Page 2 of 4: Starting and setting up a new project

Step 1: Starting and setting up a new project

Installing Womble EasyDVD is very straight forward, so you shouldn't run into any problems. Just follower the instructions in the installer and you'll be fine.

Start Womble EasyDVD. You'll be at the introduction screen. You have the option to create a new project or open an existing one. But before we do either, we'll configure some of the global options for the software. To do this, click on the "Options" button near the top right corner of the software.

EasyDVD: Start

The "General" options tab allows you to set whether to load the previously edited/saved project at the start, and whether to check for new updates at the start. Moving on to the "Source" tab, the only option here allows you to set the default minimum chapter duration, which is useful when you use the automatic chapter creation tool. Onto the next tab, "Menu", here you can set the default, minimum and maximum menu duration settings. And lastly in the "Output" section, you can allow for the export of non standard DVDs (not really recommended) and a couple of other non essential options. You can now close the options window. Most of the important options will be set later on, so don't worry.

EasyDVD: Options - General

EasyDVD: Options - Source

EasyDVD: Options - Menu

EasyDVD: Options - Output

Press the "New" button to start a new project. We'll be forwarded to the "Source" section. Note at the top there are 6 sections, "Start", "Source", "Menu", "Preview", "Output" and "Burn". For those that have used DVD authoring tools before, these sections will be pretty familiar. If not, then these represents the various steps in DVD authoring, "Source" is where we add in the input video files that we will create a DVD from.


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

We'll now add in our input video files, perform some basic editing if needed, and create chapter points. All of this can be accomplished at the "Source" stage. Before we add in our input movies, you might notice that there are actually two "Add" buttons here, and this requires an explanation of the data management structure of EasyDVD, which is very similar to that of most other authoring packages. The top "Add" button, with the movie reel icon, is for adding what EasyDVD refers to as "Movies". The bottom "Add" button with the film strip icon is for adding "Clips".

EasyDVD: Source

A "Movie" consists of one or more "Clips". So what is a movie and what is a clip? Well, a movie generally contains one or more clips that will play continuously and have the same property (same resolution, aspect ratio, audio ...). Let's use the example of taking a existing movie DVD and then re-authoring it in EasyDVD. The main movie will consist of several VOB files on the DVD, each of these VOB files will be a clip, but will belong to the same "Movie". So in this case, you'll first press the "Add Movie" button to add the first VOB file for the main movie, and then you will use the "Add Clip" button to load the other VOB files. For the bonus features, you can group each bonus feature as their own movie, so the documentary would be a movie consisting of one or more VOB files, the trailer would be another movie and so on. Basically, a "Movie" will have it's own menu entry, whereas "Clips" will not, apart from being in the chapter select menu.

Once you add a movie, an icon is added below to represent the movie. You can right click on this icon to change some of its properties. The first thing to do is to select or deselect it as a "First Play" item. A first play item is something that plays at the start of disc insertion, before any menus are shown. This could be a studio trailer, a copyright notice, or if you prefer movies to start right away without the menu, the main movie. You can also edit the label of the movie to make it easier from an organisation point of view.

EasyDVD: Source - Movie Options

Selecting the "Encoder Settings" option opens up the encoder options for this movie, where you can modify the audio and video encoder options. If EasyDVD detected that your input files are already DVD compliant, then you should see two blue bars which represent "Stream Copy" (or no re-encoding). Otherwise, parts or all of the video (and audio) may require re-encoding. While EasyDVD will do its best to detect whether your source is PAL or NTSC, you should check to make sure that the right settings are selected here, and do the same with the aspect ratio setting. If you're not sure what these options mean, it's best to just leave it as it is.

EasyDVD: Source - Encoder Settings

So load in all your input files first (it might take a while to load in, depending on the length of your input files), and then label and adjust the encoder settings. Below is a screenshot of the example I used for this guide, which consists of a main movie, a studio logo trailer that will be a "first play" and a featurette for the movie (my source files were from an unencrypted DVD, so no re-encoding necessary). Note that the main movie I had consisted of 5 VOB clips.EasyDVD: Source - Loaded Sources