I enjoy making video DVDs from vacations, weddings, and other special events for me & my friends. Previously I had to create two different DVDs in order to accommodate both wide-screen and standard TVs. And, it was a hassle figuring out how many of each format I needed to burn. After a wedding about three years ago, I decided that I’d try and make a DVD that could be used on either format TV – a little more work, but it required making fewer DVDs – a money and time saver! I also like to include a copy of all photos and movies I shoot since I rarely include all of them in the slideshows.
The process and choice of applications took a fair amount of time since there was a lot of trial-and-error testing. Many applications didn’t perform as advertised or rendered poor results. The following Windows applications are those that worked the best for my purpose:
- ProShow Producer (creates HD slideshow movies)
- MemoriesOnTV4 Pro (creates wide-screen and standard TV formatted DVD movies)
- DvdReMake Pro (combines up to four DVD movies on one DVD, space permitting)
- Nero Express (creates disc image of the combined DVD movies created by DvdReMake)
- UltraISO Premium (to add folder with all photos/movies on ‘combined’ DVD)
Optional and useful applications
- Audio Video Synchronizer (corrects out-of-sync audio/video of digital movies)
- MuxMan DVD Pro (creates a dummy DVD from a user customized menu for use in DvdReMake)
Step 1: Setup
Setup a movie work folder for the video files to use with the applications. I created a folder called “Movie work folder” with three sub-folders called “Wide-screen format”, “Standard TV format”, and “DVD ReMake Results.” Create a sub-folder in “DVD ReMake Results” called “VIDEO_TS”. Leave the “Wide-screen format” and “Standard TV format” folders empty.
If you are planning on creating your own customized intro menu to select your DVDs (like the photo above), then create another folder in the “Movie work folder” for the dummy DVD video – I called mine “Wide-screen-Standard Intro.” Create a folder in the “Wide-screen-Standard Intro” folder called “VIDEO_TS”.
Step 2: Create Slideshows and HD Movies Using ProShow Producer
1) Before the ceremony
2) The ceremony
3) The reception
4) Family group photos
This process is relatively simple - build each slideshow with the captions, slide transitions, add music, etc. For wide-screen set the “video format preset” as “HD” with its default (1080p) 1920 x 1080 resolution with the aspect ratio set to 16:9*. For standard TV set the “video format preset” as “DVD” with its default (HQ) 720 x 640 resolution with the aspect ratio set to 4:3. I labeled the resulting slideshows with a description of their properties – this makes it easier in the next step. Once all of the slideshow videos have been built for both TV format versions for each slideshow, we are ready to move on to the next step in the process.
The video generation process usually takes a long time, especially for the HD versions and especially if there are movies included in the slideshows.
* I only build HD slideshow videos to save time. The same HD video is used for BlueRay players and standard DVD players.
|Special Note: If you are going to be using digital movies that require the sound and video to be synchronized properly, then you’ll want to check them closely before creating the slideshows. If they are out-of-sync (common problem with movies shot with digital cameras), then you need a good application to correct the out-of-sync. There are only a few applications that advertise they can correct the out-of-sync problem, but only one performed well and that was Audio Video Synchronizer (http://www.weqsoft.com/audio-video-synchronizer.htm.) I didn’t notice any significant out-of-sync problems with my digital camera until I shot movies at a wedding when they were saying their vows. Up until this time, the out-of-sync problem was easily overlooked.|
Step 3: Create Wide-screen & Standard TV DVD Movies Using MemoriesOnTV4 Pro
None of the popular applications for creating video slideshows on DVD have the capability to include both wide-screen and standard TV formats on a single DVD, so we must create the formats separately.
Use MemoriesOnTV4 to create the two DVD formats: wide-screen format (16:9) and standard TV format (4:3).
1. Start by opening MemoriesOnTV4 and create a new project. Rename “Album 1” to the first slideshow video, and then add additional albums and rename to your slideshow videos until all have been included. Mine looked like the first photo above.
2. Drag & drop the appropriate TV format (4:3 or 16:9) for the version you want to do first. Since I setup my intro slide with the wide-screen TV format as the first DVD movie, I always do the wide-screen work/versions first. Just be sure that the appropriate videos created with ProShow Producer are used for the TV format you will be working on next. For example, I used names such as “Before the ceremony (HD 16x9 1080p).mpg” for the wide-screen and “Before the ceremony (DVD 4x3 HQ).mpg” for the standard TV formats. When it came to this step, I drag & dropped the appropriate format for the TV format I wanted to do next. It is very important to establish a routine when you are doing this work (sort of like a “cookbook recipe”), so that you don’t mismatch the slideshow videos. I recommend creating a simple checklist to follow and check off to be sure you don’t create mismatched versions.
3. Go to the “Disc Menu” and setup the layout, background, main menu header, caption text options, etc. (second photo)
4. In MemoriesOnTV4, go to “Edit” and “Preferences” to set the appropriate DVD format specifics. We’ll be creating both aspect ratios eventually (4:3 and 16:9), so choose which one you want to do first. Set the “TV Safe Region” to 85% - I’ve found that the majority of standard TVs display the best results with this setting. (third photo)
5. Set the “Video Option” (see below) appropriately (NTSC for USA, PAL for Europe, etc.). Next press the “Burn” tab and select “Generate video disc image” and set the “working folder” to the appropriate folder of those you just created (standard TV or wide-screen). Check the “clear cache before generating the image” and then “Start.” After creating the first disc image, go back and reset the “Video Aspect” to the opposite format, etc., and create the other disc image. (fourth photo)
Step 4: Combine Both DVD Movie Formats Into Same DVD Using DvdReMake Pro
1. Open DvdReMake Pro and select “File”, “Import DVD”, and navigate to the first movie folder “Wide-screen format.” Select the “Video_TS” folder (see below) and let DvdReMake Pro do the import. Repeat this process with the “Standard TV format” folder. (first photo)
2. After you are done, the screen will look something like the second image above, with the two imports listed as “project 1” and “project 2.”
3. Next, we need to tell DvdReMake Pro where to place the results during the merge process. Select “Tools”, “Options” and select the appropriate folders. Assign all four fields, “Import”, “Export”, “Test export” and “Modified export.” (third photo)
4. Select “Tools”, “Merge DVDs…” and you get a window to confirm the merge process (fourth photo). Press “Merge”. This part of the process is very quick.
5. You now will have a “project 3”. (fifth photo)
6. The intro menu that has been created is rather simple, and you may want to make your own customized version to make it look more understandable. The default menu that is created is shown in the sixth photo – functional, but not very descriptive.
7. If you want to create a your own intro menu, then go to the step that follows, "Step 5: (Optional Step) Build a Customized Start Menu for DVD". If you just want to use the default menu, then you can create the new DVD files by selecting “File”, “Export DVD…” and confirm the path to the folder inside the “DVD ReMake Results” called “VIDEO_TS” and press “Select.” (seventh photo)
|Special Note: If you try to merge the DVD movies and discover that the DVD doesn’t play and you experience a “black” screen, etc., then you may be trying to use DvdReMake Pro on the wrong computer. DvdReMake Pro is ComputerID dependent. It will appear to complete the merge process, but it won’t work properly.|
Step 5: (Optional Step) Build a Customized Start Menu for DVD
1. Download the blank menu images for your region from the DimadSoft.
Using your favorite bitmap editor, create an image that you want to use as your menu. The first photo is an example of what I created – nothing fancy, just more descriptive.
2. Open MuxMan DVD Pro and select the “browse” button in the “Output folder” field. Navigate to “Movie work folder”, “Wide-screen-Standard Intro”, and “VIDEO_TS”. Select “OK”. Next, select the “browse” button in the “Output folder” field. Navigate to your customized menu (BMP) file. Assuming MuxMan found the file, press the “Close” button after the next screen appears (second photo). Press “Close”.
|(Note: Muxman only accepts 24-bit bitmaps and that image should be of correct size (720x480 pixels for NTSC and 720x576 pixels for PAL.)|
3. Press “Start” to create the dummy DVD. When Muxman is done, VTS_01_1.VOB in destination directory will contain one block with your image encoded to mpeg-2. The screen will look something like the third photo.
4. Import the newly created video files into DvdReMake Pro. After doing the “Merge DVDs”, select “Import DVD…” and navigate to the “Movie work folder”, “Wide-screen-Standard Intro” and “VIDEO_TS.” This creates a new “project” at the bottom. Press the previous project tab (“project 3” in this case). Navigate to the last “Video Title Set”, “Menus”, and then to the “root menu”. (fourth photo)
5. Place the mouse cursor over the preview image of the default menu (brown in the photo above), select the right mouse button, and select “Replace with still…” and a new window appears. Navigate to the last “Pool” and select the path shown. Select “Ok”. (fifth photo)
6. At this point, you can create the new DVD files by selecting “File”, “Export DVD…” and confirm the path to the folder inside the “DVD ReMake Results” called “VIDEO_TS” and press “Select.” (sixth photo)
Step 6: Adding an Extra Folder to the Final DVD Using Nero Express & UltraISO
As I indicated initially, I like to include a copy of all of the photos and movies on the DVD, since I don’t use all of them in the slideshows.
1. Using Nero Express, I simply select “Videos/Picture”, select “DVD-Video Files”, add the VIDEO_TS” folder in “DVD ReMake Results” and create a DVD ISO by selecting the “Current recorder” and selecting “Burn”. (first photo)
2. When the “Save Image File” window appears, set the “Save as type” as “ISO Image Files (*.iso)”, enter an appropriate file name (something like “Wedding - raw.iso”), navigate to your “Movie work folder” and select “Save”. (second photo)
3. Now open UltraISO and navigate to the “Movie work folder” and select the file you just created, “Wedding - raw.iso” in this example. (third photo)
4. Navigate to the folder with the photos and movies you want to add to the DVD. Simply “drag and drop” the folder into the ISO file. (fourth photo)
5. Select “File”, “Save As…” and enter the new ISO file name to save. Creating the new ISO file will allow us to make additional DVD copies after we exit UltraISO. Before exiting UltraISO, burn and test the new DVD created. (fifth photo)
6. If the DVD plays like you want, then the final step is to create a professional looking DVD label and attach to the DVD