6 Replies Latest reply on Dec 13, 2009 4:34 PM by the_wine_snob

    Editing strategy for 15-hour scientific seminar video?

    PEname

      Question

       

      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.  (I've posted this in both Pro and Elements forums).

       

      Background

       

      For the last 4 years I’ve used PE(ver 1 & 2) 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).

       

      Conclusion:

       

      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?
          Colin Brougham Level 6

          Premiere is capable of producing a project like this. Earlier this year, I produced a 5-DVD, 12-hour set of videos from about 20 hours of original content, with no major issues. It was actually a set of exercise/training videos, so the content wasn't anywhere near similar to your project, but I think the approach could be similar. Each individual DVD was for a particular apparatus, and then each DVD was broken down into three to five "levels" of difficulty. Each level contained multiple exercises for that apparatus, and chapter marks were placed at the beginning of each exercise. A main menu on the DVD allowed access to each level; there is no chapter menu (per my client's wishes), but the forward and back buttons allow the viewer to navigate through the program.

           

          Since you're planning on distributing/hosting this on a corporate network/intranet, I'd forgo the DVD mindset (no MPEGs or ISOs), and go with Flash video instead. You could either produce/output each topic as its own standalone file, and then have a Flash menu interface that allows access to each topic, or output them as longer videos and use chapter marks/cue points to navigate to each topic, again with a Flash menu interface. MPEGs won't give you the ability to add chapter points (that's a DVD convention), though ISOs would, but then you have to deal with much larger file sizes and mounting the ISO to be played back locally. The individual file approach above would allow you the freedom to revise videos (i.e. put in new, cleaner graphic slides) one by one, so it can be a work in process.

           

          On the note about graphics: Premiere doesn't support imported PDFs, but it will handle just about any other image format. If you have Photoshop, your multipage PDFs could easily be converted into multilayer PSDs, and those can be imported into Premiere as editable footage items. You would then have one file to deal with, instead of 300 separate ones. With the Flash menu approach, you could also provide easy access to the PDFs online, so they can be readily consumed in conjunction with the videos. Furthermore, I believe that PDF (through Acrobat) now allows you to embed or link video, so you could potentially combine the documents AND the video for one-stop-shopping, so to speak. I've never done this (don't have Acrobat) but it could be a nice way to package your content.

           

          Anyway, I hope that gives you some perspective on the process and potential implementation. Good luck!

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

            Here are some thoughts on the same Project from the PrE forum, so people can play along and see what comments have been made in both fora.

             

            Good luck,

             

            Hunt

             

            PS - I'd definitely do the initial editing in PrPro vs PrE, but that's just me.

            • 3. Re: Editing strategy for 15-hour scientific seminar video?
              Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

              I agree with Colin and Hunt.

              We do a lot of this kind of thing. From automotive electrical diagnostic training videos to live science related presentations. It can be labor intensive, but some extra effort put into projects like these is worth it, in my opinion. I would go with Flash and DVD if you have the time. I like the idea of a Word document with hyperlinks, or you can just do everything as HTML pages for the Flash version.

               

              On these type of projects, I usually end up cutting out a lot of dead air, unnecessary rambles, umms and aahs etc. in an attempt to shorten the presentation as much as possible. Where the video isn't crisp when PowerPoint facts and information is presented, I export oversized (larger than 720x480) images from the original PowerPoint presentation and zoom in to the material that's being covered. Where you cut stuff out, you can use B-roll, related of course to what's being said, over the top of the speaker to hide your edits.

               

              You can lose your audience with long rambling presentations. Often times you are better off cutting out a lot of "fat". A little low volume background music in places sometimes helps too.

              • 4. Re: Editing strategy for 15-hour scientific seminar video?
                Colin Brougham Level 6
                I would go with Flash and DVD if you have the time.

                Actually, that's a good idea, and I overlooked one capability of Premiere--well, Encore, more specifically. You could edit the programs anyway you see fit, build and author DVDs accordingly in Encore, and then use Encore's Flash export capability to create Web/network-deployable versions. This way, you can build the menu functionality you want, and you don't even need any knowledge of Flash--plus, you'll have the option of creating physical DVDs as necessary for offline viewing.

                • 5. 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.

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

                    One of the nice aspects of using CS4 is that one can load up the edited Sequences, and then establish several output settings - start it, and forget it.

                     

                    Also, Encore does do the Flash Export, of the authored Project.

                     

                    Most of all, good luck to the OP,

                     

                    Hunt