DVD Video Editing Tips & Techniques

Home Video Editing

Post-production software has worked, right from its early days in the feature film business, to allow for much more creative control for small home projects. Now that DVD authoring has become a standard option for those who are making home movies and editing software has become available for consumers, many of those producing home videos have some of the same features as the movie studios. Much of this home movie format is open because it doesn’t follow the narrative structure normally seen in movies, and therefore you have to decide how you want to cut it up when you are editing. Since video editing and DVD authoring often go hand in hand it is now important to look toward DVD video editing, or video editing with the specifics of the DVD format in mind. Here are a few tips for DVD video editing for your home videos.


When editing home videos for DVD authoring you will want to still try to cut together the best parts of your videos into a vague structure, though it may not be a concrete story structure. This is going to allow you to have a central Play button in your DVD menu and will be able to mock up a general theme for the various multimedia elements of the DVD interface. When you are DVD video editing in this way, you should simply try to set up beat points that may move it forward in some way, which may just be things like chronological order.

Chapter Markers

Chapter markers are one of the most important elements of DVD authoring and is going to really dictate your DVD video editing very specifically. What it does is give you a couple options, one of which is to allow for you to jump through your video and beat points that you have set. What this means when you are DVD video editing is that you should cut together the larger video so that it includes these beat points that you will then set chapter markers at when DVD authoring.

Beyond this, you can also decide to use your DVD chapter markers to select smaller videos that act independently. In this way, you can use your DVD video editing process to just cut up independent segments that will stand alone in the DVD interface. To do this you will simply be identifying and exporting these video segments, or you can use your DVD video editing to cut together mini-segments that will also stand alone in your DVD menu.


DVD video editing really means that you are editing with DVD directly in mind, which means that there are only a few video codecs that you are going to want to work with. These are going to be video codecs that are specifically for DVD authoring and not independent video files, such as QuickTime .mov files. This should be directed by intermediate programs that bridge the video editing and DVD authoring software. In the Final Cut Studio this would be Apple’s Compressor, and would be the video compression program that bridged Final Cut Studio for video editing and DVD Studio Pro for DVD authoring. Here there will be video codec presets that are specific for DVD authoring, and you will select it by the DVD authoring purpose and not the codec name.

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