Welcome to the forum.
First, let's start with details on what exactly is on those DVD disks.
A DVD can be either a DVD-Video, which will play on a computer with DVD software, or on a DVD player, hooked to a TV. Or, it can be a DVD-Data disc, which contains AV (Audio Video) files, that can be played on a computer with AV players, like Windows Media Player. Do you know exactly what you have?
If those are DVD-Videos, they will contain a VIDEO_TS folder, containing IFO, BUP and VOB files. It will be the VOB files, that you will want to Import into PrE, to be edited.
There are some considerations, and one is that each DVD-Video will contain a single VIDEO_TS folder. They will all have the same folder name, "VIDEO_TS," though the VOB files inside will be different for each of your 20 discs.
If that is the case, then one workflow would be to create 20 folders on an internal HDD (Hard Disk Drive), named "DVD_01," through DVD_20." Then, Copy each DVD to the respective folder. From there, you can create a New Project, that would be either NTSC, or PAL DV (depending on where you live). Then, Import the VOB's from those 20 folders into that Project, where you could begin editing.
When edited, one could then author a new DVD-Video with Menus, for the final memorial disc.
If you can let us know more about those DVD's, then someone can direct you as to the workflows that would be best.
Let us start with the most important consideration - what program(s) do you have Photoshop Elements 8, Premiere Elements 8, or something else? You state that you have Photoshop Elements 8. You cannot produce at a product that will play back on the TV DVD player or rip video files from the DVD with Photoshop Elements 8 (photo editor).
Do you have any relative who uses any version of Premiere Elements or an alternative video editor?
Then, we need to know what is on the DVD discs (format wise) that you have. The quickest way to do that is to put your DVD disc into your computer and then explore the disc to see what is on it. If you see a VIDEO_TS Folder and maybe a OpenDVD and AUDIO_TS Folder, then you can decide what next. Right now we still need a video editor in the mix if you have going to take the best of all the DVDs and put them into one product either
a. a video file that you can play on the computer and project onto a screen
b. a DVD-VIDEO on DVD disc that you can playback on the TV DVD player
What is your time frame for getting this video memory for your husband? If you are in a time crunch and do not have the necessary tools to get this done, then you might want to determine if the funeral director can offer some help to expediate matters to take away the stress of getting this project finished in time for the memory service.
We are here to help. Remember this is a big project even if times were better. But we will not give up trying to get this done for you.
Thanks to Bill Hunt and A. T. Romano for immediate answers to my video edit
I only have Photoshop Elements 8. I think I will purchase a video editor
program geared towards non-professional photographers that will work with
my present operating system (Windows 7).
All of my DVDs have Audio_TS and Video_TS files. They work in my computer
and DVD player. My computer uses Windows Media Player and others. I was
able e to see BUP on one of the DVDs.
The films were transcribed from VHS by Costco and Photobin. One was a
wedding photographer's DVD. Pretty modern.
I'm guessing my operating system and the new video editor will be
compatible with each other and that there will be a simple wizard tool to
guide me to import whole DVDs into it and then record sections of those
DVDs and then burn them onto one blank DVD.
The anniversary of my husband's passing is in August so I have time.
Thank you again.
To create DVD-Videos edited from your DVD-Videos, you will need a video-editing program, such as Premiere Elements. The current version is PrE 12. I would recommend that you download and install the trial version of PrE 12, and test it. PrE 12 does offer a "Guided" Mode, where the program steps the user through the process.
The two limitations of the trial version of PrE is that it will expire after 30 days (should be time to test), and it will add a watermark to the Timeline, and to any output. However, if one buys the full-paid version, and Activates it, the watermark will not appear in any new Project. There is a process for removing that watermark from the Project, but that will not have any effect on a Project's output file - that will have the watermark.
Because of the watermark, and the 30-day time limit on the trial version, I would not get too deeply into your project initially. Just create those sub-folders I mentioned above, with "DVD_01," "DVD_02," etc., and Copy the contents of a couple of your DVD-Videos (make sure that you know which existing DVD-Video is which) to the respective sub-folders.
Next, go to New Project, and Import the VOB's from DVD_01 into it. PrE should create the appropriate Project Settings from the first VOB, when you drag it to the Timeline. Repeat with the VOB's from DVD_02.
Drag the DVD_01 VOB's to the Timeline, and practice editing, using the Expert Guided Mode. Look for the little pop-up Tooltips windows to guide you.
If everything is working, I would not output anything yet. I would not Render the Timeline yet. Just buy PrE, and Activate it with the S/N that is supplied. That will remove the watermark from your Timeline.
Some of the terms that I have used will likely be alien to you, since you have not been working in PrE yet. Please do not hesitate to ask for clarification on anything. Besides the Expert Guided Mode, you have this forum, and a lot of folk eager to help you.
Good luck, and let us know if you have any questions.
The following is my view of the situation.
We are after the video files in the VIDEO_TS Folder. Typically they will be a series of VOB files which will begin with the file name of VTS_01_1.VOB.
Tip: There could be one or several depending on the duration of the disc content. The VTS.....VOB that you want is confirmed by its larger file size. The max size for any one of these VOBs is 0.99 GB.
On the DVD disc, these specific VOB files exist in the DVD-VIDEO format and need to be ripped from the DVD
disc for use in your video project. Photoshop Elements 8 is not going to do that. You can do this ripping two ways
a. with a video editor that has this VOB ripping feature
b. using your computer's Command Prompt feature to create one file which represents seamless merging of all the VOB files into one.
Please refer to my blog post for this concept. http://www.atr935.blogspot.com/2013/09/pe-dvd-videoseamless-vob-ripping.html
In view of the situation, I am not suggesting the "b" the Command Prompt way.
I am suggesting that you download and install the free 30 days tryout of Premiere Elements 12 as your video editor and look at the following workflow....
a. Open Premiere Elements 12 to the Expert workspace. Go to File Menu/New/Project and manually set the project preset for
(for now I am assuming that is what you have on the DVD discs is NTSC DVD-VIDEO Standard 4:3 - let me know if NTSC DVD-VIDEO Widescreen 16:9)
b. Insert your first DVD disc in the DVD burner tray.
c. In Premiere Elements 12, go to Add Media/"DVD Camera or Computer Drive"/Video Importer,
d. In the Video Importer, place check mark next to the VTS_01_1.VOB thumbnail, set the Save In: for a folder in Videos of Libraries/Videos, and also have a check mark next to Add to Timeline. This way you will be saving these files to a computer hard drive location (in this case Libraries/Videos) as well as opening them in a project. Then press Get Media in the Video Importer. At that point, you will see your VOB in the Expert workspace as a thumbnail in Project Assets as well as on the Timeline (Video Track 1/Audio Track 1). And, you can begin your edit of the VOB.
At the Video Importer stage, you can just save the VOBs to Libraries/Videos and not open into a new project with them at that time. Then, at a later date, you can import the saved VOBs from the Libraries/Videos into a new Premiere Elements project with Premiere Elements' Add Media/Files and Folders/Project Assets. You can double click the VOB thumbnail in Project Assets to bring up the Preview Windows with its Set In and Set Out points to split the VOB into segments. Further organizational and use aspects of this idea are found in my blog post
The above should get you through the 1st of your DVDs, but there is a tip to avoid getting stuck with an "already imported message" from the Video Importer when you have not imported the VOBs of the additional DVDs.
All the DVDs will give you the same name for the video file, VTS_01_1.VOB etc Consequently, for each new DVD, the Video Importer Save In must be directed to a new folder with a different name in the Libraries/Videos.
Lots of details. Not so bad once you see all these details in action.
Have you decided if your destination is going to be DVD-VIDEO Standard on DVD disc or a file saved to hard drive and then projected onto a screen from a computer player or other? If this is going on a disc, we will get in the burn dialog's reading for Space Required and Bitrate with a check mark next to Space Required and Bitrate. But, for now, just in case note...
DVD 4.7 GB/120 minutes, in reality is 4.38 GB.
DVD 8.5 GB/240 minutes, in reality is 7.95 GB.
Details beget details it seems.
Looking forward to learning of your progress.
Thanks for opportunity to be of assistance.