5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 24, 2010 5:29 PM by the_wine_snob

    working with analogue video... (among other questions)

    k_huntington Level 1

      so i'm brand spanking new to adobe MC CS4, my introductory comment can be found here... anywho, so i'm wanting to do a multicam title for 1 of the segments i have for this project (all the other segments have already been edited and saved). it will be 2 cameras. one is my camera which records in digital mpeg2 to a HDD in widescreen format, the other is a VHS-C camcorder that was recorded in full screen format and would be imported with RCA cables (red, white, yellow)


      first question is, i'll have to record the VHS-C segment onto the computer in real time, and edit it after the fact. will it make any difference if i record it and save it as mpeg2, or should i save it first as lossless format, then edit it and save the full title in mpeg 2 to import into encore?


      next question: is there anyway to do an autocrop of the FS video and make it 16:9 WS (if the zoom is far out enough it would allow) that way it matches the AR of the main video? i've been doing NLE for 4 years, but have never really had to do anything like this, or work with lossless video, or really have an idea of when its best implemented.


      three: i have all the segments of the videos already chaptered, but i cant decide if i want to make 1 long FL "film" or just use the main object as the main video, and include the other segments as supplementals... but so far i have each segment saved as its own PrePro prjects, chaptered and all. and was planning on using Dynamic Link... but did not realize until last time i messed with it, you can only do 1 dynamic link per encore timeline... so my idea seems to not work how i wanted. :-/ the digital videos are all full resolution and 16:9 format mpeg2 videos. each 'segment' is made up of several smaller video clips chaptered and saved as one segment depending on the situation that was going on (imagine it as act 1, act 2, act 3, act 4, etc). if i just export each segment as an mpeg2, video, and import it into encore, will that degrade the video much? i've heard modern NLEs are made to not degrade lossy video with some sort of codec made by apple. i quote from what i read "there are "intermediary" codecs (e.g. Apple ProRes) designed to be  used during the editing process to keep the video quality high. Cameras  all record to some sort of lossy format - there's no such thing as a  video camera that records to a lossless format. If that lossy  compression codec is used during editing, each successive layer or  render added to the video would degrade the image. Converting to an  intermediary codec bring the video to a state closer to being lossless,  and allows the editing and rendering to be done without negatively  altering the video quality." is this true? or should i scrap it all and make 1 huge PrePro timeline to import into Encore? (the only difference is, i've already edited and cut the main feature, so exporting each segment as mpeg2 to be imported into Encore and added to the same timeline would be easier on me... but if quality will be sacrificed... well... i guess i'll just do it all over again.)


      so any answers? thanks

        • 1. Re: working with analogue video... (among other questions)
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          The best SD format for editing is DV AVI type 2 with 48khz sound


          Trying to edit a delivery format (MPG) usually results in problems

          • 2. Re: working with analogue video... (among other questions)
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            Depending on the hardware that you have available to you, you will need to digitize the VHS-C material first. This cannot be done directly in PrPro, with one exception. Here is a general list of the ways to do this. That one exception comes first.


            1.) hook up the VHS-C camera to the input connections on a digital camera w/ FireWire connection. This digital camera MUST have pass-through capabilities. The digital camera would be setup to enact that pass-through, usually Play, or VCR Mode. The VHS-C tape would be cued up to the point that you want to Capture from. Launch PrPro, and launch the Capture module. Note: you will NOT have Device Control for this. It takes a two-handed approach - VHS-C camera's remote in one hand, and your other on the mouse. Hit Capture with the mouse, and then hit Play on the remote. At the worst, you Capture a few seconds of black, but can edit that out.


            2.) hook up the VHS-C camera to an A-D bridge device, like the ADS Pyro, or the Canopus ACDV-110/300, which will be connected to the computer via FW. Do not get any of the Dazzle products, as they almost never work. Same for some other devices. You will NOT have Device Control here either, so the above will apply.


            3.) use an A-D capture card in a PCI/PCIe slot, and use the included software to do the capture. Note: you will NOT have Device Control, so above instructions will apply.


            4.) have the VHS-C tapes commercially digitized by a service house. Do NOT let them convert to DVD, or any compressed format/CODEC.


            You will want to have these tapes digitized and captured to DV-AVI Type II files w/ 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV Audio.


            Import these digitized files into PrPro. They will be 4:3 SD (Standard Def). If your Project/Sequence is set up for HD WideScreen, you will need to Scale and then internally Crop this SD footage. I would do this manually, with Effect>Motion>Scale, and then do the Crop by Effect>Motion>Position to get the subject where you want it in the Project's/Sequence's Frame. If all of your Clips were framed the same way, then you can adjust these Effects to suit in one Clip, Rt-click that and choose Copy. Next, Select the rest of the Clips and Rt-click, choosing Paste Attributes. Note: you can go back and tailor the settings on these Effects, if necessary, but that Paste Attributes will get the Effects (with the original settings) onto each of the Clips.


            Note: the quality will degrade as you Scale the SD material in the HD Project/Sequence.


            The only way around this would be to down-sample your HD material to SD and do an SD Project/Sequence. Doing so in the camera will probably be the best workflow.


            Good luck,



            • 3. Re: working with analogue video... (among other questions)
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Another workflow, if you choose to go with an SD Project/Sequence is outlined in the links in this ARTICLE.


              The 4:3 (Standard) to 16:9 (Widescreen) will still need to be done, but the Scaling will be much less, than using SD 4:3 in an HD 16:9 Project/Sequence. That will look very bad, but maybe you can live with it.


              Good luck,



              • 4. Re: working with analogue video... (among other questions)
                k_huntington Level 1

                i'm in luck with your advice, because the 16:9 footage is already in SD format (720x480) so there would be no downgrade involved. the camcorder is one of the first HDD cam models, at the time HD wasnt even a thought to me. I may go the '4.) have the VHS-C tapes commercially digitized by a service house. Do  NOT let them convert to DVD, or any compressed format/CODEC.' because that would probably be the least effort for me   the VHS-C angle was recorded on tripod, so its pretty much a static camera angle. i just need to see how a 16:9 box would fit inside it then crop it from there if it doesnt cut off heads or anything.


                The best SD format for editing is
                DV AVI type 2 with 48khz sound


                Trying to edit a delivery format (MPG)
                usually results in problems


                so does this translate for my SD camera that records natively in MPEG2 format? (i keep saying mpeg but the real extension is .MOD, i just say mpeg because the stupid thing has to be converted to be edited by virtually any software, sans Cyberlink) To do anything i have to first convert from .mod to mpeg2 (as far as i could tell anyway)(is there a better way for this?), then import into PrePro to edit, make the cuts, resequence, all that. after i'm done i can either export the edited sequences to an mpeg again, or just save the project and dynamic link it (which would pretty much require me to start all over from scratch with this project, from how i started out... not a BIG deal, but would rather avoid it if possible), or [i just read that] i could dynamic link it from within encore and navigate to the PrePro project and imort it that way... question is, would the degradation be the same either way? should i just use adobe exporter and export each segment as mpeg2, then import each segment as asset to 1 timeline with Encore? or should i redo the whole thing as 1 time line in PrePro and use dynamic link to send it to Encore? or will i be fine to just Dynamic Link from within Encore?

                • 5. Re: working with analogue video... (among other questions)
                  the_wine_snob Level 9
                  I'm in luck with your advice, because the 16:9 footage is already in SD format (720x480)


                  Great news. I was just probably confused on what the footage from the other camera was. There will still need to be some Scaling and Cropping (will happen naturally, when you scale the 4:3 to fill the 16:9 Frame), and then maybe some Effect>Motion>Position to frame things up to suit.


                  For the question on digitization of the VHS-C, that is for the process of getting that analog material into a digital form. I just wanted to point out one possible "trap," as many service bureaus will first want to digitize and hand over a DVD-Video. Do NOT let them do this. Insist on either a DV-AVI Type II w/ 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV file (may have to give them an external HDD to put this/these file(s) on, as they will be ~ 13GB / hour, and hence, too large to fit even on DVD-9's (DL). If you accept a DVD-Video, the material will have already been compressed to MPEG-2. You will later compress to MPEG-2 again, when you Transcode to get to your final DVD-Video. The quality will suffer.


                  One option, that many service bureaus offer is to go to miniDV tape. The one "catch" is that you need a camera, or a deck to play this tape and then Capture it to DV-AVI in PrPro. Even if you have to buy a blank tape for the service bureau and then rent a camera for a day to Capture them, the quality will be better, to the point of making this MY first choice. [Actually, I would get a VHS-C caddy and just use my A-D Capture device, but that is moot, as I am set up for this sort of work - except for the VHS-C part of it. I'd need the caddy.]


                  Now, with your digital material, it sounds like you have a JVC. Is that correct? If so, the links in this ARTICLE might be useful for those pesky MOD files. Conversion might be useful to you.


                  The one problem with a camera, that records to MPEG to begin with is that that data has been heavily compressed at the start. It will be compressed again, if one is going to DVD-Video. This might never be an issue, but with rapid motion (subject, or camera), one will see some degradation.


                  Now, when the edits are done, you have three choices in CS4:


                  1.) Export to DV-AVI through AME. Here, I would recommend doing this Export to elemental streams, i.e. one Video-only file and one Audio-only file to PCM/WAV 48KHz 16-bit. The Video-only file would be Imported into Encore as a Timeline, and the Audio-only file Imported as an Asset. Once in Encore, one would drag the Audio file to the appropriate Timeline, where it would snap into place. In this case, the Transcoding to MPEG-2 would be done in Encore, by Encore.


                  2.) Export as a 100% DVD-compliant MPEG-2. Here, the transcoding would be done in AME, and one should consider bit-budgeting to determine the bit-rate necessary for both the best results and the size of files that will fit onto your DVD-Video, along with ALL Assets. I would still go with the elemental streams, especially as many Adobe programs have issues with MPEG Audio (except AC3) if they are muxed. Same operations, as above, would apply.


                  3.) Use Adobe Dynamic Link to get the Sequences into Encore, without that initial Export/Import step. Note: this will not work if you have DD 5.1 SS Audio, but will be fine if your Sequence has a stereo Master Audio Track.


                  Hope that this helps, and good luck,