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I. PRODUCTION PREPARATION: VIDEOS, IMAGES, SOUND, AND STORY.
1. Digital Video and DVDs-Getting Acquainted.
Digital Video Camcorders
DV Camcorders-Higher Quality and Lower Prices
High-Speed PC Processors
DVD Format Adoption
MPEG-2 Video Compression
Introducing Nonlinear Video Editing
Multiple Methods to View Your Videos
What's DVD Authoring?
Making Sure Your PC Hardware Makes the Grade
Enough Processor Power
Windows XP-Home or Professional Edition
Large and Fast Hard Drive(s)
3D Video Card
2. Shooting Great Videos.
Choosing a Digital Video Camcorder
One or Three Chips-CCDs
Features Worth Strong Consideration
Two Features of Interest: Progressive Scan and True Widescreen
Features Not Worth Considering
Camcorders to Avoid Entirely
Doing Some Homework
Legacy Analog Camcorders
Sixteen Tips on Shooting Great Video
Plan Your Shoot
Adhere to the Rule of Thirds
Use Additional Still-Camera Composition Techniques
Get a Closing Shot
Get an Establishing Shot
Get a Good Mix of Shots
Lean Into or Away from Subjects
Keep Your Shots Steady-Use a Tripod
Let Your Camera Follow the Action
Use Trucking Shots to Move with the Action
Avoid Fast Pans and Snap Zooms
Shoot Cutaways to Avoid Jump Cuts
Don't Break the Plane
Get Plenty of Natural Sound
Shoot Enough Continuous Audio
Use Lights to Make Your Project Brilliant
Expert Advice from Karl Petersen
3. Creating Compelling Still Images.
Digital or Film Cameras-What Will Work Best for You
Digital Camera Buying Tips
Making High-Quality Photos-Tips and Tricks
Putting an End to Blurry Images
Composing Your Shots
Other Photo-Taking Tips
Compensating for Lag Time
Importing and Scanning Images
Importing Digital Images to Your PC
Selecting a Scanner for Your Video and DVD Projects
Explaining Scanner Settings
Scanning Images Using Manual Settings
Formatting Images for Videos and DVDs
Editing Images with Adobe Photoshop Elements
4. Acquiring Audio.
Selecting the Right Mic for the Job
Low-Cost Mic Solutions
Stepping Up to Professional-Quality Mics
Boundary or Surface Mount Mics
Connecting Mics to Your Camcorder or PC
Making the PC Connection
Upping the PC Mic/Soundcard Ante
Getting the Most from Your Mics-Expert Audio Tips
Building a Simple and Inexpensive Voice-Recording Area
Voicing Solid Narrations
5. Making Marvelous Music.
Ripping Music CDs
Licensing Music or Buying Royalty-Free Music
Using Royalty-Free Music
Creating Custom Music with SmartSound Movie Maestro
Introducing Two High-End Music Creation and Editing Products
Making Music with SmartSound Sonicfire Pro
Introducing Adobe Audition
Auditioning Audition and Sonicfire Pro
6. Story-Creation and Video-Production Tips.
Creating Your Story
Overall Story-Creation Tips
General Writing Tips
Specific Writing Tips
Story-Creation Tips from Bob Dotson
Bob Dotson's Storyteller's Checklist
Keep It Simple...and Short
Writing in the Active Voice
Mackie Morris's Writing Tips
The Good Writer's Dazzlin' Dozen
Storytelling with Video
Stephen Black's and Henry Stern's Scriptwriting Tips
Video-Editing Tips from an Expert-John Crossman
II. VIDEO EDITING.
7. Capturing and Editing Video with Windows Movie Maker 2.
Movie Maker 2-Pros and Cons
A Minimal Run-Through
Go Ahead-Give Movie Maker 2 a Try
Movie Maker 2-Pluses and Minuses
Overview of Video Editing with Movie Maker 2
Tour the Interface
Gathering Other Assets
Using the Storyboard to Make a Rough Draft
Splitting and Trimming Clips on the Timeline
8. Jazzing Up Your Video with Windows Movie Maker 2.
Adding Video Effects and Transitions
Give Your Clips Some Visual Special Effects
Working with Titles
Editing in Extra Audio
Exploring Some Fun Add-on Packs
Microsoft Fun Packs
Microsoft Plus! Digital Media Edition
Exporting to DV Tape or PC File
9. Capturing Video with Pinnacle Studio Plus.
Video Editing: From Engineers to Artists
Getting Acquainted with Pinnacle Studio Plus
Studio Plus Pricing and Packages
Try Out Studio Plus for Free
Looking Over the Studio Plus User Interface
Fire It Up
Fire It Up Again
New to Studio Plus: An Overlay Video Track!
Checking Out Pinnacle Systems Video Capture Hardware
Two Video Capture Options
Capturing Digital or Analog Video and Still Images
Analog Video Capture
Capturing Still Images from Your Camcorder
10. Editing Cuts-Only Videos with Studio Plus.
Assembling Your Assets
Creating an Instant Music Video with SmartMovie
Using a Storyboard Approach
Editing Your Cuts-Only Video on the Timeline
Adjusting the Ruler Timescale
Trimming and Match Edits
11. Enhancing Your Video with Transitions, Effects, and Titles.
Using Transitions with Restraint
Transitions with a Purpose
What Transitions Can Do
Using Special Effects
Checking Out Specific Effects
Putting Still Images in Motion
Using Supers to Help Tell Your Story
Adding Titles to Your Videos
Using the Shape Tools
12. Audio Production with Studio Plus.
Voicing Narrations and Adding Music
Voicing a Narration
Making Music with Studio's SmartSound Module
Adding Other Audio
TV News-Style Editing
To A/B or Not to A/B?
Working with J-Cuts and L-Cuts
Working with Audio Effects
VST Effects-New to Studio Plus
Adjusting Audio Levels and Surround Sound with the Mixer
13. Advanced Editing Techniques, Add-ons, and Exporting.
Advanced Two-Track Editing Techniques
Using the Picture-in-Picture Tool
Spicing Up Your PiPs
Two Other Picture-in-Picture Effects
Keying Out Parts of a Clip
Testing Third-Party Audio Effect Plug-Ins
Unlock Effects for Use in Projects
NewBlue Audio Essentials
Reviewing Third-Party Video-Effect Plug-Ins
Bravo Studio Packs 1 and 2
BWPLUGINS and BWPLUGINS 2
Dziedzic's Effects Packs 1 and 2
eZedia eZeMatte and eZeScreen
proDAD Adorage and Heroglyph
StageTools MovingPicture and MovingPicture LE
Overview of Studio's RTFX Packages
Exporting Your Finished Product
14. Two Additional Recommended PC Editing Products.
Overview of the Video Editing Market
Studio Plus and Premiere Elements Raise the Bar
Touring Adobe Premiere Elements-Things Look Different Here
What Makes Premiere Elements So Different
Minutely Detailed Control
Professional But Not Impenetrable
How Do Studio and Premiere Elements Compare?
Premiere Elements Charts a New Course
Taking Adobe Premiere Pro for a Test Drive
Demonstrating Premiere Pro's Power
Exploring Premiere Pro's User Interface
Looking at Layering
Playing Clips Slower, Faster, or Backward
Changing Video Effects Over Time-Using Keyframes
Adding Text with the Adobe Title Designer
III. ENTRY-LEVEL DVD AUTHORING.
15. What DVDs and DVD-Authoring Software Can Do for You.
Enhancing Your Media with DVDs
DVDs Improve the Viewing Experience
Delving into DVD Projects-Personal to Professional
Home DVD Projects
A First-Time DVD-Authoring Experience
Videographer DVD Projects
Using Prosumer Techniques on Personal Projects
Business DVD Projects
Designing a Business-Oriented DVD
Commercial/Professional DVD Projects
Creating Interactive DVD Fun for Children
Discovering What DVD-Authoring Software Can Do for You
Menu Creation and Functionality
Button and Text Features
Burning DVDs and Making Masters for Mass Production
Compliance with DVD Specifications
Overview of DVD-Authoring Products
Entry-Level Video Editors with DVD-Authoring Modules
Standalone Entry-Level DVD-Authoring Software
Standalone Prosumer DVD-Authoring Software
16. Getting Your Gear in Order-DVD Recorders and Media.
Clearing Up the DVD Recording Format Confusion
Dash R/RW Versus Plus R/RW Versus DVD-RAM
DVD+R/RW-Better, But with a Bitter Aftertaste
Selecting a PC DVD Recorder
Narrowing Your Search
Multiformat DVD±R/±RW Drives
Single-Format DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW Drives
DVD Dash R and DVD-RAM Combo
Evaluating Three DVD Software Movie Players
Sonic Solutions CinePlayer
Using Sonic Solutions CinePlayer to Test Drive Your DVD Recorder
17. Burning Data DVDs.
Selecting Recordable Media
Using Windows XP to Copy Files to a CD
Burning a DVD
RecordNow!-A Bundling Favorite
Taking a Quick Tour of Roxio's Easy Media Creator
18. Authoring DVDs Using Studio's DVD Module.
Overview of Studio's DVD-Authoring Process
Menu Track Characteristics
Other DVD-Authoring Options
What About DVD Parts?
Creating a Single-Menu, Single-Button DVD
Higher-Level DVD Authoring and Menu Editing
Burning Your DVD Project
19. Stepping Up to MyDVD 6.
Introducing MyDVD 6
MyDVD 6 Features
Some Features That Are New to MyDVD 6
How MyDVD 6 Stands Up to Studio
Checking Out the MyDVD 6 Interface and Feature Set
Capturing Video with MyDVD
Why Capture or Edit Video with MyDVD?
Editing Video with MyDVD
20. Authoring DVDs with MyDVD 6: Chapter 1.
Assembling Video Assets
Adding Part Markers
Adding a Slideshow
Organizing Assets into Menus
21. Authoring DVDs with MyDVD 6: Chapter 2.
Previewing Your Work in Progress
Adding a First-Play Video and Fixing Some Links
An Imperfect First-Play Methodology
Editing the Menu Style
Fixing Two Other Project Features
Introducing Custom Templates
Importing a Style
Recording Videos Direct-to-Disc
Burning Your DVD Project to a Recordable Disc
22. Creating Custom MyDVD Templates with Style Creator.
Introducing Sonic Solutions Style Creator
How Style Creator Works
Taking a Close Look at the Plug-in
Installing Photoshop Elements
Installing the Style Creator Plug-in
Changing a Template Background
Setting Text Boundaries and Font Characteristics
Examining Button Characteristics
Editing Buttons and Button Elements
Working with Other Button Layers
Testing Your Template Edits in MyDVD
IV: Intermediate-Level DVD Authoring.
23. Introducing DVDit! 5.
Planning Your Project
What's the Message?
Who's the Audience?
Presenting Your Media in the Best Light
Keep It Simple
Keep It Short
Take It for a Test Drive
Organizing Your DVD's Menu Structure
Use a Flowchart
Buttons Should Do What They Say
Introducing DVDit! 5
What's Missing in DVDit! 5
Checking Out the DVDit! 5 Interface
Touring DVDit! 5's Interface
24. Creating Menus with DVDit! 5.
Adjusting Preference and Project Settings
Four Preference-Setting Categories
Changing Project Settings
Trimming Videos and Adding Part Points
Gathering Assets and Creating a Slideshow
Adding Assets in Edit Mode
Adding Assets in Author Mode
Creating a Slideshow
Laying Out Menus and Submenus
25. Editing Menus with DVDit! 5.
Adding and Building Buttons
Working with Text
Scaling Buttons, Graphics, and Text
Arranging, Aligning, and Ordering Objects
Adding Drop Shadows and Adjusting Object Opacity
Setting First Play and Linking Media and Menus
Setting First Play Is Easy
Linking Media and Menus
26. Advanced DVDit! 5 Authoring Techniques.
Creating Custom Buttons in Photoshop
Check Your Work
Cool Tips and Tricks
DVD Menu Outros and Intros
Creating a Chain of Videos
Adding Appendix Buttons En Masse Using the Titles Details View
Quickly Duplicate Buttons, Graphics, or Text
Fine-Tuning Button Subpictures and Navigation
Setting Subpicture Highlight Characteristics and Opacities
Adjusting Menu and Media Properties
Menu Button Routing
Forcing a Button Selection
Setting Title End Actions
Adjusting Menu Types, Durations, and End Actions
Adding ROM Data
27. Burning DVDs and Dealing with DVD Duplicators.
Checking Menu and Media Links and Project Flow
Selecting Transcoding Settings
Preferences-Setting Finish Parameters
Project Settings-Transcode Settings
CBR Versus VBR
PCM Versus Dolby Digital Audio
Using DVDit! 5 to Record Your DVD Project
Test Your DVD
Printing Labels Directly on Your DVDs
Going the Mass-Replication Route
Walking Through the Replication Process
Using Sonic Solutions's Publishing Showcase
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center
Integration with Web
High Definition TV and DVDs
Long Live the DVD Format
|Ch. 1||Digital video and DVDs - getting acquainted||9|
|Ch. 2||Shooting great videos||23|
|Ch. 3||Creating compelling still images||45|
|Ch. 4||Acquiring audio||81|
|Ch. 5||Making marvelous music||95|
|Ch. 6||Story-creation and video-production tips||117|
|Ch. 7||Capturing and editing video with Windows Movie Maker 2||135|
|Ch. 8||Jazzing up your video with Windows Movie Maker 2||153|
|Ch. 9||Capturing video with Pinnacle Studio Plus||175|
|Ch. 10||Editing cuts-only videos with Studio Plus||205|
|Ch. 11||Enhancing your video with transitions, effects, and titles||225|
|Ch. 12||Audio production with Studio Plus||259|
|Ch. 13||Advanced editing techniques, add-ons, and exporting||289|
|Ch. 14||Two additional recommended PC editing products||331|
|Ch. 15||What DVDs and DVD-authoring software can do for you||363|
|Ch. 16||Getting your gear in order - DVD recorders and media||389|
|Ch. 17||Burning data DVDs||409|
|Ch. 18||Authoring DVDs using Studio's DVD module||427|
|Ch. 19||Stepping up to MyDVD 6||457|
|Ch. 20||Authoring DVDs with MyDVD 6 : part 1||483|
|Ch. 21||Authoring DVDs with MyDVD 6 : part 2||503|
|Ch. 22||Creating custom MyDVD templates with style creator||531|
|Ch. 23||Introducing DVDit! 5||565|
|Ch. 24||Creating menus with DVDit! 5||583|
|Ch. 25||Editing menus with DVDit! 5||605|
|Ch. 26||Advanced DVDit! 5 authoring techniques||633|
|Ch. 27||Burning DVDs and dealing with DVD duplicators||665|
Making videos on your PC is fun, creative, and exciting. There's no limit to the cool things you can do with your videos.
I've been making videos for years and continue to be amazed as the quality of digital video camcorders and video-editing software continues to improve.
Digital video (DV) camcorders have dropped in price, yet now offer sharper images, better color reproduction, and more controls.
Video-editing software now has more features--exciting special effects, snazzy transitions, and easy-to-use text tools--to let you create professional-looking videos.
You also have more output options. Not only can you record your videos to VHS or DV tape to play back on your VCR or camcorder, but now you can create
Streaming videos to play on the Internet
Video files that run on any PC
DVDs that can play on your PC and your home, office, or portable DV player
So how do you tap all that creative potential? Which software and hardware will work best for you? I answer those questions in this book.
During the past few years I've tested more than 20 PC video editors and DVD creation ("authoring") products--from entry level to high end.
I am an Adobe Certified Instructor on Adobe's professional video editor--Premiere Pro--and have written two Sams Teach Yourself books on that powerful $700 product. I've conducted a master class and made trade-show presentations on Adobe Encore DVD, Adobe's $550 DVD-authoring tool.
But using Premiere Pro or Encore DVD to take your first steps into videoediting or DVD authoring is like taking your first flying lesson in a 747. A tad overwhelming.
The purpose of this book is to ease you into video editing and DVD authoring. I've selected what I think are the best (and most reasonably priced) consumer- and intermediate-level video-editing and DVD-authoring products. Then I give you step-by-step instructions on how to use those particular products to create videos and DVDs that you can be proud of.
This is a different approach from most other books in this field. Those other books typically give you generic video-editing instructions using multiple video-editing software products as examples. I think those kinds of books waste your time. You shouldn't have to spin your wheels trying out less than the best-of-breed products. I cut to the chase.
There is one other reason Sams Teach Yourself Digital Video and DVD Authoring All in One is different from the rest of the DV and DVD how-to books: context. Those other books either are highly detailed or greatly simplified reference manuals using impenetrable vernacular, or they are collections of step-by-step instructions focusing solely on software functions. Both types fail to create lasting impressions and they don't teach you how to make videos.
What's missing is context. I think of those books as sort of like instructing budding artists how to use a paintbrush by telling them to swab the brush in paint and slather it on a canvas. Where's the art?
My goal with Sams Teach Yourself Digital Video and DVD Authoring All in One is to help you create high-quality videos and DVDs. Rather than simply presenting a collection of disconnected tutorials, I'll frequently remind you of the big picture and what you're trying to accomplish. However, I haven't skimped on useful nuts-and-bolts instructions. I've tried to present them in a logical, easy-to-follow manner that reflects the way most video producers approach editing.
The timing is right for this book, both on a personal level and in the marketplace. It fits my career path to a T. I have extensive television production credentials--TV anchor, reporter, photographer, and editor--plus I'm a recipient of a regional Emmy award and two Society of Professional Journalists first-place awards. I've written hundreds of articles, written or worked on nine books, and have been a high school science and math teacher.
I start by presenting an overview of digital video. Then it's on to making your raw ingredients: shooting video, creating still images, and acquiring audio.
In a departure from traditional digital video how-to books, I follow those introductory chapters with something of a collaborative project. I contacted several of my friends and former colleagues in the TV news and video-production business, and they provided dozens of expert tips. I've compiled them--along with some of my own--in a chapter intended to help you learn more about the overall art of story creation and video production. For instance, they offer advice about shooting high-quality video, writing effectively, and creating professional voiceovers.
From there I venture into video editing by first showing you the least-expensive way to edit your initial video--Windows Movie Maker 2. This free product works only with Windows XP (Home or Professional). Movie Maker 2 can ease those on a shoestring budget into video editing. Despite its many limitations, it is very popular.
I cover Movie Maker 2 in Chapters 7 and 8. Because I use those chapters to introduce some video-editing concepts, I recommend that you read both chapters, even if your immediate preference is to start editing video on the higher-level product I cover later.
The goal of this book is to take you well beyond the limited features of Movie Maker 2. I chose Pinnacle Studio ($100--you can download a free, fully functional trial version that you can use while working with this book) as the principal video-editing software to cover in this book. I've worked with all of Pinnacle Studio's competitors and have reached the conclusion that Studio is the best entry- and intermediate-level video software. It has a logically laid-out workspace, an easy-to-follow workflow, a solid DVD-authoring module, and many special effects and transitions.
However, I don't want to ignore two other Windows PCbased video editors: Adobe Premiere Elements and Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5.
Adobe Premiere Elements competes head-to-head with Pinnacle Studio. Adobe released version one of Premiere Elements in October 2004. It has many features found in its professional-level sibling--Premiere Pro--and might be a bit overwhelming for those trying video editing on their PC for the first time. It also has a weak DVD-authoring module. Nevertheless, it was a tough call for me to select one product over the other. So I will introduce you to Premiere Elements in Chapter 14.
Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 is the best professional-quality PC video editor. Its capabilities go way beyond the scope of this book. But I want to give you an idea of what else is out there for those who want to take their video editing to a much higher level. I give you a brief overview of its features in Chapter 14.
The final step in video editing is to output your finished product. I go over three formats--tape, data files, and streaming Internet files--in the final chapter of the Pinnacle Studio video-editing section of the book. I save the one other output format--DVD--for the final two sections of this book.
This, too, is a departure from most of the books in this genre. They tend to toss DVD authoring in the mix only as an afterthought. Instead, in my view, it should be a significant feature of a book like this because it is the de facto standard output format.
DVD authoring is a relative newcomer to the PC video production process. For years, only Hollywood film companies with deep pockets could afford the hardware and software to create those DVDs you've become accustomed to seeing with their video menus, animated buttons, scene selection options, multiple languages, director comments, and subtitles.
Thanks largely to one company--Sonic Solutions--DVD authoring is now available to anyone with a DVD recorder and some inexpensive software.
You can use DVD-authoring software to create myriad video productions that you can play on your living room or boardroom TV:
Archive your favorite TV programs--you can use Sonic MyDVD 6 to store up to four hours of programming onto one single-layer DVD.
Family vacation videos, photo slideshows, family tree histories, and your child's soccer season complete with statistics.
Business people can now use DVDs for marketing, employee training, and catalogs.
Event videographers can offer clients wedding DVDs with easy menu access to specific moments. No more wading through a long videocassette to get to "I do."
DVD production can be as simple as recording your old VHS videotapes directly to DVDs or as complex as creating DVDs with multiple menus, subtitles, and extra audio tracks.
Using DVD-authoring software, you can create interactive experiences that allow viewers of your DVDs to easily select separate videos, images, and music using menus you design.
DVD is the fastest-growing consumer electronics product in history. It has had faster consumer acceptance than TVs and VCRs. There are nearly 500 million DVD players worldwide and more than 60 million DVD-recorder-equipped PCs in the market today.
DVD will soon replace tape as the video publishing format of choice for video professionals and video enthusiasts.
DVDs use high-quality (better than VHS) digital media--images, video, and sound. DVDs are also more compact and more durable than videotapes.
DVDs can store massive amounts of video, images, music, and data; they offer amazing versatility and have near universal compatibility. They are excellent media to archive, publish, and share data and multimedia.
After you make your first DVD, you'll never want to use videocassettes again.
In this book's final two sections, I first cover the DVD-authoring module that comes with Pinnacle Studio. Pinnacle presents it as a very limited and consumer-friendly product. I show you that side of this module but also present several undocumented features that let you take even more control over the creation of your DVDs. Studio's DVD module lets you create some very slick-looking DVDs.
However, my goal for this book is to help you go beyond the limited capabilities of Studio's DVD-authoring toolset. So in the final chapters I give you step-by-step instructions on two DVD-authoring titles from Sonic Solutions: MyDVD 6 ($70) and DVDit! 5 ($300). These are easily the two best DVD-authoring products at their price points.
MyDVD 6 is an entry-level product that uses wizards and other streamlined processes to help you easily build DVDs with many of the features you find in Hollywood movie DVDs.
DVDit! 5 takes that authoring process to a higher level, offering more options and giving you greater control over the final product.
Bottom line: If you follow the tasks in this book, I'm sure you will create videos and DVDs you can be proud of--video productions that you will want to show your family, friends, or clients.
This book uses the following conventions:
Text that you type and text that you see onscreen appears in bold monospace type.
Note - Try It Yourself exercises are the core of this book. They are step-by-step, hands-on instructions that show you how to accomplish tasks. The goal is for you to create high-quality, professional-looking videos and DVDs. This book's many Try It Yourself tasks will help you accomplish that.
Note - By the Way presents interesting information related to the discussion.
Tip - Did You Know? offers advice or shows you an easier way to do something.
Caution - Watch Out! alerts you to a possible problem and gives you advice on how to avoid it.