DVD Architect Chapter images

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Jeff Thies, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. Jeff Thies

    Jeff Thies Guest

    I'm just learning DVD Architect 5.

    I'd like to adjust the "start time" of the video still I want as the
    chapter image thumb.

    I see that there is a slider for the timeline, but it is for the whole
    movie, not just the chapter. It's pretty coarse, I don't see how to fine
    tune it. Is there a way inside DVD Architect to preview and step to the
    right frame? Or is this best done elsewhere?

    Also, I don't understand linking media in. I have this linked for the
    chapter menu, if I want a playlist, on a different page, with the same
    media, do I have to add in the media on that page also? This just seems

    Jeff Thies, Mar 5, 2014
    1. Advertisements

  2. Good luck! (I find this program mostly mysterious,
    and only occasionally do I succeed in using it...)
    Updates (free) for Sony software are here:
    You may be able to update to V.6... The forum for
    questions on the sonycreativesoftware.com site are
    under "Support", "Forums" - with DVD Architect here:
    There are good software tutorials here:
    David Ruether, Mar 5, 2014
    1. Advertisements

  3. Jeff Thies

    mkujbida Guest

    DVDA can be a pit of a pain to use but once you get your head wrapped around how to do things, it's not that bad :)

    In the centre screen, click on the item that you want to alter, then click on the "Media" tab on the "Button Properties" screen on the right side. Once you're there, adjust the time in the "Start time" (under "Mask"). I prefer to set a specific time rather than use the slider as, to use your words, it is way too coarse.

    A playlist is a different procedure. Do you mean a second menu page? If this is the case, then yes, you have to add it a second time. It won't take upany more space in your project as you're already using it. It may seem awkward but how else do you propose to tell DVDA that you want to use it again?
    I do this all the time when I'm making a menu selection for different chapters from the same video.

    mkujbida, Mar 5, 2014
  4. Jeff Thies

    Jeff Thies Guest

    Thanks. How do you get the time from Sony Vegas?

    Is there a way to copy the time at a point on the timeline, or do you
    have to do this manually?

    OK. This makes sense.

    Jeff Thies, Mar 5, 2014
  5. Jeff Thies

    Jeff Thies Guest

    Is there an alternative, or is this basically it for us chumps?
    I've got the update on the way.

    I see that you need 5.2 to get the upgrade, I have 5.0.

    Thanks, I'm working my way through this.

    Jeff Thies, Mar 5, 2014
  6. Jeff Thies

    mkujbida Guest

    See responses inline.


    I hate to say this but it depends. If all I want is to see something, I'll change the time to the 10 sec. mark as something will be there. If I'm after a specific picture, I'll scroll through the Vegas or DVDA timeline, make note of the time and enter that value.

    Here's a screenshot that may help to explain things. I shot a performance by a number of students in the musical theatre program at the college I workfor and made a DVD for them. The main menu (not shown) has a "play all" button and a "performers" button. The screenshot is what you see after clicking the "performers" button. Note that the first icon is selected and the time that the image is from is displayed on the right side screen.

    mkujbida, Mar 6, 2014
  7. Jeff Thies

    Jeff Thies Guest

    OK. I see that manual it is!
    That's nice.

    What screen capture software? I've just gotten Greenshot.

    I think I have a grip on this. I see that you have an entry page with
    play all and then a link to chapter menu.

    I'd like to have a playlist on the entry page along with the "Play All"
    and "Scene Select". What I would like is to select a few chapters from
    my scene menu and have those play, one after another. So far, I don't
    see how to do this. So far I haven't been able to tell what is hard from
    what is impossible! This is one video with the chapter markers embedded
    in Vegas.

    Jeff Thies, Mar 7, 2014
  8. Jeff Thies

    Brian Guest

    I also find this program difficult to use and when I finally find a way of
    doing something its easy to forget how its done.
    There needs to be a step by step guide.
    At the moment I need to chose a frame from a movie as a thumbnail picture
    that the user clicks on to start the movie.

    Also when thumbnail pictures are used for chapters I think there is a way
    of choosing a better picture for the thumbnail by using a frame a few
    frames along from the chapter as you don't want a black thumbnail picture
    if the first frame of the chapter is black.

    If someone knows what page this information is in the DVD Architect manual
    then that would be helpful for both of us.
    Brian, Mar 8, 2014
  9. Jeff Thies

    mkujbida Guest

    Jeff and Brian, I've been using DVDA for several years and, while I don't have all the answers, I will do my best to help you both here.

    Jeff, I use Irfanview (www.irfanview.com) to do my screen captures and a whole lot more. It's free and is a great photo utility program.

    Sony has several articles and tutorials about DVDA on their training page at http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/training/dvdarchitectpro

    On to authoring. I shoot a lot of stage plays and almost always break the DVD menu up into individual scene selections in addition to the Play All button.
    Here's a post I made on the Creative Cow forum a few years ago that goes into a lot of detail about the steps involved. It may seem overwhelming at first but it's not really that hard once you get into it.

    Make sure the "Render I-frames at markers" box is selected in the "render as" screen for your video.
    For the video, use the "DVD Architect NTSC video stream" (or "DVD Architect NTSC widescreen video stream" if it's in Widescreen) template with the following changes:
    If the video is 70 min. or less, click the "Custom" button next to the "Template" box, then the "Video" tab and set the bitrate to a CBR of 8,000,000;
    If the video is over 70 min., use a bitrate calculator to determine optimum encoding settings, change to VBR and set the values according to the bitrate calculator's numbers;
    If the quality is even slightly marginal, select the "Two-pass" option;
    Set the "Quality " option to it's highest setting (31);
    Save this as a template by clicking in the template box at the top of this tab, giving it a name (for example, Christmas Play 2008) and then clicking the "Save" icon (looks like a floppy disc) to the right of this box.

    For the audio, use the default AC-3 template with the following changes:
    Encode set to AC3;
    Click on custom tab;
    Dialog normalization: -31 dB;
    Dynamic range compression: None;
    On the first tab set diag. norm to "-31";
    On the last tab marked preprocessing;
    Set the Line Mode & RF mode profiles to "None";
    Now save this as a preset using the method described above.

    Make sure both files have the same name (i.e. Christmas Play 2008.mpg and Christmas Play 2008.ac3) and are saved to the same folder.

    If you want to use a picture from the play as the background menu, this can be done very easily.
    Either use an image from a digital still camera (I sometimes use a shot of the empty stage) or grab a still from Vegas and use this.
    If you're not sure how to do this, place the cursor on the timeline at the desired location, set the Preview Window to Best/Full and click the "Snapshot" icon.
    A window will open up pointing to the current folder and giving you the option to save the image in JPG or PNG format. I prefer PNG but the choice is yours.
    Give the image a name and save it to the same folder that your video and audio files got rendered to.
    This way, when it times to author the DVD, everything needed is in one folder.

    Open a new project in DVD Architect.
    Make sure the "Show Title Safe Area" option is enabled (View - Workspace Overlays).
    Change the title "Menu 1" to something like "Christmas Play 2008" by clicking the "Edit Text" button at the bottom right of the centre screen.
    Change the theme to one of the stock ones or create your own background using the steps suggested earlier.
    To use an image that you created yourself, click in the centre screen, select "Set Background Media", browse to the folder where the image is and double-click the file.
    You should now have it as your main image.
    Move the renamed "Menu 1" title as desired.
    In the Explorer tab, browse to the folder with your encoded audio & video files.
    Double-click the previously created video file.
    It should now be in the centre of the main screen as an image with text underneath it.
    Before continuing, you have a few options.
    You can leave it as a "Text & Image" button or change it to a "Text Only" or "Image Only" by right-clicking it and going down to "Button Style" for the options.
    I usually change it to "Text Only" and rename it to "PLAY ALL" using the "Edit Text" button.
    You can also change the font type, size, colour and position as desired.
    Double-click it to ensure that the entire play comes up (video & audio) as well as all your markers).
    Click "Save As", browse to the folder where the already encoded files are,give it a name and click "Save".
    Repeat this periodically during this whole process by simply clicking the "Save" button so that you don't accidentally lose any work.

    Now it's time to add a Scene Selection menu.
    Right-click in the centre screen and select "Add Submenu".
    Change this to "Text Only" and rename it to "Scene Selection".
    Double-click it to go to the next page.
    Change "Menu 2" to "Scene Selection".
    Double-click the video file in the "Explorer" tab as many times as you have scenes in the play (the number of markers you placed on the Vegas timeline).
    I generally don't use more than 12 here as the text ends up being too small.
    If your play has from 12 to 24 scenes, repeat the "Add Submenu" steps and divide accordingly.
    If you have between 25 and 36 scenes, repeat the "Add Submenu" steps one more time.
    Go back to the first "Scene Selection" page.
    To change all the buttons to "Text Only" place your cursor in an area just outside the top left of the first button and drag down and to the left so that they're all highlighted.
    Right-click, "Button Style - Text Only."

    At this point in time, assuming you had 12 scenes, you should have 12 "Text Only" buttons on the centre screen.
    On the menu on the left side, you should have a "tree" that looks like the following:

    Christmas Play 2008
    Christmas Play 2008 (Page 1)
    Scene Selection
    Scene Selection (Page 1)
    1: Link - Christmas Play 2008 (Page 1)
    2: Christmas Play 2008
    3: Christmas Play 2008
    4: Christmas Play 2008
    5: Christmas Play 2008
    6: Christmas Play 2008
    7: Christmas Play 2008
    8: Christmas Play 2008
    9: Christmas Play 2008
    10: Christmas Play 2008
    11: Christmas Play 2008
    12: Christmas Play 2008
    13: Christmas Play 2008

    At this point in time, rename all the buttons in the centre screen so that they correspond to what's happening at that time (for example, Grade 1, Grade 2, etc.)

    After this is done, it's time to make the buttons go to the specific scenes.
    Double-click "2: Christmas Play 2008" in the tree menu on the left side.
    Switch to the "Timeline" view.
    You should see the entire timeline with all the markers you placed in Vegas.
    Click the marker that denotes the beginning of scene 2 and press the 'O' (for Out) key on the keyboard.
    The In point for the first scene is automatically the beginning of the video.
    Only the first scene should now be highlighted.
    Double-click "3: Christmas Play 2008".
    Click the 2nd marker (the start of scene 2, press the 'I' (In) button.
    Click the 3rd marker and press the 'O' button.
    Only the second scene should be highlighted.
    Repeat this procedure for all your scenes.

    Now to set "End Actions" so that the buttons behave as desired.
    Go to the first "Scene Selection" page and double-click " 2: Christmas Play 2008 in the left side menu.
    In the menu on the right side of the screen, click the "End Action" tab.
    You now have two choices.
    You can have it return to the "Scene Selection" page or the "Main Menu" page.
    To have it return to the "Scene Selection" page, click in the drop-down box beside "Destination" and select "Scene Selection".
    To have it return to the main menu, click in the drop-down box beside "Destination" and select "Christmas Play 2008".
    Repeat as desired for all your individual scene selections.

    Finally, let's clean it up a bit more.
    If you don't do the following steps, all your buttons and arrows will have a transparent yellow box on them when you click them for selection purposes.
    I personally prefer to have an underline instead so that's the procedure I'll explain.
    Go to the "Main Menu" page by clicking either "Christmas Play 2008" or "Christmas Play 2008 (Page 1) on the menu on the left side.
    In the centre screen, click (just once) the "Christmas Play 2008" button.
    Click the "Highlight" tab in the menu on the right-hand side and, in the drop-down box next to the "Style" button, select underline.
    Repeat this process for the "Scene Selection" button also on the main page.
    Double-click the "Scene Selection" button to go to the next page.
    Highlight all the buttons as well as the Up arrow (at the bottom of the page) by clicking and dragging your curosr to select all of these items.
    Don't worry about the "Scene Selection" title at the top of the page.
    Once everything is highlighted, click the "Highlight"button and repeat what you did on the main page.
    Repeat this process for any other "Scene Selection" pages.

    At long last, you're almost ready to burn the DVD.
    If you have DVD burning software, my recommendation is to use DVD Architect to "Prepare" the files and the burning software to do the actual burn.
    If you don't have burning software, you can use DVD Architect to "Burn" the DVD for you.
    Click the "Make DVD" button at the top of the screen.
    Click "Prepare" and browse to a folder location to store the files.
    I always suggest that you create a new folder and title it accordingly (for example, "Christmas Play 2008 - DVD").
    This way, you know what the folder is.
    Click "Next", "Next" and "Finish".
    If you clicked "Burn" instead of "Prepare", it brings up a folder that should be self-explanatory.
    Once again, create a "Prepare/Burn" folder as I just described.
    The rest of the steps are the same.
    Stick in a blank DVD and hit "Burn".
    As you've already done the encoding in Vegas, this process should be fairly quick.

    If you chose to "Prepare", you're done with DVD Architect at this point.
    Click "Save" one last time (this creates a file called "SPREPARE.SPSS".
    This file allows to make changes to this process and then only "prepares" the changes so it's very quick.
    mkujbida, Mar 8, 2014
  10. Jeff Thies

    Jeff Thies Guest

    Thanks, I'll give it a whirl!

    Jeff Thies, Mar 8, 2014
  11. Jeff Thies

    Jeff Thies Guest

    This info is in the thread. You have to click a thumb and look in the
    properties window, I think media. You'll see start time. I just flipped
    a few digits into the future, here and there until I found a nice image.

    Jeff Thies, Mar 8, 2014
  12. Jeff Thies

    Jeff Thies Guest

    On 3/7/2014 10:44 PM, wrote:

    Thanks. Just going through this now, it's very good! (I understand it)

    Jeff Thies, Mar 10, 2014
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.