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Adobe Encore DVD: In the Studio

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There’s a rule about projects: if you want to do it right, you need the right tools. That’s true whether you’re building a house, installing a kitchen faucet, or developing a computer project. Adobe Encore DVD is a very specific product, for a very specific purpose: it is for making DVDs. If you want to edit video, you need something different (Adobe Premiere, for example). But if you want to create a DVD from that video, Adobe Encore is the tool.

Adobe Encore DVD: In the Studio is primarily geared toward Adobe Creative Suite developers, especially those using Adobe Premiere and AfterEffects, as well as filmmakers who want to transfer their final results to DVD. The book features some practical exercises, together with some project-based lessons geared toward generating a familiarity with all of Encore’s features. The book also uses some real-world examples as a basic component of its DVD construction (or deconstruction, as the case may be), including Ralph LeBarge’s Planet Earth series of DVDs. As a semi-humorous sidenote: the book also offers a bit of insight into what the letters D-V-D stand for:

Those of us who remember the original advertising for DVDs in the mid-1990s recall that the letters stood for Digital Video Disc. Later, however, the acronym somehow revised itself to stand for Digital Versatile Disc, which (truthfully) implied that the disc format could hold much more than video (e.g., data and/or audio). Depending on which corporate patent holder you ask, you’re likely to get one of those two responses. However, the DVD forum (www.dvdforum.org), the current governing consortium of more than 200 corporate members, has not come to an official decision as to what the letters stand for. And neither of the preceding definitions is considered valid today. So, if someone asks what DVD stands for . . . well, it just stands for “DVD.”

There’s plenty of technical information, including the protocols of DVD files, common “gotchas” regarding still and motion media, and all kinds of information about setting up DVD menus and the like. There’s also tips on how to incorporate other Adobe content into your creations, including Photoshop and AfterEffects (after all, Adobe doesn’t make a “suite” of products for nothing). Encore offers quite a bit for both the budding DVD developer and the seasoned professional. For example, for a “quick disc,” Encore allows you to simply drag clips onto the menu and the program will do all the work of creating links, inserting video thumbnails for the menu buttons, and converting the clips to DVD formats. On the other hand, it also allows absolute control over menu design, navigational linking, and a host of other aspects of DVD construction and design, all of which makes it capable of producing complicated DVD menus.

The generous use of illustrations and an easy, understandable narrative that clearly explains how to handle most functions are principal selling points of t his book. If your goal is to develop professional-looking DVDs with spectacular interfaces, Adobe Encore DVD is exactly what the doctor ordered, and Adobe Encore DVD: In the Studio is an excellent book to help decipher the prescription.

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