Saturday, December 13, 2008

Creating DVDs for NCVC Awards Fete

Every year (for the past 3-4 years), I get tapped to produce DVDs that will be used to project images on the walls or in big screens at NCVC's annual awards banquet.  It's a nice movie folks can watch as they nosh and socialize.  Each year, it's the same pattern -- I forget how to produce DVDs (because I only do it once each year and technology changes).  This blog entry is a scratch pad for what I did in 2008 so I can re-use my method next year, and have a little less stress.  (My work is really intense now and comes home with me, so I don't have much soft time to do hobby and charitable work.)  The pattern described below is related to the photo processing workflow described here.

First:  Go into Aperture (photo workflow management application).  Select all 2008 images rated 3 or higher.  Establish keyword "NCVC 2008" (or such) (shift-H to bring-up keyword HUD).  Second, go through all selected photos and mark those with the keyword that you want to show at the banquet.  If there are not enough selected quality images, set rating filter to 2 and above.  In 2008, this selection process garnered 600+ images.  (Took 2-3 hours, aided by fine merlot.)

Second: Select all images with keyword "NCVC 2008" or such.  Export image versions (JPGs) at full resolution to a new disk drive folder.  (Took about 10 minutes on Mac Pro.)

Third: Launch Macintosh iDVD application.  Select "File/Magic iDVD" (create).  Choose a theme.  (I like "Reflective Black.")  With Mac Finder, select folder of images exported from Aperture and drag photos onto movie, into box labeled "Drop Photos Here:".  Enter DVD title, click the "Create Project" icon/link, and hit save after the project initializes.  (Do saves often during this work.)  (Took about 20 minutes on Mac Pro.)

Fourth:  Refine the DVD.  In tree view of the DVD content, drag the slide show (pictures that were imported) onto the top icon so that the DVD will autoplay the slideshow when inserted into a DVD player.  Double click on the slideshow to view discrete images, and delete or re-order images, as desired.  I did my first run DVD with projection ratio at 16:9 letter box TV format.  On review, I went to 4:3, standard TV format (for whatever reason, seemed to look better on my  big screen HDTV). Don't forget to turn on looping mode so the DVDs will run continuously.  (I forgot, and had to re-burn DVDs a third time ...)  With iDVD, you can also add music and all sorts of stuff.  (I didn't.)

Fifth:  Burn the DVD.  When everything looks good, select "File/Burn DVD" ... insert a DVD (DVD-R is the format I used).  Burning the initial DVD requires about 20 minutes on the Mac Pro (used to take about 45 minutes on my entry-level MacBook).  Subsequent DVDs can be burned in 2-4 minutes, each.  Put the DVD in a DVD player to test, to make sure it came out right.  If not, go back in the process.

You're done.  Hopefully I'll be able to find these notes in 2009 and life will be good, our economy will be robust, banks will stop failing, car makers will be lean and competitive, Santa Claus will come down the chimney ...