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Best Prosumer DVD Authoring Software?

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Bob Pendergrast
Best Prosumer DVD Authoring Software?
on Sep 14, 2009 at 3:12:44 am

Sorry if this is a common question, but I’d like to get some advice on the best choice for prosumer to professional level DVD authoring software (aside from Encore, as I’ve heard it’s the buggiest of the lot). I’m planning to have animated menus and transitions prepared from various Adobe Creative Suite programs, and since I’m assembling a studio demo reel, I’d need easy support for arranging multiple submenus. I can work on either a PC or a Mac, and the budget is negotiable, but not too extravagant.

I’ve done a fair amount of homework already, but have hit the point where everything starts to blend together. All that’s left are a few lingering doubts on each title, which I’m hoping some of you could confirm or allay.

Sonic’s Scenarist seems a little too high-end and pricey, while DVD-Lab Pro 2.0 seems a little too bare bones (though it does boast some Photoshop integration, which is ideal). I’m a little unclear on whether Sony's Vegas Pro 9 is strictly a video editing program, or can create full DVD project files for Architect to then burn. Apple’s DVD Studio Pro 4 seems like it might have all that I’m looking for, as does Roxio’s DVDit Pro, but I’m not sure what exactly distinguishes them from one another.

Any thoughts or definitive yays and nays would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


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Jon Geddes
Re: Best Prosumer DVD Authoring Software?
on Sep 14, 2009 at 1:34:21 pm

You might want to reconsider Encore as I recommend it for our Motion Menu template products. I have experience using most of the prosumer programs, and for what you will be using it for, Encore will work well.

I will admit it does have plenty of bugs, but I have found there is a solution to getting around just about all of them. I have designed a workflow to use with our Pro Motion Menu Kits that gets around these bugs, and provide a complete walkthrough video tutorial of authoring a Blu-ray / DVD from start to finish. This tutorial is available to everyone for free from the tutorial section of our website.

I have posted a blog that goes over all the bugs we encountered and solutions for each and every one:

http://www.precomposed.com/blog/2009/05/encore-tutorial/

Jon Geddes
http://www.precomposed.com


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Emre Soyak
Re: Best Prosumer DVD Authoring Software?
on Oct 22, 2009 at 3:28:07 pm

Hey john.
I just wanted to thank you for providing this priceless contribution. 5 minutes ago i had no idea what i can do with encore or how to author dvds. Now with your tuts and videos , i have an idea of the possiblites.

Now i can work on my school project with a broader vision.
Thanks alot again


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eric pautsch
Re: Best Prosumer DVD Authoring Software?
on Sep 14, 2009 at 8:49:57 pm

Why would you think DVD Lab is too bare bones? Its not at all. Personally I think you should hire someone who does DVD instead of buying and learning a software package especially where motion menus and transition are involved. I think you'll find it hard to find someone who will disagree that DVDSP is the most full featured tool on a Mac.



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Bob Pendergrast
Re: Best Prosumer DVD Authoring Software?
on Sep 14, 2009 at 10:06:41 pm

I'd read that since DVD-Lab is made by a smaller company, support can be limited. And that there's no built-in feature to preview your DVD as it would look in a DVD player. Is any of that an exaggeration? I'd also read that it doesn't re-compress or re-encode anything, but ideally, I'd have all that sorted out beforehand anyway.

The menus and transitions will all be produced by our in-house artists, and we're looking to invest in a DVD software that we'll (eventually) become fluent enough in to integrate into various productions. I find some amount of solace in knowing that I'll be surrounded by professionals who kind of know what they're doing.

Thanks Eric!


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eric pautsch
Re: Best Prosumer DVD Authoring Software?
on Sep 14, 2009 at 10:45:43 pm

Yes...small company but robust tool! Some of the best tools ever were created by one or 2 people. :) There's not a simulation tool in any DVD program which will replicate true playback from a disc...they are only guides to help. It doesn't have one true, but it makes up for it on performance vs. price. The only thing that would be compare would be Scenarist (which is a spec tool)

Personally I think you should go with FCP Studio and be done with it! You don't use FCP in your current work flows??!! Eeek!!! :) Getting harder and harder to find video companies who don't use FCP and/or Avid these days.



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Bob Pendergrast
Re: Best Prosumer DVD Authoring Software?
on Sep 15, 2009 at 1:29:03 am

We're actually planning on getting set up with Final Cut Pro to begin with, which is why DVD Studio Pro is tentatively at the top of my list.

Though it's definitely interesting to note that DVD-Lab is seen as being so comparable to Scenarist, which is pretty top of the line as far as I understand it.

But would you say that the integration with Final Cut puts DVD Studio Pro over the top?


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eric pautsch
Re: Best Prosumer DVD Authoring Software?
on Sep 15, 2009 at 6:45:51 pm

Not sure what you mean by over the top? I wouldn't compare DVD Lab and Scenarist too much....but DVD Lab can do stuff that most "prosumer" tools cannot - scripting! Scenarist is a spec tool and DVD Lab is not.

FCP Studio is fine but it all depends on the kind of authoring you plan to do. Scenarist will takes months to master but it allows the author access to the entire spec which can be an asset under certain situations.



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