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bbeanan
08-13-2004, 11:30 PM
So I use Adobe Encore to author my DVDs... but today my boss was showing me DVD Studio Pro on his MAC and I was totally blown away. Does anyone know if there is a PC Authoring software for the PC that can match DVD Studio Pro?

I am actually considering buying a cheap MAC just to do my DVDs...

sbrandt
08-14-2004, 02:37 AM
So... give us a quick comparison review. What are the features that you liked better than Encore?


PS: Ask Eugene about this issue. He's amazingly good at this DVD stuff!

ScorpioProd
08-14-2004, 03:29 AM
I use DVD Workshop, what kind of features did you see that you liked in DVD Studio Pro?

Ivan
08-14-2004, 04:43 AM
I use DVD Studio Pro and currently there are no PC programs that offer all of the features that DVD Studio Pro has, period. To get the Scripting capabilities that DVD Studio Pro offers you need to step up to DVD Producer from Sonic which does not offer auto menu creation for chapters, easy to use templates or auto creation of menu transitions.

The menu Templates that are given are great but if you are very creative and not afraid to do some work you can really create some cool ones on your own. Additionally all of the IDVD menu templates that people have created can now be used in DVD Studio Pro 3.

I hate to say it but as much as I like VT, if push came to shove and I could only have one system, it would have to be a Mac because of DVD Studio Pro and I would force myself to use Final Cut to edit with. Fortunately that is not the case and I can use VT to edit with while the Mac makes my DVDs.

There are very few programs that I get excited about, VT3 is one because it really makes my job fun. DVD Studio Pro is the only other program that will get this kind of response from me. I have used DVD Workshop, IDVD, MyDVD, DVDit, ReelDVD, and I have even worked on DVD Creator and none compares in ease of use to DVD Studio Pro and the only one in this list that offers scripting is DVD Creator which I don't think Sonic offers anymore but if you do find it, it will cost more than your new Mac with DVD SP and Final Cut.

I completely agree with your idea of purchasing a Mac to do your DVDs. I have suggested this to other editors who have asked the same question. I have even suggested that they get a Mac for their second edit system just to get DVD SP. You will want Final Cut because it will edit HD (everything needs to be rendered but it will do it) and it comes with Live Type (another program with no current PC equivalant) which is easy to use and you can use the titles in VT by converting the QT files in Aura.

You will not be disappointed that you bought a Mac.

Ivan

bbeanan
08-14-2004, 08:08 AM
The "stock" motion menus in DVD SP are par with what is done on Major studio DVDs such as having a whole intro video for the menus prior to any buttons show up then you can have your buttons appear. Click to another menu and you can do a transition to that menu,

The "stock" menus are all very good and not cheesy like you would expect...

Check out: http://www.apple.com/dvdstudiopro/

Then go down to your local Apple dealer for a demo (leave your wallet at home or else you will be buying a MAC)

That all said I love my VT3 system so I think I may do like Ivan and use VT3 to edit and DVD SP and Final Cut Pro to do my DVD Authoring.

Liber777
08-14-2004, 08:22 AM
Originally posted by Ivan
To get the Scripting capabilities that DVD Studio Pro offers you need to step up to DVD Producer...

DVD-Lab PRO, currently in public beta, offers some very nice features, including scripting. See the example in the right-hand column, three quarters down the page...

http://www.mediachance.com/dvdlab/pro/screenshots.html

~Stivan

Ivan
08-14-2004, 09:41 AM
The scripting in DVD SP is a bit easier to use. Though that looks quite powerful it does not look like anything that I would want to use. With DVD SP you don't have to worry about syntax errors like you would with DVD Lab. Anytime you habe to type something there is a cance for errors. ;) Most of the scripting in DVD SP is done from menus (much like Creator) so if there is an error, it is a logic error and not a typing error. This makes it easier to find.

The rumor is that Encore will incorporate scripting in future versions as well. Still there are no PC packages that will create Chapter menus on the fly. In DVD SP, drop the stream in with chapter points and tell DVD SP to make chapter menus. If you have 15 chapters and choose a template that shows 5 chapters per page it creates 3 pages, graphics, names and all, no Photoshop or After Effects work required. Still if you want, you can create custome menues in PS or AE the old fashioned way.

One last thought on this. If you bring your video into the Mac via FCP, you can add the Chapter Markers AND Compression Markers in FCP before you encode for DVD. What this does for you is force an "I" frame at that point. DVDs can not have chapter markers anywhere but at an "I" frame which occurs about every 15 frames normally. This means your marker could be 15 frames before or after where you really want to place it unless you force the "I" frame to be locate at a certain point. Most people won't notice or care but it really does make a better looking product when you pay attention to details. The names that you give the chapters in FCP will also stay with the clip as you bring it into DVD SP.

Ivan

Norman
08-14-2004, 02:02 PM
Vegas + DVDArchitect creates menu pages from chapter points on the fly. It will even do motion menus, although I haven't used that function yet.

ScorpioProd
08-14-2004, 02:07 PM
Well, it's not exactly as bad as you suggest on the PC side.

For instance, you are incorrect in saying that no PC program creates chapter menus on the fly. DVD Workshop has ALWAYS been able to do this with its wizard since its earliest version, in EXACTLY the way you describe.

The latest version, DVD WS 2.2, adds playlist controls. It's not "true" scripting, but it's the closest I've seen at this price point. It lets you set a whole sequence of things for one button push to do.

And of course DVD WS has full support for motion menus and motion buttons, and even includes a bunch of them for you to try.

And as for ease of use, I can't imagine anyone not finding DVD Workshop easy to use. It fully supports multiple audio tracks and multiple subtitle tracks as well.

bbeanan
08-17-2004, 12:41 PM
So after looking again at DVD Studio Pro on the bosses Apple I tunk I figured out how to recreate all most all of the templates that come with DVDSP in Adobe Encore. Once he gets back from vacation I am going to try to do a few. I will let you all know how it goes.