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Nero Burning ROM by Ahead is a versatile piece of software. It allows you to create Super VideoCD's of your photo collection as well.

In this short guide I'll show you how to create your own Photo-Super VideoCD, which you can playback on your PC and on most standalone DVD-players.

Tip: If your DVD-player does not support the use of Super VideoCD, then you might want to consider using the VideoCD format instead! See Photo VideoCD for details.

Tip: You can also add movie fragments to this VideoCD as well!

Tip: When using the menu's in Nero, note that there is a limitation of 99 photo's on a CD. If you do not use the menu's, then you will have no limitations on the number of photo's.

Note: Read the disclaimer first!

Nero: Creating your own Photo-VideoCD
Save your digital photo's


Page overview

Step 1: Have the photo files ready

Naturally one needs photo's to be able to add them to a VideoCD. You can add 1 or more photo's and even add video fragments - mixing is allowed!

For foto's you can use basically any common file format, like: GIF, BMP, JPEG, TIFF and PNG.

For video fragments one needs to use MPEG2 files, matching the VideoCD standard, see "Super VideoCD with Nero" for details.

Step 2: Proper settings in Nero

OK, now we have the movie file, we will start Nero.

Nero usually starts either with the Wizard window or with the "New compilation" window.

In case the wizard starts:
click the "Close Wizard" window so Nero will bring you to the "New Compilation" window.

In case neither windows appear:
either select "File" from the menu and choose "New..." or click the "New Compilation" button (This button creates a new compilation in Nero).

In the "New Compilation" window we now select the "Super Video CD" icon as shown here on the right, which will open the options for our new VideoCD.

For the rest of this tutorial I'm assuming you're about to make a PAL Super VideoCD. The only differences with an NTSC VideoCD is the option "NTSC" (USA) instead of "PAL" (Europe) and the MPEG2 movie format used as mentioned above if you want to add video fragments.

Click the tab "Video CD" if this is not the currently displayed tab.

Nero: Select the Super Video CD option

Nero: Super VideoCD settings in the New Compilation window

For you're first Super VideoCD I'd like to suggest to use the settings as seen above. NTSC users might want to check NTSC instead of PAL.

Item Purpose Suggested setting
Creat standard compliant CD Verifies that your VideoCD will be conforming the standard specification. checked
Try to fit to disk size Leave it checked since it will not impact on photo Super VideoCD's. not checked
Encoding resolution Specify the format being either PAL (for example in Europe) or NTSC (USA). It kind-a depends on the movie source file your using. PAL
Store source pictures in We need this, so Nero will store the original high resolution images in a seperate folder. This way you can still access the originals for exmample when you want a hardcopy of an image. In the Netherlands we know HEMA and Alber Heijn offer online services to print digital photo's on photo-paper. checked

Now go to the next tab, called "Menu".
It is possible to create a Photo-SuperVideoCD without the use of a menu, however, in order to quickly navigate the CD (and find the photo you're looking for), a menu is advisable.

So if you are about to create a Super VideoCD with menu's, please check the option "Enable menu".

Nero: The optional menu ...

The fields in more detail:

Tip: first you might want to check the "Preview first page" option. It shows a little window with a preview of the menu (changes are implemented right away!). This window is sizeable so you can see a bit more of the details. Nero: Preview of the menu ...
Field/Option Purpose
Enable menu Enable or disable the menu.
Layout Here we can define how Nero should layout the menu. Either using text (titles) or thumbnails. Examples are shown below.
Header line Enable or disable the horizontal line above the titles or thumbnails.
Footer line Enable or disable the horizontal line just below the titles or thumbnails.
Background picture Here you can indicate what image you wish to use as a background. If you don't enter anything here, the background will by default be black, You can change that color by clicking the little black square next to the "Browse..." button.
Background mode Here we set the options on how Nero should use the background image:
  • Centered, original dimensions ("center")
  • stretched ("maximize") without maintaining the aspect ratio
  • stretched and clipped to create fully filled screen ("scale and clip" )
  • stretched without clipping ("scale and fit")
  • or use the image as a pattern ("tile")
Header text Here you can enter the page title. You can leave it empty if you don't want a title.
The button "Font" allows you to choose font, style and color. The option "shadow" creates a shadow behind the text. When activating this option, a little black square appears allowing you to set a different color for the shadow.
Footer text Here you can enter the footer text. You can leave it empty if you don't want a title.
The button "Font" allows you to choose font, style and color. The option "shadow" creates a shadow behind the text. When activating this option, a little black square appears allowing you to set a different color for the shadow.
Items text This option allows you to set font, style and color (note that the color settings influences the color of the horizontal lines as well!) vof the titles of the menu items. Here you can activate the use of shadow as well - the shadow will also be applied to the thumbnails and the horizontal lines.
Links text Here we set font, style and color for the indicator in the lower right corner showing the user that there are more menu pages. The shadow thing works as with the previous items.
Set as default Allows you to make Nero save these settings so the next new VideoCD will be started out with the same settings - ideal when you are creating a serie of VideoCD's..
Preview first page Allows you to preview the menu.

Nero has 9 menu variants, which can be set at the "Layout" dropdown box:

Titles, left Titles, center Titles, 2 columns Centered titles Titles, diagonal 6 thumbnails 8 thumbnails 12 thumbnails 15 thumbnails

Click the tab "ISO".
Verify that only these options are checked (this is the default setting):

  • ISO Level2 (Max. of 31 chars)
  • ISO 9660
  • Allow pathdepth of more than 8 directories
  • Allow more than 255 characters in path

NO other option should be checked!

Now we go to the tab "Label".
In the field "Volume label" we can now enter the title of our Photo-VideoCD. Usually it's a straight forward name.

Tip: If a photo collection spans multiple Foto-VideoCDs, I usually end the title with "_AOFB" where A equals the disc number in the sequence and B equals the number of discs in this set.

In the volume label, special characters like "/", "\" and a space are not allowed. It is common practice to use an underscore ("_") as a replacement of the space character.

Dates can optionally be set at the "Dates" tab.
I usually set the date here to "Use current date and time" for my personal reference, however the default setting will do just fine. Alternatively you can enter a specific date indicating for example that this is the photo's are of your holiday of June 2001.

At the "Misc" tab we do not need to set anything.

The "Burn" tab is not an issue right now either.

Finally click the "New" button.

Step 3: Adding files.

After we clicked the "New" button, this compilation windows will appear.

Use drag and drop to place a photo files (usually JPG, JPEG, BMP or TIFF) as shown below. Drag and drop can be used with the buildin explorer of Nero or using the Windows Explorer (by draging a file from the Windows Explorer to Nero).

For those unfamiliar with drag and drop:
In the right pane you click through the discs of your computer as you would do with the Windows Explorer. When you finally found the file or files you want to add, use the left mouse button to select that particular file and keep the left mouse button pressed. Now move your mouse until is is positioned over the pane part pointed with the red arrow in the screenshot below. Once the mouse is at that position, you can release the mouse button and Nero will add the file.

Nero: Adding photo files to the VideoCD

You can add as many photo's as you like. The order shown in the window pointed by the red arrow as seen in the screenshot above, will be the playback order of your photos. You can change the order using drag and drop within this little window.

Note: Sometimes, when you dragged a illegal photo format to the track section, you will get an error message. Make sure you're dopping the right files! It is best to use JPEG of TIFF formatted pictures.

Note that the capacity of a CD is limited - the amount of space used is visable in the bar at the bottom of the Nero window, in this screenshot we used about 50 Mb's of movie data:

Nero: Space used for you VideoCD

A Super VideoCD can hold more data on a CD than a regular CDRom. This is due to the different level of error correction. A 80 minute CDR can hold app. 810 Mb of VideoCD data. So the indicators (the yellow and red dotted lines in the progress bar) are not indicating the proper capacity.

Corrections on the menu

Sometimes it can be usefull to do some corrections on the menu as it has been created by Nero. For example: to change the fact that a menu automatically continues to the next menu after 5 seconds.

In the window holding the tracks of your Super VideoCD, you will see both movies (for example here "Puck Februari 200...") and menu's ("Menu page 1" as seen below):

Nero: Super VideoCD menu items

Click such an item with the right mouse button and select the option "Properties" from the popup menu.

  • For menu pages;

    We can set the "pause" time before the menu continues to the next menu page. At "Pause after Track" one can choose "Infinite", where the menu does not continue to the next menu unless the user tells him to do so, or a specified number of "Seconds".

Nero: menu item properties

  • With photos;

    We can set the "pause" time before the playback continues with the next photo. At "Pause after Track" one can choose "Infinite", where playback does not continue to the next movie unless the user tells him to do so, or a specified number of "Seconds".

    The tab "Menu" allows you to change the title for this item.

Nero: properties of a photoNero: you can select a thumbnail based on the photo used


Step 4: Burning the VideoCD

OK, now we've made our compilation, it's time to burn that puppy.

Click the "Burn" icon (Nero: Burn that VideoCD puppy) or click in the "File" menu, the option "Write CD ...".

The "New compilation" window appears again, this time showing the "Burn" tab.
Here you can choose to simulate and test the writing proces but if you have done this before I'd go for these options:

  • "Write"
  • "Finalize CD (No further writing possible!)"
  • "Write Speed" set to maximum
  • "Write method" set to "Disc-at-once" (not all CD-writers support this - in that case select "Track-at-once")
  • "Number of copies" set to "1" unless you want more copies
  • Activate "Burnproof" or "Exalink" if available (not all writers support this)

Finally click the "Write" button and wait for the CD to complete.

After the CD has been completely burned, you can try it on your PC using (for example) PowerDVD, or play it on your standalone DVD player to see if it all works.

You will need a capable DVD playback program to play this CD! Some DVD playback programs do not even support this format!

Don't forget: a copy of the original image files are stored in the CD-folder PICTURES.



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