Setting up a Video Project

Now that you have all your sources prepared, you need to set up a video project. Each program has a different set of options but many of the settings will be similar from program to program.

Before you dive into setting things up you need to make a note of the properties of your sources. We have gone through a lot of preparation stages to get here, so it's worth summarising what you have.

Video Format

This is the basic stuff. Firstly there are the standards NTSC, PAL and NTSC FILM. You should have an idea which one of these your footage is by now.

Then we have the file format standards. Most of you will be editing using Video for Windows. This is sometimes described as Microsoft AVI. DV users, however, will probably be using a special DV profile in their video editor unless they are editing using a Video for Windows DV codec with the DV footage contained in an avi file.

Video Properties

In case you can't remember the properites, basic stuff can be found out easily using VirtualDubMod. Load your footage there and choose File > Video Information...

VirtualDubMod - Video Information
Frame Size - This is the 'resolution' of the video footage you will be editing with. You may well have resized it along the way so if you need to check, you can see it here. This should be the same for all your sources if you want to make life easier for yourself. See the Aspect Ratio page if you haven't already.

Framerate - This is very important. Having an incorrect framerate or a framerate incompatible with your project will cause havoc when editing. By now you should know what frame rate you will be editing in. PAL users will have 25fps footage, pure NTSC users will be using 29.97fps footage, IVTC footage will need 23.976fps or if you are using Premiere 24fps.

Decompressor - This is less important but worth talking about. Most video editing programs use RGB to process their footage. If you are worried about your editing software converting your footage incorrectly then you may want to convert beforehand, particularly if you are using avisynth as you can add ConvertToRGB32() to your script to do the conversion. (Interlaced and Hybrid footage will need the commands ConvertToRGB32(interlaced=true) and ConvertHybridToRGB32() respectively... you may recall this from earlier when analysing your footage).

Field Order - This is not displayed here but is important to know. If you have IVTC'd or deinterlaced the footage then your field order is, effecitvely, none. If you are using interlaced footage then you will need to find out the field order by following the instructions on the Analysing Your Footage page. DV users will find that their field order will proabably be Bottom Field First/Lower First/Order B.

Those are the main things you need to know for the video side of things.

Audio Properties

This will depend on how you sourced your audio:
Wav files ripped from CD: These should always be 44,100Hz 16bit stereo uncompressed audio.

Wav files decoded from DVDs: These are likely to be (but are not always) 48,000Hz 16bit stereo uncompressed audio

Wav file converted or captured from an alternate source: These can have any properties. However, you should make sure that the wav file is uncompressed and make a note of the Sample Rate, Bit Depth and Stereo Channels of your audio. You can find simple info like this in any wave editor or winamp.

So those are the main things you will need to know for before editing your project. All you have to do, is choose a program:
Adobe Premiere 5.x and 6.x

Adobe Premiere Pro

Vegas Video 4.x/5.x

Windows Movie Maker 2

Ulead Movie Studio Pro 7

I can only produce settings guides for programs I have access to. If there is a program here that you wish to know how to set up then please let me know.