Before we start, I just want to say that this method is very unstable. If you don't take the precautions mentioned here, you can end up losing all of your work. If you are using this method because you don't have enough disk space for method #1, I strongly suggest that you simply buy a larger hard drive. You can find a 100gb drive for under $50 these days, and 300gb drives for under $100.
It's possible that you may find method 2 to be too slow on your machine. To overcome this, I developed a solution which allows perfect quality but with a faster editing experience.
However, this procedure has only been tested on Premiere
5.x and 6.x. I have been told that it is impossible to use this
method with Premiere Pro at this time - if anyone knows differently
then let me know. This method may work for other editing programs but I
have not tested this so you should experiment.
Basically, you take every AVS file you want to use and make an
ugly-but-quick AVI export of each one. It is frame for frame identical
to the avs except the avi is much lower quality. Then you should edit
in Premiere with these low quality versions and when you are done you
can get Premiere to switch back to the avs files which means in
the end you have DVD quality footage but have used quick footage for
You will already have avisynth files ready for all the footage
you want to use if you have followed the guide. As you are creating
fast quality versions of your avs files for editing then you wont have
to worry too much about the slowdown caused by IVTC filters, so feel
free to include these in your avs scripts if you wish.
Now you need to get a codec that is good for editing.
This means NO divx, NO mpeg-1, NO cinepak etc.
The codec I recommend is the PICVideo
MJPEG codec as all the frames are keyframes, the compression is ok
and it's VERY FAST. Now, this codec is shareware which means you can
use it but it will put a logo on all of your files - but this is ok as
we aren't going to use these files for our export. However, I do
recommend purchasing a registry key for this codec to remove the logo
as it is a great fast codec.
A good, free alternative to this codec is the Lagarith codec, which comes with the amvapp. This codec has a "reduced resolution" mode which is suitable for this method.
Open up VirtualDubMod - this is the program we will use for creating the avi files. In the Video > Compression... menu choose PICVideo MJPEG (there might be some other PICvideo codecs installed, but you don't need those). Now click "Configuration".
Here you can set a quality for your file - the lower the
number the worse the quality but the faster the editing
- and it is speed we want. Make a couple of little clips and see how
low a number you'd want to go - 5 to 10 are ok and will be really
quick. Less than 5 and it starts getting too ugly to use, really. I
usually use a setting of 8 for making fast clips.
Now choose Fast Recompress from the Video menu and save to an AVI that is named similar to your avs file (so you know which AVI goes with which AVS). Your frame rate has to be the same as your avs file. I wouldn't change the resolution either as this will effect how things like motion settings will work when you edit.
Save your avi versions.
Note 1: If you are using Windows 9x or have a FAT32 hard drive, you cannot create avi files that are larger than 2 gigabytes. When making an mjpeg version of the movie metropolis at quality 5, the file ended up at just over 2 gigabytes. Now, as you have to have avi files that are identical to your avisynth files for this to work, it is advisable in this situation for you to create DGIndex projects based on a few vob files each time rather than the whole disk as one project file. This will mean that your low quality mjpeg versions will be small enough to work under Win98 or a FAT32 hard drive.
Note 2: Your low quality files will have slightly different color shades in comparison to the original so if you are doing any color keying effects and so on then you will have to switch to the avs version until you have them set up. You will also have to do that if you need to get stills from the source as well.
Switching Back to the DVD quality AVS Files in Premiere
You should test this out at the very start to
make sure this method works for you. Premiere has a facility called
Replace Clips, but I find that it sometimes crashes annoyingly. It
might work for you, but it is buggy for me. However, the method that
works best for me is as follows: to test things out, get an avi clip
and put a small section on the timeline. If you are doing a video with
lots of avs files, load all of the avi files just so you can test if
premiere will load all the avs equivalents.
To do the switch from avi files to avs files you must:
Make sure you test this method with sample clips and a sample export before starting your project to see if you are comfortable with it. It should work fine though - I've used the method a lot.
Once you have seen that the test works, you should KEEP
THE AVS FILES EXACTLY AS THEY ARE. Do not change your avs files
around - ESPECIALLY once you've started editing as they need to be
identical (frame wise) to your avi versions for this to work.
Quality, Stability and the Premiere AVS GUI
When dealing with avs files in premiere (during your export)
there are some quality and stability issues to take into account.
The new Premiere plugin, developed by fellow amv-ers, contains
a GUI which can change the quality of the footage you import into
Premiere and it can also set up memory options to make AVS useage more
When Premiere asks for a frame which is a different size than
your source (preview window, timeline or exporting at a different size)
the avs import plugin has to resize it. To do this there are 4
different resizers that you can choose in the GUI:
As you can tell by the descriptions, low-quality resizers are fast and high quality resizers are slow. For your export you should choose Lanczos3 as it has (arguably) the highest quality of all the options. This will only be used if you are exporting a video with a frame size that is not the same as your source. This should be rarely or never as it is always recommended to export at the same frame size as your source.
The right hand section of the GUI changes the Set Memory Max preferences in avisynth. Avisynth is not usually designed to process multiple avs scripts at once and as a result the memory can get used up really fast when processing multiple scripts. This can lead to avisynth crashing halfway through a render. To avoid this you can set the maximum memory allowed by each script. This option currently only works with Avisynth 2.5+ (which comes with the amvapp). The default setting is 64mb but if you are usuing lots of scripts you may want to reduce this to avoid memory crashes. It's a tricky thing to set, however, as some scripts which have a lot of processing may need a lot of memory and could crash if you set it too low - don't go below 16mb unless you really have to.
Errors, bugs, limitations and other things to avoid
Using avisynth scripts in Premiere can be a delicate matter.
There are a number of things you should do be aware of when importing
avs scripts into Premiere:
If you keep these things in mind you will discover that using avs footage is a mostly painless procedure. If you have any difficulties you should see the testing phase earlier in the guide for details of possible avisynth problems. If you have any concerns or questions, ask in the Video Software forum.
Now that you're done, you should go to the section on setting up your video project.