Discussion in 'Video to DVD' started by vurbal, Oct 12, 2005.
Post any comments, questions, or corrections to the sticky threads in this forum here.
I like what you have done so far. It seems like it will be an interesting FAQ.
It would also be nice to include a section on menus like still menus, motion menus, panoramic menus, etc... Also the software used to create them.
I read that most Hollywood menus are made using Photoshop. I have used that as well as DVD Menu Studio and MS Paint for still menus. For Motion menus, I use Sony Vegas which can also be used for adding credits, creating Dolby Digital AC3 files (and most other formats), and adding various video effects.
Also, do not forget to add DVD Maestro to the software list. Even though it is no longer in production, it is still my favorite software for DVD Authoring and only Scenarist accesses more of the DVD Spec. It can still be found on some internet sites and some auction sites.
Also Sony DVD Architect should be added to the software list. It is a bit heavy on resources, but still very good. Both would be in the Pro-Sumer/Professional category.
D'oh! I can't believe I left DVD Architect and DVD Maestro out. I'll get those on the list.
I may have to add another category to list helper programs like Vegas. Really it's much more than a helper program but AFAIK you can't buy a standalone AC-3 encoder (at least not one that supports all the features) for less than Vegas costs so it's really worth it just for that.
You seem like have DVD Maestro experience. i just started using it. Very reliable and awesome quality. But i just posted a new thread as well. I need some help on what dvd decoder I can use to see the preview feature? Cinemaster is corrupting my Windows XP 's .dll files. Any alternative decoder would work with Windows XP? Also, I have Photoshop CS2 and DVD menue studio but hard to understand both. Any suggestions?
A couple of things sort of occurred to me whilst reading the FAQ for
The list of applications should have a final category for those apps that actually offer complete spec authoring without the necessity to use an Abstraction Layer.
There are only 2 applications in this category, Sonic's Scenarist and Media Chance Labs DVD-Lab Pro 2.25.
The latter can use it's abstraction layer, but this can be switched off at compilation. Why is this important? Because nearly every error in DVD-Video authoring that is not down to the good old favourite "Pilot Error" or a known bug is going to usually be down to the Abstraction Layer getting in the way.
"What is an Abstraction Layer?", I hear you asking.
The AL is the part of the code in the program that acts as the interface between what you want to do & can see onscreen and the actual DVD Specifications.
For example, If I am working in Adobe's EncoreDVD and want to link a button on a menu to a chapter point in the main timeline, and use drag & drop or a drop-down menu to point the button to the file, this is the Abstraction Layer doing the job. If I were not using an abstraction Layer to achieve this, I would need to type in a VM command for the button telling it to go to Chaper 2:
JumpVTS_PTT tt1, ptt2
This tells the player to access the main title, and play chapter 2.
Similar commands arerequired for every job you do in authoring, and 99% of bugs are caused by the Operating System interfacing with the application's Author Core via an abstraction layer. This - and this alone - is the reason why Scenarist is recommended for high end productions, as it has no abstraction layer but instead sets the code for you in a way that allows it all to be edited.
"What about Maestro, DVDSP and DVD-Lab Pro?" I hear. "These also allow scripting, don't they?". Yes, they do - but as a part of the Abstraction Layer. It's subtle, but makes a large difference. DVDSP & Maestro cannot operate without the AL, but DVD-Lab Pro can.
There is a gotcha though, andthat is that you must tell the compiler everything. Forget something & the disc will not compile, or will not play as expected.
Moving on to the AUDIO section (Point 4 of the FAQ)
There are now only 2 mandated audio formats, regardless of TV standards.
LPCM and Dolby Digital. Every disc must contain at least one of these, and in a multi-VTS title, every VTS must have as Audio 1 one of these 2 formats. All others are optional, and can be from Audio 2 or on.
The actual specs say that DTS & SDDS are both optional, and must be accompanied by either LPCM at a bit rate & depth of 16/48 or Dolby Digital at a rate of 0.192 (stereo) or 0.384/0/448 (Surround).
Whilst it is possible to use LPCM at up to 24/96, correct playback is not guaranteed. Some players will truncate to 16 bits, and resample to 48KHz.
Again, Dolby Digital can be encoded higher than 0.192 for stereo, up to the spec maximum of 0.448. Higher rates can (and have been) encoded, but again correct playback is not guaranteed.
DTS. This can be in either padded (.dts) or Compact (.cpt) versions, at one of 2 bitrates - 1509 and 768 Kb/sec. This should be created from 24 bit 48KHz audio files for maximum quality.
DTS-ES (5.1 with a matrixed Cs channel, or 6.1 discrete) can also be created and authored.
DTS 96/24 is also a perfectly acceptable format to use.
With DTS audio, the reason it is so flexible is because the core is always encoded to 24/48 5.1, or fewer channels, and all additionally specified channels or higher sample rates are included in the core extensions. All DTS decoders are capable of at least core playback, and will generally automatically play back at the highest quality the decoder is capable of without the end user needing to do anything at their end. (usually)
DTS-WAV is not recommended, as it uses a sample rate (traditionally) of 44.1KHz, and appears to the system as a Stereo LPCM file. Some players will pass this stream correctly, others will decode it internally & you will only hear filtered white noise. Avoid this format except for personal discs where you know it will work.
MPEG audio is simply not recommended at all. It is not your friend, and should be avoided if at all possible, especially in NTSC areas where it was never a mandated format in the first place.
Surround is supported in many ways:
Dolby Digital - mandated. All DVD-Video players must be capable of this playback.
DTS - Optional, as discussed.
MPEG - Optional, should be avoided
LPCM - Lt/Rt matrix streams can be encoded to Dolby Digital Stereo, providing the encoder can set the flag for Dolby Surround encoding correctly, otherwise leave this as LPCM.
SDDS - Theoretically possible, as is LPCM multichannel, but AFAIK never actually implemented in a player, so pointless.
Hope this helps someone, then it will have been worth the effort.
Is this thread still active?
I am having a problem when it comes to DVD Authoring, or more specifically, with the menu creation phase. I am using Cyberlink PowerDirector 14 and the very first thing that happens when I import an MP4 thats only 365MB, PowerDirectors little capacity bar fills up all the way. PowerDirector for whatever reason is showing this 365MB mp4 file as being 7893MB. What the heck? Ive tried different videos and different formats, but it always reflects a far larger file size as what the actual files size is. Obviously having immediate concerns I decided to try a different DVD Authoring program "Wondershare DVD Creator". Having the exact same issue. Is anyone familiar with this issue?
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