DVD-video disc authoring workflow by Matt Ottewill

The process of authoring a DVD video disc involves several separate stages. This articel offers a basic introduction to them.

1. Determine market

Where is your target market. NTSC or PAL?

2. Produce media elements

These will involve ...

Video film production

Scripting, rehearsing, filming etc. Click here for resources and advice

3D animation production

Using programs such as 3D studio Max and Maya. You will need to export in an interchange file format that your DVD authoring software understands if not in MPEG-2.

Audio production

Creating and recording Foley (sound effects), and writing and recording music. Click here for resources and advice

Still image creation

Extracting still images from video clips, photographing, drawing and scanning images for use in menus and slideshows. Click here for resources and advice

3. Edit media elements

This will involve ...

Video editing

Using programs such as Sonic Foundry Vegas, Adobe Premiere and Apple Final Cut Pro and Express. Click here for resources and advice

Audio editing

Using programs such as Sonic Foundry SoundForge, Emagic Logic, and Bias Peak. Click here for resources and advice

Image editing

Using programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Click here for resources and advice

4. Calculate video data rate

Once audio, stills, menus, subtitles etc file sizes have been determined, you will need to calculate the highest possible video data rate that your remaining storage capacity will allow. Click here to find out how.

5. Encode (compress) media elements

Video and audio files must be encoded into a format suitable for importing into a DVD authoring program.

Video

Finished DV video edits completed in Apple's Final Cut Pro must be converted from the DV codec format into MPEG-2. Click here for resources and advice

Audio

Finished sound effects and music audio files created in Emagic Logic and Sonic Foundry Sound Forge must be converted from .wav and .aif formats into AC-3 (Dolby Digital) format. Click here for resources and advice

6. Import media elements into a DVD authoring program

Once in a compatible format, media files must be imported into an authoring program.

7. Author DVD interface

Once imported, the various video, still images and audio must be combined into a complete project of menus, slideshows and media elements.

8. Multiplex (or export) a finished project

Multiplexing is the process of combining all the project elements into a finished structure and putting this into a folder entitled "video_ts" on your hard drive.

9. Record a DVD-video disc

Authoring programs can record your multiplexed project to a DVD-R or DVD-RW disc or you could use a disc burning program such as Toast.

10. Create packaging

Design and produce a DVD box inlay and booklet using DTP programs such as Photoshop, Quark Xpress and Adobe InDesign. Click here for resources and advice