Step 3: Load the input files, editing and chapter creation
We now load in our video files to the DVD compilation. From the "Import" section, select "Video Files" to load in your video files - various file formats are supported, from AVI (DivX/XviD), to VOB and even Media Center recorded DVR-MS files. Alternatively, you can add in pictures to make a picture slideshow (not covered by this guide), or even capture video.
If you did not select "Smart Fit" for the video quality option, then you should keep an eye on the compilation size meter down at the bottom - the blue part represents the amount of space your current compilation is using, where the red part represents the limit where if surpassed, your compilation will be over size. If you selected "Smart Fit", this shouldn't be a problem because the video will be re-encoded to fit onto your media automatically.
Once you load in your video files, they will be added to the menu preview. There should be thumbnails for each video you've added, and if you double click on them, the video will play. Do that to each video to check that their aspect ratio is correct (picture is not too wide, or too tall). If the aspect ratio is wrong, right click on the thumbnail, and select "Properties" - here, you can change the name of the clip, as well as adjust the aspect ratio.
You can also edit the video. From the "Edit" section, select "Video clips".
This will give you a simplified video editor, complete with cutting, merging and splitting. It's all fairly intuitive, so I won't cover the instructions in detail. Here, you can use the slider to skip the video to a section, and then click on the "Set as title thumbnail" - this will set the current selected video image as the thumbnail for the title, which will be displayed on the menu.
There is also an "Advanced Editing" button, which opens the included PowerDirector Express (a cut down version of PowerDirector, Cyberlink's video editing tool). Using PowerDirector Express is outside the scope of this guide, so instructions won't be covered, but a full guide on using PowerDirector will be available in the near future.
Press the green tick button to save your edit and return to the Content screen.
From the "Edit" section, select "Chapters".
Here, you can add chapter stops to your video clips - these chapters stops will be selectable from the menu or controlled using the player's chapter skip forward/backward controls, just like on a commercial DVD. The fastest way to add chapters is to use the automatic chapter function, you can set the number of chapters you want, and PowerProducer will automatically create these chapters evenly spaced on the clip. Alternatively, you can use the scene change detection to add a chapter whenever there is a scene change (using the slider below to set the sensitivity of the scene change detection - setting it to +, towards the right, will mean more sensitivity and more chapters being created). Press the "Start" button (circled in red in the screenshot below) to start either automatic chapter creation functions.
Any added chapters will be shown as thumbnails in the storyboard section on the bottom, and the menu tree at the top will show how many pages of chapter menus have been created so far.
You can also add chapter manually, by using the video preview slider and then clicking on the "Set Chapter" button (circled in red below). By default, the video image at the chapter point will be used as the chapter thumbnail image, but you can actually set a different image (any image within the current chapter) to be used by using the slider and clicking on the "Set as chapter thumbnail" button (circled in blue below).
You can select which video file/title you want to add chapters to by using the title selection arrows in the storyboard section.
Once you are happy with your chapter edits, press the green tick button to save the changes and return to the Content screen.