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what are the right settings for .avi footage?? newbie needs advice

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Anne Thompson
what are the right settings for .avi footage?? newbie needs advice
on Feb 22, 2015 at 4:08:45 am

I am using Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 for the first time and am new to video editing in general. I need advice on the proper settings for beginning the project and what to use when exporting and rendering. Here are the details on my project, footage and computer.

I am making a short (<5min) video that will mainly be seen online at youtube and other social media sites (no TV). I am working solely with footage from an older non-HD flip camera so the source footage is not very high quality. It is a music video so the audio will be a separate mp3 or wav file (not sure which is better to use). My computer is not too powerful but works - I have aMacbook Pro 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB Ram, OSX 10.6.8 and an external 1TB hard drive to store my .avi footage as well as the projects. I will be doing some effects (speeding up footage, adding text, fadeouts, etc) as I learn how to use Premiere. I want the final vid to look professional and upload/playback reasonably fast online.

Here is the info from my source footage:
File type: .avi
Format: XVid (Perian), 640x480, Millions Microsoft ADPCM, Mono, 44.100 KHz
FPS: 30
Data Rate: 7,760.50 KBit/S
Size: 640x480 pixels (actual)

I'm not sure what all of this info is even or if it is pertinent, just want to cover all the bases. :)

What I want to know is:
-what settings do I choose when starting the initial project?
-do I need to convert the file at all before starting? So far I have been able to do things in Premiere without converting the .avi (whereas w/ Final Cut I had to convert beforehand).
-when I have the video edited and the effects the way I want, what is the process for rendering/exporting? what settings do I use for a web-ready video? do I need to render in the middle of editing at all or just at the end?
-anything else I need to know?

I don't want to go overkill since the footage isn't hi-res to begin with, and I'd rather be able to do things with medium quality than bog down my computer unnecessarily. I am on a deadline to make a few videos quickly so I want to get the details down asap before starting.

Thank you very much for the help - I have never used Premiere before or worked with much video at all so thanks in advance for the coaching.

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Ann Bens
Re: what are the right settings for .avi footage?? newbie needs advice
on Feb 22, 2015 at 7:17:57 pm

First of you are going to have a hell of a time editing this avi as it is xvid.
Xvid is great for watching but not for editing.
Converting is your best option but this means a generation loss.
Sequence settings depend in this case on the end destination.

Adobe Certified Expert Premiere Pro CC
Adobe Community Professional

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Anne Thompson
Re: what are the right settings for .avi footage?? newbie needs advice
on Feb 22, 2015 at 8:58:20 pm

Thanks for the reply Ann.

The end destination is a YouTube/online video. What settings would I need for that?

Would I convert the xvid file before importing into Premiere? To what format? Could I use mpeg streamclip? (that is the program I used to convert in FCP once).

So far I have been able to do some editing with the .avi files but nothing fancy, so I might run into lags later.

Again, I don't expect the highest quality end product since I am starting with a cheap camera, but I want to do the best I can with what I have within reason. If I can avoid incredibly long conversion, render and export times, I'd like to.

Thanks for the help!

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