Beginner’s misfortune with home video
March 25, 2009 1 Comment
After first two days spent with our new HD camera and Sony Vegas I was ready for therapy. So many codec troubles, so many setups that refused to work… I have a habit to reinstall K-Lite Codec Pack when some other application messes up my settings and Media Player Classic stops to play some files. Generally good habit, but mine has one flaw. While I progressively downloaded new version (4.7) I forgot to place it into my install directory hence I always reinstalled older one (3.x). This was just fine for Media Player delivered with K-Lite, but it was also the root cause why Sony Vegas refused to use some codecs for rendering.
That’s also the reason why I can rewrite my original desperate text. 🙂 Still – the truth is that working with codecs and video is simply way too complex. And probably also not cheap (or for free for that matter). What I want to do with videos? Nothing big actually:
- to record myself talking to the camera (done, camera, MTS output file, …)
- to record something on the computer (done via CamStudio)
- to put both videos to the one (sequentially) and add some text… result should be tutorial of some sort.
First I tried Sony Vegas Movie Studio before I found out that output in the HD resolution (720p for instance) is actually not a mere codec setup, but it’s a feature. So you have to go for Platinum edition for ~$90. I moved to this SW (in trial of course – for the start). Vegas looks cool and I put both videos one after the other and played them. While the video from the camera worked just fine, the one from CamStudio did not. I’ve noticed that these videos have incredible 200fps, I tried also other settings with various codecs, but I came to the conclusion that I have to pre-process the video prior I put it into the Vegas. This funny investigation even resulted in my first YouTube tutorial test!
Now I’m luckily behind my first bad days with video processing. Many times I asked myself: “What have I messed up with this time?” Most of these questions were cause by aforementioned unlucky K-Lite mistake on my side. Trouble is that without some experiences all those error messages don’t tell you what you need to know. There is no “man, you have wrong codec version!” error, there is nothing that leads you to the problem cause. When I wanted to render with x264 from Sony Vegas it said “the selected codec does not support the current render settings”. Or it couldn’t open Lame MP3 codec – but it happily offered all these options I couldn’t use. Then you mess up with other things too and when you fix the root problem it might even not manifest properly! 🙂 Funny world of over-complex video technology with billions of various codecs.
Originally I also tried to find some free solution instead of Sony Vegas (or Adobe, Pinnacle, whatever). I checked a lot of software – SUPER, Any Video Converter, virtualdub(mod), avidemux, muvee, VideoSpin… but I will probably purchase Sony Vegas as my nerves also have some price (let’s say they are priceless for me ;-)). Good thing is that now I work more with Sony Vegas (or my camera or CamStudio) and spend less time on Google. There is actually a lot of people with similar questions but answers either don’t work or I was just “lucky” and haven’t tried the right ones first.
I feel ready to do some tutorial now, but it will take some time. It will be probably about home music recording with tight budget or something like that. But that’s another story. If you ever suffered through your own pile of problems related to video processing, I guess you understand how I felt during last few days. If not, you’re lucky. If it’s still before you, my fingers are crossed for you. And double check codec versions! 🙂