DVD media content Development

Does anyone know of any open source gui based and coding language based DVD media content development suites for Linux or Windows? I have been reviewing some retail solutions but I may want to take the open source DVD dev software route if it is available. :wink:

Darn, you would have to add that little “gui based” requirement, :).

I’m almost positive this doesn’t exist for linux, at least in a finished form. I spent some time looking for something to do this under linux in January and the best I found was dvd-author combined with mplayer and mpeg2-enc. There is supposed to be someone developing a gui for dvd-author, but I either couldn’t get to the web site for the gui or it didn’t work. It might be worth checking it again.

I have a handful of scripts I wrote to drive dvd-author and other programs to do this under linux. Unless you’re doing something really complicated, it isn’t too bad to get a nice looking menu on the screen. You make a few images and edit an xml file. I’d say it isn’t any harder than using blender, but I guess it depends on who the end user is.

If you or someone else wants the scripts, you’re welcome to them. They aren’t all that complicated and mostly exist first to document and second to automate the process for me.

I have no idea about something like this for windows. Under windows I’ve used Nero for my CD burning. I believe they’ve added DVD burning in their new version which I haven’t upgraded to. The software is cheap, has a free fully functional download and has worked well for me when I was using windows for tasks like this.

Thanks Zaz. I intend to produce DVD media titles that I can retail. So it’s looks like I will have to invest in a commercial authoring system. I need to design advanced menus and content interfaces and the like. But I have been doing little test projects that are more aimed at business presentations. I guess that open source has not taken up much in the area of advanced DVD authoring tools yet.

I’ve been poking around with this myself. Been more working on the video editing than DVD burning, but ran across a tutorial that might help:

It covers using Kino and Cinelerra, and how to get the output onto a DVD. Still working on figuring out how to do chaptering…

Cheers, JJ

before you buy those expensive products, you should try Sonic MyDVD. I don’t have that many movies, so I haven’t used it for anything except VCD’s, but it works, unlike many free ones.

dvdauthor for linux, IFOedit with other compression tools for windows…you just need to learn a bit about the syntax but authoring fully-featured DVDs is certainly possible without purchasing expensive software to do so.

For an inexpensive solution, look at DVD-Lab from Media Chance. There’s also a mirror here.

It’s about US $100 and has features found only on far more expensive software packages. Note that you’ll need a separate MPEG-2 encoder; DVD-Lab doesn’t have one so as to reduce the cost. You can get DVD Lab packaged with TMPGenc DVD Source Creator for $29 more.

You can use AC-3 encoded audio (if you have it), and create any type of menu system you want. Note that it does require that you have a bit of a clue about DVD creation, but the tutorials are quite good if you don’t.

Hope this helps.

I’ve been playing with this stuff for a while and found that all free dvd creators were basicly… crap.

There’s 2 proggies that seem to do things nicely, but they’re definitely not free.

Sonic foundry (sony media): dvd architect

Works clean and nice but it doesn’t allow full dynamics in menu styling and dynamic stuff… But more than the free things out there.

Adobe encore dvd

Duh adobe… they’re good at this sorta stuff… expensive, but it’s really the only one I’ve found with all the options you’d ever need… kinda complicated though.

Thanks you guys! You have given me so much useful information. I never thought about Adobe as having any great pro DVD authoring tools. And I will try out the syntax based DVD app for Linux. I really need something that allows me to have a broad functionality for DVD development. I wish that there were more tools for advanced professional and hobby DVD authoring similar to what we have for standard video editing. Maybe its just that serious DVD authoring outside of the production film sectors are not that popular right now. I hope that this changes soon. I’m not even considering using any other outlets for my visual media other than CDROM, DVD or DHTML.

I had heard that encore was very buggy. Have you had a chance to work with it?

The DVD format is laden with patents and royalty payments. That might be the reason why there aren’t any high-profile open source DVD creators at the moment.
If I’m not mistaken, even MPEG-2 needs a license to use commercially. I read a long time ago that a blank DVD without content, cost $9 just with all the royalty and license payments. I suspect however, that they included things like Macrovision encryption and Zone encryption also. But anyway, DVD is expensive if you think about it.

Well I’ve worked some with it but haven’t done a lot yet… I’ll get into it soon cause I have some vid production coming up. As far as the test that I’ve done go… no bugs that I noticed though I felt it was far from intuitive.

Also I found out that whilst having a program to create your dvd’s content is great it’s still rather a good idea to burn your dvd’s using Nero. So prepare the dvd in some proggy then burn in nero.

Like DVD architect… it makes a good dvd but it for some reason refuses to burn to dvd -r (which is really a lot more reliable).

The reason I think there’s little to be found in this field is because all consumers are doing with dvd now is “rip them”. there’s too few people that actually want to create dvds with their own original content, and I don’t see that change soon.

O just had a thought… there’s a proggy for doing dvds from Ulead as well. it works fine, though as with all Ulead products, it looks childish and it’s really template driven. So really original menus are out.

GUI for Linux-based DVDAUTHOR proggie:


Haven’t tried it myself, it’s pre-beta (started late last year), but hey, it’s linux based and open-source. What do you have to lose by trying it out? :stuck_out_tongue:

I just got done doing the ground work for my dvd demo reel using dvdauthor in linux. I built the menus with a combination of Cinelerra and GIMP and encoded everything using mjpeg tools. With a little bit of understanding about how DVDs work, you can do some pretty complex authoring that’s on par with some of the professional tools out there. Of course, you have to think in xml and there’s not a single unified gui for it, but you do get to use the best tools to get each individual job done (GIMP for background and graphics, Cinelerra - or some other relatively complete video editor - for motion menus, etc.)

Drop me a line if you have any questions.

Fweeb, I’ve got the tools but not the knowhow for Cinelerra. Any good tut leads? I had no trouble compiling the mjpeg tools. "Thinking in xml; now there’s a new learning torture I suppose.

Here’s a few links to get you started:

http://heroinewarrior.com - Of course, the original home page of Cinelerra. Kinda light on the documentation here, though (although it does exist)

http://heroinewarrior.com/cinelerra/cinelerra.html - Secrets of Cinelerra. The original form of documentation for Cinelerra. It’s kinda light, but it’s not bad for a starting point in figuring out how this tossed-salad interfaced application works.

http://www.robfisher.net/video/cinelerra1.html - Rob Fisher’s Getting Started tutorial. This is a bit friendlier as documentation and even has some pictures to guide you along. Nothing really in depth here as it’s just to get you started, but it does help with getting familiar with the app.

http://cvs.cinelerra.org - An independent development group/site for Cinelerra. Think of this as Tuhopuu for Cinelerra. They’ve got a lot of help here. They’ve taken the original Secrets of Cinelerra documentation and created a Wiki with it. This is probably your best bet for finding helpful information outside of knowing someone who’s already used the app for a while.

That said, it took me a while to figure out a decent working formula to get the output I wanted for DVD. Mjpegtools gave me some headache with interlaced video and some small encoding artifacts (apparently I’m the only one who can see them, though). In the end, I’m pretty proud of what I came up with. If you’re interested, I can post a low-res video of the interface I built.

I might take some time out and actually write out what I came up with to use these tools to write dvds in the form of a tutorial, but don’t hold your breath. My biggest problem was finding tutorials for dvdauthor that were more than a basic motionless background for a simple slideshow dvd. There really weren’t any (most likely due to the fact that the only visual way to do this is with Cinelerra, and the documentation for that is only a little better than that of dvdauthor). That said, I do have some more helpful links and random tips for those who are interested in dvdauthor.

Thanks Fweeb. I had them all but the .org site. I think Twiki is great.

Indeed. Let me know when you come up with something. I’d be interested in seeing what you build.