1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

TMPGenc Authoring works 4 vs Ulead dvd wkshop 2

Discussion in 'Video to DVD' started by brenna25, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. brenna25

    brenna25 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I've heard lots of people recommend either one of these. I was just curious about the difference and which ones people preferred.
     
  2. Skidmarks

    Skidmarks Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Hiya... I've been using TMPG for a good while now including earlier versions and think it does the job in a simple and yet - if you plunge into it's depths - powerful way. Gets my vote!
     
  3. XEQtor

    XEQtor Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    I'm an 'avid' user of TMPGEnc DVD Author 2/3/Works 4.
    I havent used any Ulead software for a very long time and so cannot give any comparision to it.

    However, I can provide these highlights for TMPGEnc:

    1. The user interface is the easiest I've seen from a commercial software, and very intelligent too. It allows you to redo/reload templates from scratch but 'remembers' what your previous selections were. Correcting mistakes or changing your mind on some selections is very easy.

    2. The "Smart Rendering" feature prevents re-encoding (maintain quality) and saves time. If the source is already in the same format as the target, no further encoding happens, maintaining quality and saving a lot of time (encoding is the slowest process in the authoring chain). If the source is 'almost' okay - with some glitches caused during previous encoding, the Smart Rendering feature will jump in at those location/GOPs to reencode/fix the problem. This also preserves maximum quality and saves time. The same goes for audio. If you've externally gotten your audio track to be AC3 (2.0 or 5.1), TMPGEnc will allow it to be passed-thru to target, again, preserving quality/time. Note that if your chapter points are not at I/Key frames, the Smart Renderer will move in to re-encode those GOPs. I can author a full DVD-5, including subtitles, menus, etc, in 30 mins, the 10-15 mins is used for VIDEO_TS creation.

    3. Every object (buttons, frames, icons, etc) are considered 'assets' to be used during authoring. You can create your very own 'assets' with your own editors - graphics as well as movie clips - to be used. Imagine a 'Play' button that is actually an animation or 'movie clip'. And once you have all these assets in place, you can create your own template so that you can easily reuse them together for future authoring projects. If you take the trouble to create those 'assets' professionally, you can produce menus that rival professional/commercial works. I have.

    4. TMPGEnc allows you to author DVD, DivX Ultra and, as of Works 4, Blu-ray as well. And the User Interface is streamlined across all of them - nothing new to learn from one type to another (beyond new supported features only available in a specific format).

    5. TMPGEnc has a transcoder option for you to resize those slightly oversized works to fit your target media. 5-10% oversize is okay, but if you value maximum quality, like me, I would rather re-encode to a smaller file than to use this 'helpful' feature.

    6. The video re-encoding/authoring task supports multi-core. I have consistently gotten above 90% on my dual-core. Audio encoding is still single stream.

    7. TMPGEnc WILL NOT allow DTS audio tracks to be passed through to target. It shall be re-encoded to AC3 (or LPCM/MPEG-1 Level II).

    8. Audio/Subtitle selection/change is on a 'Per Track' basis. During playback, there is NO WAY to set/change them once from a 'Main Menu' and have this carried over to all tracks. The only way to allow this is to put everything into a single track - not very flexible/presentable if you have chapter menus for episodic works. However, you can have a default audio/subtitle set for each track/episode.

    One drawback of Works 4 is that their BDMV (Blu-ray) authoring only supports MPEG-2 output. This means that if your source is already in H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) - the format of choice for BD, and a much superior encoding format in terms of quality, their 'Smart Rendering' feature turns into an IDIOT and forces a re-encoding to MPEG-2. Perhaps they're bowing to Sony here...

    Although Works 4 states that it now supports Dolby Digital 5.1 encoding, which it does, their support is minimal at best. There is NO WAY for you to provide 6 individual mono audio tracks to be re-encoded into 5.1 surround. I will still encode my AC3 externally from 6 mono-tracks and just use it's 'pass-thru' mechanism.

    Perhaps someone who regularly uses Ulead DVD Workshop 2 can provide highlights for comparision.


    No, I dont work for Pegasys/TMPGEnc.

    XEQ.
     
  4. Jackshv

    Jackshv Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Thanks for all the info, I too have been struggling to find a good encoding/authoring solution. So far I found best results using TMPGEnc to do the encoding and then DVDit pro to author. The quality is still nowhere near the original input file (tried a few...), giving TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4 a try. Mostly I would like to see how good it does transcoding the video. Anything I can do to preserve the quality of the input files? I heard using TMPGEnc to transcode then import a "dvd-ready" file into an authoring program should do it, but somehow digital distortion does get introduced. Any input would be appreciated!
     
  5. davexnet

    davexnet Active member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,896
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    What kind of digital distortion?
    Can you provide some screen shots to show the problem ?
     
  6. Jackshv

    Jackshv Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Hmm I just tried to take some screenshots, but I'm assuming you're looking for a side by side comparison of the same frame in the original vs the transcoded file. I don't know how to single out the same frame in both videos with the software I have (run of the mill video players)... the artifacts are fairly standard, blocks in solid colors and motion artifacts in fast movement scenes.

    I am also going to give CCE a try, then author with TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4, and compare that side by side with the native TMPGEncAW4 transcoder.

    I'm assuming my transcoder is the problem with quality, and as far as I can tell from the forums, CCE is top of the line..?
     
  7. davexnet

    davexnet Active member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,896
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    The problems you describe (assuming the source is good quality)
    are usually associated with the mpeg-2 bitrate being too low.

    CCE supposedly has a very slight edge over HCenc - but to be honest,
    it's probably debatable. Hcenc is a great encoder.
    Simple to use once you learn the interface.

    If you start out with a HQ source and you're getting crappy encodes,
    you're doing something wrong. That's why seeing a screen shot or two
    sometimes helps in diagnosis & evaluation.
     
  8. XEQtor

    XEQtor Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    I'm not really sure what you guys meant by "transcode". Transcode can mean transfer-encoding from one format/codec to another, eg, MPEG-4 to MPEG-2. TAW4 has a "transcoding" utility which does something similar to what DVDShrink does. I've never tried it and cannot provide any input as to quality. I avoid having to call upon it as much as possible, with enough time playing with TAW4, you'll just need a calculator to really get things down nicely. But I see this feature as very useful when "accidentally" getting an oversized authoring result, perhaps 5% more.

    I tend to reduce my menu size to make things fit: either reduce the levels of menus (eg top level only, no track menus), reduce bitrates for menus (from 7Mbps default), reduce audio bitrates, drop to DD 2.0 from DD 5.1, and/or shorten the motion menu durations.

    Like I said before, one thing I find very useful is the "Smart Rendering" feature. TAW4 will only re-encode some GOPs of 'non-compliant' encodes. For eg, if you force a chapter point in the middle of a GOP. TAW4 will break this up and force a new GOP at the chapter point, re-encoding only the affected GOP. Also, some encoders will not close the final GOP of the whole DVD, resulting in some players boinking. TAW4 will re-encode those final few frames for you.

    @Jackshv:
    Pls describe your source. Already MPEG-2/DVD compliant or another format? If already DVD compliant, you should not lose quality during authoring. Or else, check your encoder settings - interlaced/progressive flag not properly set? (main TAW4 blindspot)

    In order to make full use of the "Smart Rendering" feature to "preserve quality", make sure you check (and correct) the source clip properties TAW4 detects it as. It can sometimes get it wrong (perhaps incompatible encoder?). One way to know if it will use "SR" (Smart Rendering) or "FR" (Full Rendering), at the source panel, click on the track and see the icon for the clip. Blue = SR, is good, Red = FR, is cry.

    I'm using CCE SP2 as my external encoder, real reason is 'cos I'm doing more than 2-pass VBR. I got a "Lanczos4Resize" somewhere inside that demands higher bitrate to get av quant below 2.5. Okay, I'm a freak, sue me! LOL!
     

Share This Page