Video editing how-to notes

Dec 4, 2003
Over the past year I've made some notes on working with digital video. Since video editing is a popular activity in storm chasing, I figure I'll store these notes here, share them, and add onto them as I deal with future editing tasks. I'll edit this post periodically as needed. Others are welcome to tag on their own advice and hints.

Must-have tools
TMPGEnc DVD Author 1.6
ffmpeg for imports of weird formats

Capturing DV video
Video taken from a videocamera over Firewire can easily be obtained through the tiny WinDV program . Footage will be stored in a massively bloated AVI-DV format (3.63 MB/sec or 217.77 MB/min). This is not usable without the Panasonic dv codec (; works on Sony; [SIZE=-1][/SIZE] ). To install this codec, unzip, [SIZE=-1]right-click on the PANADV.INF file and select Install.

[/SIZE] Long term storage
If the AVI-DV files are too big to store, the best compromise appears to be M2V+WAV file pairs (Video MPEG-2 720x480 29.97fps CBR 8000 kbps / Audio Linear PCM 48000 Hz 1536 kbps). This converts readily to DVD VOB. Storage requirements for the pair are about 1.2 MB/sec (72 MB/min; 4.3 GB/hr). TMPGEnc readily imports the AVI-DV files and can convert them directly to M2V+WAV pairs. If TMPGEnc Environment Settings > General > Open Sequence Files as Movie is checked, then the sequences made by WinDV in the format ...00.avi, ...01.avi, ...02.avi will be opened as one big file.

Import solutions
A good jack-of-all-trades for quickie conversions is WinAVI Video Converter. This is not really suited to heavy or weird conversion jobs.

Copy protection
(Having a toddler in my house, I do keep spare copies of DVDs in case things get scratched. That said, this information is mostly for my reference; do NOT use it to make illegal copies) DVD Decrypter makes an unprotected image. If image fits on DVD blank (4 GB, burn with TMPGEnc DVD Author. If image does not fit on DVD blank (>4 GB, use DVD Shrink to make smaller image. Burn this with TMPGEnc DVD Author.

Great resources

I'll edit this post as needed. Feel free to add advice and comments. If you have questions or problems, PLEASE start a new thread.

I would have to disagree with the long term storage of using MPEG2. While 8000 CBR is a good option, it is still compressed and could come back to bite you when putting together a higher quality (HD) video in the future. I am finding that out now when using clips from 1999 that I thought were 'great' in the lower res MPEG1. Always go with the source format of your camcorder capture (usually DV avi), as it will translate to the latest video format the best. DVD-R media is cheap enough to warrant the larger file size.
Sine MPEG2 is compressed I'll edit it to put best compromise of storage size vs. quality.

DV25 is format on your mini DV tapes.. Each hour is 13 gig of storage space.. You edit in this format and render to Mpeg2 for final viewing product.

Just a short note but I think it is useful information for new video editors.