DVD Architect vs. Adobe Encore

vtxrocketeer wrote on 1/14/2013, 11:35 AM
Bottom line: for those who have migrated to Encore from DVD-A (pro), have you ever looked back?

I'd post this in the DVD-A forum, but I thought this might have broader appeal. In short, I've edited in Vegas since SVP 6.0 through 12, mostly without problems. I love it and I doubt I'll ever change NLE's. For me, it is a hand in glove.

I've also authored many DVD's and Blu-rays in DVD-A, but mostly because it was available and is quick. But I don't love it. It is just convenient. Heck, I don't even burn with it (I use ImgBurn). I make my own menus in Photoshop. In other words, I do as much as possible OUTSIDE of DVD-A. As my menus get more elaborate, I get frustrated with DVD-A, feel that it is limiting, a bit cramped. Hard to quantify. It isn't a love affair.

I use Adobe products (AI, AE, PS, Media Encoder) for everything except my NLE and disc authoring. I have but not yet tried Encore, but I think I will for my next project. Ergo my question above: for those with experience with Encore and DVD-A, any regrets about moving on?

Sorry for the ramble. I'm mid-project, short on sleep, and a little frustrated.


videoITguy wrote on 1/14/2013, 2:18 PM
You are experienced with the interfaces of some other Adobe products and so you might become acquainted and like the interface of Encore. It is a capable product, but it is the interface that is so very very weird for most users.

What you will find that under the hood, it truly isn't a lot different than what DVDApro is capable of - but in different ways. Mind you it also shares some of the same deep flaws - so get it out of your mind that you are migrating to the perfect app. Just isn't.

One serious drawback for users of the traditional workflow in VegasPro to DVDAPro - you cannot do that. What you will be forced to do is adopt more convoluted workflows if you want VegasPro to be your NLE.
vtxrocketeer wrote on 1/14/2013, 2:29 PM
Thanks for the reply. You seem to be experienced with both, so do you mind if I press you for more information?

I don't have illusions of perfection. But I do envision pop-up menus for Blu-ray and animated transitions between motion menus. DVD-A Pro has neither.

Anyway, I wonder if you'd share a few facts to support your opinions on Encore. Not a challenge: I really want to know. For instance, one "deep flaw" = ... ?

On Vegas-->DVD-A: the only benefit I've found is importing chapter markers. I like that feature, but it's absence wouldn't constitute a "serious drawback" for me. Did you have this feature or something else in mind, concerning Vegas --> Encore? (I don't use subtitles, closed captioning, etc.)
ddm wrote on 1/14/2013, 2:55 PM
I, too have tried to move to Encore more than once, but I'm back in DVD-A. The extra features you describe are the tempting factor about abandoning DVD-A, but the rest of your workflow doesn't seem like it would change much, you'd still be designing all your artwork and menus in PS. There might be some time saved jumping back and forth in Adobe apps, but probably not as much as you'd hoped. Personally, I found the Encore design painfully irritating, just my opinion, importing assets and all that, I understand it, but I don't enjoy it. The pre-planning does have it's advantages, I know, I just don't enjoy it, so what I've ended up with is trying to author impressive Blurays under DVD-A's limitations. So far, no one has suggested or insisted on features not available in DVD-A and I'd probably be the only one impressed with the special features.
videoITguy wrote on 1/14/2013, 4:06 PM
vtxrocketeer - before you seem to be at jumping to conclusions that Encore application comes with Java code license to enable all those commercial Blu-ray release features - think again! Do your research on this.

DVDAPro enables a running on-screen interactive button video functioning -which is barely documented - for example being able to jump to chapter selects with numeric codes. It's all hidden functioning. Encore has the same issues in other , but similar roundabout ways. The Encore users and forums will give you a small clue.

The "convoluted worktrips" from an NLE to Adobe Encore in general is a process of being able to produce a video codec stream that does not take serious reccompression. For all the chatter about this at SONY - the SCS app design for VegasPro and DVDAPro has it right - sorry to contradict the forum members here who seem to fight with it. Adobe Encore will create more hurdles than you might wish for in round-trip tuning of NLE production to Blu-ray disc authoring.
vtxrocketeer wrote on 1/14/2013, 4:19 PM
Thanks for the more concrete examples, ddm and videoITguy. I may give Encore a whirl for a non-paid project if only to make me feel better about what I can already achieve in DVD-A pro.

before you seem to be at jumping to conclusions that Encore application comes with Java code license to enable all those commercial Blu-ray release features - think again! Do your research on this.

As a matter of fact, I did some before posting. The two features I mentioned, Blu-ray pop-ups and animated transitions, are known features of Encore. By "known," I mean listed on Adobe's site. Yes, yes, they're glam window dressing and I could do (and certainly have done) without.
videoITguy wrote on 1/14/2013, 4:47 PM
They are not Java code implemented controls - that license is a whole another expense, not to mention expertise.
Guy S. wrote on 1/14/2013, 5:35 PM
Since 2004 we've kept a token Mac that I use for authoring DVDs with DVD Studio Pro. In the last couple of months I looked at switching to the PC with either Encore or DVDA.

I first tried DVDA and it was an absolute mess. I couldn't make heads or tails of it and even simple things were unreasonably difficult. If you want to use a PS file for a menu button, well good luck. The workflow was untenable.

I then tried Encore and was likewise disappointed. Adobe's switch from integrated Help files to an online search makes it really difficult to find a quick answer. Once I watched a couple of their rather excellent training videos, however, Encore's logic and workflow quickly became obvious. It's dead easy to use PS files. I did have a problem with MPEG2 files encoded by Vegas - they either fail to import or they look awful. The solution was to render them in a high quality format and let Adobe Media Encoder or Encore render them to the destination format.

One of the things I appreciated with DVD Studio Pro is its use of a Timeline metaphor for audio and video clips. Each video clip had its own timeline with chapter markers and programming (menu links, end action, etc.). The unique thing was that I could delete a video (if I needed to re-render and replace it, which happens a lot), and the timeline - and all of the chapter markers and programming - would stay in place. At the time, if you deleted a video from Encore you lost the timeline and all its programming as well. I'm happy to report that Encore CS6 works like DVDA in this respect, which means that I can use my last DVD as a template for the next one - a huge time saver.
John_Cline wrote on 1/14/2013, 6:32 PM
I use Encore almost exclusively, if for no other reason than the visual flowchart feature. Beyond that, it is much easier to design menus in Photoshop. I know that Photoshop can be used to design menus for DVDA but the layer and object naming conventions are more obtuse.
VidMus wrote on 1/14/2013, 6:51 PM
Just a thought.

I used to create a lot of fancy menus and they were great to me but to those who got the DVD's all they would do is YAWN and say so what.

All that work and I was the ONLY one who was the least bit excited about it. Why knock yourself out on something they do not even appreciate?

They are much more interested in the DVD video itself than how fancy the menus are!

I no longer waste time with the fancy menus and all so DVDA is plenty for me in preparation.

I use Nero 9 to burn multiple DVD's.

I keep it simple, those who get the DVD's are happy and it works. Also saves time and money!

Danny Fye
vtxrocketeer wrote on 1/14/2013, 7:03 PM
All that work and I was the ONLY one who was the least bit excited about it. Why knock yourself out on something they do not even appreciate?

<sigh> Well written. Danny, more often than not I keep coming back to this notion that you captured perfectly. I'm excited about my fancy menus, so my audience is, too, right?

Example: I am now finishing a project, the menus of which I started in Cinema 4D, my 3D modeling and animation application of choice. (It makes After Effects look like kindergarten, IMO.) The background images for Blu-ray took about 8h APIECE to render (not to mention the time it took me to model them), then I comped layers in PS, added buttons, and brought into DVD-A. These are static menus, mind you, not animated ones.

On my 52" flat screen, the menus are absolutely eye-popping gorgeous. Even I was stunned. What is my audience going to remember? The main video, right? I'm not sure any extra bells or whistles, whether those arrive in Encore, is going to eliminate this practical concern.
PeterDuke wrote on 1/14/2013, 7:12 PM
I use Vegas Pro 9c for editing AVCHD because it (usually, but not always) smart renders. I was generally happy with DVDAPro, but the fact that the scene skip buttons don't work properly with my Blu-ray player sent me looking elsewhere.

When I tried using the Vegas rendered AVCHD file in Encore, I couldn't find any Encore settings that would prevent it from re-rendering the file.

I them switched to TMPGEnc Authoring Works. Its underlying engine is good but the interface and functionality is rather Mickey Mouse.

Another nuisance I found with Encore was that although I could export a list of scene markers from Vegas to a file, I could not paste the marker locations into Encore. I had to enter them by hand.

I think there were some other nuisances too that I have forgotten, but the re-render issue was the stopper for me.

Is anybody able to make a Blu-ray from AVCHD in Encore without re-rendering?
Arthur.S wrote on 1/15/2013, 6:08 AM
@ Guy.S
I'd be the first one to agree that DVDA takes some getting used to. The ethos seems to be "why do something with 1 click, when you can do it with 5". However, once you get into it, there's a lot of time saving features under the hood. Just to let you know, replacing a video file, and retaining chapter markers is as easy as selecting 'replace'.
craftech wrote on 1/15/2013, 7:59 AM

For one thing, I cannot imagine Encore having a major problem like this one in DVDA that would go unaddressed by Adobe as it has by SCS.

It makes the creation of BR discs amateur at best even with the workaround I came up with.

Arthur.S wrote on 1/15/2013, 1:07 PM
No, that's a constant thorn in the side for me too. :-( But...I bet Encore also has it's quirks.

I.E. http://www.dvforums.com/forums/chapter-selection-encore-cs503
Guy S. wrote on 1/15/2013, 3:23 PM
<<...once you get into it, there's a lot of time saving features under the hood>>

Thanks for the insight, it doesn't surprise me – that's the way Vegas was (I switched from Premiere many years back).

My main grumble with DVDA was creating menu buttons in Photoshop. I read through the description of how to do this several times and decided that the process was impractical.