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Creating a vacation book and DVD

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TomTom
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Creating a vacation book and DVD

Postby TomTom » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:45 pm

I had created a very nice coffee-table photo book of our trip to Nova Scotia with Blurb. It worked well and came out great, but printing was not cheap (and I am!) So, I wanted to do something similar for our 39th anniversary cruise, but using all (or at least mostly) free software, and printing it myself. I also wanted to compile a companion DVD as a standard DVD-structure disc to play a photo slideshow and miscellaneous other videos on any DVD player, along with a Windows menu to play a computer version of the photo slideshow.

In case anyone else would like to tackle a similar project... I'm not sure I even remember ALL the programs I used in compiling this DVD and photo book, but I primarily used these.

(Google) Picasa was used to create the main slideshow, including the opening and closing titles.

IrfanView was used to produce two computer slideshows, "MySlideshow.exe" and "MySlideshow.scr".

Windows Movie Maker version 6.0 (the older, pre-"Live" version) was used to process several videos shot with our camera and/or phones. This included rotating portions of 2 videos where the cameras had been rotated during filming.

PStart was used to create a menu for running the finished DVD on a Windows PC, although this is intended primarily as a "normal" DVD.

AVStoDVD is a FANTASTIC freeware program to create a DVD, complete with menus.

ImgBurn is an excellent free tool to actually burn your DVDs.

Paint.Net for editing some of the photos.

NewSoft CD Labeler for creating the DVD front cover and disc label, and Nero Cover Designer for printing the labels. NewSoft CD Labeler is a fairly simple program that came with my Brother printer, but can be found with a search. Nero, or dozens of other CD label designers would have worked as well.

RonyaSoft CD DVD Label Maker to print the origami disc envelope with the DVD front cover image created with NewSoft CD Labeler.

LibreOffice Draw and Writer for creating title and extra pages for my printed Photo Contact Sheets.

Canon Digital Photo Professional was used to create the Photo Contact Sheets, although I could have done it in LibreOffice.

DVD Shrink - after putting everything together, I found that there was too much to fit on a standard DVD (standard DVD folders PLUS computer content), so I started removing items. After removing everything I was willing to remove, it was still 4.74 GB -- a bit too large, so I used DVD Shrink to shrink the content of the Video_TS folder.

Final Notes: Everything came out pretty much like I wanted, but there are 2 things I noticed during and after the compilation.
  • The first was during the creation of the DVD with AVStoDVD. It was not obvious (at least not to me) how or where to add background audio that plays during the viewing of the menu. Simply go into the Menu Editor, and edit the background image properties to add your music track.
  • The second thing I noticed after I was done burning the DVD and testing it on my TV, was that the audio on some of the videos was VERY loud, and was not consistent across all the videos. There was an option in AVStoDVD Preferences to normalize the audio that I had not noticed. By default it is unchecked, and if you check it, the default setting is 1.0. I should have checked this, but don't know if the 1.0 setting is best or not. I suspect 0.85 may be a good setting, but may need to research this before my next project.
DVD Label - DVD.jpg
DVD Label - DVD.jpg (93.01 KiB) Viewed 1033 times
A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.
- Tyrion Lannister

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