Beyond the Office [Making Movies: Your Video Questions Answered - 09/14/2004]

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Ablang, Dec 21, 2004.

  1. Ablang

    Ablang Guest

    Making Movies: Your Video Questions Answered

    Sr. Assoc. Ed. Richard Baguley

    I'm pleased to report that my newsletter is generating a good amount

    of feedback from you, dear readers, with several people asking

    questions or offering comments or suggestions on subjects I have

    written about. This month, I'm going to address a few of these

    comments and suggestions.

    Digitizing Analog Video

    In "Copy Your Old Videos to DVD," I wrote about the various ways that

    you can take an analog video and copy it to a DVD, including using

    set-top DVD recorders and analog-to-USB capture devices:

    A couple of readers e-mailed me to point out a way to capture analog

    video without necessarily having to buy any new equipment: Use a

    digital camcorder.

    Many MiniDV camcorders have an input for taking content from an analog

    video source (such as an analog video recorder) and converting it into

    a digital format. The name that manufacturers give this feature

    varies, but most call it something like "analog pass-through."

    Basically, if the camcorder has a video and audio input, it should be

    able to do this conversion--but check the specifications before you

    buy. The way this works is simple: You connect the video source to the

    video- and audio-in ports of the camcorder, and then connect the

    FireWire output of the camcorder to the PC. Put the camcorder into

    recording mode; launch your video software (any program that can

    record digital video, such as Adobe Premiere, Ulead DVD MovieFactory 3

    or most DVD authoring programs, should do); and then save the video to

    disk. The camcorder deals with the analog-to-digital video conversion.

    You can then edit the video and output it to DVD using the techniques

    I described in "Copy Your Old Videos to DVD."

    Adobe Premiere:

    Ulead DVD MovieFactory 3:

    For more DVD authoring programs, browse the Video Tools section of PC

    World's Downloads library:

    Super Subtitles

    Another reader sent me a simple question: What DVD software lets you

    create subtitles? If you are creating educational or commercial DVDs,

    subtitles can make your productions more accessible to viewers who are

    hard of hearing or who don't speak English.

    The answer is that the basic programs bundled with rewritable DVD

    drives (such as Sonic Solutions DVDit or Roxio Easy CD & DVD Creator)

    can't create subtitles. To add this capability, you'll need to upgrade

    to a professional DVD authoring program such as Adobe Encore DVD or

    Sonic DVD Producer, both of which can create subtitles on a DVD. Adobe

    offers an online tutorial showing how the procedure works in Encore


    Sonic Solutions DVDit:

    Roxio Easy CD & DVD Creator:

    Adobe Encore DVD:

    Sonic DVD Producer:

    Adobe's online tutorial:

    Making Beautiful Menus

    One of my readers is generally happy with the process of making her

    own DVDs, but would like more control over how the menus look. At

    present, she is using CyberLink PowerDirector 3, a program that does

    not allow much control over the final look and feel of the menus: You

    can choose a template for your menu, but not much else.

    Slightly more sophisticated programs like DVD MovieFactory 3 allow you

    some control over the appearance of the menu: You can add your own

    pictures as backgrounds; change the font and appearance of the text on

    the menu; and add your own background music.

    However, if you really want to control every aspect of the menu,

    you'll need a professional DVD authoring program like Adobe Encore DVD

    or Sonic DVD Producer. These are the sort of tools professional DVD

    producers use, and they allow you to create the type of menu that you

    see on commercial movie DVDs. But beware: This level of control makes

    these sophisticated programs much more complicated to use.

    Doing Dual Layer

    I received an e-mail from someone who's seen some of our online news

    stories on the new dual-layer (also known as double-layer) DVD discs:

    He wonders if he can use these discs in his existing recordable DVD

    drive. The answer, unfortunately, is no. Unless the drive was designed

    to write to dual-layer DVD media--and such drives have only become

    available in the past month--it cannot write to the new discs. This is

    a pity: Dual-layer media can hold twice as much data, and thus twice

    as much video content, as their single-layer siblings.

    But it's not just the drives that need to be updated. In order to

    write to the discs, and keep track of how much data has been written

    to them, DVD authoring software has to be updated as well.

    Fortunately, many of the companies that publish this software have

    already prepared, or are working on, updates that allow their programs

    to work with dual-layer rewritable DVD drives.

    Read Richard Baguley's regularly published "Making Movies" columns:
    Ablang, Dec 21, 2004
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