  Although it would be labor intensive, I could scan selected pages form the hardcopy of the presentation and put those clear images into the video. (Or maybe I can incorporate the scanned PDF files into a video but I don’t know how to do that).




      I’ve never worked on a large project like this and I have never worked on anything for ‘business’ purposes, so I am open to all suggestions!  Of particular interest to me are your comments related to:


      -small files for each topic or larger files with menus?


      -mpg or other file format (ISO) for final project?


      -can images in PDF files be incorporated into a video or should I scan hardcopies for insertion into video?

        • 1. Re: Editing strategy for 15-hour scientific seminar video?
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Here are a couple of thoughts:


          The actual delivery will dictate what you can do, and how you should do it. Initially, you can do separate Projects for each topic. This would be done in PrE (or the Non Linear Editor, NLE, of your choice). Personally, I'd use PrPro and treat each subject as a Sequence, all in my one major Project. PrE does not allow for that, but you could still easily divide your material up into Projects.


          Starting with your VHS tapes, you will need to first digitize that analog material. I strongly recommend that you look into an A-D (Analog to Digital) bridge device, like the Canopus/Grass Valley ADVC-110, or their more powerful ADVC-300. The ADVC-300 will allow for more and better timebase correction for gamma and color, but does cost a bit more.


          With one of these, you would capture to DV-AVI Type II files w/ 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV Audio. These will edit perfectly in PrE (or PrPro). There, you can gather each subject into a separate Project, that would use the DV (NTSC, or PAL, depending on where you live) Preset. This is the easy part, other than that you will want plenty of HDD storage space, as the files will be ~ 13GB per hour of runtime. Again, personally, I'd look into a 2GB (or larger) external with either FW-800, or eSATA connections for this part of the task.


          Now, for the delivery. You can output to DVD-Video with Menus for navigation. PrE will do this for you, but within some limiting parameters. Using a full-featured authoring program, like Sony's DVD Architect, or DVD Studio, will give you much more latitude in the authoring, and also allow for much greater flexibility with regard to navigation. Personally, I use Adobe Encore for authoring, but it's now ONLY available bundled with PrPro, and is no longer available as a stand-alone program. However, you are also looking for some sort of interactivity, and the DVD-specs. do not allow for that directly. You can add DVD ROM content to the discs, but that is ONLY accessible from a computer and not from a set-top player. Also, it's available only from programs, like Acrobat Reader, and there will be zero interactivity.


          However, if you were to design basically a Web site (HTML), you could have your interactivity. You'd deliver on a DVD-Data disc, and the user would basically launch your Web site (on the disc, and NOT on a server) in their browser, and you'd have all of your links there. You could create your site as a PDF and then Export it to HTML, and all of your files (the ones that you'd link to) would be on that DVD-Data disc. Were I doing this, I would probably Export/Share the PrE Projects as Adobe Flash, FLV files and embed them in a player, via the Flash (or similar) program, ending up with SWF files for the motion.


          The beauty of doing the above would be that that same material could then be uploaded to your company's intranet server, and employees would then access it, exactly like a Web-based, linked site. You now have two similar, yet different, delivery schemes from the same source material. While one could do the coding in a text editor, it would be most easily done in a Web creation program, like Adobe/Macromedia Dreamweaver. You'd Export/Share your FLV's, use Flash to package them as SWF, and then use Dreamweaver to create your Web-based HTML code. Here, I would keep each FLV as your "chapters," though you could do some indexing within those. I'd keep that to a minimum, as would be required. Actually, that sort of navigation would be easier with a DVD-Video and proper Menus and navigation using Chapter Markers, or similar. However, as stated, that medium eliminates true interactivity.


          To recap a bit: determine how you'll break up your material into Projects, Capture to DV-AVI Type II files, use a Preset that matches that footage via the DV Preset. Edit as required. THEN, use Share/Export to your chosen delivery format. You can do this several times, as is required, say first to DVD-Video, and then to Flash FLV.


          Just some thoughts, and you are starting off on the right foot - planning before you get into the middle of the Project.


          Good luck,



          • 2. Re: Editing strategy for 15-hour scientific seminar video?
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            And I would also highly recommend that you break the video down into short projects of no more than 30-45 minutes -- which seems to be the maximum attention span for watching this kind of thing.

            • 3. Re: Editing strategy for 15-hour scientific seminar video?
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Here is a LINK to the same Project's questions in the PrPro forum, so that others can see the replies and comments there.


              Good luck,



              • 4. Re: Editing strategy for 15-hour scientific seminar video?
                PEname Level 1

                Thanks folks.  Those were all great tips.  I hadn't thought about Flash. Just about all video on our corp network is flash, so I'll try it.  You've confirmed my instinct to break this up into 15-30min chunks.  I'll look into working with Flash.  I've never done anything with html so I'll pass on that for now.  Thanks again.

                • 5. Re: Editing strategy for 15-hour scientific seminar video?
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  As you posted to the PrPro forum too (good idea, by the way), if you have access to PrPro, I'd do one Project, and then break your individual "chapters" into separate Sequences. Also, if you do need to go the DVD-Video route, PrPro comes with Encore, which is a great authoring app.


                  To give you an idea of how I do it in PrPro, I have several large Projects in the works. One is now up to 8 hours. I have all of my "chapters" on separate Sequences, 18 in total, and can easily manage this size production. Yours is a big larger, but I often work with Sequences with 2+ hour Timelines and have never had an issue.


                  The individual Sequences per "chapter/subject" will allow you to work on segments of the total, and with AME (Adobe Media Encoder) in CS4, you can load it up with Sequences, establish several different output formats/CODEC's, and turn it loose. Since it's a stand-alone program now, you could get back to editing in PrPro, while it generates your FLV and perhaps MPEG-2 (or DV-AVI Type II) for DVD-Video. I'm still on PrPro 2.0, so I have to Export each Sequence, one at a time. Not the end of the world, but I have to keep checking on each one, so I can load up the next. Things have gotten easier with later versions of the program.


                  Good luck,




                  PS - I hope that you don't mind my linking your two posts. I just wanted people to benefit from what might have been said in each one, plus it will now be easier for someone coming along late, and having the same question - two sets of answers.