Mpeg 13 frame block Issue
I am currently working on a project for my boss, who would like the chapter points at specific time codes. However using a AVI on the time line is not possable since it is a feature length project, and error message 19004 keeps me from builind with an AVI.
There fore I am stuck using a pre-encoded Mpeg. However, Encore recognizes Mpegs through the use of thirteen frame blocks. Which makes it impossable to mark the chapter points where my boss wants them. So whats the trick? What's the secrete work around? Come on there's gotta be one. Is there or am I boned?
Oh, for the record I am working in Encore 1.5, not 2..
'The wheel weaves'
The problem you're running into is that chapter markers can only be placed at I-frames. (See the FAQ at DVDDemystified.com if you want more techncial detail.)
What application are you encoding your MPEG file in? If you use Premiere Pro, you can add unnumbered timeline markers where the chapters should be. Then when you export to MPEG, Premiere Pro will not only place I-frames at those frames, it will include a .XMPSES file that Encore will pick up on and place the chapter points automatically in its timeline.
Note- the unnumbered markers must have information entered in the Chapter field in order for this procedure to work.
Yeah, thanks for the info. However, it is beleived here abouts that the quality of image exporting from Premeire is not high enough to satify. As such is the case, we use TMGencoder to create the Mpegs, from AVI which do come from premeire.
Is there a way to set the points you spoke of in the AVI, that will then survive the incoding in TMG? Or, failing that, do you know of a simular method in TMG, that will allow us to set up simular points that will replicate the effect of the point if set on a premiere timeline?
Also, we had the idea of creating seperate timelines in encore starting at the specific timecodes. Then making each of these timelines into a chapter with an end action that would take the veiwer to the next timeline hence the whole film could be seen by bouncing down a path of timelines. However, my fear here is that each time line will have to load, which may create lag while the veiwer is watching. My second fear is that the skip buttons on the veiwers remote will not function properly? Are there any more downfalls I am not seeing to this plan??? Or, could it work?
'The wheel weaves'
I don't use TMG, and I've never had personally had a problem with the encoding quality with the MainConcept encoder.
If the TMG encoder has a way of allowing you to set I-frames at specific frames, then you're golden. If not, I don't know of any way for you to do it. The chapter marker solution is something built into Premiere, and Encore knows to look for the .XMPSES file that is created. (You can embed the same markers in an AVI file from Premiere as well, but TMG would still have to know that an I-frame is required at those points.)
The solution you've mentioned for a "Play All" workflow is the normal one (I wrote a tutorial on this for the Cow). Your concerns are valid, though in practice not monumental. Most DVD players these days only suffer slight lag when switching video streams. It shouldn't be any worse than when a dual-layer DVD switches layers- a momentary blip or less. As for the "next chapter" problem, yes, that exists, but different players handle it differently. See a thread one or two above this one about this exact topic. The good news is that you can easily get around this problem by putting a chapter point just before (< 1 sec.) the end of each timeline, so when the user actually presses the next chapter button that chapter is reached and there's only a short delay before the end action is executed.
It's also worth mentioning that with Encore 2.0, you don't even need to resort to breaking up your video into separate timelines. Encore 2.0 has chapter point end actions and chapter playlists. Which means you can put your video in a single timeline and set each chapter to play individually. To play all, you simply construct a chapter playlist that plays the chapters in order. No lag between them since they're all in one timeline. And for bonus points (as Joe B. points out in that other thread), pressing the next chapter button should now be more consistent across different players.