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Since it seems this forum is here to stay (and is transitioning away from DSA) I thought it'd be a good place to start a discussion about transitioning off of DoStudio to Scenarist. I recently made the switch, and have finished two discs so far. I can't say it was EASY exactly, but it definitely could've been a lot worse.
A few of my experiences:
• My menu designers were able to transition to Scenarist format with relative ease. If you ignore most of the Scenarist-supplied scripts, it really is mostly just a matter of a different layer hierarchy and naming format. Nothing about their workflow really needs to change.
• If you already use DoStudio EX, IG Editor (DSA's bundled HDMV menu editor app) can import Scenarist-formatted PSD files, and export .ies files, which is what Scenarist uses. This could be a nice transition workflow.
• The ability to do partial-muxes is a GODSEND, especially when debugging. That said, compiling an entire disc takes about 2-3x as long as it did in DSA.
• While it was always flaky and most of its functionality is no longer required, I do miss DoStudio Subtitle & Scripting Assistant for its ability to do a pre-flight check of subtitle timing. (Hey Rob, any chance we could get a new version that can export in BDN XML?)
• Scenarist can do a lot of really nifty things DSA couldn't, or was really really bad at. (Image galleries, text-based subtitles, etc.) However I haven't tried most of these yet so I don't know what compatibility is like.
• Like a lot of people I had a big HDMV code library that I used in pretty much every DSA project. Scenarist won't let you type code directly, but forces you to enter it all via a menu system, which greatly reduces bugs and human error. The "language" is not the same either. The hardest part of transitioning was having to rewrite all my DSA HDMV code into Scenarist code. Luckily this code can be saved to a file, so hopefully I should only have to do that once.
• Most things can be figured out with relative ease, but adding PS3/PS4 thumbnail images is STUPIDLY difficult, and not in the Scenarist manual. (I'll post how to if anyone needs it.)
• The upgrade program couldn't have come at a better time: Windows 10 Creators Update seems to have broken DSA's ability to build BDCMF replication files, resulting in an error about Managed Copy not being set (which is bizarre because managed copy is not required and doesn't actually exist). Running DSA in Administrator mode fixed this, but only sometimes -- two discs had to be rebuilt. This is not acceptable in a production environment, so DSA had to go.
Still a work in progress over here but overall things are going well. Has anyone else made the switch? What were your experiences?
Hi Justin, thanks for the great feedback. I am excited by your thoughts, all will be reviewed and discussed. We aim to please as much as possible.
One point that you asked is already in the pipeline. We will be adding support in an upcoming Scenarist BD update for DoStudio .dost subtitle files.
Regarding this community forum. It is our intention to transition this community space into a more active BD and UHD authoring community site including new areas of interest in the coming months. Denny Breitenfeld and GlassThumb will also be joining this effort and will bring his expertise to the community as well. Hopefully we can all continue to work together to support and enhance the BD Disc, UHD-BD Disc authoring and other digital delivery methods into the future.
That's great that you're working on .dost subtitle importing! That said, Scripting Assistant was great because it automatically checked for subtitle events that were too short, flagged them, and allowed you to tweak the script to resolve any problems. It's a great tool, and saves a lot of headaches when you're importing a PG stream. That's what I miss.
Also exciting to hear Denny will be back!!
There should be something out there in regards to BDN XML. There were a few people working on all kinds of utilities in this area way back when. I'll see what I can dig up. What are the exact details you need to get it to work with your new work flow?
Keep Moving Forward!
Hey Denny! Long time no chat!
Actually, I've think I've found the perfect app for subtitle rendering (with my ridiculously needy audience), the command line/open source app AVS2BDNXML. It requires AVISynth, and also a video file matching the spec of whatever subtitles you're trying to render. It'll even render overlapping subs in a way that Scenarist can deal with.
It's not perfect, but it works pretty great for me. I was even able to put together a batch script that will process an entire directory at once, automatically generating the AVIsynth scripts and making new folders for the PNGs. Of course, if someone made a really nice GUI for it (and autodetected the length of the script so you don't need the matching video file), that would be ideal... but TBH I'm not sure if anyone is even paying attention anymore.
we have the problem with the thumbnails PS3 / PS4.
Can you please explain how it works the easiest?
Thanks and greetings
Sure thing, Tobias. It's... well, ludicrously complicated but not that hard.
*Note: The BD spec requires an older format JPEG file than is currently used by most software. (The underlying data is the same but metadata within the file is different.) I don't know if Scenarist repackages the JPEG files to fit the BD spec, but DoStudio didn't, resulting in verifier errors. If you want to be cautious, save the JPEG files with Windows Paint, or Photoshop CS2 or older. (I know CS2 won't even run on anything newer than XP.)
One other piece of great news. One of my main clients has recently started producing "SD-BDs", which are Blu-rays filled with SD material (as you can comfortably cram about 20 hours of SD content on a BD-50). However, our preferred format, h.264/AVC encoded at 24p with pulldown flags (making it effectively 29.97i) was causing DoStudio's muxer to do strange things. The discs played back fine in most players, but were a little wonky on PS3 and completely unwatchable on PS4 due to terrible stuttering. The RFF (pulldown) flags were not being interpreted by the decoder correctly.
We never did get to the bottom of why that was, and we assumed it was a bug in the PS4 firmware. However, upon building a new SD-BD disc on Scenarist, we were delighted to discover that the PS4 bug was gone!
Unfortunately two releases did make it to retail with the PS4 bug, but we redid several discs that nearly made it to market, and hopefully one of the problem sets will get re-replicated at some point.
thanks for the quick instruction. It works fine.
With the SD BDs is good news. We also want to start in 2018.