Review - DVD Authoring with DVD Studio Pro 2
Review - DVD Authoring with DVD Studio Pro 2
By Jeff Warmouth
List Price $ 44.95 - Street Price
Publisher Focal Press - 458 pages
DVD includes bit budget
media encoding tests,
tutorial source files,
and application demos.
Review By Steve
I was first asked to write this review I had several reservations.
The truth be known, I have had almost no experience in DVD production.
DVD Studio Pro 2 just sat on my desktop for a long time, like
SP 1.5 had. I meant well, I just always found myself too busy
with one project or another and I never got around to learning
how to use the darn thing. Well, I told this to Ken Stone and
he said, "We'll get the beginners perspective as to how
well this new book guides you through the learning process".
Can't argue with that logic and, besides, it forces me to learn
what I have been meaning to anyway. One other thing, however,
we all have different learning modalities and while I generally
use these types of books as references for when I draw a blank
on something, I have always learned best from someone physically
showing me the steps as I repeat them and do it myself. Learn
a whole new application from a single book? Now that will be
a heck of challenge. This 458 page tome' is really 2 books in
one. The first three chapters (114 pgs) constitute learning SP
2 in the basic configuration, while the second book in a book
covers learning SP 2 in its advanced mode. Naturally, I started
with the basic.
There is no fluff here, no wasted
rhetoric, which can often serve only to confuse the reader. Jeff
Warmouth has an excellent writing style, which guides the newbie,
like myself, step by step through each process beginning with
the setting up of the proper preferences. One thing I found while
reading is that Jeff doesn't simply tell you what steps to take
but takes the time to explain the reasons for taking them.
On the other hand, this is also
not a book that should be skimmed through. For the individual
either just learning or the editor already fairly knowledgeable
of SP-2, this is a book best read cover to cover. Learning is
sequential and, to his and the books credit, Jeff Warmouth builds
upon each and every step. Chapter one starts you off with a succinctly
clear explanation of the many tools and settings. Usually this
is the part in manuals that either puts me to sleep or loses
me entirely but Jeff Warmouth's writing style makes for interesting
and easy to comprehend reading.
Chapter two starts you off with
Basic Tutorial, which you can use with your own materials or
with that on the disc.
Chapter Three covers creating custom
menus, testing and finally burning that disc without failure.
After thoroughly reading the initial chapters on setting up and
properly configuring the first project to be, I felt fairly confident.
Explanation in clear and concise terms is what I need when reading
this type of book and that is pretty much what I got.
The disc supplied with the book
is filled with tutorial clips and slides; however, I chose to
use my own 5-minute shorts for the video, soundtrack creations
for the audio and still image shots for the slideshow. Following
directions step by step was not very difficult. It might be redundant
to say but this is one very easy book to follow. Did I make any
errors? Sure, but they were usually because I was getting ahead
of myself or had overlooked something I had thought I just read.
Early senility must be creeping in.
The more advanced user will find
plenty of new and useful insights towards creating DVD projects.
Part Two of this book begins on page 119 and continues till the
end. Chapter 4 thoroughly delves into the use of the SP-2 in
both the extended and advanced modes while Chap 5 covers the
sequencing of the planning and production process. The entire
rest of the book digs deep into the functioning of the many advanced
features, which can be created in SP-2.
If you already are competent in
SP-2 than why buy the book? Knowledge is power and I can guarantee
that there is plenty to learn and plenty that you might have
been unaware of, and isn't it great when you know you've learned
something new or had an epiphany of understanding? And that brings
me to the bottom line for this book review. Am I now an expert
in DVD Studio Pro 2? Not by a long shot, but did I get frustrated
trying to follow directions from a book which only got me more
confused? Never came close. If someone were to ask me for my
own recommendation on a DVD Studio Pro 2 book, I wouldn't hesitate
to say this one. I can't speak more highly than that.
- Steve Douglas
Steve Douglas has been an underwater videographer and
contributor to numerous film festivals around the world. The
winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film Competition
and the 2003 IVIE competition, Steve has also worked on the feature
film "The Deep Blue Sea" and is one of the principal
organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Festival. Steve leads
both African safari and underwater filming expeditions and is
based in San Diego. Feel free to contact him.
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