11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 1, 2010 6:28 PM by Paul_Hodge

    How to combine two or more projects into one

    Paul_Hodge

      I have about 11 months of home video editing experience. I started out with a Sony HDV Handycam (tape) and now use another Sony Handycam this one has internal memory.

       

      I have been upgrading to faster and more powerful  computers (3 times in the last year). I have 3 computers  - one with an Intel i7 processor 64 bit running windows 7, a second with Intel core 2 Quad running vista 32 bit and a laptop Intel core 2 duo running window 7.

       

      I have two editing applications Corel Video Studio Pro X2 and Adobe Premier Elements 8. Each came with strengths and weaknesses.

       

      I am disappointed with Adobe in respect to how to merge two or more projects into one master project. Working with large video projects is not what I like doing. Ten to 15 mins projects are my preferred length. However, when it comes to burning a DVD and adding projects to the list (this can be done in Pro X2) I appear to be stuck with burning a separate DVD for each Premiere Elements 8 project. This is not the way to go if I am doing work for a client and they want only the one DVD.

       

      I have read one forum and tried converting each project to an AVI file and then inserting each AVI file into the timeline of my 'master' or final project and then burn only one DVD. This in principle works but the playback quality of the video (especially when subjects are moving) is not acceptable. The edges are saw-tooth and overall resolution quality is downgraded from the original AVCHD video file from the Sony handycam camera.

       

      Not to be too negative about adobe premiere elements 8, it does a really good job of editing and burning to DVD with the original AVCHD files direct from the camera (pre AVI conversion). I am very pleased with that part of the application.

       

      I just wished that I did not have to save/convert each separate adobe project to AVI files so as to combine a number of projects.

       

      By the way I set up a project that had three blocks of video (20 seconds in lenght) all the same subject (in this case roses growing in the garden in daylight) one block was straight from the camera AVCHD format, one was an uncompressed AVI file done using the ‘share’ options in Adobe and the third block was a compressed AVI file also done using ‘share’ in adobe. It was very clear to my eye that the AVI files were way down on the quality of the original AVCHD file from the camera ( the uncompressed  AVI only slightly better than the compressed AVI file).

       

      AND the other annoying thing was the AVI files reduced the size of the picture (same 16:9 aspect ratio) and this was disappointing when viewed on a HD widescreen monitor. The AVCHD files came across clear and clean and filled the whole screen on my 42" HD widescreen TV.

       

      Has anyone had the same problem and can you please help out with the concerns I have.

       

       

      Many Thanks

       

      Paul Hodge

        • 1. Re: How to combine two or more projects into one
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          I'm not sure what the problem is you're referring to.

           

          Combining two short projects into one is as simple as using Share/Personal Comptuer/AVI to export each as a DV-AVI and then combining them into the same project.

           

          If you'd prefer cutting and pasting to combine two works-in-progress, you may have some success using ClipMate, a third-party program that allows you to cut and save one project's timeline to your Windows clipboard and then paste it into another project's timeline. I make no guarantees, and you do have to purchase ClipMate -- but, as I say, I've heard many people use it successfully and are very happy with it.

          • 2. Re: How to combine two or more projects into one
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            The ability to use individual Sequences, when editing a Project, is a strength of PrPro. However, there is a great price difference between the two programs. You gotta' get something for your $'s, right? Personally, I set up my Sequences in PrPro just like "chapters," edit that way, and then Export each Sequence to Import into Encore for authoring.

             

            In PrE, Steve's technique of editing a Project, and then Exporting as DV-AVI, for Importing into "master" Project for final authoring to DVD, is the best method. Were I not also on PrPro, that is exactly what I would do. It works perfectly. When all is said and done, there are no more steps, than for me, using PrPro and Encore. PrE has authoring capabilities, albeit somewhat limited, so a user does not need to transfer AV files to another program (Encore in my case).

             

            Good luck,

             

            Hunt

            • 3. Re: How to combine two or more projects into one
              Paul_Hodge Level 1

              Hello Steve and Hunt,


              First I would like to say that this forum is excellent and to date the people have been very knowledgeable. I am also very taken by the prompt response time.

               

              When you are faced with a problem and feel somewhat lost as to which way to turn, you and others on this forum have been very understanding and supportive. Thank you all.

               

              OK to the problem at hand.

               

              I made a ‘wrong turn’ setting up the share parameters to save my projects as AVI files.

               

              I made the assumption that when you chose AVI in the settings you also needed to select Microsoft AVI or uncompressed AVI in the presets as well.

               

              What I did differently was:

               

              Share -> Personal Computer -> AVI -> and then in presets select DV PAL Widescreen.

               

              Then when I pasted this new AVI file into the timeline the quality was very close to the original and would be acceptable viewing.

               

              Long hours on the computer plus fatigue creates a space were mistakes are easier to make. I guess I get too close to my work and strive for a high quality video in my final cut. I just what to get the best out of what resources I have. I also want to make sure my customers are also getting the best I can give.

               

              Thanks again

               

              Paul Hodge.

               

              • 4. Re: How to combine two or more projects into one
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Paul,

                 

                Thank you for the kind words. We try to get the best info out, as quickly as we can. Since we're all just volunteers, we are often not so quick - work, family and a bit of leisure all call, like golf for me tomorrow!

                 

                Also, most of us have faced problems, often with a deadline looming, so we know frustration too. Our lives are not free from those stresses either. That is why we try to look beyond the frustration on the poster's part, and attempt to cure the problem, or furnish a useful answer. Now, a very few do not want an answer, but a soapbox to vent. Still, we offer suggestions, in hopes that their frustrations ease and they can focus on getting the Project complete, the program installed or the crashes handled.

                 

                In your case, the answer was pretty clear, and I think that all share you desire to have something like Sequences added to PrE. Personally, I'd have gone that route vs some of the new "features" in PrE 8. However, Adobe has never recruited me as a Product Manager, so all I can do is send them Feature Requests.

                 

                Now, let's talk about your workflow just a second. You made a couple references to quality. Let me throw out an alternative that might be even better. I use the Lagarith Lossless CODEC for transport files. Normally, I'm in PrPro, and these are going to some other program for additional processing, and will come back to PrPro for final assembly. The good news is that it's free and lossless. The kinda' bad news is that it not the fastest encoder around. I have not used it for transfer files with PrE, but I have Exported to it from PrE 4. It works fine in that direction, but then I end up with the Lagarith files in PrPro, where they are just fine. I do not know how well PrE will edit the Lagarith files. Still, it might be worth a test for you, to see if you can work that way, with no issues.

                 

                The DV-AVI CODEC is very, very good, but is not totally lossless. I'd call it "virtually lossless," but there is some compression, as observed, when compared to the MS Uncompressed CODEC for the same footage.

                 

                The Lagarith might be worth a look. If things slow down too much, when you Import these and edit in PrE, then the DV-AVI would be the choice. Still, you might be able to squeeze a touch more quality out of the files. That final decision will be yours.

                 

                Let us know if this works for you, and of any problems that you encounter. Many use the Lagartih Lossless, just as I do, and highly recommend it.

                 

                Good luck, and Happy New Year,

                 

                Hunt

                • 5. Re: How to combine two or more projects into one
                  Paul_Hodge Level 1

                  Hi again,

                   

                   

                   

                  I have some feedback regarding combining two projects using PreE 8 (Premier

                  Elements 8).

                   

                   

                   

                  First let me briefly describe what the video is about: It was a record of a

                  driving holiday in Tasmania, Australia. Lot of video clips were taken from a

                  move car and some from a moving cruise boat.

                   

                   

                   

                  My first project (A) was made into a DVD and it looked OK when I watched it

                  on my HD widescreen TV (PAL). This project was not converted to an AVI file

                  before burning to a DVD disc.

                   

                   

                   

                  After editing my second project (B) I wanted to add this onto the end of

                  project A. The process I used was to convert project A and B to DV-AVI files

                  with a preset for DV PAL Widescreen. I then opened a new project to insert A

                  and B in the timeline. Did a render of the timeline and proceeded to burn a

                  new DVD (this time in Blue Ray).

                   

                   

                   

                  The end result was that project A and B were combined however watching the

                  DVD it was noticed (especially in scenes where the foreground and background

                  was moving pass the camera) the objects in shot had a shimming appearance

                  and appeared out of focus.  However stationary objects appeared acceptable.

                  I should also note that the AVI video clips that appeared in the timeline

                  even looked out of focus and definitely not as clear my first project.

                   

                   

                   

                  So I went back to compare my first DVD of project A (remember this was not

                  converted to AVI before burning to disc) and the picture was so much clearer

                  and there was no shimming or focus problems – comparing each DVD scene for

                  scene I noticed that the ‘raw’ Pre E8 project was significantly a better

                  quality video over video clips that have undergone AVI conversion.

                   

                   

                   

                  In a nutshell: If you are using PreE8 I suggest that once you finish a

                  project and would like to make the best DVD possible try and have your final

                  cut as one project and do not try and combine projects using multiple AVI

                  files.

                   

                   

                   

                  I am going to try other methods with PreE8 of combining projects like

                  burning each project to a DVD and then download the media from DVD to

                  combine two or more projects into the same timeline. Then burn a new DVD

                  having the two projects.  I will let the forum know how this goes.

                   

                   

                   

                  By the way I did download the lags.leetcode.net codec but I would like to

                  know how to apply it to my PreE8 projects. There does not appear to be user

                  friendly widows to guide you through the steps. I should mention that the PC

                  is running windows 7 64 bit OS.

                   

                   

                   

                  Happy New Year to one and all

                   

                   

                   

                  Paul Hodge

                   

                   

                   

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                  • 6. Re: How to combine two or more projects into one
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    Paul,

                     

                    Let's step back to the original source footage in Project A & B. What are the specs. of that footage.

                     

                    Also, if it was Captured from a minDV tape camera, it IS in DV-AVI format, even though you did not do an Export/Share to that format/CODEC. It's in that form already.

                     

                    If the footage is of another format/CODEC, it is internally converted to DV-AVI Type II, inside PrE, even though you did not do an Export/Share to that format/CODEC.

                     

                    As for the Lagarith, you install that onto your system. Reboot, and then launch PrE. The Lagarith CODEC should appear in your Export/Share settings from the Compression drop-down. Obviously, it will not be available with some formats, like FLV, .MOV, etc.

                     

                    Good luck,

                     

                    Hunt

                    • 7. Re: How to combine two or more projects into one
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      Here is a look at using the Lagarith Lossless CODEC in PrE 4. Choose Export>Movie>Settings>MS AVI>Lagarith Lossless (for Compression).

                       

                      Lagarith_CODEC_01.jpg

                       

                      Hope that this helps,

                       

                      Hunt

                      • 8. Re: How to combine two or more projects into one
                        Paul_Hodge Level 1

                        Hi Hunt,

                         

                         

                         

                        Here is some information that you requested.

                         

                         

                         

                        What are the specs of that footage?

                         

                         

                         

                        File extension .m2ts

                         

                        File Type:  AVCHD 1081i format

                         

                        Image size:  1440x1080

                         

                        Video Codec:  AVC

                         

                         

                         

                        The Sony camera is model HDR-CX520 in case you were interested.

                         

                         

                         

                        ALSO

                         

                         

                         

                        In PrE 8 I eventually found the steps to using the Lagarith Lossless CODEC.

                        They are:

                         

                         

                         

                        Share ->Personal Computer->AVI->Advanced->Video Codec -> Lagarith Lossless

                        (appears as one selection on the drop down window)

                         

                         

                         

                        So again thanks.

                         

                         

                         

                        I will keep you posted after I do some test runs editing and combining

                        projects using Lagarith Lossless.

                         

                         

                         

                        Take care

                         

                         

                         

                        Paul Hodge

                         

                         

                         

                        PS:  Did you have a good game of golf the other day?

                         

                         

                         

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                        • 9. Re: How to combine two or more projects into one
                          the_wine_snob Level 9
                          Did you have a good game of golf the other day?

                           

                          Let's just say that there were good shots, and some that were not so good. A bunch of pars, two birdies, and about 4 that just did not fall. However, there were a few holes that brought me to my knees. On that course, I have birdied every hole, save one, at some time, or the other. Why I cannot do that all the time is why they call it "golf" - all the other four-letter words were taken!

                           

                          Now, I have never used the Lagarith Lossless CODEC w/ AVCHD material. Please report on how it works for you. Fingers are X'ed for you.

                           

                          Also thanks for pointing out the exact location in PrE 8. As I only have PrE 4, and know of some of the changes in locations of features in PrE 8, I post the version that I use, for the screen-caps, so that others know to look elsewhere for similar in PrE 8.

                           

                          Happy New Year!

                           

                          Hunt

                          • 10. Re: How to combine two or more projects into one
                            Paul_Hodge Level 1

                            G'day Hunt,

                             

                            I just finish burning a blue ray disc of a project (A) using PrE8.

                             

                            I made no codec conversions - just the original video clips imported

                            straight from the camera in the AVCHD format. Inserted them into the

                            timeline and went about editing as usual.

                             

                            The result - f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c!!

                             

                            Watching it playback on my HD widescreen TV was very rewarding. The

                            resolution and clarity was beautiful to watch - especially the scenes I took

                            of rainforest and panoramic views of lakes and mountains.

                             

                            So where do I go from here with PreE8? It is doing the job I hoped it would

                            (to a point)

                             

                            I will have to refine my editing, persevere with working with long projects.

                            Something I am sure will only get easier.

                             

                            I have a question –if I upgrade to Pre Pro CS4 will I have the same problem

                            with combining projects or will CS4 come with the necessary software that

                            makes the task of combining projects and burning to DVD or Blue Ray easier?

                             

                            I will have to do some reading up of CS4 to bring myself up-to-date on what’s

                            available.

                             

                            I think we can put this problem to rest for the time being.

                             

                            Thanks

                             

                            Paul Hodge

                             

                             

                             

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                            • 11. Re: How to combine two or more projects into one
                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                              Great news! With a computer that is powerful enough to edit AVCHD material, your results should be great. The CPU power should be the only concern.

                               

                              Now, with PrPro, one has a wonderful additional option - Sequences. These could be thought of as "mini-Projects" in PrE. I use these to edit my "chapters," and they work great. Also, PrPro offers the option to Import a Project into another Project. This is a big plus.

                               

                              As of CS4.1 (as I recall), AVCHD support has been added to PrPro. PrE got it first!

                               

                              I use PrPro for most of my editing, but much of that is because of the way that it works - more like things were done decades ago in my cine days.

                               

                              To me, it's a great program, and the learning curve from PrE will be minimal. Now, I use an earlier version of PrPro, and some locations and syntax have changed with CS4.2, and will likely change with the upcoming CS5, but I find that things are more fluid for me. They ARE a bit more manual, but I like that, as I am a "control freak."

                               

                              Good luck, and Happy New Year!

                               

                              Hunt