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Updated:
8/3/2003 

Tips and Tricks

Digital video production Tips and Tricks

On this page you will find FAQs answered and some handy procedures I figured out myself or learned from others. It is mostly geared towards Media Studio Pro 6.0.0.2 but some subjects may be of interest to users of other video editing software.

 

Contents

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(S)VCD Information

A VCD is a CD-ROM with mpeg-1 video files arranged according to a a standard, often referred to as ‘White Book’. The mpeg-1 files themselves have predetermined characteristics as well in terms of frame size and bitrate. Rather than explaining things that are very well documented elsewhere I will simply provide a link to the website that I think is the definative resource on this subject:

 

How to use Scenalyzer to make projects that don’t need a backup but can still be recreated

The Scenalyzer tool is a great tool that splits a DV file into scenes based on time stamps embedded in the stream. Get it here. I use it to create projects that can easily be recreated exactly as they were even after the original source files have been deleted. You don’t even need to load the entire tape onto hard disk, only the section you care about. Here’s the procedure I posted to the MUG email list some time back:

Folks,

if you're an amateur DV editor like me you may have run into the following problem:

- you want to preserve your projects but you can't keep all your captured files on HD because, well, it's kindof expensive

- batch capture is great in theory but you're having a hard time keeping a contigious timecode on the tape, especially if you don't fill up a whole tape before you want to edit a clip

- consumer backup technology that can store/restore a multi GB project is not readily available, it's certainly cumbersome. Listed cartridge capacity typically assumes compression, something you can forget with DV files.

Well, with the wonderful Scenalyzer tool that some of you pointed me to I think I have a workable solution:

- label each tape with a short identifier. Tape1-TapeN or something. Let's say 'Tape1' for now.

- create a video for raw video captures (f:\video\raw)

- for each tape create a directory on one of your video hard drives (say f:\video\tapes\Tape1)

- tape a bunch of stuff on Tape1. Capture the section of the tape you care fore, store it in f:\video\raw

- start scenalyzer and have it create clips in the f:\video\tapes\Tape1 directory named Tape1_.avi. This creates a sequence of files with a Tape1_ prefix and date/time suffix.

- remove the raw capture file

- use MSP to make your project, using the clips from the Tape1 directory. Save the .dvp file somewhere else.

- after the project is done and rendered/stored etc. you can safely remove the clips in the Tape1 directory. As long as you don't overwrite the original DV tape (and who does anyway) you can always retrieve the clips using the process described above. You may have to relink your clips but they will be identical to the original ones.

 

Turning on DMA for your hard drives

Even fast computers will have trouble saving DV or analog video capture streams to disk if they do not have DMA enabled. Amazingly enough Windows 9x does not enable DMA by default and even makes it a little tricky to turn on. Here’s how I do it:

  • Open the system proprties dialog (right click on ‘my computer’ and select ‘properties’)
  • Click on the ‘Device Manager’ tab
  • Expand the ‘Disk Drives’ item by clicking on the ‘+’
  • Click on the first drive and then click on ‘Properties’
  • Click on the ‘Settings’ tab
  • If the DMA checkbox is not selected, do so. If no warning dialog appears, unselect and reselect.
  • Click OK when it warns you your system may not boot. It is exagerating.
  • Repeat this for all your hard drives. If you have a PCI IDE controller DMA will be enabled by default
  • Reboot
  • Upon booting, verify that the DMA setting is still there
  • If you are interested in the performance difference you can use standard tools like Sandra to do before and after comparisons.

     

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