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Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks

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Brecht Wouters
Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 17, 2009 at 2:12:25 pm

Hi all,

I have this issue where I want to use a set-up menu to make subtitle and audiotrack changes. I need to be able to select it on that menu, then go back to the main menu to press 'play'.

Adding a button to play from the setup is not really an option, as I have made animations for every page to every page and it is too much of a fuss to change those.

I used the 'link back to here' option on every button, and then 'specify link' to make it change to the proper subtitle track. I did the same for the audio comments 'on' for audiotrack '2' and 'off' to return to audiotrack '1'.

HOWEVER, the subtitles seem to work on our standalone, but the audiocommentsbutton does not. In the preview, on PS3, Media Player and PowerDVD, it doesn't work at all. Everything's there though, as I can cycle through everything with the remotes.

I'm using CS4.

Thanks for the help!


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Joe Bowden
Re: Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 17, 2009 at 4:58:26 pm

Do all your timelines have the same number of audio and subtitle tracks?



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Brecht Wouters
Re: Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 18, 2009 at 8:27:37 am

Hi,

No, I have one main timeline with two audio tracks and nine subtitle tracks. I have many timelines though (a few extras and transitions between menus).

Regards


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Joe Bowden
Re: Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 18, 2009 at 11:57:31 pm

If you choose an audio or subtitle track in your menu and those tracks don't exist in another timeline, those settings will be lost when you visit that other timeline.

The way around this is to have the same number of audio and subtitle tracks in every timeline - even if they are blank. This way, if you choose an audio or subtitle track, the player will retain it in memory (unless you change it via an explicit link, or using the audio or subtitle buttons on your remote control).



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Larry Applegate
Re: Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 19, 2009 at 2:42:52 am

Hi Brecht,

We have an upcoming solution for you, though it is not yet released. BluStreak Premaster, and its lite version BluStreak Burner, has a new function we are calling "Quickfix Encore Menus". With it you open a window which displays all of your menus and buttons, and designate which menu and buttons are to choose each audio and subtitle stream. Then you output or a disc image or burn a disc and the commands are magically fixed for you. So far only for Blu-ray.

Since Encore is the only available Blu-ray authoring application on Macintosh (besides Toast), and it comes up short of being able to produce a professional-quality product, we are taking on the task of trying to fill this void.

Regards,

Larry Applegate
http://blustreak.dvdafteredit.com




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Joe Bowden
Re: Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 19, 2009 at 3:43:35 pm

Larry, could you tell me what exactly is broken in Encore? The methods I outlined previously in this thread are standard workflow, and they do work.



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Larry Applegate
Re: Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 19, 2009 at 6:12:03 pm

Hi Joe, I think Brecht explained it perfectly in the first post . The method he describes is used for many Hollywood releases, and does not work in Encore for Blu-ray output, and works for DVD only under your suggested restrictions. One problem is that as soon as you navigate to another menu, you lose the audio and subtitle settings, because the menus can have only one audio track and no subtitles.

The reason for the work-arounds you suggest is that Encore does not have the concept of storing the settings in a GPR, as is done in every professional and prosumer authoring application. Encore uses a very simple and limited "abstraction layer" to accomplish its navigation. What we do is modify that abstraction layer to store the stream selections, and apply them every time a timeline is played, comparing what is available in the timeline to the desired setting, and always making a legal selection.

In my test Encore project, Encore used a total of 7 GPR's for Blu-ray and 2 for DVD. Blu-ray has 4,096 GPR's and DVD has 16. Obviously there is room for much more capability in Encore.

In our DVDAfterEdit product we allow the user to do spec-authoring directly on the DVD navigation commands. This is actually not as difficult as it sounds, but has limited our audience to those authors willing to do a bit of "programming".

In BluStreak, we do everything "behind the scenes", asking the user only to designate which buttons are to be used and for which stream selection.


Regards,

Larry Applegate
http://blustreak.dvdafteredit.com


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Joe Bowden
Re: Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 20, 2009 at 2:05:57 am

Larry - thanks for the information. It was my understanding that Encore does set this in a GPR, and that the settings get wiped out if the user encounters a VTS that doesn't have the same number of tracks. Maybe something changed in CS4?

I do seem to recall that even after navigating to another menu the subtitle and audio selections were retained, at least when authoring to DVD - I haven't checked this in a while, but the next time I'm working on such a project, I will try it again.




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Larry Applegate
Re: Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 20, 2009 at 2:26:46 am

Joe, I have command debugging code called "Tracer" in DVDAfterEdit, and am creating similar code for Blu-ray in an unreleased BluStreak product. With these tools you can execute the abstraction commands one at a time and watch the general and system parameters change.

I have examined every command in my Encore test projects, there is no GPRM (register) for streams in either DVD or BD. Instead, it immediately executes a setStream command which sets a system register.

It happens to work in DVD if you are lucky, because DVD does not change the system registers when executing a track with only one audio or with no subtitles. This behavior may differ on different players. Unfortunately Blu-ray players always wipe out the system registers. For DVD, Encore uses only a total of 2 of the 16 registers. For Blu-ray, it uses seven of the 4096 registers.

Nothing significant has changed from CS3 to CS4, except a small number of navigation bugs were fixed.

Regards,

Larry Applegate
http://blustreak.dvdafteredit.com


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Joe Bowden
Re: Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 20, 2009 at 3:53:22 am

Nice of you to provide more info on this, Larry.

I'm definitely a seeing = believing type of fellow, so I'll have to check this sometime from my black box perspective. I do recall that this has worked in the past on several players, at least in the manner I outlined in my replies to the OP - so I'm having difficulty accepting that it doesn't work when it contradicts my memory. I'm sure you understand!



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Joe Bowden
Re: Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 21, 2009 at 4:32:50 pm

Larry, I finally got a chance to check this using Encore CS4 vers. 4.0.1.048.

I set up my project with a First Play title menu with a Play button linked to a timeline with three audio and subtitle tracks and Audio/Subtitle button linked to a audio/subtitle selection menu that changes either audio, subtitles, or both.

The audio/subtitle buttons are linked back to themselves, but change only the active audio or subtitle track, returning to the same menu/button selection. There is also a button linked to the title menu.

When I test this in a couple of different DVD players, here is the workflow I followed:

1. After First Play menu comes up, activate the Audio/Subtitle button - this takes me to the audio/subtitle selection menu.
2. Click a subtitle button to select subtitle track 3
3. Click an audio button to select audio track 2
4. Click the button linked to the title menu
5. Click the Play button


The selected audio and subtitle tracks play with the timeline.

I can go back to the Audio/Subtitle menu and change the active subtitle and/or audio tracks, go back to the title menu and play the timeline, and my selection carries through. I tested this on two different players.

I don't know how to square my findings with yours, but this is working for me.

Regards,
Joe




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Brecht Wouters
Re: Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 21, 2009 at 4:44:13 pm

Giving each timeline the same number of audio and subtitle tracks works for me as well..

Thanks a lot!


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Joe Bowden
Re: Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 21, 2009 at 5:05:46 pm

Glad to help, Brecht!



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Larry Applegate
Re: Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 21, 2009 at 6:04:58 pm

Hi Joe,

Did you do it for Blu-ray?

Regards,

Larry Applegate
http://blustreak.dvdafteredit.com


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Joe Bowden
Re: Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 21, 2009 at 7:11:56 pm

Hi Larry,

No, my experiment was authoring to DVD from Encore - which is what Brecht (the OP of this thread) was also doing. I would not be surprised if this same scenario does not work when building to Blu-ray from Encore, but I haven't tried that.

Anyway, that is why I found your earlier assertion that it would not work in DVDs authored from Encore a bit disconcerting - I thought I recalled that this had worked for DVD, and my experiment as well as Brecht's feedback would seem to confirm it.

Regards,
Joe



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Larry Applegate
Re: Set-up menu for Subtitles and Audiotracks
on Jul 21, 2009 at 8:05:06 pm

Hi Joe,

BluStreak Premaster is currently a Blu-ray product only, and I apologize if I have been focusing on Blu-ray to the exclusion of DVD. Yes, even my Encore tests with DVD worked perfectly for stream selection. My main point should have been that relying on Encore method of issuing the setStream commands immediately imposes authoring restrictions, is more difficult for the author, and more subject to authoring or player playback error.

From my current tests, your work-around does not work for Blu-ray. I will investigate further and intend to post a definitive analysis on our web site when our tests are complete.



Regards,

Larry Applegate
http://blustreak.dvdafteredit.com


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