The video-editing process usually begins with a pen and paper as producers and journalists write down timecode of video clips they would like to see edited into the story. A new toolkit from Virage, called VS Production, is looking to facilitate that process.
The $125,000 system (including software and management server) digitizes the material in MPEG-1, MPEG-2 or streaming formats. Once material is ingested (via video feed or tape), users access the clips via VideoLogger PC and streaming-media player or MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 playback. They can then set up a playlist and export edit decision lists (EDLs) with necessary timecode information to the edit bay.
"Rather than chasing tapes around and shuttling decks, they can search in low-resolution from their desktop," says Dave Girouard, senior vice president, marketing and corporate strategy.
Encoding formats currently include Thomson Grass Valley Profile XP MPEG-2, RealVideo, Windows Media, Optibase MovieMaker series MPEG-1 and MPEG-2, and Internet Pro Video SpectreView in Spectre Bravo MPEG-1.
The system is designed for mid-level cable networks or public-TV stations that do a lot of production work. Los Angeles post-production facility Digital Ranch uses it for the History Channel Basic Training
According to Girouard, Virage is not targeting station groups or individual stations at this point. "This is really for facilities that do a lot of their own tape-based productions using small libraries of footage. We're looking to help cut down post-production time and get projects done quicker."
Once a playlist is created, he adds, it is assembled in a frame-accurate timeline that resembles those found on nonlinear editing systems from companies like Avid. The clips can then be moved around or have the in and out points trimmed. Once the playlist is complete, the EDL can be exported in EDL formats including ALE, OMF and CMX 3600.
"We aren't going after Avid," Girouard says. "This is really for the associate producer or journalist who normally wouldn't see clips or would see the clips and then write down information on a clipboard."