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Burning a movie

665 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Mar 15, 2013 12:18 PM by CMBP RSS
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CMBP Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
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Mar 12, 2013 12:09 AM

I need help again.  I am confused by the multitude of sharing options after finishing a movie (iPod, iTunes,iPhone, Apple TV)  I can also publish to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and even CNN !  I am not sure what Mobile me is at all.   All I want to do is burn my movie onto a DVD which then can be played on a computer (windows and  Mac) and a TV.  I tried to work my way through iDVD and got lost because there seemed to be no burn option that I could find, so I just burnt it in a conventional manner from iTunes and it wouldn't even play on my own computer. Is there anyone out there that can step me through this please ?  I presume mpeg 4 is the file type that is compatible. How does iMac export it ? Nothing seems to be straightforward simple and easy !  Thanks in advance because I feel like that duck with the hammer at the moment.

iMac (20-inch Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), imovie 11
  • John Cogdell Level 5 Level 5 (4,595 points)
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    Mar 12, 2013 2:31 AM (in response to CMBP)

    Hi Chris,


    My reply to one of your earlier posts may help explain the different sharing options - see here:



    MobileMe is no longer supported by Apple, so ignore it. Hopefully, with the next iMovie update (or upgrade) that option will be removed. It allowed you to publish Photos and Videos to your own Gallery site and was a great feature. Unfortunately, with the proliferation of other sharing and social networking sites, Apple may have decided it was superfluous. I used it extensively, but now use mainly Vimeo (and to a much lesser extent, YouTube).


    When using iDVD, the sharing option I prefer from iMovie is "Share ⇒ Media Browser". Pick one of the highest available export sizes, such as Large, HD 720p or HD 1080p. When encoding your DVD, iDVD will down-convert it to a standard definition format (MPEG-2) that will be playable on a standard DVD player or on your computer (using Apple's DVD Player). Don't worry about all the suggested uses that iMovie offers, such as iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or Computer - these are just guides to indicate what each export size is suitable for.


    Another sharing option from iMovie that is suitable for importing video files to iDVD is "Share ⇒ Export Movie". This allows you to save your movie to your preferred location, such as Desktop, rather than placing it in the Media Browser (I'll elaborate later).


    I've had an interruption so will come back shortly to provide some help with using iDVD.



    MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2008), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), Sony HDR-SR7 & DCR-TRV20E
  • John Cogdell Level 5 Level 5 (4,595 points)
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    Mar 12, 2013 3:40 AM (in response to John Cogdell)

    OK - back again as promised!


    Just a few tips on using iDVD -


    In iDVD click on Media in the lower right corner. Then click on Movies in the upper right corner. Navigate to your exported movie and drag it onto the background of your preferred Theme (being careful not to drop it into a Drop Zone). This is only applicable if you shared your movie from iMovie using "Share ⇒ Media Browser". If you used "Share ⇒ Export Movie" you need to drag the movie from the saved location (say, Desktop) and drop it onto the iDVD Theme background.


    Once you've completed your DVD authoring (titles, drop zone photos, chapters etc) and are happy with how the iDVD project looks and are then ready to burn it, click on "Project > Project Info". In the window that opens, make sure you are satisfied with the various selections there, including Video Mode (PAL or NTSC), Encoding (Best Performance, High Quality or Professional Quality), Aspect Ratio and DVD Type.


    Before burning the project to a DVD, I would recommend that you firstly create a Disk Image. The Disk Image can then be used to burn extra copies if needed (without the need to re-encode the project) and kept as a permanent archive of the DVD project (I'll explain how to burn from an image below). To burn the DVD (rather than creating the Disk Image), simply go to iDVD's menu item "File > Burn DVD" - see the following image:


    Burn DVD.png


    Note the item in the menu directly below "Burn DVD" - labelled "Save as Disk Image". When you choose to save as a Disk Image, a file with the extension .img will be created. To burn a DVD from this image file, follow these steps:


    • Double-click the file to open it on the Desktop. If DVD Player opens, close it.
    • Click anywhere on the Desktop so that you can see the Finder menu bar at the top of the window.
    • In the Finder menu, click on Go then on Utilities, then double-click on Disk
    • In Disk Utility the window should open with the First Aid tab active (don't click on the other tabs - Erase, Partition and Restore).
    • In the left column, click on the .img file so that it is highlighted.
    • In the menu at the top of the Disk Utility window, click on the Burn icon.
    • Follow the prompts to burn the DVD. You will be asked to insert a blank DVD into the optical drive. Once that has loaded, select a preferred burn speed. I generally use 2x, but faster speeds should also be OK. I exclusively use Verbatim DVD-R discs.


    Whether burning directly from iDVD or burning from the Disk Image, the finished DVD will be universally playable - on most DVD and Blu-ray players and all computers capable of playing DVDs.


    Here is an excellent tutorial on iDVD 7 by Ken Stone:



    Here is a link to  Apple's video tutorials for iDVD:



    Hope all this helps Chris. Please come back if you need further assistance.




    Message was edited by: John Cogdell

    MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2008), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), Sony HDR-SR7 & DCR-TRV20E
  • John Cogdell Level 5 Level 5 (4,595 points)
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    Mar 12, 2013 3:59 AM (in response to CMBP)

    CMBP wrote:


    I originally imported my movie prior to editing as "large" so I presume I am unable to create anything bigger than that now ?  Thanks, you are a great help and I look forward to the next instalment.  Chris

    Yes, if you imported as Large (that's 960 x 540) I think you will be restricted to that (as the largest size available) when exporting. Sorry, can't remember as I usually import now as Full (1920 x 1080). For producing DVDs, Large is fine. It matches the standard definition format of DVDs fairly closely, which I think is 1024 x 576 for PAL video. In any event, iDVD will scale the export from iMovie to the appropriate standard, irrespective of the size (Large or otherwise) you've brought in from iMovie.


    Note that, if the HD sizes are unavailable for export from iMovie they will be greyed out (that is, the HD 720p and HD 1080p export options).


    I've produced lots of DVDs from video imported as Large (960 x 540) and the results are excellent.



    MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2008), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), Sony HDR-SR7 & DCR-TRV20E
  • John Cogdell Level 5 Level 5 (4,595 points)
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    Mar 12, 2013 4:20 AM (in response to John Cogdell)

    Chris, I just remembered that Ken Stone's tutorial on iDVD 6 covers much more than his iDVD 7 tutorial (where he mainly explains the new features in iDVD 7). There is a link to his iDVD 6 tutorial in the last paragraph of the iDVD 7 tutorial that I linked to in my earlier post.


    The iDVD 6 tutorial can be viewed here (well worth a read):




    MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2008), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), Sony HDR-SR7 & DCR-TRV20E
  • John Cogdell Level 5 Level 5 (4,595 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 13, 2013 4:17 AM (in response to CMBP)

    OK Chris - it's best if we stick to the basics. I agree that there is a lot to take in with the Ken Stone tutorials, but they do cover all the essentials (plus lots more).


    In the forum, it's very difficult to describe all the steps in a concise manner. And we do make lots of assumptions when explaining things and endeavour to restrict our explanations to the key items. It's difficult to know how much information to provide as we have no idea what the poster already has knowledge of. These things are best explained face-to-face or one-on-one, of course - but we don't have that option available to us unfortunately.


    Keep in mind, that when you come across something you don't follow, you can always check the Help topics in iDVD Help. You can access this from iDVD's menu item "Help > iDVD Help". Use the Search field in Help to track down the item you need help with. For example, searching on "buttons" reveals 13 items, with a full explanation for each item. A good starting point is to read through the iDVD Help topic "Getting started in iDVD". The Help articles are written in a straightforward, user friendly format and are generally easy to follow - you just need to take one step at a time and skip over any of the really advanced stuff as it just clutters up the mind! (Sorry, don't mean to sound like I'm lecturing you).


    I will be pleased to help further, but am a bit caught up at the moment. I'll try to get back to you tonight or tomorrow with some steps for you to follow so that you can at least burn a basic DVD without too many "bells and whistles". In the process I'll endeavour not to rewrite the manual.


    Hang in there Chris - perseverence is the name of the game! We all had to start somewhere. Stay cool



    MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2008), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), Sony HDR-SR7 & DCR-TRV20E
  • John Cogdell Level 5 Level 5 (4,595 points)
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    Mar 13, 2013 6:26 AM (in response to CMBP)

    Thanks Chris. I'm in the process of writing up something now for you (using TextEdit), but will have to finish it tomorrow (time permitting) as it's near midnight here. Got carried away!


    Hopefully, it won't appear too long winded and cause you further confusion! It's difficult ensuring that all relevant steps in the process are not skipped.



    MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2008), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), Sony HDR-SR7 & DCR-TRV20E
  • John Cogdell Level 5 Level 5 (4,595 points)
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    Mar 13, 2013 8:41 PM (in response to John Cogdell)

    Back again Chris.


    Here are some instructions for you. Hopefully I've not missed anything and haven't overwhelmed you with too much information. These things are difficult to explain briefly, so pardon the length of my "manual".  I've numbered each paragraph to make it easier for you to ask questions or comment on a particular section.


    1) Open iDVD. From the window that opens, click on Create a New Project.


    2) In the Save As box, give the project a name (it defaults to My Great DVD). Leave the extension as .dvdproj (this signifies that it is an iDVD Project).


    3) In the Where box, choose where you want to save the file by clicking in the box and selecting a location. The default is Documents, but I generally save to the Desktop as it's easier to find there. You can always move it later.


    4) For Aspect Ratio, select the one that matches your exported iMovie project. From memory, you are using an AVCHD camera so should choose Widescreen (16:9). The other option is Standard (4:3).


    5) Click on Create and the iDVD workspace window will open showing the default Theme named Revolution. If you prefer a different Theme, in the Themes panel on the right scroll down and select another one. Each Theme has several elements, including Main, Chapters and Extras. As you are not currently using Chapters, I will restrict my coverage here to the Main element, which is all you need at the moment. Whenever you need to open the Themes panel, just click on the Themes box at the bottom right of the window.


    6) If you wish to see the built in animation on your selected Theme (some have music included), click on the centre icon at the bottom centre of the window (it's shaped like 2 arrows pointing in opposite directions). To stop the motion, just click on the icon again.


    7) The Themes that appear in the panel usually default to the iDVD 7.0 Themes. To see others, click in the box at the top right (where it shows 7.0 Themes) and select "All".


    8) Before going any further, it's recommended that you check iDVD's preferences and also the project info. However, there's no harm in leaving these at the default settings. For preferences, click on the menu item "iDVD Preferences" and peruse the information in each of the 5 tabs. These are mostly self explanatory. For project info, click on the menu item "Project > Project Info". Again, the default settings should be OK. In a separate reply, I will give some more information about the Encoding settings.


    We are now ready to bring the movie into the project and start setting up (authoring) the DVD.


    9) If you exported (shared) your movie from iMovie using "Share > Media Browser", click on the box labelled "Media" at the bottom right of the window then click on the box labelled "Movies" at the top right. From the Movies panel you should be able to locate your exported movie. Drag it onto the Theme background, being careful not to drop it onto a Drop Zone (I'll explain Drop Zones later).


    10) If you exported using "Share > Export Movie", drag the movie from it's saved location to the Theme background. An alternative to dragging is to select "File > Import…Video" from iDVD's menu. You can then navigate to your exported movie and, once selected, it will be placed into the workspace window (just as if you had dragged it there).


    For the purposes of this exercise, I'm using the Revolution Theme in iDVD and will now explain some of the key points in setting up the DVD.


    11) If you import a movie to iDVD with no Chapters (by dragging or from the menu), the first thing you will see is the title of your movie on the Theme background. Note that Chapters can be easily set up in iMovie. If you import a movie with Chapters you will see 2 items - Play Movie and Scene Selection. Also, the main heading on the Theme will show the name of your movie.


    I'm testing with a short movie of 2 of my grandsons, called "The Roadsters", which contains no Chapters.


    12) Click on the heading "Revolution Main". It will then be highlighted within a light blue frame. Click on it again and the text will be covered with a light blue background.  Type over the text to rename it to the Title of your movie (in my case, "The Roadsters"). Also, in the pop-up that appears you can change the font, the font style and the font size.


    13) After typing the name, click anywhere on the background (don't press Return on the keyboard as this will just start a new line of text). You will now notice that the default name on the revolving carousel (Revolution Main) will change to the Title ("The Roadsters") that you typed, which is exactly what we want to see.


    14) The Theme will now look a bit odd as there will be two identical names (the main heading and the movie name) on the Theme, as well as on the carousel . Click on the movie name that you imported, then click on it again. Change the text to "Play Movie" or whatever you prefer. Again, when Chapters are included, the default will be Play Movie together with a Scene Selection button and the heading will be the name of your movie.


    15) If you double-click on Play Movie, the preview will open together with a "remote control", just as if playing the movie on a DVD Player. The movie will begin playing. Click on Stop or Exit to return to the workspace window. You can also access the preview by clicking on the circled arrow icon immediately to the right of the volume slider at the bottom of the window.


    16) Back in the main window you can change or add features to the Theme, such as "buttons". Click on Play Movie once so that it is highlighted. Now click on the Buttons box at the bottom right and select a preferred button. The buttons simply change the way that items on the Theme are displayed when active. So if you had Play Movie and Scene Selection (Chapters) showing on the Theme, one of them will always be highlighted when the DVD is loaded. After selecting the button from the Buttons panel nothing will appear to have changed (when Chapters aren't included). Preview the movie (or click on the name) and you will see that the movie title will now be highlighted with your chosen button. I prefer to leave it with the default highlights (buttons) as these usually work best with the chosen Theme. All this is similar to what you see on commercial DVDs. To revert to the default button, click on the circled button with the diagonal line through it - it's the first one in the list in the Buttons panel.


    17) We now need to fill in the Drop Zones. These complete the overall look of the Theme and can usually contain photos or short video clips. On the Revolution Theme there is only one Drop Zone, but it can contain a number of separate photos or video clips which loop as the Theme menu plays. Some Themes have more than one Drop Zone - some up to 6 (see the Forever Theme).


    18) There are 2 ways to add media to the Drop Zones. One is to drag the media from either the Photos tab or Movies tab (after clicking on the Media box at the bottom right). Drop the photo (or video) directly onto the Drop Zone on the revolving carousel. The Drop Zone will be highlighted as you hover over it. If you wish to add more than one photo, simply select the photos from the Photo browser (click on one then Command-click on the others). Then just drag and drop all at once onto the Drop Zone.


    19) The second method is to click on the "Edit Drop Zones" icon (dotted square box with down pointing arrow) at the bottom centre of the window next to the Start/Stop Motion icon. When you click on this, the Drop Zone box will appear. Drag your content to the box (or boxes where Themes have multiple Drop Zones). When done, click on the icon again to return to the main window.


    20) There are other things you can do to customize the project, such as changing or adding music that plays over the Theme. This is done in the Inspector. To access it, click on the icon shaped like a white letter i enclosed in a black circle. This is positioned at the bottom left of the window, next to the + icon.


    21) In the Inspector there are many actions available. As mentioned, you can add (or change) audio, plus change the loop duration (how long the motion and music runs before restarting and looping), the menu volume, free positioning of buttons (like Play Movie or Scene Selection etc), button highlight colours and so forth. You can also turn off the Drop Zones and the related graphics if desired, which gives a nice clean, uncluttered look to the DVD.


    22) The Map View is very handy when you need to do more advanced things, such as moving elements around in the project, particularly when you have Chapters and add Extras. It's best to stay away from this until you get more experience with using iDVD. An important point which you queried earlier - In Map View, don't drop movies onto the grey first box unless you want your DVD to start playing as soon as the disc is inserted into the player. This bypasses the Theme menu you've set up and the Theme will not appear until the end of your movie.


    23) When your movie includes Chapters, you can double-click on the Scene Selection button on the Main window and the Chapters window will open. Each page can contain up to 6 Chapters (Scenes) and you can have multiple pages. Here you can edit names of Chapters, font styles, sizes and colours, and rearrange the positioning.


    I've previously explained how to create a Disk Image and Burn a DVD so will leave it there for now Chris. It's starting to read like a manual and is getting lengthy, plus I'm feeling drained! I will reply separately about a couple of things I mentioned above (Preferences and Project Info, particularly encoding settings), but have a few things to attend to at the moment.


    In the meantime, please don't hesitate to come back if you need further assistance.



    MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2008), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), Sony HDR-SR7 & DCR-TRV20E
  • John Cogdell Level 5 Level 5 (4,595 points)
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    Mar 13, 2013 9:21 PM (in response to CMBP)

    Thanks Chris. Hopefully it's easy to follow - just take one bit at a time. It's probably best to print it then create a short project in iMovie and export it. You can then play around with things in iDVD and gain confidence in using it.


    There is much more to iDVD than meets the eye. We've only scratched the surface. When you get time, and feel up to the challenge, it's wel worth going through the two Ken Stone tutorials I linked to earlier. And don't forget the iDVD Help topics!


    Best of luck with this. I'll be back later today.



    MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2008), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), Sony HDR-SR7 & DCR-TRV20E
  • John Cogdell Level 5 Level 5 (4,595 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 14, 2013 2:43 AM (in response to CMBP)

    Good to hear things are improving for you Chris. I'm about to do the dishes and make myself (and wife) a cuppa (just got reminded about it)! Will try to answer your questions later tonight, plus provide some info on encoding settings etc.



    MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2008), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), Sony HDR-SR7 & DCR-TRV20E
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