View Full Version : DVD Maestro vs. SpruceUP

01-29-2003, 11:56 PM
Is it just me or do each of these programs (made by the same company as I understand it) have serious and almost completely opposing befefits and drawbacks???

I love the chapter editing in Maestro. It is easy to see, easy to create chapters, and easy to edit them and move them around. As far as I can see, SpruceUP REALLY sucks at this bad.

But then there is the making of Menus. Spruce up is nice, easy, and really friendly, with some nice built in's for generic menu making. Maestro has squat.

Am I missing something? Have others of you out there noticed this? Is there a way to have the best of both worlds?
Ie. Can import my chapter breaks that I made in maestro into spruce? or Can I load my Menus (and functionality) from spruce into maestro?

01-30-2003, 01:27 AM
That's funny, I've found exactly the opposite. Either I'm doing something wrong, or entering chapter points in Maestro is a pain. Spruce Up hasn't given me any problems in that regard.

Regarding menus, I've found Spruce Up is very limiting. Maestro is a little trickier to learn, but once you do it's very easy and tons more flexible. There's a Maestro tutorial on doom9 that goes into decent detail on creating menus. That's how I learned. I actually don't even bother with photoshop, I just make my menus and sub picture with MS Paint.

To answer your original question, I don't think there is any way to import work from one into the other, at least not that I've seen.

01-30-2003, 02:14 AM
I think you are correct in saying maestro is more flexible for menus, but for me I don't mind sacrificing a bit of creative freedom for ease of use. Perhaps I'm just burned out on reading and learning all these new apps for dvd authorin. I'm sure in time I'll read more and understand better the menu creation in maestro.

The maestro guide on doom9 went south for me right around the color mapping section, I don't think I understood a lick of that and it certainly didn't become apparent by mucking around in the software (which I did this entire past sunday.) Hence my first maestro creation had no buttons, merely a splash screen which would go straight to the movie upon hitting play. :)
I had no problem setting chapter points (just a double click on the correct movie pane) and it seems much more accurate than spruce.

For instance I loaded my current project into spruce first, and made a fairly nice menu in just few minutes with almost no reading. I just grabbed a still from my movie and made that the background. I made two buttons (just drag, drop and resize...luv it!): 1) play 2) chapter selection. I will then have another menu with snapshots from each chapter (another really nice feature of spruceup.) The problem with spruce comes in when I'm trying to specify chapter points. The lowest resolution (smallest incriment from one mouse move to the next) I can get is 32 seconds and specfying times in the box indicating current position does not seem to actually place you at that position?? With maestro (using the same m2v and ac3 file I can get within a second or two of where I want my chapter break (and maybe even closer if I were to take the time, zoom in try to adjust.)

Really, the best solution for me at this point would be to get some help with creating chapter points that are closer to where I actually want them. So anybody who may be able to point me in the right direction for that would be appreciated.

01-30-2003, 03:18 AM
You said you can only get 32 second resolution on chapter stops... try typing the left and right arrows instead of dragging the dohickey


01-30-2003, 03:26 AM
Thank you. You know I had, amongst several hundred pages of reading (no seriously, I think I have forgotten how to blink,) seen that suggestion, and then forgot about it. That will get me by for now. If there is one thing that can be said about spruce, it's that it has plenty of documentation for it.

I think that because I started with maestro and then moved to spruce, the "difference shock" was just too much for me. The more I use spruce the easier it is to get used to the movie editor part of it.

I think I will still continue to to use maestro every so often and may, one day, try to make my own menu again. If somebody has any other decent guides for using it (other than doom9's) that would be cool.

One of these day's I've gotta look at scenarist too......

01-30-2003, 09:48 AM
at least u guys can get maesto to work. any file i try to open with maestro i get the error this project was created with a newer version and cannot be loaded when i just extracted it from the directivo. go figure!
Upskirt Flashing (http://www.****tube.com/categories/1117/flashing/videos/1)

01-30-2003, 09:58 AM
I actually use both programs to author my dvds.

I import the m2v & m2a files into Maestro ( It seems faster that Spruceup for building the .pra & .prv files).

I then import into Spruceup for two reasons.

1) the editing is easier, so when I author a PPV movie I can find the beginning and ending alot easier ( I mark the times from the editor and remember them for authoring in Maestro)

2) In Spruceup you can capture a still frame, open the still frame in paint shop, change the resolution to 480 x 480, and use that still frame as a menu background in Maestro.

after I get the beginning and ending times along with my menu background, I go back to Maestro and author the DVD.

I use the beginning time for Chapter 2 and the ending time for chapter 3.

As for the authoring in Maestro, I set my menu button to point to Chapter 2 (Skipping chapter 1) and when the movie hits the chapter 3 marker the main menu comes on (skipping chapter 3)

NOTE: defsrg

Are you using DVDPatcher to patch the first Header to 720 x 480?

If you aren't, then that is probably your problem.


01-30-2003, 10:25 AM
DVD Maestro is a professional DVD authoring tool. It does not have a menu creation utility because it is assumed that you will be importing professionally made menus from a dedicated graphics program capable of creating a high quality menu, such as Photoshop. Scenarist is another widely used professional DVD authoring tool but it is very complicated and not easy to master. Unless you intend to create professional DVDs I'd think twice about using it unless you're extremely adventurous.

Think of SpruceUp as a Maestro "Lite", even though it is a more well-rounded package with menu and button features, it does not have anywhere near the flexibility of Maestro. It is perfectly fine for basic authoring. My main complaint with it is that the chapter stops can only be set in 1-second increments whereas Maestro is frame-accurate.

SpruceUp allows you to capture frames from any video clip and use them as backgrounds for menus or create DVD labels and jewel case covers from the captured images (you'll have to use a dedicated CD labeler program for this, however). If you use capture frames as backgrounds you'll have to expand the image size manually using MS Paint or you'll only see a square 480X480 image with blank space to the right. (Sorry for the redundancy but I didn't read all of Hobby's post until after I wrote this).

There are some excellent tutorials for using both programs in the How Tos Only sticky thread in the DTivo hacking forum. I'd recommend the tutorial at Doom9.org for SpruceUp and fukrulez.com for Maestro. The Maestro tutorial at Doom9 doesn't really apply to authoring a new DVD in the manner most of us would be performing with an extracted tystream as our source.

01-30-2003, 03:24 PM
Captain, thanx again for all of the info.

For now I'm going to make due with the 1 second incriment chapter stops in favor of an easy to make menu...in other words...spruceup.
I'm still having a bit of an issue with spruceup and that is when you have a 3 hour movie and some of the chapter points I've selected are only 1 minute or 2 apart from each other, the "flags" indicating chapter stops are mostly overlapping. Is there an easy way to switch between this points via a shortcut key?

I will check out that fukrulz guide to maestro. Who knows, maybe that one will make a bit more sense to me.

02-01-2003, 10:15 AM
thanx but yes i do patch my files and they still say that it was created with an newer version and it will not open it , but thanx again
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02-02-2003, 10:44 AM
I had a similar error message when trying to run ReelDVD for the first time. Turns out I had to install the Cinemaster2000 codec even though I already had WinDVD installed. Maybe you need a different codec?