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Easiest way to add Chapter markers in FCP for iDVD

8463 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Jan 22, 2013 9:11 AM by Caleb Kingston RSS
Caleb Kingston Calculating status...
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Jun 5, 2012 10:08 PM

Hey there,


quite simply, I want chapter markers on my iDVD. I have two video projects from final cut pro X that I want in the DVD main menu and I want one of the videos to have scene selections as well.


I know compressor has the ability to add scene selections for the burning of 1 movie straight from compressor but where I'm dealing with 2 movies on one DVD, I can't see a way compressor will work unless theres someway to add chapter markers in Compressor and export it to iDVD somehow.


Anyways, do any of you have any ideas? even if I have to use a 3rd program to accomplish this?




MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,615 points)

    You export your movies from FCP. You take them to Compressor. Add the chapter markers there. Export from Compressor and take the files to iDVD. There are also third party apps that will simplify this. I think one is available in the App Store AVT Chapter It or

  • rhjph Calculating status...

    Where are chapter markers created in Compressor? The Help Manual for Compressor says they are created in "Final Cut Pro" (sc. FCP 7, I suppose) and are "passed through" by Compressor. We know that FCPX doesn't have a chapter marker facility, and there are no other references in Compressor to Chapter Markers that I can find. Thanks for any guidance.

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,615 points)
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    Jun 6, 2012 9:42 AM (in response to rhjph)

    Are you using Compressor 4?

  • rhjph Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Yes, latest. I have meanwhile downloaded the AVT Chapterit software that you mentioned, which seems to work well.

  • Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (12,860 points)
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    Jun 6, 2012 12:09 PM (in response to rhjph)

    If the manual says that, it's probably one of the v.3 manuals (I could check later).


    Here's what the v.4 manual says about chapter markers.



    To add a chapter marker to your clip



    1. Open the Preview window.
    2. Choose the Show Chapter/Podcast Markers item from the Marker pop-up menu, so that there is a checkmark by it.
    3. Choose a clip from the Batch Item pop-up menu or click the Batch Item selection button until the clip you want appears in the pop-up menu.
    4. Do one of the following to determine where the marker is to be placed:
      • Drag the playhead where you want to add a marker.
      • Enter a timecode value in the playhead timecode field.
    5. Do one of the following to add a marker:
      • Click the Marker button and choose “Add marker” from the pop-up menu.
      • Press M.
      A purple chapter marker appears in the timeline.
      Figure. Preview window showing purple marker.


    6. Choose Edit from the Marker pop-up menu (or press Command-E).A dialog for editing the marker appears.
    7. Enter a name for the chapter marker in the Name field.

      Figure. Dialog for editing marker.

      For chapter markers, this name appears in the output media file where it can be seen with QuickTime Player and in playback devices.
    8. If you want to assign an image to the chapter marker, choose one of the following from the Image pop-up menu:
      • None: No image is associated with the marker.
      • Frame in source: By default, the frame displayed is the frame on which the marker is placed. To use a different frame as the image, enter a different timecode value.
      • From File: Drag an image to the image well. You can also click Choose to open a file-selection dialog and select a still-image file to assign to the marker.
    9. Click OK to close the dialog.

    You can convert a chapter marker to a compression or podcast marker by choosing Edit from the Marker pop-up menu.


    But if the 3rd party app is working well for you, that's great.



  • rhjph Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    Jun 7, 2012 3:49 AM (in response to Russ H)

    Very helpful Russ. Thank you.  It looks as if there are still bits of the v.3 manual hiding in the v.4 one. I didn't find the help section you set out,  the first time I searched.  Are there any quality differences, do you believe, between creating a DVD from a Pro Res file using Chapterit and iDVD on the one hand, and Compressor on the other?

  • aleidy Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
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    Jun 7, 2012 9:11 AM (in response to rhjph)

    I found there was a degrade in quality using iDVD to create an 80-minute DVD compared to Compressor. I found Compressor to produce the best quality DVDs (i.e. fewest compression artifacts), followed by FCP X, followed by iDVD. iDVD of course has the benefit of more DVD menuing options.

  • Michigan One Fly Calculating status...
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    Jun 7, 2012 6:45 PM (in response to aleidy)


    I am curious to knoiw which setting you used in iDVD, Best Performance, High Quality or Proffessional Quality ?  I have foind that sometimes High Quality gives better results than I would get with Proffessional Quality.

  • Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (12,860 points)

    Hey Caleb.


    In my view, iDVD does a pretty nice job of handling whatever we throw at it.  Over the years I've had some really high quality output with HD (many flavors) and SD input. It certainly does make a difference with whatever quality encode selection was chosen.


    Compressor may (or may not) produce a higher quality disk. There are more controls and opportunities to improve things…and more opportunities to mess up. To my way of thinking the biggest benefit to using Compressor for making DVD's is frame controls, which especially can helpp in re-scaling frrom HD to SD. Also the ability to insert compression markers in problematic scenes.


    My 2 cents: do some testing on your material. See how well differents settings treat your footage.


    Good luck.



  • Thomas Emmerich Level 4 Level 4 (3,470 points)
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    Jun 7, 2012 7:25 PM (in response to aleidy)

    iDVD ALWAYS recompresses the video for DVDs. So you should give it the best quality input to start with. You cannot use Compressor to create MPEG2 streams because iDVD won't accept it.

  • aleidy Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Michigan One Fly,


    I was using the Professional Quality setting in iDVD which resulted in poor quality compared to Compressor. Interesting that you had better results with High Quality. I'll give that a try next time I need fancy DVD menu options.

  • Peace Freak! Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)

    If you don't want to buy Compressor and deal with learning it you can also use AVT ChapterIt or SImpleMovieX



    I wanted to import my FinalCut X movies into iDVD with chapters and was looking for a simple solution. I ended up buying and using ChapterIt. It has some rough edges, but got the job done is a short time. I added chapters to two movies, one was 23 min 2 GB, the other 96 min 13 GB, with a total of about 20 chapters. It handled both but not before damaging one movie (it would not open Quicktime) but luckily I was working on a copy and could restart the process. I will be contacting the author so hopefully he will address the issues I came across.


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