Video editing problems

The past few weeks I have been working myself into a completely new world: video editing. It all started with the camera we received this spring. Of course we took it with us on holidays, and back home we wondered what to do with the tapes. They contained some nice material, but also a lot of ‘crap’ produced when trying out the functions of the camera. I wanted to edit the video, and copy the result to a DVD for easy play back.

So I installed the tools that came with the camera on my PC, and connected it to an USB port, only to find out that the software is useless and that USB only supports low quality video. After looking around on the internet a little bit I ordered Pinnacle Studio DV, a software suit that comes with a FireWire (IEEE-1394) PCI-card.

After installing the card, I set to work: I copied the tapes to my hard disk, and selected the scenes to be included. I made some dark scenes a little bit lighter, and adjusted the audio levels. After adding some smooth transitions and background music my video was ready for DVD. I set my PC to render for a few hours, and the next morning I had… an error message! I figured that it must be a full disk, so I cleaned up the disk and set it to render again. The next morning, I found the same error at the exactly same scene; a photo I included in the video.

After a little bit looking around, I found a log file, giving me a more detailed error message: Max Video Bitrate:8494000 for disc output. Mmmm. bit rate, that must have something to do with data throughput. Since the problem appeared in a photo, I decided to increase the JPG compression of the file and give it another try. Half a day later I found the same rendering error again. I was getting frustrated, and started to search on the internet, without results. Then I looked in the configuration of Pinnacle Studio, and saw that you could configure the bit rate for DVDs. It was set at automatically, which gave me 60 minutes of video per DVD. Since the error message mentioned a bit rate a little bit above 8Mb, I fixed the bit rate to 8Mb, and let my PC work again… with the same result as before. Now, I lowered it to 7Mb, and pushed the Create button again. In a few hours I will know whether that has solved the problem, but I have a bad feeling about it…

[Update 2004.10.06]: I was right, the error is still there. I did a short test with a project containing only the photos involved, and it rendered correctly. It’s time to see how good the support department of Pinnacle is.

Jeroen Sangers @jeroensangers