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 Post subject: Video Editors?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:39 am 
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Location: Minnesota, USA
I am looking for a video editor. Something to let me add sound track(s), text, transitions. I have videos in various formats from AVI motion-jpeg through to AVCHD. Recent ones are in 1080p h264 MP4, a very few are in mpeg4 MP4. I don't anticipate mixing the video formats though I do have a few where I took short video with a camera I could hold with one hand that is in old AVI motion-JPEG but most was with my newer 1080p h264. Essentially what I have are vacation photos (jpeg) and short videos (usually 10 seconds or so) taken through the years and I want to start making 30 minute composites of various trips, ideally exported to h264 mp4/mkv videos which I can play back on my TV (it can play files in that format).

I have investigated:

iMovie 8. Won't import h264 without converting it first which takes huge amounts of GB and time. From what I read the same problem exists for any iMovie version.

FCP: Price tag makes me faint.

Blender: Free but I can't make head nor tail of the interface and none of the online VSE how-to sites look anything like the new version.

Canon Image Browser Movie Editor: Oddly enough this utility almost does it all. I can't get my G4 to open h264 videos in it (but my G4 will play h264 in Quicktime), and I suspect AVCHD won't either. It will do regular mp4 and AVI. When I try to use it on my Mavericks MacBook it won't even open the Movie Editor. I get error messages about a Quicktime component necessary to run the Movie Edit task being missing. I installed Quicktime Player 7.6.6 but it didn't help.


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 Post subject: Re: Video Editors?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:34 pm 
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i here iMovie 6 HD is superior, but how about this $30 App?

http://www.bigasoft.com/imovie-converte ... #systemreq

http://www.elvirasweeney.com/iweb/Elvir ... orial.html


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 Post subject: Re: Video Editors?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:18 pm 
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Location: Minnesota, USA
I see posts for the Bigasoft converter on the iTunes For Mac forum all the time (usually they are removed as spam). It is basically payware for which there are many free converters. I think it is really just a converter, not an editor, though there is the "effects" thing in the screenshot which may not refer to transitions but things like sepia toning images or adding scratches to make things look like 1920s films. I can also get the very basic editing with MPEG Streamclip = cut and paste pieces.

I have both iMovie 6HD & 8. They key phrase in the article you post is where is mentions iMovie uses "HDV, the video format iMovie uses for editing". Unfortunately HDV is a catch all phrase but in this case I think it refers to one unnamed format and not multiple "HD" video formats such as h264. That's when it takes up lots of time and room converting your h264 to another format before converting it back to h264 in your final project. Double conversion = double loss in quality. I know I will end up having t convert some of the files I own but I'd prefer it to be my ancient AVIs which are in the horrible motion JPEG format anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Video Editors?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:17 pm 
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Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
Premiere Pro?


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 Post subject: Re: Video Editors?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:18 pm 
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I thought maybe the free trial would tell you for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Video Editors?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:38 am 
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I know the conventional wisdom is that recompressing something that's already compressed leads to a loss of quality, but that logic completely ignores image quality settings. Meaning, if you convert a video to the same video format with the same compression settings, then yes, you are going to suffer from generational compression losses. However if instead of converting to the same format you convert to a higher quality format, one that doesn't suffer from such a high loss rate, one with a higher image quality setting, then you don't introduce generational compression losses, because the new format is, quite simply, better than the original. The losses you will see are present in your source, and cannot be removed.

I'm not going to go out on a limb and say that iMovie's intermediate format is better than your sources, but if you have the ability to adjust the image quality before starting the conversion, then it certainly could be. Even if you can't, it's possible it is simply a better quality format. No matter what, though, since you're talking about editing an already compressed clip, you could/will end up with some issues, even if it keeps it in the exact same format, because you can't save a new clip w/o recompressing it.

FWIW, PP has a free trial too. And if you liked Deadpool, well, that movie was edited entirely in PP.


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 Post subject: Re: Video Editors?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:42 am 
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Location: Minnesota, USA
iMovie has a more intuitive and easier to operate interface but it is a real problem when it comes to actually importing items. From what I am reading I gather when you set up a project in iMovie 6 it is set to work in that format, other formats will get converted to Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC) which is another lossy codec. AIC has all the disadvantages of being huge while not being a full lossless (which would be okay) intermediary. iMovie 6 at least doesn't offer much in the way of project formats. The 1080p one uses DV. There's a mpeg-4 one but it is probably standard mpeg-4 rather than h264. In general it seems unless you have a camera with DV it is going to re-code most things to AIC before re-coding again to the final output. I just opened an 18 MB h264 in iMovie8 and it converted it to a 445 MB AIC. Is iMovie 11 (is that the newest?) any different?

Blender seems to be able to work with most formats directly with only a single final re-code of the entire project (something almost unavoidable with any editor) which is a big plus. It is primarily targeted at 3D modeling but has a pretty powerful editing element though adding text is still somewhat featureless. However, it is definitely pretty powerful and hands-on which means quite a learning curve. The best instruction I have found so far is a set of YouTube videos by "Mikeycal Myers" but to take you to about the iMovie level of things you have to watch 20+ of them. I also dislike having to watch videos for this kind of thing because you are constantly having to pause to try things on your own, an it is hard to browse back to re-find a section you forgot, (plus they take forever to download on my iffy 1 Mbps connection) but they seem to be the only instructions which cover the newer (2.7.6) version.

I can look into the other software though I dislike Adobe's new way of renting software. More targeting the business community where I can see there being big rooms of people using the software daily and needing the newest but not somebody like me who might want to use it a day or two per month and would be content to buy something affordable and then keep it at that version for a while.


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 Post subject: Re: Video Editors?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:44 pm 
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Location: Spain
Is Lightworks an option? Could you get your project done in a month? $20.

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 Post subject: Re: Video Editors?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:59 pm 
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Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
As far as Adobe, you can purchase CC for a month, let your contract lapse, then renew it for a month six months later, and so on. If you're doing things on a monthly basis then yes you need to keep the contract going every month, but how about changing things up and doing it in a batch every three or six months. Then you're looking at $40 or $80 a year.


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