Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Creating a playable DVD from a very large AVI file

Created a very large .avi file of a movie (more than two hours long) and tried to burn it onto a dvd using PowerDirector. (In PowerDirector, the option Create Disk allows one to make a DVD playable on any standard DVD player. )

The program assessed the space required and the amount of space available on the blank DVD and warned me that there was insufficient space but at the same time gave me the option to continue with the burn. I selected "Yes" and the program began the conversion and burn but stopped after a while due to space contraints.

Then I noticed that PowerDirector had on the same menu a box that said "Burn to DVD folder". I selected this and the result was a folder with DVD files in .VOB format. The total size of the .vob files were too big for a DVD but using DVD Shrink, I managed to get a DVD playable on my player, without noticable loss of quality.

So for very large AVI files, use PowerDirector to import the large AVI file, burn to a DVD folder and use DVD Shrink to make the DVD.

One might ask, "Why go through all this trouble, when one can burn the AVI files as data on a DVD and play it on a DVD machine?" Well, some, in fact quite a number of DVD players do not play AVI files.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Working with PowerDirector

Just completed a home movie which I shot using in Canon Powershot SX10 iS camera.
This camera takes very good movies even in low light but I found one maddening shortcoming: the autofocus under low light tends to lose the subject and go all blurry, refocussing after a few seconds. Luckily for me, this did not happen at crucial moments during the event.

The video format this camera uses is MOV. As I intended using PowerDirector as my video editor , I had to convert the MOV file to AVI because the free version of this program did not accept MOV files.

The MOV files were converted to AVI using Magix. I tried using MOVAVI to convert the files but for some reason or other, the quality suffered and the output was very poor.

In addition to the video, I shot, I added stills to my edited final product. PowerDirector can make stills from a movie and I made several of these. I then sequenced these stills using Microsoft's PhotoStory adding zoom and pan to slow down the action as it were -- to get a kind of pseudo-slowmotion.

PowerDirector was used to burn the completed movie on a DVD.

As an alternative to burning the final product on DVD, PowerDirector can export/save the completed movie as a Windows AVI which was, in this case, very large (13 gigs) or it could do a DV AVI which was much smaller (2 gigs).