Sunday, September 7, 2008


The Home Computer as Editor:

The home computer as an aid to video editing has pushed the envelope even more in the area of video creativity. Some of these computer editing tools give results that were attainable only in production houses a few years ago.

The basic concepts and rules of the video editing process are the same, but working in a digital environment allows the editor more creative freedom at each step in the process, such as being able to preview and correct each edit decision without having to go to tape or disk first. The video editing process, then becomes similar to putting together a document or graphics presentation where the user cuts and pastes the segments together adding effects and titles. Even audio editing is available. Once the video is finished it can be "dumped" back onto video tape and then viewed or duplicated.

Computer Non-Linear Editing is not foolproof however. You must have the right combination of Ram, Hard Drive Space, and Operating System. Often times there are hardware and software conflicts with other elements within the computer, which can result in crashes. Outputing the finished video back to tape can have mixed results, such as jumpy or skipped frames.

In addition, the home PC also has the ability to perform any one of the functions of the individual components in a traditional Linear Editing setup. In other words, if you have a PC and don't have all the requirements to perform the entire editing process, you can still use you computer simply as an edit controller, titler, or sound mixer with the proper software. In fact, using a computer in a hybrid Linear Editing configuration is fairly standard in many professional and amateur editing suites.

The three basic ways to connect a video source, such as a Camcorder or VCR to a computer are:

Video Capture Board --

Probably the most common way to intregrate video with a computer. Video capture boards are bundled with software for editing and other functions and are usually inserted into a computer PCI slot. These boards are usually equipped with S-video or Composite video inputs. Many boards also have video outputs, to allow you to copy your finished video back out to tape, but not all of them have outputs. If you need this capacity, read the specifications and connections statement on the box carefully before you buy. Also, make sure you check the system requirements for the board. Make sure your computer has the reccomended requirements, not just the minimum. By adhereing to this, you computer will be less likely to crash during the editing process. Internal video cards can be obtained from companies such as ATI, Pinnacle Systems, Broadway, and others.

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