Dvd authoring software help

Hi, I just joined after days of fustrating over software to author some dvd’s. I’m on a pc, I have several progs, but can’t seem to find one to fit my immediate needs and my lack of experience, so maybe I can get some help here. I’m looking to build a dvd with my own art and intro’s before the menu/chapter loads, and then the clips I’ll be using already have the sound (avi/mpeg). I’m not new to converting and burning, I just can’t seem to hook up with the right program. Have tried Santa, Imtoo,ulead factory and a couple others. One thing is most have templates for the menu, and I prefer my own backgrounds and designs, and some don’t seem to want the music and video combined as in avi’s. So my question is, what is a fairly simple prog that will let me use my creativity and music to open with but then allow my to use my avi’s or mpeg’s tied to the menu?
Any help will be much apppreciated, Steve

I’m not sure you can do what you want with a “fairly simple prog”. I have used several different authoring programs, but the one I eventually wound up using full time is DVDLab Pro. It isn’t a simple, lead-you-by-the-hand type of program, but is versatile for making menus. The help file is quite extensive, and they have their own forums for discussions if you run into a snag. There is a free trial available for download, fully functional for 30 days I think.

And there is TMPGenc Author 3. Much less expensive than Lab Pro, and includes an encoder now I believe. It also has divx authoring capabilities. My experience with TMPGenc Author stopped at version 1.6, so you’ll probably get more informed answers from others around here about this newest version.

GuiforDVDAuthor is a free program you might look at, but it has been too long since I played around with it to know if it would meet your requirements.

Hello Kerry 56,
Thanks for the reply! I have dvdlab 1.3 which I tried, and was impressed with the intro I was able to make in it, however, it’s the prog that wanted the video and sound seperated, which I tried and failed. Will I have to demux the avi to seperate the sound and video? Never tried it but have read about it using ifoedit, I believe. Steve

I was under the impression you’d have to convert your avi’s to mpeg2 in order to work with them in Lab Pro, even if you are just using small clips as a motion menu. I’ve never tried to use anything else but mpeg2, so if you can use avi’s directly, it is beyond my experience.

I generally have my encoder output as separate video and audio streams when I know I’m going to import them into Lab Pro. But I have used it to demux and join dvd files from time to time with no problems.

Both [B]Sonic Scenarist[/B] and [B]Adobe Premiere Pro[/B] will do what you are looking for xpoverload. With both you can have your own art and intro’s load before the menu. It’s a bit harder to do with Premier and might need to use Photoshop as well for some of the art work. With Scenarist it’s not as hard and has some good tutorials to get you started.

Thanks again Kerry56,
Possibly my encoder is causing me problems, I checked it out and it doesn’t have the option to output sound and video seperately. Could you tell me the encoder u use or recommend one that will do it. Thanks

Thanks Coathi, I will investigate those, I may even have an old version of premere around, I used to use photoshop a while back, thanks.

The encoder I use is Procoder 2, which is being discontinued in favor of Procoder 3. Both are expensive.

TMPGenc Plus 2.5 is still available, and it has the option to output as ES (Video + Audio), which is their terminology for elementary streams in both video and audio. It has good quality, and is very inexpensive for an mpeg2 encoder, but it is one of the slower encoders out there.

The Sonic Scenarist program that coathi mentioned is definitely a good program, but it is Professional quality with an extremely high price tag. Beyond my rank amateur needs I’m afraid.

Many thanks to you both, I’ll give it a go and see what I can do. Steve

I have been using “Womble MPEG Video Wizard DVD” to do converting, demuxing, muxing, and DVD authoring. It is fast and the creation plays on anything.