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Cinematize

Reviewed:

Date Created: September 12th 2006
Last Updated: February 25th 2009






Introduction
About Cinematize
Download and Installation
Using Cinematize
Pricing and Support
Conclusion


Introduction

Placing a movie clip within a PowerPoint slide is a piece of cake as long as your stars and horoscope favor you. A slight change in the position of those stars will get you into something that takes more than a couple of clicks -- and unexplained time spent in frustration. This is especially true if you want to use a small movie clip extract from a DVD disk.

Cinematize is a product that walks you through extracting movie clips from a DVD -- it then saves those extracts into different movie file formats that are PowerPoint friendly.

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About Cinematize

Cinematize is from Miraizon, a company based in California, USA. You can learn more about their products from their site...

Cinematize is a DVD extractor software which allows you extract your favorite clip from a DVD, such extracted movie clips can be used within PowerPoint, QuickTime, iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Keynote, iTunes, and iPods. The product itself is available in both Windows and Macintosh versions. It also extracts all audio channels from multi-channel tracks, and decodes subtitles from images or movies.

My contact at Cinematize for this review was Naoko Miyazaki - thank you, Naoko.

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Download and Installation

The rest of this review looks at the Windows version of Cinematize but the Macintosh version works almost identically.

Download the installer, run the setup routine and follow the instructions. You'll end up with an Miraizon program group in your Windows Start menu (see Figure 1 below).

Start menu Group
Figure 1: Miraizon Start menu Group

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Using Cinematize

Before using the application, be sure that you have a movie DVD in your drive. This DVD must allow decryption -- and most commercial movie DVDs don't do that! Miraizon does mention that Cinematize can work with DVD discs that are decrypted using decryption programs -- but Cinematize itself won't do that for you.

Follow these steps to extract a movie clip from a DVD using Cinematize:

  1. Go to your Windows Start menu and choose All Programs | Miraizon | Cinematize 2.0 (see Figure 1 above).

  2. This launches the Cinematize interface. The first thing you need to do now is add the DVD files (see Figure 2).

    Adding files
    Figure 2: Adding Files

    Clicking on the Add button will open a dialog box from where you can select the files under the "VIDEO_TS" directory within your DVD disc, as shown in Figure 3.

    Open
    Figure 3:
    Open

    All video data files for the DVD must be inside a directory named "VIDEO_TS" -- make sure you select all the files, and click Open. This will add all the files into the DVD Files list within the Cinematize main window (see Figure 4).

  3. Select the Video Title Set 01 (or similar) from the added list and click the Select VTS button, as shown in Figure 4.

    List
    Figure 4: List

  4. This will render the entire DVD -- which could take a while. Soon, you will see the main interface of Cinematize, as shown in Figure 5.

    Main Interface
    Figure 5: Main Interface

    The interface has five tabs -- but we will explore only the Segment and Output tabs.

    The Segment tab provides the main options:

    1. Title and Angle: Title allows to select the title you want to work with. A DVD can have more than one title as in a different episode, an extra bonus feature, an alternate ending, etc. Angle is for selecting multiple camera angles. Some options will work only if the DVD being used provides these features.
    2. Start/End Point: This option allows you to to alter the frame that you are previewing and selecting for extraction. As you select the start and end points, the slider below the preview window also moves -- and the scene itself can be seen in the preview window.
    3. Preview: It shows the preview of the frame you have selected.

      Right at the bottom of the preview window, there are some navigation buttons and a slider bar which can be used to make selections and view the movie clip.

  5. Once the selections are made in the Segment tab, select the Output tab (see Figure 6) to choose the format for the extraction. Make sure that you choose AVI if you intend to use the movie clip on a PowerPoint slide. You can also choose MPEG using these instructions on the Cinematize site.

    Output
    Figure 6: Output

  6. Finally, click on Extract Data button, which is at the bottom right of the interface (see Figure 7).

    Extract Data
    Figure 7: Extract Data

Select the location where you want to save the extracted file -- and Cinematize will start processing the extraction. Depending upon the length of the segment you choose, this process can take a while.

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Pricing and Support

The boxed version of Cinematize costs $69.95, the download-only version is for $59.95. The Pro version of Cinematize is currently Mac only and costs between $129.95 and $149.95 -- a Windows Pro version is to be released soon.

Support options include e-mail, phone support, and an online FAQ.

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Conclusion

For what it does, Cinematize is simplicity itself in an area that's far too complicated than what it should have been. However, do remember that Cinematize works best only with decrypted discs -- most of the time, that would be something you yourself burned to a DVD from your camcorder footage.

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