DVD Creation using Adobe Premiere
COW Library : Adobe Premiere Pro Tutorials : Dan Gordon : DVD Creation using Adobe Premiere
DVD Authoring is one of the hottest topics in dynamic media right now and many users are looking to make use of this fast-growing and easy to sell technology in their own productions. There are many things to consider when setting out to create your first DVD Authoring project and in this article we'll explore these factors.
Some notes before we get started...
All of the settings I have used in this article are for 4:3 NTSC, so if you use PAL or you want a widescreen presentation, you will have to make the appropriate changes to your project settings.
Note:If you have not yet installed the AVISynth or TMPGenc programs, here is a link to download them and the instructions you will need.
You can either start a new project in Adobe Premiere and edit it, like you would edit any project, with your editing hardware -- or take your existing project and work with it. I use a DVRaptor from Canopus, so my settings may vary a bit from yours if you are using something else. To stay on the safe side of things, here are three things to be aware of:
Now it's time to start the export from Premiere and the encoding with TMPGenc.
In Premiere, place the work area bar over the video you want to encode.
Select FILE, EXPORT, MOVIE, SETTINGS and ensure you have the following settings selected:
Type the file name you wish to give your new project.
Select "OK" when the Default settings loaded box appears.
You should see this window open up:
Avisynth has created a file called 'part0.avs' on your C: drive (c:part0.avs) this is trick that avisynth uses to get premiere to export to TMPGenc. TMPGenc sees this file as an avi and encodes it.
Wait a very long time!! These settings are the highest quality, longest encode time so stand by to do nothing for a while. Remember this is a FREE program, but the quality will be worth the wait. It takes me about 23 minutes for every minute encoded running on a 1gHz Athlon. (There are faster commercial packages available and if your goal is to create projects commercially, you will want to consider purchasing one of them.)
Here are some comparisons between the original avi and the encoded mpg. Click on any of the pictures to see the full size images....
One of the things that a lot of people overlook is the audio. Audio has always been a very important part of what we do; now we have the ability to output audio in Dolby Digital. DVDit PE offers 2.0 Dolby Digital.
One big mistake in DVD authoring is using the audio embedded in the MPG file that was just created. The audio embedded in the MPG file is a compressed mp2 format (similar to mp3s). The problem is that DVD players don't use mp2 files, DVD players use either PCM or AC-3 files. PCM files are basically WAV files for DVD's and AC-3 is the Dolby Digital standard. If you use DVDit, the program will demux the MPG stream into two streams (mpeg and mp2), then encode the mp2 into either PCM or AC-3.
The problem with this is that the mp2 file is already compressed once from the original wav file, so you are compressing the audio twice which degrades the sound significantly. DVDit allows you to use a WAV file in the authoring process and discard the mp2 file. This allows you to keep very high audio qualities.
To export the audio, ensure the work area bar is over the exact segment of video that you just encoded.
An observation about the Sonic line, MyDVD, DVDit SE and DVDit PE are all very similar programs. So far I've only found a few differences between the three. MyDVD doesn't give you control of end action, or menu key selection, no audio in the menus, and PCM audio encoding only. DVDit SE gives you everything but AC-3 encoding and DVDit PE gives you AC-3 plus build to Tape (useless for us). A note on AC-3. My first project was about 90 minutes long encoded at 8000 with PCM audio, the total project size was 4.28 GB, I took the same files but encoded with AC-3 and the file size dropped 600 MB!!! plus I got AC-3. So it's worth the upgrade just for that, it'll give you a lot more video on the disk.
This article is a work in progress and I want your input, what do you do differently? Did this work for you? Do you find a better way to do one of the steps involved? I hope you'll take a minute to write me with you comments. Please email me.