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Thread: Automating menu authoring

  1. #1

    Default Automating menu authoring

    Hi all,
    I have yet to find a software that will do everything I need and no more. I tried some DVD authoring tools, but maybe I missed the one I need, so I'm asking you.

    I grab my videos with scenalyser, from a mini-dv camera. I separate my scenes so that each different scene recorded with my camera is captured as a separate AVI. So, I have the date/time of every scene I filmed in the name of the avi file.

    After that, I encode each AVI using TMPGenc, which does a very fine job.

    After comes DVD authoring. What I want is basically an authoring software that will automatically build my dvd menus from the mpg's that I get from TMPGenc.

    The best I have found to do it is Ulead DVD Workshop 2, but it still has a major problem. When I build automatic menus, DVDWorkshop adds a "play all" button that does not work pretty well. It plays all the files, but only if you never use the skip scene button on the player's remote, otherwise it would return to the main menu after each mpg. If I never use the skip scene button while viewing the films, it goes to the next scene after one is finished (with an annoying 2 seconds delay), but once I skip a scene, it will return to the main menu after the scene is over. I tried to add a "play all" attribute to the play all button, with no success.

    I don't need to make complicated menus, and am satisfied with the pre-designed menus look. I don't bother about the visual aspect of the menu, but I need every mpg to be listed in the menu to have the date (it is in the mpg's filename) AND I need the player to continue playing the next scene after one is finished.

    I know I could build such a DVD manually, but I would like an automating function in the authoring software to do it for me. I burn a lot of DVDs and I don't have time to build a custom menu for each of them.

    So what's important to me is :
    - having a software that will build the menus automatically
    - being able to look at all the movies one after the other without returning to the menu each time one is over
    - having a way of knowing the date/time of the specific scenes (I can have it in the menu, but in subtitles would also be an option)

    Any ideas / suggestions?

    Thank you very much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Bracknell, Berkshire, UK


    I'm not completely au fait with all DVD authoring apps but from what I do know it sounds like you are asking a bit much. If you've got a package that gets close then great.

    I use Adobe Encore and can build what you are describing (using a standard template), manually in about 5 minutes. Is that really too long?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Warsop, Nottinghamshire.
    Blog Entries


    I think Alan is right. The reason of course that all you want isn't automated is that the vast majority of people want to have some control over how the viewer interacts with the finished product. With Sony's DVD Architect you simply specify the end action of each clip and that takes a few seconds to do. Taking into account the amount of time I spend editing my videos, I don't mind taking the time to do it at all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Hillingdon/Hayes Middx


    Like you,I use DVDWS2 a lot ( Im no expert though) and find that you can achieve what you want with it but probably not automatically .
    You can create a customised menu template with attribute for each button saved after you have made one that satisfies your requirements.
    Im sure some persistence with experimenting on the attribute of each button will get a free flow situation that will not give you a migraine but once you crack it it really wont take more than 5 mins.
    DVD moviefactory will probably do it your proposed way but it is less configurable than DVDWS2.. Keep trying I say , You seem to be more than halfway there and are giving yourself less credit than you deserve.
    Encore is harder to use and even less automatic and DVDit (light version) is less configurable. The full version will give similar results in default mode to DVDWS2 .
    Where greatness is possible excellence is not enough

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