I'm an IT "professional" who sometimes has to deal with small video conversion / video cutting projects, and I'd like to learn "the right way" to do this. Every time I search Google, there's always a disaster for weird, low-maturity trialware, or random forums threads from 3-4 years ago indicating various antiquated method to do it.
The big question is the following: What are the "general" guidelines and tools to transcode video into some efficient (lossless?) intermediary, for editing purposes, for the purpose of eventually re-encoding it after?
It seems to me like even the simplest of formats and tasks are a disaster of endless trial & error, or expertise only known by hardened experts who have a swiss army kife of weird conversion tools that they use, almost as if mounting an attack against the project.
Here are a few cases in point:
- Simple VOB files extracted from DVD footage can't be imported into Adobe Premiere directly.
- Virtualdub is an old software people keep recommending but doesn't seem to support newer formats.
- I don't even know how to tell with certainty which codecs a video has, and weather the image is interlaced or not, and what resolution and codecs I'm dealing with.
- Choosing a wrong interlace option which diminishes quality
- Choosing a wrong pixel aspect ratio (stretches the image)
- Choosing a wrong "project type" in Premiere causing footage to require scaling
- Being forced to use some weird program that will have any number of negative effects
What I'm looking for:
- Books or "Real knowledge" on format conversions, recognized tools, etc. that aren't some random forum guides on how to deal with video formats.
- Workflow guidelines on identifying a format going from one format to another without problems as mentioned above.
- Documentation on what programs like Adobe Premiere can and can't do with regards to formats, so that I don't use a wrench as a hammer.
How should you convert or "prepare" a video file to ensure it will be supported by Premiere for editing?
Is premiere a suitable program to handle cropping, encoding, or should other tools be used for this, when making a video montage from a variety of source formats?
What are some good books to read that specifically deal with converting videos that use any number of codecs?