Steven Powers (SMP): Video Editing

Video Editing

There are a few video editing tools that I use.  The one I choose is the one that is most suited for the task at hand.  The three main applications are Blender, Virtual Dub Mod, and Authoring Works 4.

The three main taks vary from editing and creating videos (content), DVD Authoring and converting and simple video editing. There are advantages and disadvantages to each and I will briefly go over the highlights below.

Virtual Dub Mod - First off it is free and will work on both Windows and Linux (under WINE).  It is great for doing quick edits, correcting audio synch issues, editing out sections of video but only at key-frames, capable for doing full processing or direct-stream processing which does not require each frame to be re-encoded, capable for processing all resolutions, has simple filters to add watermarks (basic ones), crop, rotate, simple effects etc and can be used to split audio and video streams, save individual frames (single or all) and frame serve.  It is a no frills app that is very powerful one that I have used for years.  In fact I used it this morning.  A quick overview of Virtual Dub Mod and be found HERE.

Authoring Works 4 - This application is from Pegasys and  I have used  it since TMPGEnc 2.5.  The current version is 4 and it is great for editing out commercials, authoring DVD with or without menus (Blu-Ray and DivX projects are also available) and combining videos of different types.  This application is able to read any type of format and resolution.  If using HD sources it is capable of creating a proxy of the source to work from and only calling up the frames as needed.  It will also reprocess only the edited frames which is useful when cutting out commercials from DVRs.

Blender VSE (Video Sequence Editor - The third one that most people don't know about or at least think about is my favorite.  Blender's VSE is very powerful editing suite.  It is most powerful in creating content from scratch.  It isn't one I would use to convert DVD's to AVI's, but when I want to add transitions, rolling credits, fade-in/out effects, etc, it is the one to use.  It is also capable of multiple of formats with varying codecs, frame rates, resolution and can be used to change the speed and duration of the video as well as editing and combing video with transitions.  The best part of Blender other than being supported on all major OS's, is that everything can be animated.  Blender's VSE is capable of doing more than I use it for. Part-1 of my Blender VSE series can be found HERE.

Conclusion - For simple and quick edits when I don't need to add any tiles, or anything other than a watermark I choose Virtual Dub Mod. It won't cut on any frame other than a key frames so I make it a habit of leaving 2 seconds or more at the beginning and the ending for editing.  If I require to do edits at frame level, than I go with Blender. The big advantage of Virtual Dub Mod is that allowes for direct stream copy so that it won't re-encode the video.  That means instead of a 10 minute video rendering in 20 minutes, it only takes about 10 seconds.  Keep in mind that VDudMod was designed to edit DVD content resulting and an AVI output and was not intended to be a professional editor.  Both Authoring Works 4 and Blender are capable of editing at frame level but only Blender is designed to be a professional editor. So basically it comes down to using the right tool for the job, but the right tool might be the one that you have. So having a few that you are familiar with is good practice.  With that said, since Blender is the most versicle it is the one I recommend and us. It is wise to know how to use other applications, but it is time consuming to learn how to use each application so one will want to keep the workflow to a minimum.

I have posted a few videos using Virtual Dub Mod and Authoring Works 4 that I have done recently including a quick overview of VDubMod. I also just posted Part-1 of a Blender VSE series.  I have tried to design the tutorials as quick references to demonstrate various workflows for specific tasks. which can be found HERE.

If you have any questions just leave a comment,

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