Gratefulfrog Last update: 2005 10 03

How to Get Films and Pictures onto a DVD


Todo Tools



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.
  1. 'Capture' the DV into quicktime4linux container on harddisk. This means transfer the uncompressed DV footage to uncompressed file(s) on your PC's disks:
    1. Connect the DV camescope to a firewire port and set it to playback mode. This will activate the Linux HotPlug subsystem.
    2. Make sure all 1394 devices have r+w access rights for all users.
      > sudo chmod a+rw /dev/*1394
    3. 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
      In either case, the output of this phase will be a bunch of files of the form:
      The content is uncompressed digital video. Uncompressed means around 18GB of disk for 1 hour of DV footage.
    4. Next, determine the audio and video attributes of the DV footage by executing:
      > qtinfo
      Keep this information handy as you will need it in the next step. You will get an output that looks something like this:
  2. 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...) :
    1. configure cinelerra: You will need the output from qtinfo to configure cinelerra to understand your footage. Be sure to get this right! Execute Settings/Format menu:
    2. 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.
    3. At this point you should be ready to start the fun part: editing you video footage!
  3. 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:
    1. Load your footage via the menu: 'File/Load Files'. Select the insertion strategy: create new resources only, or RTFM to find a better choice.
    2. 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.
    3. 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!
    4. 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...
    5. 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 -target pal-dvd toto.mpeg
      > mplex -v 0 -f 8 video.mpv audio.mpa -o videoaudio.mpeg
    6. 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.
    7. 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.

    Todo Process