Last update: 2008 02 03
How to Get Films from a DV Camera to a DVD using Kino on Linux
Hardware: Video editing is not a lightweight business. My
- AMD64 3000+ 1.8GHz,
- ASUS A8V Delux motherboard with on-board sound & lan,
- 2 GB RAM (rendering is highly memory bound),
- 2x160 GB SATA disk (hardly enough),
- ATI 9250 graphics card not recommended due to poor performance and
Linux driver issues,
- NEC ND3500 DVD read-write drive.
- Sony Mini-DV camera with firewire (IEEE 1394) in/out.
- OS: Ubuntu Gutsy 7.10 (so elegant in comparison with
many other distributions!) with many additional pieces:
- Kino: can capture DV from your camera and works normally as a
simple video editing workbench; will render in various formats
including mpeg for DVD target.
- QDVDAuthor: takes an mpeg file and photos and via GUI
allows for the composition of menus and creates the iso image which
will be burnt onto the physical DVD-rom disc. This image will then
be burned on the DVD-rom. QDVDAuthor acts as a gui/front-end to the
complex tool dvdauthor.
- vlc media player: this will play various video formats as
well as iso disk images. It will also capture still pictures from
video. Other choices for tools like this could be gmplayer,
or Kaffeine player.
Overview of the Steps:
- Set-up the PC,
- Capture: i.e. transfer DV from
the camera to the PC.
- Edit: change the images and sound to
whatever you like.
- Render: assemble all the images
and sound into a single video
file of the appropriate format.
- Author: take the video file,
create menus, assemble the whole
thing into an iso disk image to be burnt to DVD-rom.
- Burn: Write the iso image to a DVD-rom.
Now the details:
Set-up the PC:
- Create a directory with around 100GB free space, let's call it:
- Create a subdirectory for your first project: Space/project1
- Install Kino, QDVDAuthor and vlc media player.
- Take a look at the video camera's settings and find out the audio
sample rate (32, 44.1 or 48 kHz), write this down somewhere,
- Find out how to connect the video camera to the PC (firewire,
i.e. raw1394 or USB2). If possible use firewire.
- Connect the DV camera to PC via firewire (I have no idea how to do it
- Turn camera on in VCR mode, i.e. to play the video that is in it,
but don't start playing it yet.
- sudo chmod a+rw /dev/*1394* that just gave you read/write
permission to the camera, yes, you must do this manually.
- Close all windows and applications on the PC, including web
browser and Skye, nothing should interfere with capture.
- Is the camera still turned on? If so, you are now ready to
Capture is the term used to for the process of copying the
uncompressed DV images &
sound from the camera to uncompressed files on the PC's
disk.Uncompressed DV takes a HUGE amount of space, e.g. one hour of DV
at 1M-pixel resolution with sound sampling at 32kHz represents around
40 GB, yes 40 Gigs of disk!
- Start Kino,
- Set-up Kino:
On the Edit/Preferences menu:
- Defaults tab:
Normalization = NTSC or PAL depending on your camera,
Audio= sample rate for your camera (you noted it down,
Aspect ratio: the aspect ratio you shot at 4/3 or 16/9.
- Capture tab:
File Type: Raw DV (I hope your camera gives raw DV, if not,
the type you have),
Auto Split Frames and Timestamp set to "yes",
Write Every 1 frame,
Frames per File and Max File Size: 0.
- IEEE 1394 tab:
AV/C Device: raw1394,
- Display tab:
Show: Full Interlaced Frame,
- Audio tab:
Enable Audio Output checked,
Audio Device: /dev/dsp
- jog/Shuttle tab: don't bother with this,
Default Project Directory: Space/project1.
- click ok to save preferences.
On the File menu
You are now ready to start the actual uploading of the video
on to the PC.
- save the current project: name the file project1, in
the Space/project1 directory.
- On the right side of the Kino window there are vertically
stacked buttons: Edit, Capture, Timeline, Trim, FX, Export;
click on Capture.
- A blank viewer will appear. Under that, the correct file name
should appear in the File text entry dialog box,
- Under that, set the Time (at the bottom of the Kino window) to
- Click the AV/C toggle button; the camera (which is still
turned on and in playback or VCR mode) should indicate "DV in",
meaning that it is receiving a DV signal from the PC. This means
that the PC is now commanding the camera via the firewire
connection. From this point onwards, do NOT use the commands on
the camera itself (e.g. play, rewind,etc.) use the corresponding
buttons on Kino.
- Use the wind or re-wind buttons on the PC (NOT
on the camera)
to wind to the spot on the DV cassette where you want to start the
- Click Capture, and the camera will start playing in
the video; Nothing will appear on the monitor and no sound will
come out of the PC - this is CORRECT. As scenes are automatically
split, they will appear to the left of the monitor in the
Storyboard area. The monitor will show a still image of the first
image of the scene. (trick, move the window around a little to get
the monitor to refresh!),
- Watch the frame counter increase to show that
something is really happening. The capture will take the real time
that the film takes to play, i.e. 10 minutes of video takes 10
minutes to capture.
- When you've got enough, click "Stop" (next to the
- Click the AV/C toggle to disable commands to the
camera - thus preventing accidental destruction of the original
- Dropped Frames should be ZERO, if not, you'd
better think about starting over, after a reboot.
- On the file menu: save.
- At this point, you have a bunch of REALLY BIG files with
The name means: filmed on 19 Jan 2008, 14:00:47 (yes those are seconds at
- You can now disconnect the video camera from the PC.
- You can now start editing.
Depending on the masterpiece of cinematography you may be
making, this could be a really long and complex process. Let's
suppose that you're just making a little home movie. I'll give you
a quick run down on how to do it.
- Click the Edit button to the right of the monitor.
- The monitor will show the 1st image of the 1st scene; under the
monitor is a downwards pointing blue arrow; under that is a
horizontal grey line with vertical white bars. These white bars
indicate scene splits. Under the bar, are the normal play,
frame/frame, slow, fast, end, command buttons; to the right of
that is a slider that you can activate with the mouse to move
forwards & backwards slowly through the footage. Don't worry if
the film doesn't look
perfect in the monitor - it won't but the final rendered result
will be PERFECT.
- In the Edit view you can cut out, duplicate, split, join
scenes, but you cannot trim within a particular scene (that
will be explained below). Use the Edit menu and play around with it.
- You can also save still images using the File/Save Still
Frame menu. These still images can come in handy later for use as a
background in the DVD menu.
- Next, click the Timeline button (to the right of the
monitor) to see the sequence of
scenes you've got. You can select the time units on the bottom (we
had previously selected fames, try others if you want).
- Next use the Trim button (to the right of the
monitor) to cut out bits of individual
scenes. I can't explain how to do it here. Either play around or
read the manual. It's pretty straight forward.
- Next use the FX (read FX as Effex
i.e. Effects) button (to the right of the
monitor), to create transitions between scenes or
to add audio and/or video effects (filters). Be careful to
understand the different behaviors of the Overwrite/Create
- Finally you are ready to render!
This is the big moment! You are now going to generate your
motion picture masterpiece. Probably you'll want to make a DVD for
home DVD players, or possibly an mpeg4, avi, flash, XVid file for
uploading to youtube or to some
website for viewing, or even for
broadcast over broadband. I'll explain both of these below.
- Render for DVD (you want to watch it on a TV):
- Click the Export button to the right of the monitor.
- Select the MPEG tab.
- Enter a filename, for example Space/render. Do NOT
put an extension at the end of the filename.
- File Format: 8 - DVD.
- De-interlace: none (unless you have interlaced DV by some bad luck?).
- Aspect Ratio: same as for your video.
- Output dvdauthor XML: none.
- Click the colored Export button under where the
monitor usually is, above the play, stop etc. buttons. The status
bar will show the count of frames rendered, and estimate the
time to completion. A slider will fill in the right end of the
status bar. The rendering will take a VERY long time,
e.g. +/-3 hours on my AMD64 to render 1 hour of DV footage.
- When rendering is complete, check the resulting file by
playing it with VLC media player. In my opinion, this will give
you the most accurate preview.
- You are now ready to Author the DVD. Do not follow the
Render to a File instructions below. Go directly to Author below.
- Render to a File for PC or other IT use:
At this point I hope you have NOT done the render for DVD!
- After clicking the Export button to the right of the
monitor, select the Other tab.
- Enter a filename, such as Space/project1/film-as-avi Do
NOT enter an extension.
- Select the Tool, i.e. the target format, for
example MPEG-4 avi dual pass,
- Select the Profile i.e. the image quality, better
means bigger file size. If you're still confused about
de-interlacing, look it up on the Wikipedia.
- Click the colored Export button, under where the
monitor usually is, above the
play stop etc. buttons. The status bar will show the count of
frames rendered, and estimate the time to complete. A slider will
fill in the right end of the status bar. This will take a long
time, but potentially less time than the DVD render
- When complete, you have a file ready for viewing on a PC
or uploading to a website.
- Check this file by playing it with VLC media player.
- You can now close Kino.
If you still have the strength, you can
make a nice DVD menu system. I'll explain the basic use
here. I forgot how to make chapters so you'll have to
read the manual for that part.
Skip this section if you do NOT want to play your masterpiece
on your home DVD player, or if you don't mind playing a
PC quality film on the TV.
- Create a directory for your authoring work: Space/project1/author.
- Create a directory for the DVD file system: Space/project1/author/DVD.
- Create a tmp directory for temporary DVD files:
- Start QDVDAuthor: you will see an empty canvas and some buttons.
- On the Tools menu, select Visible Area. A red
rectangle will appear on the canvas to show the Approximate
visible area. This is not very accurate, so be careful about putting
things close to the edge.
- Select the Tools/Setup menu:
DVD Directory: Space/project1/author/DVD.
Project Name: qproject1.
Temporary Directory: Space/project1/author/tmp.
Use external Player: /usr/bin/vlc.
- Then go to the Paths tab and scan system: hopefully
all the necessary tools will be found. If not, get them but
remember that not all the tools are really needed.
- Click ok to save the Set-up.
- Now you are ready to build the menus. I'll explain how to
make a really simple one comprising: a single film, a background image,
a title and a play button.
- To the left of the canvas, click the add movie button.
- Select the product of all our work so far
render.mpeg. The size of the DVD so far is displayed under
- Above the canvas, click the Add Background
button. Select a still picture somewhere, agree to resizing if
needed, select the right format NTSC 720 x 480 or PÄL 720 x 576,
and Cut off is probably the best choice for resizing method
- Create the title: right click on the canvas, select Add
Text, drag the cross-hair cursor to the size you want for the title and
let go. The text dialog will appear. Type some text, change fonts,
colors, etc. The text can always be fixed up again later. Click
OK!. The text can be moved and/or rotated and/or re-edited from
- Create a Play button: use the above procedure to create
a text with the word Play. Click OK! Then right-click the
Play text and select Define as Button. In the Button
dialog, action should read: jump :  -
render. Click OK!
- Click the main menu: File Save Project!
- You are now ready to AUTHOR! But first, Be sure that
the size indicated under the canvas is colored Green, i.e. the
size of the project is less than the size of a DVD! Click the
button above the monitor. On the Command Queue Dialog, enable the
1st and 2nd sections (green and red): Main Menu, and
the last section (yellow) Don't Execute Burn DVD. (we'll do
that if the first part succeeds!)
- Cross your fingers and click OK! Watch the output for
errors. Click Keep Window Open to be sure that you can scan
through for errors after authoring is complete. Authoring will take
some time, but only about 15 minutes or so for an hour of footage.
- When complete, be sure to check the output for errors,
if you find any, ask someone who
knows something for help! In any case, don't go on to burning
until all the errors are fixed. Let's assume it worked.
- Click OK!, the Command Queue Dialog will close.
on the Create DVD button above the monitor AGAIN. On the Command
Queue Dialog, uncheck the 1st and 2nd sections (green and
red): Don't Execute Main
Menu and Don't Execute dvdauthor. Enable the last
section (yellow) Burn DVD. But We're NOT going to
burn the DVD now! We're only going to create the iso image.
In the yellow section, use the delete key to remove all the text from
all the commands EXCEPT for the command that
generates an iso image of the DVD. Are we clear? Delete
all the text except for the stuff that generates the iso image!
- Click OK! This will run for another 15 minutes!
- Check for errors, again.
- Click OK.
- Close QDVDAuthor.
- Your DVD masterpiece is now available for viewing at:
Move it to:
Space/project1/author/dvd.iso for safekeeping.
- Preview it with VLC media player! It should be perfect
(don't forget to use the mouse to click the Play button
that we made)!
- It's now time to burn baby, burn!
If you got to this point, then you must be really
tenacious. That's great! Congratulations! You will see that it's all
going to be worth it. Burning is dead easy.
- Put a blank DVD in the DVD drive.
- If you get a dialog asking what to do with the blank DVD, just
click on Cancel.
- Open a File Browser and navigate to:
- Right click on the file and select Burn Image to Disk, or
whatever your system proposes, and voilà!
You've just made your first major motion picture!