Section 3A: Real World Example Walkthrough Part 1: Loading Source + Removing Ads
Video editing is as much an art as it is a science. Creativity will determine how and what you want to do with your video, and that's hard to cover in a guide. What I can do, however, is to provide a walk-through of a real world sample project, going through the steps that I took to edit a video for eventual authoring to DVD. It won't cover every aspect of MPEG Video Wizard, but hopefully it should give you a fair idea of what you can achieve with the software so you can test it out for yourself and let your own creativity take over.
The example I am using is the Finale episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation ("All Good Things ..."). There are two episodes, and also an end of series special on the making of TNG. All in all, 3 videos of around 45 minutes each, but these were recorded (using my DVD recorder) from TV and so they have commercial breaks. As they are recorded using my DVD recorder, the files are already in DVD compliant MPEG-2 format, which simplifies matters. The idea is to eventually assembled these three videos onto a custom made DVD, but before that, the video will need to be imported into MPEG Video Wizard, edited to remove the commercials and title screens added before episode 1, and then have each video rendered rendered back out as MPEG-2 files ready to use in my DVD authoring tool. In a later guide, I will also show you how to use Womble MPEG Video Wizard DVD to author the DVD directly.
The commercial removing function has already been explained previously, but I will go through the process step by step again in more detail here with a real example. The title screen will be added in front of the first episode in the finale, and it will be white text on a black background with background music (of the TNG theme) extracted from the episode itself, and then all fading into the start of the episode.
Okay, let's get started. As mentioned previously, I have a DVD of the three segments as recorded by my DVD recorder. I will have to first import the DVD files into MPEG Video Wizard. Start MPEG Video Wizard, and click on the "File" tab in the source window, and click on the "Video" button. Right click on the file list area and select "Import Items" and navigate to the (non encrypted) DVD disc. Go into the "VIDEO_TS" folder and several VOB files should be listed. The screenshot below shows 3 VTS sets, each with 2 VOB files - these 3 sets are the 3 segments, and they occupy two VOB files each due to the file size limit placed on VOB files (VOB files must be under 1 GB each). Load all of the VOB files into MPEG Video Wizard - this step may take a few minutes as MVW reads your VOB files. Alternatively, you can copy all unencryted DVD files to your hard-disk first using Windows Explorer and then import them into MVW from your HDD - this avoids constant drive access and will make things a bit faster (albeit at the expense of wasting a bit of time copying everything to the HDD).
Once loaded into the source area, you can drag the various thumbnails around to get them into the right order - it's not strictly necessary, but it makes things a bit easier to find.
We'll now proceed to remove the commercial breaks from the loaded videos, and to join the two files per segment into one file that is saved on the hard-drive for easier future access. Drag VTS_01_1 (the first VOB file of the first episode in the finale) into the "Input" preview window - it should start playing, press the "pause" button to pause playback. Then, right click on the video in the preview window and select "BookMark Browser". Click on the "BlankFades" button in the newly opened Bookmark Browser window to detect the commercial breaks.
You should now have a list of bookmarks shown in the video, we'll now just drag all these clips onto the video track timeline (the top most track in the Timeline window), using the orange "Drag" button. The timeline should now be populated with the VTS_01_1 video, but now divided into several segments whenever fades were detected (fades may indicate commercial breaks). As mentioned earlier in the guide, the "sections" that appear regularly and are regular in size are most likely the areas containing the commercials. The smaller segments around these possible commercial segments may also be part of the commercial break. To be able to see the timeline in more detail, use the "+" button to the right of the timeline to zoom in.
The screenshot above showed two possible commercial breaks, and double clicking on these segments will start playback of them in the "Input" window, and they were determined to be commercial breaks. For the first commercial break pointed to in the screenshot above, there was also a tiny segment just after it that was also part of the commercial break. Click on each of these ad segments, press the "Delete" key on your keyboard to delete them. The timeline now looks like this:
Now right click on one of the gaps in the timeline, and select the "Clear All Gaps" option to clear all gaps in the timeline. Now to do the same with the second file for the first episode (VTS_01_2). Again, drag the file into the "Input" window, go to the "BookMark Browser" and use the "BlankFades" option to detect all the fades, drag onto the timeline (leave a little gap between the video already on the timeline so you don't get confused as to what you are editing - just drag to a spot a bit further away from the video already on the timeline), and then proceed to find and remove the commercial breaks from this second part (turns out to be 3 segments in the middle that were part of the commercial break - see screenshots). And finally, clear the gaps (this will also clear the gap between the first part of episode 1 and the second part) - the screenshots below demonstrate the steps.
So far everything has been for the first episode in the finale only - I previewed the output using the output window to make sure everything is fine (you may need to close the "Bookmark Browser" window to better see the output window), and then press the red record button (the Export button) to the right of the timeline to save the file - I saved the file as "TNG - Finale Ep 1.mpg". Ideally, we would actually do further editing here (ie. adding the title screens) before outputting to a MPG file, so you can for example skip saving this file and processing the other two videos (episode 2 and the "TNG Special") and skip forward to the next page to create a title screen for episode 1, and then come back to the other two videos. But for the clarity of the guide, I'll waste a bit of time (and HDD space) to save the commercial free MPG files first (which is also a good idea if you're still working off your original DVD disc at this stage, as after saving the MPG files to your HDD, you can put the disc safely away and avoid the constant disc access).
Next, I repeat the same steps above but for episode two and the "TNG special", following basically the exact same steps. I ended up with 3 .mpg files, as you can see in the screenshot below:
I can now delete the VTS_0x_x files from the source window, and replace them with the file for the first episode, to get ready to add a title screen to it.