Let me firstly stress that Users should post these problems into the User forums for two reasons.
1. If I reply to you directly YOU get the benefit of my experience and knowledge but no one else will benefit. By Posting in a forum others with the same problem also get that benefit.
2. By posting into a forum you will also get the benefit of the knowledge of other forum members who may know alternative solutions which may be better than mine.
Some members know a little about a lot, others a lot about a little. I put myself in the first category.
To answer your query let us take a look at the most efficient work flow for video production. You will see that with MovieFactory we need to include a workaround for stage 2.Arthur Garner wrote:Hi sjj1805,
I have been using MF4 ( and earlier versions)quite successfully. Have had a chance to use MF5. I used this MF4 program to write DVDs of home movies etc. In the past if the resultant video file is too large I have used DVD Shrink to compress it when MF4 has finished writing it. I note MF5 wants to do the compressing for you but this takes a couple of hours. Do you know if there is some way to turn this option off so I can write larger files and compress them later.
I might have to return to using MF4.
My computer has dual processor and 2G ram so not a slow computer.
Stage 1. Get the video into your computer.
How you do this depends upon where your source video is currently located and what equipment you have available. The two major sources of video are
a) Camcorder. Here the best way of connecting the camcorder to the computer is by way of an IEEE1394 'firewire' cable and to 'transfer' the video in its native format which is normally DV a form of avi. This is digital and consumes some 13GB of hard drive space per hour.
Having said that there are all sorts of camcorders on the market including DVD camcorders, Hard Drive Camcorders, High Definition Camcorders and even minute camcorders recording in a highly compressed MPEG4 or DivX format. Those camcorders are so small that James Bond probably owns one!
You have to establish the best means of getting your camcorder video into the computer and what will work for you may not be the correct solution for someone else.
b) TV card. Many computers have a TV card that effectively turns your computer into a television set. These TV cards are normally supplied with their own capture software and often that capture will be in MPEG2 format.
These TV cards break the golden rule of capturing to an avi type format because they normally have a built in hardware MPEG encoder. In plain English they record in MPEG mode - that's what they are designed to do.
Not all TV cards fall into that category, the better ones will record in DV (avi). If you are lucky enough to own one of those then you should record to the DV format.
Stage Two. Editing.
Now that you have your video on your computer hard drive you can use an editing program such as VideoStudio or MediaStudio to tidy up your video. You can delete unwanted material, re-arrange the order of the scenes. Add Titles, Add background music. You can turn yourself into a bit of a Steven Spielberg. Whilst it is not impossible to do this with video in MPEG format you will normally get better results if you do so with a digital format, preferably DV.
It is at this stage that you create an MPEG2 file ready for passing to Stage 3 - Authoring.
It is at this time that you must work out how big your video is going to be so that it will fit onto your DVD disc. If you have a video lasting just 1 hour then you can use the best quality available which means using higher bit rates. When viewed on a large screen TV your picture will remain sharp and appear as though it was produced by one of the Hollywood film companies.
If however you want to get two hours onto your DVD disc you have to reduce the quality slightly to get a smaller video file. This means using smaller bit rates. On a normal TV set you shouldn't notice any difference but view it on one of those large screen TV's and you may see some slight blurring. The longer your video and the smaller the bit rate the more this blurring will become evident.
To create these MPEG2 files with a video editing program is no problem at all because they are designed to do that sort of thing. However we are dealing with DVD MovieFactory - so how do we 'cheat' and create this MPEG2 file?
The procedure is the same but the place to activate that procedure is found in a different place dependant upon which version of MovieFactory you own.
You firstly insert your video onto the DVD MovieFactory Media clip list any videos to be used in your DVD project.
Now you can export each video clip to a DVD compliant MPEG2 format and using the required bit rate settings to achieve the desired file size.
MovieFactory 4 disc Creator Edition.
MovieFactory 5 (Standard or Plus)
Having created your DVD Compliant MPEG2 files you now clear the existing thumbnails from you clip list and use the newly created ones instead.
You are now ready to move onto
Stage 3 - Authoring.
In this stage all you should now need to concentrate upon is how your DVD Menu(s) and going to look and behave. Provided you have got your file sizes right in step 2 there should no longer be any concerns about the completed project fitting onto your disk.
Remember that the DVD Menu Pages also consume disc space. The more Menu & sub-Menu pages you create the more disc space will be used.
A guide to Stage 3 can be found here:
MF: Authoring a DVD
Only resort to DVD Shrink if you find that your completed project is slightly over despite all of your efforts. You obtain best results by getting the file sizes correct in the first place.