Since this whole book is, more or less, about how to make a DVD, for now I'll give you the overview from 35,000 feet of the DVD-making process from start to finish.
When I first got iDVD and a SuperDrive, I took this free Apple online seminar called DVD Authoring Made Simple, seen in Figure 1.1.
Figure 1.1. Apple's DVD seminar online and its five step process…
The online tutorial was awesome I had worked with video a lot in the past but didn't have much experience with interactivity. And it's been revised and updated since I first saw it, so it's even better now.
I've always thought Apple's five-step process made sense and I've followed it for almost every DVD project I've undertaken since.
Let's take a brief look at those five steps.
Step 1: Plan
Well duh. Of course the first step is to plan. But since very few of us have ever actually made a DVD, what are some of the things that need planning?
Here's a partial list to get you started:
You should probably storyboard the DVD itself, as well as each individual video segment (this is highly recommended; see Chapter 2). And now is a good time to start developing the script, as well.
Many people skip the planning phase or gloss over it. That's a bad idea. Planning may be the most important part of the process. I can promise that the time you spend planning will be repaid to you in abundance when you finish your project on time and without having to redo much (if any) of it.
Step 2: Create
This is the part where you make or find all the different media pieces that will eventually be part of your DVD. In this phase you'll
Step 3: Encode
Before you can make a DVD, you need to convert all of the elements into a format DVD players understand MPEG 2 for video and AIFF or AC3 for audio. The good news is that with iDVD and QuickTime on your team, you don't have to do much. Just create your DVD project using QuickTime-compatible files (that includes a lot of different file formats, by the way). Then work with those files until your masterpiece is complete. When you click Burn, iDVD handles all of the encoding to MPEG 2, AIFF, or AC3 for every element in your project, all behind the scenes and without your having to lift a finger.
Step 4: Author
In hip multimedia parlance, authoring means the creative melding of video, audio, and graphics into an interactive DVD with menus, buttons, soundtrack(s), and subtitles or alternative language.
This is where iDVD comes in. It's a DVD-grinder (well, officially, it's known as a DVD authoring program). Just pour in your raw ingredients video, sound, pictures, menus, buttons, and so on add a little elbow grease, and out pops a fully formed video DVD with all the bells and whistles, that can be played on almost any cheap DVD player.
Indeed, iDVD is the easiest, fastest, most intuitive program you can use to author a DVD. But you knew that.
Step 5: Burn
Preview and adjust your magnum opus in iDVD, and when you're happy with everything about it, there's just one thing left to do click Burn. And iDVD does the rest.