Paperback Writers: DV and DVD Production by the Books
Posted Feb 6, 2004

Midway through my third winter in the Midwest, I can see how the seasonal deluge drives people to read. Not that I've never needed any encouragement in that area, at least as far as fiction is concerned, though tech books have always required an extra nudge. This winter, however, has delivered a bumper crop of books so squarely targeted at EMedia types and their digital studio ilk that we'd ignore them at our peril.

Foremost among them are two books on DVD authoring, Jeff Warmouth's DVD Authoring with DVD Studio Pro 2 (Focal Press, due out in March) and Jan Ozer's MyDVD 5 for Windows Visual Quick Start Guide (Peachpit Press). Also of strong interest on the video editing and post-production side are Richard K. Ferncase's QuickTime for Filmmakers (Focal Press) and two Wiley Publishing titles, the Adobe Premiere Pro Bible by Adele Droblas and Seth Greenberg and PC Magazine's Guide to Digital Video, another book by EMedia's own ubiquitous Jan Ozer.

Warmouth's DVD Authoring with DVD Studio Pro 2 introduces readers to DVD SP 2 in particular and the DVD format in general, and leads users through the production workflow all the way up to replication. Warmouth, assistant professor of multimedia at Fitchburg College in Massachusetts, uses a tutorial approach to instruct readers in the use of DVD SP 2 as well as addressing related topics such as asset preparation in Final Cut Pro and Photoshop.

Ozer's MyDVD 5 book takes its place in Peachpit's VisualQuick Star series with a detailed look at Sonic's Editor's Choice-winning MyDVD 5, the leading entry-level DVD authoring tool. Ozer offers extensive step-by-step instructions for taking advantage of MyDVD's enriched feature set, as well as insight into every step of the process from video capture to recording and much in between, including the art of making appealing DVDs.

Ferncase's QuickTime for Filmmakers is written for film and video content producers developing for QuickTime, and making practical use for the format for packaging, distribution, and presentation. Ferncase, a photographer and filmmaker and professor at the School of Film and Television at Chapman University in Orange, California, also examines video conversion, adding and editing soundtracks and using text in QT movies, as well as compressing content and preparing it for http and RTSP streaming.

Droblas' and Greenberg's Adobe Premiere Pro Bible takes a fresh look at the ground-up rewrite of the popular prosumer video editing tool and offers extensive tutorials on sophisticated content creation and editing using Premiere Pro. Key topics covered in the book include video capture, credit and title creation, advanced editing techniques with Premiere Pro's Rolling and Ripple tools, adding narration and soundtracks, incorpotaomh motion effects, and integrated workflow with other Adobe applications such as Photoshop, After Effects, and Encore DVD. A "bonus" DVD includes trial versions of the above applications (Premiere included) plus Illustrator and GoLove. Also bundled on the DVD are trial copies of two Macromedia tools, Flash MX 2004 and Director MX, plus Discreet Cleaner XL.

Last but not least is another Wiley title, Jan Ozer's all-purpose Guide to Digital Video. Here the writer formerly known as Professor Compressor offers tips on choosing and using a MiniDV camcorder, equipping your PC for video capture, and editing with healthy project flow and organization, astute use of timeline and storyboard modes, transitions, and nifty tricks like insert editing with examples from consumer tools like Microsoft's Movie Maker 2, Ulead's Video Studio, and Pinnacle Studio.

And lest readers worry that a double-dose of Ozer won't be enough to get them through the winter, they can look ahead to the Pinnacle Studio 9 Visual QuickStart Guide, a new Peachpit title (sequel to his Studio 8 book) expanded to address essential topics like "Making Watchable Video." Which is what we're all hoping to do once we pull our noses out of the books and get back behind the camera, right?