Video editing software

Now that I've got 9 tornados on digital tape I was thinking about editing my video and creating a highlights DVD. I was wondering what software everybody uses to edit their videos. Also how much hard drive space do you reccomend having? I was hoping to do some time lapse with the editing software. Thanks.
Hey Chris!

I don't really know how to do video editing, but I have seen Adobe Premiere used before by others, and just based on what I saw, it looked like a very straightforward program to figure out how to use. So, I reckon that Premiere is perhaps an option for you.
Well Chris..AVID, Premier, VEGAS and Pinnacle these are the regular industry standard Editing solutions. With editing software we have somewhat of a learning curve. You will also find that with many of these solutions an additional investment in hardware is needed.

I assure you unless you already use Adobe products extensively you will be lost with Adobe premiere.. I edit all the time and videography is my business.

I want to recommend to you a program that is steady as a rock, Has somehwat of a learning curve but is much more intuitive. Also audio is one of the most important aspect of video editing. Try watching your favorite DVD with no sound.. You of course will not be able to bare it all the way through let alone 5 minutes.

The program I speak of is called VEGAS. Its audio applications are unsurpassed by any other application. With Premier you will need to invest in additional hardware and an audio application (additional costs).

you should go to the sony vegas site. and look into their software ..better yet.. will sell it to you for about 6 or 7 hundred dollars.. make sure you get the VEGAS + DVD so you can make your DVDs for distribution.

In the forum on the sony site you will also find a CULT following. Why ?? again rock solid, excellent support, best damn app out there for editing in my humble opinion. Never once has it crashed on me! Ask anyone who uses premier or Avid or any other high end apps. Again a Cult following ..The forum there is made up of a close tight knit group kind of like here.. post your question and within an hour or two a half a dozen folks have already replied.. Very helpfull.. Try that kind of scenario with pinnacle.

I dont work for these folks..I am a convert and I am sold nothing can sway me.. day is day and night is night.
I am a big fan of Pinnacle Studio digital video editing hardward/software. I have been using it for almost two years now and have loved it. It is simple, and you can do as much with Pinnacle Studio as you can with Adobe Premiere I would imagine... for the novice editor like myself. You can capture, edit with ease on a timeline, and save as .avi, mpeg, mpeg2, output to tape, to DVD or a .rm or .wmv stream. See some stream examples on my website:

The latest version 9, which I don't have yet but will probably upgrade... I currently use version 8. The WCM at my office (DDC) also uses Pinnacle Studio for his video editing for his spotter presentations.

Mike U
Also how much hard drive space do you reccomend having? I was hoping to do some time lapse with the editing software. Thanks.

5 minutes of footage is equal to about 1 gigabyte, so if you wanted to do a one hour highlight video then that would take up about 12 gigabytes. If you have time lapse shots in your video then an hour of video may take up even more space as video files for the most part remain the same in size no matter how much you speed them up....there are ways you can get around that though although the quality won't be as good. Depending on how much hard drive space you have and how much video editing you want to do it might be a good idea to have an external hard drive if you don't have one already.
I've used Pinnacle Studio 8 now for over a year and it has worked fine. It is a good option for those who can't afford the more pricey editors. It has all the basics you need to put together nice productions.

Pinnacle used to be very buggy and crash-prone, but the latest patches have improved this significantly. I still occasionally run into problems with Pinnacle when I'm assembling a long video with many clips, transitions, titles and soundtracks - but this can be worked around mainly by saving frequently so you can backtrack to the action that caused the problem. Also, doing your video in multiple ten-minute chapters, rendered and edited separately (rather than doing the entire hour-long production in one big file), helps cut down on the errors and crashes. Once you're done, you just assemble the finished 'chapters' and do the final render from there.

I bought a 60GB hard drive and have come to discover that this isn't sufficient for a full-length (60 minute) video when I did my 2003 chase highlights video. I had to delete many source captures so that the final DVD would render, meaning that I couldn't go back and re-edit once I had the final movie done. I like to keep frequently-used captures (lightning, floods, tornadoes, etc.) archived for easy access and for backup, and these are currently using 30GB of space as it is. I definately won't have room for the 2004 chase highlight video with the space I have now.

You may need at least an 80GB drive if you're going to do any serious video work, the more the better. I'm going to have to get a new drive as soon as I can afford it, hopefully a firewire drive that I can use on both my laptop and desktop.
Fred, that stuff you sent me was pretty darn good! Was it done in VEGAS software?

Also, do you know if they have a trial version available. If I am going to drop that kind of money on software I would at least like to try it out a little and see if I like it.
I use a mix of Adobe Premiere and After Effects.. After Effects allows me to create the digital "cartoons" that I may overlay on my videos.. from there, I can import them into Premiere and render out the entire movie..

Although I have tried DVD, I have yet to create one that works with my DVD players (computers fine, but not my television)... right now, I am sticking with VHS as I can export from computer to VCR w/o much trouble..
I am running 200 gigs to play with currently on my main machine. I have 80 gigs on my main drive and a second 120 gig drive which is used EXCLUSIVELY for video stuff. The trick is to not "chain" your two drives on the same IDE cable, but rather have one on IDE1 and the other on IDE2 that way system software etc is not clogging up the pipe so to speak with both drive working. Of course all that gets more complicated when you start adding in CDROM/DVD drives etc. It's worked well for me so far letting that second drive solely handle the video.
Yes Dave you can.. Thank you for the compliment.. <--- 30 day free trial

Also guys try the Sony ACID pro to make your bumper music.. go to the sony website choose the loops you want for the feel your looking for drop the loop in acid and make music.. Somewhat easy for intuitive folks..

They have a trial version of the newest software. I havent used it as i use 4.0 but 5.0 of course will have some newer features .. Like Bezier masking.. With this tool you can blur the surroundings of someone making them your point of focus.. this is called depth of field. With Film the depth of field is shallow and brings the viewers eyes on the subject.. whereas with video you see all things equally you can read the clock on the wall behind the subject for instance.

VEGAS will render in 24 frames which is film like as opposed to video like (news - soap opera)

Of course my focus is to make my videos look like film like as opposed to
Video llike.. Im making a documentary so higher end equipment is a must.

In reference to Adobe After Effects.. for your average user that baby is on a learning curve that is un atainable for someone who has a life outside of video editing.. And at $700 it out of reach too.. Vegas has a new 3 D modeler that will do the same thing now.. Also if you wanna make kick ass 3d stuff like you see on Monday night football etc.. you need Zaxwerx software its almost $600 now i believe.. Will After Effects do this?? yes but.. a learning curve makes it unattractive..

Again I dont work for these guys but I have had tremendous success with their products.. My system has never crashed once using Vegas (very important)... There isnt a Premier user or Avid user nor especially a Pinnacle user that can claim that.. I assure you..
Good advice Dave :) yes each hour of video footage is 13 gig of space.
Each mini DV casette (aprox.)
If you are starting with DV footage, you need 13GB per hour of video.
This means a 2 hour DVD is 2 x 13 = 26GB of footage.
Add in the extra unused footage and it's more like 3 x 13 = 39GB.
Figure that you'll be adding some extra graphics and audio tracks. Let's say another 2GB for these.
Now you need room for the MPEG2 footage for the DVD, that's 4.7GB more.
If you plan on creating the DVD in a folder first that's another 4.7GB.
Add it all up and it comes to over 50GB of high speed video storage to make a 2 hour DVD!!
If you plan really getting into this and adding DVD production to your video editing projects
I recommend a minimum of 100 gig HD if your really serious about editing..
I use Adobe Premiere Pro but I've only gotten into video editing in the past few months. I'm going to check out Vegas. I haven't been using Adobe long enough to be religous about it :lol:

Good info in this thread.
Having to use to work in TV and did a lot of editing, I always preferred having control over what I was editing and all the advanced featuers. Since I don't have a MAC and can't have Final Cut Pro, I'll stick with Adobe Premiere, I love it!
Personally, I have just started using the Vegas software. All I'm going to say is I love it & fplowman said it best.
i did forget to mention the Mac product.. andi must say.. many film producers use this product.. some would argue.. Avid or FCP... same as they would Mac and Pc.. again though I go to stability.. Mac and FCP have their own cult following.. but their minds are somewhat closed as the Mac sort are very loyal and somewhat lil' wine sippers.. Im diggin at you mac owners ;)

Find someone who uses FCP and ask them.. any crashes using your system/? Why is that important?? Editing is somewhat mindnumbingly tedious.. so if we have been working on a project since noon and its 9 pm well and it crashes.. it creates a lot of problems..

I can do anything you can do in FCP better and cheaper in Vegas.. again the audio apps are second to none.. Your right Sheila.. i guess i am professing like a religion.. lol.. Just cant say enough good things about this app
K Mcallister is correct
if you folks are looking for a cheap editor pinnacle and ulead make products on the lower end side..
Video editing is about the only thing MAC's are good for, thankfully the MAC user I work with doesn't come here :) but in all honesty, when it does come to video editing I would take a MAC and FCP over a desktop running XP.

When the station I use to work for finally equipped the editing booths with Mac's and FCP, I spent the following weekend teaching myself how to use it, and after that I used it as much as I could. I loved it compared to linear (deck to deck) editing.

I was one of the few that used it, most were intimidated by it or complained that it took too long... I remember reporters and I getting into it cause they were like "it's too slow" and I was like "yeah if you don't know how to use it and don't know what you're doing". Oh how I miss those days.. lol.

My Toshiba laptop has Premiere on it and it has a built in firewire card so I do all my editing on my laptop.
As far as macs go iMovie is also decent editing software....VERY easy to use....and best of all it already comes preinstalled on most of the newer macs. But if it isn't it can be downloaded it for free.

I think that people starting out should stay away from the expensive, professional grade software like Premiere and FCP....especially if all they want to do is add titles and music to their video. The cheaper options out there can do that too. Unless you edit video for a living it's unlikely you're going to ever use most of the features the more elaborate software like Premiere and FCP have.

As for software crashes - really that shouldn't be much of a problem as long as you save your work on a frequent basis. It is always a good idea to save your project several times per hour no matter what type of software you are using.
For the cheap end... If you come down to Ulead or Pinnacle, go with Pinnacle and save yourself a few headaches. One thing I really don't like about Pinnacle though is when you do a slow-mo clip you can see grids in your video. Other then that I think it does PLENTY, unless of course you want to add flying cows singing and spitting tornado videos out of their mouth. Or you have video of WF and you want to flip flop him back and forth with an image of Dorthy. I guess maybe I should mention one thing. I imagine with those high priced solutions you have much nicer control over video adjustments like contrast, saturation, etc, then you would with Pinnacle. I myself want a nicer solution just for the slo-mos and for the level adjusting I'd love to do to my POS video quality I get from my little mini-dv.

Back to the cheap two. I could not get Ulead video studio to capture in either full dv or mpeg 2. It would capture a few frames, drop a few, over and over. I have a 900mghz processor, and 512mb or ram with all other programs shut down. I was using fire wire. I was told over and over it should be capturing just fine. Re-installed....same problem. One day for the heck of it I picked up Pinnacle 8. I changed nada on my puter. It worked like a champ. I don't drop ANY frames let alone 35% of them using Pinnacle and having changed nothing. I realize for most of us without deep pockets it will come down to probably those two. Go with Pinnacle.

Good info Mike,

Im much more of a higher end user I guess and lost focus of the whole picture.. Not everyone here wants to make a motion picture or a documentary.. pinnacle I am sure would be a great product for those on a budget although they make products they market to the higher end user.. Like edition and liquid..

I will mention one more thing though. Sony media blaster is a dumbed down version of vegas.. It does alot of what Vegas does but doesnt have some of the higher end apps. ie color correcting.. etc.. It can be had at Best buy and will be rock steady.. key point. i wholeheartedly recommend it over any other product in the low end.. simply cause its vegas lite with the same rock solid performance. I think it is right under 100$ hope that helps..
180 Gig Western Digital with 8 meg of cache can be had pretty cheap now.. OEM is like $1 per GIG.. maybe even less now.. That would work right nicely as a video storage HD.. however the firewire or USB2 external storage options are very tempting.. this allows me to do many things.. it for one makes my project portable.. Say i want to go to the sound studio.. I can take my project there.. Or say I wanted to capture through firewire from Camera to laptop to that attached drive and have essentialy 6 or 8 hours of video storage.. WOW! Say i work with my desktop at home and my laptop on the road.. i can take and edit on my laptop while waiting for a plane etc...
Say im a storm chaser (you guys can relate) lol..and sell footage and want to be able to use the storage to capture and edit on the fly and upload to a server with WIFI while sitting at the truck stop.. the possibilities are endless.. Isnt it great to be alive and see all this technology :D
video editing DVD and CD

For pcs I hear NERO is really good for CDs. Also the Mac Titanium Toast which does DVD and CD burning and more also has a pc version CD Create.

I use my powerbook g3 and my Imac flatpanel g4 with my Imovie 4 and am trying out Final Cut express which has an amazing amount more of flexibility (that I don't even know where to start).

In 2001 I videoedited all my 2001 eclipse movie and tour with Imovie and my laptop before I got the Imac.

I am presently using iDVD which is great to do MPEG. I am currently trying to learn more about "nesting" the DVD menus and making a better menus, scenes and more. Imovie actually will actualy let you you encode the stop scenes in your movie so that it can be used as a different part of the menu.

So far so good

Dr.Eric Flescher ([email protected]),Olathe, KS -Storm Satori-
editor MacsU.N.I.T.E. (Subscribe send email to : [email protected]) , MacCompanion Reviewer/writer (; moderator [email protected]- to subscribe [email protected]; editor TechU.N.I.T.E. (Subscribe send email to PC version TechU.N.I.T.E.- Technology Users Network for Integrating Technology into Education- to subscribe send email to [email protected]: [email protected])