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Tutorial for successful Blu-ray and DVD Authoring

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Jon Geddes
Tutorial for successful Blu-ray and DVD Authoring
on May 8, 2009 at 8:41:04 pm

I understand there are many people that are having serious issues creating Blu-ray projects in Adobe Encore CS3 & CS4 as a result of bugs with the software.

I made a post on my blog that details out many of the bugs and solutions to getting around them.

http://precomposed.com/blog/2009/05/encore-tutorial/

Also available (for free) on my site is a complete walkthrough video tutorial of authoring a Blu-ray/DVD project from start to finish in Encore using a very efficient workflow that avoids many of these bugs.

Some of the helpful topics covered in the tutorial:

- Using custom motion menus and getting them to render properly
- Using the Chapter Index feature to streamline the creation of scene selection menus
- Using custom Pop-up menus for Blu-ray projects and more

Even though the tutorial was created for use with our Pro Motion Menu Kit products, it is still extremely helpful in pointing out an efficient workflow and avoiding the many bugs with the program.

I hope this will be of some help to many of you struggling to successfully create a Blu-ray or Standard DVD project in Encore. Many of the bugs only effect Blu-ray projects and some only effect CS4. But if you encounter any of them, you can use the solutions I posted to work around them.

Jon Geddes
Motion Graphics Designer
http://www.precomposed.com


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John Rich
Re: Tutorial for successful Blu-ray and DVD Authoring
on May 10, 2009 at 4:27:08 pm

John,

Using Encore CS3, I never used any of the areas you mentioned in your bug report, so they didn't cause me any problems with BluRay authoring.
What did bother me was that I never got the chapters to work, so I always had to use separate timelines instead of chapters and

the "default" button on a secondary menu was always incorrect (two even if I set it to one).

Are these still a problem in CS4, and if so do you have a work-around for them?

John Rich

JOHNR


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Jon Geddes
Re: Tutorial for successful Blu-ray and DVD Authoring
on May 10, 2009 at 5:57:59 pm

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by you never got the chapters to work. Do you mean you would add chapters to a timeline and they would not work in the final build?

Jon Geddes
Motion Graphics Designer
http://www.precomposed.com


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John Rich
Re: Tutorial for successful Blu-ray and DVD Authoring
on May 10, 2009 at 11:22:00 pm

When I created a bluray project and used chapter points in a single timeline to link to buttons on a menu, and burned the project to a bluray disk,and played the disk in my PS3, the menu would come up nicely, but selecting the buttons would not play the video.
I used separate timelines for the buttons, the buttons played appropriately.

John

JOHNR


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Jon Geddes
Re: Tutorial for successful Blu-ray and DVD Authoring
on May 11, 2009 at 3:42:13 am

Ok, I think I get what you are saying. For instance, you linked a button on the menu to chapter 4 in the timeline and the button just didn't do anything when you pressed it?

I have not encountered this bug before. All my Blu-ray discs have functioning scene selection menus that properly go to the chapters from the menus.

I am aware of the chapter playlist feature not working with blu-ray discs, but it doesn't sound like you are using it.

How are the assets encoded? MPEG2, H.264? What resolution and framerate? Are they dynamically linked timelines from premiere? Did you add your chapter markers from within Encore or were they imported with the asset? Have you tried making the menu over again from scratch?

I have encountered a bug where I forgot to set an end action to a menu and realized it after I built the disc, so I went back to change it and it would not change the final build (even though the preview updated correctly). I had to remove the menu from the project, then re-import it and link up the buttons again for the end action to take effect on the final build. A similar type of problem may have occurred with your project.

Jon Geddes
Motion Graphics Designer
http://www.precomposed.com


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John Rich
Re: Tutorial for successful Blu-ray and DVD Authoring
on May 11, 2009 at 10:37:32 am

"I am aware of the chapter playlist feature not working with blu-ray discs, but it doesn't sound like you are using it."

Actually, you may be right about it being a chapter playlist problem, since I put each chapter in it's own playlist as I did when I made SD DVD's (per suggestions here a couple of years ago) and it didn't work with the BluRay disks.

So is the playlist problem fixed in CS4 or have you figured out a work around for that problem?

John

JOHNR


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Joe Bowden
Re: Tutorial for successful Blu-ray and DVD Authoring
on May 11, 2009 at 2:46:58 pm

Encore CS4 (and CS3) doesn't support chapter playlists for Blu-ray. This is technically not a bug, but the lack of a comparable feature that exists in Encore for DVD export.

There's no workaround for that except using multiple timelines as you did. Perhaps a future version of Encore will offer chapter playlists for Blu-ray?



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Jon Geddes
Re: Tutorial for successful Blu-ray and DVD Authoring
on May 11, 2009 at 4:09:04 pm

Joe is correct. This feature is currently not supported by Encore. Adobe should have implemented some kind of warning feature that lets people know which settings don't work for blu-ray discs (and flash projects for that matter).

Since Blu-ray is a much newer format than dvd, I would think it supports doing this. However it's probably coded in a much different way than it is done for dvd, and adobe just hasn't figured it out yet. So yes, it's possible a future version of encore will support this.

Jon Geddes
Motion Graphics Designer
http://www.precomposed.com


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Joe Bowden
Re: Tutorial for successful Blu-ray and DVD Authoring
on May 11, 2009 at 5:32:29 pm

Adobe really should implement chapter playlists for Blu-ray. I'd suspect the reason this feature is not already there is that initially there were very few users authoring to Blu-ray, and the demand for these features were not high.

Now that Blu-ray sales are doing better and there's no longer the Blu-ray/HD-DVD battle for dominance which was still going on when CS3 was released, I think there should be an effort to at least reach parity with DVD features (where possible), and add new Blu-ray features for future versions of Encore.

IMHO, of course. :)





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John Mitchell
Re: Tutorial for successful Blu-ray and DVD Authoring
on Jul 14, 2010 at 1:10:13 am

Sorry to dredge up such an old thread but guess what - still doesn't work in CS5. First of all zero out of 10 for Adobe for not documenting this and zero out of 10 for not addressing it for 2 years. Encore ain't exactly cheap and this stuff should just work.

When Joe talks about Adobe addressing this I wonder if they can? I believe the core of Encore is the Sonic authoring engine so i think Adobe just addresses the interface etc.. not sure though.



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Jeff Bellune
Re: Tutorial for successful Blu-ray and DVD Authoring
on Jul 14, 2010 at 2:55:47 am

1. It's a blu-ray player issue - they don't support chapter playlists.

2. That fact is documented at the top of pg. 152 of the Encore CS5 Help .pdf file.

-Jeff

The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0


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John Mitchell
Re: Tutorial for successful Blu-ray and DVD Authoring
on Jul 14, 2010 at 7:51:11 am

Hi Jeff

I respect your opinion but I'm confused (mind you - I've authored only a few BDs)- all my reading of the spec says BluRay players are "better" at branching than DVD players and should be able to do it seamlessly using "the contents playlist file, which allows for high speed access to virtual playlists." Hasn't this part of the spec been implemented? I wouldn't know but I'd be very surprised if Blu-ray was taking such a backward step. Of course using BDJ even more interactivity is achievable than straight BDMV authoring but I felt sure that even with BDMV (or HDMV) branching is supported.

And what I meant about making it clear wasn't something buried on Pg 152 of the help file, but a warning that comes up in the interface when your trying to build a BD with chapter playlists. They have a project error checking process immediately prior to build, so Encore "knows" that it is building a blu-ray but no error pops up in the interface? Huh? Sorry - epic fail for me.

cheers

John





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Jeff Bellune
Re: Tutorial for successful Blu-ray and DVD Authoring
on Jul 14, 2010 at 1:16:21 pm

In En, there are 2 kinds of playlists: Standard and Chapter. I don't know why Standard Playlists work and Chapter Playlists don't work on BD players, nor what would be involved in making En's chapter playlist function work for BD. All I know is that according to Adobe, BD players won't play En's chapter playlists.

This is why an abstraction layer is always a less-than-perfect solution if direct access to the links and structure isn't also available.

[John Mitchell] "And what I meant about making it clear wasn't something buried on Pg 152 of the help file, but a warning that comes up in the interface when your trying to build a BD with chapter playlists"

That's an excellent feature request, but it's not what you said initially:

zero out of 10 for Adobe for not documenting this

As I pointed out, it is documented.

-Jeff

The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0


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