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Evaluating DVDLabPro: Can't you preview entire DVD without writing?

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Jupiter
Evaluating DVDLabPro: Can't you preview entire DVD without writing?
on May 5, 2006 at 12:51:53 pm

I am in the process of selecting a professional DVD Authoring tool for under $1000. DVDLabPro seems to be highly recommended (compared to Adobe Encore or DVDit.) One question: In DVDLabPro, can't you preview your entire DVD along with the menus without the need to actually writing the entire DVD into a Volume folder? Given that Adobe Encore can easily do this and is considered to be only a fraction of DVDLabPro, I am assuming, I am doing something wrong. Please help! Thanks for your input.


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George W.
Re: Evaluating DVDLabPro: Can't you preview entire DVD without writing?
on May 5, 2006 at 6:48:36 pm

Unfortunately, you can't do a DVD "Preview" of the entire project...

However, you can do a couple of things to test your DVD

1) You can compile the project, and check the option to do a "Test Compile" -- it will build your DVD quickly using dummy placeholders for your video assets

2) You can use the builtin VM Debugger -- this steps through all the VM Code and Menus, so you can test your commands to see if they work properly

Regards,
George


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Jupiter
Re: Evaluating DVDLabPro: Can't you preview entire DVD without writing?
on May 6, 2006 at 2:22:13 am

Thanks, George. That is definitely a drawback from my perspective. Does anyone know Encore 2.0 compares to DVDLabPro? I have just used Encore 1.5 and DVDLabPro surely has some features like prebuilt transition menus that Encore does not have... Has Encore 2.0 caught up?


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eric
Re: Evaluating DVDLabPro: Can't you preview entire DVD without writing?
by
on May 6, 2006 at 3:33:16 pm

Hi Jupiter

It all really depends on what kind of authoring your going to be doing. Why do you feel DVDLab would be better positioned to author DVDs? Are you going to use alot of scripting? What exactly are you going to author. Games? Reels? Feature Films?

Encore is great for most work - and it has a built in preview. But DVDlab provides more access to the DVD spec like writing and extracting values from GPRMs and SPRMs. Ask yourself whats more important.


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Jupiter
Re: Evaluating DVDLabPro: Can't you preview entire DVD without writing?
on May 7, 2006 at 2:31:44 am

Thanks, Eric. I need to author documentaries and educational discussions containing subtitles and multiple language tracks. DVD authoring is important for me as my menus will have a lot of text information. I have started looking outside of Encore 1.5 for the following reasons:

1. I cannot seem to get "true" professional quality menus with nice transitions, etc. using Encore. I get blackouts (even on the DVD player) when I transition from a first play message to the actual menu, during "tediously" created transition menus. However, I do like the interface of Encore and its integration with Photoshop.

2. For some reason, the text in my menus never comes out looking sharp on the screen...getting jagged edges. I have experimented with different colors, shadows on the text, etc. but I have not had much success. The text is not bad but not like I have seen in professional DVDs. Part of this I guess is my inexperience but I certainly think a DVD Authoring software should be able to create better looking text for the screen without guess work.

3. I am evaluating both Premiere (soley for the integration aspects) and Avid for editing and hence if I go the Avid route, then I don't want to buy Encore standalone for $499...I don't think it is worth that price.

I can't see any need right now for scripting, etc. -- I just need a package that can create true professional quality DVDs.

Thanks. Your thoughts will be much appreciated.


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eric
Re: Evaluating DVDLabPro: Can't you preview entire DVD without writing?
by
on May 7, 2006 at 3:40:23 am

Transitions are tricky to do and better left to spec level authoring tools - The reason your getting a black is because the player must "switch" from one domain to another.

There are some great books on creating menus for DVD - do a google search.
Dont rely on a authoring app to do menus. This kind of work should be done in Photoshop or another graphics program.

Authoring DVDs is like any other part of production - editing, shooting, writing ect. Trail and error is a must - keep at it and good luck.

If your serious check out these books:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1578200822/qid=1146973147/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0071423966/qid=1146973190/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_...


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Jupiter
Re: Evaluating DVDLabPro: Can't you preview entire DVD without writing?
on May 7, 2006 at 7:04:32 am

Thanks, Eric. I will surely check out the books you have referred.


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George W.
Re: Evaluating DVDLabPro: Can't you preview entire DVD without writing?
on May 8, 2006 at 10:07:36 pm

Just to add to your list of decision making questions...

I understand the upcoming DVDLab Pro 2.0 has a bunch of new features that will make it one of the top Authoring packages on the PC (imho)

Some of the new features:
- More compatible slideshow - in full GOP instead of I-frame
- Mega-Project with disk caching - this will cache data during designing into disk which will allow user to create project with huge amount of menus without windows crying for memory. With Mega-Project you can now create up to 640 menus per VTS!
- Each menu can have up to 30 cells inside where each cell can have its own set of buttons and other parameters.
- Smart Compile will recompile only the changed menu parts and keep the video vobs from previous compile. This way you can recompile menu changes within a minute!
- Multi-PGC title. The Segment Title has been now redone to a full Multi-PGC title. (Each segment in a Multi-PGC Title can now have its own pre and post commands)
- Audio Title can show new slide on each mark
- Pre and Post verificaton log
- Multiple Angles
- Buttons on Movies (Each chapter can have different buttons)
- Faster transition encoding
- native 24p support (Note: this is not 23.97 with pulldown)
- Simpler to use and more robust audio transcoder - can transcode any audo file for which you have codec
- Subviews in Conections - place certain project objects to a freely definable subview (up to 9 subviews) so you can work with them separate from the main


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shvr
Re: Evaluating DVDLabPro: Can't you preview entire DVD without writing?
by
on May 9, 2006 at 2:52:38 pm

Don't dismiss DVDit Pro from Sonic... it's not the same Program as the old DVDit. This is what DVD Producer has evolved to and it comes bundled with eDVD, which quite a nice package for 400.00.

Check it out here:
http://www.sonic.com/products/Professional/dvdit/dvditPro/quicklook.aspx

I just upgraded from DVD producer and I find this program extremely easy to use and powerful.

Hope that helps





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