How do I make a video that loops?

by Brendan Albano

So you’ve just made a bunch of rad video art to put in your totally sick art show, and then you realize that you don’t own enough laptops to play them all in quicktime… leading to the horrifying realization that you are going to have to tackle the dreaded monster of DVD authoring.

Even worse, you need your DVDs to just automatically play when you stick them in the DVD player AND you want them to automatically loop when they are over.

This process takes you from Final Cut Pro, through Compressor, and finally into DVD Studio Pro. And soon, in 18 (relatively) easy steps, you’ll have your very own autoplaying, autolooping DVD masterpiece. This guide was written for Final Cut Studio 7. If you are using an older version of final cut, the process will be similar, but not exactly the same.

Note: the Pioneer V7400 DVD players from our AV equipment Cage have a repeat button on the remote control that can loop any DVD, but the vast majority of DVD players do not have this capability.

If you are starting in Compressor skip to step 2.

  1. When you are done with your project and ready to burn a DVD, select your sequence and in the menu choose: file>send to>Compressor.
    - your project will automatically open in another program called Compressor.
  2. In Compressor, in the Settings tab under apple>DVD choose the appropriate type of DVD compression. Generally, “DVD: Best Quality 90 minutes” will be what you want (unless your video is longer than 90 minutes).
    - Drag this folder onto your project in the main window.
  3. By default compressor will usually save your files to the root level of the hard drive.
    - To save it somewhere else, create a new destination in the destinations tab and drag it onto the destination area of your project (default is “source”).
  4. Click submit.
    - This will create 2 files, a video file (.m2v) and an audio file (.ac3), you need to keep track of both of these files.
  5. After your project has finished compressing, you can quit both Compressor and Final Cut Pro.

Instructions adapted from:

  1. Create a new project in DVD Studio Pro.
    - You will need to use the following tabs: Assets, Outline, and Track.
    - If you don’t see these tabs in your project, you can find them under the “Window” menu.
    - If everything is showing up in separate windows, you can drag the tabs into the main window so that everything is a tab instead of a bunch of windows.
  2. In the “Assets” tab, hit “Import...”, and import your video and audio files.
  3. In the Outline tab, select "Menu 1" under Menus.
  4. Press the Delete key to delete "Menu 1".
  5. Drag your video asset(s) from the Assets tab to V1 in the Track tab.
  6. If the audio track does not automatically appear in A1, drag it from the Asset tab to A1 in the Track tab.
  7. Optionally, you might add subtitles, or other track elements at this stage.
  8. In the Outline tab, select the item at the top, "UNTITLED_DISC".
  9. In the Inspector, you should see the properties for the disc. The first item is "Name:". You can name your disc here. The second item is "First Play:". From the First Play pop-up menu, choose Tracks and Stories, then from the submenu choose Track 1 and then [Track].
  10. If you want your disc to loop continuously, follow steps 11 and 12 below. Otherwise, proceed to step 13.
  11. In the Outline tab, select Track 1 under Tracks.
  12. In the Inspector for Track, from the End Jump pop-up menu, choose Tracks and Stories, then from the submenu choose Track 1 and then [Track]. This makes the track play over again when it reaches its end.
  13. Simulate your project to make sure it works as you wish. If you're satisfied, the disc can be built at this point and tested in a DVD Player.