Posted August 27, 2001 - 06:24 AM
You have been loosing quality (resolution) in every step you've mentioned. Since my camcorder in analog, I have to convert it to digital, or "capture" the video using a video capture board. You already have digital video in your camcorder, so you don't have to, or want to, capture the video.
Once you have the raw video footage on your computer you need to edit and/or compress it. I have been using a cheapo video editor called "Personal AVI Editor" to add fades to the beginning and ending of my footage and compress it to the AVI format that you have viewed. With this software you can also add text and transitions, but the features are pretty limited, but it's easy to use and gets the job done. You might want to give it a try, at least until you get the hang of things and want to move on to better & more expensive software.
Thank you Neil. Please continue,if you don't mind...
Posted August 27, 2001 - 10:46 AM
I bought a canon elura 2
I have a billet case that mounts to my helmet for this cam and am ready to go
but you guys all seem to prefer buying another camera and sending it to my cameras vcr.
my camera is only 13oz. and very small 2"X 4"X 6" I assume it has a better lens than the remote cams.
is there a flaw in my plan???
I have been editing with adobe premier and ulead for a while now.
making great productions now
just not on the dirtbike yet.(can't wait)
I always leave an open audiotrack for background music.
The amount of memory needed is staggering
I have 2-36 gig scsi cheetahs
and they do the job but I still need to output it on svhs to free up space.
12min. digital video to .avi = 2.5 gig (highest resolution that my gear can get)
.avi files are limited to 4 gig in my system.
thats 20 minutes between cuts.
but there is a fix for that I hear?
any help here?
Here I come crusty demons
LOOKOUT SOMEDAY YOU MAY BE ON FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS
Posted August 27, 2001 - 12:35 PM
so.. damn... I penned up a continuation. So you're gonna get it anyway... I should just make a web page thing from these...
here's another long one...
So, what Ron is talking about makes sense. You do lose quality every time you transfer the video signal from one media to another. This is why you want to get it onto the computer in the first place. So you can fart around with it and not lose quality or risk damaging the original tapes. So.. how best to get it onto the computer?
There's a couple of way to do this. The easiest way is not the best quality way. This "simple way" is to buy a video card with a "video in" plug. This looks very much like the yellow plugs on back of your VCR. The problem associated with this method goes like this... Your video signal is sitting on the video tape in some sort of digital signal Video-8, High-8, MiniDV, these are just different ways of laying a TV signal onto the video tape. It's always stored digitally. So to take the signal off the tape and feed it out the yellow RCA plug on the camcorder, the video tape machine actually generates an additional carrier signal to lay the video signal on and send it on it's way. This is very much like how you have to set your TV to channel 3 to see your VCR.. excepts that's yet another carrier signal laid overtop of the one that drags the signal from the tape. convoluted, eh? so.. back to the simple Video -out plug. The digital signal (ones and zeros) from the tape has to be converted to an analog signal (variations of voltage amplitude) and added to a carrier signal to make it transportable and then sent out the Video-Out plug, whereas the receiving unit (could be TV, camcorder or another VCR) ... in this case, a computer video card has to take that signal and uncouple it from the carrier signals and bring it back from analog to a 'stock' digital state. All this conversion and adding/removing of carrier signals causes degradation in the signal. Every time. Ever watch a tape of a tape of a tape? The quality goes away in a big hurry
An better quality way to do it is through a direct digital connection This is called a Firewire or IEEE1394 connection. Guess which one MAC-users prefer PC guys get to call it the friendly IEEE1394 name.... This connection provides for a digital to digital connection without the addition of a redundant carrier signal. The upside is that you don't have to change it to analog to transfer it to the hard drive. This reduces the degradation. Some folks say there is none, but don't believe that. There's always some... The IEEE1394 interface is very similar to a USB-type of connection, but the speed down the IEEE1394 transmission wire is quite a bit higher than a USB connection. USB is ok for low speed stuff and lots of web-cams use it to connect, but it is not good enough for anything other than consumer wave-to-mom type video applications. If you're making videos to show to friends, you'll want a high end analog video in card (with great electronics for stripping signals apart with minimal loss) or a IEEE1394 card with it's multi-meg /second transmission capabilities.
An IEEE card? oh yeah.. it is a separate interface to your system, so you have to give up a slot inside your computer to make this happen. Luckily most IEEE1394 cards come with software to snag the video images. The downside it that the cards can be expensive while being bundled with expensive software. PyroVideo makes an inexpensive card and includes the editing software. I originally started with this and within a few months upgraded to Adobe Premier which is like going from a PW70 to the WR The smaller less-expensive video-editing apps don't offer much for flexibility when it comes to how the end product looks. But more on that later...
If you are having trouble viewing the raw images. Think about what you are trying to see. You're trying to emulate TV 's 4.500,000 or 4.5 megs a second of information. This is a bunch of information. When you transfer the signal from your camcorder into your computer, try reducing the size of the file at this step. I have a PIII733 with 384Meg ram,a 32 meg video card and a 50Gig 7200rpm hard drive... and it still chokes a bit when playing raw MiniDV footage. To fix that, try converting it into the same format as you're going to finish with at the input stage. That way you only have to deal with 1/2 or 1/4 of the signal rather than 100% all the time. (raw footage is about 640 x 480 (minimum 300k/second) so 320 x 240 (76.8 k per second) is 1/4 the signal) ...add a little audio on top of that and it still adds up to lots of signal per second. You have to decide whether it's slow to download with good quality or quick to download with marginal quality.
This is where decisions have to be made. If you are going to go back to CD with your end product, you might want to run 320pixels x 240pixel x 30 frames per second as your base product. A pixel is a dot on your computer screen. If you start big, you can always make it a smaller resolution, but you can't make it bigger once it's in the computer. So, if you're going to produce stuff for the web, with fast download times etc... you can go as low as 160 x 120 but that's a pretty small image...kinda close to an inch square. I know I would not spend much time looking at it. So think in terms of 320 x 240 as a minimum. If you bring your raw information in at that resolution, you should not have a problem viewing it on the system you have (a PII450 if I remember correctly) as well , you won't take up as much hard drive space.
Speaking of hard drives. You have to be able to maintain 4.5(or better yet 5) meg of transfer speed between your computer CPU and your hard drive. The older 5400 rpm drives just don't cut it for this. You have to have a SCSI hard drive ( about 9000 rpm ) or a UltraDMA IDE hard drive that runs at 7200 rpm. I don't have much trouble with the IDE drive and they're cheap now. In my city you can get 50 megs of 7200 rpm for about $200 U.S. cheap! so buy lots My PIII733 & UDMA IDE drives spin up a whopping 9.5 meg transfer rate so I'm a happy camper.
It's nice to build up an separate box for video editing. All this stuff is a pain to configure and when you finally have it set up correctly you don't want to come in and find that your 14 yr old super-genius nephew has trashed your config file with a shareware install. ..and he's now gone home so you can't even wring his neck. hmmm .... not very politically correct.. ok.. speak to him about the distress he has caused and discuss the implications of his actions. (you wringing of his neck ) You only have to rebuild once to remind yourself that a small PII for the kids is a cheap investment.
Keep in mind during all this that doing video is not simple. Yeah, you can do simple stuff, but if you want to make something that stands out, you will have to put some thought into it. But lots of companies make millions of dollars selling non-linear video editing suites. These units regularly sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars ( or $8.95 US) .. and you're trying to emulate it on you home computer. .. it's a challenge to do it well. but the rewards are worth it when you crank out a good one. Non linear? ok.. that's the term for throwing all the video clips on a hard drive or an array of hard drives and being able to deal with them as you desire, picking up this section and placing it her or there... this is a stark contrast from 'linear or standard' editing where you did everything as it came along and if you wanted to insert something at the 2 minute mark of a 5 minute show, you'd have to go back and re-edit everything after the 2 minute mark 'cause of the change. ahhh now you see why non-linear is the favorite.
ok.. 'nuff for today
soon, capture & editing.
Posted August 27, 2001 - 04:36 PM
I have also thought about recording from the analog camcorder to the digi unit via s-video, then from the digi unit to the computer. This makes since to me, am I missing anything??
The final recording of my edited video will be to dvd.
thanks for the input.
DIST. 7,29 (mx)
4 STROKE B #368
Posted August 27, 2001 - 09:33 PM
MOmilkman, jerky video is the sign of an underhorsepowered computer. It always kills me how easy it is to bring people's machines to their knees with a simple video (not even rendering or processing it, just playing it!). You should consider an Imac or desktop Mac as an alternative if your machine generally sucks, i.e. if you have to do the processor, memory, hard drive and video card. If there's only one weak link, well, maybe fix it but you'll have a fixed old computer then .. good money after bad sort of thing. Go for a new Mac and put your video to DVD as well as doing web stuff (my preference). On your machine, the processor is marginal, ram is good but you need a good hard drive improvement. That implies good controller like UDMA 4 or whatever the latest is (those latest IDE modes are about like mid range SCSI performance) as well as the drive. Remember that the burst rate of a drive or interface is less than the sustained data transfer rate, which few like to report. So if it's 20 Mbytes/sec burst, the sustained might even be only 10. Sustained = not jerky video, if your cpu can handle it too. Pretty much nowdays if you get 30 MB 7200 rpm drives and up the block size is big enough to reduce the interface overhead proportion and give adequate performance for something like DV which is about 5:1 compressed. I'd recommend a 74 GB drive, it'll last you longer before getting outdated.
DV via firewire is a good way to go because it offers better than Hi-8 picture quality and you only need a firewire port to get it onto your hard drive. The camera will also be a digitiser using the DV codec in hardware onboard the camera, if it accepts analog inputs in VTR mode, which I believe is what you're already doing. GNCCYZ400, your thoughts on the matter are correct, you should keep your 2 hour analog system and then digitise with the high quality DV conversion of the secong camera onto a pair of 1 hour tapes for reading into a computer. Use SP, not LP! LP is not universally standardised, but SP is so you could possibly not be able to read your archive tapes in the future if they're LP. Also, always keep all your tapes as masters. Tape is really cheap compared to all the efforts, costs and equipment of getting the video. Plus you can digital or analog dub from your DV's in addition to producing your edited videos, or re-log them if your HD pukes. Basicly, to get 2 hours you're forced to analog recording, and the DV VTR approach is a super efficient, high volume high power digitiser. Just try and digitise an hour on a computer!!! Dare ya! Not as easy as pressing REC with a fresh tape.
Vincegatcor.com, you may be being penalised for working in the .avi shell, no doubt on windows. You should check the various video editing support resources to get a workaround or an update etc. Try the forums at Adobe, Pinnacle, etc not to mention at non-brand web sites. Maybe search "computer video editing" and see what comes up. I've seen the issue discussed before. 13oz/16oz of a lb plus a billet case, I assume on the side of your helmet - there's some flaws that could get you. A big G-out might tweak your neck. Also, the camera should be mounted break-away so that if you crash, it doesn't catch the ground and twist your neck, or similarly if it snags a big overhanging branch. Ever had a branch grab your visor and yank your head back? If so, then you know what I mean. Those little compact helmet cams don't get any leverage because they don't stick out much, plus I think they're usually velcroed on, which allows them to rip off in an impact. On the other hand, you'll get image stabilisation which all the VTR mode setups don't get.
Neil, about the tape data formats, miniDV and digital-8 are digital, but I believe video-8, Hi-8, VHS and SVHS (and Betacam) are actually physically analog on the tape. I think they're helically striped as scan lines diagonally across the tape as a base band signal, like the horizontal trace data portions of an NTSC field. I'm sure one of your buddies at work could say a better description of it, but each horizontal scan line within a field is an analog "wiggle" and I'mm sure these are somehow directly on the tape in analog formats. Your thoughts on losses during modulation to put the video on a carrier and off again are pretty true. The analog tape also sucks because it's like audio tape, add a little "hiss" and high frequency attenuation during play or record and you lose some picture crispness, in resolution and color clarity.
Neil, do you know what happened to the Moab video thing, re payment etc? I also had some bad spots in my copy of the tape, it had difficulty playing. I'd love to upgrade my copy and would pay whatever, supply tape for a dub etc to get a superduper copy. It was just like being there! All you need is case guards, fork guards, lever savers, body armor and cahoneys the size of maroccas to get up some of those rock ledges (along with a good parts supply to fix the bent pieces when your bike and you separate trajectories onto the rocks). I always say save the body now that I'm not and indestructable 16 year old. One day I'll get to Moab and follow the painted lines for myself.
On a general note, I still haven't been able to isolate the VTR from really brutal trails that shake me and my bike to the bone. I'm talking about two-hand, full grip hang on for life suspension smacking stuff like the roughest part of an mx track which you should really be avoiding anyway. Anybody succeed at that? Ideas?
Overall, it's great to see more guys doing helmet video. I look forward to more tutorial instalments. I'll have to get out to Calgary to do some riding sometime too!
Posted August 27, 2001 - 11:34 PM
as soon as you start into this video / video editing thing it gets quickly overwelming.
slowly but surely I will overcome..
Posted August 28, 2001 - 03:36 AM
Techman, ok, you caught me. The signal into a VCR it is recorded (on non-digital cameras) as an analog signal in a diagnal stripe across the tape. I was thinking about getting into that, but thought I was getting to verbose already. Thanks for jumping in though. It's nice to have two heads dumping info out
As for the Moab video, I didn't have anything to do with it. Too bad too, I would have loved to have been there to do the filming. There's nothing like having a bunch of folks showing off for your camera and it's really good when you get to say "that was ok... do it again, please "
vincegatcore.com Overwhelming, yep.. no one said it would be easy... but it's like every learning curve, you will find what you need to know and run with it.
MAC G4's.. damn nice machines designed to do video and audio. I am not a MAC guy, but I do believe in getting the right tool for the job and if you can afford it a G4 is the way to go.
Isolation, I don't know what to do about the big g-force blips on the tape. I've wrapped my VTR in layers of foam and it helped a bit, but there were still occasional blips. I guess wireless is the way to go and just get the VTR off your own body onto someone elses who isn't following the rough line. .. and no the little X-10 wireless camera (friggin pop up windows!) probably won't work... and if it did, I suspect the resolution will be pretty low.
GNCCYZ400... If you're planning on recording your races, what for? To study for yourself? or to sell to others at the races so they can study them ? Do you only get to run the track once? You may want to run it a few times for different camera angles. making video of a track is tough and you'll need multiple camera angles to keep your audience's attention. Contrary to folks saying it's easy.. it is not too tough to put images on tape, but to make a 2 hour video of a race..wow it's a huge task. I highly doubt you'd want 2 straight hours of track/trail video. You'll haev to think about insertingwindows with comments from local raders ( or yourself) discussing the terrain, why this section is worthy of the video, etc... Have your heard of (or done) any storyboarding? That process helps the production by getting your thoughts in order... and you're not left sitting in front of your computer wondering what section comes next..
oh well, back to work for me...
Posted August 28, 2001 - 04:10 AM
Wow, sufficect to say that took me a loooooong time to read and try to comprehend. But, I do think I understand how video is transferred digitally and by analog methods slightly better now. Thanks Calgary 00.
Mabye what I need is a hands on class for this type of info. Very intresting and very descriptive posts.Thanks for enlightening me.
I guess my computer is too slow to do this kind of work. I might have to wait a while before I can afford a new one. I was hoping to just put in a IEEE card and go to work. I didnt realize you had to have a super duper fast hard drive also but it all makes sense.
Darin in Missouri - 1999 WR400F
Enduro Heaven - Ozark Mountain TrailRiders
Posted August 28, 2001 - 05:11 AM
Don't count your 'puter out just yet. Keep in mind that I've been doing this on a six year old 133mhz processor with only 98MB ram. True, a fast hard drive is a must, but they are cheap these days. So it takes an hour to process a minute of footage, big deal. It still works for smaller stuff for sharing on the web and it's a good way to get your feet wet.
This stuff is overwhelming but a little experimentation can go a long way to getting you up and running. I really want to see your footage, so I'm gonna try to get you give it a shot.
I may not be able to do the Elsinore GP this year , and someone has got to capture the start and the mud hole on video from the riders point of view! That would make for some exciting video. If I can't make it maybe someone would volunteer to wear my hc setup? I could do all the editing and processing with new high-end equipment and hopefully come up with something that would make Neil & techman proud. Anyone?
Posted August 28, 2001 - 04:34 PM
As far as my video editing goes, I came home tonight and decided to take your advice and try to capture some video straight from the camcorder insetad of going though VHS. Heres the result:
The good so far:
The picture was signifigantly better!
Not nearly as jerky and framey (I cant think of a more descriptive word) as before.
The Bad so far:
I still havent been able to get sound added to the clip.
And the biggest negative:
After I produce the video a 3 second clip is about a 3 to 4 meg file. Why? Is it something in my settings Im missing?
I tried it twice just to make sure I wasnt missing anything and the second time I produced a 10 second clip that was 9.4 meg!
If I could get it down to where it is supposed to be for a 10 sec clip (around 1 meg) then I can live without the sound. Any ideas?
BTW Im using MGI Video Wave Editing Software.
Darin in Missouri - 1999 WR400F
Enduro Heaven - Ozark Mountain TrailRiders
Posted August 29, 2001 - 02:26 AM
Posted August 29, 2001 - 04:38 AM
Posted August 29, 2001 - 05:10 AM
Originally posted by Ron in SoCal:
Good points Darin.
My camcorder (Sony Hi8 CCD-TRV82) is good for 120 minutes per tape (SP). The HC battery is good for about 5 hours. I have two batteries for the camcorder, one good for four hours, the other only two. The most I've ever captured on one ride was four hours in SP (two tapes).
Another thing to consider is that if you go with an analog camcorder and want to edit and/or play videos on the computer, then you need a computer that can handle video capture. This can be expensive if you want to do a good job.
The videos you have seen on the web were captured on a old & slow computer (P 133) that has a fast hard drive (10,000 RPM SCSI) and a mid-range video capture board (PCI). It works okay, but the resolution of the videos as shown is set to the maximum my computer can handle. This is okay for the web, but that's about all.
With a digital camcorder the computer requirements are not as critical, but you still need a strong computer for video editing. I will be using some killer computers and software for capturing soon, and hope to make some rather large video files. Thanks Neil for all the help in this department!
Ron: What is the definition of a "strong computer" ? I am getting a new one soon & would like to capture, add sound and edit riding clips. Can you tell me from experience what is req. for optimum performance? Thanx...
Posted August 29, 2001 - 06:15 AM
I appreciate anything you can help me with.
My e-mail is in my profile. Thanks.
Darin in Missouri - 1999 WR400F
Enduro Heaven - Ozark Mountain TrailRiders
[This message has been edited by MOmilkman (edited August 29, 2001).]
Posted August 30, 2001 - 03:00 PM
A guy at work has a firewire card in his computer so I brought in my camcorder and hooked it up and uploaded directly from the camera.
Now, with this method, the clarity and smoothness of the video should be superb right?
It wasnt. It was about as good as anything I have done here at the house with RCA cables. It was still real jerky which suprised me since it was a digital upload. The only thing I can think would be what 00 in Calgary mentioned about the hard drive not being able to process fast enough. I tried to look for something on his hard drive that would tell if it was a 7200RPM IDE drive or better. I saw nothing.
08/31/01 7:42 am
I found out my hard drive is a NCR 7500A so that dismisses that theory.
Darin in Missouri - 1999 WR400F
Enduro Heaven - Ozark Mountain TrailRiders
[This message has been edited by MOmilkman (edited August 31, 2001).]
Posted August 31, 2001 - 12:07 PM
1) The video quality was the same although you were expecting big changes.
yeah well, even though I blabbed a bunch about the merits of digital over analog, it takes a trained eye to really pick out the details and even then it might be tough. You have to check the blacks. Are they black or are they mostly black. The black level is the first thing to go during conversions and it's the first thing video network engineers check when you walk in with a tape. The CBC (national broadcaster & PBS of Canada)rejects 75% of independent producers efforts due to improper black level.
So, the quality is pretty close, why do the digital? Because it IS better. But even moreso, it lets you control the camera transport through your computer. So the digital goes 2 ways. You get the cleanest possible video off the tape and the computer controls the transport mechanism to deliver the video. An example of this control is where you can set up your 'puter to snag 1 frame every 10 to create stop motion. You can't do that with analog inputs.
2) Jerky video. Yep, you are dealing with raw footage. It could be the hard drive (discounted as per your update) but it could be your processor and /or your video card... I have a decent set-up and it still chokes now and then. soooo...
The focus here is not what is getting input and should be on making output. Look at compressing your video before trying to play it for others. As much as the basics are close, your 'puter is not a TV. if you check , you'll find that everything on the net is compressed in some sort. 320 x 240 is a great standard to follow and offers pretty decent resolution.
But within the 320 x 240 you can have various level of loss within the compression. Whereas the display signal retains x% of the original signal when it is uncompressed. Compression is a long subject and I don't pretend to be an expert. There are a multitude of compressors out here.. Apple's Quicktime and Microsoft AVI are most common, but there's as many variations as dudes that can write an algorithm. Some offer great compression for talking heads, some are better for action stuff. Is there ONE that you can use. Sure. The one that works best for you... I know, you don't want that answer, but it is much like carb tuning, lots of variations around a theme... different sitautions can handle different compression algorithms better. I like both Quicktime (.mov) and MS AVI (.avi) but within the .mov stuff I've made I've experimented with probably 20 different compressors trying to find the best one... Eventually, I will be satisfied and pick one, but you can't really do that... this field is constantly changing and you have to experiment.. all the time.
heh heh... see what minefield you're wandering though? The last video I made I bet I rendered it 40 ro 50 times trying to get the size down to the smallest possible size while retaining quality. It's not a casual thing to undertake but like anything else the more you do the better it gets... umm except jail time I guess The program I use (Adobe Premier) lets you set up batches of compression setting and you can fire them up at night (or over a weekend ) and let it do it's stuff. I have done a bunch this way and it makes morning fun when you get to check out your creations from last night. nice, nice, baad, ugh, nice, opps bad sound, damn missed an edit, nice.. etc....
so... bottom line, even though you get your footage onto the computer, you will have to compress it before showing it off to your friends.
Can't compress? check out this site.. I think it's in beta mode still, but Lycos will compress your raw stuff into web-friendly video. For free. Really. I don't quite know the catch behind it, but here's the link http://video.lycos.com/
I have tried it a couple of times, with marginal success.. good luck.
Posted September 04, 2001 - 08:24 AM
By compress do you mean "produce" the video?
When I use my MGI video wave it stores the raw file in a specified directory and then produces the movie frame by frame. (one frame at a time) and it takes a very long time. I take it this is the same method you are referring to.
You would think if you did it this way and it was producing each individual frame and it wasnt dropping any then you would have clean, smooth, transition video. But not the case.
Sorry it took so long to respond to you. I didnt know you responded to me since the little folders dont show which posts are new and which are old anymore. (Red=New - yellow=Old)
Darin in Missouri - 1999 WR400F
Enduro Heaven - Ozark Mountain TrailRiders
Posted September 04, 2001 - 12:39 PM
I'm not up to speed with the MGI Video Wave application, but I'll take a crack at it.
It sounds like producing has the ability to compress, but you're not taking advantage of it. I'm not sure whether it's in the capture or "produce" mode but I highly suspect it's a produce setting... BUT... You can vary the size in which you capture as well...
Check out this link.... http://126.96.36.199...ic&f=2&t=000806
here's a blurb from one of the Videowave users
The uncompressed AVI file capture is prefered because of the quality issue. Video capture is very processor intensive. To capture and compress at the same time causes the processor to overload and the effect is dropped frames and quality loss...
Therefore it is always preferred to capture uncompresed avi,,,, use this format to build your Storyboard,,, then compress at the final stage of Production.
You will find that every codec is different. I would suggest making a simple 2 minute test movie and use several different codecs to compress the movie. Then view them and compare the quality issues. This way you'll have a better feel for the final product depending on your output device.
Here's the link to the front page of the MGI videowave discussion board http://188.8.131.52...&search_forum=2
You'll note it's run with the same software as Thumpertalk.
I know.. it's a bit of a cop-out ... but hey, it's your software, you'd better learn it
If this Video Wave board can offer as much help as TT you'll be up and running in no time.
(but I doubt it 'cause TT is amazing)