Newbie to Video Needs Advice

Platonist

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 3, 2006
78
2
Hello all,

I posted a thread in the "Applications" section of this forum, so pardon the partial repetition (forgive a newbie his errors...).

I have some video that was converted from VHS to DVD, and it needs to be cleaned up a bit. My current understanding is that many video editors have this capability in varying degrees, and that it is done by way of filters. I am imagining that this is similar to Photoshop in its operation, and that just like Photoshop some programs are easier than others while preserving much of the functionality. Having never done video work before, I wonder if the experts here might be willing to provide some advice. Need I invest in Final Cut Pro, or would Final Cut Express do the trick? Are there other programs that would provide similar functionality at a cheaper price? Since I am starting at ground zero, so to speak, any and all advice is greatly appreciated!

TIA :D
 

P-Worm

macrumors 68020
Jul 16, 2002
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Salt Lake City, UT
What do you mean by 'cleaned up a bit?' When I hear that, the first thing that pops into my mind is that it needs to be edited and trimmed, but when you start mentioning Photoshop filters, I'm thinking it's something else. Is the video ugly in your opinion? If its a visual problem, some screen shots would really help us pinpoint what you need.

P-Worm
 

Platonist

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 3, 2006
78
2
The video is a bit grainy, so it would be nice to get rid of some of that. The main problem is that there are fine horizontal lines in the picture. It would be nice to touch up the sound as well, but the main the issue is the horizontal lines. It looks almost like an old TV that needs to be tuned in better. I don't know if this is a common issue that has a specific name, but if so it would be great to know.
 

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Platonist

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 3, 2006
78
2
When you say it might not be worth the time, do you mean because it won't do much good or that it will take a lot of time? Since I am new to video work, I don't know how much can be done to correct the image. I have seen some amazing things happen with Photoshop and pictures, but perhaps those miracles cannot be duplicated in video work. Is this the case?

Also, in looking at editors that do more than iMovie, I am looking into Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express. I know there is some feature overlap, and it appears that they have a similar feature set, but is FCP that much more powerful? Why would someone choose Pro over Express?

Many thanks to all!
 

seany916

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2006
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Southern California
Garbage in, garbage out.

VHS is MUCH lower quality in comparison to DVD. You can't milk any more quality out of junk quality video.

You can color correct the video though. Audio is a bit easier to clean up.

It's not worth buying a program to do. I do VHS to DVD transfers almost daily. It just looks like crap. Playing the origianl VHS tape in a VHS player reminds you how crappy VHS was. Oh well, DVD will be obsolete in a few years anyway...
 

huntercr

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2006
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The video is a bit grainy, so it would be nice to get rid of some of that. The main problem is that there are fine horizontal lines in the picture. It would be nice to touch up the sound as well, but the main the issue is the horizontal lines. It looks almost like an old TV that needs to be tuned in better. I don't know if this is a common issue that has a specific name, but if so it would be great to know.
For some constructive comments here, I would make sure you are using a very high quality vhs deck to read this tape. If that picture you included is consistent across your source, you have to rule out the deck you're playing it on. Next you'll need to rule out the specific tape. Do other tapes convert fine? This may well be a resut of a damaged tape, or worse it was just recorded that way.

Now I note in your original post that it was already converted to DVD? So you're working with MPEG2 source and not dv?

If you do have it in DV format, can you put up a 1 minute or so clip I can play with?
 

Platonist

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 3, 2006
78
2
Thanks to everyone for the continued comments!

huntercr: The deck used in the conversion process was a decent deck, but the tape itself is rather old. Part of this project is to get some older academic videos onto a stable medium so that future generations will benefit from them. We have minimal expectations, really, but the better we can make the video the happier we'll be!

The footage is currently on a DVD, but I can convert that into DV format right? That was my understanding (which so far has not proven to be all that accurate). The plan is to convert the footage (later today, any suggestions on conversion programs?) and then start seeking editing solutions. I would be happy to pass along a little clip, though I am not sure how to get it to you.

Thoughts?
 

huntercr

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2006
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Thanks to everyone for the continued comments!

huntercr: The deck used in the conversion process was a decent deck, but the tape itself is rather old. Part of this project is to get some older academic videos onto a stable medium so that future generations will benefit from them. We have minimal expectations, really, but the better we can make the video the happier we'll be!

The footage is currently on a DVD, but I can convert that into DV format right? That was my understanding (which so far has not proven to be all that accurate). The plan is to convert the footage (later today, any suggestions on conversion programs?) and then start seeking editing solutions. I would be happy to pass along a little clip, though I am not sure how to get it to you.

Thoughts?
Oh that's not good. :(
If this is already in MPEG2 format, you can indeed convert it to DV format, but by compressing it into MPEG2 you have already changed the nature of the noise tremendously. It will be extremely difficult to work with, if not impossible to get out the noise. Do you no longer have the originals?

The only way to do this properly is to capture the video directly from the VHS deck through a A/D converter ( I always mention the datavideo DAC-110 though there are plenty others out there, alot of DV cameras actually will do conversion from composite input ports ). Then you will capture directly as DV video. You can use Final Cut or simply imovie to do the capture.

If you don't have the originals anymore, I'm so sorry to sound discouraging, but it will be nigh impossible to get anything good from DVD.

If you are able to get the originals re-captured as DV, let me know and we can talk about where to upload a sample.


Hope this helps!
 

Platonist

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 3, 2006
78
2
huntercr: Unfortunately all I have is the DVD, so it sounds as though what we have now is all we can really hope for in terms of video quality. I don't yet have an analog-to-digital converter for my Mac Pro, so I will look into a few options. Out of curiosity, what program(s) were you thinking about using to play around with a clip of the video? I plan to start doing more video work in the very near future and would greatly appreciate a kick start on good software and hardware.
 

huntercr

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2006
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huntercr: Unfortunately all I have is the DVD, so it sounds as though what we have now is all we can really hope for in terms of video quality. I don't yet have an analog-to-digital converter for my Mac Pro, so I will look into a few options. Out of curiosity, what program(s) were you thinking about using to play around with a clip of the video? I plan to start doing more video work in the very near future and would greatly appreciate a kick start on good software and hardware.
I was going to use Final Cut Pro, but Express would have worked just fine too.

If your source material is very valuable, beyond hobbiest type stuff you might look into a video restoration service. Learning Final Cut, even Express, has quite a learning curve. I am not saying you couldn't do it. In fact, it's quite easy to learn if you have the time. I am just wondering if all this is worth your time.

I cut my teeth on my own wedding some years back, and anticipated it taking only about 2 weeks to edit, where it actually took me 6 months. ( not full time of course ).

Good luck!!