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VIDEO EDITING‌‌

Mixcraft includes powerful video editing features that let you:

Add a musical soundtrack to a video.

Add sound effects to a video.

Create slideshows of still images.

Add titles, lyrics, or credits to your videos.

Sync video to sound with millisecond accuracy.

Export a project to video for burning DVDs or Internet upload.

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LOADING VIDEOS

Mixcraft supports AVI and WMV video formats. To load any other format, it will need to be converted using a third-party video conversion app.

To add a video, click Video>Add a Video File... in the Main Window menus and navigate to the video to be loaded. The video will be placed at the current Caret location. Videos can also be dragged and dropped into the Main Clip Grid from a Windows directory. You don’t even need to create a Video Track; if the project doesn’t have one, Mixcraft will create it.

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VIDEO PREVIEW WINDOW

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This Video Preview window displays the video at the current playback position, including text and any currently active effects. It can be toggled on and off by clicking Show Video Window or Hide Video Window in the Video Track. The Video Preview can be moved at will by grabbing and dragging its title bar. This is especially handy if your computer setup uses two displays.

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The Video Preview window can be resized by selecting Video>Set Preview Window Size

in the Main Window menus.

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ADDING PHOTOS/IMAGES

Photos or images can be added by clicking Video>Add a Video File... in the Main Window menus. This opens a file dialog which allows loading of an image or multiple images. The images will be placed at the Caret location. Images can also be dragged and dropped into the Main Clip Grid from a Windows directory.The following image types are supported:

.JPG

.BMP

.PNG

.GIF

To add more than one image at a time, select multiple photos or images when adding. The images will be added to the video track; each one will last five seconds and overlap the next by one second.

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EDITING

The amount of time a photo is displayed can be altered by moving the mouse to the left or right edge of the clip and dragging horizontally to change the duration.

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Entire clips can be moved by dragging the title bar. All standard edit commands apply to images, such as copy, paste, linking, splitting, etc.

As with audio clips, overlapping a video or image clip automatically creates a crossfade.

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ALIGN VIDEO CLIPS

This allows easy tempo syncing of images or videos as well as precisely timed slide shows.

Click the Video>Align Clips... in the Main Window menus. This opens one of the following dialogs depending on whether Mixcraft is currently set to Time or Beats mode on the Timeline.

In Time mode:

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In Beats mode:

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DURATION

Sets the length of clips.

Fitting To Audio Length

If you have a lot of audio, such as a song or several songs, and you’d like the images to span the length of the audio, click the Fit to Audio Length. This disables the duration field, resizes, and aligns clips to create a slide show of all the images spaced over the duration of the audio.

Adjust Video Clip Lengths

If there are video clips in the project, their length will not be changed by default. In order to crop the right hand side of video clips, make sure to check the Adjust Video Clip Lengths checkbox.

START TIME

Sets the start location of clip.

OVERLAP

Causes clips to overlap and fade crossfade.

ALL CLIPS/SELECTED CLIPS ONLY

Use these to select which clips are affected. All Clips applies alignment to all clips in a project whereas Selected Clips Only affects only currently highlighted clips.

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VIDEO EFFECTS

Video effects can be added to alter a video’s appearance over time. You can fade in and out, add blur, transition to gray scale and much more. On the Video track, click the automation button.

Before effects are applied:

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After effects are applied:

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VIDEO EFFECTS AUTOMATION DISPLAY

Adding Mixcraft’s video effects is very similar to automating audio parameters. Multiple video effects lanes can be displayed simultaneously. To view or hide video effects, click the Video Track’s Toggle Automation button.

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If a Video Track has no video effects, a single automation lane opens displaying the Lightness effect. If a track has existing video effects, you’ll see all automation lanes with views currently enabled (using the + and X buttons described below).

The Toggle Automation button only hides and displays the video effects automation lanes, but has no affect on automation playback. In other words, video effects are active even if the lanes are hidden with Toggle Automation button.

+ BUTTON

Adds a new video effects automation lane to the track.

- BUTTON

Hides a video effects automation lane.

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SELECTING A VIDEO EFFECT

To choose an effect, click on the drop-down menu in the tracklist.

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VIDEO EFFECTS LIST

Lightness

Lightness (High CPU) Grayscale

Blur

Posterize (High Pass) Low Pass

Emboss

XOR (Invert/Negative)

Sepia

Antique (Light) Antique (Heavy)

Red Channel Strength Green Channel Strength Blue Channel Strength Red Filter

Green Filter Blue Filter

Invert Red Channel Invert Green Channel Invert Blue Channel XOR High Pass

XOR Low Pass Flip Horizontal Kaleidoscope Right Kaleidoscope Left

Once you’ve chosen an effect, click to add points to the automation line to increase or decrease the intensity of effects over time.

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ADDING AND EDITING VIDEO EFFECTS AUTOMATION

To add automation points, click on the automation line and drag the point up and down. The position of newly created automation points will conform to the the current snap setting. The global snap value applies when adding and editing automation points. If you experience problems moving an envelope point to a specific location, remember to change the Snap setting to Snap Off.

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To move a horizontal section of the automation line, hold down the SHIFT key while dragging. The cursor will turn into an up/down arrow.

Dragging an automation point over other automation points will cause them to be “overrun” and deleted upon mouse release.

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FINE TUNING AND DELETING AUTOMATION POINTS

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EDIT EXACT VALUE

To precisely set automation point values, right-click it and choose Edit Exact Value. The dialog box below opens and allows exact settings for automation points.

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DELETE POINT

To delete an automation point, right-click on and choose Delete Point.

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CUTTING, COPYING, AND PASTING AUTOMATION DATA

As with audio automation, video effect automation data can be cut, copied, and pasted.

CUT

To cut a section of Video Effect automation, highlight the section to be cut by clicking and dragging over it. Now select CTRL+X either in Mixcraft’s file menu, or by right- clicking the mouse. Paste the cut automation data to a new location by positioning the Caret marker in the desired new location, then selecting CTRL+V either in Mixcraft’s file menu, or by right-clicking.

COPY

To copy, highlight the section of Video Effect automation you’d like copied by clicking and dragging over the area to be copied. Now select CTRL+C either in Mixcraft’s file menu, or by right-clicking. Position the Caret marker in the desired copy location, and paste by selecting CTRL+V either in Mixcraft’s file menu, or by right-clicking.

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ADDING AND EDITING TEXT

Use the Text feature to add titles, lyrics, captions, and more.

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To open the Edit Text window, click Video>Add Text… in the Main Window menus. Opening the Edit Text window automatically creates a Text Clip and places it in the grid at the current Caret location. Text Clips are placed on the Text Track. This is a child track of the Video Track. To view or hide the Text Track, click the + or - sign on the left side of the Video Track.

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The Text Track also has a Mute button. This won’t make on-screen words any quieter, but it disables the display of text in the project.

To edit a Text Clip, double-click it, or right-click and choose Edit Text...

THE TEXT OBJECT

The Text Object is the field within the red rectangle where text is contained. To resize the Text Object, click and drag on the small red squares; the cursor turns into arrows.

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To move the entire Text Object, grab one of the red lines (away from the red squares), click and drag. The cursor will turn into a hand when in position.

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SETTING TEXT FONT, SIZE, AND COLOR

The font, size, and color settings can be set using the toolbar at the bottom of the Edit Text window.

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The font, size, and color settings can be specified per character. In other words, every letter or number in a title can have its own individual settings. Simply highlight the characters you’d like to modify and make changes. (Go easy on this one - you can make a real mess!)

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OPACITY TAB

The Opacity Tab changes the text, colors, background colors, and transparency level.

Text/Background Opacity Sliders

Moving the Opacity sliders adjusts the text and background from transparent to a solid color.

Selecting a Text Color

To select text color, click the Text Color button and click a color

square. You can also click the mouse anywhere in the color spectrum display, or if you’re familiar with RGB color numbering, numbers may be entered in the

RGB fields, then click OK. Custom colors can be saved for future use by clicking

Add To Custom Colors.

Selecting a Background Color

To select a color for the text background, click the Background Color button and choose a color as specified above.

Note: The text color setting at the bottom of the toolbar and the Text Color… button both perform the same function.

TEXT TAB

These parameters specify text placement within the Text Object as well as masking and drop shadow options

Orientation

Choose whether the text justifies left, center, or right, and top, center, or bottom.

Background Check

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A text background color can be very helpful for making the text easy to read on an overly bright or dark video images.

Margins

Percentage setting for vertical and horizontal margins.

Treat Text As Mask

Creates a solid color screen fill with the underlying video bleeding through the text characters.

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Drop Shadow

Adds a black drop shadow to text characters with choices of small, medium, and large.

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FADE TAB

Text can be faded in and out over time using the Fade tab. Check the Fade In or Fade Out checkboxes, then set the desired fade duration. As a reference, one second = 1000 milliseconds.

MOTION TAB

The Motion tab provides intro and outro text animation.

TYPES OF ANIMATION

Adds movement to text. Start Animation and End Animation lets you specify separate animation behavior for the start and end of Text Clips.

None

Text does not animate. Not very exciting.

Move

Choose whether text enters from left, right, top, or bottom of the frame as specified by the Direction drop-down menu. Enter the animation length using the Duration field.

Reveal

Text characters reveal themselves in the specified according to the Direction drop-down choice. Enter the animation length using the Duration field.

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EDITING TEXT CLIP SIZE

Resizing a Text Clip alters how long the text is displayed. To change the the size a text clip, click on the clip’s left or right edge and drag horizontally. The cursor turns into left/right arrows when hovering on the clip’s edge.

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ADDING AND EDITING SCROLLING TEXT

Scrolling Text functions much the same as regular text, but scrolling text automatically moves from the bottom to the top of the screen (hence the clever name). Scrolling text is ideal for creating credits.

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To add Scrolling Text, click Video>Add Scrolling Text… in the Main Window menus. Opening the Edit Text window automatically creates a Scrolling Text Clip and places it in the grid at the current Caret location on the Video Track’s Text child track.

To edit a Scrolling Text Clip, double-click it, or right-click and choose Edit Text...

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All editing functionality and tabs work the same as when editing static text, but because Scrolling Text inherently moves from the bottom to the top of the screen, the Motion tab is removed from the Edit Text window.

ALTERING SCROLL SPEED (AKA, “SLOW YOUR SCROLL”)

The scroll rate of Scrolling Text clips is automatically adjusted dependent on the clip size. To slow down or speed up the rate of scrolling, move the mouse over the left or right edge of the clip and resize it horizontally. The cursor will turn into left/right arrows when hovering on the clip’s edge.

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USING LANES WITH VIDEO AND TEXT TRACKS

As with Audio Tracks and Virtual Instrument Tracks, multiple lanes can be created for Video and Text tracks. To create or delete lanes, highlight a Video Track or Text Track and right-click and select Lanes>Add or Lanes>Delete. Lanes can also be added with the key shortcut ALT+L.

Remember that only one video stream can play at any given time; if

lanes are used, the clip in the uppermost lane will have playback pr

Text and Scrolling Text clips are not subject to “one-at-a-time” limit Scrolling Text clips in multiple lanes will all play simultaneously.

Remember that only one video stream can play at any given time; if

lanes are used, the clip in the uppermost lane will have playback pr

Text and Scrolling Text clips are not subject to “one-at-a-time” limit Scrolling Text clips in multiple lanes will all play simultaneously.

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multiple video iority.

ations. Text and

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RENDERING EDITED VIDEOS

Once the editing of a video is completed, it needs to be output to a single file for playback. Because videos typically contain a large amount of data representing moving picture and audio, video is usually “compressed” as it renders for output using special algorithms designed to reduce file size and required processor power for playback. This compression process can take a while, dependent on your computer’s processor speed.

Mixcraft supports saving video in AVI or WMV formats. AVI is an uncompressed format, so the files it creates will be larger than files created using the WMV format. If you’re uploading video to YouTube, you should choose WMV format (to avoid potentially excessive upload times, dependent upon the speed of your internet connection).

To save the current project as a video, click the File>Mix Down To followed by AVI or

WMV.

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AVI RENDER SETTINGS

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To render a movie using the AVI format, click File>Mix Down To>AVI in the Main Window menus. To customize AVI render settings, click the Edit Details button in the file save window.

When creating a movie file, you’ll generally need to choose between quality and final file size (i.e., a larger file size will be better quality). Following are the settings in the AVI Render Settings window:

Dimensions

The Dimensions drop-down menu allows selection of the most common standard definition and high-def (HD) sizes. The Set Custom Dimensions checkbox allows a custom video size to be specified.

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FRAME RATE

The Frame Rate drop-down menu allows selection of the most common frame rates used in video, film, and TV. The Set Custom Frame Rate checkbox allows a custom frame rate to be used (careful, funky frame rates sometimes don’t play nice with some playback platforms, usually showing up as oddball sync issues).

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WMV RENDER SETTINGS

To render a movie using the WMV format, click File>Mix Down To>WMV.

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To customize WMV render settings, click the Edit Details button in the file save window. This dialog lets you choose specific compression settings when you’re rendering a video project to a WMV video.

If you’re not a video compression guru, select Preset Quality and adjust the slider for the best compromise of file size vs. playback quality. Move it all the way to the left for the smallest possible file size, or all the way to the right for highest quality video.

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WMV ADVANCED SETTINGS DIALOG

For more detailed control over WMV compression characteristics, select Specify Settings and click Settings... Now would be a good time to put on your propeller cap!

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DIMENSIONS

Specifies the height and width of the video. It defaults to the same resolution as the smallest video in the current project. The dimensions combo box holds a variety of standard settings, or the Set Custom Dimensions box can be set to any desired size.

A few things to remember when setting custom dimensions: height and width must both be even multiples of four, or DirectShow will refuse to render. If the dimensions you choose are too large, DirectShow may not have enough memory to render the video. If the chosen dimensions are a different aspect ratio than the original videos, the resulting video may look stretched or squashed.

FRAME RATE

Specifies how many frames per second the video contains. The frame rate defaults to the highest frame rate found in the project’s video clips. (To find a video’s native frame rate , right-click on the video clip and select Properties.) The Frame Rate combo box contains a variety of standard frame rates, but if you don’t see the frame rate needed, check the Set a custom frame rate box and type in a specific frame rate.

Should I change the default frame rate?

Probably not. Increasing the frame rate to one higher than any of the project’s video clips won’t improve final video quality, while decreasing the frame rate will usually lower the quality. Even if the primary concern is video size, changing the frame rate is not necessarily useful; depending on the chosen encoding method, lowering the

frame rate can potentially increase the file size. If you’re trying to alter the frame rate to produce smaller file sizes, you’ll need to experiment to find the best setting.

VIDEO ENCODING

This setting specifies approximately how much bandwidth video playback will require, in kilobits per second. It’s one of the primary factors affecting compression. A higher bit rates mean larger files and higher quality, while lower bit rates result in smaller, lower quality video files. The right bit rate to use will depend on the dimensions and frame rate. A bit rate that produces a high quality 720 x 480 video may result in a grainy, pixelated video at 1440 x 1080. Again, you’ll likely need to experiment for best results.

Microsoft provides a handful of encoding methods for WMV creation. Which one to use depends on your priorities (quality vs. file size) as well as the video content. In practice, an encoding method that produces the best results for one video may not produce the best results for another.

Constant Bit Rate (One Pass)

This method was designed to handle live streaming video and will usually produce the lowest quality results when rendering to a file. Because it’s a one- pass method, though, it takes half as long to render to file as the two-pass methods, so it might be the choice for you if the world’s ending in a few minutes and you really want to be able to watch the video before it’s all over.

Constant Bit Rate (Two Pass)

This method will usually produce good quality video if you’ve set a sufficiently high bit rate. Because it’s a two-pass method, it’ll take twice as long to create the video as one-pass methods will. Since the bit rate will be consistent for the entire video, it should work well for videos intended to stream over a network or the internet.

Variable Bit Rate with Quality Setting

Using this encoding method with the quality slider at its highest setting usually results in higher quality videos than the aforementioned encoding methods. However, the resulting video files tend to be about three times larger. Use this method if quality is the highest priority. This is a one-pass encoding method, which means it will take roughly half as long to create

the video as with two-pass methods. (The number of passes refers only to the creation of the video, and doesn’t affect the speed of video playback.)

Variable Bit Rate with Bit Rate Ceiling

This two-pass method uses a variable bit rate, which means that it’s likely (but not guaranteed) to produce smaller file sizes than the constant bit-rate methods. With variable bit rate encoding, the bit rate you choose will be the average bit rate, but actual bit rate during playback may vary depending on how complex the video is. (Sections of video with lots of motion will probably have a higher bit rate, and sections with little motion will have lower rates.) This method has a max rate ceiling, which means that it’ll keep the highest bit rates from exceeding the average bit rate. Consequently, this

method is better suited to streaming than the Unconstrained Variable Bit Rate method, but may not produce video of quite as high a quality.

VARIABLE BIT RATE (UNCONSTRAINED)

This method is similar to the VBR with Bit Rate Ceiling method but lacks the bit rate ceiling. This means that, while your specified bit rate will be the average bit rate for the video, the bit rate could reach infinitely high (or

at least really, really high) levels during short sections of the video. This could cause choppy playback during these sections during streaming, but can also result in higher quality for these sections, making it a better choice for video to be played back from a hard drive.

AUDIO QUALITY

This section lets you choose the quality sound. It will list all WMV-compatible audio quality options installed on the computer. Audio almost always uses far less disk space than video, so choosing a high audio quality setting will rarely have much relative effect on overall video size. A setting of 128 kbps usually produces acceptable audio quality.

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DIMENSION DEMENTIA...

You think audio has lots of format options? We music people have it easy. Video can have a myriad of options with regard to size, frame rate, compression, and more. Just to simplify things a bit, “dimensions” refers strictly to a movie’s size, vertically and horizontally on the screen, expressed in pixels. Here’s a quick primer on sizes and their typical application:

320x240 - Really small, from back when computers and internet connections had a tough time handling video content. Rarely used these days.

640x480 - This was the standard for full-screen video on computers for many years, but has fallen by the wayside with faster processors and online connections.

720x480 NTSC - Remember that big heavy thing with a glass screen that used to reside in your living room? Me neither. Before high-def, 720x480 was the standard for

televisions in the US. NTSC is an acronym for, “bunch of guys who used to argue about US analog TV standards and are probably now unemployed.” Actually, it stood for “National Television System Committee.”

720x576 PAL - The European equivalent of the NTSC, with slightly different dimensions and a different number of resolution lines so you couldn’t play your Fellini and Truffaut VHS tapes in the US.

1280x720 - Referred to as 720p, this is the smaller of high definition formats, generally seen in the “first wave” of flat-panel LCD TV’s and digital cameras with video capabilities.

1440x1080 - Referred to as 1080p, this is super high-def, butterfly-wings-in-your-face- at-the-store resolution. The difference between 1080p and 1080i gets a little confusing, but the basic idea is that the “p” stands for “progressive scan,” meaning that displays are drawn one after the other for more realistic motion. Progressive scan presents the most realistic motion.

1920x1080 - Referred to as 1080i, the difference between this and 1080p is that display line drawing is “interlaced.” Content is broadcast at 30 frames per second, but it’s displayed at 60 frames per second by drawing lines in two passes; one for even lines and one for odd lines. This is done to reduce perceived flicker.

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OPTIMIZING VIDEO OUTPUT

If you’re using the WMV Compression Settings dialog, you’ll probably want to dig in and read all the details, but here are a few quick answers to help assist with some common goals:

How do I achieve the highest quality video?

Using the Variable Bit Rate with quality setting encoding option and then setting its quality slider to the highest setting (by sliding it all the way to the right) will almost always produce the highest quality results, but it will also produce files that are about three times larger than other methods. If that’s too big, try reducing the quality slider a bit or choosing a different encoding method. (That said, we don’t recommend the Constant Bit Rate (1 pass) method, as it usually produces low-quality results.) Which encoding method works best generally differs depending on the video content; you might have to experiment with multiple methods.

Bit rate also has a large impact on video quality. Higher bit rates will result in higher video quality, albeit with larger file sizes. There will usually be a point at which a higher bit rate won’t have any noticeable effect, but raising the rate won’t hurt video quality.

How can I create the smallest video files?

Video dimensions and bit rate will usually impact file size the most, with smaller dimensions and lower bit rates producing the smallest files. Encoding method can also be important - don’t choose the Variable Bit Rate (unconstrained) method, and if you choose the Variable Bit Rate with quality setting method, don’t set the quality slider to its highest setting.

What video settings should I use for YouTube uploads?

YouTube recommends using the same resolution and frame rate as the original video. Unless the file size exceeds YouTube’s limits, it’s best to use bit rates that err on the side of quality rather than file size (in other words, higher bit rates), since YouTube can compress video to produce smaller file sizes but can’t “re-add” quality removed by low bit rates. To view the video clip’s original resolution and frame rate, right-click on the clip and then select Properties.

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