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Encore vs other authoring Programs

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Tim Wright
Encore vs other authoring Programs
on Dec 1, 2005 at 8:08:20 pm

I am currently using DVDitPE which is anything but professional. And it drives me crazy with its inability to keep the coding striaght behind the scenes.

I am therefore looking for a new solution and leaning towards the encore solution.

Is encore a good solution or should I be looking at Ulead or Multimedia/DVD builder, or Sony's solution with vegasDVD?

Are most of the problems listed on this forum Adobe based or user based?

Any and all insight from you the users would be very helpful, so I do not wind up purchasing another DVDit ProEdition(ya right).

Thank you,

Tim


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Timothy Kurkoski
Re: Encore vs other authoring Programs
on Dec 1, 2005 at 9:58:25 pm

I'd really honestly recommend that you download the trial versions of as many apps as you want to try, and see which works best for you. Encore is a good program in my opinion, but every application has it's quirks.

Encore is a very straightforward program for the most part. It uses Photoshop (PSD) files for building the menus, using a naming convention on layer sets to define button and layer functionality. Video files need to be DVD-legal MPEG-2, AVI, or QuickTime files (I think it will handle WMV, too), and if needed it transcodes using the MainConcept encoder (which has a good reputation).

I've honestly not spent a lot of time with Encore's competitors, but compared to what I've seen, the interface is pretty plain, and you don't have to dig down a lot of levels to get to a feature. But Encore also doesn't have a lot of fancy features, like auto-building a disc or making easy slideshows.

As far as problems go, it's six of one, half dozen of another. Encore certainly isn't a perfect program, and some of the problems people have are caused by something wrong in the program, or some quirk that it can't overcome. But as with any application, problems can be caused by the system, a problem with the hardware, or with the media files being used. So it's hard to tell. My experiences have been mostly good.



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Tim Wright
Re: Encore vs other authoring Programs
on Dec 2, 2005 at 1:55:37 pm

Thank you Timothy for your reply.

Tim


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Jerry Hatfield
Re: Encore vs other authoring Programs
on Dec 3, 2005 at 12:40:17 am

I used to use PE and Reel DVD until Encore 1 was released. If you are familiar with an Adobe interface, I don't think you will have a steep learning curve.
However, if you have not used Adobe products in the past and are not comfortable using them, it will take time. It is quite daunting to open up a project and have a blank screen staring at you.

I would say that Encore is more 'hands on' than automatic. I use Photoshop to create or modify my menus. The updating feature with Encore, Photoshop, and After Effects is what I enjoy.
All authoring programs have certain requirements that have to be met in order to create the disc. If you provide the correct material in the fashion that it expects, you should not have any problems.

The main requirement is how the workflow is handled by the user. If you like the workflow of a certain program and it does what you want, why not continue to use it. Definitely download the Sonic DVD6 trial and give it a whirl. You might like it better than PE and pick it up faster than Encore. But, also give Encore a try and see what you think.

Jerry Hatfield
Six Gill DV
Orlando, Florida


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Tim Wright
Re: Encore vs other authoring Programs
on Dec 3, 2005 at 2:22:51 am

Thanks Jerry,

I am very familiar with Adobe interfaces. Generally, I do not have a problem learning interfaces, but learn them very quickly. I do like Adobe's work flow, and seriously leaning in that direction.

Thank you again for your advice.

Tim


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D&D Digital Creations
Re: Encore vs other authoring Programs
on Dec 5, 2005 at 4:52:03 pm

As mentioned in the other posts, to really get the most out of encore, you really need to know Photoshop(as well as have it). I've used a number of applications but i keep coming back to encore because of its photoshop intergration. I have found that it is limiting in a number of way though. For example, you can't link external files such as websites, doc's or even pdf's without an expensive 3rd party application(EDVD). This may not seem a large disadvantage since most of the competitors cannot do this either but it is still a pain. With CPU DVD players more and more common, computer functionality of the DVD is more important than ever. Being able to link a clients website is important. Creating truly animated menu's is also a pain. If you are not familiar with after effects it won't be all that easy. Sure, video buttons are simple enough to create(click a check box and render) but to make buttons move is another matter and After Effects isn't free.

As suggested, get the trial versions and give them a test. At least if the program sucks you can rip the menu's and buttons from it.


Dave



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digitalideations
Re: Encore vs other authoring Programs
on Dec 5, 2005 at 6:16:04 pm

I think you will find that DVDit 6 is completely different than previous versions of the program. Spec wise, it is similar to Encore, but it is easier to use + the Pro version comes with eDVD for enhancing your discs with PDFs, web links and stuff. At $399 for both programs, it's a pretty good deal..


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Matt Dubber
Re: Encore vs other authoring Programs
on Dec 9, 2005 at 5:35:23 pm

I am one of those Encore-all-the-way guys. I have used Encore since the beginning and LOVE it. I have used Sonic Scenarist Pro as well as Apple DVD Studio Pro (Mac). Whenever possible I always end up using Encore. While Encore doesn't get into scripting, it is by far the easiest most intuitive program for authoring simple to moderatly complicated DVDs I have used (for my workflow which is mostly Adobe Premiere, Photoshop and Encore) The integration is great and the interface seems pretty intuitive. Encore DVD 1.5 added some great features over v 1.0 and I'm sure whenever the next version is released it will add even more great features.

I highly recommend Encore, but agree with everyone else who says to try out different programs to see what works best for your workflow. I tried vegasDVD for a bit and got very frustrated with it very quickly after knowing how easy Encore was to pick up. Read the specs for each program you are interested in and make sure it can do everything you want it to. (like closed captioning, web connectivity, ROM elements, motion menus, multiple video tracks etc...)

-Matt


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