Part 2. Connecting the Camcorder to the Computer
and optimising the computer for video Editing.
This is perhaps the most crucial part of the process and I urge members to take a few minutes to read this section.
Most camcorders are supplied with a USB lead
However these cables are not considered to be suitable for the purpose of transferring your camcorder footage into the computer.
You should instead use an IEEE1394 cable also named firewire / i-Link. Firstly check to see if your computer has a firewire
socket usually found on the back of the computer
If you do not have connections like these then you need to fit an IEEE1394 Card into your computer.
They are reasonably cheap and can be bought as a kit so that you get a motherboard card and also a lead in one box.
The card fits into the computer as follows:
The firewire cable required for most camcorders is termed 4 pin to 6 pin
The smaller end fits into your camcorder
(The exact location of the firewire socket on your camcorder will vary between camcorders and may be
concealed behind a cover.)
You should also ensure that when you are transferring your video from the camcorder to the computer, the camcorder
should be plugged into the mains electricity supply - do not rely upon its batteries.
Pre capture stage notes.
Check to make sure that your computer system meets the required minimum standards
Windows®-compatible DVD writer for installation. Also to burn the completed DVD Video.
Hard drive space for video capture and editing - AVI files in type 1 DV format consume approx 13Gb per hour, add to
this space required for editing and creation of MPEG2 files and DVD VOB files.
So for 1 hour you need at least 25GB, 2 hours will require at least 40GB.
256 MB of RAM (512 MB or more recommended)
Windows®-compatible display card with at least 1024x768 resolution
Intel® Pentium® III 800 MHz or higher
Microsoft® Windows® 98 SE, 2000, Me, XP
1.2 GB of available hard drive space for program installation
Windows®-compatible sound card
Intel® Pentium® 4 or higher
Microsoft® Windows® 2000 SP4, Windows® XP SP2 Home Edition/Professional,
Windows® XP Media Center Edition, Windows® XP Professional x64 Edition
1 GB of available hard disk space for program installation
Windows®-compatible sound card (multi-channel sound card for surround sound support recommended)
If you have two hard drives in your system, it is recommended that you install VideoStudio to your system drive (usually C)
and store captured videos in your other drive (usually D).
You may also be interested in reading my suggestions for setting up a multi-boot system
I have also included further down this topic how to set up a multi-hard drive system involving 3 Hard Drives.
Another tip is to create a permanent Paging File (Swap File)
There is an interesting guide here
This guide also describes how to optimize the permanent paging file.
Create a Video Editing Profile
This item is too large to fit in this tutorial and so has been provided in the form of a separate standalone tutorial here.
The purpose of a video editing profile is to disable anything unconnected with the video capture/editing/authoring process.
This means that your computer has more RAM and more use of the computers processor chip to deal with your task.
It also reduces problems often associated with conflicting software.
Hard Drive Considerations
Another important point to consider is the format of your Hard Drives.
Earlier versions of Windows® used the FAT32 filing system but if you have Windows® XP / Windows® 2000 or later then your operating system should be using the NTFS filing system. FAT32 restricts the size of files to 4GB and so if you plan to capture an hours worth of DV type 1 (13GB) then you will find your video has been split into 3 sections.
Conversion is easy and is described here
Obviously you need space on your hard drive(s) to capture your video but another often overlooked point is space for temporary files. Their files can also consume large quantities of Hard Drive Space and is another cause of error messages during the video capture/editing process. If you have more than 1 hard drive then my suggestion is to move the temporary files folder to another hard drive or partition with plenty of free space.
From VideoStudio select
File | Preferences
Then on the General Tab you will see ¡§Working folder¡¨
I also prefer on the general tab to select [Clip display mode] [Thumbnail only] because this mode is useful when you later begin to edit video clips.
On the Preview Tab you will see [Specify additional folders for preview files]
you also have a tab for Smart Proxy where you can specify a location for the [Proxy folder] (More about proxy files at a later date as stated originally this tutorial will be an ongoing process with new Modules added over a period of time)
Whilst we have this preferences screen displayed you may wish to view the UI Layout tab where you can choose between 1 of 4 pre-defined screen layouts.
To keep things simple my screen shots will use the default [Layout 3]
Another hard drive consideration is deciding the best place to capture your video to.
If you only have one hard drive then the choice has already been made for you.
If you have more than one hard drive it is preferable to have your operating system and the program files on your boot up hard drive, which is assigned drive letter C.
Your video files should be captured to another hard drive. By this I do not mean a separate partition on the boot drive but an actual separate physical hard drive.
Think of it as you would two old fashioned record players. The needle of one record player is moving back and forth over the record gathering instructions from the operating system and the VideoStudio program. The needle of the other record player is moving back and forth over the other record reading or writing video data.
Obviously hard drives don¡¦t have needles - they have lasers - but the principle is the same. You have two lasers working for you instead of one.
The following has been taken from
http://www.liutilities.com/products/win ... tutorial3/
And clearly explains the reason why you should defragment your hard drives.
When Windows creates a new file on your hard drive, it will search for some empty space, and save the file at that location. When a file is deleted, you will get a hole at that location, which is later filled by a new file and so on. The problem is that not all files are of the same size. The solution is to split the files into smaller equally sized parts. This way, when you delete one file and save another one, the parts of the new file will fit into the holes of free space. This works very well, but, after a while, your files will be scattered all over your hard drive. When you try to read a particular file, your computer will have to search your hard drive for all the small parts. This will obviously take a lot of time. Imagine trying to read a book with the pages in random order. When you run defrag, all the small pieces of files on your hard drive will be reorganized so that all the parts of a particular file are stored sequentially in one place. This can increase the speed of your system considerably! Especially if it has been running for a long time without defragging.
I personally do not use a third party product to defragment my hard drives but use the one built into Windows XP. My computer is kept permanently turned on and I have 3 IDE hard drives connected to my computer. Two drives have been further partitioned (Divided) into 2. I therefore have 5 hard drive letters in Windows Explorer.
My configuration is as follows:
Physical Hard Drive #1 (300GB)
Drive letter C
This contains my Windows XP operating system and all of my program files. I.e. Microsoft Office, Encarta, Autoroute, all of my Ulead programs and the like.
Drive letter S
A separate partition where I keep copies of all of my set up disks, downloads, personalised registry settings and the like.
Physical Hard Drive #2 (160GB)
Drive letter D
This is my video drive. I capture my video to this drive and do most of my editing here.
Physical Hard Drive #3 (120GB)
Drive letter F (Letter E is my DVD writer)
This is a small partition where I have installed a second copy of Windows XP which is activated via the system BIOS. This is a backup system in case something prevents my normal Windows XP system from starting up.
Drive letter Z
This is my data drive where I save all of my word documents, spreadsheets, emails and so forth. I often also use it to render video projects so that I am again spreading my workload across two physical hard drives.
I have used the built in Windows Task Scheduler so that 3 of my drive letters are given a Defragmentation twice per week commencing at 0430 hrs as follows:
Mon & Thu - Drive C
Tue & Fri ¡V Drive D
Wed & Sat ¡V Drive Z
Drive letters F & S are seldom used and so are not part of my rota and are only defragmented on a manual basis.
If this sounds at all complicated the following illustration shows my set up utilising 3 physical hard drives and a DVD Writer
If you do not want to go to all of the trouble of setting up a regular Defragmentation cycle as I have done, then at the very least you should ensure that the hard drive that you will capture to is in pretty good health before you start to capture.
Anyone interested in a hard drive RAID configuration is advised to view the debate in this post.
The Capture Stage
Before reading any further please read the first post of this thread
This is the tried and trusted procedure adopted by our forum members. This procedure describes Analogue capture as well as Digital capture.
Analogue sources in the main are TV cards and other devices that enable you to attach an analogue camcorder to your computer such as Hi8 camcorders also VHS tape players. I have written another tutorial aimed at MovieFactory users describing how to capture TV broadcasts using a Hauppauge TV card.
The procedure with VideoStudio is similar.
MPEG2 Capture -v- DV Type 1 Capture (and other formats)
When you connect a digital camcorder to your computer by means of a firewire cable as described at the start of this tutorial, you are not capturing video you are in fact transferring the video from one device to another. It is a bit like downloading a file off the Internet, moving a file from one hard drive to another. Consequently there is no loss of quality and there will be no audio/video synchronisation issues.
The time taken to transfer your video will be the same as the length of the video concerned. A 45 minute video will take 45 minutes; a 1 hour 15 minute video will take 1 hour 15 minutes etc. 1 hour of video transferred to your hard drive will occupy approx 13 GB of Hard drive space. Do not worry at this stage about how that 13GB is going to fit on your completed DVD disc, this will be explained later.
MPEG2 is the format that VOB files are made from. If you place a DVD disc in your DVD drive and view the contents with Windows Explorer you will find the following:
Folders named AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS.
The VIDEO_TS Folder will contain files named like this:
The files ending VOB are basically MPEG2 files, the other named files are mostly instructions to the DVD player and DVD Menu files.
Now you may ask, ¡§So why not capture straight to MPEG2?¡¨
This has been explained mostly in the link mentioned in the previous paragraph
audio/video synchronisation issues.
I have also given a more comprehensive discussion of the AVI-v-MPEG issue in this post
Put simply, MPEG2 files are meant for viewing they are not meant for editing.
If you attempt to capture to MPEG2 format you are also converting your DV footage into another format 裵n the fly* a process that most computers are unable to cope with.
Consider this - Take a 1-hour DV type 1 (AVI) file on your computers hard drive and now render it to MPEG2. How long did it take? I can assure you it will take longer than the 1 hour length of the video the exact amount of time will vary between computers due to different processor speeds and other factors. More powerful processors will render the MPEG quicker than less powerful ones.
A further consideration to be taken into account is that if you intend to edit a video file, a MPEG2 file has already lost much of its original quality. You shouldn¡¦t see any difference between the AVI and the MPEG2 on a first generation MPEG2 file unless you¡¦ve chosen a very low bit rate. You will start to notice deterioration on a second generation MPEG2 file. Most audio/video synchronisation issues are as a result of editing an MPEG2 file.
Whilst this is the recommended method of capture there will of course be situations where this is not possible or feasible. e.g. Mini-DVD and Hard Disc cameras and many analogue capture cards.
DivX / Xvid / MPEG4 and other formats.
These formats are becoming increasingly popular due to their small files sizes but high quality. They are more compressed than MPEG2 format and are perhaps the best file types to be used when sharing video over the Internet. All of the major TV companies in the United States and a number of British TV companies are now making their programmes available for download on the Internet. Here you will undoubtedly find that one of these 3 formats have been utilised.
They are not playable in a normal standalone DVD player though I have seen a few players starting to appear on the market, which will play these formats.
The problems associated with editing MPEG2 files pale into insignificance when attempting to edit these formats because they are even more highly compressed than MPEG2. Should you wish to create a DVD from these files they must be converted to MPEG2 format first - remember that those VOB files in the VIDEO_TS Folder are a form of MPEG2.