Creating a DVD from old camcorder footage

  collinsc 10:46 06 Sep 2007

I want to create a DVD from about 40 old cassettes from a camcorder.

What is the best way to go about it? Load up all the cassettes and then edit?

Or load up 1 cassette and edit that…?

Do I need special software? I have windows movie maker….


  holme 10:56 06 Sep 2007

Suggest first download each cassette (as a separate file) from the camcorder onto hard disc, using Windows Movie Maker's built-in 'Capture Video' options.

Then use WMM to edit to your heart's content! Each file can be edited separately, and/or combined with one of more of the others, or whatever.

For eventual burning to DVD, save the composite file(s) in DV(AVI) format.

Note that, with a lot of source video, it can take a //long// time to transcode it into to a format suitable for DVD-burning. You could be talking many hours...

Some versions of WMM will allow you to burn to DVD(s) directly. If not, use third-party software such as Nero or freebies from (for example) click here in the 'CD & DVD Tools' section. HTH.

  collinsc 12:18 06 Sep 2007

thanks for feedback.
ive got to go through 40 casettes... so a fair bit of editing to do til i get to the burning stage!

is it easy to edit?
do you just cut and delete bits you dont want?

or select bits you DO want!?

  scotty 12:40 06 Sep 2007

With 40 cassettes to transfer you are going to need all the help you can get to make the job easier. I am doing something similar at the moment. For each hour of original footage you will need 13GB of disc space for the avi files you create. You will need almost half that again for the editing.

Software tool such as Pinnacle Studio will capture the data to disc and recognise individual scenes, creating a thumbnail for each. This makes editing much quicker. Each scene can be quickly topped and tailed (beginning and end trimmed to include only the part you want). Also, Ulead have a product which has been recommended to me.

I have bought a 500GB drive and at the moment I have around 10-12 hours of original footage and I am working on editing that. As I create the DVDs I will erase the avi files I have finished with to make room for more.

You can get a basic copy of Pinnacle Studio very cheaply at Although other versions are available, the basic version has the features necessary to produce DVDs with menues.

  holme 12:55 06 Sep 2007

Ah, sorry, I didn't realise you weren't already familiar with Windows Movie Maker. :-)

I'm assuming you have v5.1 or later (v5.1 came with the SP2 upgrade to Windows XP). From what you say you wish to do, I'm sure you'll quickly take to it and find it a real pleasure to use.

Can I suggest you download just one cassette to be going on with and try it out? Load WMM and then drag the video file into it - an icon will appear in the 'Collections' pane. Then drag that onto the editing Video 'Timeline' and edit away.

In brief, the editing procedure is to find the first frame of a bit you wish to cut out, nudge back ONE frame and cut it there, using the 'Split' icon (second from right below the preview window). Then find the last frame of the same bit you wish to cut out, nudge forward ONE frame and cut it again. Click on the bit you wish to delete to select it and press the Delete key. That's the first bit you don't want deleted. The before-and-after bits will automatically butt up to each other.

Strong hint: Save the project /every/ time you do an edit. There's nothing worse than making a mess of it and having to go back to square one...

From now on, read the Help file, practice practice practice, be hugely impressed with your handiwork and - above all - enjoy! HTH.

  holme 13:19 06 Sep 2007

Sorry about this, we've had probs posting our postings throughout the morning (as others have) and have only just seen what scotty has said.

While agreeing with every point he made, can we respectfully suggest that, as a "beginner" (I hope I don't offend!), the four of us here at Holme do recommend you stick with WMM for the moment, and with just one video file, until you get the basics firmly under your belt. Some people find Pinnacle is fine - many others find it troublesome and unreliable, and quickly lose heart. (Our copy is extremely clunky and not to be trusted.)

Similarly, we don't recommend using the 'auto-scenes' function at this early stage. It may work for what you want but, again, if it produces scene cuts in unexpected places (which in our experience it often does), it can very quickly confuse.

So at this stage, we do recommend using only WMM, and then only in its most basic modes, until you get the hang of it. Once you done all that, your epics can of course always be imported into something more capable like Pinnacle or especially ULead's VideoStudio but, at this early stage, arguably it's best to walk before running... HTH :-)

  collinsc 13:25 06 Sep 2007

thanks for feedback- ill give the options some thought

  eedcam 13:26 06 Sep 2007

collin for that amount of work you should really consider using one of the proper editimg programmes .Whilst wmm is reasonable its going to be a pain especially as it does not do in house burning or authoring you may well find you would like to go a bit further than just cutting bits out.

  scotty 14:44 06 Sep 2007

I cannot disagree with holme's comments about Pinnacle Studio as I experienced difficulties when I first started. That was using Studio version 8 which had a terrible reputation. I now use version 10 (current version is 11) on a better computer which runs XP as opposed to ME and have found it much more reliable.

I suggested the very basic version (v10 SE) (available from click here= ) as for £8 plus £4 p&p you could sample the software without significant investment.

  woodchip 14:59 06 Sep 2007

I use Studio 9.4.5 on a XP desktop and it does all I need

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