Post Production: Learning the Aesthetics of Disk Authoring

Disk authoring is one of the last steps in post production. This refers to the burning of the disk and requires compiling together the audio, video and other data. Once these files are in the proper format they can then be burned onto a disk. Most programs that contain authoring software will burn everything bundled together making burning very easy. Some software allows for the different parts to be written at different times. It all depends on the software that you use.


Almost all of the data on the disk will be compiled in different sessions. A session will contain a lead in, table of contents, tracks and the lead out. Most sessions must have a minimum of 1 track. Normally for a movie there is a session for the main film and then other sessions for special features. Multisession disks are much more common today than they once were. You can set the number of sessions on your DVD using the software.

Session Contents

The table of contents is the main menu of the disk. It is found in the lead in section. The lead in starts the session and will also contain information on the next free area of the disk. When a disk is burned, the session will be closed and the lead in will show where the disk stops. The lead out will end the session and has its own special area. The tracks are what contain the actual data such as the video.

Hardware and Software

In order to use authorization it is necessary to have the correct hardware and software. There are several video recorders that can record discs by themselves but most individuals will need a computer with an optical disc recorder. However, the hardware is not enough as you also need burning or authorization software. Most computers come with this software though you can purchase whichever software appeals to you.

High Definition

If you want to burn blu-ray disks then you will need authorization hardware and software specifically for high definition. The cost of these burners are still high though they have dropped significantly since they first came out. Once blu-ray burners stop being a specialty item and turn into a commodity then the prices will drop further, however most software that is available for regular disk authorization also can authorize blu-ray disks. Many times all you need is an add-on.

Authorization Regions

A part of the authorization includes the regional formatting. An open authorization allows the disk to be played anywhere in the world. There is additional software available that can get rid of the region coding so you can play and burn any region onto disk. The region codes include region 1 for the US, US territories and Canada, region 2 for Europe, the Middle east, South Africa and Japan, region 3 for East Asia and Southeast Asia, region 4 for New Zealand, Australia, the Caribbean, South America, the Pacific Islands, Mexico and Central America, region 5 for Mongolia, North Korea, Africa, India and eastern Europe, region 6 for China, region 7 is reserved and region 8 for cruise ships and airplanes.