Capturing and Editing Digital Video Using Ulead's VideoStudio

Full-motion video is captured from a video camera or VCR using a video capture card. A video capture card is a video-in board that can capture and store both single-frame and full-motion video on a hard disk drive. Capture software that comes with the card compacts the data in a way that allows the video and audio to be compressed to a file size that can be placed on a hard disk drive. Many companies are using Intel's proprietary DVI (Digital Video Interleave) technology for their video compression. Video files created using this technology can be replayed using software only with no other hardware necessary. The most common file format for Windows is the avi file, a format capable of being displayed using Video for Windows. Most new computer systems today have this software component already installed.

VideoStudio 3.0 from Ulead Systems is a low-cost consumer-level video-editing program. This program allows you to capture and edit files with both video and audio. You can also use this program to edit existing video files. Capturing, editing, and saving your file is an eight step process that includes:

Click here to go to the download area for a trial version of VideoStudio:

Getting Ready to Capture the Video

You must have a video capture card such as the Intel Smart Video Recorder Pro installed on your computer system. Your computer system must have lots of storage space, 1.2 MB hard drive or greater. The system needs to have as much memory as possible, 16 MB minimum with 32 MB highly recommended. A Pentium system with a 75 MHz CPU is the minimum for the computer. If you are capturing video from a VCR tape, the audio out from the VCR must be atttached to the Line In of the sound card on your system, while the video out from the VCR is connected to the Line In for the video capture card. The same is true for capturing directly from a CamCorder or other video camera. The basic idea behind video capture is to capture what is referred to as "raw video" and then use editing software to obtain the final video files. The video capture card can be used for either single frame capture or full-motion sequences. Another great option for a video capture card is the ATI All-In-Wonder Pro. This is a 7-in-1 graphics card that takes the place of the existing graphics card in your computer, thus eliminating the need for an additional slot inside the PC. The Hitachi MPEG Camera show in an earlier lesson is also a good way of getting video capture with the advantage being you get mpeg files.

Capturing the Video

  1. Run VideoStudio clicking on Ulead VideoStudio 3.0 Trial from the Start Menu.

  2. Click Try More! from the opening screen.

  3. From the Start step, click on the New Project icon. Name the project first. For the Available project templates, select AVI: 320x240, 29.97 fps, Intel Indeo Video. Click OK to continue.

  4. If you have connected a VCR or other video/audio source to your PC, then you should have video in the Preview window. Make sure Capture audio is checked if you want to capture audio with your video.

  5. Click the Capture Video icon and OK to begin to capture your video. Click on the Capture Video icon again to stop the video capture. You should note that the captured clip shows up as a thumbnail in the area beneath the Preview window in Storyboard mode (a mode that shows the first frame of each clip if you capture several sequences).

  6. You should now be on the Capture step. Click on this thumbnail to see the first frame in the Preview window. Click the Play button to view the captured video.

  7. You can now use the remaining steps to edit the clip (take out only the part that you want to have in your finished product), add a transition effect, title, audio, and music. When you are done with all of these steps, you can go to the Finish step and use the Make movie icon to build the final product.

The following steps will show you how to do all of this using two existing files that have already been captured and saved to your hard drive.

Editing Video Files

  1. Run VideoStudio and click on New project icon to start a new project.

  2. Name it sanfran and for the Available project templates, select AVI: 320x240, 29.97 fps, Intel Indeo Video. Click OK to continue.

  3. Click the Load video icon from the right side (the Image Library area) of the window and find the file ggate.avi in the workshop folder. Repeat this to load the file rock.avi.

  4. Click on Storyboard and then click on the thumbnail for the ggate.avi file to view it in the Preview window. Click the Play button to view the entire video clip.

  5. Move the trim bar to select last two thirds of this video clip.

  6. Hold the Shift key down and click the Play button to view the selected area.

  7. Click the Apply changes icon from the Edit area on the left side of the screen to update the clip.

  8. In the area at the bottom of the screen, make sure you are in Storyboard mode. Click and drag the thumbnail for the updated ggate.avi to the Storyboard.

  9. Next, select the thumbnail for rock.avi to view it in the Preview window. Use the trim bar to select the middle two thirds of this clip.

  10. Click the Apply changes icon to update the clip. Click and drag the thumbnail for the updated rock.avi to the Storyboard. Note that you can drag the thumbnails on the Storyboard to rearrange the order of the individual clips.

  11. Click on Effects and click the list on the right to select the Peel effect. Click this thumbnail to view this in the Preview window. From the Edit area on the left side of the screen, select the From the center option. Click on the Color button and select a light blue color. Click the Add to timeline icon and then click on the area of the Storyboard between the first and second clip.

  12. Switch to Timeline mode and click Title from the top of the screen. Click the Create or Edit Title clip icon, click in the Preview window and type Golden Gate Bridge. Select this text and click the Bold icon. Make the font slightly larger. Change the font if you want a different selection from the default.

  13. Click on Add to timeline icon. Select this from the Timeline and stretch it so that it fits all of the first clip, ggate.avi.

  14. Click on the Video track and drag the Preview bar to the beginning of the second clip.

  15. Click the Create or Edit Title clip icon, click on the Preview window, and type Alcatraz--The Rock. Click on the Add to timeline icon. Stretch it so that it fits all of the second clip, rock.avi.

  16. For this exercise, we will not add Voice or Music.

  17. Click on Finish. Click on the Make movie icon from Edit area.

  18. Save it the final product to the workshop folder and name it sanfran.avi. Click on Options and then General. Change the Frame rate to 15 frames/sec. Click OK and then click Save to continue.

  19. Play this file when completed to conclude this exercise. Note that you could save this project so that you could work on it and make changes later on.