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converting video casettes to RM, MPEG
how to?
chiyo




msg:849505
 8:39 pm on May 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

I hope this is the right forum.

We would like to convert 20 sec to 3 minute "grabs" from some 40 minute videos for use on our site either in RM or MPEG format. We are beginners here. Can anybody suggest a good place to start re hardware (I guess we have to connect up a video player to a computer!)and software options. Maybe a good web howto resource?

For example can we copy the video to a CD ROM, then select passages and edit them and save them in mpeg/RM format?

This will never become a major feature on our site, just to add a bit of variety to our news and article sections. So we are looking for "quick easy fixes" rather than site wide professional solutions.

Many thanks

 

mivox




msg:849506
 8:50 pm on May 21, 2001 (gmt 0)

You can get an AV card for your comuter that will allow you to plug your VCR directly into the computer.... then you'll need video editing software, to do a "video capture" from the VHS tape.

I personally have used EditDV software, and if you're only doing fairly simple editing, "EditDV Unplugged" offers much of the same fucntionality and is a free download (last I checked). I don't think there are any other programs available that offer as much functionality for as low a price ($0)... unless you bought a Mac with iMovie installed.

Once you have the edited video on your hard drive, find video compression software (QuickTime will handle basic functions, Cleaner Pro offers better functionality), and save the video as an MPEG or whatever format you want. Keeping a library of "finished" video clips on CD is an excellent way to prevent the digital video files from taking over all your hard drive space.

Anyone have any simpler ideas? I'd love to hear them!

bill




msg:849507
 7:48 am on May 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

A lot of the video capture cards grab the video and put it into .AVI format on Windows systems. I've been playing around with a [url=www.winnov.com/products/capture/videum1000.htm]Videum 1000[/url] card from Winnov, and it seems to do a good job.

First you want to capture as clean as possible in .AVI. This can be very resource consuming if you want to do long clips. Uncompressed video can take up several GB per minute. I've got a 30GB drive I use just for video. [url=www.virtualdub.org]VirtualDub[/url] is a very popular free capture and editing utility.

Then you convert to MPEG. There are lots of freeware/shareware alternatives out there. Probably one of the most popular is [url=www.tmpgenc.com/e_main.html]TMPGEnc[/url]. This is a bit tougher to use than the commercial [url=www.roxio.com/en/products/ecdc/index.html]Easy CD Creator[/url] and [url=www.ahead.de/en/index2.htm]Nero 5.5[/url] packages that will somewhat automate this process for you.

chiyo, you're probably more familiar with this than I am, but in most of Asia the VideoCD and SuperVideoCD formats seem to be most prevalent. The Easy CD Creator and Nero 5.5 packages claim to create VideoCD and SuperVideoCD format CDs for you that could easily be distributed in your markets. These are also supposed to play in most DVD players as well. I assume that any MPEG files created by these packages would also work on the web...

chiyo




msg:849508
 10:45 am on May 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks Mivox and Bill.

It looks like there are not any real easy solutions! We are checking around the computer shops later this week using your suggestions as a guide.

Just some extra info. The clipswe hope to include on the site are short comments by our "talking heads" taken from conference videos and interviews our consultants and authors have done recently.

Videoman




msg:849509
 5:24 pm on May 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

Chiyo
engine from UK forums pointed me to your mail. This is something I do professionally on a regular basis - recent work includes monster.com and Air Canada to namedrop....both were for multimedia presentation, as oppossed to web based delivery.

General Advice
You capture to the computer do all your editing and then encode. Even using digital firewire can increase the artifacting if you keep going on and off tape. Definately DO NOT edit MPEG as it has to be re-encoded.
However, no one mentioned the nitty gritty which is that unless the clips are small and have little action they will look pretty awful unless the file size is large, in which case they take forever to download. Good streaming has to come from specialised servers - Megabucks - Until the whole world is on High speed connection I wouldn't waste my time. I produce video for a living..I encode in RN (Really Naff)QuickSlime and MPEG (of which I am a fan)I wouldn't dream of having any video on my site.....if the customers stayed long enough it would frighten them away. Sorry I rate web video in its present form like cold porridge. ;)

chiyo




msg:849510
 6:48 pm on May 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thaks Videoman.. Good advice.

We may experiment with a few 10 sec clips in MPEG with a very small sreen size. (Its all "talking head" stuff). Does that sound doable to you?

Videoman




msg:849511
 5:00 am on May 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

You will find some small MPEGS that I did here.
www.super.troopers.freeuk.com/video.htm
Note the ratio of duration/file size/quality

chiyo




msg:849512
 5:39 am on May 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks videoman. that gives me a good idea of quality vs file size considerations. Maybe becuase there is not much movement and colors on our videos it would be smaller size, unlike the music videos ( just a big mouth moving and slight movements of the head!) Im assuming that less colors and less changes in color frame to frame would result in better compressions (Like JPEG?) Also if its just speaking would it have savings in size? - lessquality needed?)

Videoman




msg:849513
 6:06 am on May 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Talking heads are just fine- You can reduce the frame rate from 30 NTSC (25 PAL) to 10 or 15 without anyone really caring. Do that with fast action and then it becomes just dire.

What most people do not realise is a new breed of specialist technotypes called compressionists, has evolved. These guys specialise in web compression and they are clever given the current limitations. When you watch the trailer for the latest film on a site and you think it looks quite good, it hasnt just been processed by Media Cleaner Pro- some guru has had a special edit cut, has analysed every frame and compressed the sections as required. I read that the Star Wars stuff took 3 months to compress. Trouble is, a client will say can you do "this", like I've seen "here" and you have to explain that sadly it ain't that easy. Good Luck. Let us know how you get on.

mivox




msg:849514
 6:39 pm on May 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks so much for sharing your expertise, Videoman! I've never found a site that "needed" video, so I've never really gotten into the details of viedo compression (same excuse I have for not learning Flash. ;) ). Sounds like I wouldn't have the time to really do it right, anyway.

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