How do I make this thing? (video-editing mystery)
May 17, 2010 10:55 AM   Subscribe

I need to edit a series of basic videos together within the next 24 hours. I have no idea what I'm doing! Please help me.

Here's what I think I need to do:

Phase A
1. Record video #1 in AVCHD-Lite format (this is non-negotiable).
2. Put video into Handbrake - output as mp4.
3. Import mp4 audio into Audacity. Increase volume and reduce noise. Save.
4. Replace original mp4 with improved audio track using YAMB.

Phase B
1. Import photographs into '?' program.
2. Create slideshow (set photo duration etc).
3. Output as mp4 file (no audio needed). This is video #2

Phase C
1. Join mp4 videos #1 and #2 using YAMB with slight pause in between.

Phase D
1. Repeat this process with several short videos.
2. Burn all videos onto 1 DVD using program '?'.
3. DVD should play in any DVD player in the UK (i.e. PAL).

Okay, so here's the software I have at the moment:
Nero 7

I can't afford to buy any new software right now. Can I get by with freeware and my old version of Nero?

posted by SebastianKnight to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You can download a free, fully-functional demo of Sony Vegas that will work for 30 days. That might make this process much, much easier.
posted by The Lamplighter at 11:23 AM on May 17, 2010

This is subpar because you're doing multiple video and audio conversions and PAL is 25fps, not 30 (which is the AVCHD Lite standard). You'll also need to resize appropriately given the 1:1 pixel shape of your source and the non-square pixel output you'll need for DVD. I can make an Avisynth script that will do all this for you and allow you to pass uncompressed video and audio to the encoders of your choice (for DVD, I would pick HCEnc for video and Aften for audio) without any intermediate formats and without multiple transcodes. Unfortunately, I have a final exam this evening. If you'll be reading this thread at ~10PM EST and are interested in a non-destructive way to create a DVD from your sources, I'll check back then.

Otherwise, start reading up on Avisynth use and encoding and authoring for DVD over at Doom9's forum. You will find a LOT of information there that can help you improve your encoding workflow, to the point that you don't need any of those tools you listed and only need a few freeware apps.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 11:39 AM on May 17, 2010

Response by poster: Wow - I've downloaded the trial version of the £80 Vegas - it's incredible! I feel like I did when I first tried Photoshop. I'm going to get my stuff done with Vegas over the next day and then buy the proper version as soon as I can. Thanks a lot for the suggestion Lamplighter.

Inspector G - Thanks for you criticism of my setup - very informative. Thanks also for volunteering your assistance but I think I'll be okay now. Will definitely look into avisynth too.
posted by SebastianKnight at 3:14 PM on May 17, 2010

Inpector.Gadget: "…and PAL is 25fps, not 30 (which is the AVCHD Lite standard)."

Are you 100% sure on that? It's impossible for an average human to get detailed info out of the AVCHD Consortium, and Wikipedia just blankly states AVCHD Lite is 720p/30 without a truly supportive reference, but the manufacturers themselves (e.g. Sony, Panasonic, etc) seem to consider 720p/25 as valid AVCHD Lite in 50Hz countries. I'm honestly curious to know if there's any solid references/evidence either way…
posted by Pinback at 4:12 PM on May 17, 2010

Also, if you're looking for a program to quickly and easily create the slideshow portion of the video, you might want to use the free Microsoft Photo Story. While it probably can't do anything more or better than Vegas, it is built just for this purpose and the videos should be pretty easy to integrate into the larger project using Vegas.
posted by The Lamplighter at 5:15 PM on May 17, 2010

I'm honestly curious to know if there's any solid references/evidence either way…

I've only ever seen 720p30 (720p"60", but featuring frame doubling). If 720p25/50 is an accepted standard, then that makes everyone's life so much easier. As it stands, if he is working with 720p30, there really isn't a good way to do 30p->25p...I mean, you're out of the awful fieldblending problem, but you're either dealing with dropping frames or noticeable artifacts. With 720p25, it's as simple as

Spline64Resize(720,576) # anamorphic for DVD authoring
# SelectOdd() uncomment if 720p50 encoding present

which is sooooo much less of a pain in the ass than MFlowFPS, etc.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:37 PM on May 17, 2010

Response by poster: Hi again,

Just for your info: I'm using the Lumix GF1 digital camera in AVCHD mode. It's the UK version of the camera and according to the manual it captures video at 25fps which it then doubles to 50p.

Hope that's helpful - don't really understand it means myself.
posted by SebastianKnight at 1:09 AM on May 18, 2010

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