I have been using Adobe Encore, on a PC, to author my DVD's for many years. Since Adobe has stopped developing the software, I am looking for a replacement.
Specifically, there are two requirements that I need.
1) I want to be able to have multiple audio tracks.
2) When the main menu links to submenu pages, I must have the ability to set what button gets linked to (defaulted to) on the next submenu page. For example, on the main menu there will be two links, "Play" and "Scenes". Play will just start playback at Ch1. Scenes will link to submenu pg1 with the default selection on the "next" button. Then hitting enter will bring you to sub pg 2, again with the default selection on the "next" button. This would continue until when you link to the last sub page the default selection would then be on the "prev" button, since there are no more "next" pages to go to. This is hard to explain, but the idea is that once you select the "scenes" button from the main menu, you can navigate through all the sub menu pages by just hitting the "enter" button. You'd get to the end of the sub pages then the prev buttons would be the default all the way back to the first sub page, which would then have the next button highlighted again.
Anyway, I have tried Sony DVD Architect, but the demo keeps crashing on me. I also tried Magix Video Pro X5, but it did not allow the custom navigation. Most consumer level authoring packages don't allow either of these requirements.
Can anyone give me suggestions on other authoring tools that will give me this level of customization, perhaps TMPGEnc Video Mastering Works 5?
I would rather ask now, then waste lots of time downloading trials, etc.
Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
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Why do you need a replacement ?
It's not as if there is going to be some new developments to the DVD-video standard.
Encore has remained largely unchanged in terms of DVD authoring for the last few versions.
Yeah, I agree with poisondeathray. Unless Adobe eventually rolled out scripting for Encore for advanced effects like resume, there is no need to switch to any alternative program for DVD authoring. Even their basic Blu-Ray authoring is decent.
I would just stick with it.
I thought about that.
The one issue I always had with Encore is the encoding. The quality is just not very good. I ended up doing the encoding to a mpeg2 file in my editor (Pinnacle Studio 15), then not having Encore "transcode" it. But that limits me to only author to DVD spec, and not have the option to author to Blu-Ray. I would rather import the HD file into the authoring tool, author the menus, navigation, and chapters, then be able to choose DVD or Blu-Ray from there.
So I figured I would see what else is available that would meet all my needs.
You can expand on what you're doing -- move all of the encoding -- BR and DVD to a tool outside of Encore. (I'm not sure Pinnacle is actually much of an improvement)
You can create your structure in Encore, and when you're ready to flip from DVD to BR, just right click and replace the existing media file in Encore to the proper one, and switch the project type. Encore will repopulate your timelines with the new media.
BTW, as much as I like the higher functions of Encore, AVStoDVD is a good tool for basic DVDs.
I know its hard to believe, but Pinnacle creates a much higher quality encode than I could ever get out of Encore.
Thanks for the suggestion on just replacing the media file. I will have to try that.
I'm still interested in hearing if there is something else that could replace Encore.
Hey Joe, I too used Adobe Encore, specifically version CS3. It works well. I haven't tried any other programs except for DVD architect and that was several versions ago. I didn't like it, but I might try it again in the near future. Have you compared your editor to Sony Vegas by any chance? Just curious as Vegas has a lot of bugs and crashes so I've been thinking about trying another editor...
Different editing and authoring programs use a variety of encoding engines. Adobe Premiere Pro (AME) and Encore use MainConcept. It may or may not be the one also used in your Pinnacle. Because x264 is free, others have built GUIs around it, free and otherwise (like payware Pegasys TMPGenc). Elsewhere on the web there is a whole wiki dedicated to using x264 to create HD and SD blu-ray compliant streams. Somewhere in between you may have have to write avisynth scripts to provide inputs to these GUIs, or just know how to alter them.
I'd stick with Encore because with regards to choice there is a chasm between it and the $20k blu-ray authoring programs. Below Encore there is nothing but cheap buggy bloatware with oversized buttons mainly designed for the know-it-all tablet crowd.For the nth time, with the possible exception of certain Intel processors, I don't have/ever owned anything whose name starts with "i".
I would like to re-submit the original poster's question but with another reason behind it... I have learned to use Encore at my school, however I cannot afford to purchase Adobe's software suite. While I know it is often possible to pirate this software, I have not had success finding a "cracked" version of Encore CS6 that works. Therefore I'd like to know what some good alternatives are that have similar features (such as menu/navigation customization), but which are free (or at least very cheap). I have not done a ton of DVD authoring in the past... so Encore is the only software I have used at this point, and my Google searches today have just led me to DVD Flick, which is great because it's free but sadly seems too limited where customizing menus is concerned. Any other ideas out there? I am not as concerned with the encoding, but rather the available features...
Last edited by yrogerg77; 23rd Mar 2014 at 18:12.
dvd styler, gui for dvd author, dvdauthorgui . They are not as intuitive as encore, or have as many features. Personally I don't like them, and I wouldn't call them "good", but they are more customizable than DVD flick
Note there are different "Mainconcept" SKU's or versions of their MPEG2 encoder. Some of the bundled ones are not very good
HCenc is better in some respects, worse in others. It tends to be better at lower bitrates, but it's weakness is gradients
GUI For DVD Author and it's not very user friendly, as poisondeathray alludes to. It can make primitive menus and while in theory you can do almost anything with it, in reality the only documentation is years old and a bit out of date. Basically if you are one of those people who are exceptionally good at figuring out stuff with minimal instructions and playing with it then you may go far, but I am not such a person. For example, I have a couple of DVDs I made from old Disney laserdiscs that have 2 audio tracks - a regular soundtrack and a music only soundtrack. There is no damn way at all that I can figure out to put an option on the main menu to switch audio tracks, so all I've been able to do is just put a selection to play the movie and have to use the remote control while playing to switch soundtracks. Submenus are also essentially impossible to do based on the crummy docs. I'm sure that both tasks can be done in it, but HOW? Nobody who knows has ever documented it. Another thing no really documented but possible is to make a track with only a still and play audio while the still shows. The docs have some mysterious references to this so it must be possible, but it's left basically as a bunch of guesswork to the reader as the way it used to be done and is documented doesn't work any more due to changes in the program. If your menu needs are REALLY simple, like you just need simple text menus, the program is OK for that, but I don't recommend it for anything even remotely complex.
HCenc created better-looking streams than MainConcept.For the nth time, with the possible exception of certain Intel processors, I don't have/ever owned anything whose name starts with "i".
For the nth time, with the possible exception of certain Intel processors, I don't have/ever owned anything whose name starts with "i".
nowadays those known mpeg2 encoders seem to be much better, not like it used to be 10 years ago, when full paid versions were better, remember 10-12 years back, it was pixelating even using 8000kbps
possible disappointment in NLE mpeg2 outcome (like Vegas, Premiere and others) usually comes from trying to make DVD out of HD interlace source, where it is actually not encoder that fails but NLE resize algorithm , that is not optimized to resize HD interlace to SD interlace
install dmfs, make sure that project properties are exactly the same as your AVCHD clip properties, export YUV through dmfs - check YUV, load that video into Avisynth , try using this script:
AviSource("input.avi") #interlace HD footage Assumetff() QTGMC() #or use bob Yadif, it is much faster Spline16Resize(720,480) #720,576 in PAL land Blur(0,0.5) #or more than 0.5 if you get still a lot of flickering ColorMatrix(mode="Rec.709->Rec.601", clamp=0) AssumeTFF().SeparateFields().SelectEvery(4, 0, 3).Weave()
make AC3 in Premiere or outof Premiere, you can use that frame serving as well and load it into something that loads that same avs script and makes AC3 like Megui
use any dvd authoring with those m2v and AC3
if you do not need a menu I have a script that can make all of this just by clicking a button, all automatic including burning DVD