Video capture stuff!

So I’ve been trying to find an affordable video editor to avoid the mutlitude of format-incompatibilities with the various freeware I’ve tried so far. A few days ago I installed “VideoPad” which until the 15th of Jan is on 30% discount making it about £45.

Of course that’s £45 I shouldn’t be spending, but.. well some quick and dirty edits seem to show it working fine merging videos of different resolutions and framerates. Okay framerate conversion is rather rough looking, but whatever it’s doing it’s FAR more tollerant than the other programs I tried (remember the one that wouldn’t combine clips because one was 30fps and the other was 30.00003fps? Or had the codec info case-sensitive so it thought they were different formats?).

The built-in capture util sadly wouldn’t let me change the video card input port. But NCH bundle their software to link-out to associated software. I clicked the link within VideoPad for “Golden Videos” a small capture program intended for capturing from tapes. But best of all it actually fucking works with my RealTek soundcard AND captures without dropping frames at full PAL resolution.

I have litterally been in tears of joy, because since I switched to Windows XP I have tried everything I could think of to get full-frame full-rate capture working. The best I’d been able to manage was installing an old copy of WinDVR to capture to mpeg2 and to disable onboard sound, instead throwing in an old (noisey) PCI Soundblaster card. And that had even odds of bluescreening the machine every time you started the program.

More than 6 years trying to fix one issue and a solution just dropped in my lap.

Okay this program’s ripping to Xvid rather than uncompressed, but it looks better than mpeg.

I’ve ripped a few old tapes to the PC now. Some are very good looking, others not so much. The Furry-artist interviews I did at that convention in the USA have suffered quite badly, as the camera did not travel well and started conking out at points due to temp/humidity, as well as being set to LP for a large portion. The audio, with a few FZZZTs asside, is actually very good though. It’s given me the idea to chop the unwatchable portions of video and fill them with sketch-animatics of the artists and other reference images. It could actually work quite well in the end.

Mostly I’m glad I found the impromtu interview with Ashryn. I thought it was the last thing I recorded there and since it wasn’t after the last “proper” interview on the last tape, I assumed I must have done the whole interview without pressing record somehow. But no, just got the order mixed up in my mind and it’s still there.

I should be able to do something good with this, even if it is 6 years later than I’d intended.

Also found video of my grandfather showing how to make his famous apple tarts, and some footage of one of his birthday parties. Is bittersweet to watch.

And ancient footage, even a short bit of the folk I worked for down in Hastings when I first got a video camera (not the huge one I got later), followed by the big Exeter Therians meet back in 2001.

Lot of lost history on these tapes. Just like the lost chat-logs and photos I’ve saved from the old tiny HDs.

So many things that were lost and gone are suddenly found.


Video production woes

A little list of my video-capture woes.


Adobe Premiere only captures from DV sources. My SAA7130 capture card isn’t recognised by it.

AvidFreeDV is the same.

VirtualDub disconnects from the capture device when I try and change the capture resolution. And when I reconnect it resets to 320*240 anyway. Capture output files contain no video.
Attempting to capture with any compression crashes the capture system.

WinDVR doesn’t capture the audio due to the RealTek onboard video card. I can reinstall a separate soundcard, but few of them work on XP and none have the extra I/Os I need.

WinDVD Creator crashes when trying to connect.

When it doesn’t crash instantly, Windows Movie Maker won’t capture in anything but WMV.

So far my best option looks to be to capture in WinDVR using mpeg2 compression and capture and sync the audio manually afterwards.

And attempting to simply connect to the card in MPC bluescreens the machine.

REALLY getting pissed off with this. I bought cameras and playback units so I could actually do something with recorded video. It’s been nearly 4 fucking years and upgrading to XP has stopped me from doing any of it! VirtualDub worked PERFECTLY on Windows 2000. Not a single frame dropped at full PAL resolution, directly from my SVHS playback unit.

I can’t even connect to the fucking video source on XP without something crashing or having to physically replace hardware, let alone getting to the point of TRYING to record it!

Am I seriously going to have to BUILD a Windows 2000 machine just for recording video? Not even for editing it; just recording it??

I’d happily farm the capture out to someone else at this stage except the files produced would by several gigabytes a piece, and getting them onto this machine to edit them would be an equal nightmare!

[20/06/2010: Amalgamating old posts from “Dreamwidth Creative Blog” into to re-purpose DW blog account.]