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Old Feb 04, 2013, 08:30 PM
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United States, OR
Joined Jul 2004
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choosing video editing computer and software for beginners.

Let me begin by stating that I am not a video editing expert. but I have had to learn and setup a new machine dedicated to video editing and learn all about it over the last 12 month. I want to at least give basic idea on equipment and software it takes to get reasonable results.

Computer requirement::

Lot of people run Mac/iMac and they do work pretty well at a premium in cost. In general, more cpu power you have, better off you are. First of all, i would recommend Intel processor for video editing. Even latest AMD fx-8350 seems to lag behind core i5-3570 in terms of rendering speed and price is similar to i5-3570k. Just know that editing HD video takes lot of computing power. When I started, I used my old laptop with amd A6 fusion chip (quad core) and it has been really too slow. for example, running video stabilization using mercalli averages 5fps. If you want decent performance, I would recommend minimum of intel Core i5 with 16gb of ram. Luckily, video editing really does not need high power graphics card, so build in 4000hd graphics is adequate. But if you do like to decent preview performance, and run CS/6, it is wise to have decent nvidia card. luckily, cheaper card like gt640 seem to give good result with cuda implementation of cs6. . Dual SSD drive in RAID 0 configuration would be nice, but if cost is an issue, I would recommend dual Western Digital RED 1tb hard drive in RAID 0 configuration as minimum. RED series are designed for RAID configuration use. I would not use cheaper HD in RAID. expect to spend about 1k for your computer setup including larger monitor or dual smaller monitor. I run 2x 20" lcd and I like having one for editing and the other for other use. For OS, Win7 -64bit is adequate. I won't use latest window until service pack 1 is out.



Software:

Software stabilization has always been 2 edge sword. While it can help improve a video that has movement, the cost has been reduced image quality due to cropping. With availability of 2.7k mode in gopro, we actually now have original video that can be cropped and still retain high quality outoput. I am sure we will see more of 2.7k video output in camera as we move on, so this just opens more door for software stabilization to be useful.

Currently, we find that mercalli prodad to have one of the better stabilization algorithm. Prodad can be purchased as standalone or plug in. standalone is $150 . interestingly enough, I found Corel Video studio Ultimate X5 comes with plug in version of prodad. (and it only cost $60 ) It is also a decent video editor. Adobe premier element is also good editor, but built in stabilizer is not as good as mercalli prodad. Unless you are power user that wants lot more control, you can probably do well with either of these software. Only downside to cheaper packages are lack of fisheye lens correction which would be useful for gopro. I know mercalli has separate fishey correction plugin for 99 bucks.

Anyway, attached is the mercalli setting that we use. Mercalli does great job on the roll portion of the stabilization, but not as good on bounce type. Still, you can improve your aerial video by software stabilization. Turn mediocre video into usable footage.


Anyway, hope this gives you some ideas about what is needed for editing aerial video.
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Last edited by askman; Feb 27, 2013 at 09:32 AM.
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