Pinnicle Studio 9 Plus video capture
I have just purchased Studio 9 plus in anticipation of making a movie from video captured on my camcorder. My camera has a USB port as does my computer. Windows XP sees the camera and I can select it in Studio as a source. However I dont see any video in Studio.
My camcorder also has a DV port but my computer does not... do I need the USB to DV adapter that Pinnacle sells for $120 more? Or do you think should I just be able to use the USB port to transfer the video? Any advice or help is greatly appreciated.
USB is not the preferred method of getting video in and out of the computer. You will always have better results with firewire.
Just a word of warning. I purchased studio 9 and upgraded to studio plus. I could only get it to work on very simple projects. After spending hundreds of hours and never being able to render a full video I spent the extra cash to Premiere Pro. Maybe I will have problems with it too, anyway, just some advice.
1. Keep your project short, My project was just at 60 minutes and would not render.
2. Do not add a bunch of effcts, the more you add the longer it takes to render and the more you risk frustration.
3. Be very careful with your audio, most forum posts seem to point to this as leading to render failure.
4. Drop into the user forum on the pinnacle site and do it early, it might just save you some major headaches.
5. Be very careful with your capture and edit of clips, it seems there may be an issue with that, the jury is still out.
6. The timeline for pinnacle is very easy to use you will like the ease with which it works, just make sure your workflow is solid. Make sure you know where you want to go; how, and where you want to add and edit clips.
7. VISIT THE USER FORUM on the pinnacle site for extra info and answers.
8. Good Luck, I had major problems with studio 9, but it was probably just me and my inept workflow and high expectations.
Rather than purchase an adapter cable from Pinnacle I got a Firewire card and cable from Best Buy that fit in my laptop. The camera connects via this just fine however I do notice that after the video is transferred and saved that sometimes the software gets a little flakey sometimes and you have to wait for it to load or save. I guess a faster computer would be best for this but it does work and the results are good.
I've used Pinnacle Studio since version 7. 7 was outstanding for me once I installed it's patches and learned the interface. 8 was terrible, bought it but never used it. Installed but went back to 7. 9 was okay but 9 plus was the one I REALLY wanted with the PIP and chroma key features, plus the pan/zoom on stills. I am slowly working with and learning Premiere Pro right now but most of my current projects are being created with Studio 9 Plus---so I am an experienced Pinnacle user.
With that said, sure Pinnacle has it's quirks. As long as you adjust and adapt it becomes a wonderful product. Make sure you have the latest patch!!! Cruise the Pinnalce Q&A areas from time to time to get tips, sure, but most of the learning will come from good ol' hard hands-on experience.
To avoid crash issues I incorporated a method a while back that really helps. With my large projects (2+ hours) I segment the work. Here's an example: For 2004 football film I created an opening as it's own segment, it's own specific project. When complete, I fade it to a black full screen title. I then render the project as an AVI file. I moved on to Game 1 and created that as a project (about 20-25 minutes). I start it by fading in from a black full screen title and end it the same. Rendered that as an AVI. I continue this process until I have all the segments completed and then I used Pinnacle Impression's DVD builder software (which is now outdated and will not recognize a DL burner, but it's great for non-DL burners.) but I can now use Adobe Encore or other DVD builder programs to import the AVI files. Then I trim a bit from the back end of 1 segment and the front end of the next...so that when it's all said and done, the fade-to-blacks are in appropriate places and are very short. There's probably easier ways to do this now but I've used this method for 2 years and it's been flawless. No hangs on rendering at all.
The most important thing is system memory. Make sure you have as much as you can fit onto the mobo. Memory is incredibly important and useful with these NLE programs. Most of the trouble you'll run in to with Pinnacle will be due to it's high demand when using effects and multiple tracks. It was annoying with my old 512MB system but my new system that sports 2GB of RAM (and a 3.4Ghz CPU) is MUCH better. I frequently run Pinnacle, AOL and Roxio at the same time with no problems. And I am almost always using a video track, 2 audio tracks and some effects. PACK on the memory and you will be well served.
Pinnacle is defintely the most user-friendly editing program out there. It's great for the price, too. I know the Adobe collection will eventually completely replace this application for me soon, but Pinnacle has been the foundation of my family's new booming business. As long as you know what you're doing with a camera and have a good, creative mind for film, it doesn't matter what software you use. It's HOW you use it.