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DVD Lab Pro - Menu loop points and linking

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R. D. Hamilton
DVD Lab Pro - Menu loop points and linking
on Sep 20, 2007 at 4:25:00 am

I have a huge DVD project on the go at the moment with a lot of interactivity.

One question before I explain....this will solve all my problems easily...How the heck to you render 704x480 aspect from after effects. I have tried every way possible (well, probably not) and DVD Lab Pro sees it as 720x480. The problem lies in the fact that all my menu animations from After Effects are interpreted as 720x480, but the actual DVD videos I have are 704x480. DVD Lab pro gives me an warning that I have different video sizes and it may not play on some players. There are going to be 500,000 copies made of this, so there can't be a chance like that. (The DVD videos were recorded directly from our uncompressed editing system to a real-time DVD recorder...then extracted for use in DVD Lab Pro - a very nice workflow I might add. Although all the files extract as 704x480...there is no option in the extraction software to change this)

Problem Solving question #2...(and the original post question I came here with :) ...I solved everything by making the menu animations happen as motion menus, rather than movie clips...which makes everything work great...except that playlists won't return to any menu except the root menu for some reason. Fine, so I created the main menu animation as a solid piece, then set a loop point using cells. Everything is perfect except now every time you hit the menu button to go to the main menu, you have to watch the whole intro every time.

What shall I do?

(Sorry for the long post...there are a few options methinks)


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eric
Re: DVD Lab Pro - Menu loop points and linking
by
on Sep 20, 2007 at 5:57:06 am

704x480 (NTSC) is supported by the spec but I believe DVDLab may only support 720x480 (NTSC). Some players don't support 704x480 anyway. You might want to do some searching in the manual. What were you using to extract the MPEGs? And what video recorder were you using, at what bitrate?

If your After Effect comps are 720x480 that's what you need your mpeg streams to be as well. In addition, there are much better encoders out there than going to an outboard set top recorder - some under $60.00.

You need to seriously reconsider your work flow IMO. To make things worse check out the quote on DVD-Labs' website:

"Is This Software Recommended for Commercial Project?:

It is strongly recommended that professionals who are getting paid for their commercial work use a commercial grade software. There are few industry standards for making DVD's such as Sonic Scenarist or Apple DVD Studio Pro.
While nobody will stop you from using our low-cost solutions for commercial projects, it is not advisable. Once you invest a lot of money and time into making your commercial project, it doesn't make sense to suddenly go "low-cost" on the last, but equally important step such as authoring DVD


http://www.mediachance.com/dvdlab/dvdlabfaq.html

If the designers of the tool are saying this then I would listen :)


To answer your second question DVD-Lab is not a spec level tool. Something like targeting a loop point can't be done. Its the same way with DVDSP. Think about making a duplicate menus without the intro and target that with your menu button.


Not to sound like a jerk (really) :) But if your going to have half a million units made, I would strongly consider going to someone who really knows the ins and outs of DVD. Someone (maybe you) is putting up alot of money and this needs to be done right.

Good Luck

Eric


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eric
Re: DVD Lab Pro - Menu loop points and linking
by
on Sep 20, 2007 at 6:18:09 am

Since the cow doesn't have an EDIT BUTTON! I must correct something I said. I should have said DVD-Lab and DVDSP can't target a loop point DIRECTLY like in a spec tool.

PLEASE don't use DVD-Lab for a 500,000 unit job!! DON'T DO IT! - Especially if the designers urge the same!!


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R. D. Hamilton
Re: DVD Lab Pro - Menu loop points and linking
on Sep 20, 2007 at 2:52:09 pm

I am using DVD Lab Pro because I was recommended it by someone on here. I normally use Adobe Encore to author DVD's. This particular job, however, required an interactive, random multiple choice quiz. When the user answers 8 in a row correctly, they are taken to a secret menu with a code that they can then enter in a website to win prizes.

The only options I saw at the time were DVDLab Pro, and DVD Studio Pro. I needed a PC based software, and it wasn't in the budget to by a mac just for the project. We are a small production company and the budget on the job isn't super huge. The client just wants a disc that they then can take and get replicated.

Can you tell me what it is that makes the software not so great? I have used it for a few projects and have had absolutely no problems with it (other than you can't preview a disc).


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Abraham
Re: DVD Lab Pro - Menu loop points and linking
on Oct 9, 2007 at 10:49:48 pm

The COW now has an edit button - after you post - click on your post (not the thread) and right below your post there will be an edit button. This is only available for 30 minutes after you have posted and before someone replies to the post.

Take care,


Abraham


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R. D. Hamilton
Re: DVD Lab Pro - Menu loop points and linking
on Sep 20, 2007 at 3:06:01 pm

Regarding the workflow...We use a panasonic real-time DVD recorder. On play back the video looks just as good as it did playing right from the edit system. The recorder can record at 10 mbps. PGC Demux is used to extract an m2v video file and an ac3 audio file.

Where lies the problem in this workflow?

Also DVD-Lab pro does recognize 704x480 video. But I can't seem to render files from After Effects as 704x480.


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eric
Re: DVD Lab Pro - Menu loop points and linking
by
on Sep 20, 2007 at 3:34:42 pm

In After Effects you can change the size of your comp. All DVD design needs to be 720x480 (4x3) - they need to be rendered out 720x480. Do not use 1/2 D1 resolutions!

I can say 10mb/s is way too high. Depending on how much video your looking at 7 is about right - but it all depends on your job

Look around for a free bitrate analyzer to make sure your bitrates aren't high.

DVD-Lab is a great tool and nothing comes close to it in features for the price on a PC. However, it hasn't been tested the way professional tools are. The DVD-Lab staff even tells you this..

DVD authoring needs to be done with the myriad of players in mind existing worldwide. Some are good, some are bad. When you author, you need to do so in way that reduces that incompatibility ratio. This means using a proven tool and following certain steps. Just because it plays fine on your set top doesn't mean it will on others. Again, don't take this the wrong way, but your going about this incorrectly based on your posts.

I strongly urge you to get some professional DVD advice before continuing. I don't mean to scare you but there's much on the line here. You may be OK in the end...but maybe you won't. But the 704 x 480 needs to go out the window...just for get those number..PLEASE! 720x480 throughout your workflow.

I may have been the one to suggest DVD-Lab to you but I would never do that if I knew what was at stake here.

Also if you go to replication..get a check disc of the run first before moving on .

Good Luck





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eric
Re: DVD Lab Pro - Menu loop points and linking
by
on Sep 20, 2007 at 3:56:08 pm

Also, there are place you can go to have your build testing before replication. Here's one:

http://www.dvdverification.com/

Trai can get you some more insight on how compliant their builds are.

I, myself have done no testing on DVD-Lab builds but when the makers of the tool tell you to use something else for professional work (especailly a job where 500,000 units will be pressed) - I would listen!


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R. D. Hamilton
Re: DVD Lab Pro - Menu loop points and linking
on Sep 20, 2007 at 4:11:44 pm

I always render everything I do for DVD at 720x480.

If I am using encore I use the real-time DVD recorder to capture at 10 mbps to minimise loss when Encore transcodes the video. In this case, since DVD Lab doesn't transcode the video I used a lower bitrate setting on the recorder. DVD Lab reports the files as being 8 mbps. Although I will get a bitrate analyzer to check for sure.

704x480 is exactly the same as 720x480 except for 8 pixels cropped on either side, is it not?


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eric
Re: DVD Lab Pro - Menu loop points and linking
by
on Sep 20, 2007 at 4:25:38 pm

Thats correct...I;m not sure why your set top recorder is giving you 704x480? Don't use these in your project. You MPEG should be 720x480 along with your menus.



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R. D. Hamilton
Re: DVD Lab Pro - Menu loop points and linking
on Sep 20, 2007 at 4:34:07 pm

Yeah, that brings me back to my original problem. My menus are all 720x480, as well as all the animations. There are a couple video clips that are 704x480. DVD Lab will mix them, but recommends not to. I will find a different way to encode these few clips.

Thanks


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R. D. Hamilton
Re: DVD Lab Pro - Menu loop points and linking
on Sep 20, 2007 at 5:14:30 pm

One more question. Why is 704x480 so bad? Everything I have read says that it is a DVD standard, and really no different than 720x480.


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eric
Re: DVD Lab Pro - Menu loop points and linking
by
on Sep 20, 2007 at 9:59:05 pm

Not thats it's bad but mixing different resolutions from menu to titles and vice versa is not good. I also understand some players balk at this frame resolutions.

My main concern is the amount of money involved, the tools and techniques your using and if you feel OK about using a tool which the designers say shouldn't be used for anything other than home use :)

No authoring app is perfect and I've only used DVD-Lab once to check out it's abstraction layer but based on that comment from them I see "zero" chance of using it in a professional environment.



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