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Any Shortcuts for importing old movies?


atchie

Question

I've got about 3 vhs tapes (what the heck are those things? :) ) that have some very old reel to reel type movies on them. They consist of our old home movie collection and it's a mess. Nothing is in order and (sorry Mom) the camera work has a dizzy effect. I'd like to get the good bits out of them and use them in a slideshow.

I tried to hook up my vcr directly to my computer, but that didn't work out. So I hooked up my digital video camera to the vcr and made copies of them. At first I tried to edit while I was transferring, but I don't have the patience so I just copied the entire tapes.

Then I did a Plug & Burn thinking I could work from the dvds to extract the bits and bobs. This didn't work out the way I'd hoped. It burned the dvds fine, but trying to trim and file didn't work the way I wanted it.

I have several different folders that I want to get organized with all the folks in my family so the finished result will be a better timeline and have a better flow.

 

Are there any shortcuts to import and edit that I am not aware of?

 

Thanks

Nancy~

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I've got about 3 vhs tapes (what the heck are those things? :) ) that have some very old reel to reel type movies on them. They consist of our old home movie collection and it's a mess. Nothing is in order and (sorry Mom) the camera work has a dizzy effect. I'd like to get the good bits out of them and use them in a slideshow.

I tried to hook up my vcr directly to my computer, but that didn't work out. So I hooked up my digital video camera to the vcr and made copies of them. At first I tried to edit while I was transferring, but I don't have the patience so I just copied the entire tapes.

Then I did a Plug & Burn thinking I could work from the dvds to extract the bits and bobs. This didn't work out the way I'd hoped. It burned the dvds fine, but trying to trim and file didn't work the way I wanted it.

I have several different folders that I want to get organized with all the folks in my family so the finished result will be a better timeline and have a better flow.

 

Are there any shortcuts to import and edit that I am not aware of?

 

Thanks

Nancy~

Law #1 in Video: There are no short-cuts :huh:

 

The best solution is to capture everyting to avi format for best quality and ease of editing. Capturing in short segements (5 or 10 minutes) makes editing also easier than trying to edit ahuge 1 hour video. There is no way to edit while capturing and plug&burn is also not designed for editing but mainly for capturing from DV camcorder to DVD without much user interaction. Once you have burned video to a DVD you can no longer edit the DVD video.

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I think you've already found out that video editing is very time consuming. Instead of looking for shortcuts which usually cause problems, take it slow and think ahead. For the least trouble, capture the digital tape manually. Start and stop the capture where the old film headers are. This will create individual, smaller DV AVI files that will be much easier to work with. Since they are not in the order you want, take the time to rename each capture file with something more meaningful like 'Vacation 1972.avi'.

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One more question...

Is there a way that I can import only the video and not the audio? Most of these had no sound and whoever put this thing together back in 1802 (j/k) inserted the most cheesy music--hope I can say this here without offending anyone, but the music sounds like it should be in a 70's soft porn movie (don't exactly know why I know that...lol!) and it's not going in MY family slideshow.

I know that the avi files grow rather quickly and thought, here I go again, that I could take a shortcut and save some space.

Thanks again for any and all advice!

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I don't mean to double up on the suggestions that have already been made, but Walt and Gary have the best suggestions for getting your old tapes into the best editing process. Just make the captures small and then later put them back together after editing.

 

I'm not sure what type of cables you are using to transfer the taped video to your camcorder but if its some kind of analog cabling, just don't insert the audio cable. Just the video cable and you wont get any audio. Once in a while I use my Dazzle Digital Video Creator 150 unit to transfer VCR tapes to my computer and I just don't plug in the audio cables and it looses the audio but still retains the video.

 

Frank....

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I'm not sure what type of cables you are using to transfer the taped video to your camcorder but if its some kind of analog cabling, just don't insert the audio cable. Just the video cable and you wont get any audio. Once in a while I use my Dazzle Digital Video Creator 150 unit to transfer VCR tapes to my computer and I just don't plug in the audio cables and it looses the audio but still retains the video.

 

Frank....

 

You know, I thought about that too.....AFTER I was finished, doh :) !

 

I seem to be having an issue with Roxio Media Import--I have my dv camera connected properly, with the firewire and things seem to be transferring alright ....then the preview screen on the computer will freeze up, but the numbers are still counting up indicating that it is capturing X amount of minutes/seconds. Looking over at the screen on my camera, it is still playing. I thought maybe it's normal so I let it go for a few more seconds to test out the captured clip. Turns out it ended right where the preview screen (sorry, don't recall the correct term) froze. Got flustered with that so I tried something else.

I opened up videowave and imported the copy of the dvd I made from the digital tape previously(one of my hopeful "shortcuts"). It loaded up in mpg file and then I opened it in videowave. I thought I could trim out the parts I didn't want and separate the video wherever I wanted to put a transition or add photo's, etc. The darn thing would only let me make 1 or 2 splits. I magnified the timeline and tried to slide the bar to where I wanted to split---suddenly my pointer/icon turned into evil horns :huh: and the preview screen started to play at a slow jagged pace and everything was unresponsive. Not even alt-cntrl-delete could save me at this point. I had to shut my power off and reboot. I just deleted the mpg file and now I don't know what I should try. I had done this successfully back in December with the same camera and computer--only diff is now I'm working with 8. I'm thisclose to removing 8 and re-installing 7.5, but will hold off until further word from you wonderful guru's.

 

btw, is there an easy way to pull the specs off my computer so I can post them in my sig?

 

Thanks a Billion!!

N~

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Firewire cables can be touchy. Make sure the camcorder is on a secure surface and use the AC adapter if you have one. Do not touch or move the cable during transfer. This can cause a poor connection which could cause freezing/stop the transfer. If you continue having trouble, try WinDV - a free shareware app for transferring DV AVI from digital camcorders. This would help narrow down if it's hardware or software.

 

To get your system info:

Start->Programs->Accessories->System Tools->System Information

 

This gives rather detailed info, but it comes with Windows.

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Thanks Gary!

Will try your suggestions.

 

I'm pretty careful about the cables, but I will definitely do a re-check on that. Considering the firewire cable is pretty thick and it gets wound up when not in use--so it's always in a spiral when I go to use it.

I'll look into the WinDV---

Stay tuned for my system info---thanks again.

N~

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