Editing video from DVD

I spent the day editing video. Editing video from DVD is a trick, and I found instructions online, but they didn’t work. Here’s how I ended up doing it. (I had permission to use the copyrighted material I was using; complying with copyright law is your responsibility.)
Here are the names of the tools you need. Sorry I can’t give you links; I didn’t keep track of where I got them. Plus by the time you read this they’ll probably be somewhere else anyway.
cladMdec
DVD2AVI
VFAPI
VirtualDub

Use your favorite search engine to find them.

First, rip the DVD to disk. I used cladMdec. You use what you’re comfortable with. The idea is you need to have a series of .VOB files on your hard drive, and they need to be decoded.

Now load your VOB files into DVD2AVI. Go to File, Save Project. Give it a filename. This takes a while–on my Duron-750 with a 10K RPM Quantum SCSI drive, a 2-hour DVD takes about 20 minutes.

Now you need a tool called VFAPI. Load the D2V file created by DVD2AVI by clicking Add Job. Grab the file, then hit Convert. VFAPI will spit out a fake AVI file. It looks like an AVI file, it plays like an AVI file, but it’s tiny because it’s pulling the picture out of your VOB files. Pretty cool, huh?

Editing a 2-hour DVD directly is cumbersome, so you can use VirtualDub to cut it down. Load your fake AVI file into VirtualDub. Go to Video, and select Direct Stream Copy. This makes VirtualDub spit out tiny AVI files instead of huge, unweildy uncompressed AVI files. I did a 10-second uncompressed clip once. It was 600 megs. Trust me, you want to work with the fakes. I never thought my 18-gig SCSI drive would be this crowded. Too bad the 36-gig job was so expensive.

Now you can start slicing and dicing. Locate the first frame that interests you, and hit HOME. Punch through to the last frame of the segment you want, then hit END. Now just go to File, Save as AVI.

I use Premiere to sequence video and add audio. I’m not very good at it yet. If you’re looking to get Premiere cheap, go buy a Pinnacle DV200 capture card. It costs $250 and comes with Premiere. Premiere costs $600. Good deal. If you’re a student, get an academic copy. It probably costs less.

Anyway, it’s kind of fun to get an eye for video editing by making your own music videos, or jazzing up your home movies by punching in some scenes from your favorite big-screen flick. Although it’s probably illegal to do either of those anymore. I get permission before I make a music video that’s going to be shown to more than just a handful of people.

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