making magic

Would be cool. Last weekend I managed a DVD. It’s not magic, but still gives you that cool glowy feeling that you’ve made something, when you sit down to watch it.

So what did I make a DVD about? 2004. Last year. It was a test run. I’ve been meaning to make a DVD since I got a DVD burner in October 2003. Not bad going really. But let me explain that I only finally got a firewire cable on Friday, and only recently got firewire capability in the PC. And only last christmas—in the sales—we got a DV camera which will also digitise analog footage.

For the first test, I used a program called Sonic for the DVD, and Windows Movie Maker to capture the video. Movie Maker is great—straightforward and simple capturing of video, and separating it into clips. Sonic is pretty good for the same reasons. You pick a theme (background image and music, button styles) or customise it, and you can add menus and video or image slideshows (which you can add background music too again). As this was just a test run I didn’t digitise all our analog video, so there wasn’t much video for 2004. And I didn’t scan the photo albums, so images were limited to the digital pictures from mobile phones. They show up surprisingly well on TV (640×480 resolution works well). And for the music tracks I selected a range of groovy tunes from 2004. All up, it works rather well.

The only things that disappointed me were being unable to design the menus, and not being able to do subtitles, alternative audio tracks and angles. C’mon, I need to put a director’s commentary on this! I’ll have to hunt for some different software next time! And I shall have to post some video on the blog. But what to post…