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PC Video Editing

pcrecord or any knowledgable member :)

One of my daughters (15) is developing a taste for video production. YouTube

What good but introductory hardware and software do you recommend for her to use? I do have recording mics including access to some shot guns but I have no idea about this area of AV. It would be fun to help her on the audio side but for now I just want to get her started.

My budget is hopefully under $2000 CDN.
  • Camera and mics
  • Software
Thanks!

Comments

pcrecord Thu, 12/14/2017 - 18:30
Pros use Davincy resolve and or Adobe Premiere and after effect.
As for video capture.. a good DSLR with focus tracking and a lens going to f2.8 or less is a nice start.
If she wants to do vlogs, a 35mm is nice because you can have the camera close to you.. for movies or videoclips a 50mm and/or 85mm is good because it doesn't distort the image like wide angle lenses.
It's hard to list everything needed..
What kind of project does she want to do ?

dvdhawk Thu, 12/14/2017 - 19:09
What kind of subject matter is she interested in shooting?

I have several small HD cameras, a little Sony and the two Canon Vixia HF G20. The Canons are exceptional value for money. They're not 4k, but they are HD resolution, which is plenty good enough for online content. The lens/optics are very good. They have 32GB of internal memory, and two SD card slots, so you can record to them in series or redundant mode. Image stabilization is good, getting a good white balance is easy, and setting audio levels manually is pretty easy.

I use Adobe Premiere for editing these days.

DonnyThompson Fri, 12/15/2017 - 03:39
I'm saying the following as someone who is most definitely not a video pro, Chris.
I've done some video editing work, but that doesn't make me an expert.

I've used Premier, back when it was a standalone (fairly easy) and later when it was part of the Adobe CS package (far more complex), and while I can say that it is indeed powerful software, I'm not sure it's right for entry level editing.
Vegas was the easiest program I ever used, it seemed as though I was able to jump in quicker and get things done much easier... it had a familiar DAW- like "feel" to it, and I think that's probably why I liked it... Just suggesting that maybe she should start with something a little easier to learn at first, where she can see productivity a little quicker, and maybe then move up to a more complex, pro level format after she's gotten her feet wet. :)
BUT ....
It's been a few years now since I've done any editing, so I have no idea what else might be out there now.
FWIW

pcrecord Fri, 12/15/2017 - 04:57
DonnyThompson, post: 454489, member: 46114 wrote: I'm not sure it's right for entry level editing.
We have to remember that teens are faster than us on computers.
If she grows over the entry level softwares in a week, it's going to be wasted money.
The best thing is to do trials and decide apon what she is confortable with and willing to learn.

There is so many thing to do with video these days. Many have gopros and drones in addition to their main cam. Combining all the shots makes it more dynamic and interesting.
I'm still getting the hang of it and I have much to learn.
These days, my main challenge is having the right color balance through all platforms. Going from the cam to computer to youtube and playing on the TV..

bouldersound Fri, 12/15/2017 - 09:24
pcrecord, post: 454491, member: 46460 wrote: Many have gopros and drones in addition to their main cam. Combining all the shots makes it more dynamic and interesting.

Three cameras is sort of a threshold at which pro looking productions can be made. I just did my first remote live music video and that third camera makes a difference. I'm using affordable consumer camcorders so it's not such a huge expense, and it's a lot smaller and lighter. I can go into a venue with a day pack on and carrying three tripods, one trip, and do a pretty good video.

Thinking more cameras=better I grabbed a cheap Kodak compact HD camera off of CL. Meanwhile I solved the problems I was having with my GoPro (new memory card), bringing me up to five cameras. Then a couple of days ago I made the mistake of dropping in at the local pawn store and found myself walking out with another incredibly affordable camera. Suddenly I have six HD cameras, and I could still fit them in a backpack.

I also have tripods from 12cm to 3m. I have a clamp mount. I have a dolly, which I've never used but would love to. Heck, I even have a clapboard!


paulears Sat, 12/16/2017 - 07:44
Not sure if it's the same in Canada, but one thing is absolute. Does she do media studies at school? If she does, then you should buy the same editing platform they use - it's so difficult to keep two similar products in your head. If she's got a natural talent for it, then having the most sophisticated software at home will be a disadvantage if she has to use something different at school. If you stick to the same type, then cut down versions at home can make her life so much easier and give her a real advantage at school. The reality is that most editors like what they have, and there is a kind of stiction that keeps you with one editor. I started with Premiere in the 90s, and still use it today with a monthly subscription. Some of my colleagues are on vegas, lots on Avid and Final Cut is for the others. Black Magic's free editor is decent but not got much of a hold on the professional market. Like audio software - it's kind of irrelevant to a degree if it does what you need. Swapping and compatibility with school makes huge amounts of sense. For a beginner, one of the smaller handicams will probably suffice - but her school again might be based around DSLRs - which I personally hate for so many reason, but again, following the trend locally does make sense - if the school have DSLRs, then you could spend your money on more useful lenses to give an edge, or decent tripods and heads - school ones are usually glorified photo ones and terrible!

audiokid Sat, 12/16/2017 - 23:18
Very logical Paul, thank you for that insightful post.
My daughter doesn't appear to have a clear idea of her subject matter but I'm sure this will reveal itself as we go.

We also aren't in the public school system so this would solely be part of our own A/V system which already uses Samplitude, Sequoia and maybe Vegas since it is a Magix product now. However, please keep going here. I'm really interested in this topic and video more and more.

bouldersound MAGIX Does Vegas integrate in any useful way with Samplitude or Sequoia?

paulears Sun, 12/17/2017 - 05:21
I've become a convert to Adobe's way of working in that premiere can open up the audio being edited in Audition, you can do more complex processing there and then it pops back, done, exactly where it was in Premiere - and of course the same with using After Effects for doing complicated things with the visuals. I preferred Sony Sound Forge which I've been using for years until Magix took it over and seemed to not want my business any longer, and I've been using Audition since then, which does have a few benefits on workflow.

I don't think this integrated approach exists in any of the other products.

Chris - re: the school. Why not ask them what their equipment is and what software it runs? Being honest, our education system is a mess, so I cannot believe the US wouldn't be better, so they'll probably have decent stuff - if at some point she does these classes.

It very much used to depend on if they are PC or Mac, but with Adobe offering student price subscriptions to the full software for use at home/school, the kids can use the same software the pros do - and have the full versions running rather than the cut down ones, home users normally start on - AND - the student price allows use on two machines at the same time, giving er, somebody else in the house, access to it too? Maybe you could share?

pcrecord Sun, 12/17/2017 - 05:43
I'm all about colors these days and part of my challenge comes from monitor calibration...
I bought the colormunki dysplay but even then I can't match my two actual monitors. One of them is too cheap and can't achieve correct color balance.
So I've been shopping for a video/photo monitor with srgb and rec. 709 colorspaces.
I found this one and will order 2 after the holidays :
http://www.benq.us/product/monitor/bl2420pt/

I thought it might interest you. Doing audio don't really call for good monitors but getting serious about video and photo does. ;)

DonnyThompson Sun, 12/17/2017 - 08:01
audiokid, post: 454499, member: 1 wrote: awesome info guys!
Chris, is she interested in video production from top to bottom? Like, she wants to do all that it encompasses...choose the scenes, lighting them, shooting the video as well as editing it?
I'm asking, because I know some video people who love to do the filming part, but don't care for editing... and some who don't really shoot much video but really enjoy the editing part.
Kinda the same way that some audio engineers like the capture process more than mixing, and vice versa.

audiokid Sun, 12/17/2017 - 08:33
DonnyThompson, post: 454526, member: 46114 wrote: Chris, is she interested in video production from top to bottom? Like, she wants to do all that it encompasses...choose the scenes, lighting them, shooting the video as well as editing it?
I'm asking, because I know some video people who love to do the filming part, but don't care for editing... and some who don't really shoot much video but really enjoy the editing part.
Kinda the same way that some audio engineers like the capture process more than mixing, and vice versa.
Great question and points. I think I am about to find out. So far she's not answered any questions regarding editing, just wants the camera and to do the filming. She's young and has much to learn.

audiokid Sun, 12/17/2017 - 08:47
Are you guys using your DAW CP to do video too?

I've always thought its best to use separate computers, one for tracking, one for mastering and one for video but this was before we had such powerful systems.
My thinking now, my mastering computer is actually an older gaming server which has been flawless up to now. Its loaded with Sequoia and I was thinking it would make an excellent A/V box for whatever video editor I put in it.
Mastering is usually 2 tracking at a time for requiring much less CPU, (at least when it comes to the finished project) which would be, correct me if I am wrong, the time we would start the video editing?

Video is all new territory for me.
Are you guys using the same computer for A/V ? Whats the direction pro's cons, community thoughts on computer choices etc?

audiokid Sun, 12/17/2017 - 09:10
pcrecord, post: 454523, member: 46460 wrote: I'm all about colors these days and part of my challenge comes from monitor calibration...
I bought the colormunki dysplay but even then I can't match my two actual monitors. One of them is too cheap and can't achieve correct color balance.
So I've been shopping for a video/photo monitor with srgb and rec. 709 colorspaces.
I found this one and will order 2 after the holidays :
http://www.benq.us/product/monitor/bl2420pt/

I thought it might interest you. Doing audio don't really call for good monitors but getting serious about video and photo does. ;)
Thanks for the link. That looks nice and its very reasonable too. The specs don't mention W10 but I suspect they having updated the literature.

How are you connecting the monitor> DVI , HDMI?

bouldersound Sun, 12/17/2017 - 09:11
paulears, post: 454522, member: 47782 wrote: I've become a convert to Adobe's way of working in that premiere can open up the audio being edited in Audition, you can do more complex processing there and then it pops back, done, exactly where it was in Premiere - and of course the same with using After Effects for doing complicated things with the visuals.

In Vegas you can send audio items from the timeline to an editor and the edited version shows up in the right place on the timeline. I don't know about video items because everything I need is included.

dvdhawk Sun, 12/17/2017 - 10:29
audiokid, post: 454529, member: 1 wrote: Are you guys using your DAW CP to do video too?

I do use the same desktop computer for audio and video work with no trouble. I have a laptop that I use for remote recording, which I will sometimes hook up to a larger monitor at home rather than transfer a bunch of files. The laptop is powerful enough to edit video too, but I'd rather keep it running lean for audio, especially since it's an SSD drive. The SSD is certainly fast, but more limited in storage size.

DonnyThompson Mon, 12/18/2017 - 01:51
To be clear pal, I'm no expert. I would default to ANY of our other members regarding video in a second.
I've learned more about video from Dave Hawk (dvdhawk ) in the last year than I have on the whole over the last decade.
I'm intrigued about Magix now owning Vegas, though. It would be interesting to find out if it's possible to integrate Samp or Sequoia with the video prog.
FWIW, I did do some audio for a video last year, and the video was edited on Vegas, and it looked great, but then again, I'm quite sure the guy was using really nice cameras, and also knew what he was doing... It was a one minute ad spot for a local boat sale, and there were shots of boats out on the open water, and it was so clear, so sharp, and had such incredible color... it was a jaw-dropper for me bebause it just looked SO good.
But I would imagine that, just like our own craft, the capture itself is missuon critical.
I'm quite confident that any of us could mix in any DAW platform and get great results if we had stellar sounding tracks to begin with... and I'm assuming the same could be said for video editing. ;)
FWIW

paulears Mon, 12/18/2017 - 03:33
I routinely swap my computers. Every two years or so, I buy a new one with the current mid to high speed processor (never the fastest, as the price hike is skewed). This becomes my primary video edit computer, and my primary audio computer is the cast off video one, the audio computer then goes into my touring rack and so on - the oldest becoming the office computer eventually. My Cubase computer benefits from the better video cards it has, and still has the video software in it - so I can still do video on it if I wish - and as much of my work involves multi-track audio, being able to have Adobe and Cubase on the same machine is a definite its advantage. The two live very happily with each other. Generally what is good for video is good for audio. The only real difference when I 'demote' the video computer is needing to make it happy with the new audio interface, which luckily rarely gives any issues with Adobe projects. I have them in different rooms, but pretty well, the left over video software just sits on the audio machine, unused for most of the time. I could, but don't, run cubase on the edit machine - because Cubase still uses authorisation dongles, which live inside the rack, making swapping difficult.

paulears Mon, 12/18/2017 - 05:36
Years ago - I bought one of those Carillon rack mount computers and when they went bust I bought 5 of the empty cases, so I use those exclusively now as the cases are really tough. The actual requirements of the video editing computers are really the same as audio now - fast processor, and as much memory as you can afford. The video cards are the key 'extra' feature - Premiere, my editor, hands over much of the video workload to the video card, which has to be on a list of approved cards. If the card isn't on the list (which some people manually edit to enable unapprove cards) the video processing has to be done by the main processor - which causes a bit of a clog up when you start doing 4K video because it's 4 times as much work as 1080, but I tried Cubase and Premiere on my computers and came to the conclusion that Cubase was more interested in things like hard drive start up time, transfer rate and plenty of memory, and Premiere wanted lots of empty disk space, and good video cards. Processor speed only seems to really causes me trouble when I need to render out video and it reports 37o THOUSAND frames it needs to render! Cubase, even on the 2nd best computer doesn't seem to suffer and it's rare for me to have processor glitches from speed - the biggest issue I have is processor workload suddenly zapping up to 100% at unexpected times - often when I'm doing nothing at all. Loads of samples p[laying out from multiple Kontact players working fine - but suddenly Windows does something - and I don't know what it is. This could have been what caused the occasional freeze/pause when it was running Premiere? Until the next upgrade it's going to remain a mystery.

I'm working away from home until mid january, and in my office in the theatre I have a 24U rack that has my video editor and my cubase machine in it, and as they both look the same, I was editing show videos ..... on the Cubase machine! I only realised when I tried to connect a firewire drive and the socket on the front panel was USB, not Firewire.


Apart from the video driver cards, video and audio are now so similar in terms of fast transfers, memory and processors that having one machine is a good option. In my case - apart from the fact I have two rooms - an edit suite and a studio, I could have one very powerful computer? I could run the studio via cables and Dante I suppose? I can't be in two rooms at once, so do I actually need two computers?

MAGIX Mon, 12/18/2017 - 08:12
bouldersound, post: 454532, member: 38959 wrote: No idea. Vegas 14 is the first Magix product I've used as I followed if from Sonic Foundry to Sony and then to them.

Hey, there's no explicit interoperability between VEGAS and Samplitude/Sequoia. Nevertheless, a lot of artists/producers are using both because Samplitude supports a lot of video formats (DV-AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, HDV HD1, HDV HD2, MXV, DVCPRO¹, AVC-Intra¹, WMV(HD).

Best

bouldersound Mon, 12/18/2017 - 08:24
Vegas meets my audio mixing needs well enough that I don't need to do the audio for my video projects in different software. In fact, one Vegas project can import a second Vegas project as an audio and/or video track, and you can have both projects open at the same time in different windows. If you alter the nested project, the track in the other project will update. For more involved projects (lots of cameras or audio tracks), I'll do the audio mix in a separate project and import that to the video edit project.

miyaru Mon, 12/18/2017 - 08:58
Yeah, I still remember these Carillion PC's - the best looking PC's ever!!! And high spec of course......
I have a 19 Inch servercase housed PC too, I like that best as it saves space on the floor being in a rack.

I'm not handy with video editing, that's why I use Wondershare Filmora which cost around 75 euro's. It's a nice working program, and even I understand it LOL. Proberly for our 15 year old filmmaker to simple, but you can have a look....... But movie editing is not done on my music PC - that is only used for music. It has a simple passive cooled videocard, as most DAW's - and especially Ableton Live - are 2D and simple on the card. The only thing my videocard has to do is print the simple interface on screen, and do the videowork for my Push 2 controller (special controller for Ableton Live!).

I know most pro's are using Adobe Premiere as their main tool though, but I found it hard to work with (as I'm not really interested to work on video it is hard to learn).

paulears Mon, 12/18/2017 - 11:05
Yes - I've been using it since I think 1996 or so - but it took me ages to get the hang of photoshop, and now Premiere and Photoshop are used practically every day, so the subscription does work for me value wise - more useful than Netflix! I'm not sure it has market share though - plenty using Avid and FCP, and of course with Blackmagic giving a decent editor away free, there are lots of options.Vegas is very good, and I could easily have gone with it, but in the end as I new Premiere, it's just less hassle to stick with it - as it is with our favourite audio software. Premiere does very good multicam editing - and this is the only real area where having a decent fast computer comes in. Mine struggles with multiple streams of 4K - 3 1080 and 1 x 4K is ok, but 2 x 4K streams pushes it too far unless I lower the monitor resolution.

dvdhawk Tue, 12/19/2017 - 11:57
The image quality you can get from a small palmcorder, or GoPro type camera, these days is just staggering (under the right circumstances). The things that will 'separate the men from the boys', are A) how good is the optical zoom, and B) how well do they adapt to low light and spotlight conditions.

A: I usually recommend going with a company who knows the value of good glass. Sony generally uses Zeiss lenses, which are quite good, and Canon certainly knows how to make high quality lenses. If you get a chance to try it before you buy it, zoom the camera all the way out, and all the way in, looking for vignetting (dark, or blurry corners) and barrel (fisheye) distortion at both extremes. "Digital Zoom" is terrible and should be avoided as much as possible. You can always make the picture larger, grainier, pixelated, blurry, and useless in post-production.

B: I prefer cameras with a external mechanical adjustment for the iris / exposure settings. Even on a tripod, you can't start making adjustments on a touchscreen menu on the viewfinder without shaking the camera, so if the iris / exposure settings are menu-only access, I don't like that. My old Sony VX-2100s were great in that regard, but sadly had to be abandoned because they're not HD. The Canon Vixias I'm using now have an easily accessible thumbwheel you can use to adjust iris settings, the little Sony is almost exclusively menu-driven, so you REALLY need to arrive early enough to get it dialed in for the specific lighting at the event. It was dirt cheap, and in good light, its video is beautiful. In more challenging lighting situations, it's considerably more work.


I have recently started dabbling in drone photo/video too, and the 4K camera that's onboard that thing has amazingly low (virtually zero) lens distortion. I've been very impressed so far. The gimbal is excellent, and the stability of the drone platform in the wind is just beyond belief. My very first time flying one was on a day with 10-15mph winds, and you can see the trees whipping and a flag waving straight out in the video, but that's the only evidence it was a windy day, because the drone and the footage are rock steady. I just wish battery life on these things was longer.

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