My 12 year old wants to learn how to edit videos - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, here is my situation. My 12 year old son, wants to learn how to edit videos, to make his videos look decent. I've got a couple of problems when it comes to this. First off, I don't have any video editing software on my PC. Secondly, it's my PC, and I use it quite a bit, and I know that video editing can be very time consuming. I kinda want to get him his own PC, so he can edit the videos in his own room, etc, etc.

Problem is, I'm not interested in spending that much money on this thing. We have an extra computer in the house, but it's from 2005. I think it has an Athlon 64 3400 or something like that inside of it. Probably not want you want to edit videos. My wife thinks that we really shouldn't spend much of any money on this, because what if he isn't really into it, and doesn't follow throw with his plans to get really into editing the videos and such. She thinks that he should just be able to use the old Compaq PC from 2005. I've told her that it's an old computer that really can't run modern video editing type programs.

So, I've been looking on Craigslist for older computers. Like computers from 2008 or 2009.

There is a guy that is selling this:


Dell XPS 630i

Windows 7 Home Premium(clean installation)
Intel Core 2 quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83 GHz
8 GB (4x2GB) DDR2 Memory
1 TB (2x500GB) Hard Drive
CD/DVD R/W DL 48x/16x
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 3450 512MB 64-bit GDDR2
Microsoft Wireless Multimedia Keyboard and Wireless Optical Mouse

Very good condition!

$275 or best offer!




I thought about offering this guy like $175 for it. The thing is, I would still need the video editing software, and I'd also probably have to upgrade the video card.


My questions are basically this:


1. What video editing software should I use, considering that I'm going to have to learn how to use it, and then teach it to a 12 year old.

2. What is the oldest computer I could get away with, in terms of running the software at a "decent" level of performance ?

Any other tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 01:19 PM
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First, what camcorder is being used to create videos? This is important. For example, if the videos are 108060p an older computer won't even be able to play them. Surprsingly any *new* cheap computer with an Intel chip can, and you can edit with it. For example, a new, netbook with an Atom processor can play and edit 108060p videos, and it costs $199.

Windows comes with free editing software - Windows LiveMovieMaker, that now can input almost any kind of video (including 108060 AVCHD). So, get the cheapest latest-vintage Windows, Intel-processor machine. Do not get an old model, period.
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post #3 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 01:26 PM
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Windows Movie Maker, which is free, is a good starter program. The big names have 30 day trials that can be downloaded for free.

What type of video files does your camcorder produce? That's the determining factor of whether an older computer will choke on them or not. If it's just for practice he can record low resolution video so the computer will likely handle it. IMHO, Windows 7 64 bit version and a quad processor is a must for modern HD video editing.
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post #4 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Right now, he has a Sony Bloggie. I think it does mp4 720p videos. It's just a little cheapie thing that he can use, it's small and portable. He's mostly just goofing around with his brother, or his friends and cousins.

I actually have tried Windows Movie Maker, and it works pretty decently on "my" PC. However, I couldn't seem to get it to work with my Compaq from 2005. That Compaq has Windows XP on it, and I think you need Windows 7 to use Windows Movie Maker. I'm just not sure that the compaq could handle video editing of something that is using 720p video, no matter how amateur it is.


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Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

So, get the cheapest latest-vintage Windows, Intel-processor machine. Do not get an old model, period.

That's the problem though. We don't really want to spend a bunch of $$$ on this deal at all, because again, we don't really know how serious he's going to be with this. It could just be a passing phase, and then we are stuck with another PC that we don't really need that badly. That's why I was looking to buy something used of Craigslist. The big thing about buying something used off Craigslist, is that it's going to have a case and Windows and a power supply, etc, etc. Anytime you build your own PC, no matter how budget minded you are, you're going to have to drop money into it to get the power supply, case, etc, etc. You can go with a really cheap motherboard and processor combo, etc, etc, but the problem is, all the stuff starts to really add up.

The budget for this project is like $200 ish. We still need to buy a desk for him that he can use in his room. This isn't even counting that aspect of it. That's why if I got that computer that I listed above, for like $175, it already has Windows 7, and it already has a quad processor. Yeah, it's an older processor, and it has the slower memory, etc, etc, but $175 is $175. If I try to buy something from Best Buy, you're talking at least $500. Then I still have the desk to buy, and what if he loses interest in this is a couple of months ? I have no problem spending some good money on this, if I really knew he was going to stick with it long term, but who knows... I kinda want to just get his feet wet, and if he's really into it, then move on from there.
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post #5 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 03:44 PM
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I second Windows Movie Maker. Very easy to use, free and a great start.

Standard Definition Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy
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post #6 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 05:06 PM
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I highly recommend Sony Vegas Platinum editing software for $45:
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MSPMS12000-Movie-Studio-Platinum/dp/B008MIMHDU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354838878&sr=8-1&keywords=vegas+platinum+12

It has FX, transitions, stabilization, coloring, audio fx..plus a lot more. There is also a "show me how" tutorial function where it will walk you through the steps of many of the program's operations. When in that mode, it won't let you continue until you get it right as it highlights/draws a flashing box on what your supposed to click next.

You can download the free trial, fully functional for 30 days:
http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/download/trials/moviestudiope


If you already have an operating system on a disk, like XP or windows 7...you could buy a barebones kit and put together yourself:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/category_slc.asp?page=1&Nav=|c:332|&Sort=4&Recs=10


And there are a bunch of deals on pre-assembled PC's with operating systems...

For example, this Lenevo desktop... $305 after coupon:

Desktop:
http://www.staples.com/Lenovo-H430-57310096-Desktop-PC/product_985091

Coupon:
http://reg.e.staples.com/c/s/tagfrm/hBQvlZFB7SHGCB8vibUNs$nc-W8/coupon.html?n=8442&COUPON_1=94835

Definitely take a look at Fat Wallet and slickdeals.net two deal sites before you buy a used PC.
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post #7 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 05:37 PM
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Great question, I was about to ask the same for an opinion on a good video editing software. I just ordered my first camcorder (a canon m500 yet to arrive)
I was looking to start from scratch on learning a good video editing software that is easy to learn. From what I see here the free windows program seems like the best bet, so based on that I think I will start directly with the windows video program and not even bother with the canon editing software that will come with the camera (any opinions?)
at my age (I'm a bit older than 12 LOL) I only want to deal with one learning curve so I would like to start with the best option an grow with that, any further input ?

My opinion on your computer question ......
I'm no computer expert but given your budget parameters why not try the dell or hp on line refurbished outlets. As stated by others here look for the least expensive machine that will handle what you need. It might be slightly more $ than you want to spend but at least you get a warranty and access to some tech support.
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post #8 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 06:28 PM
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I know a 2006 model Macintosh with Intel Core 2 and only 1 gigabyte of memory can edit videos with iMovie '06. . So I think a 2006 model PC should be able to edit video using an older version of Windows Movie Maker.

I edit video all the time using the latest version of iMovie (iMovie '11) with my 2007 model Macintosh that has Intel Core 2 and only 2 GB of memory. The camera you shoot with is irrevalent because because even if the camera records video in AVCHD it can be quickly converted to an .mov file, .mpeg4, avi or whatever else you want it to be using inexpensive video converter programs that have free trial periods.
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post #9 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 07:40 PM
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Two years ago my granddaughters said they wanted to "do video". One is now 10, the other 12. I buy the equipment and 'coach' on how to use it. They both have learned a lot and developed skills beyond my expectations. Last Christmas their gift to me was a well done documentary on how Grandma makes beef stew. They used Windows Movie Maker.

School systems are constrained on what they can teach. Certainly "video" is all but impossible at the grade school level because of equipment costs. Yet, the kids are surrounded by video in every form. They love it.

Do what you have to do to get your kid something that works.

Bill
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post #10 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 07:57 PM
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Vegas Platinum for $45 is a good deal. The only thing it lacks is "Video scopes: WFM/Vector/Parade/Histogram" for precise levels adjustment. http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/moviestudiope/compare Will likely be faster than WMM. Not sure whether modern Vegas apps are 64-bit only (Pro versions are). In this case it won't work on 2005 machine. That machine is plenty fast for DV and maybe HDV. I believe that with better graphics card it can handle AVCHD, modern Vegas versions can use GPU at least for final rendering, not sure about timeline scrubbing.
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post #11 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

"Video scopes: WFM/Vector/Parade/Histogram"
What is that?

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post #12 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Couldn't I just get this for $175:


Dell XPS 630i

Windows 7 Home Premium(clean installation)
Intel Core 2 quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83 GHz
8 GB (4x2GB) DDR2 Memory
1 TB (2x500GB) Hard Drive
CD/DVD R/W DL 48x/16x
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 3450 512MB 64-bit GDDR2
Microsoft Wireless Multimedia Keyboard and Wireless Optical Mouse


Then get Vegas Platinum for $45...


That would run me $220, which is do-able for an experiment into editing video. Also, worst case scenario, I should be able to sell the PC off for around $150, if I had to.


I could potentially spend $80 on a video card, if need be, bumping it up to $300. Any more than that, and I might as well build him a cheapo rig.


The biggest problem with building a new rig, is that you have to get Windows as well. So, you add in the costs for all the parts and such, and you still have to pay for Windows. At that point, trying to build anything under $400 is nearly impossible.
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post #13 of 20 Old 12-07-2012, 01:48 PM
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Bill, histogram is invaluable to correctly set black and white levels. You can try eyeing it, but for DVD you need very specific black and white levels to ensure the maximum possible contrast yet to preserve all blacks and whites.

Vectorscope is useful for checking color, whether it skews into certain direction and whether it is broadcast legal. Not very important for amateurs.

I'd say if Sony added histogram into cheaper consumer versions of Vegas there would be very little point for me to use Pro version. I don't use other features of Pro. Well, I used XDCAM EX import when I had the JVC HM100 camera.

1cf7ca4a_vbattach199561.jpeg

Anthony1, this seems like a very decent machine. Is Windows 64-bit or 32-bit? I would not go for 32-bit version these days. Also, Vegas Pro went 64-bit only.
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post #14 of 20 Old 12-07-2012, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

Couldn't I just get this for $175:
Dell XPS 630i
Windows 7 Home Premium(clean installation)
Intel Core 2 quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83 GHz
8 GB (4x2GB) DDR2 Memory
1 TB (2x500GB) Hard Drive
CD/DVD R/W DL 48x/16x
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 3450 512MB 64-bit GDDR2
Microsoft Wireless Multimedia Keyboard and Wireless Optical Mouse
Then get Vegas Platinum for $45...
That would run me $220, which is do-able for an experiment into editing video. Also, worst case scenario, I should be able to sell the PC off for around $150, if I had to.
I could potentially spend $80 on a video card, if need be, bumping it up to $300. Any more than that, and I might as well build him a cheapo rig.
The biggest problem with building a new rig, is that you have to get Windows as well. So, you add in the costs for all the parts and such, and you still have to pay for Windows. At that point, trying to build anything under $400 is nearly impossible.

I was suggesting build your own only if you already had an operating system disk. Like I said, go to Fat Wallet dot-com and slickdeals.net. They have links to PC deals everyday in the hot deals section. (They won't let you link those deal sites here.)

You can get a machine with Windows 7 or 8, quad core, decent graphics/RAM for $300..if you look. Buying used is risky, especially if you can get new for close to the same price, because you don't know the real history of the machine and it might eventually show problems. Then it was a waste to buy. At least new will have a year warranty and better resale value - if that's what you might eventually do.

Vegas Platinum 12 can run on 32 or 64 bit ...but almost all the new machines are going to have a 64-bit architecture. If you can, look to get 64 processor, anyway, as to future-proof the machine in that 64-bit is really becoming the norm now.

EDIT: Just found this deal:

Next Gen AMD Quad-Core A8-5600K Accelerated 3.6GHz 4MB L2 Cache Processor
8GB PC3-12800 DDR3-1600 SDRAM memory, expandable to 32GB
1TB 7200RPM Serial ATA hard drive
SuperMulti DVD Burner
Desktop Video Graphics AMD Radeon HD 7560D
Windows 8

HP Pavilion p6-2326s @ Staples valid today 12/7 and 12/8 $399, with coupon $299:
http://www.staples.com/HP-Pavilion-p6-2378-Desktop-PC/product_990649?PID=361116&CID=AFF%253A361116%253A361116%253A10422268&cm_ite=Ongoing+-+Staples+Basic&cm_mmc=CJ-_-361116-_-361116-_-10422268&SID=FWbe1b6g&cm_pla=361116&AID=10422268&cm_cat=358129&cm_ven=CJ&storeId=10001

Coupon:
http://reg.e.staples.com/c/s/tagfrm/hBQwaIGB7SHGCB8vmLDCWXqvzhu/coupon.html?storeId=10001&AID=10422268&cm_mmc=CJ-_-3640155-_-3640155-_-10422268&SID=skim115X178X9df7bba98a75fb3329cd7381164d1acf&n=8447&COUPON_1=74570&PID=552179
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post #15 of 20 Old 12-07-2012, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

Bill, histogram is invaluable to correctly set black and white levels. You can try eyeing it, but for DVD you need very specific black and white levels to ensure the maximum possible contrast yet to preserve all blacks and whites.
Thanks, I had not seen anything like that for video. I'm beginning to learn similar for photos in Lightroom.

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post #16 of 20 Old 12-07-2012, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

Bill, histogram is invaluable to correctly set black and white levels. You can try eyeing it, but for DVD you need very specific black and white levels to ensure the maximum possible contrast yet to preserve all blacks and whites.
Thanks, I had not seen anything like that for video. I'm beginning to learn similar for photos in Lightroom.
You can do it with Vegas too. Copy frame into clipboard, paste into PhotoShop, adjust levels, then convert accordingly between [0,1] and [0,255] (I believe Vegas uses 255 as white, while Photoshop uses 1 as white). If you don't have a lot of shots this would work, but tedious. It is much better to have levels checker right there in the video editing app.
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post #17 of 20 Old 12-08-2012, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I ended up getting a brand new desktop from Staples. They had a deal on a Lenovo that was hard to beat. This particular model normally sells for $599.99, but they had it for $100 off. Then, there is also this coupon for $100 of anything that has Windows 8 and is priced $399 or over. So I actually got it for $399.99. Getting a PC with an i5 3330 for $400 is a pretty good deal. At least it seems to be a pretty decent deal.

Lenovo H430-57311430 Desktop PC



•Intel Core i5-3330 3GHz
•8GB DDR3
•1TB Hard Drive
•Integrated Intel HD graphics
•DVD Burner
•Windows 8



I need to look for a cheap graphics card, that doesn't use that much power (the Lenovo probably has a crappy power supply), and then it should be a pretty strong PC for my son to use.
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post #18 of 20 Old 12-09-2012, 07:24 AM
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Excellent deal and choice. You do NOT need a graphics card - the new Intel chipset specifically has H264 video hardware accelerated decoding and encoding, and new editors take advantage of that. A graphics card is esential for games and might give slightly better performance for video editing, but the new processors have diminished this advantage for editing h264 (AVCHD, MP4) video. Save your money for now.
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post #19 of 20 Old 12-09-2012, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

Well, I ended up getting a brand new desktop from Staples. They had a deal on a Lenovo that was hard to beat. This particular model normally sells for $599.99, but they had it for $100 off. Then, there is also this coupon for $100 of anything that has Windows 8 and is priced $399 or over. So I actually got it for $399.99. Getting a PC with an i5 3330 for $400 is a pretty good deal. At least it seems to be a pretty decent deal.
Lenovo H430-57311430 Desktop PC
•Intel Core i5-3330 3GHz
•8GB DDR3
•1TB Hard Drive
•Integrated Intel HD graphics
•DVD Burner
•Windows 8
I need to look for a cheap graphics card, that doesn't use that much power (the Lenovo probably has a crappy power supply), and then it should be a pretty strong PC for my son to use.

Nice find. Everything is self-contained with the correct power supply for that machine.
All you need is the editing software.
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post #20 of 20 Old 12-09-2012, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

Ok, here is my situation. My 12 year old son, wants to learn how to edit videos, to make his videos look decent.......My questions are basically this:
1. What video editing software should I use, considering that I'm going to have to learn how to use it, and then teach it to a 12 year old.

I am embarrassed by how much I spent on a new video editing laptop! You did well.

The suggestions for software have been good. My granddaughter was 11 last year when she put together a 5 minute documentary on how "grandma' makes beef stew. She used Windows Live Movie Maker. It was a Christmas present and a sort of "thank you" for helping her learn how to make videos. "Beef Stew" has a music track, titles, transitions and effects. It brought tears to my eyes.

I've been learning a lot about how my now 10 and 12 year old granddaughters learn complex skills- like video and photo editing. The software that has allowed them to learn the most (and quickly) is Adobe Premier Elements (and Photoshop Elements for photos). They are very complete tools. I won't say they are better than the other 20 or so choices, but the learning resources are off the chart.

When we started I expected my granddaughters would learn sequentially -- start at the beginning, learn the simple first and work towards the more complex. I was wrong. They learn randomly -- I want to try this before we try that. If they could see each element work, they would master it quickly, regardless of the learning order.

So the trick is being able to show them.

That's where the learning resources come in. Of course Adobe makes sure there are free tutorials on "Adobe TV" and there are an amazing number of amateur YouTubes. I think better are the courses from video2brain or lynda.com that play on the computer. Think of them as an organized collection of short demos with coaching. For my granddaughters it was as important to see what was possible and then learn it. "I didn't know you could do that!" was a constant comment. Fun for me was to say, "Did you know you could ......".

Rewarding for me is watching them learn "visual' communication. They have become quite good at figuring out what they want story they want to tell, getting the clips and putting them together effectively.

After now two years of wonderful success with my beautiful, charming, polite, brilliant and drop dead gorgeous granddaughters, my recommendation is that you buy this:
http://www.amazon.com/Adobe-Photoshop-Premiere-Elements-11/dp/B0093FRO7A/ref=sr_1_2?s=software&ie=UTF8&qid=1355072989&sr=1-2&keywords=premier+elements+11

..and this:
http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Adobe-Premiere-Elements-11/dp/0321898354/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355073179&sr=1-1&keywords=video2brain+premiere.

And, when he shows some photo interest, this:
http://www.amazon.com/Adobe-Photoshop-Elements-11-Learn/dp/0321898362/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355073433&sr=1-1&keywords=video2brain+photoshop+elements+11

Have fun with your son. You are providing him a wonderful opportunity that most 12 year old kids will never see.

Bill
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