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  1. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2014
    Location: Florida, US
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    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.


    Joe Klein
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2007
    Location: Canada
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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.
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  3. 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.
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2014
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    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.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2012
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    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.
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  6. Member
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    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.
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  7. Member
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    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...
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  8. Member turk690's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JoeKlein View Post
    The one issue I always had with Encore is the encoding. The quality is just not very good.
    You are like a lot of users here (me included) who have issues about Encore encoding. The trick is to avoid using that built-in encoder. For Encore, submit ready-made compliant clips to prevent it from re-encoding (if the option do not encode is available you know that is the case). One of the best (and free) encoders for creating blu-ray compliant streams is x264, and there are any number of GUIs available for it; just browse the videohelp tool section.
    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.

    Originally Posted by JoeKlein View Post
    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.
    Granted, choosing to submit compliant streams to Encore removes this convenience. But the payoff is you are then not bugged by poor encoding quality. x264 is good enough for some publishing houses to use for creating commercial blu-rays. For DVD, an excellent free encoder is HCenc.
    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.
    Tablet? No, I don't have a tablet. I have a life.
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  9. 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 17:12.
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  10. Member
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    "For DVD, an excellent free encoder is HCenc."

    That's a better encoder than Mainconcept's MPEG2 encoder?
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  11. Member
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    Originally Posted by yrogerg77 View Post
    Therefore I'd like to know what some good alternatives are that have similar features (such as menu customization), but which are free (or at least very cheap).
    The choice of freeware is between 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



    Originally Posted by sdsumike619 View Post
    "For DVD, an excellent free encoder is HCenc."

    That's a better encoder than Mainconcept's MPEG2 encoder?

    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
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  12. Member
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    Originally Posted by poisondeathray View Post
    The choice of freeware is between 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
    I use 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.
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  13. Member turk690's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sdsumike619 View Post
    That's a better encoder than Mainconcept's MPEG2 encoder?
    HCenc is better in every sense of the word than the version of MainConcept in AME.

    Originally Posted by poisondeathray View Post
    It tends to be better at lower bitrates...
    So true; my experience has shown that on low video bitrates for DVD (<3mb/s), HCenc created better-looking streams than MainConcept.
    Tablet? No, I don't have a tablet. I have a life.
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  14. Member
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    Originally Posted by turk690 View Post
    HCenc is better in every sense of the word than the version of MainConcept in AME.
    Any experience with it compared to the Mainconcept encoder in Sony's Vegas Pro v12?
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  15. Member turk690's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sdsumike619 View Post
    Any experience with it compared to the Mainconcept encoder in Sony's Vegas Pro v12?
    The last Vegas I used was v8. Even that time, I didn't bother using it because I frameserved to CCe basic, which was faster. So I don't know if the flavor of MainConcept MPEG-2 encoder in the current Vegas is better or not compared with HCenc.
    Tablet? No, I don't have a tablet. I have a life.
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  16. Member
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    Originally Posted by sdsumike619 View Post
    Any experience with it compared to the Mainconcept encoder in Sony's Vegas Pro v12?
    HCEnc is a little better and somewhat slower. I wouldn't hesitate to use either.
    Last edited by smrpix; 23rd Mar 2014 at 20:41.
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  17. 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
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  18. Member
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    Originally Posted by _Al_ View Post
    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
    That's one of the things I'll need to be doing, shooting in AVCHD, and encoding for DVD. I heard that's going to be problematic as well.
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  19. 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:
    Code:
    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()
    load that script into HcEncoder, press make DVD compliand, set accordingly 4:3 or 16:9, average bitrate and maximum (8500), in settings1 tab - interlace, interlace, tff or check constant quantizer if your DVD is less than 1hour and 10 minutes, you save some time using 1pass only

    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
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