Last update: 2005 10 03
How to Get Films and Pictures onto a DVD
- Hardware: Video editing is not a lightweight business. My current system:
- AMD64 3000+ 1.8GHz,
- ASUS A8V Delux motherboard with on-board sound & lan,
- 1 GB RAM (soon to become 2 GB, rendering is highly memory bound),
- 160 GB SATA disk (hardly enough),
- ATI 9250 graphics card using the binary drivers, c.f. below,
- NEC ND3500 DVD read-write drive, not recommended due to
linux compatibility problems.
- OS: Ubuntu Hoary 5.04 (so elegant in comparison with many other
distributions!) with many additional pieces:
Sound system tweeks, since sound is a never ending saga on linux,
- nearly all the development packages (*-dev) available via synaptic,
- various bits a pieces downloaded directly from their home
sites as well as from cvs. Care is needed when building & installing
without informing synaptic since later sysnaptic may install older
packages on top of the new home-built ones. To avoid this use
checkinstall or dpkg, c.f.
32bit chroot environment is very useful for all
the applications that are either unavailable or handicapped as 64 bit
binaries. Amongst these is Kino, which doesn't offer capture into a
quicktime4linux container in its 64bit
version, whereas this format is available in 32bit (or maybe I just didn't
configure it properly?)...
- ATI Binary Drivers: may not be absolutely necessary but
since installing them, my video display seems to have improved in quality.
How To: ATI Drivers v0.2.
- Kino32: as a 32bit binary it can capture DV in a quicktime4linux
container and works normally as a simple video editing workbench;
in 64bit it doesn't offer qt format and cannot load or open files
since the 'file open' command causes a crash with no error message.
This is the same for versions that I built or downloaded from Ubuntu.
- dvgrab: a command line tool that does DV capturing the same as
kino32, but works in 64bit. There is no GUI to display the captured footage,
but this is neither necessary nor desirable since the CPU load induced by DV decoding would disrupt the capture and provoke the loss of frames.
- Cinelerra: this is the main tool to use to edit the video and make
your digital master. It is said to be similar to Adobe Premier, but
having neither the EURO's for AP nor the desire to deal with the Wonderful
World of Windows , I couldn't say.
It seems to work fairly well, with some
problems. I could not get capture to work, nor the ALSA sound
interface. Editing & rendering work well. On
crash, load backup to continue. Be sure to set the playback/sound to
possibly OSS, but not ALSA since this causes the application to
crash on playback.
To build Cinelerra there are 2 choices for the source:
- follow the INSTALL and README to build either by
./configure; make; sudo checkinstall,
or if you are very courageous:
apt-get source --compile Cinelerra
with the repository:
deb-src http://www.kiberpipa.org/~minmax/cinelerra/builds/sid/ ./
- ./configure OPENEXR=/usr/local/include/OpenEXR
- make...but this usually fails,
- sudo checkinstall...if you can get to this point, please tell me
- ffmpeg: this is a general purpose multimedia format conversion tool
that you will need to create a final mpeg-2 file for the DVD's iso image. I
built from cvs 2005 05 06, works perfectly. NOTE: the ffmpeg
available for Ubuntu 64bit is obsolete and crashes.
- mplex: another format conversion/multiplexing tool that can be used
to combine an mpeg audio file with an mpeg video
file so as to create a single mpeg file. I have used it successfully but
no longer need it since using ffmpeg makes the process more efficient.
- dvdstyler: takes an mpeg file and via GUI allows for the
composition of menus and creates the iso image. This image will then be burned
on the DVD-rom.
- mplayer: this will play various video formats from the command
line. As such it allows you to view your masterpiece on the PC before seeing it
on the TV. It has a GUI front-end called gmplayer which is included in
the source tarball.
- dvd-slideshow: installed, but not yet tested. This is supposed to be
able to make still pictures into a DVD slideshow with sound and menus, etc.
DV to DVD
Here I explain all the steps needed assemble DV footage on a camescope
into a DVD that can be played on a TV via a standard home DVD player. The
process manipulates uncompressed DV in quicktime4linux container files until
the last step in which the DV is compressed and encoded as mpeg-2 which is the
format required by the standard living room DVD player.
- 'Capture' the DV into quicktime4linux container on harddisk. This means
transfer the uncompressed DV footage to uncompressed file(s) on your PC's
- Connect the DV camescope to a firewire port and set it to playback
mode. This will activate the Linux HotPlug subsystem.
- Make sure all 1394 devices have r+w access rights for all users.
> sudo chmod a+rw /dev/*1394
- Capture the DV into quicktime4linux container files using either
Kino32 or dvgrab. If you use Kino, be careful with the
configuration of the preferences so as to get the right file-names (on
'Capture' tab) and directories (on 'Other' tab). Once Kino is configured,
switch to the 'Capture' view. There click on AV/C to enable Kino to
command the camescope via the firewire connection. Wind to the spot where you
want to start capture and click Capture!
If you prefer the command-line way of working, use dvgrab. The
following command line starts an interactive session (-i) of capturing into
quicktime4linux (--format qt) adding timestamps (--timestamp) and automatically
splitting the footage into separate files for each shot (--autosplit):
> dvgrab --format qt -i --timestamp --autosplit FILENAME.mov
In either case, the output of this phase will be a bunch of files of the
The content is uncompressed digital video. Uncompressed
means around 18GB of disk for 1 hour of DV footage.
- Next, determine the audio and video attributes of the DV footage by
> qtinfo filename.mov.
Keep this information handy as you will need it in the next step. You will
get an output that looks something like this:
- Use cinelerra to edit the .mov files and create a DV
master (i.e. an uncompressed film containing the bits that you orginally
filmed + effects, etc. you could record this back through the camescope to DV
tape and keep it in the vault, waiting for the day when you can do something
with it...) :
- configure cinelerra: You will need the output from
to configure cinelerra to understand your footage. Be sure to get this
right! Execute Settings/Format menu:
- Next, run through the Settings/Preferences dialogs. Most of these can be
left with the defaults, although I could not execute cinelerra with the
audio driver set to ALSA. I am currently using the esound driver
which works fine.
- At this point you should be ready to start the fun part: editing you video
- Edit the .mov files together to make a film using
Cinelerra: A detailed explanation of this complex and multifacted
process is beyond the scope of this document. In summary:
- Load your footage via the menu: 'File/Load Files'. Select the
insertion strategy: create new resources only, or RTFM to find a better
- If you don't see anything, use the menu 'Window' to show these windows:
- Resources: this contains all the raw materiels you will need to make
your film. Amongst these are the media, i.e. the raw stock footage,
- Viewer: you will use this to examine the raw footage and select
shots to cut into the film you are making,
- Compositor: this is where the film you are making is visible.
- Drag media into the viewer, mark cut-in [ and cut-out ]
points and then click on the splice button to insert the cut at the
insertion point in the main film. There are other ways of cutting and splicing,
but this will get you quite a ways.
It is also possible to cut from the Compositor window.
The main window shows the video and audio tracks, zooming, and 'fit
selection to display' are useful functions to gain precision in the cuts.
When the masterpice is ready, it's time to render!
- Now use Cinelerra to render your work into a single file
quicktime4linux .mov file which will be your digital master. Clicking on
the menu 'File/Render' will bring up the following dialog:
Be sure to set up the Audio and Video properties as follows:
It is also possible to render video and audio separately by selecting
mpeg audio and mpeg video in the render dialog.
Be sure that there is enough disk available before starting to
render. When you do start, find something to do since this can take a very long
time. A prgress bar on the lower right of the main window will help to while
away the time...
- Convert and compress the digial master into a mpeg-2 file with
ffmpeg or multiplex (if separate audio and video files were rendered) using mplex.
> ffmpeg -i toto.mov -target pal-dvd toto.mpeg
> mplex -v 0 -f 8 video.mpv audio.mpa -o videoaudio.mpeg
- Build the DVD's iso image using the intuitve GUI of
dvdstyler to produce the final iso image file: dvd.iso.
There is a subtle issue with dvdstyler, the menu background image
must be sized properly depending on the target TV standard (PAL = 720 x 576).
Since the aspect ratio for PAL TV is not the same as my video camera, I use the
GIMP to first re-size to 576px tall, and then crop off the side
so that it fits.
You'd think that this would be enough, but dvdstyler has a small problem
in that the editor pane window is slightly larger than the image that will
appear on the TV. There seems to be no way to know the exact limits, but to be
safe, it's best to allow some virtual margins when placing menus and text.
Another subtle aspect is the use of menu actions. Setting these can be very
confusing, but with care it's possible to get them straight. Be specially
aware that there is no gurantee that all the menu buttons will even be
accessible if the actions aren't well thought out.
- Final Step: use Nautilus, or any burning app to burn the iso image to
DVD-ROM. You now have DVD that can play on your living room DVD player and be
viewed on TV!
jpeg to DVD (section is under work)
Here I explain how to take jpeg images and build a slideshow on a DVD that can
be shown on a TV via a standard home DVD player.
- complete jpeg to DVD section