Challenging Video Editing Software for PC Question
January 21, 2009 2:56 PM   Subscribe

Challenging Video Editing question: If I wanted to take video from a multiple number of different sources (off DVD's or maybe Blue-Ray) and produce a single video from those sources (say each video has its own quarter of the screen), which editing tool(s) would be best to perform these tasks? Software must be PC. By best, I mean: * relatively simple to learn, * open source, or relatively inexpensive * produces good quality, quad-screen videos in high enough resolution to look good on typical home televisions, not just computer screens. *Makes it easy to add your own music tracks or soundtrack, or it can use audio from any of the 4 videos as well, preferably both.
posted by noir to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you want to go the free route, it looks like Movie Maker can do split screen with added freeware. Not sure about quad, though.

Other than that, any major editing studio can do this. I recommend Premiere if money is not an issue, or Sony Vegas if it is. For instance, this guy used Vegas 7.0.

Both do a LOT more than what you're looking for.
posted by nitsuj at 3:19 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Look at my answers in this thread. It would be relatively straightforward to use Avisynth's StackHorizontal() and StackVertical() functions in conjunction with cropping and resizing to create video output from multiple contemporaneous inputs. Dubbing can be accomplished with the Audiodub() function from any of the videos or an external track. Avisynth is completely format agnostic and can take as input anything your PC can decode and produce as output any common pixel format to be fed to a variety of encoders.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:19 PM on January 21, 2009

Also: I have no experience with any of these, but Wikipedia has a list of open source video editors.
posted by nitsuj at 3:23 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't know about blu-ray; however, I've had good results with the free program, Mpeg Streamclip. You can rip DVDs and transcode many file types.
posted by sswiller at 3:29 PM on January 21, 2009

I don't know of any *good* free video editing packages for Windows. Avid used to offer FreeDV, a stripped down version of Xpress Pro that didn't require a dongle, but they stopped. If you looked hard enough you might find a copy of floating around though.
If you're willing to pay, Premiere, Vegas, or maybe even Pinnacle Studio would do this.
If you have any ability to use Linux, Cinelerra would work
On a Mac, this would be easy to do on Final Cut Pro, and probably easy to do on Final Cut Express or iMovie.

If there's a community media center near you (like DCTV in New York), they may rent you an edit station on an hourly basis where you could do this in a matter of an afternoon, and maybe learn something about video editing.
posted by kid_dynamite at 3:51 PM on January 21, 2009

VisualJockey Gold for Windows will do this relatively easily using Nash Arts Quadrator filter and a Green Hippo AVI Loader+ resource plugged into each of the Quadrator's inputs. Then just file->export movie. It is free and can be interesting to play with as it is video jockey software. It takes a little playing to get used to but it's easy once you figure out it's quirks.

I'll second Cinelerra. I've used that to do a quad screen before. It can also be very quirky.
posted by robtf3 at 6:52 PM on January 21, 2009

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