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Tutorial: - Extracting video from a DVD or Importing video from a DVD into Final Cut Pro.

September, 2003

Extracting video from a DVD or Importing video from a DVD into Final Cut Pro.

System Requirements
MacIntosh OS X (10.2 or higher)
Macintosh G4 or higher
DVD Drive
DVDxDV (available in the lafcpug Store )
Apple Quicktime 6


by Brad Wright


Many times someone will ask me, "Can you get this video off of a DVD for me?" Up until recently, this was a very difficult thing to do. The process of getting video from a DVD involved using a bunch of command line utilities to extract the audio and video separately. It would take hours or days to get a small piece of video from a DVD, and even then, the quality would not be very good.

I became so dissatisfied with the process that I wrote a piece of software called, DVDxDV. I wanted to make it easier to get video from a DVD than a videotape. This article takes you through the steps of extracting video with my software.

Preparing the DVD for Use

The first step in getting video from a DVD is to determine whether or not the DVD in question is encrypted. Frequently, people who have legitimate rights to the DVD content must decrypt their own DVD. A good solution for this is a program called DVDBackup. It un-encrypts a DVD and copies the contents to your computer's hard drive.

If you have an unencrypted DVD, all you need to do is place it your computer, so that DVDxDV can read it.

Extracting with DVDxDV

DVDxDV can read a DVD in three ways. It will read an unencrypted DVD directly from your computer's DVDROM drive. It can read a DVD that has been copied to your computer's hard drive. Finally, it's also able open an individual ".VOB" file. For this example, I'm using an unencrypted DVD.

The first step is to place the DVD in your computer and then wait for it to show up on your desktop.

Next, switch to DVDxDV and select "Open DVD" from the file menu.

After a few seconds, DVDxDV will display the contents of the DVD.

Using the preview functions, the user can scrub through the video timeline and find a specific scene to extract. Just like most video editing programs, you can mark an in and out points.

To extract the video clip, select the "New Movie" item from the "Extract" menu.

After this, DVDxDV displays a list of presets.

Select "iMovie/FCP-NTSC" from the presets. Next, DVDxDV will prompt you for a place to save the file.

After picking the place to save the file, DVDxDV starts extracting the video. Depending on the speed of your computer and the length of the clip, the extraction can take a few minutes or several hours. The best thing to do is to only extract the portion of video you need. This will make the process much faster.

After the extraction has finished, the clip is ready to use with Final Cut Pro.


DVD video extraction is no longer a lengthy process. Extracting video from a DVD allows you to quickly create video clips and then start editing them together. Because this process is so fast, you may find yourself using video in entirely new ways. It's time to leverage all that video you've put on DVD.

copyright © Brad Wright 2003

DVDXDV is available in the lafcpug Store


Brad Wright is not the producer of Stargate-SG1. This Brad Wright works in the high tech industry and dreams of someday making a significant contribution to television and film production.

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