Edit And Transfer Home Videos to DVD Using Free Software

Wouldn’t it be nice to store all your home videos in DVDs so they can be easily accessible and even share them with friends and family? All this can all be accomplished with free and open source software. In the end, you can have a professional looking DVD with menus, buttons, thumbnails and even background music. In this article we would be focusing on editing your home videos and transcoding them to DVD format. If you want to learn how to make a DVD with menus using free software, read my next article.


Capture DV video (If needed)

Most new cameras do not use a video tape anymore; you can just connect them to your computer and download the videos straight from the camera’s memory. However, if you still have a miniDV camera you need to capture the video. There are many free programs that will let you do this. For Windows, you can use DVIO or WinDV, for Mac you can use iMovie and for Linux you can use Kino.

Edit Video

Avidemux: Avidemux is a simple but powerful video editor. It lets you edit practically any format and transcode it to mpeg-2 format; the standard format used in DVD video.  It is one of the most stable editors I know. It does exactly what it is supposed to do, reliably; something most other video editors lack. It just works!  Avidemux works with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.

Instructions:

1) Download Avidemux and install it.

2) Open your video in Avidemux. If you have several videos, drag them all to the Avidemux window. If the videos names are in numerical order, Avidemux will place them in the correct order. Make sure not to drag too many at the same time; Avidemux might not import them all. I usually drag 10 clips at a time.

2) Click on the  button to place a marker at the beginning of the section you want to cut; then go to the end of the section and click on   to place a marker at the end of that section. Finally, click on the “Delete” key on you keyboard to remove the unwanted section. Keep on doing this throughout the video until you have all the unwanted sections removed.

3) Click on Auto -> Optical Disk -> DVD. This will auto-configure Avidemux to output the audio in ac3 format and the video in mpeg-2 format, which are the standards for DVD video.


Deinterlace Video

Videos from home video cameras usually come interlaced. If you play close attention to the video, when the camera moves fast from side to side you can see little lines specially on the border of objects. Take a look at the following picture:

That interlacing effect has to be removed in order for the video to look good when ported to DVD. Fortunately this is very easy to do in Avidemux.

1) On the main Avidemux screen, on the upper left hand side under the “Video” section, click on the “Filters” button. A new window will open up; click on the interlacing section on the left hand side. In the middle section look for the “Yadif” filter, it should be towards the bottom of the list; double click on it to add it to the video. This will deinterlace your video. To see the finals result; on the main Avidemux screen, click on the button that says “Input” and change it to “Output“. Now you can see how the video will look deinterlaced.


Transcode to MPEG-2 format

Before starting the last step, which is saving your video in mpeg-2 format, you need to make sure your output is correct. At the top-middle of the main Avidemux screen, there is a button that lets you select weather you see the input video, output video or compare both videos side to side.  Click on this button and select “output” , so you can see how the final video will come out on the screen. If everything looks good, we are ready to finish our project. Click on the “Save” button to begin the transcoding process.


Create a DVD with menus and background music

This is a two-part article, to learn how port the mpeg-2 video to a DVD with menus, read my next article.

1 comment:

  1. maneesh, 3. January 2011, 3:49

    I like your blog and I have subscribed to your RSS feed. Thanks.

     

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