Thursday, August 1, 2013

Convert Video Files Before Creating a DVD

Many times a video file that you want to use to create a DVD is in a different format than the other video files you are using for your project. For the vast majority of DVD projects, it is best to convert all of your video files to the mpeg2 format.

There are many free programs that will convert your video files to mpeg2. One of the best is a small program called Handbrake. Use it to convert each of your video files to mpeg2 first, and then import these newly converted files into your DVD creation software. It will make for a much easier time making your DVD.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Helpful Tip for Pinnacle Studio 16

If you're having trouble when video editing with Studio 16, especially if you have trouble with the program not responding when using the Title editor and/or any of the video effects, change your Windows theme to the most basic so that Aero is completely turned off. You'll be surprised how much of a difference this makes when doing your video to dvd project.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate First Impressions

1. We're running Studio 16 Ultimate on a Vista 32 bit laptop with a good video card (Nvidia 8600M GT). We set the playback optimization slider to 25 (in the control panel under preview) and effects and transitions are quickly rendered in the background for smooth playback while editing. We also have the preview quality set to "fastest playback".

2. The ability to add custom collections in the library is awesome. We made a custom collection "favorite transitions" and put all of the transitions used the most in that collection. Now we can easily get to those through the library without having to scroll through ALL of the transitions.

3. For some reason if we run Studio 16 as "administrator" we see an marked increase in performance. Not sure why, but it's definitely noticeable.

4. In the control panel under storage locations, there is a button all the way at the bottom to "delete render files" and IT ACTUALLY WORKS! It actually deletes the render files!

5. The included video tutorials are excellent.

6. We like the feature that can toggle on/off transitions length using the dynamic button (to the left of the magnet). We have transitions length set to 1 second so when we drag transitions between clips it stops at the set length. When we want a longer transition, all we have to do is click the dynamic button, insert a transition to a length that we want, and can click the dynamic button back again so future transitions are at our set length.

7. LOVE the storyboard track and the checkmarks that show which items from the library are in a project.

8. The jog shuttle is excellent. If you move it just slightly to the left or right, you can move very slowly through the footage.

9. When you double click on a video source file, you can click on "transition in" or "transition out", choose your transition from that screen, move the white slider to increase the length of the transition and watch the transition into or out of your clip right on that screen. Nice.

10. When you double click on a photo or video and choose "corrections", there are tons choices to make adjustments (such as removing red eye), and these corrections are saved only in the project (so the original file is not affected).

11. You can change the aspect ratio of the project at ANY time and the timeline will re-render to the new ratio. Awesome.

12. When you hover over many of the buttons, you get a tooltip box where in most cases you can watch a video of the feature you're trying to use. Very, very helpful.

13. You can customize the toolbar to hide any features that you normally don't use. Makes for less clutter, and you can always add them back later.

14. The installation process takes longer than other versions, but you don't have to add all of those activation keys during the install. All of the Ultimate features are already activated during the installation. Since we already have Studio 15 and Avid Studio on this laptop, Studio 16 also entered the previous activation keys from those programs into Studio 16.

One feature that we would like to see is that when using the storyboard above the timeline, it would be SO handy to be able to drop transitions between source clips/photos right on the storyboard.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pinnacle Studio 16 - Video to DVD Transfer

Pinnacle Studio 16 - Video to DVD Transfer

We recently purchased the newly updated video editing software Pinnacle Studio 16. We've been using it for a few days now, and here are some of our thoughts:

--we're using it on Vista 32 bit and have noticed significant speed improvements over Pinnacle Studio 15

--even though Pinnacle Studio 16 is optimized for 64 bit computers, there is a marked overall "snappiness" in the program on 32 bit computers

--the program really should have been called Avid Studio 2.0 as the interface mimics Avid Studio 1.1

--we've found that running the program as administrator seems to have a positive effect on the speediness of the program, but not sure why

--we purchased the Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate option, and even though the installation of the program takes a great deal longer than previous versions, the program automatically installs all of the plugins during installation so there's no losing serial number keys for add on content

--at the beginning of installation, you only have to input the serial number; if you already have an older version of Pinnacle Studio or Avid Studio, the program finds the version for you during upgrade so you don't have to input an old serial number

--for moving add on content from Avid Studio to Pinnacle Studio 16, compare the following folders, then copy/paste missing files/folders from C:\Program Files\Avid\Studio\plugins\RTFx  to C:\Program Files\Pinnacle\Studio 16\plugins\RTFx and do the same C:\Program Files\Avid\Studio\plugins\RTFXV2\ to C:\Program Files\Pinnacle\Studio 16\plugins\RTFXV2. All of the files/folders in Avid Studio RTFx and Avid Studio RTFxV2 should be the same as their corresponding Pinnacle Studio folders

--Alpha Magic transitions are not included in Pinnacle Studio 16 but you can easily copy them over from Avid Studio. For Alpha Magic, again copy/paste all Alpha Magic folders and files from C:\Program Files\Avid\Studio\plugins\RTFx to C:\Program Files\Pinnacle\Studio 16\plugins\RTFx. Alpha Magic will be listed at the very bottom of the transitions library

--there is a storyboard option in Pinnacle Studio 16 and it puts a mini storyboard above the timeline (very useful); the only thing that would make the new storyboard better would be to be able to put transitions between the storyboard pictures/videos instead of having to do it from the timeline (which is more time consuming)

As we use the program more, we will post more information on Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Avid Studio Part 2 - Video to DVD Transfer Service

We purchased and have been using Avid Studio for about a week. If you're thinking about purchasing Avid Studio, you can go to the Pinnacle website and download a trial. Included in the program is a small program called NemoCheck. This program tests the power of your computer and tells you if your computer meets the specs for different types of video. For example, our computer gets the message after running NemoCheck "Your computer is powerful and will run very well with 1080p HD video. Make sure when running the check that no other programs are running or you will get an inaccurate result. We recommend trying this with the free trial to make sure your computer has the horsepower to run Avid Studio adequately for your needs.

Some good things so far about Avid Studio:

1. The included short training videos are very good, and will help you make the transition from Pinnacle Studio.

2. Rendering times are much, much shorter than Pinnacle Studio.

3. When installing the programs and the included addons, you are asked for the codes before installation. No more adding code keys. This is a big plus.

4. There is a plugin (which can be purchased) which allows the use of SonicFire Pro. Works seamlessly from within Avid Studio.

5. The included content is impressive. Lots and lots of transitions, video effects, audio effects, titles, etc.

6. The Avid Studio window is very customizable.

7. We really like the unlimited tracks feature. You can add as many tracks as you wish, and can add tracks below or above the current track you are working on.

Some negatives:

1. There is only a timeline view, and NO storyboard view. For quick slideshows with transitions between each photo, Pinnacle Studio is much easier to use.

2. When working with motion titles, our program kept crashing. We found that inserting the text we want BEFORE choosing a motion title gets rid of this problem.

3. It's very, very difficult to use older Pinnacle plugins with Avid Studio, and those that have been successful in getting them to work with the interface have found all kinds of bugs, and they cause multiple crashes.

So far so good. We'll write more after we've worked with the program for a longer period of time.