View Full Version : Recommendations for video newbie

Chicken Jay
January 1st, 2010, 06:18 PM
Hello, I am very new to video technology...still trying to gain an understanding of video file formats, codecs, etc...and even newer to premiere elements. I just found this forum today and have found some excellent information, which has been helpful, but has also made me aware that I have A LOT more to learn. Though I realize there is no one answer, nor any one absolute approach to video editing, I am wondering if someone can give me some general recommendations or guidelines to how I should be approaching projects based on my camera and my computer as they relate to use within elements. First let me share what my parameters are that I have to work with...

Asus Essentio CG5270-BP004
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 / 2.5 GHz 64-BIT
RAM 8 GB DDR2 DIMM 240-pin
1 TB Serial ATA-300 - 7200 rpm HD
Intel GMA X4500 Graphics processor
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition

Kodak Zi8 Pocket Video Camera
Digital Video Format H.264
Flash memory (128MB built in, and 8GB SD card)
1080p - 720p/60fps - 720p - WVGA (I use 720p/60fps commonly)
"videos are encoded as generally compatible QuickTime MPEG-4 MOV files, using H.264 compression"

I was using the software that came with the camera for editing (ArcSoft MediaImpression), but just picked up Premiere Elements 8. So questions... First off, do my computer specs (new computer btw) have enough muscle for Elements and video editing in general? Are there any suggested hardware upgrades that I should consider making? Then, what would be the recommended project settings/formats that I should use considering my camera? I am recording to the SD card and then transferring the files directly to my hard drive via computer's card reader. I am then opening the files as they came from the camera directly with Elements. I am producing videos either for upload to YouTube or similar, or to put on DVD for play back on a HDTV. The settings/formats to use both on the "in" side of creating a new project and on the "out" side of finally exporting the finished product for play back on the noted mediums has me dazed and confused.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Happy New Year!

January 1st, 2010, 10:57 PM

I did a quick look at your thread and will return to it tomorrow morning to give it my full attention.

My first impression is that your computer resource may very well be secondary to issues with the video format from what appears to be one of those Flip cameras.

To be continued....


Chicken Jay
January 1st, 2010, 11:31 PM
Thank you, I very much appreciate your input.

January 2nd, 2010, 09:36 AM

About your computer and Premiere Elements 8…..

Premiere Elements 8 is a 32 bit application and runs in a 64 bit system in the 32 bit compatibility mode of the 64 bit system. As such, it has limitations of a 32 bit application running in a 32 bit application. So, your available RAM is probably far less the installed 8 GB RAM, probably under 4 GB RAM available. The addressable memory should be total 4 GB, with 2 GB for the application and 2 GB for the system (addressable memory relates to virtual memory, not physical memory (RAM). AVCHD Full (1920 x 1080, Square Pixels) or Non Full (1440 x 1080, HD Anamorphic to get the 1920 x 1080) are very resource demanding and often require special techniques of HD conversion or HD conversion incorporated into the proxy method of Ozpeter. Premiere Pro CS4 is still a 32 bit application, but it has been optimized for 64 bit. I have read that all Premiere Pro versions after CS4 will be 64 bit applications. I see no similar statement for Premiere Elements 8. Since I suspect that your video format is going to be your biggest challenge, I would suggest that you first deal with editing a very small video clip (see considerations below) before you get into a grand project in which you can determine how large a project your computer system will support.

When it comes to the video from your Kodak camera, I am not sure how to translate the “generally compatible QuickTime MPEG-4 MOV files, using H.264 compression”. AVCHD Full or Non Full is characterized by the video compression MPEG-4 AVC/H.264. And, AVCHD that has frame size less then Full 1920 x 1080 square pixels or Non Full 1440 x 1080 HD anamorphic is referred to as AVCHD-Lite and usually has the frame size 1280 x 720 (like in 720p). At this point, I am not sure if that Kodak is using MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 with a .mov wrapper or if it is just H.264 compression in a .mov wrapper. Nevertheless, two pressing issues are (a) Kodak offering of 1080p (progressive) instead of 1080i (interlaced) for which Premiere Elements has a project preset (b) your use of 60 frames per second instead of 30 frames per second for which Premiere Elements has a project preset.

If you were to shot full 1080p (1920 x 1080, 60 frames per second), then you should bring that video into Premiere Elements with a project preset of NTSC AVCHD HD 1080i30 or its PAL counterpart to provide you with the appropriate template from which to edit. When it came to export, the party line is that you cannot export as 1080p30 or any 1080p from Premiere Elements. However, I have suggested a way via a modified 720p30 route. But, if you pursue 60 frames per second, that frame rate of 60 frames per second may be your undoing. But, if you were to shot 720p (60 frames per second), then you should bring the video into Premiere Elements with a project preset of NTSC HDV HDV 720p30 or its PAL counterpart. There is an Interpret Footage feature in Premiere Elements for changing frame rate and pixel aspect ratio. However, changing the interpreted frame rate to 60 frames per second may come with unwanted consequences.

Bottom line: solve at lot of the problems by shooting 720p30 or 1080p30. (I would say 1080i30 instead of 1080p30, but I do not see where the Kodak offers you any 1080i setting.) Start by importing that Kodak video into Premiere Elements (Get Media/Files and Folders) with the project preset:
(a) for 720p, NTSC HDV HDV 720p30 or its PAL counterpart.
(b) for 1080p, NTSC AVCHD FULL HD 1080i30

If that looks good, then we can talk about exports if you need information on that.

I will be looking forward to your progress.


Chicken Jay
January 2nd, 2010, 11:02 AM
ATR - Thank you for taking the time to explain all of this to me and trying to get me steered in the right direction. Again, having so little knowledge on this subject, I need to sit down and study your answer more in depth to make sure I fully understand everything you are sharing, but this is exactly the starting point that I need. It sounds like I am dealing with limitations across the board though. The quote regarding the camera, "generally compatible QuickTime MPEG-4 MOV files...", came from CNET's spec description. You are correct in that there is no option for 1080i, only 'p'. As for the FPS, the camera does not have any options in 1080p mode, maybe it is understood that it is shooting 30FPS? But it also sounds like Premiere Elements has quite a few limitations - both in how it uses my desktop's resources and it seems to have certain constraints or limits to the video sources it utilizes. But I guess those limitations are impacted primarily by the users lack of knowledge :-)

I will do some practice work as you have suggested and get back to you with the results. I agree with you that my computer system is the least of my immediate concerns, but I am curious to know if once I have a better handle on shooting/editing/Elements would adding more RAM to my system be helpful? Thanks again!

January 2nd, 2010, 11:15 AM

It will all fall into place once you review the information which may be too much at one time.

Additional installed RAM to your 64 bit system is not going to help the available RAM situation when you are dealing with a 32 bit application (Premiere Elements) running in the 32 bit compatibility mode in a 64 bit system. You would probably gain an advantage going to the Premiere Pro CS4 (details earlier), but it may not be necessary.

As I suggested, let us get the video format details out of the way and then move on from there. But, read as many of the threads here as possible. Whatever you need clarification on, please ask.

I will be watching for your preliminary results.