Sams Teach Yourself Digital Video and DVD's All in One

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1. Digital Video and DVDs-Getting Acquainted.

Converging Technologies

Digital Video Camcorders

DV Camcorders-Higher Quality and Lower Prices

IEEE 1394-"FireWire"-Connectivity

High-Speed PC Processors

DVD Format Adoption

MPEG-2 Video Compression

DVD Recorders

DVD-Authoring Software

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

Sufficient RAM

Large and Fast Hard Drive(s)

FireWire Connection

DVD Recorder

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

Handheld Mic

Lavaliere Mic

Shotgun Mic

Boundary or Surface Mount Mics

Wireless Systems

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

Licensing 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

Unblocking Creativity

Video-Editing Tips from an Expert-John Crossman



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

Capturing Video

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

Pixelan SpiceFX

Exporting to DV Tape or PC File


9. Capturing Video with Pinnacle Studio Plus.

Video Editing: From Engineers to Artists

Old-Fashioned Editing

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

Adding Transitions

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

Adding Music

Making Music with Studio's SmartSound Module

Adding Other Audio

TV News-Style Editing

To A/B or Not to A/B?

Adding Cutaways

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

Algorithmix Effects

NewBlue Audio Essentials

Reviewing Third-Party Video-Effect Plug-Ins

Bravo Studio Packs 1 and 2


Dziedzic's Effects Packs 1 and 2

eZedia eZeMatte and eZeScreen

PE CameraPOV

proDAD Adorage and Heroglyph

StageTools MovingPicture and MovingPicture LE

Overview of Studio's RTFX Packages



HFX Creator

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

Changed Plans

Professional NLEs

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

Editing Audio

Adding Text with the Adobe Title Designer



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

Special 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

Cyberlink PowerDVD

Intervideo WinDVD

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

Editing Menus

Using Multiple-Nested-Menus

Burning Your DVD Project


19. Stepping Up to MyDVD 6.

Introducing MyDVD 6

MyDVD Flavors

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

Text Features

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

Nested Menus

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

Bit-Rate Calculation

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

DVD Trends

DVD Ubiquity

Microsoft Windows XP Media Center

OpenDVD Format

Integration with Web

High Definition TV and DVDs

Long Live the DVD Format



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780672326899
  • Publisher: Sams
  • Publication date: 2/14/2005
  • Series: Sams Teach Yourself Series
  • Pages: 744
  • Product dimensions: 7.36 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.51 (d)

Table of Contents

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
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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

What Will Work Best for You

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.

Easing into Video Editing and DVD Authoring

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.

Keeping It in Context

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.

Book Organization

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.

Editing Your First Videos

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.

Two Other Video Editors

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 PC–based 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.

DVD Authoring--Exciting New Technology

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.

DVDs Dominate the Video Market

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.

MyDVD 6 and DVDit! 5

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.

Conventions Used in This Book

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.

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