Using Video Files as DVD Assets
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Video Assets for DVD can begin as video content on videotape or as files created in a nonlinear video edit system like Final Cut Pro This content may be captured into QuickTime through a variety of means, both hardware and software One very common method is capturing through FireWire from a FireWire-equipped camera or deck Video Assets may have already been encoded into MPEG-2 or AVC from videotape or transcoded into MPEG-2 or AVC
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For real-time encoding from videotape, hardware encoding cards are available for the Macintosh from Optibase, Wired, Inc, and Sonic Solutions Other hardware cards may be used to capture video in a form other than MPEG-2, but rely on software encoding to convert the captured video content into MPEG-2 after the capture has been completed You will find lots of additional information on software and hardware encoding in the DVD accompanying this book, and in Appendix B We will cover MPEG Encoding in greater depth in 5, Making Video for DVD Because AVC (H264) is so new, we'll cover it it more depth on the recipe4dvd website, since new developments will be happening in the coming years
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AIFF files are created anytime a QuickTime movie file containing audio is exported into MPEG-2 using Compressor or the QuickTime MPEG encoder (if you still have that component installed) WAV files may be created on a PC, and imported onto the Mac for use with DVD Studio Pro AIFF or WAV files may be used directly in DVD Studio Pro, or may be further encoded into the Dolby Digital (AC3) format using the Compressor 2 application, a part of the DVD Studio Pro 4 application suite (Earlier versions of DVD Studio Pro provided a separate application, APack for this task) It is recommended to use Dolby Digital (AC3) files because of the advantages of smaller file size and reduced data bandwidth Other formats are also available for audio in DVDs: MPEG-1 layer 2 (aka MP2) is a spec-legal format of audio for DVD, but not in Region 1 (North America) It is usually coupled with PAL video, when making assets for non-NTSC regions While MP2 was originally part of the DVD Specification, this format has lost favor in many regions where its use is still permitted, with Dolby Digital (AC3) becoming the more often used format We will cover audio for DVD in greater depth in 6, Making Audio for DVD
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Audio Assets for DVD can take a few different forms: AIFF Mac PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) files in Audio Interchange File Format) WAV PC PCM files in the WAV Audio File Format AC-3 Dolby Digital bitstream files containing from 10 to 51 channels, compressed in size and reduced in data rate DTS (Digital Theatre Systems) beginning with DVD Studio Pro 4, you may use DTS audio files in formats up to 61, encoded in formats that are compressed in size and reduced in data rate, and compliant with DVD authoring DTS compatibility was added in DVD Studio Pro 3
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Still Assets are graphic bitmaps images used to create DVD Still Menus, Slides for Slideshows, and Subpicture Overlays of many different types, including Menu Highlights, Watermarks, and Buttons over Video highlights Menus are the interactive presentations that provide choices for DVD users, to allow selection from among the many assets available on the DVD Menu Highlights inform the user as to which Menu Button
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Audio Assets can be used as soundtrack elements in Tracks, as Soundtracks for Menu elements (both Still menus and Motion Menus) and as individual or overall audio files for Slideshows
is currently selected, and also confirm activation of a Menu Button These Highlights are frequently created using Subpicture Overlay files to provide a Highlight Map for the Menu Still images are also used in a DVD Slideshow, essentially a playlist of from 1-99 still images, with or without audio Still Assets for DVD are typically prepared using Adobe Photoshop or another pixel-based graphics application, but DVD Studio Pro has a built-in Menu Editor that allows creation of compliant still menus by compositing still backgrounds, additional graphics images, and type elements When the project is built, the completed menu is rendered into the required MPEG still image In DVD Studio Pro, Highlights may also be created by information contained within the Button Shapes used in the Menu Editor
NOTE! DVD Menu assets may be prepared in vector format, but must be exported in pixel format to be usable Graphics formats usable in DVD Studio Pro include PICT, TIFF, TARGA, BMP, and Photoshop layered PSD files DVD Studio Pro even allows usage of the JPEG format, but it is recommended to use the highest quality image possible as the original source for any DVD image
Creating subtitles manually is a process that isn t really practical for long-form content with hundreds of subtitle events In these cases, Subtitle events may be created from an external edit list containing either the text entries themselves, or a list of event times (very similar to an EDL) and the prepared graphics files that are to be displayed during those timed events Subtitles using this last method are usually prepared by a third-party subtitling company (Searching Google for DVD Subtitling Company will find many of these) A large number of these companies can also do translations for alternate languages, as well In DVD Studio Pro, industry standard Subtitle files may be imported in these formats: STL The Spruce Technologies subtitle format SON The Sonic Solutions bitmap-based format SCR The Daiken-Comtec Labs Scenarist bitmap format TXT A plain text file
We will cover Graphics preparation in great depth in 15, Graphics Issues for DVD Images Menu creation will be discussed in 9, Authoring Menus