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View Full Version : Latest tools for multi-episode DVD creation?



JohnSorTivo
04-27-2004, 01:25 PM
Okay, I've been doing a lot of reasearch lately on this topic, and many of the posts in this forum discussing this topic seem to be a bit old (unless I've missed a few, which is entirely possible).

I use and love TyTool for start to finish (Ty --> DVD) creation for a single show, however, I am in the process of collecting all the Seinfeld episodes that I want to place mulitple shows on a single DVD, and access them individually from a starting menu.

I see some references to Maestro and SpruceUp in some previous threads, but these threads seem dated (SpruceUp is no longer being updated) and Maestro appears to be much more difficult. Curious what you guys are now using for such a solution, and how far do you go with TyTool? I.E convert .Ty file to .mpg file and import, or go all the way to .vob / .ifo creation using TyTool before using whatever utility to create the final DVD / Menu structure?

FredThompson
04-27-2004, 01:35 PM
You've GOT to be kidding.

Did you actually READ the documentation for TyTool or the discussion threads or just the thread titles?

JohnSorTivo
04-27-2004, 01:51 PM
I've can honestly say I've read virtually every piece of documentation that is included as part of the TyTools zip file for download. It is clear, however, based on your reply, that I must have missed some important documentation that discusses this topic in detail. I'll continue to peruse as I always have, for fear missing something, asking a question, and being chastised in the process.

FredThompson
04-27-2004, 02:05 PM
You earned that reply by not looking at the filenames within the TyTool distribution while "doing a lot of research lately on this topic."

Additionally, it is not possible to create an IFO file within TyTool without using the interface whose existance you have somehow never seen.

JohnSorTivo
04-27-2004, 02:20 PM
Additionally, it is not possible to create an IFO file within TyTool without using the interface whose existance you have somehow never seen.

Sorry, you're wrong. I have created dozens of DVDs using nothing but TyTool from start to finish, but it was / is not clear to me that I could have provided multiple .vobs as sources to create a menu that would point to each vob individually, or, at least the process is not intuitive.

After your initial reply, I actually went back and re-read 'TyTool-DVD and Menu.doc', and it is still not obvious after re-reading.

Nonetheless, I don't generally prefer to use TyTools for the 'menuing' process as it is still a bit limited in this regard, and as such, was curious what others are using nowadays to accomplish this goal.

FredThompson
04-27-2004, 02:51 PM
It's not possible to create an IFO inside TyTool without using the menu creation interface. That interface starts with a standard Windows file browser.

Windows uses the CTRL key to allow selecting multiple items. If you didn't know this until you read the previous sentence, using Windows will become far more useful to you. If you knew it but CHOSE not to do it, you have only yourself to blame.

After that, you MUST assign the VOB to a menu item. TyTool does not automatically populate menu buttons for you.

You can't do these things without comprehending how to do them.

Now you add the statement that you don't want to use TyTool to generate the menus because TyTool is limted in this regard yet you don't have knowledge of what TyTool can do with menus?!?!

It is your responsibility to read the documentation included with the software. Some of the documentation is a little confusing but merely possessing the files will not impart their contents inside your brain. By your own admission, you didn't even look at the filenames of the support doucments. You are reponsible, as with anything else, to read the usage instructions.

This is a meritocracy.

JohnSorTivo
04-27-2004, 02:57 PM
I'm quite familiar with how windows works, though I prefer to stay in a true operating system for the majority of my day, and as such, most of my machines at home and at work are Linux based.


If you knew it but CHOSE not to do it, you have only yourself to blame.
Yes, this I must claim that I am guilty of, thus the reason for my post.


You can't do these things without comprehending how to do them.
Well I've been creating single episode DVDs for quite some time using TyTool without such apparent comprehension.


Now you add the statement that you don't want to use TyTool to generate the menus because TyTool is limted in this regard yet you don't have knowledge of what TyTool can do with menus?!?!
See above. I've used TyTool to create menus just fine for single episodes. Just didn't realize that I could do it for multiple .vobs as well. Still doesn't change the fact that I don't necessarily like the "quality" of the menus that get created.


It is your responsibility to read the documentation included with the software.
As I've stated, I've read the documentation many times over and if it were apparent what I was asking, I wouldn't have created the post. I can only hope that in the future, as others happen across this post, that it will now be apparent to them that TyTools is capable as a result of my post.

I shall also give "dvdauthorgui" a shot as well, as it appears it may be a bit more robust in its menu creation feature.

FredThompson
04-27-2004, 03:25 PM
ok, this certainly appears to be an "honest" situation, not a "lazy" one. Very frequently, that's not the case here and that is what I assumed the situation to be. I apologize for unintentional effects of my brusque response. I truly thought you were behaving improperly. Since you're primarily a Linux user, your confusion is genuine, as is that of the true newbie.

If you're not used to Windows, I'm sure things like the CTRL key usage could be quite confusing. Linux is confusing to me and the "obvious" frequently isn't. You must be in the same situation wrt Windows.

When you chose the option in TyTool to create IFO files/dirs you will see a standard Windows file browser. Basic operation is to single-click with the left mouse button on an item to select it. If you hold down the CTRL key, the selection is "sticky" and can be individually toggled to select/de-select multiple items. Holding down the Shift key is similar but selects/de-selects a block of items from the previous selection to the "clicked-on" item.

Once you've chosen the items, TyTool goes to the menu creation window. In the upper right is a list of the VOB numbers. Select one and you'll see the text is mirrored in a field lower in the window. Just below that field is a drop-down pickbox from which you will specify one of the previously-selected VOBs. After that, you can edit the menu text. You can also set text justification, size, font, etc. When you are done with specifying these values for a menu item, hit the button to save the settings. (I don't have the window open and don't remember the exact title for the button, sorry.)

You may also append a second VOB to any menu item. I don't remember exactly which of the menus gives this option and do it so frequently now that I don't think about it. In any event, you will select the first item from the list in the upper right, then select this function to append a VOB from the menu of the window (edit, maybe?) then browse to the second VOB. When the IFO set is created, these 2 VOBs will be seamlessly joined.

The background graphic for a TyTool menu should be 720x480 video pixels which is the same aspect ratio as 640x480 computer (square) pixels. PNG and JPEG are supported. Don't forget overscan and the aspect ratio as you design these.

TyTool's text is done by overlaying text with the square PC pixels. The resultant text displayed properly as video is slightly squished horizontally. I prefer to use anti-aliasing, some people don't like it.

Basic TyTool menus are 2 columns of white text on a turquoise background. They...uh...suck. TyTool has a text file template capability. It's explained in the TyTool-Templates Word file within the distribution. This template will allow you to specify exactly where text field should go and how to size them. I generally start with full-width fields set for 20pt text and tweak as necessary for the background graphics.

Attached is a sample of one I made last night. The triangles started as the > character and use a method I explain in the "tytool techniques" thread to use an enhanced selection pointer. I also used extra spaces and tweaked the result after the fact to make this menu work. The initial creation of IFO/VOB was done as a standard menu just to bang out the files then a second set started to get the menu and overlay graphic files. VOB translation was manually aborted after the bitmaps were created during the second run through IFO set creation. This was awkward and dumb. I should have tweaked the template. Alignment would have been perfect and the time spent would have been less. I'm telling you what I did because the menu and template don't match.

Learning how the templates work typically takes some experimentation. There is not currently a good GUI designer for the templates. Wish there was but it doesn't exist just yet.

JohnSorTivo
04-27-2004, 03:50 PM
Thank you for your incredibly thorough reply. It is greatly appreciated and will go a long way in enabling my full utilization of the TyTools utility, and I am sure others will benefit from it as well.

I can assure you that my post was not the result of laziness, and for me, the creation of a post is usually a "last", not "first" resort. I am a forum junkie here at DD and can assure you that I've read nearly every corner of this forum inside and out, contribute to this site quite often, and have forgotten more about Tivo hacking than most "newbies" will ever learn in the first place ;-)

My post count and join date are not truly indicative of the time I've spent in this forum, as I remained a lurker and a reader for almost a year before officially signing up and creating my first post.

Cheers.

FredThompson
04-27-2004, 03:58 PM
Feel free to PM me any time you need help with TyTool. I didn't even look at the post count or date. I'm sure you got a little bruised by my initial replies. Again, I apologize. Certainly can't undo what's been done, can only try to explain what I was thinking and ask for forgiveness.

What you described, a simple menu for TV episodes, is very easily done with TyTool and templates. Mine are more complex than most and almost everything has been described in the "tyool techniques" thread. There are some things which would be really helpful like multiple-pages for menus. Those things coming but the basics, as they exist now, can create some really nice discs.

Thanks for extending more grace to me than I did to you. I know I have a tendancy to get harsh when I think someone is being irresponsible. I'd make a poor Kindergarten teacher...

Waruwaru
04-27-2004, 04:44 PM
If you like step by step (with pictures), then here is a good link (http://themurrays.homeip.net/downloads/tivo/extraction_articles/tivo_dvd.html) of the entire process from Tivo to DVD creation using TyTools

FredThompson
04-27-2004, 04:58 PM
FWIW, Lloyd said we can take that and update to include FAE and fold it into the TyTool docs however we want. He was going to do it but his work got quite demanding timewise. Would make a nice addition to the FAQ...

captain_video
04-27-2004, 07:47 PM
I've authored the entire Seinfeld series three times to date using a different method each time. Since the original post was in regards to this particular topic I thought I'd throw my 2 cents into the fray.

1st compilation - Did this in SpruceUp with a really old version of TyTools for extraction and conversion to elemental streams using tysplit. Patched the 1st headers to 720X480 for importing into SpruceUp using DVDPatcher and then patched them back to 480X480. I set chapter stops at the beginning of the program data and also at the end of each commercial break (this was before any sort of editing function was developed). This allowed me to skip past the commercials using the chapter skip function on my remote. I used a still image downloaded from a Seinfeld fansite for my menu background. I used to be a staunch supporter of SpruceUp back in the early days since it was the first proven method of burning shows to DVD (josh hated it).

2nd compilation - This was done with Ulead's DVD Workshop. The menus were far better but it was sometimes difficult to get it to work properly. I was able to edit to GOP accuracy with TyTools at this point. Importing into DVD Workshop required patching the 1st header to 320X480 @ 3.5MBit and then patching the entire set of VOBs back to 480X480 @15MBit following the compile process. Sometimes the files would not compile and I had to go back and figure out which one was giving me a problem and then perform a re-edit using different cut points. If that didn't work then I had to try other things until I finally got the sucker to compile (patience was a major necessity here). Needless to say it was an exercise in frustration but I somehow managed to get the entire series compiled and burned to DVD. I used a still image of the Seinfeld logo as my 1st menu and used the Seinfeld theme song taken from a clip I edited and split and then imported just the soundtrack into the compilation. I had a button placed on the image linked to a 2nd menu so you could bypass the intro to get to the main menu. The 2nd menu had a series of 9 frame objects that held still images captured from each episode. These were used as buttons to link to each episode on the DVD.

3rd (and hopefully final) compilation - I used DVD-Lab for this project along with a current version of TyTools that offered frame accurate editing. The GOP-accurate edits sometimes caused glitches and synch problems at the cut points but the current FAE process works flawlessly. DVDS-Lab is great in that no patching is required (did I mention I was recording from a DTivo?) prior to importing the video clips. I used the exact same scenario for my intro menu with soundtrack linked to a main menu with framed stills for episode buttons.

I have used TyTools for creating multiple episode compilations of 24 and Angel (both still works in progress). I'm currently in the process of collecting all of The Simpsons episodes for burning to DVD using DVD-Lab using a setup similar to the 3rd Seinfeld compilation but this time I have the full-length video intro along with the soundtrack (most of the syndicated episodes use a truncated intro). I also use TyTools for creating DVDs of all movies I record as it offers the simplest method of authoring a DVD with basic menus and chapter stops. I've been using TyTools since it was first introduced a couple of years ago and so far nothing has come close to matching the features and ease of use. I tried TyStudio for a while but found it to be extremely buggy so I went back to my tried and true method with TyTools.

I wonder if most of you guys have even the slightest inkling of the time and effort jdiner has put into TyTools. He has literally worked on it night and day for years and it is truly a labor of love. He never sees a penny for his labors and never complains about it either. There have been a lot of developers that have come and gone from these forums but josh has been the one constant we've all been able to count on. That's not to say there haven't been other staunch supporters here that have weathered the many storms and are still around to talk about it. To those I say,"This ****'s (insert the name of your favorite beer here) for you!"

BubbleLamp
04-27-2004, 09:05 PM
I'm just glad Fred's back to his normal self. I think someone must have slipped him some DB Koolaid! :eek:

FredThompson
04-27-2004, 11:16 PM
Ouch!

I deserved that.

JohnSorTivo
04-28-2004, 10:29 AM
captain_video, thanks for taking the time to post your techniques. Though it is clear from my post that it escaped me that I could use TyTool for creating multi-episode menus, after having used it, it was clear to me that its menu creation capabilities were somewhat limited, even for a single episode disc. This is no reflection on Josh, I mean the tool is amazing and can't, at least not yet, be perfect in all respects ;-) I am by no means complaining in any way, and am grateful for all of the hard work that has gone into the development of the TyTool utility. I shall investigate some trial applications of those you referenced and give them a try.

FredThompson, thanks again for our reply as well. I created and successfully tested my first multi-episode disc using TyTool exclusively last night.


think someone must have slipped him some DB Koolaid!
Come on, deep down inside, somewhere in the far corners of your hearts, I know everyone here misses his posts in some sort of masochistic kind of way.

BubbleLamp
04-28-2004, 12:13 PM
Come on, deep down inside, somewhere in the far corners of your hearts, I know everyone here misses his posts in some sort of masochistic kind of way.

Speak for yourself, I'd miss a hemmoroid before I'd miss his worthless posts.

sanderton
04-28-2004, 12:22 PM
I'm sure it was genuine oversight, but did the way that the single episode menu items you created defaulted to being "Menu Item 1" and were in a dialog box with space for a dozen entries give you a clue that it would be possible to have a "Menu Item 2" ? :)

JohnSorTivo
04-28-2004, 12:37 PM
I'm sure it was genuine oversight, but did the way that the single episode menu items you created defaulted to being "Menu Item 1" and were in a dialog box with space for a dozen entries give you a clue that it would be possible to have a "Menu Item 2" ? :)

You know, looking back at it now, it seems obvious, and almost ridiculous that I missed it, but I never had multiple .vobs in the same 'working' forlder when creating the DVD, so it never occurred to me that I could select multiple .vobs in the first place, since I would always see just the one I was working on. I suppose had I had multiple .vobs in the folder, the light bulb would have come on, instead of being rather "dimmly" lit. :) Again, though, keep in mind that my focus was on other applications for the entire menu creation process anyway, though after re-reading my initial post, I can see that I didn't make that desire very clear.


Speak for yourself, I'd miss a hemmoroid before I'd miss his worthless posts
Of course, I hope you know, that I was just kidding :)

FredThompson
04-28-2004, 03:42 PM
If you want highly creative menus then you'll probably be unhappy with TyTool's menus. Tytool is, however, the "best" way to do actual stream editing, especially on DTiVo source. If you use anything other than TyTool to make your menus, be SURE to turn off any verification or testing of the VOBs by the menu creator you chose.

Having said that, consider using some form of templated/saved-state menus so you don't have to start from scratch each time.

To me, there are only a few things I'd like which aren't currently supported by TyTool. Motion menus, pre-menu animation, multiple-page menus, alpha selection pointers, text haloing, text color, etc. are all things I'd like to see but aren't critical to me. Quite a few of them ARE coming (Don't hold your breath for animated transitions or lots of stuff for still image galleries.) For the vast majority of series I'm interested in, a consistent look and speed of creating the disc take precedence. Almost every time I've been able to get all the menu customization needed complete while the IFO set was being generated. Typically, I mirror support websites for the shows onto the disc. If I want still images, display of them on a PC will far, far exceed what a TV can show.

On the other hand, there's certainly the aspect of a tricked-out product, no matter what hte hobby, which will appeal to a lot of people.

grwlfbg
04-30-2004, 02:04 AM
All,

I thought I read in the 9r12 thread that someone (Fred?) had a web page put together that had some zips of menu templates and background bmps of a bunch of shows. I swore I bookmarked it but can't find it anywhere. I'm particularly interested in a 'Good Eats' background and menu setup. Anyone remember that? I've tried searching several different ways but can't find it.

Chris

FredThompson
04-30-2004, 03:02 AM
You're probably thinking about http://www.tytool.com/

Good Eats is on my list of series to start grabbing as soon as a couple more are complete. I can make one for you if you want. There are enough posts of mine around here that you can tell I favor title screen shots from the show and full-width titles as much as possible. If that's ok, I'll grab a few eps and put one together. How many eps/DVD do you anticipate?

grwlfbg
04-30-2004, 02:29 PM
Ok, I'm an id10t. That's the site I was thinking of. Should have checked there. But alas there's only a background BMP for Good Eats - no menu template :(

To be honest, this is the first multi-episode DVD I've tried to put together - the others have all been movies or 2-hour shows that I just put on their own DVDs. I record Good Eats at basic quality (it's just a cooking show) so they're 500MB each before cutting out the commercials. I would think I could get 8 eps per DVD?

It would be awesome if you put one together for me but I don't want to ask you for something you aren't doing for yourself. With some investigation I should be able to cobble together a screenshot with some other 8-ep menu template? I'm not too picky, just want something a little nicer than the default teal :P

FredThompson
04-30-2004, 02:49 PM
Like I said, Good Eats is something I'm going to be starting on soon anyhow.

pugfantus
05-02-2004, 05:08 PM
I record Good Eats at basic quality (it's just a cooking show) so they're 500MB each before cutting out the commercials. I would think I could get 8 eps per DVD?


Are you recording them on a DTIVO? Because basic on my S1 produces a file about 360mb (w/ commercials), and I was able to fit all 14ep of Season 1 and 2 each on a single dvd with room to spare.

FredThompson
05-02-2004, 05:41 PM
DTiVo is not an adjustable rate or image size.