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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are the best free open source and commercial software options for:

1) Video Editing

2) DVD Authoring (being able to create really nice, nested menus)

3) Combination of both #1 and #2

My budget would be less than $200 for all of the above. Any good options in that price range?

Or what about On Demand / Cloud licensing options? Would not be using this software all year around. In fact, I could imagine devoting around 3 months time, software license duration wise, to putting what I need together.

Sorry, Mac is not an option at this time. Sticking with Windows OS for now. Although a Linux dual-boot is a possibility. As a former Unix sysadmin, I'm comfortable with Linux. But don't currently run it on any of my home machines.
 

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I use Adobe Premiere Elements. It's got a heck of a learning curve but if you stick with a basic formula of how you like your videos to look than once you figure it out - it's easy. They like to update it every year but I only buy a new copy every 3-4 years. I'm still on Premiere Elements 9 and they are already on 13: http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere-elements/features.html

Oh, editing video (especially HD) tasks your processor like mad. You need to have a relatively fast computer.
 

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Hi Mike, go to the link and read the comments for suggestions mentioning other free video editors.
On the same site (but different page, (use "previous" link on left side) you can find where it gave away dvd creator software, and on that comment page will be suggestion for free alternative dvd authoring tools.

BTW how did your radio setup work out ?

Linky: http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/avs-video-editor-6-5/#comments
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Terra. I'll check it out! How does it compare with After Effects? Is that the Adobe's High End video editing software? (probably overkill for my needs).
I've got a relatively new HP Envy Desktop PC. This has a quad core AMD A10 processor and 12G of RAM (I can add more if required). Forget the HD speed, but probably a 7200 RPM drive. I can add a second 7200 RPM 2TB HD--would that make the video processing faster? e.g. read from one HD and write to the other. Video editing must hammer all a PC's resources--memory, CPU, and disk I/O.

http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/848252/HP-Envy-700-056700-216-Desktop/

I use Adobe Premiere Elements. It's got a heck of a learning curve but if you stick with a basic formula of how you like your videos to look than once you figure it out - it's easy. They like to update it every year but I only buy a new copy every 3-4 years. I'm still on Premiere Elements 9 and they are already on 13: http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere-elements/features.html

Oh, editing video (especially HD) tasks your processor like mad. You need to have a relatively fast computer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the link Bobby. I'll check it out.

For FM radio transmission, I operated in H power mode for the (relatively short) evening. Around 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Worked flawlessly / perfectly. Had one Sony pocket FM radio w/speaker feeding the "control signal" to my two Perfect Storm units (stacked them side by side vertically, so the one speaker could "feed" both microphones). The other Sony pocket FM receiver was fed to a guitar amp with a 1/8" male to 1/4" male cable I had on hand. Worked perfectly. Probably had the amp on volume level 2 and it was more than sufficient. The model of Sony I bought had great reception for a pocket radio--will likely pick up a third in case I want to buy another Perfect Storm and flash the side of my house facing the corner with lightning--presently just have the façade lit. Very effective and added a huge new dimension to my yard haunt this season. Thanks again for your help and patience:

Day:

Twilight:

Full darkness:



Night:

Didn't have a metal trash can around to try your trash can attenuation method. But if I see one cheap in a thrift store, I'll pick one up. Any other metal box type objects that could work as a good attenuator that I might be able to find used in a thrift shop? Or super cheap new, say, in a Habor Freight store.

Hi Mike, go to the link and read the comments for suggestions mentioning other free video editors.
On the same site (but different page, (use "previous" link on left side) you can find where it gave away dvd creator software, and on that comment page will be suggestion for free alternative dvd authoring tools.

BTW how did your radio setup work out ?

Linky: http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/avs-video-editor-6-5/#comments
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Come to think of it, another Perfect Storm and an FM radio-on-hand inside the house would get me an interior Brown Out effect while the Lightning Roars outside. With the house lights on when the thunder is absent. Or I may be able to do this without another Perfect Storm using a set-up / another gadget I already own, where I converted sound to light; then used the absence of sound to turn on my American DJ Snow Machine--this was to produce short blasts of snow during the very brief intermissions during my Gemmy Christmas Sound and Light show unit. I never did get the blasted thing to work, because the Snow Machine has a grounded plug. And my system for turning silence into Power On lacked a grounded input plug for the Snow Machine. I could have used a "cheater" conversion plug; but I don't want to burn my house down in the process / do anything unsafe.



Here is the project thread I'm talking about:
http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/133094-trigger-power-absence-sound-syncing-gemmy-light-show-snow-machine.html
 

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Mike give some thought to the Scubaboo (4-button learning) controllers. Plays mp3 (has ambient & trigger tracks), has 4 relays each good for 10A (1000+Watts). You could wire it with plain old extension cords. Use one relay's common terminal as Hot In, normally closed terminal powers inside lights, normally open feeds one of the outside light sets. The the same relay browns out inside as it flashes outside, and you still have 3 more relays. I had a heck of a time getting my frightprops fx-155 to sync the flash before the boom accurately, so I replaced it with a scubaboo at the last minute and was much happier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mike give some thought to the Scubaboo (4-button learning) controllers. Plays mp3 (has ambient & trigger tracks), has 4 relays each good for 10A (1000+Watts). You could wire it with plain old extension cords. Use one relay's common terminal as Hot In, normally closed terminal powers inside lights, normally open feeds one of the outside light sets. The the same relay browns out inside as it flashes outside, and you still have 3 more relays. I had a heck of a time getting my frightprops fx-155 to sync the flash before the boom accurately, so I replaced it with a scubaboo at the last minute and was much happier.
Thanks Bobby. Not much is coming up for "ScubaBoo" in Google searches. Is that the correct name and/or is the unit still in production? Did you have a vendor for this unit you'd recommend?
 

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Thanks Terra. I'll check it out! How does it compare with After Effects? Is that the Adobe's High End video editing software? (probably overkill for my needs).
I've got a relatively new HP Envy Desktop PC. This has a quad core AMD A10 processor and 12G of RAM (I can add more if required). Forget the HD speed, but probably a 7200 RPM drive. I can add a second 7200 RPM 2TB HD--would that make the video processing faster? e.g. read from one HD and write to the other. Video editing must hammer all a PC's resources--memory, CPU, and disk I/O.

http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/848252/HP-Envy-700-056700-216-Desktop/
Sorry i can't compare other video editing programs. I've stayed with the Adobe Premiere forever because of that learning curve. Once is enough for me.

As for your computer I consulted the hubby (computer nerd) and this is what he said. "Processor and memory sound fine. Hard drive not an issue. But, you need to make sure you have a powerful video card. Other than that you should be fine."

So, basically the processor, memory and the video card are the three that work really hard crunching data. My computer works the hardest when rendering video files. I sometimes think the damn thing is going to lift off the floor... The whole time I have my fingers crossed that it completes without catching fire ;)
 

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Hi Mike, have a look here for the controllers: http://www.halloweenforum.com/for-sale-by-merchants/124690-4-button-learning-prop-controller.html

As for video editing check out this program, it's free for 14 days. Learning curve is about 15 minutes. http://www.nchsoftware.com/videopad/
BTW on that page is a small link, where until Oct 31st they are offering a free version for home use. The link still worked tonight.

If you decide to go for a second hard disk, I really suggest you consider a solid state drive (SSD). My windows 8 laptop boots from complete shutdown in about 20 seconds, and I use Photoshop on 16 MP raw files all the time. A 1TB SSD is under $400 now, and I just saw a 240GB for $90. Move bulk storage to disc, and operations like OS and Video editing to SSD.

This is video from our Halloween, using video pad it took about 10 minutes to put the clips together and another 4 or 5 to output as 720p for youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMb978253aQ
 

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The thing to keep in mind is that all video editing software will be a challenge to learn when you don't have any video editing experience. If you've edited before, any software becomes easier to get a grip on. I like movie edit pro by magix. I don't use it to its fullest potential, but it's loaded with features and very reasonable considering.

http://www.amazon.com/MAGIX-Movie-E...qid=1414998916&sr=8-7&keywords=movie+edit+pro
 

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If you want to try the adobe stuff, they have a free fully functional 30 day trial on all their software (at least I'm pretty sure they do). I believe they've also moved to a subscription model for everything, so you can basically "rent" the software by the month. If you make a one year commitment, I think it's something like $50 for all their software, but if you want to go month-to-month, it's more like $75. But you can "rent" individual programs for $30 a month. May be too pricey but those free trials are fun to play with.

Also check out Lynda.com if you're looking for training in video editing. If you look around you can likely find a code for a free one month trial and they have video training on just about everything.
 
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