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Suggested work flow by SJJ1805 for Video Creation

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Suggested work flow by SJJ1805 for Video Creation

Postby sjj1805 » Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:37 pm

Suggested work flow by SJJ1805 for Video Creation

Following recent discussions on the forum I have come to the conclusion that it would be more efficient for me to create my suggested work flow as a separate thread to those already in existence in an attempt to avoid confusion caused by the suggested methods made by other users.

The way that I view the entire process of getting from source to completion is to split the process up into 3 distinctive steps.

Step 1. Capture.
Step 2. Edit.
Step 3. Share.

Failing to follow this or any other suggested work flow will not mean that a bolt of lightening will come shooting out of the sky and fry you and your computer. Experiment and find a work flow that works for you. This work flow works for me and follows a logical set of steps and provides me with a good result. It does not imply that you cannot do things in a different manner.

Step 1. Get it onto your hard drive.
It is a generally accepted fact that if you can capture (or in the case of most camcorder recordings - transfer) your video footage in a non lossy format such as DV (avi) then you should do so. Not everyone can enjoy that luxury because with such a wide range of video recording equipment and a wide variety of video sources - TV cards - Digital cameras - camcorders - internet - mobile phones - CCTV systems - Sky+ boxes - DVD discs and so on. Furthermore different hardware systems have different connection capabilities - USB, Firewire, SCART, RCA and so on, that what may apply to some users cannot physically be done by others.

As described above not all users can do this the same way.
Establish what is best for YOUR setup and the best possible settings for YOUR equipment and source materials.
It is a widely accepted fact that DV (avi) is an easier format to edit than MPEG2 but that does not mean it is impossible to edit MPEG2 and as mentioned above, for some users it is unavoidable.

Step 2. Edit.
Every time you render (create) a video file you risk losing some quality and you risk other issues such as out of synch audio/video. You therefore should aim to render a file the least number of times possible.

What this means is that you place your source materials from step 1 onto the timeline or overlay tracks. make your cuts, add your transitions, titles and extra backgrounds sounds - generally you tidy it all up, cut out the rubbish and put in all your Steven Spielberg Special Effects.

At this time, your original source materials remain untouched on your hard drive. You have simply created a very large text file which is a record of your intended cuts, transitions titles and so on. You save this large text file as a VideoStudio Project File - or in the case of MediaStudio - a MediaStudio project file.

Now what you do is to apply all those cuts, transitions, titles and so on and create a new video file. There are two ways to do this.

Method 1 which is my preferred method, is to create a brand new video file on your hard drive with all of those edits processed. It is no longer a project file it is now a standalone and playable video.
When you do this - you don't want to render it again - we are aiming to render ONCE to avoid loss of quality and any other side issues such as audio/video synchronization. Our target device will be a DVD disc playable in a standalone DVD player and so we need to render to MPEG2.

If however you are producing a video to place on the internet you would no doubt create one of the following
DivX / Xvid / MPEG4 / WMV / Quicktime or some other format associated with videos you find on the internet.

In another scenario you may wish to transfer the edited material back to your camcorder, perhaps to preserve it on tape. Here you would render to a DV (avi) file.

The reason why this is my preferred method to Method 2 below is that you can now play this video on your computer before moving on to step 3 - authoring. You now have the opportunity to watch the video on your computer with those edits having been implemented. If you decide further editing is required you simply go back to your project file and edit it further.

Using this 'Method 1' you must work out in advance the appropriate bit rate and quality settings so that the completed project will fit onto your DVD - otherwise you will end up rendering the video a second time to reduce it to fit.
(Please view What Bit Rate settings should I use?)

Method 2 - place the project file into the authoring module.
(Applies to VideoStudio only - MediaStudio project files cannot be placed into MovieFactory or DVD Workshop)
Here you have not rendered your video file but instead you render the file as a part of the authoring stage. Technically there is no reason why you cannot do this. Practically though you must consider what effect it will have on the entire project if you then create your completed DVD and then realise you needed to do further editing. Will this affect the placement of your DVD chapters and so on. You might end up having to redo the authoring stage again.

Either way your video will get rendered to the required format - normally MPEG2 as most users will be creating a DVD disc playable in a standalone DVD player. This will take the same amount of time no matter which method you choose. In other words if you create the video file first using method 1, your video has already been rendered and so will not be rendered again and so the authoring stage will appear to take dramatically less time than method 2 where the file must now be rendered.

Here is this same message explained again another way as an answer to another post on the forum
Like many things in life you can do things in a number of different ways and you will soon adopt a work flow that you find comfortable to work with.

To prevent any possible loss in quality I have found from my experience and also by reading the views of several other video editors that the aim is to render the least number of times preferably once.

So here is what can be done to achieve this.
Firstly you have lets say a hours worth of video in your camcorder and you transfer it to your hard drive in DV (avi) format using an IEEE1394 (firewire) cable. You have an exact copy on your hard drive of what is on your camcorder. No loss of quality.

Lets call this Movie A.

Now you decide that you wish to create two movies from that same Movie A.
One is a main movie where you have simply cut out the unwanted bits.
This movie may last some 45 minutes. We will call this Movie B.
Once you have completed your editing and are ready to create a DVD, you then render Movie B to MPEG2 format and then enter the authoring stage. You have only rendered Movie B once.

The second movie is going to be a short preview movie of Movie B
Like the trailers of the Hollywood films.
We are going to call this Movie C.

To create Movie C you must again return to Movie A as your source.
This way when you create Movie C it will have only been rendered Once.

Hope that makes sense so far.

Just before you rendered Movie B you save a VideoStudio Project file - perhaps you called it Project B.

Just before you rendered Movie C you save another VideoStudio project file - perhaps you called it Project C.

Providing you leave the original source material untouched (Movie A)
you can re-open your VideoStudio Project file and make further adjustments or edits.

So you opened up project B and made a few more cuts, this time you create another Movie B to replace the one you made earlier.
In other words it has still only been rendered once.

Let us say that you¡¦ve edited a video and decide to render it to MPEG2 ready for authoring and it took one and a half hours. You watch that video and decide to make some changes. OK you lost one and a half hours because now your going to render it again.

Doing it the other way, you create a full-blown DVD from a vsp.
The program still took one and a half hours to convert the edited material into the necessary MPEG2 file, but it also then spent more time again firstly creating the DVD Menus ¡V the length of time depends upon how many pages are involved and how many thumbnails are on each page, and then there is the conversion step from MPEG2 to VOB.

So by using the vsp file in the authoring module you would lose even more time.

All that you need to remember when editing your video is to aim to render the least number of times, preferably once. Sometimes this is not possible.
An example of some of our forum members being forced into rendering a second time is here:

Kodak MOV files

Here you will find our members are making the recommendation to convert from the MOV format to another first. A similar situation exists when dealing with the highly compressed formats DivX Xvid and MPEG4.

Step 3. Authoring.
This is the stage where you now create your DVD menus and navigation structure, chapters, Menu background sounds and images and so on.
From this you burn your completed project onto your DVD disc ready to play in your standalone DVD player.

I hope this clarifies the procedure and from this you can see that it is NOT necessary to create an avi file from Step 2 but instead either create a DVD compliant MPEG2 file or place the project into the authoring module at step 3.

Further suggested reading:
From camcorder to DVD with VideoStudio

Click this thumbnail to see a flowchart describing this suggested work flow:
Image
Last edited by sjj1805 on Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:53 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby sjj1805 » Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:15 pm

The following is taken from this link:
http://forum.corel.com/EN/viewtopic.php?p=106884#106884
It further helps explain the overview of video creation.

brodwidr wrote:Hi -

I am just a few weeks past total newbie myself but I think I might be able to shed some light on the possible confusion here, and perhaps these issues could be clarified in future workflows and other guides.

I hope I have gotten this right; I've skipped some of the nuances to keep it as simple as possible. Please advise me if I've missed anything important.

There are several possible sources of quality degradation and irreversible changes in the video editing process. These are similar and easily confused. But they are different, and need to be understood in order for the work flows to make sense.

1.) It is important to understand that any time video is compressed to distribute it, a codec is involved, and that some codecs are inherently lossy while others are lossless. A lossy codec is one where the video -- after being compressed -- will never look as good as the original. And a lossless codec means that the video, after being compressed, is visually indistinguishable from the original. Of course, it's not all a matter of extremes. Some codecs are slightly lossy and others are very lossy. Generally speaking, the more you need to compress the video (e.g. to post it on YouTube you need to compress it further than to burn a DVD with it.) the more lossy the codec. But there are important exceptions. It is crucial to understand that regardless of how many times you change the video from one format to another (a process variously referred to as "transcoding" or "rendering" and discussed below) if you output your project to a lossy codec you will lose quality. There is no free lunch.

MPEG is lossy, but the miniDV format used by default in files taken off your camcorder is relatively lossless. That is why, even though the files are bigger with DV than with MPEG, DV is the recommended format to use most of the time.

2.) When you have video in a lossy format and you have to process some change to it (like a crossfade, or overlaying a title) the software actually has to translate the software from that format into something else in order to process the effect. What the "something else" is, isn't that important, what is important is that each trip back and forth out of a lossy codec and back again, or from one lossy codec to another further degrades quality. Think of it as similar to what happens when you make a fax of a fax. And then you fax that fax of a fax to someone else. Pretty soon it's illegible. A fax is to the original document what a lossy codec like MPEG is to the original video. Use it when you have to , but don't use it more than you have to. And when you have the choice between sending a document by email (lossless) or photocopy (slighly lossy) or fax (very lossy) choose the most lossless method possible under circumstances.

That is why the work flows take such great pains to avoid unnecessary format changes between MPEG, DV, and other formats. Not only is it very tiresome to wait while you computer does the processing, it is damaging to the quality of the project.

3.) The above should *not* be confused with what happens when you simply make a digital copy of an MPEG video. In that case, you are just copying the bits, in the same digital format, from one storage device to another. To continue the fax analogy -- it's a bit like taking a fax you've received and copying it on a very high quality copier, then sending the copy to someone else. It doesn't make it less legible, but it doesn't improve it either.

4.) Another issue, completely unrelated to this, has to do with how VS actually executes the changes you make (such as trims, overlays, titles, etc.) The confusion here arises because everyone understands word processors and most people assume that video editing works analogously to word processors. But it doesn't, and the difference is the source of much confusion:

In word processor, your original document file is changed whenever you make a change on the screen, such as add or delete a word. Those changes are then stored whenever you hit "file>save" or when your program auto-saves, as many do, on regular intervals. Thus, the user has the assumption that she or he can't go back to an earlier version of the document unless that document has been saved under a different name, or unless the user clicks "undo" repeatedly.

VS, and most video editors, operate under a completely different principle. VS never ever changes the original document (the clip you started with) unless you explicitly tell it to do so. Until then, all the things you do with your video (such as trimming, titling, video effects, audio effects, etc.) are simply stored in a separate file. this is the VSP project file. The general name for this type of file is an "edit decision list" -- becuase it is a list of the decisions you make during editing. Nothing more and nothign less. The advantages of doing it this way are: (1) it is much harder to accidently destroy the video you spent hours, perhaps millions of dollars creating. (2) if your project is really huge, you can make most of your editing decisions on a low resolution copy of the original video (this is a "proxy") and then only apply the edit decisions list to the real video at the end. This saves time and equipment cost. (3) If you later want to make several derivative works from the same original footage (the director's cut, the regular theatrical release, the TV version, the airplane version, the DVD, and the trailer) all the original video is there for you and you are not making copies of copies of copies.

Because of the way VS works, using an edit decisions list, not much actually changes until you get to the "share" step. It is only at this step that the edit decision list is actually processed against the original files to produce whatever output you have asked it to produce. Clips aren't actually trimmed, but your desired trim points are stored in the project file. New video isn't produced (except for previews.) You can always go back to source clip and start over completely and you've lost nothing. You can have multiple different project files that all are based on the same clips. (Imagine trying to do this with MS Word!!! - it would be a version control nightmare.)

To conclude, much of the work flow issues that strike the new user as confusing or weird are the result of two fundamenntal design issues that are unique to video editing (as compared to text editing.) The first is the lossy nature of many codecs, particularly the codecs needed to distribute video in DVD or online, and the need to minimize transcoding or rendering. The second, is the need to track the editors' changes in the "edit decision list" rather than make the changes instantly in the video files themselves.

With these issues in mind, the work flows make a lot more sense.
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Postby sjj1805 » Sun Mar 18, 2007 3:26 am

Image
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Postby johnnyivan » Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:14 am

Hi there,
I read the workflow but found it a little confusing. I gather that you can avoid re-rendering a project by making a copy of the project file first, so that you can re-render from THAT pristine copy later instead, if you want to subsequently make changes. On doing a new render from a any copy, none of the original footage is affected. Correct?

It seems odd that re-rendering from the samefile (which is only an EDL) could cause sync probs etc.

John
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Postby johnnyivan » Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:45 am

Just spoke with Jeff - I think my question shows a total misunderstanding of the Workflow.
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Postby sjj1805 » Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:27 pm

If you were confused others must also be, so here is another attempt to explain.

Click this thumbnail to see a flowchart describing this suggested work flow:
Image

EDITED 13Aug2007. Work flow updated to take into account
1. Multiple output formats (e.g. DVD Video plus a further copy for the internet)
2. Using the original VideoStudio project file as a base for further projects
(e.g. The main show plus a further preview video)
Last edited by sjj1805 on Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby johnnyivan » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:39 am

Hi SJJ,
Thanks for suggesting that others must be confused too.

The workflow seems obvious enough. Jeff said that:

"Essentially what it is saying is that you shouldn't go directly to the Burn module with your project in the timeline. Sometimes all the rendering/multiplexing/burning at the same time can cause trouble."

Is that the nub of it?
Thanks,
John
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Postby johnnyivan » Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:31 pm

I'm sorry, i just don't get this at all.

Seems to me that the VSP file is just an EDL correct?

Therefore open it or save it as full-length project A (it's probably already been saved dozens of times). Then Render to create movie A.

No need to resave the VSP after doing this as rendering has had no effect on the EDL VSP file.

Save that same VSP project file as what will be the short version: project B - or copy the full-length project A and rename it to project B. Make new edits, save it and then decide what format to render to and render it as movie B. Save it if you like. No need really unless further changes have been made.

Now you have two seperate movie files from two seperate VSP files but based on the same camcorder footage (which has not been altered at all).

Do I understand it now? It's just that after reading the workflow 3 times I'm afraid to render a movie from a VSP file, and then render again from the same VSP file. But that makes no sense, as it's only an EDL and the original footage is not affected (is it?). What i think you're saying is not to use the rendered movie file as the basis for a new project. As that would be a copy of a copy.

Thanks!
John
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Postby sjj1805 » Fri Aug 10, 2007 8:54 pm

You got it!
:D :D
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Postby johnnyivan » Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:44 pm

Aha! I'm not as thick as I thought.
Thanks!
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Postby sjj1805 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:03 pm

EDITED 13Aug2007. Work flow updated to take into account
Using the original VideoStudio project file as a base for further projects
(e.g. The main show plus a further preview video)

I have made alterations to the initial post plus the inclusion of a flowchart.
Hopefully this will make things easier for our members to follow.
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Postby sjj1805 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:54 am

The following are extracts from the thread
How many scenes are too much?

lancecarr wrote:Almost there!

Then once I¡¦m completely satisfied open a new project (no timeline) choose the share tab and then the create disc option and then choose the .VSP project that I have been working create menus and burn.


Just that bit needs tweaking! Don't choose the vsp project and burn. You choose the DVD compliant MPEG2 file that you created and are happy with. It is that file that you load into the DVD burning module the create menus etc and burn.
Ok?


trevor andrew wrote:Hi

Just to add and this is only my personal preference, but I feel I get better quality, especially when using so many edits.

After creating your project I would create a Avi file.

Share Create Video File-Select ¡¥Same as First Video Clip¡¦
This would create a Video File using the original properties. (DV-Avi)

Now check this video for quality.

Use this new Dv-Avi in a new project and Share Create Video File to DVD (mpeg)

Using this file to burn a DVD.

One more thing, if the final video is over 60 minutes you may have to reduce the Bit Rate in the final render to DVD Mpeg. This will create a file under 4.3 Gb and fit to disc.


bob733 wrote:you could also try this. I come out of the Information Technology space. Eons ago, when I was a programmer, we coded in modules. Each little function would have a separate program.

Try breaking up your overall program in multiple vsp files. I just did a 30 minute one, and it had 9 vsp files.

This has another advantage.....stubs. As you are compositing a smaller vsp file, you make sure it works. Then when it is done, you fire up the main one, and put the sub vsp file in the time line (or overlay or in the library). .... I found it easier to just place them on the tracks (not the top time line).
\
that way the sub vsp modules are easier to move around in the Main vsp module.

Hope this helps
Bob


alanball wrote:Hi Guy's,

hope you dont mind if I but in here, I was intersted in what Bob had to say about splitting the project up into various VSP files. I have just done the same on a project I am working on but I was wondering if there would be a reduction in the final quality of output file. I am not sure whether VS does a separate render for each VSP file and so having a render of a render of a render ie 3 VPS files, or if the hole project is renderd only once.

Any ideas anyone?

Thanks


sjj1805 wrote:By splitting a project up into separate VSP files you are not losing quality because the VSP files are simply lists of instructions - nothing has actually been rendered yet. I agree that breaking a large product up into smaller manageable parts is good practice. When all of the parts have been completed you then place all the VSP (instruction) files together as one and then render your DVD compliant MPEG2 = the video has only been rendered once.

Regarding Trevor Andrews preference of creating a DV AVI file first rather than a DVD compliant MPEG2 file. This depends upon what you intend to do with your video. If you are going to create a DVD Video Disc then that "DV AVI" file will need converting again to MPEG2 so you simply waste time with an unnecessary step. If on the other hand you intend to archive the edited video perhaps back to DV tape then yes it is desirable to create a DV "AVI" file.
Having created such a DV "AVI" file for archiving then you can use that file to render out the MPEG2 for your Video DVD and in fact it might even be quicker creating the MPEG2 from that new "AVI" file than from the VSP.
The DV file is considered lossless and so it is acceptable for the second render to be carried out.
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Re: Suggested work flow by SJJ1805 for Video Creation

Postby Phillip » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:09 am

I read your suggestions looking for a solution to a problem I've just encountered.

After completing a vsp. project in VideoStudio 11+, I prepared to 'Create a Disc'.

When the disc was ready to be burned, my wife said she saw some changes that I should make before burning. I exited 'Create a Disc', to open the project again and make those corrections. The project was saved and when I tried to reopen it, it will not allow me to do so.

Could you tell me which file(s) and where those file(s) are located that I need to delete so I can re-edit this project, make changes and then 'Create a Disc'?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Phillip

P.S. I created a single disc hoping afterward that it would let me back into the project, to edit it and make corrections, but VideoStudio 11+ will not open the 'Project.vsp' for editing only to Create a Disc'.
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Re: Suggested work flow by SJJ1805 for Video Creation

Postby Ron P. » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:05 am

I exited 'Create a Disc', to open the project again and make those corrections. The project was saved and when I tried to reopen it, it will not allow me to do so.

Exiting the burn module (create disc) lands you back in the editor. The burn module saves anything you done while in the burn module, such as menus, and those are only really saved when you exit VS, and are presented with a Prompt asking if you want to save the changes to your project. Did you close VS and then try to reopen it? How did you try to reopen your project? From inside VS, File Open Project, or by double-clicking on the project (VSP) file?

Did you by chance try to insert your VSP as a photo/image file? Does your project contain another project file? Is the project file located on another drive that is now not accessible?

Hopefully the project file has not been corrupted. If so, about the only thing you can do is start over.

As far as the location where VS may have saved a file, try looking in the folder you have designated as the working folder for the Editor and the burn module. Each has their own preferences settings.
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Re: Suggested work flow by SJJ1805 for Video Creation

Postby Phillip » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:11 am

Thank you Ron P. for your help.

I must have closed VS because, after closing 'Create Disc' it automatically 'Project Save' and then I was returned to the Editor but could not open the Project for edition.

I've tried loading the Project.vsp from Explore, by clicking directly on the 'Project.vsp' file. I also tried opening the VS program and then clicking on 'Open Project' but nothing happens.

This Project does include another Project, previously made and both are still available on C: drive under Ulead VideoStudio/11+. Both Projects are still listed in the 11+ folder.

You wrote:
'...As far as the location where VS may have saved a file, try looking in the folder you have designated as the working folder for the Editor and the burn module. Each has their own preferences setting'.

I don't understand where you are directing me to look...the working folder for the editor and the burn module? Where are these folders located?

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