Knowing what you're going to do with it.

Alright, so you have ripped some DVDs - good for you. Now, before we start the rest of the preparation process I'm going to warn you that there will be a few choices to be made along the way that will vary depending on how you are using the footage. I've prepared this list is to give you a good idea of what you will end up having to do in terms of preparing sources so that you don't get confused too much later on. I know it sounds like a lot to go through but it's all important. The more you know and the more control you have over your sources the easier it will be to output a product you are happy with.

The procedure for getting from DVD vobs to an edited AMV is as follows:

1) Make DGIndex project file(s) which will index the DVD footage for frame accuracy.

2) Make an avisynth script importing each dvd2avi project file - this allows access to the dvd footage as a video source.

3) Work out the properties of your footage so you know what to do with it later.

4) Choose between Interlaced and Progressive editing.

5) (optional) Remove interlacing with IVTC or Deinterlacing and prepare the footage for progressive editing

6) (optional) crop and resize sources to work with one aspect ratio.

7) (optional) Clean up the footage before editing.

8) Decide how you are going to use the footage (as clips, directly through avs or using bait and switch)

9) (optional) a) Create high quality clips as source footage or b) low quality files for quick editing.

10) (premiere 24fps editing only) Change the speed of your audio prior to editing for a clean conversion from a 24fps video to a 23.976 fps final product.

11) Set up your video editor using the correct project settings.

12) Edit your video - there's no guide on this, you have work out how to do it yourself. Read the manual of your editing program :)

13) (if you did part 9b) Swap your low quality editing files for your original avisynth files.

14) Export the video and audio using lossless codecs.

15) (if you did part 10) Reattach your original audio and make the video 23.976fps.

16) Decide which video format you are going to use for your distribution copy (internet or convention)

17) Clean up your footage

18) Make sure it is the correct size and format ready for compression.

19) Compress the audio.

20) Compress the video and attach the audio.

21) Go back to 17 if you are making a second distribution format.

It's likely that at this point you may not know if a certain step will apply to you. The steps will be explained in more detail as they appear in the guide. This list is here as a reference so you know exactly what stage you are at when following these guide. You may want to print them out and tick them off or cross them out one by one.

I'm sure you have a lot of questions before we start so I'll quickly clarify a couple of issues quickly before we get going.

What do I do if I have PAL footage?

I will cover some of the issues of using a PAL source when we analyse the footage we have.

How do I know what sort of interlacing my footage has?

Again we will look at this in the next section.

Why should I remove interlacing with Inverse Telecine?

You don't have to at all - editing interlaced sources is something that video editing programs have been designed to do for years. However, having a progressive (non-interlaced) source can help quality when doing effects such as moving the image around, editing stills from the video and so on. It also aids the visual quality of a video created for Internet distribution as it is much harder to remove interlacing after you have edited a video. This is not a necessity, however, and all editing packages are designed with interlaced video editing in mind.

Why do I have to make my video 24fps instead of keeping it at 23.976 if I Inverse Telecine NTSC footage?

This is a problem with Adobe Premiere - if you don't use it then you don't have to worry about it. Premiere cannot edit 23.976fps footage in the same precise way as it does 24fps footage. Even Premiere Pro does not support if properly. If you are using a different editing program such as Vegas that supports 23.976fps editing then you can keep it like that - for premiere you HAVE to use 24fps if you want reliable results.

Why is it important for me to make a video 23.976 fps again when I've edited at 24fps?

It helps making the footage standards compliant. With 23.976fps footage you can make progressive mpeg2 encodes and it's really easy to convert something back to 29.97fps. It's not the end of the world, however, as it doesn't affect Internet distribution and you can still convert to 29.97fps, it's just not as perfect.

Why do I have to convert the audio before editing at 24fps in Premiere?

Again, you don't have to. It's just a trick to avoid having to have converted audio in your final amv. If you edit at 24fps and want to change back to 23.976fps at the end then you will have to change the audio length at some point as it will stop being in sync when you change the fps back. If you don't convert the audio before editing then you will have to convert it later to sync up but if you DO convert the audio beforehand then you can happily use the original audio file in your final product.  Having a converted version that you edit with and keeping the original version for your final product as described on this page is the option that gives the best quality, but if you like you can just convert the audio at the end with a slight loss of quality. The guides will show you how to do both of these.

Alright, now you've got a taster for some of the issues that surround preparing footage for amv creation with DVDs we can begin with step 1 which is the same whatever the video....