Using the Avisynth File for Footage

At this point you should have a working AVIsynth file that contains DVD footage. You'll need to decide what to do with it in terms of editing.

There are 3 main methods. My preferred method is the second one now that I have a fast PC but all of them have their merits. What you should do is have a good read through each one and decide which would be best for you.

1) Create avi files to edit with.

Avisynth is the best way of accessing dvd footage, so it's ideal to use avisynth to convert DVDs into editable avi files. It's effectively digital capturing. You can convert the whole thing (which will be very big if you are going to have an avi file you can easily edit) or you can make clips.

Making clips can be useful for those who find it unwieldy to edit with full episodes and full dvds. It can also give you a good pool of footage to work from and saves searching around for footage. However, if you want to keep the best quality then the files you make are going to be very big so you better have a big HD. Backing up these big files is also difficult. I do not recommend this method if you want to re-create the project later but don't want to spend days burning CDs with your clips on. If you make clips and lose your footage you are up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle. (You could make a note of the frame numbers of the clips you are making... but that would be very very long-winded)

This is a tried and tested method and works well in pretty much any program you care to consider.

2) Edit directly with the avisynth files in your editing program - This method has lots of good things going for it but currently it has only been thoroughly tested in Adobe Premiere 5,6 and Pro. There are ways of doing this in other editing programs but the techniques are not as often used under gruelling editing conditions. However, if we presume that in whatever program you use the avisynth importing works fine, these are the benefits:

First of all the quality is as good as it can be without making huge files. Secondly you know that everything is working as you are doing it (this is not always possible with method 3, as you will see). However, it's not always quick. If you have a very fast PC then you may find it easy to edit with avisynth files but it all depends on personal preference. For me, even though access to avisynth material isn't the fastest ever, I can put a clip on the timeline, select that part as a work area, render it with [Enter] and it only takes a second and I have a nice fast preview of the footage so I can see if it all synchs and looks right. That's the way I like to work.

Of course, IVTC and other forms of video processing will also slow down any avs file editing, so you need to take those into account too.

3) Getting DVD quality but being able to edit quickly - This is a popular technique that I used to use a lot. I do not know if it works well with other programs but it works well in Premiere 5 and 6. I have heard rumours that Premiere Pro is much more rigid with footage swapping so it may not work in Pro. The method  allows fast editing and good quality by using low quality rendered avi files as temporary versions of your avs files and then swapping back to the avs versions just before you export the video. You should only use this method if option 2 is too slow for you but I have used it on a number of videos to good effect. It is the most fiddly method to set up but once you get the hang if it, it can make editing really slick because the temporary files we will create will be very quick to edit with. A lot of people really like this method but personally I find it takes a lot of preparation work when I just want to get in there and edit :)

OK, so do you know which method you want to use?

Method 1: Create Avi Clips

Method 2: Edit directly with avs files

Method 3: Bait and Switch the avs files with low quality avi files