video editing on a p.c. where do i start.

i am buying a new hand built computer that will have video editing capability but am told i will need software.

first thing i want to try is to take computer graphics and turn them into a vhs video. this would be for a wedding reception. i have 80 graphics created from photos with captions added.

would like to create a vhs video where each graphic is on the screen for six seconds.

what do i need and how do i start?

For one, are you sure you’re getting the right hardware? Your computer will have to have a TV output jack, which should be the standard RCA and/or S-Video. There are several high-end video cards (as well as several crappy low-end models) that have TV output. If you plan to do serious video editing, I suggest you get a video card (or an add-in card like the Pinnacle 500 or Matrox 2500) with firewire ports, letting you capture from and output to digital camcorders.

Assuming you’ve got your hardware issues solved, your next step is to run tests with your VCR. Keep in mind that conventional television has only 575 scan lines. Your computer’s TV output may be able to compensate, but you’ll still probably have to set your computer’s video resolution to 800x600 or lower. Your best bet is to hook up a VCR and a television and keep testing until you get as clear an image as possible on the TV.

The simplest way to accomplish what you describe is to download a shareware program called ACDSee. This is a tidy little application for showing computer picture files, and it has options for “slideshow”. If you put all the images in one directory and select sideshow with a 6 second (or 6000 millisecond) delay, the program will display every image with a 6 second delay. You might even be able to set transitions (i.e. the pictures fade in and out, or they change with a movie 'wipe" effect) but I haven’t used ACDSee in a while and I don’t know what features are in the latest version. If you want the images to appear in a particular order, you may have to give them alphabetical names like AA, AB, AC… You’ll also want to display your images as large as possible. In the options menu, you’ll find checkboxes like “expand image to fit window” or something along those lines.

Start ACDSee, set up the options, set the program to display full screen, turn on your VCR and let 'er rip.

Alternately, if your new machine comes with Windows XP, it includes a program called “Windows Picture and Fax Viewer”. This also has a slideshow option, but you have to click the mouse to advance the image (or take the default 1-second pause if you want the computer to do it). If you want to sit there and click 80 times while looking at your watch, go ahead.

If you want the VCR to play music or narration during the slideshow, that’s another matter. At the very least, it’ll involve some extra cabling.

Another option to get onto VHS is to make a DVD/r master directly and then copy that onto VHS, or for that matter if you are firewiring between a camcorder and computer, you can write video digitally to the camcorder and copy from there to VHS.

I do this. I just use Nero 5.5 or higher, it comes with most cheap cdrw drives & tells you how to do it. I drag all the photos to the directory & select all of them & set the delay for 6 seconds. Then write the vcd. It takes like ten minutes…Then I simply output the dvd to vcr & record to vhs. Looks great. Note that I said VCD?

I’ve got the Ulead Video Studio software that came with my ATI DVWonder card - I got the card for the firewire ports that I connect my digital camcorder to. It can handle video,still shots, titles, an extra music/audio track, transitions, and probably some other stuff that I’ve forgotten. It all comes out looking pretty slick. After I’ve gotten all of the video edited, I can burn a video cd that will play in my DVD player, or output it through my video card’s RCA jack and sound card’s line out to a VCR.

At work we’ve got a video editing machine with an ATI All in Wonder Radeon 8500DV for video capture - it comes with VideoStudio also, but the card itself is much nicer. It has audio and video in and output jacks, firewire ports, a tv tuner, s-video in and out, and SPDIF out.

You might consider getting a motherboard with RAID capabilties and multiple hard drives. If you create a stripe-set of multiple drives, then you write blocks of data across two drives at once, effectively doubling[sup]*[/sup] the throughput to the drive.

RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) is a way to use more than one physical drive as a single drive set. It can be set up for mirrored data (RAID level 1), Stripes (RAID 0), Striped Mirrors (RAID 10), & Parity protected data (RAID 5).

In terms of speed & protection (against drive failure):
[ul][li]Mirrors: average write speed, increased read speed (depending on implemetation), protected data[/li][li]Stripes: increased write & read speed, unprotected data[/li][li]Striped Mirrors: increased write & read speed, protected data[/li][li]Parity: write penalty, read benefit, protected data[/li][/ul]
Formerly the playtoys of large systems, RAID controllers are now being built onto some motherboards. One of the early SOHO uses for RAID was in video editing setups as they are fast enough to keep up with the encoded data stream from the video input device. This is less a issue now with the 7200 RPM UDMA drives but still may be a benefit for large jobs.

[sup]*[/sup]Doubling is a bit of overstatement - there’s overhead losses in the protocol.

If this is for a home enthusiast, Matrox just released the RT.X10 which is designed for that kind of editing. It’s cheaper than the RT2500 (and RT.X100), and has a FireWire port.
Scalable effects. Check out the above link.

Once again pimping where I work. :stuck_out_tongue:

wow more info than i can handle in a lifetime, thanks to everyone. i pick up the new computer tomorrow. i am going to print out this page and start asking questions.

my goal is to make one video happen, in any form i can, without any real investment and then find out what i need to improve the quality.

I started by downloading short videos from the net & playing around with them. Small 2 minute videos are easy to drag & drop in these programs.

well thanks to all of you i went back to the computer store and upgraded my new computer before i even picked it up, hahaha.

i got a pci firewire video card which required a different motherboard. this will let me plug directly into the vcr and it has editing software. according to the tech all i need now is a male to male yellow connector from radio shack…yea right.

that and george lucas holding my hand.