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Dive into DVD!: The future of design is here.

Dive into DVD!: The future of design is here.

The advent of digital desktop video design and production and the over-whelming consumer acceptance of the DVD format as a video delivery medium have resulted in an explosion of affordable, powerful hardware and software tools that enable all of us, both professional and amateur designers, to create, edit, and produce multimedia projects of amazing sophistication. We suggest you dive right in to DVD, not only for the fun and personal satisfaction you'll get from creating and delivering video projects, but also for the potential profit of being a DVD producer. You may never work on a Hollywood movie, but there are many opportunites and potential clients out there just waiting to learn how DVD projects can benefit their business and help their organization. This book is for anyone who needs a concise overview of the DVD process, explained from a designer's point of view.

What to expect from this book

This book is an introduction to the world of DVD design and production, with an emphasis on menu design. We hope to interest you in using the DVD format to communicate ideas in a creative way. There are other books twice this size that go into greater detail about the technical aspects of DVD, but we've attempted to present the most critical information in a simple, non-technical way so you won't be intimidated or have your eyes glaze over reading through a technical manual. This book provides an overview of the main elements of DVD, tells you what equipment you need, and what you need to know to produce your first DVD projects. We hope it also gets you excited about chasing that creative urge for which designers are known. DVD-specific design instructions and tips are presented along with advice on issues to consider when designing DVD menus. We're convinced that you'll decide, as we have, that DVD can offer more creative satisfaction than any other design path you've followed.

Also included are overviews of some of the most popular software used for video and audio editing, encoding, and DVD-authoring. We've attemped to provide a general sense of the various programs and how user-friendly they are so you'll have an idea of what's available as you make choices for the hardware and software you'll need to be a DVD designer.

What you shouldn't expect

  • This book does not pretend to be a software manual for any of the video and authoring programs that are showcased. Since each software program mentioned requires one or more manuals, our intent is to provide a very general overview.

  • We've avoided showing a preference for a particular platform, Mac or PC. Both platforms have advantages and many DVD authors are most productive when using both platforms.

  • Skip this book if you're already familiar with DVD design and production and you're looking for in-depth technical information about the process, features, or functions of DVD. Our goal is to give a comprehensive DVD overview.

What you'll learn

We've squeezed a lot of information into this book to provide a comprehensive overview of DVD, as well as related issues and disciplines. You'll learn about:

  • The functions and features of DVD technology.

  • Design concepts specific to DVD menu planning and creation.

  • Menu design. In addition to menu examples throughout the book, we include examples of projects ranging from home movies to Hollywood movies (Chapters 5 and 12).

  • NLE software options. NLE (non-linear editor) software enables you to edit movies on your computer (Chapter 4).

  • DVD-authoring software options. You'll be amazed at how many applications are available (Chapter 15).

The creative potential of working with motion video, audio, and video-compositing effects makes DVD design an exciting, fascinating, and satisfying field for both amateur and professional designers. Today's affordable hardware and software provide creative tools and production power that until recently was beyond our reach.

A super-simple DVD overview

DVD development can seem complex unless you have a clear idea of what's involved. Unless you're familiar with the process, you may be confused about things such as the difference between using NLE software to edit a movie and using authoring software to author a DVD. To avoid confusion, we offer this super-simple overview of the process before you dive in:

Step one: Content creation and asset acquisition

You must have content (usually movies) to put in a DVD project. Either someone gives you movie footage to use, or you shoot it yourself. During this first step you collect all the assets that you'll need for your project—video, audio, photos, etc.

Step two: Editing

Unless someone provides edited movies to use in your DVD project, you'll use NLE software (non-linear editing) to edit the video into finished movies, then save the edited movies in a format that DVD-authoring software requires.

Step three: DVD authoring and multiplexing

Using DVD-authoring software, you'll assemble the final assets into a DVD project. Authoring software is a tool for integrating edited content (audio, video, slideshows) with menus you design, and provides an interface that makes it easy for you to create links between menus and content. After assembling a DVD project, the authoring software prepares it for reproduction, a process called multiplexing. Multiplexing re-assembles the files into a structure and format required to reproduce the project on DVD discs.

Step four: Duplication or replication

Reproduce copies of your project on DVD discs and amaze the world (Chapter 17).

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