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  1. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2014
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    Looking at video editors with GUI for hubby. He is interested in image improvement, not capturing, format conversions, trim/join or dvd creation. PC Magazine rated Power Director highly & we bought PD11 a year or so, but have not used it. I know that PD is not a favorite here, but I've searched and really can't find out too much why other than the reports of crashing. Curious why PC Mag rates it so highly and users don't. If we didn't have PD already, I'd be looking at Vegas or Elements for him now. Hate to see him invest effort in learning PD if it's going to be a complete disappointment. He's not quite the geek that I am; I'm starting to learn VirtualDub, but that's too much for him right at this point.
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
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    You have to take all PC magazine reviews with a grain of salt. Sometimes the writers are more or less bribed (though not necessarily with money) to write positive reviews. And keep in mind that some reviewer dude at PC Magazine is completely different from the type of hardcore video enthusiast that posts here. However, a PC Magazine reviewer would presumably be more typical of a common "no experience" user, so if you feel that you can trust the review, there is some value in that. Some of the simple and cheap programs like PD (although not necessarily PD itself - I mean programs like it) do things that are less than ideal, like re-encode video/audio in a quality losing way when video/audio files are input for a project. I don't know that PD does that, but if it does, that would be a big negative to us.

    PD is probably cheap and simple to use. Not necessarily anything wrong with that. Vegas is ridiculously expensive and (I assume) somewhat difficult to begin to use. We have a veteran member in Brazil who uses PD and recommends it. Most of us avoid Cyberlink products because they have a bad reputation for being at the mercy of Hollywood and they have honestly been known to release less functional versions of their DVD/BD playing software as "updates" because Hollywood ordered them to take away functionality that "might" be useful to - gasp - pirates.
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  3. Member
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    You also have to take what you read here in context as well, because it's a skewed sample population

    A disproportionate amount of what you see on this board is about problems - most people that post here have concerns , and are looking for help or support . You don't see posts that say some software works as expected , or it's rare that someone will start a post saying "oh so and so software is great." (and if they do they usually get treated as spam or advertisment)

    Also, "Image improvement" is a very vague description - maybe some context would help. Power Director and Vegas are primarily video editors
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  4. Member
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    Just as the pro version of Vegas is incredibly expensive, the Movie Studio version if Vegas can be had very cheaply, (and there's an upgrade path if your needs become more sophisticated,) but the studio version lacks the waveform and vector scopes you would want for proper color correction. Don't know if Power Directir has them either.
    Last edited by smrpix; 20th Jan 2014 at 16:36.
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  5. Member
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    I have never used PowerDirector, but I'm pretty sure it's a cheapish "I just wanna edit, convert and make DVDs (and maybe BluRays) with menus" kind of tool rather than a "I want to do impossibly complicated color corrections, filtering, anti-aliasing, etc." kind of tool.
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  6. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dianedebuda View Post
    He is interested in image improvement.
    Then it's the wrong tool.

    For video restoration (improving anything), you need Premiere Pro, VirtualDub or Avisynth. Each one has different abilities, too.

    Power Director is a low-end cheap dummy-friendly consumer editor. Nothing more.

    The writers of PC Magazine are not videographers. Some of the BS behind the scenes would shock you, and you'd never even trust it for lining a litter box or bird cage.
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  7. Member
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    PC magazine reviews with a grain of salt
    In the old days, I found PC Mag pretty reliable for geeky stuff, but that was pre-cnet.
    Most of us avoid Cyberlink products
    I usually do too, except for PowerDVD. After install, always have to go & turn off their 1001 hidden startups & services. A real pain. At the time we bought PD, I thought I'd read some place that it had a habit of reencoding each and every time anything was changed. Couldn't do the simple cuts that I do with VideoReDo (or Womble MVW when I was doing mpg) with minimal reencoding. Can't find that now, so maybe it was my imagination.
    "Image improvement" is a very vague description
    Yes, I know. Just trying to say he wasn't looking at it to build dvds or for simple trims. Think he really wants to get an introduction to color correction, filters and the kind of stuff I'm seeing done with vdub and avisynth. Supposedly there's some support there for that kind of stuff. My feeling is that if I can get versed well enough with vdub, he'll be happy with that. But I'm just starting. A big change for me from capture with file size as priority to capture with quality as priority. I'm probably driving jagabo, vaporeon800 and LordSmurf (at his site) nuts with questions about my vhs/hi8 stuff, but I'm finding a whole new world to explore.
    Last edited by dianedebuda; 21st Jan 2014 at 09:47.
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  8. Member racer-x's Avatar
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    A free video editor you can try that has color correction and image stabilization is ShotCut. I tried it out awhile back and it looks like what you're looking for.

    Here is the tutorials so you can see if you like it: http://www.shotcut.org/bin/view/Shotcut/Tutorials
    The memories of a man in his old age, are the deeds of the man in his prime.......
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  9. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    Most members here at VideoHelp use Vegas.

    Vegas has a long track record. Most of the cheaper editors are jonny-come-latelys. The cheapees jumped into the market to pick off the lower third newby customers.

    Color Correction requires a good eye more so than fancy tools.

    Vegas is quite capable as a still image editor. It has most of the same tools as PhoShop, including composite modes and layers.
    Last edited by budwzr; 20th Jan 2014 at 16:52.
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    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 08:34.
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  11. Member
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    Color Correction requires a good eye
    I'm just learning how to spot defects and abnormalities that he sees instantly. Blessing/Curse?

    It does. And with not-so-great encoders.
    So maybe my memory isn't so bad after all. This is the kind of feedback that I'm really looking for.

    He's found some mention of techniques (Video Enhancer?) that take multiple frames to increase resolution. Vegas or Premier into that?
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  12. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    Yeah, blessing, of course.

    To me, "resolution" is pixels per inch. Nothing to do with frames. I don't understand what you refer to as "taking multiple frames to increase resolution".

    Vegas is "Resolution Independent", and you can resample various media. There are no majic wizzard-type tools in Vegas. For that, you'd have to go with the "lower echelon" software. The "My Video Editor"-type stuff.

    You would need to have a plan in your head when you fire up Vegas. Not expecting somebody elses plan to unfold. It's similar to PhoShop in that you definitely can't use it to its fullest capabilities if you are not aware what capabilities to look for.

    It's surprisingly robust, but your thinking has to be on the higher planes too. A lot of Vegas' best features are hard to explain to anyone but composite artists.
    Last edited by budwzr; 20th Jan 2014 at 18:31.
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  13. Originally Posted by dianedebuda View Post
    He's found some mention of techniques (Video Enhancer?) that take multiple frames to increase resolution. Vegas or Premier into that?
    Video Enhancer uses "super resolution" techniques to upscale video. No doubt you've read this:

    http://www.infognition.com/articles/what_is_super_resolution.html

    You can probably find plugins that do the same for most NLEs. In general, they are only marginally better than the better resizing algorithms with a little sharpening. I don't think it works well with VHS recordings.

    Also, keep in mind that most of the examples at Infognition compare their results to a point resize which is the poorest form of upscaling. The only comparison of their's worth viewing is this one:

    http://www.infognition.com/articles/video_resize_shootout.html

    And even those are cherry picked.
    Last edited by jagabo; 20th Jan 2014 at 18:45.
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  14. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    Yeah, uprezzing VHS is a joke. You can't get a silk purse... VHS resolution is so low that there's no way to ever make it pass for anything desirable.

    That's because it's fuzzy from the beginning. When you try to sharpen a fuzzy image, all hell breaks loose.
    Last edited by budwzr; 20th Jan 2014 at 18:49.
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    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 08:34.
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  16. Member bendixG15's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by budwzr View Post
    ... VHS resolution is so low that there's no way to ever make it pass for anything desirable......
    VHS is what it is ..... quit beating on it that you can't turn it into some hi def stuff.
    Accept it for what it is and enjoy the content.
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  17. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    OK. I'll rephrase by saying VHS is in a world of its own, and does not mix well with anything non-VHS.

    And I've tried to look back at the old goodies from yesteryear, but it lost its lustre to say the least.
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  18. Member
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    Video Enhancer uses "super resolution" techniques to upscale video.
    Yeah, uprezzing VHS is a joke.
    I really don't know anything about Video Enhancer - he's into that. Don't believe he is seriously looking at it for vhs. Think it's mostly a concept thing. Years ago (Win95 era?) there was a parallel port thingy called the Snappy that did the "combine several frames" sort of thing for still shots from a vhs tape. Really made inpressive snaps. (We still have it. I hope the mention here doesn't awaken his interest in reviving it again.) He wants to see if that type of upconverting tech has progressed to full video for the peons. One thing he's mentioned that I find interesting with that product is that it claims to be able to use 90% of the vdub/avisynth filters. Got a nagging feeling that there's a ton of others that might claim the same. Sometimes a new gui interface to old stuff helps newbies or is just flat more convenient. Example: I'm perfectly comfortable using the command line for directory/file info, but use Explorer because it's more convenient and I can see more at a glance.

    To me, "resolution" is pixels per inch. Nothing to do with frames.
    Chalk this up to newbie poor term usage. By resolution, I'm just meaning the how much image info is actually there in the film or tape. Remember I'm not a videographer nor even much more than a point-and-shoot photographer. 70mm film has more "native" detail than vhs type thing (forgive mixing film/tape mediums here).

    You would need to have a plan in your head when you fire up Vegas. Not expecting somebody elses plan to unfold. It's similar to PhoShop in that you definitely can't use it to its fullest capabilities if you are not aware what capabilities to look for.
    I think that pretty much sums up why I'm asking about PD. Intro to "what can be done", not necessary what you'd want to use "for real". I looked at the ShotCut mentioned earlier and think it may help me with visualization. Actually, I think I may be better off finding tutorials on basic video/photo to learn about stuff like what aspects the vdub proc amp controls actually control. Example: I'm trying various capture methods for my vhs tapes. At this point, I'm targeting for (huffyuv) avi, but captures using my TRV480 as a digitizer are looking good except they're really "faded". So I have the question: "Is it because there's not enough data being saved, the black level is wrong, the intensity/contrast/etc. need work?" Without the foundation, it's hard to search & interprete posts or even ask meaningful questions. I have no illusions of acquiring the depth of knowledge seen often here.
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  19. Originally Posted by dianedebuda View Post
    captures using my TRV480 as a digitizer are looking good except they're really "faded". So I have the question: "Is it because there's not enough data being saved, the black level is wrong, the intensity/contrast/etc. need work?"
    It sounds like levels and saturation problems. They can probably be fixed in software.
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  20. Member
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    Am creating another couple tests, then will post in my "vhs/hi8 capture tests, help evaluate" thread for help. My aim of separate threads to try to stay "on topic" and help future newbie readers. But you see what I mean? At this point, "levels" and "saturation" are terms without much meaning other than I know they're important and interconnected. In my terms, I want to fly a 4-seat Cessna 172, not a 747, but still need to learn in a 2-seat Cessna 150.

    Hubby's more familiar with the "video/camera stuff" than I, but extended reading is not his forte. He works much better with visuals than text. Thus PD vs. vdub. I think he'd be fine with creating scripts down the line, but the reading/learning may be a bit of a problem unless they're focused "to do this, try this" and I can show him basics of how vdub works. If there is another gui option for this, we're open. It's just a hobby/toy to us.
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  21. Originally Posted by dianedebuda View Post
    At this point, "levels" and "saturation" are terms without much meaning other than I know they're important and interconnected.
    Levels usually refer to how dark the darkest parts of the picture are, and how bright the brightest parts are. Of course, these are related to contrast and brightness. Saturation refers to how intense the colors are, ranging from everything being nearly grey or everything being very colorful.
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  22. Member
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    jagabo, I have read similar definitions, but I'm going to have to actually find something I can interactively play with to make the meanings stick. But thanks!
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