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How to Prepare Photos for your DVD Memorial or Tribute Video
Preparing your materials for your DVD production is involved and will probably take a few hours or several days. If you are the family keeper of the photos then you can save many steps. If you have family and friends sending you photos, then this can be helpful and it can also make things more complicated. The first step would be to decide on what type of media to include in your DVD and how long you would like it to be.
Generally, we find Tribute DVD’s to run between 10 and 25 minutes. Some families want a certain selections of songs and so the photos are limited to the music. Some families want their DVD to be a specific length and this will determine the amount of photos you use. The other main factor in the design of your DVD is how long each photo will be held. If your DVD is under 100 photos, then 8 seconds is a nice amount of time. If you have a lot of photos then consider a range between 5 to 7 seconds. We also have made DVD’s where photos are held 3-4 seconds but those are more often ones that are not celebrating family memories, they are more commercial type DVD’s. So, length of DVD, the number of photos, and music selection are your first decisions. The other dimension to your DVD would be using some video clips or video testimonials of friends and family.
Video clips really can make your production special. We did a recent graduation DVD for a customer and she included short video clips that family members made acknowledging special memories of the graduate. These days family can easily record a short message on their cell phones and email it to you. If you have videotapes have them transferred to DVD in a format that you can edit. We can pull your special clips off of your video tapes so you can include them in your DVD. Most often, we do all your photo scanning as part of our productions. Some people prefer to do their own scanning.
When preparing media for your production you will need to scan your photos, download the photos that are emailed to you, and organize any videotapes that you want to use. Photos should be scanned in the order that you want them to appear in your production. It is easier to place printed photos in order rather then having a batch of digital photos that you have to rename. When you have digital photos that you did not scan then you should get them in the sequence either by renaming everything or making notes of where to insert those newer photos.
When scanning your photos be sure to clean the scanner glass first. Scan your photos at 600 dpi and find the color correction in the same area as where you set your scan size and make sure it is on. Make sure you have ‘jpg’ set. Assign a “photo name “for your scanner to use ie. Dad 001 Dad 002 etc. Always use three digit numbering system so your photos will stay in order. Otherwise the computer often lines up the numbers like: 01,11,100, 02,20,200,. This can be very frustrating to sort out for your DVD memorial production. If family members are sending you photos over email, make sure you give them these suggestions. We have often received photos in pdf format, tiny file sizes, or uncropped so the photos is scanned with the large page behind it. If your photos are too small of a digital file then they will look very pixelated on your DVD. The should be at least over 500 kb, our scans 1 – 5 mb in size.
If you are working with video production company, call them to schedule your production date in advance. Also, find out how they want your materials submitted. When we do memorial and special family video productions we discuss the style, the music, any text you want to include and whether you are doing your own scanning or having us do it. We can scan photos from your album pages, edit your video clips, use your music and custom design your production quickly and professionally. Your energy is best used getting your materials together, we can then make your DVD look great.