[MacDV] Re: Making Chapters in video

Derek Roff derek at unm.edu
Sun Jan 14 07:52:08 PST 2007

> I would like to divide it into 6 "chapters" (i.e. if you press the
> >| button on the remote it will jump ahead to the next chapter or
> |< for the previous one).  The chapters are not of identical length
> (i.e. 10 minutes for one, 35 minutes for the second, etc)

iMovie is the simplest way I know of to set chapter makers at 
specific, carefully chosen locations.  A couple of things that you 
might consider/check on:  Sometimes, DVD-creation hardware and 
software creates default chapter markers at fixed intervals.  We have 
a Panasonic DVD recorder that adds chapter markers every five 
minutes.  I don't know if eyeTV or Toast have an option (perhaps 
hidden) like that, but it sounds like you want to turn that off.

However, it is likely that some of the people who view you video will 
want to find a specific point within one of the chapters. 
Fast-forwarding through a 35 minute chapter is slow and imprecise. 
Adding some markers within longer chapters is a service to your 
viewers.  DVD terminology doesn't really support a distinction 
between chapter markers and other kinds of markers, but we can 
improve the usability of a disc by thoughtful structuring of markers 
and menu items.

I usually set markers at about every five minutes, for longer 
sequences.  I try to place the markers at logical scene/story breaks. 
When I send the project to iDVD, each marker gets a Scene Selection 
menu item.  I delete all the menu items, except the few for what I 
conceive as the major scenes.  This way, person can choose, via the 
DVD menus and submenus, to start watching from the beginning of the 
movie, or any of the named major scene points, for which I provide 
menu items.

The other markers remain on the disk, unnamed and unobtrusive. 
However, at any moment, the viewer can skip ahead or back in roughly 
five minute intervals, using the remote control.  This makes it far 
easier to find a specific moment within a scene, or to re-watch 
something that gets the viewer's attention.  I find disks that are 
set up this way to be much more user friendly than those with really 
long gaps between markers.


Derek Roff
Language Learning Center
Ortega Hall 129, MSC03-2100
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
505/277-7368, fax 505/277-3885
Internet: derek at unm.edu

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