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Dave Evans
Encore 2
on Oct 20, 2006 at 2:35:00 am

Hi Guys

First post here, We have used Encore 1.0 for a few years now with not to many issues, and have just downloaded Encore 2 trial as the guys are thinking of upgrading, can you please tell me if this is normal behaviour for the new program or is this just the trial version.

1) Very slow & unresponsive, the longer the program is open the slower things get.

2) In a test project we had end actions set for timelines and all worked fine in preview mode, however after burning to disk and testing in DVD set top player the disc had the wrong end actions, We ran the check project utility to see if we had any overlaps etc but everything came up good.

3) The new slideshow feature seems next to useless we experienced shimmery transitions and images, the images we used were originally .jpg but were scaled in Photoshop CS2 (prior to import) to PAL DV project settings with the correct Pixel Aspect 1,066 and saved as .bmp with the number being under 90 as per recommendations.

We had 3 x Video clips 2 @ 1.2 GB & 1 @ 150 MB with 4 Slideshows with audio & less than 90 images in each.
Video encoded as per usual from Canopus PC & looked good Audio imported as PCM and transcoded to AC3 in Encore, Slideshows with cross dissolve encoded in Encore.

System: Pentium 4 3.4HT Northwood, D875PBZ Mobo, 1.5GB RAM, ATI X800, 1 X 250GB EIDE System, 2 X SATA in RAID0 for Video & SonyDRU700A DVW-+RW.

Thanks for any info/help regards, Dave.


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Jeff Bellune
Re: Encore 2
on Oct 22, 2006 at 3:18:35 pm

My experience:

1) Haven't seen that. What other things are going on while you are using Encore?

2) Check for overrides manually. Don't rely on the Check Project utility. It can't know if you meant to set an override or not.

3) I don't know what you mean by shimmery transitions and images - what else is going on in your slideshows? Do you have images with sharp horizontal edges or text with serif fonts? There could be interlacing issues involved.

Finally, there have been reports that some ProCoder files are incompatible with Encore 2.0 on a fundamental level. Usually these issues range from green or red macroblocks in the video, to stuttering playback and program freezes. If you are having good luck with ProCoder files, then all I will say is be wary.

-Jeff

The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0


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Dave Evans
Re: Encore 2
on Oct 22, 2006 at 10:38:27 pm

Thanks Jeff

1)Nothing else running though as I mentioned this is the trial version

2)Everything was checked manually, & preview worked as expected, just final disk output had incorect end actions.

3)No text in images so no problem with fonts. Images prepared in the same way as we have done for many projects, the shimmer/flicker is very bad throughout the transition & less apparent though still visible once the transition has completed, images were previewed from PShop export function to check for flicker from sharp edges & a small amout of blur applied when required prior to import into Encore.

So far we have not experienced any problems with Pro Coder but then we have only been using Encore 1.0 up untill the trial, do you know if this is a Encore problem or are there problems with recent versions of Pro Coder that you are aware of.

Thanks for the help, Dave.


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Jeff Bellune
Re: Encore 2
on Oct 23, 2006 at 2:07:14 am

Hi Dave,

1) I have only heard of this once before. The images used in the Encore project were very large - 4000 x 2000 pixels. Since Encore's slideshow won't zoom in much more than about 10% - 15% using the built-in effects, one doesn't need images that large. If you are using large images, try reducing their resolution to something around 800x600 (720x480 plus about 15%). You can also use the Scale property for each slide to tell Encore how to present images that don't fit the 720x480 frame exactly.

2) Can you describe exactly what you were trying to do (go back to menu from slideshow, link one timeline to another, etc.) and then describe exactly what happens on the burned disc (instead of going to the linked timeline, it went back to the main menu, etc.)? Were you testing in a hardware or software DVD player? What you are describing shouldn't be possible.

3) I think I see the "shimmering" you are talking about. It only happens in the Slideshow viewer, and only when a pan or zoom is applied. It is more noticeable with hi-res images as noted above. I don't see it in Encore's preview or in WinDVD when playing back a DVD Folder built in Encore. I'm on the road and I don't have a blank RW disc or a burner to test with. Do you see it on a finished DVD? Again, how are you displaying it - hardware or software DVD player? What type of TV?

I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with ProCoder. The issues seem to be limited to the interoperability between ProCoder and Encore. Also, any issues with ProCoder and Encore seem to be prevalent in version 2.0. Your own experience would confirm that notion. FWIW, Adobe blames Canopus. I suspect the reverse is also true.

-Jeff

The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0


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Dave Evans
Re: Encore 2
on Oct 24, 2006 at 11:55:12 pm

Thanks for the input Jeff & sorry for the delayed reply.

Ok all images were scaled in Photoshop CS2 prior to import into Encore 720 x 576 PAL DV pixel aspect 1,066 as per Photoshop CS2 preset, resolution 72dpi only dissolve transition was used.

With the end actions I wanted the action to jump back to the menu with the next appropriate button highlighted, in Encore's preview this worked fine, but on the burned disk when tested in a stanalone set top player only some work correctly & not others.

Shimmering is not apparent on PC monitor but is very noticeable when played back from set top DVD player on an interlaced standard TV.

We would normally create slideshows in Edius & add transitions there but thought this would be a good test of how Encore 2 handles them, I think we might stay with V1.0 for the time being as at least we have had no playback problems with procoder files, can anyone here offer good reasons to upgrade to V2.0 that I am missing?

Thanks again Jeff, regards Dave.


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Jeff Bellune
Re: Encore 2
on Oct 25, 2006 at 2:13:03 am

[Dave Evans] "With the end actions I wanted the action to jump back to the menu with the next appropriate button highlighted, in Encore's preview this worked fine, but on the burned disk when tested in a stanalone set top player only some work correctly & not others"

Thanks, Dave. I need a little more information, please. For the menus that don't work correctly, what exactly happens? Does the end action miss the menu entirely and go somewhere else? Does it land on the menu but miss the correct button? Are there no button highlights at all upon returning to the menu? Does something else happen?

Even if you decide to stay with 1.0, investigating this issue may help others later.

-Jeff

The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0


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Dave Evans
Re: Encore 2
on Oct 25, 2006 at 5:06:19 am

Hi Jeff

It go's back to the menu but to the wrong button highlight.
So button 1 & 2 work fine 3 ends up back at 3 instead of 4, 4 go's back to 4, 5 to 5 to 5, 6 to 6 & 7 to 7.
Strange thing all work as expected in the preview with each going back to the next button in the sequence with 7 going back to 1.

Thanks again Dave.


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Jeff Bellune
Re: Encore 2
on Oct 25, 2006 at 12:44:25 pm

Hi Dave,

Are the targets of your button links separate timelines? Are they chapters in a single timeline? Are they Chapter Playlists from a single timeline? Do any of your chapters have end actions set? I'm trying to understand your navigation setup to help troubleshoot. Encore 2 has navigation abilities far beyond those of mortal Encore 1.x. :-)

In general, Encore's preview is just a simulation, and in some instances it will have problems that don't appear on the burned disc. It is also reasonable to assume that it may work correctly, yet be hiding a problem. Please check the flowchart panel to see if any links are incorrect. The timeline icon and the partially transparent timeline alias icons will link to the menu alias icons. The partially transparent aliases for the trouble menus will have badges that indicate which button is "linked back to". If a link anywhere is overridden, it should show up as a dashed line in the Flowchart panel. Did you use the Return to Last Menu command anywhere? Return to Last Menu links won't show up in the Flowchart panel. Are some links set to Return to Last Menu and other links set to a specific button on a menu?

Do you have a software player or other brands of hardware players you can use to test the burned disc? I want to eliminate your player brand/blank media combo as a culprit.

You asked about compelling features in Encore 2:

1. When using the full Production Studio, Dynamic Link with After Effects is a killer feature for animated motion menus.

2. Chapter Playlists let you order the chapters of a timeline any way you want. You don't need separate timelines.
3. Each chapter in a timeline can have its own end action. When combined with chapter playlists, you can execute complex navigation tasks (like for performance or educational DVDs) intuitively and without the use of overrides.

4. The Flowchart panel gives a visual representation of your whole project. I consider it indispensable for checking links and navigation.

Other new features are:

Add XMP metadata to files, manage assets in Adobe Bridge, support for DTS audio files (no preview in Encore - audio is passed untouched to finished disc), support for Quicktime Reference movies, create custom menu templates, quick ways to align and distribute menu objects, multiple audio and video clips in a single timeline, support for dual-layer DVD+R discs, new tools for working in the Menu viewer, new interface for specifying transcode settings and more and better zoom options in the Monitor panel.

If you stick with 1.0, you are also missing out on the features of 1.5 - such as Custome Workspaces, Edit Original in Photoshop, Support for non-square pixels, Background Transcoding, Menu preview to an external monitor via firewire, Save a menu as an After Effects composition or or Photoshop file, Disable certain user operations for the disc, timelines and menus, Return to Last Menu and Resume navigation options, Standard Playlists (playlists of timelines), Improved Check Project utility and the ability to bypass warnings when building a DVD (like the "disc is not empty" warning). All of these features are also part of Encore 2.0.

-Jeff

The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0


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Dave Evans
Re: Encore 2
on Oct 30, 2006 at 11:26:31 pm

Hi Jeff

Please accept my appologies for not getting back sooner but I have had little time to go back over the project as things have been hectic around here.

In answer to your questions, I must confess to simply treating this first look at Encore2 in the same way as I would have used Encore 1, I had 7 simple timelines, 3 video clips 4 slideshows, 1 simple static menu with 7 buttons 1 for each timeline with an end action set to return to a specific (the next logical button choice) menu button, with only the last button's end action set to return to menu default.

This I thought was fairly simple & the navigation works from the burned disk up to the 3rd video clip which does not return to the correct first slideshow menu button but simply returns to itself as do all the slideshow buttons, I thought maybe some overide's were some how set by mistake but it seems not.

The slideshows have approx 80 slides each with a simple dissolve between each slide, I wonder does Encore treat these slideshow timelines differently than conventional movie timelines with respect to navigation.

I have since tested the disc in another set top player along with 2 other computer based software players all have the same results.

Thanks also for the info on the additional benefits these would be very usefull on certain projects thats for sure.

I think the biggest worry for us though is the fact that Encore 2 does not play well with Pro Coder, as we use this App for all our transcoding, simply because the results are excellent especially with its 2 pass VBR for low bitrate large capacity projects.

Thanks again Jeff for all your help.


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gman989
Re: Encore 2
on Nov 6, 2006 at 6:22:53 am

Dave,

I thought I would chime in on this thread after reading your comment about the "shimmery transitions and images" you mentioned in your original post.

I think I also experienced that very same issue when I put together a wedding slideshow. My project contained 3 slideshows totaling about 170 JPG photos that I had professionally scanned by DigMyPics. I only used one transition throughout the whole project.

I never saw the shimmering (or what I like to call "blurring") during play back (previewing) within Encore. When I played the burned DVD back on my computer or any other DVD player, I would get the shimmering.

I my case, when the DVD was played and the image was displayed on the screen it would appear crystal clear for about 1 second. Then the image would blur or shimmer just moments before the transition taking effect. Only after playing it on a LCD monitor I finally realized how it was blurring. The blurring or shimmering looked like it was caused my mixing or overlaying another image. The image being mixed in was the very next image in the slideshow. You could tell because the outline of the image matched the next slide.

I used the very same photos and built the project with Nero Vision, one of the tools in Nero 7 Ultra Edition. It created the DVD slide show perfectly.

I made several coasters in the pursuit of trying all the different transcoding options within Encore without any success.

Is that how you would describe the shimmering?


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Dave Evans
Re: Encore 2
on Nov 7, 2006 at 4:29:53 am

Hi G-man

That seems to be exactly what was happening, I would normally create slideshows in Edius adding transitions etc there, with all images prepared in Photoshop CS & any obvious problems corrected before the images make it to the timeline, I guess I was hoping Encore would provide some time saving here (we still prepared the images as per normal practice).
I think we might wait before we upgrade as we use Pro-coder for our transcoding, it is a shame as the navigation features look very impressive.

Regards, Dave.


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Jeff Bellune
Re: Encore 2
on Nov 7, 2006 at 4:44:59 pm

I think what gman is seeing is the switch from transcoded I-frame to transcoded video during the transition.

If you don't have any motion (zoom/pan) applied to a still image, then Encore transcodes that as an I-frame with duration to save disc space. The transition between the stills has to be transcoded video. You can expect a small "bump" when the switch is made between still and video.

I suspect that Nero is transcoding the whole thing as video. Examine Nero's output carefully - you will probably see the same quality as Encore's transition and not the same quality as Encore's I-frames.

-Jeff

The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0


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