Making a DVD or Video CD

Over the past few tutorials we have looked at how to make a movie using Microsoft’s Movie Maker 2. Now show your movie to others by creating your own DVD or Video CD. Authoring an interactive video is now a simple three-step process using an entry-level DVD authoring package such as Ulead MovieFactory 2.

The following steps should help you to create your first simple DVD or Video CD movie title. As you become more comfortable with the program, you may want to explore the menu, animation and title effect capabilities of MovieFactory 2 further.

Capturing video clips

Video can usually be imported directly from a DV camcorder using a PC’s FireWire connection, but it is usually more effective to import edited video files from the computer’s hard disk into the application. If you have been using Movie Maker 2, export the video sequences as a separate DV-quality AVI file by selecting Save to my computer in the Finish Movie section of the Movie tasks section.

When you have selected the video files you want in the DVD title, start the DVD creation wizard and select Add video by holding down the key on your keyboard and clicking on the video files you want to include (see FIGURE 1). The program will create a chapter sequence based on the position of the clips on your timeline, so if you want a particular order for your video, arrange the video clips on the timeline at the bottom of the screen by dragging them into position.

Menu structures

Once you have chosen the video, click Next and MovieFactory 2 presents you with a default Menu area, with your video shown as thumbnails on a background screen. This is how your DVD title will look when you play it back on your DVD-ROM drive or on your home DVD player.

Most DVD authoring packages allow you to select from a collection of menu styles that come built-in. You may feel inspired to create your own background and button styles, but try not to be too creative with the custom menu features until you have created a couple of DVD titles first (see FIGURE 2).

Audio can be added to play when the menu is active on a DVD player: there is support for MP3, WAV or MPEG audio. Descriptive titles can be written underneath each of the menu buttons by simply clicking on the existing title and changing the text.

MovieFactory 2 allows you to create hotspots or menu titles that enable you to jump to the scenes you want to see, repeat scenes or even freeze the action, using your DVD player’s remote control.

Other tools in MovieFactory 2 include the ability to trim, split, combine, delete or re-order scenes within the menus before burning to disc.

However, try to keep these operations to a minimum, as dedicated video editing programs such as Movie Maker 2 perform these tasks more effectively.

Burning your DVD

Finished videos can be exported to inexpensive CD-R discs in the VCD or Super-VCD format, or onto DVD-R or DVD+R discs in the MPEG-2 DVD format (see FIGURE 3).

DVD MovieFactory 2 works directly with the newest DVD-R, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW recorders, as well as most CD-R and CD-RW devices, without the need for additional burning software.

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Denis Gallagher

PC World
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