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Author Topic: DVD authoring software recommendations  (Read 2505 times)
lm8
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Posts: 83


« on: February 19, 2009, 06:32:53 am »

There's a nice list of video tools at:
http://www.videohelp.com/tools/sections/linux-video-tools

However, was wondering what Vector Linux users work with when editing and authoring homemade DVDs.  Would love to hear some recommendations on what users think are the best tools.  Am especially interested in programs that work well on low end systems.  More specifically, what tools don't need a lot of library dependencies (such as Gnome and KDE libraries) and what tools are compiled instead of interpreted, so they'll hopefully run faster?

Some of the video applications I personally like are DVDStyler, mencoder and mplex (part of mjpeg tools).  Anyone have their own favorites to add to the list? 
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aulus
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Posts: 36



« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2009, 12:08:13 pm »

I would be interested as well. I've not done much lately cause I havn't found a good program for linux I like yet but was using DVD Lap Pro in windows.
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Aspirat primo Fortuna labori.
(Fortune smiles upon our first effort.)
----Virgil
M0E-lnx
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Posts: 3179



« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2009, 12:17:12 pm »

I'm interested in something that could put together a DVD from several VBO files (or whatever the extention is).
Ive tried this many times and always end up with a DVD that wont play.
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lm8
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Posts: 83


« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2009, 09:27:10 am »

Good to hear there are other Vector Linux users that would be interested in authoring DVDs.  Maybe a group of us can put together a how-to and make sure we have the proper tools in the repository for authoring projects.  I just don't consider my PC properly set up until it has all the software installed that it needs to do projects like create music and author DVDs.  (It's going to take me a while to get everything set up.)

Regarding authoring from a VOB...  I've worked with DVDStyler before.  If you have unencrypted VOB files, you should be able to drag the files into DVDStyler and author directly from there.  I usually use a lot more tools than DVDStyler and like to do some basic editing first.  However, if you just want to do some simple authoring, DVDStyler should be able to handle most of the basics.

If you're authoring and want to make sure your final results will play, before you copy the ISO to DVD, check it out in a program like VLC and make sure it looks okay.  If it looks good there but still fails when you play the final DVD, then the problem is with bad media or the burning software not being able to handle your DVD writer properly.  I burn a lot of coasters if I don't use a good quality disk to begin with or a decent DVD writer.  For one machine where the writer wasn't up to the job, I bought an external writer from a company that has a good reputation.  Made a lot less coasters after that.

There's also a no more coasters guide:
http://www.digitalfaq.com/media/
Plus, video help has DVD writer reviews from its users:
http://www.videohelp.com/dvdwriters
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Witek Mozga
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Posts: 113



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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2009, 02:29:03 pm »

Anyone have their own favorites to add to the list? 

I prepare DVDs for my kids very often, for example I concatenate several VCDs into one DVD. I use mencoder along with dvdauthor (or qdvdauthor when menu is required). I do encoding via mencoder manually as this allows me to choose the bitrate, aspect and so on. This is quite simple. As mencoder recognizes input format all you have to do is (in one line):

Code:
mencoder -oac lavc -ovc lavc -of mpeg -mpegopts format=dvd -vf scale=720:576,harddup -srate 48000 -af lavcresample=48000 -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg2video:vrc_buf_size=1835:vrc_maxrate=9800:vbitrate=2400:keyint=15:aspect=4/3:acodec=ac3:abitrate=192 -ofps 25 -o name_of_output.mpg   path_to_input_file.avi.or.rmvb.or.anything

Important: This is valid for PAL video, I guess in USA NTSC is used. Options for NTSC can be found here: http://www.mplayerhq.hu/DOCS/HTML/en/menc-feat-vcd-dvd.html#menc-feat-vcd-dvd-all

To change bitrate adjust vbitrate=2400 (up to 9800) and aspect to 16/9 adjust aspect=16/9

To rip dvd or vcd replace only path_to_input_file with dvd:// or vcd:// (you can add chapter number, man mencoder gives you examples). The rest remains intact.

There is also possibilty to deinterlace input file, there are several methods, two examples here:

Code:
-vf pullup,softskip,scale=720:576,harddupp
or
Code:
-vf pp=fd,scale=720:576,harddup

or remove black borders (man mencoder and search cropdetect and crop) or add subtitles with mencoder:

add this to the above command in one line,  adjust encoding, fontname and position
Code:
-fontconfig -subcp cp1250 -font Serif -subpos 90 -subfont-text-scale 4


Using dvdauthor is quite simple, however you need to learn how to script its XML config file that describes DVD structure.
http://dvdauthor.sourceforge.net/doc/ex-title.html

It is quite simple in simplest cases, ie. when you have MPEGs prepared with mencoder as described before, then to have two chapters from two source mpegs :

Code:
<dvdauthor>
    <vmgm />
    <titleset>
        <titles>
            <pgc>
                <vob file="video1.mpg" />
                <vob file="video2.mpg" />
            </pgc>
        </titles>
    </titleset>
</dvdauthor>

then

Code:
dvdauthor -o path_to_dvd_structure -x path_to_xml_file

Using qdvdauthor for generating menu is a bit tricky as all versions newer that 1.0 keep crashing too much for me. Qdvdauthor also crashes often when it generates preview of video files. I had to change its default engine for this in the settings to solve this problem. Qdvdauthor generates XML for dvdauthor and then the latter does the job.

When you have dvd structure generated somewhere containing AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS directories then you can easily burn video dvd project with K3b. Before to do so, you can test if it works fine (especially menus) with xine or VLC, giving the absolute path (from root dir, ie. /home/john/dvd/ not ~john/dvd/ or ../../dvd/) to dvd directory containing VIDEO_TS.

Code:
xine dvd://absolute_path_to_dvd_structure




« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 03:38:38 am by Witek Mozga » Logged

Witek Mozga
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Posts: 113



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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2009, 02:39:35 pm »

I'm interested in something that could put together a DVD from several VBO files (or whatever the extention is).
Ive tried this many times and always end up with a DVD that wont play.

I described the proces in the above post but when you want to rip DVD directly without compression (which depends on vbitrate), you can replace codecs name with copy and thus rip video stream from DVD very fast into MPEG which can be later used with dvdauthor.

Code:
mencoder -oac copy -ovc copy -of mpeg -mpegopts format=dvd -vf scale=720:576,harddup -srate 48000 -af lavcresample=48000 -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg2video:vrc_buf_size=1835:vrc_maxrate=9800:vbitrate=2400:keyint=15:aspect=4/3:acodec=ac3:abitrate=192 -ofps 25 -o name_of_output.mpg   dvd://title_number

you can also rip from copy of DVD disc on the harddisc adding this to the above line
 
Code:
-dvd-device path_to_dvd_copy_on_hd
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 02:46:06 pm by Witek Mozga » Logged

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