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  1. Member Todd Sauve's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2012
    Location: Calgary, Alberta
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    Hi folks,

    I would like your recommendation for an editor.

    I want something that can work with mkv files without having to convert them to something else first. Currently I am converting some of my concert DVDs to mkv files and want to be able to clean up the video, as some of the concerts have video noise, like film grain, and also lack sharpness or focus. I realise there is only so much you can do with DVD resolution video but some of these concerts need all the help they can get. For instance, if you have ever seen the DVD of Pink Floyd's "Delicate Sound of Thunder" you know what an unhappy looking affair it is!

    Free would be nice but if I need to spend $50 to $75 that will be alright, as long as the program is feature rich, intuitive and can handle high resolution formats. I also want it to be very stable.

    My PC runs an Intel i7 4770k, 16 GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, an AMD Radeon 6850 graphics card, an OCZ 120 GB Vertex4 SSD and a 2 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200 rpm hard drive, with an Asus Z87 Plus motherboard. I am likely going to be getting an Nvidea graphics card at some point in the near future, in order to take advantage of the Cuda technology for graphics aided acceleration.

    Please let me know what you think would be able to do what I want. I want an editor that I can grow with and that will not become obsolete in a couple of years. I am pretty much a newbie at editing but would like to be able to produce simple documentary type projects. A wizard driven design would be nice so I can get used to this sort of work, initially, but will be able to dispense with the wizards as I get more competent. I want to get an HD camera sometime in the future as well.

    Thanks for your help and if you need more info please let me know.
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  2. Banned
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: New York, US
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    Welcome to videohelp.

    Before everyone jumps into this thread and recommends their favorite "editor", I have two suggestions. First, the forum has a section that we still refer to as "Tools" but which has recently been replaced by a section called "Software". You'll find a link to that section at the top title band on this page. Another area that used to be under "Tools" is now called "Guides", also linked at the top.

    Second: video "editing" as you have described it consists of several steps. Cleanup is one of those steps. If your concert has what you say is "a lot of noise", there are no budget editors that remove noise or other damage without creating damage of their own. Some editors don't remove noise at all. In order to clean noisy video, that video has to be decoded. Whether the decoding is done internally by the app or you do it yourself, decoding means that the video must then be re-encoded to the final output format you want. If you apply denoisers, color correction, transitions, special effects, frame-specific cuts and joins, etc., it involves decoding and re-encoding. The video must then be authored (reorganized and indexed for disk playback for DVD, AVCHD, BluRay, etc., with menus, chapters, and all that), which doesn't mean re-encoding but which does require an app that can perform authoring. The video is then burned to optical disc with a burning utility, or otherwise transferred to another storage medium such as a hard drive or external media player/storage device. You will probably find budget apps that can do all of these wonderful things, except decent cleanup. Free apps can do a lot of it, but their features are limited.

    I have no suggestions for a single software app that can handle everything you specified. Many hobbyists use several specialized applications for each of the steps you describe. Most of the apps are free, some are not.

    P.s.: "mkv" is a container, not a format. Mkv can contain video that uses several different encoders.

    Good, luck.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 7th Mar 2014 at 07:06.
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  3. Member ranchhand's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: USA-midwest
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    if I need to spend $50 to $75 that will be alright
    You're not going to find much (if anything) for that budget. Better to concentrate on free utilities, you may need more than one.
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  4. Lone soldier Cauptain's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: Brazil
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    Movie Studio 13 Platinum ($79,95) + Virtualdub + Avisynth or Movie Studio 13 Platinum + AviUtl + Avisynth
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  5. Banned
    Join Date: Nov 2005
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by Cauptain View Post
    Movie Studio 13 Platinum ($79,95) + Virtualdub + Avisynth or Movie Studio 13 Platinum + AviUtl + Avisynth
    i was just going to suggest Sony Movie Studio 13 for $50, been using it for a while and i love it.

    @OP: they have a 100% free 30 day fully working trial:

    http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegassoftware

    give it a shot and see what you think, i'm using it as i type this.
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2012
    Location: USA
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    Vegas Movie Studio, which I would also generally recommend, does not work with mkv.

    That's not a problem on import since your sources are actually dvd. And it's not a huge problem to export something mkv compliant and use a tool like makemkv as a final step.

    But the real question is, are you mainly looking for an editor, or a restoration tool?
    Last edited by smrpix; 7th Mar 2014 at 09:03.
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  7. Member racer-x's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2003
    Location: 3rd Rock from the Sun
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    AviUtl (free) and it works fine with mkv. It's not made for dummies however and will require you to have some editing knowledge.
    Got my retirement plans all set. Looks like I only have to work another 5 years after I die........
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  8. Member Todd Sauve's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2012
    Location: Calgary, Alberta
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    Thanks for your replies!

    OK, I ripped the DVDs using DVDfab, DVDshrink and DVD Decrypter. From there I used Freemake Video Converter to crop the 4x3 video to 16x9 and then convert it to mkv. The codec is AVC for video and AC3 for audio.

    From here I want to clean up, sharpen, re-contrast and colour correct the video, as the audio is fine, and cut out a few things like long blank video intros and the occasional song I don't want, as well as FBI warnings, etc.

    Thus having an editor that can work with mkv would be ideal.

    I also then run the final file through Handbrake to utilize its ability to turn Dolby stereo into Pro Logic II, and also in the hope that it can clean up some of the video shortcomings. It uses the H.264 codec for video, although MediaInfo tells me the final codec is AVC.

    I have downloaded the VSCD Free Video Editor but it won't import mkv files.

    So, perhaps my methodology is not quite as efficient or well planned as you more experienced people would come up with. I'm certainly open to suggestions, as long as the utilities are free. I also don't much care for Virtualdub because it is not user friendly to me.

    Perhaps as soon as I rip the DVD I should transcode it into something the video editors can handle natively? Which free utility would you suggest for that and which codec? Or can something like MKVmerge demux the video from the mkv container? I've been using tsmuxer for hi def files and to turn them into Blu-ray format. But for the most part I don't want to reauthor either the SD or HD concerts. I'd rather leave them on my PC as either mkv or mp4 files.

    Anyway, let me know what you think.
    Last edited by Todd Sauve; 7th Mar 2014 at 19:35.
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  9. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2012
    Location: USA
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    Originally Posted by Todd Sauve View Post
    OK, I ripped the DVDs using DVDfab, DVDshrink and DVD Decrypter. From there I used Freemake Video Converter to crop the 4x3 video to 16x9 and then convert it to mkv. The codec is AVC for video and AC3 for audio.

    From here I want to clean up, sharpen, re-contrast and colour correct the video, as the audio is fine, and cut out a few things like long blank video intros and the occasional song I don't want, as well as FBI warnings, etc.
    No no no no no no no.

    You want to do any conversions AFTER you do your fixes. Your DVDs are MPEGS. Rip them as MPEGS. Do your trimming in a smart-rendering editor (such as TMPGenc MPEG Smart Renderer.) Clean up the remaining pieces with avisynth scripts and then reassemble them.
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  10. Member Todd Sauve's Avatar
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    Location: Calgary, Alberta
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    Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    Originally Posted by Todd Sauve View Post
    OK, I ripped the DVDs using DVDfab, DVDshrink and DVD Decrypter. From there I used Freemake Video Converter to crop the 4x3 video to 16x9 and then convert it to mkv. The codec is AVC for video and AC3 for audio.

    From here I want to clean up, sharpen, re-contrast and colour correct the video, as the audio is fine, and cut out a few things like long blank video intros and the occasional song I don't want, as well as FBI warnings, etc.
    No no no no no no no.

    You want to do any conversions AFTER you do your fixes. Your DVDs are MPEGS. Rip them as MPEGS. Do your trimming in a smart-rendering editor (such as TMPGenc MPEG Smart Renderer.) Clean up the remaining pieces with avisynth scripts and then reassemble them.
    That is all rather beyond my experience and abilities ...

    How do I rip the DVDs as MPEGs? They come out as vob files, but perhaps this is a distinction without a difference?
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  11. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2012
    Location: USA
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    Although it's not strictly true, in this situation vobs can be regarded as the same as mpegs. Which editor you end up using will determine how to best handle them.
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  12. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2002
    Location: United States
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    Free tools to use...

    DVDFAB decryptor (DVDFAB is better since you can rip as one VOB/MPEG)
    Avisynth (to tell Virtualdub how to open your file)
    DGIndex (to demux D2V and audio and create AVS script for Virtualdub to open)
    Virtualdub (to edit your file and save as x265 MKV with the external encoder)

    ...but since you don't want to go the Virtualdub route, my friend who does a lot of concert and music DVDs uses...
    DVDFAB to decrypt and save the concert as one VOB/MPEG or each song as it's own VOB.
    VideoReDo TV Suite $100 (to quickfix any sync issues. No re-encoding is done here)
    Handbrake to create MKV (this is where Virtualdub really needs to be used to do any editing and saving to x264/AC3.mkv with the external encoder feature)

    You can also do ac3 passthrough with Virtualdub's external encoder feature. I would recommend everyone that does video editing to learn how to use Virtualdub. Everything you need to know can be found on the Virtualdub forum and there are a few members here who can help with most Virtualdub problems.
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  13. Banned
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    Originally Posted by Todd Sauve View Post
    How do I rip the DVDs as MPEGs? They come out as vob files, but perhaps this is a distinction without a difference?
    VOB is a container. What does it contain? It contains an MPEG-encoded video.
    DVD=video encoded as MPEG and organized as VOB files. DVD = MPEG encoded format. DVD can't be anything else. It can't be AVCHD, BluRay, DivX, XVid, .mov, QuickTime, FLV, MP4, MKV, h263, h264, h265, or anything else. It's MPEG.

    If you color-correct your MPEG in a video editor -- any video editor, whether it claims smart-rendering or not, whether it's your $25 Walmart Wonder or high-octane $$$$ from Adobe Pro or Vegas Pro -- then you have passed out of cut/join editing and into re-processing. The entire video will be re-encoded from beginning to end, and the result will show signs of a generation loss.

    The official DVD specification, summarized (PAL and NTSC/NTSC Film-based): http://www.videohelp.com/dvd#tech
    What a DVD disc looks like inside, summarized: http://www.videohelp.com/dvd#struct
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:42.
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  14. Member Todd Sauve's Avatar
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    Location: Calgary, Alberta
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    All in all, it is beginning to sound like I should just leave my projects where they are: as 4x3 DVDs ripped down to 16x9 mkv files. It doesn't seem like there is any decent way to make them look any better than they already are.
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  15. Banned
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    I wouldn't say that. Obviously there are ways to make them look "better" (and I'm assuming your source video is viewable or repairable to begin with). However, it does help to understand video frame sizes and aspect ratios. 4x3 video is not 16x9. That's like saying you have a 12-foot car that's 17 feet long. A DVD frame size has a physical aspect ratio (720x480 = 1.5:1) and can be flagged for playback at one of two display aspect ratios: 4:3 (aka 1.333:1) or 16:9 (aka 1.7778:1). Standard definition video makes use of these conventions from the "old days" of the CRT, a technology by the way that pro shops still use to master your retail DVD and BluRay videos. The "old tech" resulted in the oddity of encoded frame sizes that did not use square-shaped pixels like those on your PC monitor, which are tiny squares rather than rectangles. BluRay and AVCHD also can accept standard-definition video that has the same physical frame sizes with non-square pixels as standard definition DVD, and plays back at the same 4:3 or 16:9 display ratios. The newer BluRay and AVCHD standards in large film sizes make use of frames that are both square-pixel and non-square pixels. Why does the industry do this? To confuse you, of course, and to make you buy new stuff.

    4:3 (1.333:1) and 16:9 (1.7778:1) are compromises anyway. Hollywood doesn't make 4:3 or 16:9 movies, and never did except for TV. Common aspect ratios for the movie industry worldwide are 1.37:1 (what we nowadays misname as the old 1.333:1 or "square" format, even though it isn't square), 1.66:1 (early VistaVision and for many years a standard in Europe), 1.86:1 (Hollywood wide-screen, often called Panavision after the cameras that shoot them), and 2.35:1 (CinemaScope or Wide Panavision).

    The advantage to using typical consumer all-in-one software is that you don't have to know anything about what you're doing and you don't have to be able to distinguish between processing and better processing. Most people don't have time for anything else, or don't want to bother. There's nothing immoral about it. It keeps BestBuy and WalMart in business and is good for the economy.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:43.
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