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Authoring DVDs with Adobe Encore CS5

Article Description

This excerpt from Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 Classroom in a Book shows you how to create professional-looking DVDs on your computer in minutes.

Overview of DVD authoring in Adobe Premiere Pro

DVD authoring is the process used to create menus, buttons, and links to assets and menus. It also describes behaviors such as what the DVD player should do when it gets to the end of a video—does it return to the DVD’s main menu, to some other menu, or to another video?

Each DVD-authoring application takes a different approach to creating interactive DVDs. Adobe Premiere Pro simplifies the authoring process by allowing you to send your Timeline to Adobe Encore, which is a full-featured professional authoring tool. When you author in Adobe Encore, you have two basic options for creating DVDs:

  • Autoplay DVDs: These discs have no menus. They work best for short movies that you want your viewers to watch from start to finish. Before you create an autoplay DVD, you can add Encore chapter markers to the Timeline. Markers let viewers skip forward or backward through the movie by using the Next and Previous buttons on their DVD player’s remote control.

  • Menu-based DVDs: These DVDs have one or more menus with buttons that link to separate videos, slide shows, or scene-selection submenus. (Scene-selection submenus, as you probably know, let viewers navigate to scenes within the videos.)

Adobe Encore can output a project to any of three file formats:

  • SD DVD: This is the traditional DVD format widely in use today for set-top DVD players.

  • Blu-ray Disc: This is a delivery medium for HD video.

  • Flash: With one step, Adobe Encore can export your DVD project to Flash content for the Web. Not only is the video converted to Flash Video, but the menu system and actions are converted to Flash content as well. Encore also produces a web-ready HTML page with links to the Flash content, ready to be uploaded to your website for client review or demonstration.

You have two options to get your Adobe Premiere Pro Timeline into Adobe Encore for authoring:

  • Send it via Dynamic Link to Encore: The preferred method is to use Adobe Dynamic Link to “send” the Timeline to Adobe Encore. The advantage of this method is you don’t need to create an intermediate file to load into Encore. This is a fast, efficient workflow. Another advantage of this method is that any changes you make later to your Timeline in Adobe Premiere Pro will be reflected immediately in Encore, without you having to render or even save the file. This is the method you will explore in this lesson.

  • Export it as media: Adobe Premiere Pro allows you to export an intermediate temporary file to import into Encore. You can export an encoded file that Adobe Encore can import and use directly, or you can export an intermediate format that is editable, such as AVI or QuickTime format, and allow Encore to encode it for you. Using this method, you could author a DVD with any third-party tool; however, you lose the advantages associated with Dynamic Link. This method consumes more hard disk space for the temporary intermediate file and requires more render time.

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