Creating Source Material
The first part of the DVD creation process is to create or assemble your source material.
This might mean shooting video, recording voice or music tracks, designing graphics to
be included, and planning the general functionality of your project. If you are converting
an existing video program into a DVD, you may only need to gather your original video
and audio material and design graphics for the menus that will weave them together.
You can use whatever tools you prefer for creating your video and audio material, as long
as the resulting files are compatible with the MPEG or H.264 encoder that you plan to
use. In most cases, your video and audio assets will be created and saved as QuickTime
movie files or in standard sound file formats like AIFF, WAVE, or SoundDesigner II.
Your program material should be completely edited, including any special effects, audio
fades, and scene transitions, before you encode it.
Menu graphics can be still image files, multilayer Photoshop files, or full-motion video.
To create the menu graphics, you can use virtually any graphics program. DVD Studio Pro
includes extra support for Adobe Photoshop (PSD) files, taking advantage of Photoshop’s
“layers” feature to simplify the creation of backgrounds and overlays. Also included is
support for the menu loop point you can set in Motion.
If you plan to include alternate-language subtitles in your DVD project, you will want to
have your soundtrack transcribed and translated.
The most important thing you can do when preparing your assets is to use the
highest-quality settings available. Any flaws in your material will be revealed on DVD
much more quickly than in any other medium.
Once they are encoded into a DVD-compliant format, DVD Studio Pro does not improve
or degrade the quality of your source material in any way; if you use high-quality source
materials, you’ll get high-quality results.
Here are some guidelines to help you maintain high quality.
• Capture and edit your video material at the same resolution that you will use on the
DVD (typically 720 x 480 at 29.97 frames per second [fps] for NTSC or 720 x 576 at 25 fps
for PAL for SD-based DVDs).
• When recording and editing audio, use a 48 kilohertz (kHz) sample rate and no
compression. This assures the best quality whether you use the uncompressed audio
on the DVD or decide to use the Compressor AC-3 encoder to compress it.
When creating DVDs, your audio must have either a 48 kHz or 96 kHz sample
rate. You cannot use the 44.1 kHz sample rate found on standard audio CDs. In most
cases, the DVD Studio Pro embedded AIFF encoder will convert your audio to the correct
sample rate if necessary.
Overview of Using DVD Studio Pro
• When saving video material to the QuickTime format, either specify no compression
(which requires a lot of disk space) or use a high-quality compression codec like DV or