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Encore Blu-ray Loop Point Fix!

Posted by Jon Geddes
2:45 pm on January 3rd, 2011

Those who author Blu-ray discs in Adobe Encore are well aware of the pause that occurs at a menu’s Loop Point during playback. This pause occurs due to the method the programmers of Encore have decided to use for linking the first part of the menu (before the loop point) to the second part of the menu (after the loop point).

Most Blu-ray players will freeze the last frame of the first part while it loads the second part of the menu. This creates a one to two second audio/video freeze that can be annoying, and looks a little unprofessional. Even worse, there are some common players that actually display black during this pause, which is very distracting and can cause the user to lose interest in a menu that started out very impressive.

So whats the solution to this annoying problem!?

Unfortunately it cannot be solved within Encore unless the programmers of Adobe update their software to fix the problem.

Thankfully, there are free utilities such as BDEdit which allow you to modify the finished Blu-ray image. Using this program, we successfully modified a Blu-ray project created in Encore, so that there was a seamless flow between not only the loop point of a menu, but between menu transitions as well. When played back on a computer, the disc exhibited a 100% seamless transition, not even a stutter. On a set top player, there was still a very minor stutter with the audio, but much more seamless. We are still working on a method for 100% seamless playback on a set top player, but this will require much more modifying of the original project. Our existing fix only requires the adding of a few lines of code to each transition playlist and navigation commands for each one as well.

Fixing the problem was not a simple task. It required many days of studying the BD Specifications, reading the User Guide cover to cover of Sonic Scenarist BD, and staring at the code for hours on end just trying to figure out what was going on with all the navigation commands. Once we fully understood how the Blu-ray structure works, it allowed us to make modifications without any issues.

We are planning on creating a tutorial for how to achieve this… but we are still not sure if it should be a written or video tutorial. There are benefits to both. Feedback anyone?

p.s. – I want to thank Larry Applegate from Rivergate Software Inc for making us aware of BDEdit and it’s capabilities. He’s also provided other helpful information that we are very grateful for.

33 Responses to “Encore Blu-ray Loop Point Fix!”

  1. Chris says:

    That sounds amazing!! Looks like it’s only PC…there a mac version? What’s the eta on it too because I absolutely hate the black between menu loop points, transitions, etc. ahhhhhH!!!

  2. Jon Geddes says:

    Larry Applegate is actually working on a program for the Mac to do this, called BluStreak Tracer. Click on the link at the bottom of the blog post to go to his site.

    No ETA, as we are still working on the process to master it. The combining of the menus with the transitions caused some issues with the button state not being remembered when going from the menu that is combined with the transition, to the menu that is by itself. We added commands to fix this, and all appears to be working flawlessly, but we want to see if there is a more efficient way of programming it before creating the tutorial.

    If it is an important project that needs to be fixed asap, then you can send it to us and we will fix it for a small fee.

  3. David says:

    Excellent work! count this as a vote for written.

  4. Francois says:

    Jon

    Your products are awesome and add value to my projects, but currently this BluRay menu pause issue with Encore is ruining my project. I need to fix this asap as my client is not accepting the final disc with these pauses, very unprofessional.
    Ive looked at the complicated interface of BDEdit and have no clue what to do. Is there any other software that can author to BluRay using your menus with no issues? I use Win 7 64bit.
    This is really frustrating. Any help will be appreciated.

  5. JeP says:

    As mentioned in the previous emails, these pauses at the loop point, and between menus and transitions are annoying when authoring a bluray. What about the Adobe support ? Is this a known problem ?

  6. Jon Geddes says:

    I don’t think Adobe see’s it as a bug. They probably see it as a “feature request” to enable seamless menu navigation. I’ve been in contact with project managers at Adobe and those who have direct communication with the Encore developers. I will be speaking to some of them in person at NAB this year and hopefully we can get the ball rolling on much needed improvements to Encore.

  7. Steve says:

    Hey Guys.

    Has there been any progress on this issue? My clients love your DVD menu templates but they all bring up the loop point freezes on their blu rays.

  8. Jon Geddes says:

    We’ve been attempting to make a fix and they are working great when played back on a computer. However, when played back on a hardware player, the menu buttons are not loading correctly the first time around, possibly something to do with pre-loading of the IG Stream. We are trying to figure out a way to make it work, and more time will be devoted to this after we finish our major update to our Pro Motion Menu Kits.

  9. Steve says:

    Thanks Jon. I feel confident that if there is a solution you will find it. Keep up the great work!!

  10. Diego says:

    Yes please, WE need the tutorial! (this is very frustrating)
    Thanks in advance.

  11. DO says:

    Jon, is there any update on this? All seems to have gone quiet…

  12. emailcraigs says:

    Jon,

    I’ve seen your posts around the web discussing seamless encore bluray menu transitions. I’ve been working on this myself with the bdedit program. Its very interesting…I get it working one way and something else seems to break. LOL. I don’t know if this was your experience and that is why there has been no traction on the issue around the web, but I was wondering if you were interested in sharing whatever you have found thus far. I’m familiar with bdedit etc but I think you may have more insight than I currently have and having several people working the problem together could help everybody come to a viable solution. Thanks for the efforts!

  13. Jon Geddes says:

    emailcraigs,

    We have been analyzing how Sony DVD Architect programs the disc differently (their software does not have loop point issues), and how it differs from Encore. It appears our attempted “fix” to Encore’s programming issue is not the proper Blu-ray spec method for having a loop point. This explains why our fix resulted in the IG stream not displaying on a hardware player. We are currently working with Adobe on fixing this issue, though it has not been resolved yet.

  14. Valentin Munteanu says:

    It’s better to work on Sony DVD Architect? Can you make a workflow for this? I am very dissapointed about Encore.

  15. Joe says:

    I hope they did fix that in version CS6

  16. Jon Geddes says:

    Joe,

    It is not fixed yet in CS6. We are working on getting it implemented as a bug fix for a 6.01 release, but that seems unlikely at this point. You might have to wait for the next version unfortunately.

  17. Josh says:

    I have a Blu-ray project that is going to replication. Our plan was to use Encore then alter the output in Blustreak Tracer CMF to get the replication folders. How does this fix translate to replicated blu-rays? Will I have to re-do the fix again once the CMF folder is made?

    Right now we’ve had problems with video>menu adding that black bit in between when it should be seamless with the final video frame matching the menu. I also have video transitions from the main menu to the scene selection menus so I don’t have to try and animate buttons in and out.

    Also, is there a tutorial somewhere that I could look at on how to make video>menu and menu>video transitions seamless and are there any updates on how this will work on set top boxes?

  18. Is not fixed in 6.01, the problem is not been resolved!

  19. Jon Geddes says:

    Josh-
    When using Blustreak, you will be creating the BDCMF from the folders. The folders are what you modify using BDEdit, so after modification (and testing), you can create the BDCMF.

  20. Paul says:

    This problem has been complained about for years, and with every new version, Adobe has taken in the bug requests, alluded to fixing it, and never did. They feign ignorance, like “oh my gosh, we’ll have to look into that!” but it’s elementary coding and they simply don’t care.

    The most disturbing part is that users/consumers/reviewers defend Adobe ceaselessly even for behavior like this. In short, Encore’s handling of motion menus might as well not even exist. It’s laughable and it performs worse than cheap competitors like TMPGEnc.

  21. Any update on the BDEdit tutorial for seamless motion menus Jon Geddes? Point me in the right direction in BDEdit and I can figure it out.

  22. Jon Geddes says:

    Rhett,

    It appears BDEdit is not capable of performing the necessary modifications for a proper seamless transition. The menu is multiplexed, which BDEdit doesn’t handle well, and can’t modify the necessary flags so that the IG Stream is preloaded.

  23. Lou says:

    It appears work flow has a lot to do with seamless transitions. Have a look at this Adobe Encore Forum thread http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1057454 Following Rogers workflow I have created a blu ray disk with seamless transitions using CS5. I beleive the same solution will work in CS5.5 and CS6

    NOTE This fixed all the transitions, it did not correct the loop point blip.

  24. Jon Geddes says:

    Lou,

    The problem with Roger’s workflow is that he transcodes all the menu backgrounds and transition assets before importing them into Encore. When this is done, you will not have audio for the menu transitions, as Encore can only assign a single asset to a menu transition (either video only, or a video file that has audio combined). A transcoded asset will have separate audio and video files.

    What might work just as well is if you encode only the menu backgrounds before importing into Encore, and leave the transitions as Quicktime files.

  25. daisuke says:

    Anyone please tell me how to fix BDEdit

  26. Razvan says:

    Any changes regarding the problem between transitions ? (black screen pause ) on blu-rays ?

  27. Jeremy says:

    An update on this would be awesome. I also called adobe and lodged a complaint, I’m wondering if Adobe have any staff in the office?

  28. Mark Pigott says:

    I have been creating “loop” animations on bluray for a few years for local awards shows and such. For say, a 20 second loop, I have to make sure there is black on the uncompressed avi before the anmiation and after, to avoid the blip.
    after a m2ts is created, it is turned to bluray via tsmuxer and burnt with imgburn. But yes, it would be nice to have seemless looping for seemless looping animations, instead of having to fade to/from black to hide the blip.

  29. Jon Geddes says:

    We were not able to fix the problem with BDEdit, as it could not allow the button highlights to appear after the transition. Major flaw. It requires additional coding of the menu, which cannot be done with BDEdit as it is muxed with the menu background stream.

  30. Jon Geddes says:

    Mark, If you just want to loop a video seamlessly, you can currently do that using Encore and BDedit.

  31. Chris Hill says:

    Hi Jon, Did you or anyone else else ever create a written or video tutorial to show how to modify the Blu-Ray folder files with BDEdit or some other program to try and correct the 2 second freeze on video or go to a black pause between transitions in Adobe Encore CS6 ?
    If not is there another program to author Blu-Ray discs that doesn’t have these flaws in them.
    Your motion animations are amazing!
    Thanks for a great product.
    Chris Hill

  32. Jon Geddes says:

    We have tried many times to correct the pause that occurs on Blu-ray loop points and transitions without luck. We haven’t given up yet, but it’s not looking good.

    Sony DVD Architect does not have the loop point issue, however it also does not support pop-up menus and the program is far less intuitive. We also do not officially support DVD Architect, but we do have a few customers using it.

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