Intro/Basics Hardware and Software for classroom environment

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by laldog, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. laldog

    laldog Guest

    I'm a a teacher at a small school in Boston that is desperate enough to
    have designated me the Technology Specialist.

    I know next to nothing about video editing, and although I have a DVD
    camcorder that I have used quite a bit, I have not really even
    attempted to edit or create DVD movies.

    We are looking to take the next step into video editing. Our deaf
    students literacy skills really improve when they can sign (ASL) their
    stories and then transcribe them to English. It is one of those
    instances where technology has a direct and positive impact on
    classroom performance.

    My questions:

    1. The teachers rave about iMovie. What PC software comes closest in
    matching it's simplicity and performance?

    2. What are the minimum (pc) hardware requirements for DVD editing?
    a. memory?
    b. external hard drives?
    c. Firewire cards?

    3. We have mini DVD cameras that were previously purchased. What is
    the best way to edit the DVDs and burn them to another DVD (adding
    captions, titles, deleting mistakes,etc)??

    4. Any websites that can really talk me through whole nuts and bolts
    of this?
    My attempts thus far have lead to a series of computer lockups and
    error messages.

    Thanks in advance.
    laldog, Jan 13, 2007
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  2. laldog

    Ken Maltby Guest

    Teachers captivated by an Apple product, what a shock there.
    I would suggest at least 1GB, but the video processing you will be
    doing is not memory intensive.
    Are a convience, and can make a good storage mediem, but what
    you really need are seprate OS and Video internal drives. With at
    least two internal drives you can allow a running process to read from
    one drive and output to another, which improves throughput.
    Only if you have equipment that can benifit from such a
    connection. Your camera is recording to a DVD, most
    likely in DVD compliant MPEG2, it proably transfers its
    video via USB2, if it even has some direct connection. You
    would be using DVD-/+RW disks and bringing the video to
    your PC that way.
    So you want to record deaf students signing a story, then have
    them transcribe what they are able to see/follow of the signing
    into a written story. We are not talking; editing for dramatic
    effect or to tell a story or set a mood, just a stark image of the
    signing in a classroom environment. Right? You are not trying
    to teach Editing as a subject.

    Given the above, I would try out the following software on any
    reasonably current PC, running under XP. If you are going to be working with
    MPEG, you will want to have VRD on hand. their Video Wizard products can add the
    titleling and do frame accurate editing in MPEG.

    TMPGEnc DVD Author 1.6 (TDA) it has an "Add DVD video"
    button and process and is a great workhorse DVD Authoring
    program. This is provided to answer your question, but you may
    not need to author a DVD at all.

    You would probably be much better off playing the edited .mpg
    files on the computer the student is transcribing with. They could
    find it easier to zoom in on the signing and manipulate the playback
    using a software player.

    If you are using a projector or large TV(s) to display the video
    to the whole class at one time, you can have it setup to run off
    a PC, as well as it would from a DVD player. ( Note: such a
    presentation might work if the transcribing were just in the nature
    of notetaking, a real transcription usually requires that the
    transcriber have some control over the source.)

    Ken Maltby, Jan 13, 2007
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  3. laldog

    Mark Burns Guest

    I would suggest to start with Windows Movie Maker that comes free with
    Windows XP Service Pack-2. It will not create a DVD, but will allow
    some very good editing of your AVI/DV files. It can add titles,
    effects, etc... It is simple but will get you started. My first video
    project was with this and it did work quite well. Captured the video
    to the computer from the camera via firewaire, edited it, added
    transitions and titles, and saved the edited project back to a new tape
    on the camera.

    To make the DVD from the above, one will need an mpeg encoder to create
    a DVD compliant mpeg file, an authoring package to master the VIDEO_TS
    folder, imaging software to create the .ISO image, and burning software
    to create the physical DVD. These should all be done in seperate
    steps, imho, for the best results.

    For doing the above I use the TmpgEnc encoder, TmpgEnc DVD Author for
    authoring, freeware DVD Shrink to create the .ISO image and make too
    big videos fit, and freeware ImgBurn to create the DVD.

    I would recommend that you look at ULEAD DVD Movie Factory for all of
    the above features, including editing. One can buy ten copies for as
    little as $38.44 ea.
    I am using a 1.8gHz Pentium IV with 512mb memory and two 7200 IDE hard
    drives. Firewire and USB 2.0 ports. For burning I use a Pioneer
    16x16. One shouls always burn at 6X or less, I use 4X myself. For
    burners also look at NEC or LiteON. Steer wide and clear of Memorex,
    Sony, or no name brands, imho.
    As ansered above.

    Not really, but this one will get you started:

    Required reading for being a teacher of DVD making:

    Good sites that I use regulary

    Don't be a stranger... Let us know how that you are doing...


    Mark Burns, Jan 13, 2007
  4. laldog

    GaryT Guest

    You need to clarify if you really did mean mini "DVD" or actually meant mini
    "DV". Ken's answer assumed you were accurate in our writing and have the
    former, which means you would be getting files in MPEG2 format. Mark's
    answer assumes you actually meant the latter, which means you would be
    getting files in AVI/DV format. They are two different animals and have
    different software requirements.

    GaryT, Jan 13, 2007
  5. laldog

    Ken Maltby Guest

    That accurately describes the situation, but I wonder how he could
    have "DV-AVI" DVDs, from his camera, to edit.

    Ken Maltby, Jan 13, 2007
  6. laldog

    Hal Lowe Guest

    Here's a link to the Sony Vegas section:
    Vegas is a bit pricey, but the "Movie Studio + DVD" is quite good and
    much more reasonably priced (if that's a serious consideration.
    There are a number of products that are good, but I happen to like the
    one I've mentioned before for my beginner students.
    This to a large extent will vary with the software you buy, but if you
    click the above link, then click on the specific link for "Movie
    Studio + DVD" you'll see a variety of help/tutorial links and you
    should be able to get the bottom line info on what minimum Sony
    recommends (if all else fails there's an 800 number you can call)
    Check out the tutorials on the Sony site.
    Here are a few links to get you started:
    (the above site may be an interesting teaching tool)

    You may want to consider subscribing to Videomaker Magazine (the link
    directly above this message). It's particularly good for beginners to
    intermediate videographers. The include how-to article, reviews, new
    products, etc.

    Good luck!

    PS: The link at the bottom of this page is the Web mail from my Web
    site, if you'd like to contact me directly.

    Hal Lowe (unique logo t-shirts, mugs & more) (digiPhoto) (Music Central) (web hosting)
    Hal Lowe, Jan 13, 2007
  7. laldog

    Ray S Guest

    People like what they are used to. Schools got lots of Mac's so they
    learned imovie. I hear its a good program. Microsoft Movie Maker is free
    and probably is quite similar in ability.

    Its not out of the question that you might be able to consider a Webcam
    for your project. The quality is not going to be that of a camcorder,
    but it may be quite enough for your purpose. Especially if you don't
    require your final product to go onto a DVD and be portable to various
    Ray S, Jan 15, 2007
  8. laldog

    FCP User Guest

    If you'll excuse the plug...

    I have a burgeoning series of video editing training DVD's on the market
    and our latest "about to be released" title might be something you'd be
    interested in.

    The overall series is called StartEditingNow!

    Our initial disc was aimed at the general public and was directed at
    someone who wanted a self-paced DVD program to learn solid basic editing

    The newest disc (in the final stages of production right now) is
    specifically aimed at Elementary, Middle, and High School editing

    The program contains basic editing skills lessons - PLUS fully-licensed
    content in our unique "multi-track movie" format that makes it fun for
    kids to edit. The footage and scenarios in the package are specially
    cast and written to appeal to young editors.

    In addition, this "Classroom Workshop Edition" contains lesson plans,
    enrichment activities and other teaching tools designed to make it a
    "basic classroom video editing instruction program in a box."

    This is a follow up to our initial StartEditingNow volume, which is
    designed for adult learners.

    As I mentioned it's in final editing now, and should be available for
    purchase in just a few weeks.

    Details of our original program are on our website...

    We're also building, (but as yet haven't launched) a revision to our web
    site with education specific content and the new products we have "in
    the can" and awaiting editing. (Volume 2 of the standard edition!)

    Check it out.

    It's designed for teachers exactly like you. Particularly those who have
    been tasked with teaching video editing to beginners, but don't have a
    previous strong editing background.

    Hope it helps.
    FCP User, Jan 19, 2007
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