DVD Authoring: A 5-Minute Primer

     Have you ever watched a DVD and wondered how it works? Or how it's able to play on your DVD player? Well the short answer is found within a process DVD authoring. The process of authoring was created by a group of digital media experts called, the DVD Forum Group in 1995. Their set of complex specifications led to the rise in popularity of DVD authoring programs used by video production professionals all over the world. All DVDs must comply with these previously set of parameters instituted by the DVD Forum Group. In fact, DVDs would not exist without digital video authoring technology.

What is DVD Authoring?

The authoring process essentially uses sophisticated encoding, and software generated tools to arrange the media on the disc. This includes managing everything from audio and video to arranging subtitles and DVD menu options. In fact, all DVD menus are created with either basic or advanced authoring software. Basic authoring software is usually free, and can be downloaded from the Internet. Advanced authoring software usually comes in a package of video editing, graphic design or other industry-standard video production software.

Is There a Steep Learning Curve?

The learning curve of a digital video authoring program depends on the complexity of the program itself, or your individual authoring needs. For instance, if all your doing is basic DVD menu creation that you can do from a template, free DVD authoring programs are probably your best bet. However, if you're looking to use sophisticated Flash or otherwise animation based menu designs, you'll need both an authoring program and computer processing power to carry out these tasks. In any case, authoring your DVD collection isn't incredibly difficult, but if you're looking to do some advanced authoring, there are plenty of free online tutorials for digital video authoring applications.

How it Has Evolved?

Like every type of software technology developed in the mid to late 1990s, digital video authoring has evolved. While authoring has been wrongly linked to MP3 audio encoding processes, authoring does perform similar processes. In fact, in modern authoring programs digital media file encoding is a built in feature. In some more advanced authoring programs, you can even create sophisticated menus within the program. It used to be that you would have to pre-generate your fancy Flash-based template and load it to your program later. New authoring programs make it easier than ever to create nice looking DVD menu templates with very little DVD menu design experience. This means you can develop a great-looking DVD menu without hiring a designer.

Selecting a Digital Authoring Program

The best authoring programs are both mult-platform (usable on Mac, PC & Linux operating systems), and user-friendly. Finding this right combination can prove challenging, especially if you're on a tight budget. The bottom line is that you must determine what your immediate authoring needs are, what kind of computer system you're using and what you can afford. Once you nail this down, you can then narrow down your authoring software options considerably.

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Posted on 2012-03-01, By: *

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