Editable Movies from DVDs


Someone was asking me how they can edit DVDs that are already created. As Jeff said, if you have a TIVO you can now make DVDs of the stuff you create there, but what happens if you want to edit it down. There are actually two ways.
One way is to edit a little with ChopperXP, the other is to use a full fledged video editor to chop things up

h4. A little bit of editing
If the edit you want to make is simple, then it just involves cutting up the DVD a little, you can do this:
# Download "Chopper XP":http://www.digital-miner.com/chopperxp.html. This is a freeware tool that lets you edit the actual underlying data on a DVD.
# Copy the contents of the DVD to your hard drive and put it into a folder. The contents is really confusing in that there are two directories on top called AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS. These are what a DVD player actually reads and you are going to have to edit these two folders. In the VIDEO_TS directory, you'll see a series of 1GB files with strange names like VTS_07_01.VOB. These are 1GB files are called VOB files and contain your movies. They have strange names because no human was ever supposed to read them. They are 1GB because that's the file size limit in a DVD (remember the DVD format was created in the days of MS-DOS when 1GB was infinite).
# Start Chopper XP and choose File/Open and open up one of these VOB files, Chopper XP lets you cut up the VOB file editing out what you don't want. When you are done, you can save to the VOB file and blow it away.
# Now you have to create the DVD again. I don't know what DVD writer program you have, but if you have Nero Express, then you go to the directory and add the files in the VIDEO_TS directory and blow the DVD
h4. If you want to do full editing
The harder, but more flexible way is to use the tools below so that you create an editable file on your PC, then you go backwards and make a DVD out of it:
# Copy the DVD files onto your hard drive as before.
# Download "DVD2AVI":http://nickyguides.digital-digest.com/audio-extract.htm. This is the trickier way, but it results in an AVI file that you can then edit with any tool. There is a tool called DVD2AVI that takes these strange VOB files and create a new file called a *.D2V file that tells the computer how the frames are laid out across all those VOBs (a typical movie these days has lots of menus that are animated and stuffed into short VOBs and then a 5-7 really big 1GB VOBs). With this file, you load it into vfapien and it creates a fake AVI file that indexs you to VOBs. You can use this AVI file to edit and then generate a new movie. BTW, the most current version of DVD2API is now called DGIndex and works well.
# Start DGIndex and choose File/Autoincrement Open. Then pick up one of the 1GB VOB files and it should suck in the series of files that is the whole movie or TV show.
# Choose Save Project and pick a name, this goes through the entire set of VOB files and writes out a new .D2V file that indexes the DVD so that the next program can read it.
# Download "VFAPI":http://www.divx-digest.com/software/vfapi.html. This is a tool that makes take a bunch of VOB files and the D2V files created above and then makes a dummy AVI file that in fact calls out to the various VOB files. With this virtual uncompressed AVI file, you can edit it
# Start VFAPIConvEn from the VFAPI tools. Click on Add Job and select the .D2V file you created earlier and then press Start. This creates an AVI file. If you click on the AVI file, Windows Media Player should start and you can see the whole movie. Kind of cool actually.
# If you don't have a video editing package, buy "Sonic Foundry":http://http://mediasoftware.sonypictures.com/. Now owned by Sony, I've used their Vegas (actually relabeled as Video Explosion Deluxe) for two years now. A great package. $99 for what is now called Vegas Movie Studio+DVD (what a name!). You can also use the Movie Maker that comes with Windows for basic stuff.
# Now you have to create a DVD from the AVI file. Again, it depends on the package that you have, but basically, you need something like "Mediachance":http://mediachance.com tool like DVD-labs to create a DVD.
I know this sounds complicated, but the detailed guides are pretty complete. And yes, it should not be this complicated, but most Windows tools don't know what to do with these strange VOB files on DVDs.