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  1. Member
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    After creating 4 slideshows using DVDslideshowGUI, I managed to create a DVD menu using GUI for dvdauthor. The menu consists of a title and 4 pictures representing my 4 slideshows and below each of these pictures the name of the according slideshow is located.

    The slideshows themselves look great, but the resolution of the DVD menu is very bad.
    Where did I go wrong, please?

    Btw.:
    Iīm on XP Home SP3 and Iīve got the current versions of DSG and GFD...
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  2. the resolution of the DVD menu is very bad
    The resolution of a dvd is limited to the specifications of a dvd. So the resolution can never be any better or worse than the dvd specifications. What do you mean?

    If you mean it is blurry, then right click on the menu and select Menu Properties and uncheck Use Blur - if it is cheked. However you should know that thin lines will flicker on you tv if there is no blur on the menus.
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    Oops, I just noticed, "Use Blur" wasnīt checked.
    So, I guess, you want me to check it (which I just did), because of what you told me about flickering on TV.
    I didnīt edit anything else, there, so everything is left by default.
    Grid x16/y16
    Blur x0.5/y0.9

    I didnīt use very small font sizes.
    In fact, the smallest is 14 bold (of a font called Erwin) for each slideshow name.
    For the DVD title, I used 36 bold of the same font.

    The whole window looks quite blurry and especially the background image looks like a highly compressed JPG with lots of artefacts in it (I used the Background_Paperback.jpg from the DSG backgrounds).

    The amount of all data ready to be burned on DVD is no more than 377MB.

    OK, after repeating the procedure with "Use Blur" checked, Iīve got the very same quality of that DVD menu.

    Could it be, I need some smaller files for the slideshow pics or what else can I do to increase this DVD menuīs quality?

    EDIT:
    I just tried 4 smaller pics for the menu.
    It didnīt help.
    Must be another reason.
    Last edited by Centauri39; 17th Jul 2010 at 20:18.
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  4. No idear what your mean. Could you make a screenshot of that menu? Preview > Save. And post it here.

    To avoid flicker only blur in the y-direction is needed, but only if there are thin horisontal lines in the menu.
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    The strange thing is, this effect doesnīt appear in the preview of GFD.
    In fact, everything is ok there.

    But no matter what player I try, the menu looks ugly, when opening the resulting IFO file.
    I tried "The KMPlayer", "Nero ShowTime" and "PowerDVD".
    Everywhere itīs the same.

    Hereīs what it looks like. I hide the faces, because I used screenshots of a german soap and Iīm not sure about the copyright stuff:
    Image Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by Centauri39; 18th Jul 2010 at 12:19.
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  6. Looks like the bitrate is set too low. If the menu is animated(a motion menu) try to right click on the background of the menu and higher the bitrate:
    Click image for larger version

Name:	GFDBitrate.jpg
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ID:	2699
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  7. Member
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    Iīve got no motion menu.

    Default bitrate is 7000, but even after increasing this value to 9000, the quality is still too bad.

    This is what it looks like, now (without blur):

    Click image for larger version

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    ...and this is it with blur:

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen02.jpg
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ID:	2704

    Both are created with bitrate 9000.
    So, these two menues are a little bit better but still not good enough compared with the slideshows themselves.
    In this post the first pic has artefacts and the second one is blurry, again.

    What else can I do to make the menuīs quality match the quality of the slideshows, please?
    Last edited by Centauri39; 18th Jul 2010 at 18:17.
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  8. It does look like the change in bitrate has an effect, however when I make a dvd with that background I do not have that amount of compression artefacts like you have. So there is some setting limiting the bitrate when rendering that menu. Try to see the bitrate used in HCenc(pops up while rendering). Read up on the docs. I guess you'll have to get in contact with Borax or hope he'll notice your posts here.
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    Try to see the bitrate used in HCenc(pops up while rendering)
    Isnīt this "popup" whatīs logged in the GUIAuthor.log, where the GFDOutDir is located, after rendering is done?
    Thereīs much information in that file that I donīt understand in each and every detail, but it says there several times, 9000Kbit/s had been used. According to that, I think, everything should be ok, but referring to the above screenshots, it is not.

    Let me add, I just updated the following files

    DGDecode.dll
    DGIndex.exe

    Both from 1.5.0.0. to 1.5.8.0

    But it was also in vain , i.e. same insufficient result after rendering.

    Next thing I do is to drop Borax a line to his e-mail account, asking him to have a look at this thread here.
    Maybe, heīs got another idea what to do...
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  10. One remark to this topic...
    Are you using GfD with dvdauthor or MuxMan as authoring engine?
    For dvdauthor there is a parameter in the internal settings: 'Number of Frames for still menus' (see: http://download.videohelp.com/gfd/Help/DefaultInternSettings.html ). Usually it is set to 1. The quality improves quite a lot if you use about 12 Frames. If you use MuxMan as authoring engine, this parameter has no impact, as MuxMan always uses about 12 frames already.
    It also has no impact if it is an animated menu (then the HC settings are used).
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    Thanks borax.

    Iīm using the dvdauthor engine.

    I will change the still menu frame setting to 12 on my next try.
    Iīm a bit busy right now, but I will add according news as soon as possible.


    btw.
    Obviously, I do use motion menues (sorry, for being wrong in the above post), since otherwise, the bitrate settings of 7000 (or 9000) wouldnīt be available.

    EDIT:

    Meanwhile I tried several values between 2 and 16.
    The only one thatīs working is 2 (and of course 1).
    Everything above 2 will result in the red error message shown in this screenshot.

    Name:  Error01.jpg
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    EDIT2:

    After several attempts to get the best result, I found 5 frames and bitrate 7800 to be the best (without the error message).

    The IFO output is still a bit blurry.
    Last edited by Centauri39; 20th Jul 2010 at 22:00.
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  12. Hi Centauri39,

    Good to hear that I could help. I know about this nasty problem with mplex (Frame data under-runs...), but I don't know what to do against it.
    The IFO output is still a bit blurry.
    Just to check if there is still any improvement possible: Rebuilt this specific menu (add any small clip for the test) using MuxMan as authoring engine.
    You may also try to use smaller (or even none) blur settings, but this could result in a nice sharp image on the computer (soft player) but flickering on a standard TV.
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    Looks like I donīt run out of problems.

    Now, Iīm currently rebuilding the menu with GFD set to MuxMan.
    That doesnīt work, unfortunately.
    I can make the menu look like before, but I canīt add my slideshow mpgīs, because they are not available in the source section at the left (yes, I am in the right folder ). When GFD is set to dvdauthor as the rendering engine the very same mpgīs work perfectly.
    Now, without these mpgīs Iīve got nothing to render, and so, I canīt create a DVD in order to check the menuīs quality.
    Last edited by Centauri39; 21st Jul 2010 at 03:51.
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  14. but I canīt add my slideshow mpgīs
    MuxMan only accepts elementary streams. You can set up DVDslideshowGUI to output elementary streams or demux your mpg into elementary streams.
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    This answers an issue that has always puzzled me. I have experimented with many authoring programs, and all had produced better looking menus (using the exact same .bmp image as source) than GfD, but I always had its number of frames set to one. When changing the setting to 12, will this mess up the audio file that plays with the menu?

    Whatever the case, I'm still grateful to have in my tool chest a free authoring program that does so much.
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    @ borax

    Now, I demuxed my slideshow mpgīs into m2v and ac3 using ProjectX.
    Then I tried the default settings of GFD which provided me with the same output quality than before (or even a bit worse), when I used dvdauthor.
    I also tried the maximum bitrate of 9000, but even then, the menu looked blurry (and I didnīt use blur, anyway).
    All in all, thatīs a very difficult procedure, unfortunately, for just creating a DVD menu.
    And with MuxMan itīs even more, because I needed one more tool (ProjectX) to get my files into the right format.
    This tool (GFD) is obviously nothing for beginners, as Iīm none, and still I donīt get it done without help.

    I already asked tin2tin, but since you are the author of GFD, I think, I better ask you.
    Canīt you just make this whole thing a little bit more "MAGIX-like"?
    I guess, you know what product Iīm talking about, because in the country we both, you and me, are situated, this software is very well known (might be different in other countries)...


    @filmboss80
    I wish I could get this high number of frames to work, but increasing the number of frames means I have to reduce the bitrate so far that I get a quite ugly result.
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  17. This tool (GFD) is just what its name says: A GUI. I cannot improve the underlying programs (i.e. the dvdauthor suite). If the combination of png2yuv, mpeg2enc and mplex cannot produce a 'good looking' menu, there is nothing I can do about it, except telling you my own experiences with its settings. The default settings in GFD are selected in a way to support most content without the need to change any settings. If I would set the default to use a higher number of frames for still menus, this may not always work, as filmboss80 already mentioned (when changing the setting to 12, there may be stand alone players around which have a problem). That's why I added MuxMan as authoring engine (which I use myself exclusively meanwhile). MuxMan is said to be one of the most DVD spec compliant programs around, but this also means, that it will accept only 100% dvd compliant input files (and only as elementary streams).
    ...with MuxMan itīs even more, because I needed one more tool (ProjectX) to get my files into the right format...
    This just depends on your 'overall' procedure. If you are authoring captured movies from television, you should use projectx anyway to get rid of any errors in the video/audio streams. If you use DVD slideshow GUI to create a slideshow, you just set it up to export elementary files.
    And there are also other dvd authoring programs around which use elementary files only. Ok, most of then can do a demux step during the authoring process without user interaction, but depending on the files this also sometimes fails (i.e. video-audio sync problems). I just don't know a demux program around which supports all possible mpeg files without any flaws.
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  18. Member
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    Meanwhile, I tried DVDStyler and found this one to deliver a sharper menu.
    Then, I checked the files being used in both GFD and DVDStyler and noticed a few files are used in both tools.
    According to the GFD log file, the mplex.exe and dvdauthor.exe are used in GFD.
    Both of them are present in DVDStyler, too.

    Thatīs why I thought, well, letīs find out what will happen, if I try these two exeīs from DVDStyler in GFD, since DVDStyler has the newer versions of these files.
    Unfortunately, it didnīt work, because the procedure of creating a DVD stopped when DVDauthor was supposed to do its job. So, in that case, I got no output files at all in the end.

    How come, DVDStyler produces sharp dvd menus with these newer exeīs and when I use DVDauthor I get blurry menus with the original exeīs, but no menu at all when using there the exeīs from DVDStyler?

    (Of course, I backed up everything to restore the original shape of both tools after I was done.)
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  19. Both mplex.exe and dvdauthor.exe have nothing to do with the menu creation process. They just use the already prepared mpeg files and multiplex it (mplex.exe) with an audio stream (if any) and finally create the vob/ifo structure for the navigation (dvdauthor.exe). The menu file is the file which mplex uses, but I don't know how DVDStyler creates it. I just know that DVDStyler uses my own compiled files of the dvdauthor binaries (at least for some time - maybe this has changed now), as I got several emails from DVDStyler users because my email address was in the DVDStyler log files.
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    You said (if I got you right), you donīt know how DVDStyler creates the menu.

    As I noticed, increasing the bitrate improves the menuīs quality, could it be, DVDstyler simply uses a higher bitrate than GFD does?

    Are you able to increase the max. value of the bitrate to be used in GFD for the creation process.
    I mean, what if, for example, the max. value was 12000 instead of the so far available 9000.
    I donīt know but, maybe this could help to produce a better menu?!
    Do you think this might be a possible solution?
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  21. Not allowed:

    Total bitrate including video, audio and subs can be max 10.08 Mbps (10080 kbps)
    (quote from here: https://www.videohelp.com/dvd )

    Maybe dvdstyler uses another (better) program to encode the menu background as mpeg2enc.
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