A few notes on editing DV-footage with Blender for use with DVD Styler

I have spent many hours trying to use Blender for editing footage shot with my DV-camcorder. The purpose was to create mpeg2 files for use with DVD Styler. I will share with you a few things I learned during the process. Maybe other will not do the same mistakes as I did.

Capturing

For capturing from my DV-camcorder, I used a wonderful little program called WinDV. It does exactly what it promises. Here are the settings I used:
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Important! Keep the size of the captured files below 1GB. My suggestion is to limit clips to 6000 frames. On my system, Blender or FFMPEG cannot handle larger files. Everything looks ok in the preview window, but when I try to render the video a strange error occurs. At the end of each video clip the video is repeating itself. I do not know why this happens, but it is very annoying to discover this after you have spent many hours rendering a video

Editing

Blender’s sequencer is a capable video editor. With Blender 2.44 you can load multiple clips at once, which is really a time saver if you have many video clips.

Settings. For video output I used PAL and ffmpeg with the DVD presets. For audio I chose multiplexing and MP2. You can see my settings here:

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Important! Set the mixing frequency to 48.0 kHz to avoid surprises later on in the process.

DVD authoring

For authoring a DVD with a menu I used DVD Styler. It is relative straight forward to use. DVD Styler only accepts mpeg files, and it is important that the audio sampling frequency is 48.0 kHz, otherwise you will end up with audio synchronization problems. You also have to ensure that the video clips has an mpg file extension. Blender’s default extension is dvd, so you have to change this manually.

So for summarizing it all:

  • Avoid long input video clips. Clips with 6000 frames works fine.
  • Set the sequencer’s mixing frequency to 48.0 kHzSystem information:
    I did the editing using Blender 2.44 on Windows XP.

Attachments



I have just discovered that the FFMPEG MPEG-2 Output format produces a file with the .DVD extension. Windows Media Player will not play it. Change the extension of the file to .MPG or .MPEG in the File Explorer, and WMP 11 plays it. that’s it. just change the file extension, and it will play the file produced by Blender. using Vista. Under XP, no go, you have to use VLC from www.videolan.org to play the MPEG-2 file.

I’ve discovered that it is WAY more trouble than it is worth to try to use the speed control within blender to adjust for odd framerates (ntsc). Future users: Just use Virtual dub in direct stream mode to change the framerate and then you should be golden.

propell: Do you mean that its impossible to render one contiguous file of over one gig in blender? Because I’ve loaded a 2 gig DV file into blender, chopped it up and rendered a smaller portion of it to Xvid without this 'reapeating frame ’ problem. I’ll still keep this in mind when capturing DV.

If anyone knows of any other little unknown problems/features in the video sequencer that arent in the documentation post them here.

That’s unfortunately my experience. However, that was for contiguous clips. I’m not sure if this is a problem when chopping and editing the clip. The ‘repeating frame’ problems started towards the end of the long clips. You can check if you have the same problem by doing a test render, starting to render at the end of the clip. In the rendering window you will quickly see if there are any problems.

I haven’t yet been able to replicate your 6000 frames problem but I’ve found that the blender compositor can only handle 10000 frames at a time. (I haven’t rendered it yet, of course, so I may run into the 6000 frame problem)

2Gig is the file limit for the OS, not necessarily Blender. There is an AutoSplit button in the Video tab that is advertised to create multiple video files if that limit is hit.

Christtheblend: see my bug tracker entry on this for workarounds - i regularly do x0,000 frame sequences.

that’s sweet! I just for a miniDV camcorder (a JVC GR-DVF31) and i have a E04 error message, but if i can import clips into blender, that’ll rock!

Problem with AVI Sequences should start at 7426 frames. Seems because of AVI 2.0. You can try VirtualDubMod to segment in “avi compatibility mode” i.e. AVI 1.0 of old school “Video For Windows”-times.