34 Replies Latest reply on Mar 12, 2010 10:46 AM by the_wine_snob

    Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?

    Reneaux

      There has been a lot of chatter about converting AVI files to the "correct version." If an AVI is a container, what the hell should it contain, to be editable in PP?  If saying "AVI" is like saying "automobile," how do I tell it to contain a Lexus?

       

      In my situation, I need to get several old TV shows on DVDs into Premiere Pro CS4. Ultimately I want to generate FLV  filies, with the best quality I can get.

       

      I have copied the contents of the first DVD to my hard drive (four VOBs,along with their IFOs and BUPs) that make up a 60-minute TV  program.

       

      • What is the "best" utility to change/convert these files to two or more "whatevers" that will edit in Premiere?  Please define "whatever."

       

       

      • All things considered, do I even want to mess with AVIs? Is there some other format that would be easier to deal with?

       

      • Is it even a good idea to bypass the "rip" process, as I have done, in favor of the "recode" process?

       

      • I  started out using Nero 9, and ripped the DVD to MP4s (their propietary flavor). Wouldn't edit.

      Then I "converted" them to AVI with some freeware module. Problematical (the video, in PPCS4, at normal speed, runs about 70mph, with the audio going 20 in the preview pane and the timeline. The files play OK in media players, and in Premiere Pro 2.0 as well.) The converted (AVI) files are about one fourth the size of the Nero MP4 files.

       

       

      • Your's truly is truly tired of chasing his tail.

       

       

      Anyone?

        • 1. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          This ARTICLE will give you some background on those "containers," or "wrappers."

           

          This FAQ Entry from the Encore Forum will give you some tips on ripping. In an older thread, someone mentioned the program Handbrake. Have not used it.

           

          Note that if the VOB's are 100% DVD-compliant, CS4.2 can Import and edit those.

           

          Good luck,

           

          Hunt

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
            shooternz Level 6

            What vers PPRO and what platform are you using?

             

            (CS4 with lates updates assumeably can edit VOBs)

             

            Did you convert to MS-dv avi type 2?

            • 3. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
              Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              I am still CS3, and CS4 has improved quite a lot in dealing directly with vobs.  That said....

               

              Why do you want them in PR?  When this was not an option (CS3), and I was using a DVR as a quick "dump a DV tape to DVD," I used VideoReDo an an mpeg frame accurate editor for cuts only (and not reencoding the whole program, but just the part that is changed), and output an mpeg to burn back to disk.

               

              If you are not doing any real "editing" (e.g. cuts only), I would look for a frame accurate vob/mpeg editor and then an mpeg/vob to flash converter/encoder.

              • 4. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                Harm Millaard Level 7

                DVD's are MPEG2-DVD format, not MP4's. These VOB files can be imported into PR with version 4.2.1 if they adhere to the rather strict rules that Adobe applies. Whatever you do to these VOB files, they need to be re-encoded on export and you will suffer a quality hit. That happens when you try to edit a delivery format. Nothing you can do about that, apart from getting the original material.

                 

                What is editable: Nearly everything you shot yourself with a VIDEO camera (possibly with the exception of Aiptek, Casio and similar consumer toys).

                 

                What is not editable: Everything in a delivery format, like DivX, XVid, material ripped off YouTube, point-and-shoot digital still cameras, the internet etc.)

                 

                If not editable you have to convert to something editable, taking a further hit in quality and convoluted steps to get it into something editable, like MS DV AVI type2 with PCM/WAV 48 KHz stereo audio.

                • 5. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                  Reneaux Level 1

                  Actually there is more to do than cuts. I want to use video effects and do some repair work with Soundbooth.

                  • 6. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                    Reneaux Level 1

                    Thanks for the tips. Apparently my VOBs aren't viable; they won't import into PremProCS4. I just noticed, though, I have release 4.0.0. I'll try to get an update. Looks like VOB editings would save me some quality.

                    • 7. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                      shooternz Level 6

                      Only works with latest update.  (apparently)

                      • 8. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        The VOB Importation was added with CS4.2.

                         

                        If you are doing more than cutting, then "smart Rendering" in some programs will not really help - you'll need to Transcode to MPEG-2 again, if you are outputting to DVD.

                         

                        Good luck,

                         

                        Hunt

                        • 9. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                          Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          That's a good point.  I have not kept up with which programs use smart rendering, since I try to avoid editing vobs.

                           

                          But there is no reason premiere or other programs could not maximize quality loss by doing smart rendering.

                           

                          The times when it cannot be avoided is long gop output (e.g. back to camera), but DVD does not require that, right?

                           

                          In any event, I believe that premiere CS4 or not, does not use smart rendering (meaning, any gops that are not edited are not reencoded).

                          • 10. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                            Reneaux Level 1

                            If you are doing more than cutting, then "smart Rendering" in some  programs will not really help - you'll need to Transcode to MPEG-2  again, if you are outputting to DVD.

                             

                             

                            Actually, I'm outputtiing to FLV files for the web. I've just updated to Premiere Pro CS4 v. 4.2. It will import VOBs (at least  the one I ripped with DVD Decrypter. So far, so good.

                            • 11. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                              Reneaux Level 1

                              ...since I try to avoid editing vobs.

                               

                               

                              Why do you avoid VOBs? Isn't that one way to maintain the quality until the output is created (in my case, FLVs).

                               

                              For me, wouldn't the VOB-edit route be better than editing a compressed file?

                              • 12. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                VOB's contain MPEG-2 AV material. MPEG-2 is a fairly highly compressed CODEC. Much data has been lost already. The better route is to go to the AV files, prior to the MPEG-2 transcoding. That is what most editors do.

                                 

                                With the FLV's, you will be compressing already compressed data. The quality might be OK, but only you can be the judge of that. With some low motion material, I have gotten acceptable results editing MPEG-2 and then outputting to DVD. Add much motion, either subject, or camera, and things go downhill very, very quickly.

                                 

                                Good luck,

                                 

                                Hunt

                                • 13. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                  Reneaux Level 1

                                  BTW, Bill, I've just installed the Production Design CS4 suite. When I attempt to run Encore, I'm told it is incompatible with my operating system (Windows 7). No other application does this. Have you heard of this before?

                                  • 14. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                                    I have heard of a few issues with En CS4, and a few related to Win7, but have not read of that error message. Please post separately to the Encore Forum, as someone is very likely to be able to help you. You'll see some of the same faces, but there are plenty, who only frequent there, and not here. You'll get more direct traffic for your problem. Also, be sure to list your equipment in detail, and the exact wording on the error message. Those details are very helpful.

                                     

                                    Good luck, and I'll be watching in the Encore forum,

                                     

                                    Hunt

                                    • 15. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                                      I'm not Bill, but no, I've never heard of that.

                                      • 16. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                        Reneaux Level 1

                                        Much data has been lost already. The better route is to go to the AV files, prior to the MPEG-2 transcoding. That is what most editors do.

                                        I'm sort of lost. Would you explain this to me?

                                        • 17. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                          Reneaux Level 1

                                          I have not kept up with which programs use smart rendering,

                                          What exactly is "smart rendering?"

                                          • 18. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                                            Reread #4 for the AV question, Smart rendering is irrelevant for CS4. It is sometimes used in other NLE programs to speed up rendering, but only for previews.

                                            • 19. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                              Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                              What I mean by smart rendering in mpeg editors is that material is not reencoded if it has not been edited.  Only those gops that have been edited are reencoded.

                                               

                                              As noted above, it is not relevant for you because all your material will encoded to flv.

                                               

                                              Do we know how CS4 is dealing with this?  Under the hood conversion to another format?  Native editing of the mpeg material?  I assume that, in any event, it is reencoding the entire stream even if it is output to mpeg.  Do we know whether that is true or not?

                                              • 20. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                When an AV file is compressed with a lossy CODEC, like MPEG-2, much of the original data is wrung out of the file. The determination was made, when MPEG-2 was created, that the results would be acceptable to the viewers over the technology of the day - DVD-Video and SD TV's. It actually does a really good job, considering those qualifiers.

                                                 

                                                Now, with HD TV's, BD, etc., MPEG-2 is getting long in the tooth, so newer schemes are being introduced. However, to fit all the data onto even a BD, compression is still necessary.

                                                 

                                                When one goes to edit the MPEG-2 material (remember, it's already been compressed once), and then go to output to another compressed format/CODEC, it's like doing a print of your document on a nice 1200 dpi printer - looks good. Then, you FAX it to a friend (this is the MPEG-2), and it looks OK. Your friend then decides to make a copy of that FAX, mark it up a bit (the editing of the MPEG-2 footage), and then FAX it back to you. Now, compare that FAX to the original. See a difference?

                                                 

                                                Hope this helps,

                                                 

                                                Hunt

                                                • 21. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                  Some NLE (Non Linear Editor) programs can work with GOP (Group of Pictures) material, like MPEG-2 natively. So long as you only make cuts, Deleting some of it, these NLE's will allow you to Export to MPEG-2, and no Transcoding takes place, hence the term "smart Rendering." If one adds Effects, a Title over the footage, etc., then it must be Transcoded again.

                                                   

                                                  PrPro does not allow for this, as it is based on a DV-AVI workflow with footage Captured from a miniDV tape, over FW. If one Imports MPEG-2, basically PrPro will internally convert it to DV-AVI Type II for editing, so that when you Export, even if you just Imported the file, put it onto a Timeline and did zero beyond that, you would need to Transcode again.

                                                   

                                                  Hope that this helps,

                                                   

                                                  Hunt

                                                  • 22. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                    Stanely,

                                                     

                                                    I typify the term "smart rendering" to translate to No Transcoding. Not sure where the exact term, "smart rendering" came in, but many NLE's tout it, so obviously someone's marketing department did a good job, when they coined the term. For just cutting MPEG-2 material, it's a very nifty feature, and one that PrPro, and PrE do not have.

                                                     

                                                    Hunt

                                                    • 23. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                                      Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                      There are two types of mpeg editors.  the more limited type deal at the gop level.  They don't need to reencode, because they take a whole gop out at a time, leaving all the rest in place.

                                                       

                                                      The more capable editor is "frame accurate," meaning that the editor must decode a gop (I assume to all I frames), make the edit (which might span some whole gops, but the end and/or the beginning interrupt a gop), and they could a) reencode only the gops that were interrupted or b) reencode the whole stream,  The "smart" ones do transcode, but it is only the parts they need to transcode to create an acceptable stream.

                                                      1 person found this helpful
                                                      • 24. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                                        Reneaux Level 1

                                                        I looked into Handbrake. Apparently it outputs only to mpeg-4 and MKV (whatever that is).

                                                        • 25. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                          That is probably Matroska.


                                                          1 person found this helpful
                                                          • 26. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                                            Reneaux Level 1

                                                            Thanks.

                                                             

                                                            Obviously I'm trying to naill down a workable (and repeatable) set of procedures to edit & publish my old TV shows to my web site.(http://btmemories.com).

                                                             

                                                            My source files are DVD copies of really old (50, 60 years) footage, so my concerns about quality loss may be inflated. Is there a loss in the act of creating FLVs from PPCS4?

                                                             

                                                            Although I can edit VOB files in Premiere Pro CS4, I've tried it and the file sizes tend to slow the process down. I think I'll go down the AVI road (type 2, of course).

                                                             

                                                            I noticed in one of your post-threads you addressed the "slow video, fast audio" syndrome. Suddenly I've suffering from the same malady (and I'm just getting started!). I think you suggested deleting all existing codecs. Any further advice.

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            Another day, another 13 cents.

                                                            • 27. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                                              Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                              Every conversion will cost you quality, but on 50-60 year old material that will likely not be one of your major issues. More important is how to make them accessable for viewers.

                                                               

                                                              When you say

                                                               

                                                              the file sizes tend to slow the process down

                                                               

                                                              that often means you are running out of disk space. If your fill rates go beyond 70% on your disks, it is time to get a new (additional) disk.

                                                               

                                                              I do not yet have an inkling about your hardware setup, so I can't offer a suggestion. If you run the http://ppbm4.com benchmark and submit the results to Bill (and possibly to me by PM) you will get an idea of your systems performance in relation to other systems. That may show you where to put your emphasis in upgrading.

                                                              • 28. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                                                Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                If you can address your performance issues and go with mpeg on the timeline, try a 60 second clip and export to flv.  Plug it into your page and see how you like the quality.

                                                                 

                                                                Some people prefer other encoders, but I have found Premiere's fine for most material.  In your case, as you say, you need a workflow that gets you into production.

                                                                 

                                                                There are no clips active on your site yet, right?

                                                                • 29. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                                                  Reneaux Level 1

                                                                  No recent clips on my site, but stuff I posted a couple years ago. I try to space out my video activity so I'll forget everything I learn each time.

                                                                   

                                                                  I think I'm squared away on the workflow. What is so confusing is different terms mean the same thing. I've just leaned (I think) that AVI/XviD is the same as AVI Type 2. At least the XviD works in PP. Duh.

                                                                   

                                                                  (Now to get my sound and picture running at the same speed in PP.)

                                                                  • 30. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                                                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                                    This ARTICLE might give you some info on file formats, and what can be inside them, as they are just "wrappers."

                                                                     

                                                                    This ARTICLE will give you some background on CODEC's.

                                                                     

                                                                    Hope that they help, and good luck,

                                                                     

                                                                    Hunt

                                                                    • 31. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                                                      Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                      An avi with the Xvid codec will not edit very well in Premiere, to put it mildly.

                                                                      You will never get the clip in sync (audio and video running at the same speed). Xvid is to highly compressed.

                                                                      Premiere understands Microsoft DV avi the best, that is what is captured of a dv camera. Its avi with the DV25 codec.

                                                                      There aren't many converters that use the dv codec. You have to google.

                                                                      • 32. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                                                        Reneaux Level 1

                                                                        Thanks for the reply. Here's an image of one conversion program. See the AVI options? Does any meet the "Type 2" qualifications?

                                                                         

                                                                        dob_avi_converter.jpg

                                                                        • 33. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                                                          Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                          No recent clips on my site, but stuff I posted a couple years ago. I try to space out my video activity so I'll forget everything I learn each time.

                                                                          As they say: ROFL!

                                                                          I think I'm squared away on the workflow. What is so confusing is different terms mean the same thing. I've just leaned (I think) that AVI/XviD is the same as AVI Type 2. At least the XviD works in PP. Duh.

                                                                          Even though you've got a couple responses trying to steer you back on firm ground, I just have to chime in.  Add a big NOT after the "AVI Type 2."  And another big NOT after the "XviD works in PP"!

                                                                           

                                                                          Now get those videos up; I'm close enough to Charlotte to want to see!

                                                                          • 34. Re: Start over on this AVI conversion stuff?
                                                                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                                            I do not know this conversion program, but would say that most of those are horrible choices, if one wishes to edit the files. Almost everything there is a delivery-only format and ill-suited for editing.

                                                                             

                                                                            I use DigitalMedia Converter, which is shareware, and does a good job of conversion to DV-AVI Type II w/ 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV Audio (as good as it gets), and offers batch conversion, plus ONLY uses properly installed CODEC's already on the system - it does NOT ship with, nor install any of its own, which is a big plus for me.

                                                                             

                                                                            Now, it is shareware, so it costs $. Many users sing the praises of a freeware conversion program, Prism, but I have never used it. Still, I read a lot of good comments about it handling some odd CODEC's, and doing clean DV-AVI Type II's. Might be worth a look. There are others, but most seem to have one limitation (maybe only works from a CMD-line prompt), or another.

                                                                             

                                                                            Good luck,

                                                                             

                                                                            Hunt