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Does Premier Elements Not Recognize LOSSLESS Codecs?

Community Beginner ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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My project is to capture VHS (through a Hauppauage USB device) using VirtualDub, load into an older version of Premier Element, edit, burn to DVD.

 

For VirtualDub, I downloaded and installed lossless video codecs Huffyuv, Lagarith and UTVideo, as well as lossy H.264. My INTENDED workflow was to capture with the AVI container (what VirtualDub does) using lossless compression such as Huffyuv and PCM uncompressed audio. My captures, as they appear in VirtualDub or VLC media player, are ok.

When I load the resultant AVI in Premier Elements, there is no video track and no audio track.

 

If I recapture using Huffyuv and a compressed audio codec such as AAC, the resultant AVI will load the audio into Premier Elements, but no video.

 

What Conclusions?

 

Is it so that Premier Elements does not recognize Huffyuv as a video codec? Would the same be true of Lagarith and UTVideo? And does Premier Elements not recognize uncompressed (PCM) audio?

 

If intending to edit in Premier Elements, must I capture VHS using H.264 lossy video codec and a compressed audio codec such as AAC?

 

Thank you.

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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A few versions ago I experimented with a Lagarith codec and it worked.   Files were huge and I saw no benefit. 

 

My understanding is that Adobe's intent with Premiere Elements is to provide editing for footage from common cameras and their typical codecs.   Based on posts here, capture and conversion systems often use less common codecs and Premiere Elements will balk.  Even file formats using H.264 from non camera systems can have unusual parts in them. 

 

If it were me, I would try the H.264 choices and test to see how well they work with Premiere Elements.   Lossless codecs may not be worth the trouble.   In theory they may produce a different level of quality, but I doubt it will actually be visible to the standard eyeball on the typical screen.      

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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Mr. Bill Sprague:

 

Thank you for your response to my question. In light of my experiences so far (stated or implied in my previous question), could you please guide me in the following:

 

At one time, VirtualDub captured and saved only as AVI. VirtualDub2 can now also, alternatively, save a project file as MP4.

 

My understanding is that every video ENCODING degrades the video; therefore, one should keep re-encoding to the minimum possible. It is also my understanding that the H.264 codec is not at home in the AVI container (it may be a bit of a kludge).

 

Following your suggestion, I will try capturing my VHS into VirtualDub using H.264 compression. I suppose I can then do one of the following:

 

A) Save the VirtiualDub capture project file as AVI (VirtualDub’s primary format). Use Handbrake to convert the AVI to MP4 (which I have read that Premier Elements fully supports), load into Premier Elements then edit; or

 

B) Use VirtiualDub2, save the capture project file as MP4 (handbrake not needed), load into Premier Elements then edit.

 

While at first glance it may seem that “B” above is the obvious choice ---- no intermediate re-encoding by Handbrake needed ---- perhaps that is not so. It might be that IN ANY EVENT VirtualDub2 captures as AVI, and then, upon saving, if one chooses to save as MP4, VirtualDub2 re-encodes the capture as MP4.

 

To add one more potential element to the mix: IF Handbrake can convert a Huffyuv- or Lagarith-encoded AVI video to H.264, then, for archival purposes, it might be worthwhile to have VirtualDub capture as AVI using Huffyuv or Lagarith, and archive it. Then use Handbrake to “ready it” for Premier Elements by converting a copy to MP4 / H.264.

 

Any guidance would be appreciated; thank you.

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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My understanding is the same.  Anytime you re-encode a video there is loss.   But, how much?  My experience is that it will not be visible.  Yes, effects, color grading, etc will be very visible, but not "picture quality".  

 

I know nothing about VirtualDub.  

 

MP4 and AVI are 'containers'.  There is nothing that says Premiere Elements will edit all MP4 files or AVI files.  Both can have codecs that don't work.  

 

You are using a combination of tools that few can duplicate.  In other words, you alone will have to try out different workflows until you like one of them.   

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Community Expert ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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Elements does not support H.264 in an avi container nor cineform or prores.

It does support UT have not tested lagarith or huffyuv.

If you want to edit old footage, lossless is the way to go.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 06, 2021 Feb 06, 2021

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Ms. Ann Bens:

 

Thank you very much for your suggestion that I try video codec UT Video.

 

I have some 1980s VHS tapes that I want to convert to digital, edit in Premier Elements 11, then burn to DVDs and to MP4s.

 

Due to the VHS source and amount of editing expected, I have spent months trying to figure out how to capture and compress the VHS material LOSSLESSLY using VirtualDub. Neither HuffYUV nor Lagarith video codecs worked in Premier Elements. Furthermore, if I was resigned to capture and compressing using H.264, you confirmed that Premier Elements does not like to see H.264 in the AVI container. That would mean that, for Premier Elements, I needed an intermediate re-encoding of AVI to MP4 (violating the “do as little re-encoding as possible” rule).

 

Well, I just did a VirtualDub capture using the UT Video (601) video codec, in the AVI container. BINGO; it loaded into Premier Elements and ran smoothly. The only problem ---- easily remedied ---- was that placing the video clip on the timeline did not automatically force Premier Elements’ Project Settings to the 720x480 of my video. I had to go back and manually set the Project Settings and then load the video file.

 

So, besides thanking you for the suggestion of the UT Video codec (not found in the Premier Elements documentation), I have one related question: I am presently aware that Premier Elements (and perhaps other programs as well) does not like to work with a h.264 codec in the AVI container. Do you have any similar warnings or suggestions with respect to the UT Video codec in the AVI container, in Premier Elements? Am I good to go, or is it a “try it and see” situation?

 

Thank you for your help.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 07, 2021 Feb 07, 2021

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Lagarith also works in elements. Cannot seem to install Huffyuv on my system.

Its always trial and error to figure out what works best for you.

 

If it were me I would get a firewire card and an av converter (or camera with with analog in) and go for dv avi.

 

 

 

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