DVD Authoring (Bombono)


Jarret W. Buse

DVD Authoring (Bombono)

Many people may come across times when they download videos from the Internet. These videos can be converted and burned to a DVD in a generic way to allow a selection from a list of files. After watching numerous DVDs, most people will find this a cumbersome, if not visually unpleasing. Most viewers want a nice menu system with sound to appeal to their senses when starting a DVD. DVD Authoring allows a person to create a menu system which will be more professionally appealing to an audience.

The software used to create a professional appearing DVD is Bombono. There are other packages for Linux, but I have found Bombono easy to use once the Graphical User Interface (GUI) is understood.

First, to install Bombono, open Synaptic and search for “bombono-dvd” and then install it. For those who do not have a Debian system, go to http://www.bombono.org/cgi-bin/wiki/Download and choose the download for your system. You can also download the source files as well. It will be preferable that you also install the Totem Movie Player (totem). Totem can be downloaded with Synaptic or source files can be found at https://download.gnome.org/sources/totem/. Totem can be used to load the finished files for viewing to check it before you burn the file.

Before starting Bombono, you need a few things to start authoring your DVD layout. You need the following:
  • Videos to be placed on a DVD or as animated menu (MPEG-2 preferred)
  • Still image for main menu (PNG, JPG, BMP)
  • Music for main menu (optional, but a nice touch)
  • Subtitles for the videos (optional, but a nice touch)
Place all of these files in a single directory for easy selection.

NOTE: Try to open all of the audio and video files in Totem or another media player to be sure the proper codecs are installed. If a media file does not play, then you need to download the proper codecs for the file. If the file cannot be played, then it cannot be manipulated by Bombono to be added to the DVD.

When you start Bombono you will be prompted to select the type of DVD:
  • NTSC
Make your selection and click the “OK” button.

Now you should be presented with a screen similar to Figure 1.

Figure 1.jpg


Under “Media List” will be all the videos and still images used for the menus and for viewing. Click the “+” to add your media files. Do not add the audio file for the menu background music to this list.

NOTE: For best results use images and videos which are High Definition (HD). The higher quality media will provide better results for HD TV's and DVD Players which can handle a higher resolution.

The example I will use is from the TV show Tron Uprising. In my example, I will use an HD still image for the menu background, found at Google Images. I will also use one HD video as well as an MP3 file from the original soundtrack. The added media can be seen in Figure 2.

Figure 2.jpg


If you have found subtitle files (SRT) for your videos, they can be added by selecting the desired video, right-clicking and then selecting “Add Subtitles...”. Select the necessary file and encoding type as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3.jpg


At the bottom of the screen, a selected video file can have Chapter Marks set. Double click on a video file and then set the Chapter marks at the bottom. You can also right-click in the area and select to “Add Chapter Points at Intervals...”. When another window appears, set the interval for Chapter Marks which is defaulted to 5 minutes. Set the Chapter Points for all videos.

Once these items are set, select the “Menu” tab at the top of the screen and you should have a window similar to Figure 4.

Figure 4.jpg


In the bottom left corner, you see a listing of the media which is set to be used. The top left corner box is used to create the Menu List. Of course, you should have one main menu and others can be made. For this example, I will create a single menu. A menu is created by selecting the “+” which creates a default menu called “Menu 1” You can right-click it and rename it as needed. By double-clicking the menu list item, the menu should appear in the right box in the window as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5.jpg


The tools at the top of the right box allow items to be manipulated in the selected menu. The arrow allows for items to be placed and moved. The icon with the “T” is to place text on the menu. The third option is for placing different containers and images on the menu. The last six items are for setting text properties. The text properties are font, font size, bold italics, underlined and font color.

The first thing to do is to right-click the menu in the top left box and select “Menu Settings...”. Here, the properties for the menu can be set as shown in Figure 6. Even if you are using a still image, select “Motion Menu”. If you are using only still images with no motion at all, then select “Still Picture”. The duration is set to match the length of the moving video being used or the length of the audio file being used as background music. My MP3 file is one minute and 37 seconds long, so my duration in seconds is 97 seconds. Now, I can select “External Audio:” and specify my MP3 file. The “End Action” allows you to set what happens when the duration you set has completed. The options are:

  • Loop – continue to play the video or music of the menu continuously
  • Play All – start playing all the videos as they are listed in the Media List
  • Main Menu – go to the Main Menu, if multiple menus are present others can be selected as well
  • Other Videos listed in Media List – play a specific video in the Media List

Figure 6.jpg


There is also a tab to set the “Subpicture Colors” as shown in Figure 7. The options are to specify the color of the objects when highlighted (selected) and when the object has been clicked and activated to start.

Figure 7.jpg


To set the background, right-click on the image of the menu in the right box. Select “Set Poster” and then select the still image or the video to play as the background.

The third option in the tools, select your type of box to use as a selector. Press the “+” next to it to add the specified item. Place the item where you would like it and add as many as you need placing them before another is added. When you right-click one of the objects, the first items, which are self-explanatory, are Cut, Copy, Paste and Delete. The other items are as follows:

  • Link – Sets the link to the video or menu to open when selected. If Chapters were set, you can specify a chapter to begin when viewing. There is an option for No Link, Play All and Main Menu.
  • Remove Link – Removes the Link set.
  • Set Poster – Sets the image in the container. Here, you can set No Link or specify a video file or Chapter if they were created to show within the container (for the set duration).
  • Highlight Border Only – when using the DVD remote to select a container object, the whole object can be highlighted or only the outside border. This is usually a more appealing option.
  • Align – Helps to align things horizontally and vertically on the menu screen.
  • Background Settings... - Use to set options for the background itself and only accessible on the background and not on other objects. Allows the background image to be set to “Fill”, “Fit” or “Stretch” to full screen and also set a background color if the image does not fill the screen.

Be sure to add text when needed to the menus for information to the viewer.
My final settings are shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8.jpg


Once your settings are made, select the “Output” tab at the top to make a few more settings and create your DVD as shown in Figure 9. Specify the output folder to use. If the folder is not empty, you will be prompted to select another folder or allow it to be emptied. Next, you can specify one of the following options:
  • Write DVD folder – uncompressed folder structure to emulate a DVD structure.
  • Write Disk Image – Create an ISO file with the specified Disk Label.
  • Burn to DVD – Burn image to a DVD by specifying DVD drive and Write Speed.
  • Rendering Only – transcodes the necessary files and allows you to create the DVD image or burn it using scripts which can be edited before using.

Figure 9.jpg


At any point, you can also change the DVD type in the top left of the window to one the following:
  • DVD 1.3 GB
  • DVD 4.3 GB
  • DVD 7.9 GB
Make your settings and then click the “Build DVD-Video” button.

Your DVD should now be generated. It is best to open the image in Totem or another DVD viewer to verify
everything works as desired.




Thank for sharing this tutorial.
I discovred this tool "bombono" after being a little disapointed by DVDstyler
And with your tutorial I rapidly do what I wanted to do, by reauthoring an original DVD, where I wanted to insert many subtitle streams . So I have to import the original, but only the videos are imported, and all the menu organisation has to be rebuild, with many link between menu and submenus, titles and picture in the DVD.
But frankly, all this job was done easily, even if a little boring!

Unfortunately, my original goal was not reachable. Bombono lacks, multi subtitle stream management, and the font styler, to be a real professional DVD authoring tool !
Fortunately with little extra steps, we can achive the targeted DVD with multi-langage subtitle

1) import all the videos from the DVD

2) prepare several subtitle file:
example mymovie-en.srt mymovie-fr.srt mymovie-ru.srt
and build the corresponding textsub-en.xml, textsub-fr.xml, etc ..., to be used by spumux
exemple for textsub-en.xml :
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<subpictures format="pal">
<textsub filename="mymovie-en.srt" font="arial" movie-width="718" movie-height="574" fontsize="28" fill-color="white" outline-color="black" outline-thickness="3.0" characterset="ISO-8859-1" horizontal-alignment="center" vertical-alignment="bottom"/>
3) and then insert them in the main associated video VOB with spumux:
Let us say that we are in the directory where all the video are imported by bombono
and you have also put there, the *.srt and textsub*.xml you have used at step 2
The subtitles to add are for Video02-01-orig.vob, and in this VOB there is already one subtitle stream (N° 0), so the next ones will be 1, 2, etc ...
spumux -m dvd -s1 textsub-en.xml < Video02-01-orig.vob > Video02-01.vob.en
spumux -m dvd -s2 textsub-fr.xml < Video02-01.vob.en > Video02-01.vob.en+fr
spumux -m dvd -s3 textsub-ru.xml < Video02-01.vob.en+fr > Video02-01.vob

So at the end Video02-01.vob, has 4 subtitle stream: the original 0, en 1, fr 2, ru 3

4) Now work normally to build the DVD structure with bombono, as indicated in this Jarret Tutorial
But stop at output step of Bonbono: write to DVD directory

Then in the targeted directory you have many file but mainly: example in my case:
(take care not to use the same directory for the movie building where you have stored all the materials used by your bombono project and , the target directory for authoring, because each time you launch the action from the tab "Output" of bombono, the target directy is wiped out !!!!)

DVDAuthor.xml (with include absolute PATH of original video files)
and a dvd directory where you find all the DVD structure:
Which can be used easily by K3B for example , to build the final ISO image, or burn it directly on a DVD.

5) Some last adjustments to be actually PRO
But if you just do that, you will just see, subtile 1,2,3,4 in the subtitle menu of your DVD player !!
So , before burning the content of this dvd directory, you have the change slightly what you have in DVDAuthor.xml
and re-author the content of dvd directory

First save this DVDAuthor.xml in DVDAuthor.xml.ref0 (in case of mistake on this precious file build by bombono !!!)

And then edit it to include explicit country code for all the subtitle in the good order 0 ->br, 1 -> en , 2 -> fr, 3 -> ru in the following way:
in the section of DVDAuthor.xml, where you find all the path of your videos something like the section below, add the red highlighted lines:
<video format="pal" aspect="16:9" widescreen="nopanscan"/>
<subpicture lang="br"/>
<subpicture lang="en"/>
<subpicture lang="fr"/>
<subpicture lang="ru"/>

<vob file="/TV_videos/Bombono/buildmovie/Video01-01.vob"/>
<post>if(g2 == 1) {jump title 2;} call menu entry root;</post>
<vob file="/TV_videos/Bombono/buildmovie/Video02-01.vob" chapters="00:00:00, 00:04:46.72, 00:10:31.8, 00:25:28.32, 00:30:17.32, 00:37:22.96, 00:48:9.48, 00:53:58"/>
<post>if(g2 == 1) {jump title 3;} call menu entry root;</post>

Now from the directory targeted by bombono, in my example:
where is stored also the DVDAuthor.xml modified file,
dvdauthor -o dvd -x DVDAuthor.xml

The action done by bombono previously , is redone but with this with extra features :explicit language for all the subtitle stream !!!
now build the DVD with K3B from this dvd updated content !!


New Member
A nicely written tutorial.

There are a couple of follow-up questions I have that don't seem to have been addressed.

First: In selecting an image to use as the background for the menu, what are the optimal dimensions? What are the maximum dimensions?

Second: Presuming the use of a video file in mp4 format and a standard capacity (4.38 GB) recordable DVD, how does one go about calculating the maximum cumulative size for the files to be used in the creation of a DVD using Bombono?
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