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Editing
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Video Editing Tools by Price Point Chart Editing Video Clips
Editing Glossary      Clutter

     Arrangement
Why Edit?
     Bandwidth/Storage Xp Notes - known problems / fixes
     Creativity

Linux Notes


If you need to just join, convert, or even just view all the parts of the clip without recreating it, you should first check out the  Join/Convert pages. But always, if you didn't cap it, and you join or alter it, DON'T POST IT.



Video Editing Tools by Price Point
Whichever tool you use, you should know that that taking an existing, heavily compressed video clip and decompressing and then recompressing it to save in a different format WILL result in some loss of quality. Before you start editing, make sure that you're capping with the best codec your machine can use for the final result
Software editors mentioned here are listed by their retail price, if any
Tool Formats Details Retail $
VirtualDub avi, avi2, mpg1 Reads and writes AVI2 (OpenDML) and multi-segment AVI clips; integrated MPEG-1 and Motion-JPEG decoders. Decompress and recompress both audio and video. Remove segments of a video clip and save the rest, without recompressing. Adjust frame rate, decimate frames, and 3:2 pull down removal. Preview the results, with live audio.
FREE 
MetaEditor rm, ra Create, edit, and manipulate .RAM metafiles based on segments of any version of RealAudio® and RealVideo® clips. Use the RealNetworks RMEditor application to edit clips via a graphical front end. Since the G2 system supports various additional formats via plugins. MetaEditor can also be used to index .WAV, .AVI and .MPG files. MetaEditor is programmed in Visual Basic 5 and runs under Windows 9x.
FREE 
MS VidEdit avi Win9x is the old 16 bit MS product, and is free and widely used utility. Stored on the faqs site, Best for basic editing tasks.
FREE 
STOIK Video Convertor
AVI and wmv-1 and 2

  - free ware converter to AVI (meaning larger files). Can alter frame size, fps, and compression codec. Can funcuntion as a spliter on scence changes.


FREE 
AVIedit avi Win9x The backbone sources of AVIedit are MS VidCap and VidEdit taken from old MS Video Edit. The Adobe Photoshop host emulation includes near-3.0 compatibility. AVIedit uses self-modified code compiled "on the fly" by parsing strings causing it to be as fast as if it were generated with off-line. Stored on the faqs site, Best for basic editing tasks.
$20.00us 
Quick Time Pro Qt, Mov, avi Mac an increasing number of Mac users are reporting that Version 4 and 5 of the "Pro" come with strong translation abilities.
29.99us 
FadeToBlack AVI Editor
avi
Splitting, cropping, stretching, copying, reversing (also reverses audio), deleting , drag-n-drop re-ordering , rotatation, Filters.  Nice feel and good documention for an avi to avi editor.
39.95us 

IFlim Edit Mpg fast MPEG technology allows cut, clip and paste without decompressing. Quality is not affected by editing . And the edit and preview operations are fast. No waiting while your MPEG edits are performed. Bundled with MediaPalettePlus or Pro allows edit and export straight to RealVideo G2 or 5.1 files.
49.95us 
PAE, Personal AVI Editor avi WinX shareware editing program for both existing AVIs and new captures.  You can get a full featured 30 day evaluation copy
$49.95us 
MainActor avi, mov, mpg can combine, convert and edit source video from any combination of AVI, MOV and MPG files for output in any of those formats.  The shareware version of MainActor is fully functional, but has an annoying nag screen.
$60.00us 
MGI's Video Wave. avi, mpg1 Like Uleads Video Studio, this is still a lite weight in the pro editing crowd, but MGI is headed down the path of becoming, abet slowly, a major player.
99.95us 
ULEAD Video Studio avi, mov, dv, mpg the "home user" version of their pro set, the basic engine is the same as mspro, but most of the advanced features are missing here. Single timeline
99.95us 
ULEAD Media Studio Pro AVI, MPG, MOV, RM, ASF, dv, Wma Well supported by the company.  Increasingly in use in commercial studios as their main or back up video editor, also making inroads into TV production markets. Has many built in features are are only Options with Premiere, but not nearly the vast number of add ons from third parties as Premiere. Version 6.5 breaks away from Ligos MPG to provide enhanced Mpg production - vastly better DVD clips.
495.00us 
in-sync Blade
 
AVI, MPG, WMV, ASF Realtime video editor that works with DV and DVCAM cameras and decks.
Great for Laptops.
499 US
(ask about the abme poster/capper rate)
Adobe Premiere X.x. AVI, MPG, MOV, RM, ASF, Others  By the time you buy all the add ons, you'll have spent quite a bit more invested this package, but you'll also quickly see why quite a few commercial productions studios make their living with this software.
549.00us 
Sound Forge's Vegas Video AVI, RM, WMV, ASF Well, the truth is I was quite impressed with this program - until I saw the retail price. Nice, but not that nice.
559.00us 
in-sync Speed Razor 2000X AVI, MPG, WMV, ASF Quote from Father John, Knob Ryder Entertainment "...Speed Razor is my #1 choice for editing applications (above Premiere, Incite, Edit, Media 100, Final Cut, Avid DV Xpress)..."
2000.00us
(ask about the abme poster / capper discount)

Capping/Editing Glossary
Artifacts
Imperfections, the pixalation on the frame.  Caused by over compression  and or low quality source. Most of the time you'll notice these on your final product, but often the underlying cause of them comes from the failure to collect data during the cap.
Codec
COmpression & DECompression.  The software algorithm that allows the video to be stored in a compressed format, then decompressed at runtime. Even with so called "software only" capture cards, there is a built in chip that has a software codec burned in to it. Make sure you know this codec, it's limitations, and it's strong suit, and use it's strengths to the max.
Data rate
The Rate, expressed in kilobytes (KB) or kilobits (Kb) per second, which a video & / or the video audio stream is captured at.  In general, given identical frame rate, frame size and codec, a video with a higher data rate will have better quality than a video with a lower data rate. The best cappers tune their capture rate to the maximum their computer configuration can stand.
Drop frame (dropout)
That dreaded loss of frames during the capture process. If your capture software allows, you should monitor this number ( expressed as a percentage of the total ) and never accept a cap with greater than 2% drop out.
Caused by:
   a) Hardware Problems - compression chip, hard drive or bus controller - inability to keep up with the data stream from the feed.  Simple solution is to reduce the rate of data. Best solution is replace the slowest component.
   b) Software Problems - compression algorithm [codec], the software codecs  inability to 'keep up' with the data rate called for. Simple solution is to change the "save" codec to one more compatible with the hardware codec chip - See Codec above
DV(TV)
Digital Television, and to some extent digital computing, still have yet to come together.  Check this:
January 2, 2002 – The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has advanced its DTV Application Software Environment (DASE) specifications to the level of Candidate Standard.  The DASE Standard will provide enhanced and interactive content creators the specifications necessary to ensure that their applications and data will run uniformly on all brands and models of DTV receivers while providing manufacturers the flexibility to choose hardware platforms and operating systems for receivers. The Candidate Standard stage is an explicit call for implementation and technical feedback. The DASE-1 suite of specifications is organized into eight logical parts and is available at .
The only current standard of true digital is the 16:9 frame size - a square of the current NTSC 4:3
FPS - Frames per second
This is a count of the number of frames meant to captured each second.
As a point of reference,
   American TV plays at 29.795 fps (60 cycles),
   European standard is 25 fps (with 50 cycles).
See the discussion of Fields for more on this.
Fields
The best way to explain fields is to start off with  the review of  FPS and electricity referred to below. Note "cycles". That is the measure of the number of times the electric current alternates back and forth each second.  Your Tv screen is "refreshed" each 1/50th or 1/60th of a second based on this electric cycle. Each cycle the raster ( the little ray gun in the back of the tube that excites the phosphors on the interior of the front of the screen and causes them to glow ) starts at the upper left, scans an entire row of pixels from left to right, moves back to the left and down a row, and repeats the process until it reaches the bottom right. It then travels back to the upper left, in what is known as the blank interval more familiar to dos program writers who used to use this nano second of time to execute other code in the space occupied by the video memory. Most broadcast quality feeds are composed of an "a" field and a "b" field to match these cycles, with the "b" field slightly offset to create a smoother blend between the pixels of the "a" field. In terms of quality, the b tends to be the lesser of the two fields, and if your capture program allows it, and your computer is having trouble keeping up during capture, turn off the b field.
Frame(s)
Quite simply, a still image that when played at the set fps produces the illusion of a moving image. Frames may be complete in and of themselves, or require information from adjoining frames to complete their image. By using information from adjoing frames, the data rate (amount of the frames' information * the rate at which the frame is to play = data rate) can often be reduced greatly.
HDTV
Well, as of May 1st, 2002, all major broadcast stations (the top 100) should be putting out a HDTV broadcast. But almost all cable won't be, because of the differing standards under which they built their digital network, and meetings are still taking place over the American HDTV standard - different than those in place currently in Japan and Europe.  The common theme in all the hdtv and digital tv is the 16:9 framing standard. Stay tuned.


Why Edit?
Ok, you say, why edit? You've just ripped a scene that is 15 minutes long and 150 megs, it's hot, you wanta post it. Understandable, but not what abme and ab nospam me is about, really.  The founders of abme edited their clips for two reasons, both of which still have a place in the world of usenet today.

1. The first was bandwidth - the measure of your 150 meg rip moving through the thousands of usenet servers around the world, - and storage - your 150 meg rip being stored on the above thousands of usenet servers. In the last few years there have been consistently a dozen cappers posting to abme - take their output alone - 200 meg a week (x12=2400meg) put it on all the servers (x1000=2,400,000meg). Now toss in the random 2 dozen cappers that show up and disappear after a few weeks (2,400,000+[24x300x1000=7,200,000]) =9 MILLION, 6 HUNDRED THOUSAND MEG of goodies - all in a week! And that's not even beginning to count the flooders and the spammers. Anyone got any spare drive space? A concern for propagation to all servers (including yours) was a big part of the concept behind trimming clips down. Even as each year usenet servers add to their hard drive space and improve the pipes, the retention on most servers drop. Even the worst NSP agmonst them hangs on to most posts for 36 hours, and has 75% completion now, but last year the average was more like a week. Growth in posting is out stripping growth in servers. When this faq was first written, almost all servers had 8 days of posts.

2.Creativity. The second consideration was - well, how to put this mildly - the bulk of stuff posted in abme is somebody else's work. The founders, and many of the regulars to this day, find no grace in that. So the tweaking, trimming, rearranging, multiple screens, picture-in-picture effects along with the skills of the cap become more fun to watch and examine than just the action on the screen. To this day the finest work done was by Multimedia Madman. His Elements of Desire clips are some of the finest, tightest work ever to grace abme. If you want to call yourself a capper, get these files (with their separate sound tracks) and buy the tape. Sit down and study both. Look at how he splices, mixes, and recreates entire scenes. His source may have been the tape, but what he posted is a masterpiece of his own labour.



Editing Video
We will start with the asumption that you've already read, followed or rejected the advice found in capping, have capped the raw video, and are now sitting on a massive file(s) that looks just the way it does on the tape. If not, go back to capping and try again. Depending on the frame size (eg. 640x480, 320x240, etc.), frame rate, data rate, and so on, an uncompressed capture can occupy 100 MB per minute or more, and even using the MPEG-1 format, a 30 minute clip can occupy 1200 MB at a reasonable capture quality. To find what is "reasonable" for your own system requires a fair amount of experimentation with settings. Again, if you're lost, off to Capping.

Step 1. Clear the clutter:
In any production, there is always a need to fit the content into a predesigned "time slot". For Tv that tends to equal 21 minutes per half hour real time. In porn, the time slot is aimed mostly at 1 hour, 90 minute, and rarely, 2 hour markets for complete tapes / discs, and each action scence within runs 15-18 min. Wether the shoot was good or bad, the end product must fit the desired block. For your work, this too should be the starting point. Once you've relaxed a little bit about capping, you'll come to find that the movie makers have done a few standard things to flesh out the running times of the scences.
Filler footage:
   a.) Close Ups. Review the captured footage for filler like shots of faces (or other parts of the body) that were used over and over. You and I may think she's hot, but posting a 15 min vid with 4 min of a single face?
   b.) Pan-Ins and Outs. Watch for those long, lingering pans away and back to the scence - often in slow-mo to strech the length. Yeah, those are really hot close-ups, But, are they as affective the 2nd through 4th minutes as they were the 1st through 2nd?
   c). Set-ups. When taken together in a 90 min movie, hearing Betty-Jo tell Billy-Bob that's she's working in a maid's outfit only to help her poor sick mother get through high school may be needed to somewhat jell the storyline together, but taken in it's 15 min chunk - who cares? In fact, who cares no matter how you take it. This isn't alt.touchy-feely.good.about.it.

Step 2. Find an arrangement:
Many times after you've made the cuts above, you'll see a new pattern emerge - sometimes even notice how the original editor rearranged the flick from the shooting order ( Socks on, socks off, socks on, one sock on ). Rearrange till you find a clean flow - then go back to step 1 and look for wastage.

Using a time line during this type of operation provides and extremely effective means of following the flow of the action, but any editor that allows opening multilevel windows onto various segments of the clip will do just fine if used in conjunction with a spreadsheet to keep track of the beginning, end, and content.

If your editor can't supply this, the best approach would be to save each section as a separate clip, review each one to determine sequence, then "join" them back together based on your spreadsheet in the order you've selected. Sound complex? This final way is exactly the process by which editing is really done, with many different versions developed during the project, and always with an eye on the over all running time / content.
 
 
 

Step 3. Blend the parts.
a). Consider making a rough cut by just compressing all the parts you've now laid out. Then watch it to see if the "story line" flows, and the action keeps moving to the climax :-).
b).Transitions:

(1. whether blunt cuts or soft fades, transition can both increase or decrease the intensity of the scene.
(2. Many transition effects will increase the data rate - or decrease in quality when recompressed. It's not that you shouldn't use them, but bear in mind that you might be affecting the look or size of the finished file.
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3


Title credit screen - 0min.10sec
Clip 1o - 2min.25.sec
transition - 0min.05sec
Clip1a - 4min.30sec. Clip 1c - 1min.15sec Clip 1c - 1min.15sec
Clip1b - 0min.25sec Clip1a - 4 min.30sec. transition - 0min.05sec
Clip 1c - 1min.15sec Clip 1d - 2min.28sec Clip1a - 4min.30sec.
Clip 1d - 2min.28sec
transition - 0min.05sec
Clip 1e - 1min.02sec
Clip 1d - 2min.28sec


close - 0min.10sec
Total Run time 10min.05sec
Total Run time 8min.48sec

Step 4. Compression
Now to "not my favor-rite topic". But one you need to think about. Just about the only codec out there that's stayed unchanged since abme was created is mpeg1. Even the most basic of Intel codecs - IV2.1 - was completely rewritten to allow compatabily with IV4x. (Most of the clips I did for abme became obsolite in a stroke, or played badly under the replacement 2.1 codec.) Even if you pick a safe one, there may well come a time when you're clips are s.o.l. for viewing.

There are fans of all the codecs listed on the Codecs Page as no longer supported, I can only suggest you give this more thought than you put out when picking a cap card. Think "how big if", but also "will it play next year". See number 5 below.

Step 5. Sizing
A few of the ways to set up for posting are:

a). The most popular style for posting in abme has for a long time been by creating segmented standalone clips from the entire story you wish to post. Often these complete clips are given the names "Movie1a, Movie1b, etc.." or "Movie1-1. Movie1-2. etc".
b). You could also choose to post your vid in a single part using Rar or Zip/split encoding, thou it should only take a quick scan of the newbie postings in abme to see that this has some serious drawbacks for them as well as for some of the old timers.
Take a look, or better yet, compress your clip complete, and look at it's size. Does it stike you as worth tieing up that much hard drive space? If not, then maybe you should re edit or re compress using another codec.


Linux Notes 

Notes on Joining and Splitting(thanks to ryeth for the updates)
"Splitted" files (movie.mpg.001, movie.mpg.002, etc.) actually work quite well in the Unix/Linux environment. Store the separate parts in a temp directory (or the first several for preview purposes), and a simple command ( "movie.mpg.??? | mtv - &" ) allows viewing. According to the documentation for mtv, the "-" is a signal that there are no more command-line options and everything else is to be used as input data, and (in the Bash shell, anyway) an "&" means, "Start this program and then run it in the background, giving me my command line back."

A safer way would be "movie.mpg.??? >> parts.mpg".  Note the >> instead of just >; this signifies append instead of over-write.  Some shells would create a file and then over-write it with each separate segment, resulting in a rather small file when all is finished.  This way, the file will be created if it doesn't already exist, and then the data will be written to it.
 

Join the parts with a simple command line (cat parts.mpg.??? > parts.mpg). If you don't have all the parts yet, add them to the partially joined file with command line (cat newparts.mpg.??? >> parts.mpg).

Deletion of unwanted parts is just as easy with unix (rm parts.mpg.???).



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