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Sony DVD Architect



Sony DVD Architect

Architect is a very comprehensive program and can do just about everything that is possible on a DVD.  This includes:


♦    Multiple menus which can link in any way you like to each other.
♦    Multiple timelines - and you specify everything such as the end action, what happens when you press the menu and title buttons on the DVD remote etc..
♦    Chose the first play item - a copyright message for example.
♦    Set permissions for each menu or clip - make people watch the copyright message.
♦    Various menu themes which you can customise and you can easily create your own.
♦    You can define the button routing or create your own.
♦    8 different audio tracks (the maximum allowed)
♦    32 different subtitle tracks (maximum for DVDs)
♦    Slide show editor.
♦    Add DVD-ROM content as well as normal DVD video - for example make a slideshow to be watched on a TV and then add the original JPEGS as well in a directory which can be viewed on a PC.
♦    Live preview of the DVD - either on screen or through FireWire.  Architect will even preview a moving menu without rendering it, although how well it will work depends on the power of your computer.
♦    Integration with Vegas - you can add chapter marks and subtitles to your video in Vegas and they will appear in the encoded file inside Architect.

Buy Architect with Vegas

You can buy Architect in a bundle with Sony Vegas. You do not need to buy Sony Vegas if editing with another program as you can do everything you want inside Architect.  Sony Vegas is a good editing program - like all programs there are things for and against it - if you want to read more on Vegasvisit these pages.   Even if editing in a different program Vegas does still give you some advantages.  Its sound mixing capabilities are excellent and it can mix and encode full 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound.  So you could edit the picture and basic sound in a different program, for example Grass Valley EDIUS, and then load the finished movie into Vegas, do the surround sound mix and export that as a 5.1 Dolby file to be included in your final Blu-ray or DVD disc with Architect. Vegas also lets you do 2 pass VBR encoding for DVDs (Architect one does 1 pass encoding) and the downscaling quality is better in Vegas than Architect (although not better than Grass Valley EDIUS or Adobe Premiere Pro)



Timeline display

Architect shows the wave form on the timeline as well as the picture in filmstrip mode.  This can help when adding subtitles as you can see where the words start and end in the waveform. You can obviously add chapters and trim clips.  You can also add buttons over video - a typical example of this would be a film where, in addition to the main video, there is a different video angle to show off certain other aspects of the production.  You need a button to pop-up over the video when this happens to inform you of this and let you choose the different content. A DVD like the BBC "walking with Dinosaurs" had this feature where at certain points you could access a different video track which showed how the effects were achieved at that place in the DVD.

Scripting

If you have scripting you can usually achieve just about anything you want with your DVD - want multiple languages on your disc and when you start it it prompts you to choose a language and then that is used from then on for all audio, subtitles and menus - then you need scripting. Encore does not support this, although some things which are normally achieved with scripting can be done in other ways with Encore.

Different video angles

This is tough to get right as you need to have both pieces of video running at the same time so the program has to get the bit rates right otherwise the disc is a right mess. Thankfully, Architect does that really well.



Optimising the Disc

Architect lets you change and customise everything in your DVD. It has an optimise DVD option which lets you set bit rates and size settings for each piece of video or just maximises the settings so they fit on disc. You can even change the order titles will be physically stored on the disc!

Smart re-prepare

Imagine you have made a disc but there are some errors.  Change the sections which are wrong and remake the disc.  As long as you kept your working temp files (done as a default) Architect will only remake the bit which have changed - so making small changes to a disc takes very little time.



Blu-ray

DVD Architect Pro can make Blu-ray discs in either MPEG or H264 format, and at a variety of sizes just like Adobe Encore. Architect will let you make Blu-ray discs with every feature found on a DVD; it does not support some Blu-ray specific features like pop-up menus.  It can make single layer and dual layer Blu-ray discs.

Stereoscopic discs

Architect can make proper 3D Blu-ray discs with menus.  This facility was added in version 6.  None of the other programs we sell will let you make proper stereoscopic Blu-ray discs and you normally have to spend a lot more money to get this functionality AND the degree of customisability that Architect gives you.  Encore will not make 3D Blu-rays at all; Grass Valley EDIUS can make 3D Blu-rays in many formats like side-by-side, but cannot make stereoscopic discs in full quality with interleaved video like Architect.



Encore vs. Architect

These are are two favourite DVD and Blu-ray programs. How do they compare?

Both have a very similar feature set and the same level of customisation.


♦    Architect has scripting and different video angles - Encore does not.
♦    Encore integrates tightly with Photoshop, Premiere and After Effects - the Photoshop link makes customising menus a breeze!
♦    Architect takes chapters and subtitles from Vegas, but customising menus with Photoshop is more hassle.
♦    Encore is a bit more intuitive - Architects interface is good but a bit more dense.
♦    Encore has the option of adding a Blu-ray style pop-up menu.
♦    Encore can render video and audio in the background. Architect cannot.
♦    Encore has a great flowchart view for laying out DVDs.
♦    Architect accepts video as program or elementary streams and is less likely to want to remake something which is already in the right format for DVD - this does not happen often in Encore, especially not when encoding from Premiere, but has happened on some occasions.
♦    Architect can make proper Stereoscopic Blu-ray discs.
♦    Adobe Encore is 64 bit and DVD Architect is 32 bit.  This means that Encore is better at handling very complex projects
♦    Encore can make up your project in Flash format which makes it an easy way to make a complicated Flash project for things like, for example, our DVC tutorial discs.  However Encore only produces Flash and many people, including ourselves, are moving on to using HTML5.
♦    You can only rent Encore via the Creative Cloud.
♦    Encore is sort of End of Life.  Actually Adobe have not said the product is dead but have said that it is not being developed any further. This means it still exists, still works, and can still be bought. The only problem will be if a new operating system arrives (Windows 9 for example) and it no longer works on that o/s.  Adobe will not remake it to work on any new operating systems.  Architect has had no such announcement, although that does not mean it will definitely work with future operating systems of course!

If you edit with Premiere then you will obviously author with Encore, and if you edit with Vegas, then you will use Architect.  There is not enough differences between the two programs to make you want to use Architect when editing in Premiere (for example).  If editing with Grass Valley EDIUS or Avid Media Composer, for example, Architect is a good option as it adds better sound support than you get in EDIUS (you do not get ANY DVD authoring options with Avid Media Composer 8) and full DVD and Blu-ray writing..


Magix DVD Architect Pro 6 (in a bundle with Magix Vegas Pro 14)

Magix DVD Architect Pro 6 (in a bundle with Magix Vegas Pro 14)

Price:430.03  +VAT  (516.04 Inc. VAT at 20%)

Magix's excellent DVD and Blu-ray authoring program which gives you complete control over practically every aspect of disc creation.

DVD Architect Pro is only currently available in a bundle with Magix Vegas Pro - previously it has been available on its own, at a cheaper price. The change is because Sony have sold Vegas, Architect and many of their other software programs, such as Sound Forge to Magix. Magix have not yet said whether Architect will continue as a stand alone program, however, for now we can only buy DVD Architect with Magix Vegas.

It can do all varieties of DVDs and Blu-ray discs including full quality Stereoscopic discs with menus.  This program is available as a download version ONLY.  This means when you order the software we supply a serial number and you download the software from Sony and install it.  This is a permanent licence - even though the software is downloaded it acts in exactly the same was as a boxed version, and is not time-limited or cloud-based in anyway.


Magix Vegas 14 Suite - Magix Vegas, DVD Architect and Sound Forge

Magix Vegas 14 Suite - Magix Vegas, DVD Architect and Sound Forge

Price:599.00  +VAT  (718.80 Inc. VAT at 20%)

Includes Magix DVD Architect , NewBlueFX Looks, Boris FX 3D object unit, NewBlueFX Titler Pro 3, Boris FX 3D blend unit , Boris FX 3D match move unit, proDAD Mercalli V4 and Vegas Pro 14. .


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