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Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?

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Marc Brown
Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 1:36:57 am

This is frustrating. All I want to do is have Encore generate a disc which plays my motion menu and turns the buttons on after about six seconds.

What Encore is doing is creating two separate menu streams: One with the menu in full, and another which begins six seconds into the menu, where the buttons are supposed to turn on.

I wouldn't have much of a problem with this waste, were it not for the fact that when the menu actually plays from disc, it switches to the shorter menu stream once it reaches six seconds and the buttons turn on. The consequences of this are what you'd expect: The video pauses for a second while the player (PS3 in this case) gets its bearings. The PS3 also brings up the little "play" triangle in the lower-left corner, indicating that it has begun a new video.

Now.. I have made quite a number of DVDs in the past, all of which used motion menus. DVDs can play a single menu stream, turn on buttons after a few seconds, and loop, all without having to create a second stream just to achieve the effect.

What is going on with Encore, here? HOW can I keep this from happening? This ruins the menu.


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Joe Bowden
Re: Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 5:04:27 am

Are you authoring to DVD or Blu-ray?



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Marc Brown
Re: Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 5:41:33 am

This is Blu-ray. Although the two are effectively interchangeable in Encore. The DVD format certainly doesn't exclusively possess the rudimentary capability of delaying the activation of buttons.


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Larry Applegate
Re: Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 7:39:48 am

I can confirm this is exactly what happens with Blu-ray.

Regards,

Larry Applegate
http://blustreak.dvdafteredit.com


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Marc Brown
Re: Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 8:01:23 am

> I can confirm this is exactly what happens with Blu-ray.

I'm going to tentatively conclude that this means the menu button / loop point issue is an undocumented limitation of Encore's Blu-ray implementation, and that there is no workaround.

If that's the case, then color me astonished. Does nobody create menus for their Blu-ray projects? This problem would pop up the first time anyone used a loop point for any reason whatsoever. The menu pauses and the player starts a new video, with all the unwanted consequences that entails. It would be difficult to fail to notice such a phenomenon, particularly since anyone working with Blu-ray is probably giving image quality / integrity a high priority.

What makes this episode particularly disgusting - besides the fact that there is literally no way, in this particular case, for me to rework my menu to rescue all that effort - is that anyone who knows about this rather sad hidden limitation could save some disc space by changing their flowchart:

Full menu -> chapter 1

to

Menu intro -> rest of menu -> chapter 1

The stupid pause between "menu intro" and "rest of menu" would still be there, but at least Encore would not wastefully render almost the entire menu twice and then use only the first bit of one of those streams on the actual disc.


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Larry Applegate
Re: Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 8:30:53 am

Hi Marc,

Actually if you did this, you might not notice the pause because the disc would not have to seek past the unwanted duplicate video.


Regards,

Larry Applegate
http://blustreak.dvdafteredit.com


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Joe Bowden
Re: Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 2:07:53 pm

[Marc Brown] "This is Blu-ray. Although the two are effectively interchangeable in Encore."

That may be the view from the application user interface, but beneath the hood, the formats are of course quite different.

This doesn't happen when authoring a DVD from Encore, so it would appear to be a limitation of Encore's current Blu-ray implementation.

Your workaround is probably the preferred workflow, until this is addressed by Adobe. I'd recommend you call Tech Support or go to Adobe's web site and enter a bug in their support section.



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Larry Applegate
Re: Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 10:03:59 pm

Joe, I must apologize, I misinterpreted what was right in front of me. My example project plays the full menu all the way through, and then linked to the second menu thereafter. So I did not see what Marc was describing, and the additional space was probably worth it to avoid a possible pause.

Marc, if you could mail me your BDMV folder or a similar sample, I would be very interested in examining the navigation.




Regards,

Larry Applegate
http://blustreak.dvdafteredit.com


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Joe Bowden
Re: Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 11:49:23 pm

Thanks for the update, Larry...I haven't worked with Blu-ray recently, so I haven't had a chance to confirm anything regarding motion menus.

I hope to jump back into Blu-ray authoring soon.



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Marc Brown
Re: Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?
on Jul 25, 2009 at 3:38:50 am

Okay. Currently scrambling to finish up the new iteration of the movie based on the recommendation to go ahead and split the menu into two chunks (I'll need it in-hand tomorrow), but once I've got that working, I'll reconstruct a project with a menu that gets split and played badly.

I may also try some experimentation. For example, what will Encore do if I devise a menu using an asset it flags as "don't transcode"? This one has already made me curious. You see, I've created a disc build using menu assets that I told Encore to "transcode now" prior to the build. So when Encore ultimately creates its two menu streams, what is it doing in order to create the shorter stream? Re-transcoding the already-transcoded video? Or is it referencing the raw original? Perhaps if Encore doesn't have the option of referencing a raw original, it will give me a disc which plays the menu fully once, as your experience happily (and frustratingly) suggests.


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Marc Brown
Re: Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?
on Jul 25, 2009 at 3:59:34 am

By the way, I just wanted to clarify a point.

You say it plays the full menu before switching to the shortened version. It may be that my discs are doing this also; it's impossible for me to know for certain without doing something like burning a BD-R which is missing the shorter menu stream, to see what happens. But it is still a fact that once my menu reaches the loop point these two things happen: It pauses for about a second, and once it finishes pausing, the "play" triangle (indicating the start of a new video, on the PS3) appears in the lower left. To me, these two phenomena clearly indicate a switch from the full menu stream to the shortened one.

So I guess what I'm wondering is whether or not you see any pauses or other things when your menu reaches the loop point, regardless of whether it's apparently still playing the main menu stream.


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Marc Brown
Re: Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?
on Jul 25, 2009 at 4:50:26 am

Just an update. I've just recently played my various builds on a software player. As a test, I temporarily removed the shorter menu stream. If Encore's build played the main menu stream fully before switching to the shortened version, then the software player should have proceeded without error. But the software player definitely didn't like having shortened menu stream gone: Once it got to the critical point where the buttons appear, it froze playback, as one would expect if it was attempting to switch to a new video.

So there you have it. There is no doubt that Encore is building the menu to switch to a new stream once the buttons appear.

Perhaps it has something to do with the nature of button creation? Keep in mind that I build my buttons from within Encore.


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Marc Brown
Re: Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?
on Jul 25, 2009 at 5:16:07 am

I've recently made an interesting observation. It seems that Encore does its "rendering menu" process, what it is producing every time, regardless of the encode settings or the desires of the user, is an .M2V file. With no audio. Is it a safe guess that it is then using this mpeg2 file to create its menu streams?

In any event, I'm currently making a new build, this time using a "don't transcode" menu asset. As I'm watching, the first stream it creates is 00000.m2ts, the full menu stream. Then it begins working on 00002.m2ts, the main video, apparently saving 00001.m2ts for the truncated menu. Anyway, it clearly did not prevent Encore from deciding it needs to make two menu streams.

I don't know what to say. I'll believe Encore can make a Blu-ray menu stream with buttons temporarily off when I see it with my own eyes.


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Larry Applegate
Re: Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?
on Jul 25, 2009 at 8:33:54 am

Hi Marc,

What I've seen so far is that Encore uses MPEG-2 to create still menus.My client used MPEG-2 entirely for his first replication, because he was not sure that AVC would be compliant for replication, and there was plenty of room on a single layer BD for a full-length movie with extras using MPEG-2.

His full project, and also the cut-down one he made for my testing, plays the first menu with the intro all the way through, then links to the 2nd menu, which follows the first, and plays seamlessly.

If you want to send me a sample, here is my mailing address. (The US mail does not deliver to my house).

Larry Appelgate
PO Box 1038
Lotus CA 95651


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Marc Brown
Re: Why does Encore create (and play) two different menu streams?
on Jul 25, 2009 at 9:02:36 am

Shrug. I already gave mpeg2 a whirl, thinking perhaps Encore was doing the dual stream thing exclusively with AVC material. I used the .M2V that encore itself generated (for no apparent reason) during a previous build. It still re-rendered the menu, and it still developed two menu streams.

I like how it says the disc is going to be ~700MB and then the result is double that, thanks to this undocumented flaw.


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