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  1. I am trying to create a marketing DVD (first project) and I am trying to figure out how long the video should be. Right now I have written the narration script and it is 35 pages long (times 12pt, double spaced). I read one page at about the correct space and it took 3.5 minutes, so figuring it's uniform my DVD would be around 2 hours. Not including an intros, credits, copyrights, etc. Will all that fit on a single standard DVD?

    I appreciate your help.

    Regards,
    Tom
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  2. Always Watching guns1inger's Avatar
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    I guess it depends on how much you are willing to compromise on quality. You should be able to get 120 minutes of pretty good quality (quality being a very subjective thing) on a standard DVD-/+R. The higher the bitrate, the higher the quality, and the less time that will fit.

    Having said that, the output is also subject to the quality of the input. If you are shooting on mini-DV domestic camera, you will get a comfortable 120 minutes. If you are shooting on professional kit, you might only get 90 minutes before you feel you are compromising. If, on the other hand, you have an older analogue source, you might choose to encode at a lower resolution, and you could be getting 4 hours +.
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  3. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    Well you can put as much as you want on a DVD ... it all depends on the bitrate used.

    Of course the higher the bitrate the better the image and sound quality but also the less you get in running time.

    I'd shoot for making it a total of no more than 2 hours if you want really good quality but you can go longer and still get acceptable quality.

    - John "FulciLives" Coleman
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  4. A majority of the video will be computer screen capture video using Camtasia. Where will that stack up in terms of quality compared to a Mini DV or pro camera?

    Regards,
    Tom
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    I'd wait until the project is finished before you get to this stage. You're getting ahead of yourself.

    The short answer to how much will fit on a DVD-R is already provided in a very vague and unhelpful manner by the disc manufacturers. I personally feel that their Extended Play estimate of 360 minutes is so unrealistic as to be comical.

    However, there are so many factors involved in how much you can fit on your DVD that until you have a more specific idea of what you are going to put on there, it's hard to help. An exact running time would be a good start. The number of soundtracks and subtitle tracks you intend to include would also help.
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  6. Thanks for the info. I posted another post on the dvd authoring forum about the process of creating a DVD (maybe I'm all off track, my first time). Here is the process I am currently going by:

    1. Record the narration audio
    2. Create the video
    3. Cut the video to match the audio
    4. Insert graphics/logos/menu/subtitles/etc
    5. Finalize the DVD

    Is that a good path to follow?

    Basically the video will sync with the narration. It will mainly be screen capture video that follows along visually showing what the audio is saying. If it's not screen capture video, it will be menus, which will also sync along with the audio showing the visual side of what is being said.

    Any help is appreciated. I'm a little lost on this maiden voyage, but still determined. Any help, free or professional, is greatly appreciated.

    Regards,
    Tom
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  7. Member daamon's Avatar
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    Hi tomld,

    There is no "right" process - only sensible ones. And, IMO, I'd say yours falls into that category.

    As for advice, I'd say it's more difficult to play around with the length of your narrative, so capture more screen footage than you'll think you'll need and then you can trim that as required.

    If you're including actual shot footage (e.g. a DV cam and someone talking), then add a few "lead in" seconds at the beginning of each clip, and a few "lead out" seconds at the end of each clip so that, if you want to do transitions etc. then you've got something to work with without cutting into the main clip.

    To get a rough idea of how time and bitrate are inter-related, check out the DVDRHelp Bitrate Calculator (advanced mode). A DVD at around 4,500kbps upwards (the max is around 9,500kbps - depending on your audio format) should be generally accepted as good quality, depending on the quality of your source.

    To get the most video on to a DVD, you'll need to look into converting your audio to a compressed format - but it must be at 48KHz. AC3 is universally OK (i.e. NTSC and PAL lands), whereas MP2 is OK for PAL only, although it will probably be OK in NTSC land (even though it's not in the official NTSC DVD spec).

    Decent bitrates for audio are generally 192 - 384 kbps, again depending on the quality of the source.

    Hope that helps. Good luck...
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  8. VH Veteran jimmalenko's Avatar
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    If your audio is spoken word, there is probably not much point going over 128kbps IMO.

    You have the procedure down pat. Do all your recording (audio and video) at the best possible quality. Work out the exact audio and video bitrates you will need using Bitrate Calculator (add 5 minutes to the running time if you want a few menus) and use something like TMPGEnc to encode to these specs. Then use something like TMPGEnc DVD Author to author and possibly burn.
    If in doubt, Google it.
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  9. A majority of the video will be computer screen capture video using Camtasia. Where will that stack up in terms of quality compared to a Mini DV or pro camera?
    That will compress very well because most of the image is static. You shouldn't have trouble getting 2 hours of video on a DVD with a lot of screen capture footage.

    You do realize that even a 640x480 screen grab will be nearly unreadable on a regular television? You'll have to zoom in on portions of the captured screens to make them legible.
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  10. There is a new dvd recorder that can get 8 hours on a disk. Most recorders do to 6 hours.
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  11. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jimmalenko
    If your audio is spoken word, there is probably not much point going over 128kbps IMO.
    You do realize that almost all commercial DVD releases that use 2.0 AC-3 audio use nothing less than 192kbps and some use 224kbps as well as 256kbps.

    So in short I wouldn't go lower than 192kbps 2.0 AC-3 audio.

    - John "FulciLives" Coleman
    "The eyes are the first thing that you have to destroy ... because they have seen too many bad things" - Lucio Fulci
    EXPLORE THE FILMS OF LUCIO FULCI - THE MAESTRO OF GORE
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  12. What format, birate, quality, etc, etc, should I receive my audio narration file in from the voiceover company? It will be one long file, so what is a good program for splitting it up to sync with my video?

    Regards,
    Tom
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  13. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tomld
    What format, birate, quality, etc, etc, should I receive my audio narration file in from the voiceover company? It will be one long file, so what is a good program for splitting it up to sync with my video?

    Regards,
    Tom
    Tell them you want 2 channel Stereo (mono is OK as long as it is 2 channel) 16-bit 48k PCM WAV audio.

    - John "FulciLives" Coleman
    "The eyes are the first thing that you have to destroy ... because they have seen too many bad things" - Lucio Fulci
    EXPLORE THE FILMS OF LUCIO FULCI - THE MAESTRO OF GORE
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  14. Member daamon's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tomld
    ...so what is a good program for splitting it up to sync with my video?

    Regards,
    Tom
    Check out VirtualDub - I believe it may be able to "chop up" your WAV file (if not, there are loads of audio editors in the "Tools" section). I don't know Camtasia, so not sure what format it captures to - but if it's AVI then you can use VirtualDub to edit your AVI and WAV together.
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  15. I've tried capturing the screen before and it can be kinda tough. I found that out trying to capture Windows Media Player Visualizations while playing simple music files.

    I'd lower the screen resolution to 800x600 or 640x480 and I would capture in short simple clips instead of one long capture process. I'd probably try 640x480 AVI first but if you can't get smooth video then you'll haft to lower the resolution and resize the video later. I guess it's going to depend on what you're asking your computer to do while it's capturing. Setting at a static screen can be simulated by inserting a simple screenshot photo, you wouldn't need a 1G video file of a still screenshot...... Right? Capturing at the same time your computer is playing a big game is going to be a little different than capturing it opening Notepad.exe ....

    Good luck.
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  16. You do realize that even a 640x480 screen grab will be nearly unreadable on a regular television? You'll have to zoom in on portions of the captured screens to make them legible.
    That brings up an interesting problem. I tried capturing screen at a large resolution of 1280 or so and when shrunk down in the video editing program all the text was unreadable.

    Are you saying the screen will be unreadable on a TV because it will be distorted or because the text will appear to small?

    When capturing the video it's best to have the screen resolution as small as possible? My computer only goes down to 800x600. Should I capture at that size or keep my screen at 1280x1024 and just resize the browser window I am capturing down to a smaller size and then record just that smaller window?

    I'm wondering how I can know if the video I am capturing is 'DVD worthy' because spending hours and hours and finding my finished project isn't acceptable.

    Any advice? I'd pay someone to capture the screen video per my instructions if they were experienced and knew what was needed to produce a great DVD quality screen capture (if I am able to ask that on this forum).

    Regards,
    Tom
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  17. You do realize that even a 640x480 screen grab will be nearly unreadable on a regular television? You'll have to zoom in on portions of the captured screens to make them legible.
    That brings up an interesting problem. I tried capturing screen at a large resolution of 1280 or so and when shrunk down in the video editing program all the text was unreadable.

    Are you saying the screen will be unreadable on a TV because it will be distorted or because the text will appear to small?

    When capturing the video it's best to have the screen resolution as small as possible? My computer only goes down to 800x600. Should I capture at that size or keep my screen at 1280x1024 and just resize the browser window I am capturing down to a smaller size and then record just that smaller window?

    I'm wondering how I can know if the video I am capturing is 'DVD worthy' because spending hours and hours and finding my finished project isn't acceptable.

    Any advice? I'd pay someone to capture the screen video per my instructions if they were experienced and knew what was needed to produce a great DVD quality screen capture (if I am able to ask that on this forum).

    Regards,
    Tom
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  18. Get Slack disturbed1's Avatar
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    If you have an editing board with real time video out, this is the best way to a WYSIWYG.

    You'll have to take into account the overscan pattern on the TV screen as well.

    You haven't stated what editing nor authoring package you are using, so I'll recomend Vegas.

    Vegas will do what you want, rather easy too.

    Once you get your audio file, which should be in 48khz 16bit stereo PCM, lay that down as your audio track in Vegas. Then you can add your stills and video onto the video track(s). Overlay and transitions are easy as pie with Vegas, as are slide shows.

    This can easily be output to a mpeg2 video file with the built in Mainconcept encoder, and AC3, if you get that package. If you opt for the VEGAS+DVD package, DVD authoring is included with more than enough options and power to do your project.

    800x600 screen capture could work. Try it out, author a quickie to DVD RW and play it on your set top to see what it looks like.
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  19. Originally Posted by tomld
    Are you saying the screen will be unreadable on a TV because it will be distorted or because the text will appear to small?
    A little of both!

    When capturing the video it's best to have the screen resolution as small as possible? My computer only goes down to 800x600.
    If you have to caputure the whole screen it's best to run the screen at as low a resolution as possible. Normal sized text captured at 800x600 and shrunken down to 720x480 (on DVD) will barely be legible.

    There is one exception. You can try running Windows at a higher resolution with abnormally large fonts. Then shrink the caputures down for the DVD. For example, if you run at 1280x960 with fonts twice as large as normal, then shrink the captured video down to 720x480, the results should look pretty good. But many programs don't work properly with oversized fonts. You may be able to find some happy medium -- say 25 percent bigger fonts at 800x600.

    It's hard to get Windows to go below 800x600 now but it can be done with some registry tweaks. A 640x480 screen capture will be pretty legible on a decent TV from a DVD player. You'll get best results by padding the 640x480 image out to 720x480 rather than stretching it. Note that the outer 5 percent of the image won't not be visible anyway (because of the way TV overscans).

    I'm wondering how I can know if the video I am capturing is 'DVD worthy' because spending hours and hours and finding my finished project isn't acceptable.
    You'll have to run some tests to see what works for your application.
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