When opening DVD Movie Factory, you get 15 choices in
Video Disc (New Project,
Open existing project, Burn video to disc, Burn DVD folders to disc, and
Slideshow Disc (New project, Open existing project, Burn DVD
folders to disc)
Disc Tools (Copy disc, Fit to disc, Format disc, Erase disc,
Finalize disc, Burn from disc image)
Print Disc Label
My path was Video Disc > New Project.
That got me to 3 more choices. I knew I wanted a Standard
Hollywood type of DVD, but the other choices made me stop and think a
bit... what are the DVD+VR and DVD-VR options?
I'll add links to the Wikipedia pages I browsed...
make an editable disc in DVD+VR
create an editable disc in DVD-VR
format... with no menu
I found myself more deeply into the subject of DVD
authoring and making than I expected to get with a new laptop
without a DVD burner.
That selection got me to the main working window, in which there
are three steps... or windows. Let's go through them.
Step 1 - add media...
From a video device, video files on your hard drives, still pix
from a hard drive (slide show), or files from a CD/DVD. I was
surprised it doesn't accept jpg files, but takes JPEG2000 ones.
Edit media.... multi-trim video (crop the
segments you want to keep), join (happens really quick)/separate video (undo the
join), enhance video (with text overlays, adding audio clip, adding
Add/Edit Chapters for video files.. includes
auto-adding, Export selected clip to 7.2 Mbps to 1.6 Mbps.... exports to MPEG-2
DVD compliant videos... option to use the first video clip as an introductory
video, before the menu shows up
A disc can have a mix of videos and slide-shows... and it'll
take multiple slide-shows.
Use the 3rd icon in at the top of this step to add a
slideshow... then add transitions and effects to slides... but on my
the app crashes or hangs
forever when adding transitions
Set picture durations from 1 to 254 seconds... applies to all of
them. This isn't as fully featured a slideshow as you can make with Photo Story
Step 2 - select a menu style
... one of 7 styles... the Edit tab has options to add
background music, motion menus, a background image or video, layout settings
(pan & zoom, motion filter, menu in, menu out, and navigation buttons
Step 3 - burn the disc
... sometimes it's to a disc in the drive... if you have a DVD
burner, which I don't on this system.
If not to disc, then to a set of DVD folders and
files, or to a single compressed disk package... an image (ISO).
Note the options to normalize the audio (nice touch
but I didn't test it), and to archive the slide-show images... which
usually means adding copies of the original pictures to the disc in
addition to the smaller sized ones used for the slide-show. That lets you
distribute your originals with the videos and slideshow.
... first makes MPEG-2 files for the videos... 18
of them for my test disc. at a total duration of 1-3/4 hours.... that gets you
to 50% overall progress
then it builds motion background files for the menu
pages... 51 animated background files, each an MPG.... to about
then builds 150 menu transitions... each an MPEG file....
finished in 4-1/2 hours
The 5 menu icons at the bottom left can be accessed when you're on
any of the 3 steps.
from the first you can
Save the project
Save as a different project
Select preferences... lots of choices
including an 'anti-flicker' filter, resample quality of good or best,
slideshow image duration, video transition durations, and audio fade in/out
The setting for the 'TV safe area', as a
A capture feature for DV... capturing into BMP
from the second icon (looks like a gear... a film projector sprocket)
you can change the project settings
The MPEG Settings are all about compression... how much fits
on your disc. The High Quality of 7.2 Mbps bitrate gets you an hour on a
standard DVD... the lower bitrate choices get will let you burn more than an
hour... I used the SP setting to have my full 1 hr, 25 min video on the DVD.
You can see from the meter in the opening section of this newsletter that my
disc was just a bit more than half filled, so it could have taken more than 2
hours of video.
if the 5 built built-in profiles for MPEG settings aren't
enough, you can customize a profile... frame size, aspect ratio of 4:3 or
16:9, VBR or CBR, audio format of
an option to skip the conversion of MPEG files that are
already DVD compliant
auto-repeat when the disc ends... lots of people ask for this
The third icon toggles between a standard 4:3 aspect ration and
widescreen 16:9 for the DVD playing window.
The next is the print icon for a disc label printing... a
full-featured authoring one to add images, icons, text (straight or curved to
align with the disc), text shadows, the ability to save the disc label project
file, etc. It's as good or better than stand-alone disc labeling
The last icon at the bottom is for help, from a local help file
on your computer.
Closing... and What's Next?
From newsgroup and
forum posts, ULead DVD software has a very positive
reputation... I can see why. With the exception of it freezing when I add a
transition to a slide show, it worked flawlessly.
I know... freezing when adding a
transition or effect is pretty important!!! And on an OEM installed
Have a great week and enjoy your summer fun
and video work...