12 Replies Latest reply on Jun 1, 2009 3:28 PM by the_wine_snob

    Best Way to Make A Movie From Many DVDs?


      I'd like to make a montage of select scenes from 20+ DVDs of raw footage using Premiere Elements 7.  I can't import all of these DVDs into the space I've got available on my hard drives.  I'd appreciate any recommendations for the best way to extract select scenes from these DVDs into smaller media files that I can then import into a project for final assembly.


      I can imagine an approach of putting a single scene into a sceneline and rendering it into an importable file type, but I'm not certain which type to use that won't reduce image quality along the way.


      Of maybe there's some whole other approach I'm missing, ie using Archive.




        • 1. Re: Best Way to Make A Movie From Many DVDs?
          the_wine_snob Level 9
          from 20+ DVDs of raw footage using Premiere Elements 7


          If you mean that literally, the DVD's contain the raw files, you have DVD-Data, and not DVD-Video. In this case, all you will need to do is put each disc into your drive, use a cataloging program, like Irfanview, or Organizer in PE, to see these files. Most cataloging programs also have a player moduel, to let you view these files. Choose the one(s), that you want, and just copy this/these over to your HDD. Unless you have multiple DVD drives, it will be one at a time.


          Now, if you did not mean "raw" files, and do have DVD-Videos (disc that will play on a set-top player, or on a computer via a DVD software program, there is a bit more work involved. Your method of doing the Import (Get Media) into a unique Project, extracting just what you want, and then doing the Export - do this to DV-AVI Type II 48KHz 16-bit files, would be as good as any. You might see this ARTICLE for some other options.


          DVD-Videos are a great delivery scheme, but it does not take long for one to discover that they are not well-suited as an archiving and storage medium.


          With the 20 DVD's, you might want to look into an external HDD to store the media files. You could then do one Project in PE, do the Get Media for all, and then create Sub-Clips of just the data that you want. You could locate these onto your external HDD, to keep your computer's HDD's as free of these files as is possible. I've found that editing to/from FireWire 800 externals is pretty efficient, but you need a FW-800 card. Trying to edit to/from a USB 2.0, or FW-400 external is slow, very, very slow.


          Good luck,



          • 2. Re: Best Way to Make A Movie From Many DVDs?
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            And -- as Hunt says without saying -- if you're going from DVD footage to DVD, Premiere Elements simply may not be the best tool to use for this project!

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            • 3. Re: Best Way to Make A Movie From Many DVDs?
              the_wine_snob Level 9



              I gave this situation a bit more thought. Here's another possibility - maybe:


              Could one not use the ADS Pyro A-D bridge, or similar, and use the Video & Audio out from a DVD deck to it, then with manual device control, Capture just the sections wanted from the DVD's? Obviously, one would have zero "device control" in PE and would have to do that part manually with a lot of stops and starts. Still, it should get just what is needed from the DVD's and get those parts in DV-AVI Type II files.


              I've done this with my Turtle Beach card, though I used the caputre software from Turtle Beach. I have done VHS, DVD and also TiVo material. In my case, I just did the Capture to DV-AVI Type II, and Imported those files into PrPro. One hand on the deck's remote, and the other on my mouse poised over the Start and Stop "buttons" in the software.


              Thanks for you input on this one,



              • 4. Re: Best Way to Make A Movie From Many DVDs?
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                One little caveat that has not been mentioned - if the DVD's are DVD-Video, as opposed to DVD-Data with DV-AVI Type II files on it, there will have been compression to MPEG-2. That compression has altered the quality of the original files. Regardless of the capture, or conversion methods used, that quality can never be reclaimed. You might not have a problem with this loss in quality, but only your eyes can decide that.



                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Best Way to Make A Movie From Many DVDs?
                  JWeit Level 1

                  Thank you Hunt and Steve for your ideas here.  My use of the term "raw footage" only meant that the material on the disk was just unedited shooting and I didn't mean to imply that I had raw files.  My DVDs contain DVD Video (vob files) as written by a Toshiba DVD recorder.  Telling the whole story, the disks I'm working with are DVD recordings of my many hours of Hi-8 camcorder material from the last 15 years.  The disks were made using my stand-alone Toshiba DVD recorder, which is the only tool I have for digitizing video.  I recorded each tape as a single program and then manually inserted chapter markers for the scene changes, again using my stand-along recorder.


                  I do have an outboard HD, but had a sense that with 20 disks to import I think I'd need 800G or more, which means a trip to the store!  I'm likely to keep recording too, so even a 1TB disk has a limited life (though I guess I could add a second...)


                  I see that I'm already at MP2 quality on my DVDs, so I've paid some quality price already (but frankly given the source material this isn't intolerable.)  I'm concerned though about the impact of several more passes throught codecs - I've imported the vob already, I'll pull out an interesting clip, store it in some other format (possibly compressing again), import it into the final project (decompressing again) and finally rendering the final project as a DVD (compressing one last time.)  Unavoidable I guess.  From Hunt's suggestion, I'm taking it that the DV-AVI is the best bet for the intermediate files.


                  Steve mentioned that PE7 may not be the best tool for the job. Aside from the use of hardware like the Pyro, are there other software tools (preferably low cost) that I should consider for extracting and building the clip library?


                  Thanks again gentlemen!


                  • 6. Re: Best Way to Make A Movie From Many DVDs?
                    the_wine_snob Level 9



                    Thanks for the clarification and the details. A couple of thoughts:


                    1.) some of the hardware writers, similar to your deck, do not do the best job at writing to DVD-Video. Many have a rudimentary Menuing function built in. Since a .VOB can contain a lot of "stuff," besides just a multiplexed MPEG-2 stream, the way that they handle the construction can create problems, even for programs, like PE, that can Import and use a DVD-spec. .VOB. It is truely a "sometimes they work, but sometimes they do not." I do not know about the Toshiba. I do not even know about my Panasonic deck, as I have never had to try and work from one of its DVD's. They have always been an archival copy of a client's VHS, or similar. Both might do fine, but both might create poorly formed .VOB's. We'd both have to test this.


                    2.) while DV-AVI Type II does introduce a bit of compression (someday compare it's file sizes to a DV Uncompressed), it is visually slight. In the case of the MPEG-2's, that was where the quality took the hit. Going directly to DV-AVI will probably not be discernable from the MPEG-2 source files. Now, if you're going back to a finished DVD, remember that you'll be doing another MPEG-2 compression from PE (or most NLE's).


                    3.) one consideration for quality (at the expense of much more time) would be to do a recapture of your 8mm tapes. If one did this, it would require the camera, or a deck for those tapes. If the camera was a digital, even if the tapes were analog, and it connected via FireWire, PE might be able to do a perfect Capture. Again, one may, or may not loose "device control." If the camera was analog, then something like the ADS Pyro could do the work. Have to say that I doubt, but do not know, that one would have device control, but that's not a really big deal.


                    4.) there are other ways to rip a DVD. Here's a LINK to a workflow. It's certainly not the only way to do it, and this one is written around Adobe Encore, but should translate almost perfectly to PE, or PrPro.


                    There are also editing programs that use an MPEG-2 workflow and offer "smart rendering," which means that only footage, that has been altered, will be re-Transcoded to MPEG-2. Unfortunately, I use an exclusive DV-AVI Type II workflow and do not have a clue where to tell you to look for one of these programs. I'd guess that there are some freeware ones, and probably some inexpensive ones. I'm just not the guy to tell you anything about any of these.


                    As for external storage, the prices are getting amazingly low. On Friday, Fry's (Western states US) had a 1TB unit for US$89. I am ashamed to tell you what I paid for my first 1TB external. Even worse, you should see what I paid for my first 2TB RAID 5 NAS! FWIW, I have been a big fan of and have bought many of the Maxtor 1.5 and 2TB units. So far, not problems.


                    Steve, or Paul_LS might have some MPEG-2 to MPEG-2 editors for you.


                    Good luck,



                    • 7. Re: Best Way to Make A Movie From Many DVDs?
                      Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                      As I said, I think Premiere Elements is entirely the wrong tool for a project like this.


                      To work with DVD files in Premiere Elements, you'll be converting each 4.7 gigabyte DVD into 13 gigabyte AVI files -- only to turn them back into DVD files again. Very inefficient, in addition to using up a lot of hard drive space and having lots of potential problems.


                      A much easier solution would be to use a program like Sonic MyDVD. It uses an MPEG workflow, so you don't have to convert your DVD files, and it uses Smart Rendering, so you don't have to do a lot of unnecessary file conversions.

                      • 8. Re: Best Way to Make A Movie From Many DVDs?
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        There you go. I knew that others would have a good workflow for MPEG-2 to MPEG-2.


                        Thank you Steve,



                        • 9. Re: Best Way to Make A Movie From Many DVDs?
                          junoflydog Level 1

                          Although this wasn't the actual question, I think this might be the best solution for your quality issue as well as only capturing desired scenes.


                          Buy a used Sony Digital-8 camcorder and recapture your desired scenes from the original Hi-8 tape.  You can use the DVDs to find approximately where on the tape to start recording.  Premiere Elements will control the camcorder as well.  Keep the DVDs as they can still serve as an archive.



                          This was my responds to a previous post on capturing Hi-8 video:


                          Advice on converting analog Hi8mm tapes to digital





                          If it was my money, I would buy a used Digital-8 camcorder from ebay.  Most Sony D8 camcorders (if not all) will playback the HI8 and 8mm video formats.  Some of them (if not most) also have a video conversion feature which will accept A/V in, convert to digital and sent it through firewire.  You would get an analog to digital converter and a bonus free camcorder for less than a standalone converter.  The stand alone converter might give a slightly better analog conversion, but an older home movie on HI8 would never see the difference.

                          I bought a Sony Handycam DCR TRV530 2 years ago which is a D8.  New it was $1,200 but I paid around $300 including a $50 bag.  I just checked and saw one on ebay for $100 with a few hours to go.  This camcorder has a 25x optical zoom which is great for football videos.  I have used the video converter to record a few shows from my DVR video output with good results.  I also bought an "extended life" generic battery from ebay that gives it over 10 hours of run time.  This camera also has the LAN-C interface for remote zoom from the tri-pod.  This model works with my Premiere Elements 3 with no problems.  I believe the output is a true DV-AVI format.

                          If you consider buying a used D8 camcorder, look up the manual online before you bid to make sure it has the video conversion feature.  Not all models do.  The link below is for my model.  Look on page 74 and it shows how it is done.  Sony calls their firewire "I-link".  The best part of capturing with this method is that the HI8/8mm tape is in the converter and premiere will remotely control your camera.



                          • 10. Re: Best Way to Make A Movie From Many DVDs?
                            the_wine_snob Level 9



                            Thanks for this info.


                            Premiere Elements will control the camcorder as well


                            This was something that I had to omit from my suggestion, as I just did not know the answer. Now I know that device control IS possible with the digital 8 camera. Even if it was not, one can do quite well with manually controlling the capture and the operation of the device. I have to do the same with my VHS deck and my Turtle Beach card's software. Takes a moment to realize where one mouses and where one point the deck's remote, but once experienced, it's a snap.



                            • 11. Re: Best Way to Make A Movie From Many DVDs?
                              JWeit Level 1

                              Thank you all for taking time to post these great replies!  I've learned a ton from you all.


                              I ran through the full cycle with PE7 last night and the final came out passably well despite all the trips through the codecs.  Still, I'm going to explore these other options before going much further.  I've got some travel planned, so maybe it is time to splurge for a digital device,,,


                              Thanks again,


                              • 12. Re: Best Way to Make A Movie From Many DVDs?
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                Travel safely and let us know which method you decide on. Also, please post how it worked for you and any problems that you encountered.


                                Good luck,