Impression doesn't burn my mp2
I use a Pinnacle Pro-ONE RTDV capture card, Adobe Premiere 6.5 and Impression DVD Pro.
A few weeks ago I have made an entire project and after sweating quite a bit I finally got a working DVD w/ multiple menus & chapters.
Roughly the working sequence is:
- Analog capture from my Hi8 camcorder -> AVI files in Premiere
(make sure each file is short, 5 min. approx., otherwise the audio is not in sync)
- Work w/ the AVI file if needed, cut, add effects etc. Let's say the file is called "Trial.avi".
- Export using Pinnacle mpeg 2 encoder (plug-in in Premiere). It creates 2 files "Trial.mp2" and "Trial.wav".
- Import these assets in Impression DVD Pro. (Add menus as needed).
In Impression, if I try to "burn" any of the MP2 files I made a few weeks ago, it works fine. However if I take the original AVI under Premiere and export it to an MP2 file again, the new file seem to work fine in Impression... until I try to burn it to a DVD image: it fails with an "unknown error".
Of course I tried to compare the "old" mp2 files and the "new" ones, using Premiere's "Properties" function. I see no difference. Exact same parameters for both Audio and Video.
I tried to revert to erase Premiere's preference file, then reverted to Premiere 6.0, reinstalled Pinnacle Pro-ONE and Impression DVD Pro... no difference!
Does anyone have an idea?
Not giving up, even after I wasted my entire day yesterday on this issue well I've been playing with computers for about 30 years now (I started before punched cards were in the main street) and I know 2 things: 1) Patience is a virtue 2) Computer are complex and thus not an exact science
So... I took one of the mp2 files that trigger an "unknown error" under Impression DVD Pro, and tried to burn it w/ Sonic MyDVD. It took me 5 minutes and worked w/o any problem.
Of course Impression gives me much more flexibility, I get motion menus, subtitles etc. So I'd still like to fix the problem. All hints are welcome!
Sorry this isn't a solution to your problem.
I have an Impression question though.
I have Impression SE. I am going to upgrade (about $200?) to the professional version, in a couple of weeks.
Is there any reason I should consider another package? Has anyone use the professional version AND another? Comparisons?
I should also call myself “always learning” – well it seems like we're all learning here, and more often than not we learn the hard way. I have learnt more useful stuff on this web site than anywhere else. Still, it's a steep and neverending learning curve.
I finally found my way through Impression DVD Pro, i.e. I definitely identified a bug that I can reproduce consistently, and (better) a workaround. Impression DVD is buggy. Motion menu are supposed to be supported, but with many documented (and also I suspect undocumented) issues, incl. playback compatibility issues with regular DVD players.
Pinnacle support is friendly, but I guess they're overwhelmed. No wonder, if developers release buggy software, the support guys can't fill the gap.
Last night I was wondering if I would abandon and switch to Sonic ReelDVD. I downloaded their 30-days trial version, and found it quite intuitive, powerful… and didn’t encounter a single bug. On this discussion forum I read a very interesting back & forth chat about both ReelDVD and Impression Pro.
Now that I have expressed my bad mood about Impression... let's get back to reality: ReelDVD is $1,000, while your upgrade to Impression DVD Pro would cost you $200. It doesn't compare.
ReelDVD would give you Dolby Digital audio. This means highly compressed, good quality stereo (so you can get a longer movie on one DVD). It does NOT mean 5.1.
And ReelDVD has a BIG drawback: you lose your chapter numbers when playing your DVD in the living room I can't believe that such a nice, apparently "bug-free" (I'm optimistic) software bears such a big flaw.
And ReelDVD doesn't support tru-color menus, only hilite menus. In spite of all bugs (which increase the production time quite a lot) Impression may well provide more authoring possibilities in the end.
You won't find a perfect authoring tool. Quite frankly for that level of price I expected much more professionally developed tools.
Question: why do you want to upgrade to Impression DVD Pro? What features are you looking for? Let me know, and I'll tell you if they work for real!
For instance, if you go "Pro" for motion menus, let me know if you can make them work... I haven't succeeded yet!
Good morning JP. Thanks for the reply.
I spent quite a few hours learning how to create buttons in Photoshop (ver.7.0). Once I got it figured out, I imported them into Impression SE. I was using a movie I exported from Premiere 6.5 to MPEG-2. It didn't take me but a few minutes to connect the buttons to chapter marks. I played it in Impression SE and it worked perfectly. Right on queue.... any chapter I clicked on... it was right there. I loved it.
Then I told it to burn to a DVD. HA!! SE won't burn chapters to a DVD! I thought that was the silliest thing I ever saw. Why not flash a window up that says, "go ahead, make my day. Put in chapters all day if you want. But you can't burn them to DVD."
So, I want to go up to Pro so I can do that. I also understand that I can have (8?) audio tracks? I'm not sure what that is good for though. I would do all of my audio/video work in Premiere and just use Impression for chapters and burning DVDs. ???
As always, AlwaysLearning
Now I remember why I was stuck w/ Impression SE and waited for my Pro upgrade to proceed. I had the same stupid chapter problem. I agree with you that it's plain stupid.
I confirm that Impression Pro does burn chapters all right. You absolutely want a user to confirm that a given feature works, because it seems like they confuse "customer" and "Beta-tester".
Well, well, maybe I'm just too sarcastic after all.
8 audiotracks and 32 subtitles tracks are the maximum supported by the DVD standard I believe. If you want to dubb your production in 7 languages, that's what you would use the 8 tracks for. Or maybe you want to have one in Dolby Digital and another one in DTS...
The 8 audiotracks are NOT meant for doing any mixing work between music and voice ot whatsoever (which you would do in Premiere indeed).
My bet is that you won't use more than 1 audiotrack, and this is why:
1) When you encode into MPEG2 from Premiere, you get your video file (.mp2 or .m2v or so, depending on the Codec you use) and you get your "plain" .wav audio file. This audiofile is huge: 1.536Mbps, to compare with typical MPEG2 video of 4 to 5 Mbps. This means that on your final DVD, about 75% of the data will be video vs. 25% audio... and that for only 1 audio track. If you want to dubb your movie in 8 languages in total, do the math... let's say video = 4.5 Mbps and 8 audio tracks = 8 x 1.536 = 12.3 Mbps. Each second of movie would take 12.3 + 4.5 = 16.8 Million bits.
A so called "4.7GB" DVD contains 4.7 Billion Bytes, i.e. 37.6 Billion bits. So on a DVD you would fit at best 2,238 seconds i.e. 37 minutes 30 seconds. That's a joke...
2) If you go to the Pinnacle web site (not on the Support side, on the front store where you can enjoy the marketing hype) they write that Impression DVD Pro supports Dolby Digital.
I wish it would be able to encode your wav file into a stereo dolby digital AC3 file, like ReelDVD does. What it does is roughly dividing by EIGHT the footprint of your audio, w/o losing much quality. Again, let's be fair w/ Pinnacle. Sonic ReelDVD is a $1,000 software so it's not an apple to apple comparison.
What Pinnacle means is that if you're the lucky owner of a Dolby Digital encoder, you can import .ac3 (smaller audio) files instead of (the huge) .wav files. How does it relate to the 8 audio tracks story? My point is that if you want to use 8 audio tracks like you (sometimes, but rarely) find on commercial DVD's, you'd better compress your audio big times with a fancy Dolby Digital AC3 encoder.
Yesterday I had a look on the web - little candid me thought that I could find a freeware or lowcost shareware, ha, ha. The cheapest usable encoder I found comes as a $300 plugin in Premiere (it's made by Minnetonka). What it delivers is stereo Dolby Digital encoding. If you want to play and have fancy 5.1 effects, that's another game, and you'll pay $1,000 minimum for a 5.1 encoder (and it won't be a plug-in in Premiere, but a standalone software. Even more expensive if there is hardware involved, if you want to be productive!).
By now you know that I'm not a concise guy . All of that was triggered by your little comment regarding what 8 audio tracks are good for. Bottom line for hobbyists: not very useful. I bet you won't use 32 subtitles either.
The sad bottom line: You are hostage of an unacceptable stupid bug in Impression SE. Your only way out is the costly upgrade to DVD Pro and you'll get your chapters burning to DVD all right.
For the same price you'll get 8 audio tracks & 32 subtitles that you don't really care about. And you'll also get the hope that you can do motion menus with buttons that work. If you succeed, please please tell me how. I have posted a question on Pinnacle support web site and hope they will be able to help.
By the way, just to share my recent painful experience (20 hours lost, reinstalling the whole stuff several times): If you have a Pinnacle capture card (I use Pro-ONE RTDV) and use Pinnacle's MPEG2 codec plugin for exporting from Premiere, they propose you to launch Impression automatically when the export is done.
This is a very stupid feature. Pinnacle support will recommend you to never ever run Premiere simultaneously with any other application, and never ever run Impression simultaneously with any other application. If you export from Premiere, then go work in Impression, then go back to Premiere and try doing another export, the Pinnacle MPEG2 Codec is messed up and will create a very vicious .mp2 file that may simulate well in Impression but will never ever be "muxed" if you try creating a DVD image file in Impression (or burning directly to DVD).
This stupid thing that is documented nowhere I believe drove me nuts during 10 days (OK, 10 evenings only. During the day I work). If I can avoid the same pain to you and all readers here, that's what this forum is all about! I may sound frustrated sometimes, but my intentions are good .
I have and use both ReelDVD and Impression Pro. They both have their pluses and minuses, but ReelDVD has a very intuitive interface and the ability to create fairly complex dvd's that you just can't do as easily, if at all, in Impression Pro. Impression Pro (IMO) tends to be quite buggy, but the latest version works much better than it's original release. ReelDVD on the other hand has been rock solid.
Most of my work is with dv/avi, so 2 channel stereo is just fine for 99% of what I do. The ac3 encoder with ReelDVD works well, and is reasonably fast (and you can encode multiple files sequentially unattended which is a major time saver). For the casual dvd creator, ReelDVD is overkill.
If you are going to use extra audio tracks, then I would agree that you need to have an ac3 encoder of some sort. Unless you are doing a lot of surround sound mixing, a 5.1 ch ac3 encoder is overkill. Acid Pro 4.0 has an add-on encoder that will do 5.1 and stereo ac3 for less than $500 is you look a bit online. You can get Acid Pro for much less than SOFO's listing. VegasVideo4+DVD Architect is also reasonably priced and comes with 5.1/2ch ac3 encoder.
Multiple audio tracks are often on commercial dvd's with an alternative language, director's commentary, etc. I have used it to have different background music mix for the same photo montage. With Impression Pro you can create a button on your menu that allows the user to change audio streams (can't do that with ReelDVD).
I have gotten motion menus to work in Impression Pro, but I find that menu creation for either still of motion menus is much more involved than with ReelDVD. I use ReelDVD for the lion's share of what I do, but there are some features that Imp Pro offers that I just can't do with ReelDVD that I still use it from time to time.
Now you make me curious! Can you help me on 2 things?
1) ReelDVD and Chapters
Do you confirm that the way ReelDVD handles titles & chapters has a big con, i.e. if you have menus and different clips "chained" together as a movie, and linked to buttons in the menus, there is no way you can get chapter numbers displayed on a regular set-top DVD player?
I know that for some people it may sound like a detail, but it's the kind of detail that makes me hesitate quite a bit before spending another $1,000 here...
2) Motion menus in Impression
Since Pinnacle support did not answer yet and you wrote that you were successful, here's the issue I encountered:
- I have created a simple Hilite menu with 2 buttons "Movie" and "Chapters". Each button has 3 states: normal state (#)Movie, selected state (@)Movie, and the last state when you click enter on the remote control is ()State - sorry I can't display the little circumflex hat here but as an Impression user I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.
- Since Impression is not able to display the normal state of the buttons in a motion menu, I have done the documented workaround i.e. superposing the image w/ the buttons directly on the movie.
- When I simulate my motion menu inside Impression, I see the (@)buttons obviously because they're part of the movie. No magic. When I select a button, I see its (#) state all right. When I press enter on the virtual remote control (or the mouse) I do NOT see the 3rd state. Weird...
- If I create an image file and simulate the DVD on the computer with Mediamatics, it works perfectly i.e. I can see the 3 states of each button.
- Now when I burn a DVD and play it on the set-top DVD player, I just have the normal state (again no magic, it's in the movie), but there is no way I can get the hotspots highlighted. The (@) state doesn't show, and the 3rd state doesn't show either.
- Another precision: The buttons do work, i.e. if I select blindly using the arrows of the remote control, the links operate as expected.
Do you have any clue what's going on here? Could it be a compatibility problem with my DVD player? Or did I miss an important step when making my motion menu?
I'll answer the questions as best as I can. You are correct in regards to ReelDVD. It puts everything into a single title set, and as such, can't display chapters and timecodes. Impression Pro puts your menus in a different title set than the video, so it can display chapters/timecodes. I personally don't find this much of an issue, but I know it's a bugaboo for many. My dvd player is inside a cabinet with small IR 'eyes' externally so the remote works. Since I can't even see my dvd player, the chapter/timecode issue is less of an issue. I disable the on screen display of info because I find it annoying. With that said, I know there are others that take issue with ReelDVD because of this limitation. Interestingly, my Apex player is able to display timecodes and chapters, but it is not a universally supported set top feature. The one way you can indeed have chapters and timecodes diplayed with ReelDVD is to have a single movie (which by default will be first play) with up to 99 chapters and the 'next' command not linked to anything (which is a requirement of the dvd specs if you want to have timecode displayed). You get a disc that will play a movie only (no menus), but you can jump to chapters.
As far as Impression is concerned, I'm not sure why you are experiencing the problems you have. It might indeed be your players interpretation of the disc/ifo created by Impression.
Many thanks, Jim. This is very helpful indeed. Now I can make a choice in "complete awareness" (well, almost ).
I'm editing family video as a hobby. I like the nice, well done stuff but spending $1,000 for fixing my motion menu issue is not a reasonable approach. At worst, I'll renounce to motion menus and that's it.
I agree with you that Impression is a bit buggy, but after sweating 20 hours on stupid bugs, I know the few ones that were the most severe for what I want to do, and I know the workarounds. In a way, now I'm all set and can be reasonably productive with Impression.
Preparing menus takes me a long time, but in a way that's part of the fun!
Thanks again for your answers.
You bring up a very interesting point I am now struggling with...
Using Premier and Impressions at the same time… I have had some very odd situations…
1)Videos viewable in Impressions, but cannot be seen live in Premier after working in Impressions. The movie plays, but in the preview window, you must click on the source window and only one frame will show up in the movie preview window. Nothing I can do about this.
2)I get a ton of MUX: audio error messages when burning DVD in Impressions Pro. I have tried to change the sampling rate of my audio files down to save space, but this has never produced a burnable DVD image. No answer from Pinnacle why or if allowed… any hints?
3)Trying to create a DVD image but when I have different audio file types… forget about it. Are these limits really part of the product or are they bugs?
Like you I find the product provides many great features, but I am getting very tired of doing Q/A and finding bugs every step of the way.
Any help on these issues and can you give a verbose outline of some major issues you found.. OK, maybe not verbose! Ha ha.
Since I'm actually a beginner in video NLE, I don't have the deep knowledge for providing satisfying explanations. I started only a few weeks ago! That said, I'll give you pragmatic answers:
Can Premiere and Impression run simultaneously?
Never ever try doing that. To be safe, never run Premiere or Impression simultanesouly with ANY other app. It is proven that it messes up either Premiere and/or Pinnacle's stuff (i.e. Impression and some of the Pinnacle plug-ins running in Premiere). Pinnacle MPEG2 export plug-in has a very stupid feature i.e. you can check the box opening Impression automatically (of course, leaving Premiere open). That mouse-trap has created a nightmare situation for Pinnacle support guys, let alone users like us, who will struggle for hours and wonder what they're doing wrong, until they can get it straight from Pinnacle support.
Can I reduce my Audio sampling rate to save some space?
It is safe not to do so!
Again I don't have the deep knowledge to explain why. If you got 16bit 48kHz material, keep it like this end to end, from your DV capture to your final DVD. Don't mix up different rates either. For instance it is clearly recommended that if you intend to mix assets coming from DV and from analog (e.g. Hi8 camcorder) you should make sure that you capture from your analog source using the DV set up. Browse through Adobe Premiere help files and you will see that clear warning. If you mix up settings you will run into compatibility problems... which you did, according to your question!
Fine, so how do I save space?
Funny, I wondered about the same thing, and came to that conclusion:
First, I will follow the recommendations I've seen all over the place on this educational forum [thanks videoguys!]: Do not capture and burn DVD's with the "top quality". For the capture I have no choice, it's "100% quality" and I cannot access the parameter. Where I can make the right choices (I assume it will take some trials & errors and a few DVD's wasted in the process) is in the MPEG2 export settings. My next trials will be around 4Mbps for the video. I used 6Mbps average so far, and it's probably too much.
For the audio, it's an easy call: I would love to put a 2 hours movie on a DVD. As a hobbyist, how much do I want to pay for that? And how important is that? You can have blank DVD-R's for $0.67, so is it that much of a problem if you're limited to 1 hour, or 80 minutes, or whatever?
If you really need or want to shrink your audio, I guess that the AC3 encoder (Dolby Digital Stereo, not necessarily 5.1) is the right answer. Back to the fundamental question: How crucial is the problem? Is it a "must have" or a "nice to have"? How much do you accept to pay for it?
I hope this (somewhat) answers your questions!
The dvd specs require the audio to be 48 khz/16 bit. Anything other than that will not be accepted.
You can not mix audio types or even bitrate for a particular stream. If you have PCM wave file with your first video asset occupying the first audio stream--every other asset must have PCM wave audio occupying the first stream, and so on.
To save space, you will need an ac3 encoder. If you don't have one, then about one hour of high quality mpeg2 video is about all you will fit on a disc. AC3 files are about an eighth of the size of a wave file, which allows for more room for video content.
Thanks that helps....
I have read a lot about these issues in the last week and just shake my head... who said things get easier when you get more capable products.
Why do they not support JPEG, why does it require all assets to be the same, OK the constraints force you to know what you are doing, but that is NOT how you expand your market... by making it difficult to enter and accomplish tasks.
I will not start Impressions anymore from Premiere! I have found that sometimes it requires a reboot after I do a long session in Impressions too! Maybe I should get three computers... one for editing, one for authoring the other for capturing.
I have not however mastered the concept of producing lesser quality video’s for VHS movies to DVD… what I read was confusing in that it makes no sense for VHS recorded video to be authored to DVD with lower quality to get better output quality. By the way, on Export -> timeline -> Movie, I do not have setting access to the Quality field, but I do have access to the frame rate and frame size. So can someone summarize this solution… So far comparing my video output from Premier of recorded S-VHS movies is about the same as played from the VCR. I use 29.97 and 100% quality (no choice). Also for producing DVDs for play in a DVD player on TV, should I be selecting 4:3 format vs. the default 720x480.
Hey does anyone have a full-page magnifying glass with a light… Yes I just turn 40, but my wife just started laughing out loud when she saw me trying to read the Impressions manuals 6-point font at night in bed…. All of their documentation group must be under 30…. This is funny, but if it was to save money? I would be very dissapointed and those who made these decisions.
No 40s jokes please!
I like these products and no they are probably the best feature wise in the market, But.... I waste a lot of time and I do not have much to waste so projects are taking a week vs. a single day as I expected! I use to use nero 5.5 and could produce simple things in minutes. Yea with lots of limits, but why can someone just start with that type of base and significantly improve on that!
Impressions Pro 2.2.1
P4, 1.7 GHz, 720 RAM, 120 GB, Win2000Pro
I'm almost 44 so you don't risk 40's jokes from me . Still have good enough eyes for reading the tiny font in the Impression manual - but the on-line help is probably the way to go.
Agree with you about software marketing: It's way more efficient for a software vendor to develop & market a simple, user-friendly product, addressing only "80%" of common needs, and build up from there, rather than doing it the other way around i.e. develop a complex product, high-end but expensive & w/ tough learning curve... and then fight to simplify it and sell it to "everybody".
Either we're unfair and we under-estimate the complexity of DVD authoring products (???) or indeed it is not that complicated an application and when you spend let's say $500 for it you expect it to be intuitive, user-friendly and very well tested (I didn't write bug-free but I was thinking it loud).
Now I'll share a secret with you: In spite of all the pain I had because of running Premiere & Impression simultaneously... I still start Impression from Premiere!!! No, I'm not nuts (well I hope not) and this is why I do it:
Setting chapter marks in Impression is not precise. Same problem if you want to select a frame and make a thumbnail by the way. It's so buggy that the best they could do is getting rid of the feature, since you can do it w/ total accuracy from Premiere.
So I prefer putting Markers on the timeline in Premiere, and transform them into chapters inside Impression but for this I have to launch Impression from Premiere.
The lesson that costed me 20 hours of tearing my hair out has been well taken though: Once I have launched Impression from Premiere, I know that I should go back to Premiere for no reason. If I want to modify anything in Premiere, I close Impression, and Premiere, and then I restart Premiere (which may take 30 seconds, but who cares at this point?).
I think the problem lies with programs trying to bridge the gap between entry level authoring (MyDVD, iDVD, SpruceUp) and the high end applications (Scenarist, DVDMaestro). On the entry level end, most of the complex code required of the dvd specs is 'hidden' from the user to make it reasonably straight forward and relatively cheap (~$100 or so). The other end of the spectrum (at least on the PC side of things) allows access to all, or nearly all, that the dvd spec will allow. It comes at greater 'cost'--much more complex, and bigger bucks (like $20K!!). Impression Pro, ReelDVD, DVD Workshop, DVD-Architect, etc are the in-betweeners. They attempt to offer more options like motion menus and ac3 audio support, yet fall way short of the upper end of the spectrum. Because they allow the user the ability to do more, the complexity of what the program is trying to offer makes it harder to 'shield' the user from the complexity of the dvd spec/code. Some of these programs do it better than others. Most of them assume some working knowledge of the dvd specs, and a thorough review of the chapters in these program's manuals on acceptable formats and file specs is a must to avoid a lot of headaches. If the dvd spec standards aren't rigidly followed, there would be little chance that dvd set top player manufacturers could make players that handle any number of aberrant file types.
Each of the in-betweener programs has their +'s and -'s, and it depends a bit on what you want to with dvd creation as to which one 'fits' best. Impression Pro (IMO) is somewhat buggy, but offers some features you can't find unless you fork out a lot more cash (like audio stream or subtitle stream activation via a menu button, or web linking or launching of programs during playback with mini-dvd creations). ReelDVD fits into the prosumer/corporate product category, and for that reason is a bit more expensive. You can probably find it for ~$850, and if you consider that is has an ac3 2channel encoder to boot, the price point is not too bad. DVD-Architect requires you to buy VV4 (only a bundled product), but comes with a 5.1 and 2 channel ac3 encoder.
PS I'm unfortunately in the 40+ club as well--I split the difference between you to.
Thanks Jim! Great high-level view of the competitive landscape of authoring products. Put in perspective, Impression is not bad after all! I don't like the long trial & error process to get things done, but I trust that I'll be happy with the result at the end.
PS - I have to disagree: I see nothing unfortunate in being in the 40+ club
When you re-export the video from Premiere are you giving it the same name as the original? If so, I think when you imported the original asset into Impression it created a .toc file of the same name. When you re-export using the same name, the original .toc is unchanged. I simply erase the original .toc and Impression should re-import the new asset ok.
You're absolutely right, it's one of the traps I have fallen into . Even after I figured that out, I still had the problem.
Taking account of what you just said, the right recipe for avoiding (some of the numerous possible) problems consists of:
- Never open Premiere and Impression together.
- If you did, then close both and reopen Premiere.
- If for any reason you have to re-export the same movie from Premiere's timeline, think about deleting the .toc file and reimport into Impression.
I'm trying to learn the repeatable way to make DVD's w/o problems. I feel close to the objective, just not completely there yet!