Page 3 of 5: Load the input files, editing and chapter creation

Step 2: Load the input files, editing and chapter creation

TDA: Start a new Project

You are now at the "Select Source" screen, where you can load in your input files, be they AVI/DivX/XviD files, or DVD files. Before you do that, let's go through what a track is. In TDA, you can use one track and keep adding video files to it, or you can have separate tracks for each video file. If you only use one track, then all the video files added to it will be treated as one continuous video file - chapters are created at the start of each video file for individual playback. If you use multiple tracks, each track can be selected for individual playback from the main menu, and once selected, it will show the chapter select menu for this track. If your DVD only has one track, the first menu shown will be the chapter select menu (or no menu at all). If it has more than one track, the first menu shown can be the menu to select which track to play. As an example, if I had the files, "Fishing Trip - Part 1", "Fishing Trip - Part 2" and "Camping Trip", then I would create a track for the fishing trip and load both fishing trip files into it, and then create another track for the camping trip. It is also required that each video under the track have the same or similar properties (eg. resolution, audio type, aspect ratio).

Use the "Add a Track" button on the left hand side to create your tracks now, if you need more than one track.

TDA: Select Source

Each track will be shown on the left hand side. For each track you have created, use the "Add file" button on the right hand side to load in your video file(s). A new window will now open (the "clip addition" window). There are three sections you can select at the top - note that you can get back to this area even after you've added in your clip by using the "Edit" button next to each clip. In the "Clip Properties" section, the most important things you need to specify here is the name of this video clip, and the aspect ratio (the little preview window on the left can help you determine which aspect ratio looks right). You can also specify the audio stream mode, if your input file has multiple audio tracks.

TDA: Clip Properties

Click on the "Cut-edit" button at the top, and here you can edit/cut your video to your liking, as well as add chapters. The video editing features are fairly easy to use, with clear buttons marked to do the usual things (mark start/end, cut). You can also add effects to the audio, such as volume reduction or fade effects. The function we are most interested here is the chapter creation function. Creating chapters is quite easy - just play the video or use the slider to get to the scene where you want to add the chapter, and click on the "Mark the current frame with a chapter entry" button (the one that looks like a "flag", on the bottom left) - each chapter will be show on the left hand side with a thumbnail. You can right click on each of these thumbnails and select whether to display this chapter in the chapter select menu (sometimes you want a chapter stop, but you don't want all the chapters to be shown in the chapter select menu), or edit the chapter name (which can be displayed on the chapter select menu, to make selections easier). Hover your mouse over the chapter thumbnails will display the chapter name and details.

TDA: Chapters

Once you have created all the chapters and edited your video file, you can click on the "Subtitles" button at the top to go into the subtitle editing area. You can add up to two subtitle streams for the video by using the slider to go to the right scene and manually inputting the subtitle text (you can also specify the position and of the subtitles) - the preview window will display the subtitles once you have added them in.

TDA: Subtitles

Once you are finished with this clip, press "OK" and it will be added into the project. As mentioned before, you can go back and edit the clip again by clicking on the "Edit" button next to the clip. You can also right click on clip to access any of these editing functions, or duplicate the clip. If you have multiple clips in the same track, drag the clips around to get the right order. Or you can drag the clip to another track if you wish.

TDA: Clip

Once you have added at least one video to the track, you can click on the "Settings" button for the track. A new window will pop up.

TDA: Track Settings - General

In the "General" section, you can name the track (this name can be shown on the menu select screen). Moving on to the "Video" section, here you can adjust the video encoding settings for this track. It is recommended that you select the "Automatic" setting for "Encoder mode" (otherwise you will have to individually set the video settings for all the tracks, which could waste space on the disc and force the input to be re-encoded, even if they already fit on the DVD). You will need to adjust the "Aspect ratio" to match the aspect ratio of your input video (4:3 - full frame, 16:9 - widescreen). If your video needs re-encoding (ie. you are not editing an existing DVD), then you will need to select a "Rate control mode" - "2 pass VBR" will give you the best quality as the expense of a slower encoding speed, but it is recommended. Again, if you are re-encoding, you will need to select a bitrate - the higher the bitrate, the better the quality (most commercial DVD movies have a bitrate between 4000 and 7000). Keep an eye on the size bar down the bottom to make sure the bitrate you select fits into the media you plan to use. The "Picture quality" slider, again for re-encoding, allows you to select the output quality. And the other options can be left alone (note that you can configure the advanced video settings here again, if you want to use different settings for each track - otherwise, the default settings we selected in the previous step will be used for all tracks).

TDA: Track Settings - Video

The options in the other two sections, "Audio settings" and "Subtitles" can be left at their default in most cases. Click "OK" to close the track settings window.

Repeat the above for all your tracks and clips.

TDA: Select Source



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