DISCLAIMER: Note that the following instructions are to be applied to classroom and school projects only, and please ensure that you are working within the bounds of copyright limitations and permitted uses of material.
The Aimersoft Video Converter Program allows you to easily specify and create video clips from DVDs and save them as files that you can embed in a Wiki, add to a Prezi, or use with another program as you wish.
When you begin the Aimersoft program, you will see a setup screen that looks like that shown below. Click the "Video" button.
If you have already loaded a DVD on your computer, Aimersoft will prompt you to load it. Click "okay" and wait for the file to load.
If you insert your DVD after the fact or want to load a file from your computer, you can locate it through the navigation provided on the righthand side of the screen. In the case of a DVD, click on the title in the chain and an associated icon will display in the box below. Click and drag this icon into the area to the left where the text reads "Please drag media files into this area." Note that if you drag the icon over multiple times you can create several clips from the same movie by following the steps enumerated in this how-to.
Once you have dragged the file into the denoted area, the movie will load. When it finishes, it will appear in the Aimersoft window, displaying it's total length and the file size. You will also see two icons on the right side of the file bar as indicated in the next image.
The icon on the far right takes the form of a pencil. When you click on it, you can select a clip of your choice and make adjustments to it. For instance, you can rotate and crop, alter brightness and contrast, and even embed a watermark should you wish.
For our purposes, you will probably be most interested in the "Trimming" tab of the resultant window, shown below. However, note that additional tabs provide you options for cropping and rotating the file.
To select your clip, first click on the scissors button.
You will find that you now have additional markers on the slider bar which you can move to the left and right to "bookend" a clip of your selection. If you already know the time codes at which you want to begin and end the segment, you can type them into the designated spaces in the center of your toolbar. Each method of delineating the desired clip is shown in the following video. The area of the video currently selected displays green in the slider bar, and the total length of the clip currently selected is displayed in the toolbar in the area indicated by the cursor at the end of the video.
Because we're dealing with limited storage on our wikis, you'll want to keep your clip to a maximum of three or four minutes.
Once you have your clip to the desired length, click the "done" button in the lower righthand corner. This will return you to the original screen. Now click on the "M4V" icon to adjust your output settings.
The pulldown menu allows you to choose the format of your movie clip.
Note that, at the top of the pulldown menu, additional preset options are available for various devices like ipads, ipods, or certain mobile phones.
However, for maximum compatibility choose M4V or MP4 (though for PowerPoint you'll want AVI, MPEG, WMV, or ASF), and then click the "options" button to further customize your settings.
Note your video options in the area indicated by the arrow below.
Most importantly: Make sure that the pulldown menu next to "Codec" on the first line reads "H.264." If "Xvid" is selected instead, click the pull-down menu and select H.264; this is necessary for the video to play properly on a wiki.
You may also want to make the video bit rate a smaller size (which you can control with the provided sliding scale) in order to minimize the size of the file. The file size is estimated at the bottom of the option screen in the area indicated by the arrow below. You will also find here the video's native resolution and frame rate; you may wish to match these values in the corresponding fields under your video options at the top of this screen.
When you have completed this step, click "okay." Finally, click the button on the lower right with the circular arrows to export your clip. Note that conversion time may take several minutes, approximately half the length of the playing time of the clip you have selected.
When downloading is complete, you will receive a notification that the task has been completed (shown below) and your computer should automatically open the folder containing your file.