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Home > Guides > General Computing

Monday, January 23, 2006
Making Professional DVD from Authoring to Replication

4. The Roads to Rome

3.0 The Roads to Rome

Workflow

Referring to the above diagram and let's recap the workflow we have discussed earlier. The sequence of activities is: We Capture (or transfer) the video from the tapes on a camcorder into an AVI files on a computer. The captured AVI files may have lots of scenes and some of them may be useless so we need to go through the Editing to clean it up. Out of Editing we get a good AVI file but it's not the format to be stored as a DVD. So the AVI file will be Encoded into Mpeg-2 file making it ready to be used by the Authoring step. During Authoring, menus, subtitles, and/or audio tracks are added. The result of Authoring needs to be put on a physical medium such as DVD-R or DLT tapes and this is the job at the Mastering stage.

This is only an overview picture. There are still subtle intricacies that need to be dealt with at each stage. For example, out of encoding most software products require you to separate the video and audio streams as .m2v file and .ac3 files. These issues will be addressed later in the discussion.

3.1 Free Solutions

There are a lot of great DVD Authoring software products selling at very reasonable prices. So using free software should not be financially motivated. To me experimenting free software products is a good learning process. By going through each stage of the workflow with a dedicated software, you get the insight on why things are done in certain way. Eventually when you use commercial software you will appreciate the nature of work more. Just like if you know how to use slide rule using a electronic calculator will be a piece of cake.

Thanks to open source and unselfish programmers, there are many solutions here and each one of them is totally free. You can create you own suites of software by choosing a tool from each category of the workflow. When you move along the workflow the new tool chosen for the current activity should be independent to the tool chosen in last stage. For example, you can choose Windows Movie Maker or WinDV as your capturing tool and your editing tool should perform just well no matter which tool you have used during capturing. Listed below are the available tools for each stage of the workflow. For the sake of discussion, we will choose the path of  WinDV (Capturing) > VirtualDub (Editing) > QuEnc & BeSweet (Encoding) > DVDAuthorGui (Authoring) > ImgBurn (Mastering) as an example.

For Capturing

  • AMCap
    I couldn't get it to work. Try DVApp developed by the same author.

  • AVCutty
    Not very intuitive at the beginning, but very fast and efficient trimming tool once you get used to the user interface. It has optical/digital scene detection and other functions for working with your videos.

  • CaptureFlux
    The preview function doesn't seem to be working.

  • DVApp
    Pretty simple capturing tool allows Type 1 and Type 2 AVI file capturing with or without preview.

  • STOIK Capturer
    Pretty stable and easy to use tool. It doesn't have the options to choose between Type 1 and Type 2 AVI as it always capture as Type 1.

  • VirtualDubMod
    Though a wonderful tool for editing, it's not very straightforward for capturing. Too many settings.

  • WinAVI Video Capture
    Used to be a shareware and it's FREE now. It can capture video as AVI, WMV, RealMedia, Mpeg1, Mpeg2, Non-StdVCD, VCD, SVCD, DVD, and miniDVD.

  • Windows Movie Maker (XP only)
    Only captures Type 1 AVI.

  • WinDV
    Very simple and small capturing utility allows Type 1 and Type 2 AVI capturing. But it doesn't have the VCR like control buttons to control the camera.

For Editing

  • AVCutty
    Not very intuitive at the beginning, but very fast and efficient trimming tool once you get used to the user interface. It has optical/digital scene detection and other functions for working with your videos.

  • AVE Visual Editor
    AVE Visual Editor enables user without any programming experience to use the power of AviSynth. With AVE Visual Editor you simply connect icons with lines and when graph is complete watch the output.

  • AVIDemux
    Video editor and encoder. It can edit, encode, requantize MPEG and AVI including DivX. Very much like VirtualDub, but can also encode to VCD/SVCD/DVD mpg.

  • AVIEdit
    AVIedit allows you to join and split avi files, extract frames and do whatever you want. You can capture video by number of ways, including one-frame-per-minute (web camera) option, workaround annoying 2 Gb file size limit, send your videos to printer, heavy compress it and post to your webpage. You can change framerate, duration, frame size, color depth of your videos and other properties, even without recompression and without loss of video quality. AVIedit allows you to convert avi clips to bmp and bmp to avi, animated GIFs etc.

  • Avid Free DV (Windows XP only)
    Perfect for students, DV camera owners, video enthusiasts or anyone exploring video editing - Avid Free DV software is an easy, free way to join the Avid family and test-drive the industry-standard editing interface used by more professionals than any other video editing solution.

  • AviTricks Classic
    AviTricks is a non-linear, non-destructive AVI video editor with real-time preview. The tree-structure and sub-project approach allow for an unlimited combination of filters and overlays, while rubber-band timeline adjustment gives a smooth blending of video and audio properties to produce a professional result in either AVI or Windows Media Format. It includes a wide range of adjustable effects that can be used separately or in combination.

  • AVSEdit
    Official editor for avisynth. Requires .net framework 1.1.

  • TMpegEnc
    One of the best MPEG video encoders, convert to MPEG2 (SVCD, DVD) and MPEG1(VCD) with several settings and filters. Freeware MPEG1(VCD) encoding. Also basic joining, splitting, demultiplexing and multiplexing features. MPEG2 encoder expires in 30 days.

  • VirtualDubMOD
    VirtualDubMod is a unification of several popular modifications of the famous video editing software VirtualDub. Unification of three projects, VirtualDubMPeg2, VirtualDubOGM, VirtualDubAVS and more.

  • WAX
    Wax is a high performance and flexible video composing and special effects software. The idea for Wax is to be very general purpose and flexible in video composing and effects, so that you can compose your dream video sequence with ease every time.

  • Windows Movie Maker (XP only)
    Windows Movie Maker 2.1 makes home movies amazingly fun. With Movie Maker 2.1, you can create, edit, and share your home movies right on your computer. Build your movie with a few simple drag-and-drops. Delete bad shots and include only the best scenes. Then share your movie via the Web, e-mail, or CD. Using third-party software you can even take movies you've made and turn them into DVDs. You can also save your movie back to the video tape in your camera to play back on a TV or on the camera itself.

  • Zwei-Stein
    Zwei-Stein 3.01 is a freeware non-linear, non-destructive video composing and editing system which offers many advanced features unavailable elsewhere. With Zwei-Stein you can edit up to 256 video, audio and still image clips, each with up to 64 effects chained serially. Cropping, panning and custom effects are easy with automatic key frames.

Encoding

  • AutoQMatEnc
    AutoQMatEnc is a MPEG2 Video Only Encoder. Read any AVS script by using directly avisynth.dll. Can also be used with DVD Rebuilder, just make DVDRB point to it instead of CCE SP. Command line tool.

  • AVI2DVD
    Avi2Dvd is a GUI in order to convert with just one click an Avi/Ogm/Mkv/Wmv/Dvd to Dvd/Svcd/Vcd.

  • AVIDemux
    Video editor and encoder. It can edit, encode, requantize MPEG and AVI including DivX. Very much like VirtualDub, but can also encode to VCD/SVCD/DVD mpg.

  • Diko
    DIKO is an automation tool: it command many other software to get the best result in this conversion. DIKO allows you to get up to two hours in 1 SVCD or 10 hours in 1 DVD with good quality, depending on the content, thanks to the compression of BVCD techniques. DIKO is freeware, and everything it needs is also freeware and bundled in the install package.

  • FreeEnc
    FreeEnc is a free MPEG-2 encoder, which uses avcodec library to encode. It only accepts avs file as input.

  • HCEnc
    HC is a free MPEG2 Encoder. Input can be a d2v project or input using Avisynth. 2 pass VBR encoding. Variable GOP structure dependent of the video content or fixed GOP structure. Scene change detection. Pre-programmed matrices or use your own matrices. Restart possibility to run the second pass again. Bitrate control: average and max bitrate can be set.

  • NUEnc
    A codec based on QuEnc to allow multiple passes.

  • QuEnc
    QuEnc is an easy to use MPEG-2 encoder that is completely free, yet yields amazingly good quality (no, it doesn't beat CCE SP, but there's a $1900 price difference between the two). It's also quite fast for an MPEG-2 encoder, but since it's a full encoder, not a compressed domain transcoder, you won't get your DVDs done in 20 minutes.

Authoring

  • AVI2DVD
    Avi2Dvd is a GUI in order to convert with just one click an Avi/Ogm/Mkv/Wmv/Dvd to Dvd/Svcd/Vcd.

  • DVDAuthorGui
    DVDAuthorgui is a very basic win32 front-end for the DVDAuthor project. The gui is meant to be an easy means to create a basic dvd. Features: multiple titles (pgc), multiple titleset menus, m2v still creation, chapters, subtitles, multiple audio streams, basic navigation commands, iso creation.

  • DVDStyler
    DVDStyler is a cross platform GUI front-end to the dvd authoring and recording programs dvdauthor and dvdrecord. It is free software distributed under GNU General Public License (GPL).

  • IfoEdit
    IfoEdit is the first freeware program to be able to multiplex elementary audio and video streams and create a fully compliant DVD disc out of it. If you're only using your favorite DVD authoring program to create 1 video movies without menus IfoEdit is perfect for you. It can multiplex any DVD compliant MPEG-2 streams, DVD compliant audio streams (AC3, LPCM, MP2 and DTS), DVD subtitle streams and you can create your own chapters. Considering that a lot of DVD authoring programs have limitations when it comes to the number of audio streams, audio format, number of channels in audio streams and subtitles, IfoEdit's feature set is pretty impressive indeed.

  • Muxman
    DVD multiplexer/authoring tool. The most important component of any DVD authoring system is its multiplexing engine. It should be flawless, and well tested. This is the purpose of my very simple first authoring program, Muxman.

Mastering

  • AVI2DVD
    Avi2Dvd is a GUI in order to convert with just one click an Avi/Ogm/Mkv/Wmv/Dvd to Dvd/Svcd/Vcd.

  • BurnAtOnce
    burnatonce is a cdrdao / mkisofs gui for windows. Supports also DVD, DVD-Video and DVD ISO writing.

  • CDBurnXP Pro
    CD Burner XP Pro is a freeware CD/DVD-Writer program. The program can write CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW discs.

  • DVD Decrypter
    One of the best DVDDecrypter tool, it enables you to decrypt and copy DVDs to your HD. It can also make DVD images and burn DVD and CD images. No longer developed, use DVDFab Decrypter or AnyDVD if you get any ripping problems.

  • ImgBurn
    ImgBurn carries on from where DVD Decrypter left off! (Well, for the burning part anyway!). ImgBurn can write most types of CD / DVD images and it supports all the latest writers (including booktype / bitsetting on many of the major ones - i.e. BenQ, LiteOn, NEC, Plextor, Sony). You can even use ImgBurn to erase / format your rewritable media!

  • ImgTools
    Popular tools to make an image of a DVD Folder(VIDEO_TS) and also burn it. In Addition, the burning tool allows you to confirm and burn a DVD from VIDEO_TS made by any other application.

  • IfoEdit
    IfoEdit is the first freeware program to be able to multiplex elementary audio and video streams and create a fully compliant DVD disc out of it. If you're only using your favorite DVD authoring program to create 1 video movies without menus IfoEdit is perfect for you. It can multiplex any DVD compliant MPEG-2 streams, DVD compliant audio streams (AC3, LPCM, MP2 and DTS), DVD subtitle streams and you can create your own chapters. Considering that a lot of DVD authoring programs have limitations when it comes to the number of audio streams, audio format, number of channels in audio streams and subtitles, IfoEdit's feature set is pretty impressive indeed.




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