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Old 16 Jul 2012, 02:03 AM   #1
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Default Merge chapters

I would be grateful for guidance on how to merge two adjacent Chapters in a PGC.
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Old 16 Jul 2012, 11:24 PM   #2
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Load the DVD in PgcEdit.

Right-click the movie PGC and select "Go to calling command". A window should open. Verify in that window that there are NO JumpVTS_PTT, Link_PTT or Link_PG commands, as otherwise you may break the navigation if you remove a program and chapter. (The other commands such as JumpTT, JumpVTS_TT and other Links are harmless.) If there are "dangerous" commands, you will have to modify them after having merged the chapters, and it's not easy, so I don't recommend to continue in that case. For example, if your DVD has a chapter menu, you will have to edit it so that the chapters buttons will continue to call the right chapters (unless you have merged the last two chapters). Anyway, it doesn't make much sense to remove a chapter of a DVD that has a chapter menu, so I suppose it's not your case.
If there are no JumpVTS_PTT, Link_PTT or Link_PG commands, close the window and go on!

Double-click the PGC to open the PGC Editor.

In the cells list, click on the "Prog. (PG)" button corresponding to the second chapter of the two chapters you want to merge. After that operation, the button should have no label, and the subsequent programs and chapter numbers should be decreased by one.

The "Edit Chapter (PTT) Table" button at the bottom of the window will probably turn red. Click it, and click the "Delete last chapter" button, to remove the additional chapter no longer associated with a program.

Save. That's all.
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Last edited by r0lZ; 16 Jul 2012 at 11:42 PM
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Old 19 Jul 2012, 01:14 AM   #3
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Many thanks for your help. Some time back I managed to get a video’s Scenes-Chapters associations out of kilter and lacked the courage to try to rectify them.
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Old 19 Jul 2012, 08:53 PM   #4
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Another phenomenon which has intrigued me is that in a software player (e.g. Media Player Classic) the video could not be advanced rapidly in uniform manner – the cursor might return to an earlier position or even remain blocked (as when a menu has been selected). What might cause this?
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Old 19 Jul 2012, 09:26 PM   #5
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Usually, it's just because the time map is missing or wrong. Try to rebuild the time map with PgcEdit. (See Title menu.)

However, this can also be caused by the "Time play or search" PUO (prohibited user operation).

If the title has the "Not one sequential title" flag set in the Title Play Map Table, then the Time play or search PUO should also be set (and the Time Map table is useless, and usually not present). The "Not one sequential title" flag must theoretically be set if the PG Playback mode is random or shuffle, and in some other circumstances, such as when the title is a slide show (made of still images).

You can try to turn the Not one sequential title flag off, but that may be dangerous, unless you are sure that the title is a normal title, made of sequential cells. However, as far as I know, turning off the Time play or search PUO is harmless, even if the title is not sequential, but most players will continue to prohibit that operation if the Not one sequential title or the random or shuffle options are on, or if they detect that one of these flags should be on. (PowerDVD is well known for that irritating behaviour.)

Look in the upper left corner of the PGC editor to see if the random or shuffle mode is enabled.
The "Not one sequential title" flag is in the Title Play Map Table (look in the Title menu).
The Time play or search PUO can be in 3 different locations, and you must clear it everywhere. It can be set in the Title Play Map Table, in the PUOs of the PGC, and in the VOBs. In the latter case, you need the PUO plugin to clear it.

Note also that seeking to a specific time is never possible when a menu PGC is playing. (BTW, there is no Time Map table for the menus.)

The problem can also be caused by a bad encoding or by a bug in your player.

Last edited by r0lZ; 19 Jul 2012 at 09:33 PM
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Old 21 Jul 2012, 01:50 AM   #6
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Many thanks for your comprehensive reply. I ran “Rebuild all time maps of DVD” – but this didn’t help probably because of what follows.

As background, the DVD consists of 10 Titles of which 2 are “dummies” and only a couple of cells in all have the “seamless joint” flag set. All 10 titles have the “NOT One Sequential Title” flag set except for the last one (which is presumably logical). None has the “Time play or search” PUO set. All titles are in Sequential playback mode

I made a copy of the Video and experimented with setting the “Time play or search” PUO flags to ON, but this didn’t help.

>You can try to turn the Not one sequential title flag off, but that may be dangerous, unless you are sure that the title is a normal title, made of sequential cells.<
This did the trick.

The precautionary message appears when I open a title now in the PGC Editor (even though all titles are Sequential):
: “Title 1 is flagged as one_sequential_title in the Title Play Map table.
However, due to the Title characteristics or to its PG playback mode, it is probably not safe to declare it so……”
I hit in response.

>Note also that seeking to a specific time is never possible when a menu PGC is playing.<
I don’t quite understand this.

> (PowerDVD is well known for that irritating behaviour.)<,
Another weakness I have found with this player is that, after turning subtitles OFF by default, Power DVD continues displaying them (if anything seems even worse than VLC in this respect), whereas Media Player Classic never stumbles.

I have been searching unsuccessfully for the VM command to jump from the First Play to the VMGM Title Menu – which I understand from the PgcEdit Manual is legal, but seems not to be frequent. I would be grateful if you could help me with this.
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Old 21 Jul 2012, 02:33 AM   #7
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Oh, yes. I forgot to say that a title made of several PGCs is also not sequential.

Some titles are made of a PGC with playback content and one or several other PGCs, that can have video content or be dummies. (A Title consisting of dummies only is illegal.) You can see what PGCs pertain to the same title by looking at the TTN number in the right pane. If there are several PGCs with the same TTN in the same VTST domain, then they are "subsets" of a single title. (The PGC with a Title number is the "entry PGC" of the title, containing chapter 1. In PgcEdit, the other TTNs have no Title number, to locate the entry PGC easily, but in fact, they share the same Title number, exactly like the TTN number.)

Since you said that "the DVD consists of 10 Titles of which 2 are “dummies”", I suppose that most of your titles are indeed not sequential. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to turn a non-sequential multi-PGC title to a standard sequential title.

But if the title is made only of an entry PGC with video and one dummy, it is usually possible to remove the dummy and convert the main PGC to a standard title. However, you must understand why the authoring has been made that way, and fix it so that the dummy is not called any more, and what it does is executes by the commands of the main Title PGC (with video).

I've seen often a dummy called only via the "Next PGC link" of the main title PGC. You can verify if it's the case by executing "Go to calling PGC" on the dummy. If there is only a single button and you see that the command is a LinkNextPGCN link, you can easily fix the problem. Here is how:

- Create an incremental backup, just in case...
- Change the Next PGCn link to point to itself. It should be set to the PGC number of the current PGC (the entry PGC with video content, usually 1).
- Copy the pre or post commands of the dummy in the post-command area of the main PGC.
- With the trace, verify if the navigation is not broken when the fitle has finished playing. Verify also if you can still go to the next title or return to the menu (or do whatever the original authoring was doing) when you hit the Next Chapter button during the playback of the last chapter.
- If nothing is broken, use DVD -> Delete Uncalled PGCs to get rid of the dummy. Otherwise, restore the backup.
- You can now easily convert the non-sequential Title to a sequential one.
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Old 21 Jul 2012, 02:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VRYK View Post
>Note also that seeking to a specific time is never possible when a menu PGC is playing.<
I don’t quite understand this.
The DVDs are made of titles (in the VTST domains) and menus (in the VMGM and the VTSM domains). A menu has no time map, and for that reason, it is never possible to jump to a specific time in the video content (and therefore you cannot use the seek bar of your player). The discussion here concerns only the Title PGCs. It's just a fact I wanted to outline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VRYK View Post
I have been searching unsuccessfully for the VM command to jump from the First Play to the VMGM Title Menu – which I understand from the PgcEdit Manual is legal, but seems not to be frequent. I would be grateful if you could help me with this.
In the command editor, use the last menu to select the right jump. (It is called "Jump to..." for obvious reasons.) It is organised so that you can just select where you want to jump, and PgcEdit will automatically insert the right command in the editor. In your case, it will use a JumpSS-VMGM-menu.

You can also use the QuickTarget plugin. If it is installed, just insert a NOP in the FP-PGC, select it, and Alt-Click the target PGC. The NOP will be automatically converted to the right command (if the jump is legal).
Note that you can use the same method to convert a NOP to a GOTO, by Alt-clicking another line in the same pre or post-command area.
Also, the original command doesn't need to be a NOP. The same method allow you to change the target of an existing jump, link, call or goto.
Say thanks to M_Knox, author of that excellent plugin!

Last edited by r0lZ; 21 Jul 2012 at 02:50 AM
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Old 23 Jul 2012, 10:48 PM   #9
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Many thanks for your reply.

>If there is only a single button and you see that the command is a LinkNextPGCN link, you can easily fix the problem.<
This was in fact the case. I am puzzled as to what useful purpose such “subsets” can possibly serve. Anyhow, following your instructions, I now have a single per TTN per Title.

>A Title consisting of dummies only is illegal<
I suppose my utilisation of “dummy” is incorrect. The two Titles referred to as such have time duration = (0.00) in the PGC Selector pane and selecting Preview PGC gives a black screen with Timestamp = 0:00:00.07. I presume this constitutes a video playback content.

>In the command editor, use the last menu to select the right jump<
I don’t know how I managed to forget the Command Editor!

Sometimes (motion) menus consist of 2 cells - the first containing only a button’s background text layer and the second containing all button layers. What purpose does this first cell play ?. If the menu is edited, I suppose that the two cells must be processed individually (separate creation and editing of bitmap images).
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Old 23 Jul 2012, 11:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VRYK View Post
Many thanks for your reply.

>If there is only a single button and you see that the command is a LinkNextPGCN link, you can easily fix the problem.<
This was in fact the case. I am puzzled as to what useful purpose such “subsets” can possibly serve. Anyhow, following your instructions, I now have a single per TTN per Title.
Usually, that kind of authoring has only one purpose: allowing you to return to the menu or play the next title when you use the Next Chapter button of the remote during the playback of the last chapter of the Title.

The problem is that, without a specific authoring, you cannot jump to the post-commands of the current title with the remote, as the Next Chapter button is supposed to jump, well, to the next chapter, and if it doesn't exist, you cannot use that button. However, there are 3 authoring methods to avoid this problem:

1. When the Title is a multi-PGCs (non-sequential) title, and the NextPGCN link points to another PGC, then you can use the Next button to jump to that PGC during the playback of the last chapter of the current PGC. The target PGC MUST be in the same Title (and therefore have the same TTN number). Hence the complex authoring you have been facing, with non-sequential titles made of several PGCs. The drawback is that you cannot use the "jump to time" function of the hardware players or the seek bars of the software players, as you know.

2. If the NextPGCN link of a PGC points to itself, then you can also use the Next button to jump to the post-commands of the current PGC. It's the method I prefer, as it is easy to implement it, and there are no limitations. (However, the legality of that method is still discussed, but AFAIK it works with all players.) I have explained above how to implement it in your case.

3. The third method consists in adding an additional short chapter (usually a single black frame) at the end of the movie. Since it's a normal chapter, it is called when you press Next during the playback of the previous chapter (the last "real" chapter of the movie) but since it is extremely short, it ends almost immediately, and the post-commands are executed. Again, it's a good method, without limitations, but you will see an additional fake chapter in the chapters list of your player. (You can also create such fake chapters with PgcEdit's Create New Cell function.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by VRYK View Post
>A Title consisting of dummies only is illegal<
I suppose my utilisation of “dummy” is incorrect. The two Titles referred to as such have time duration = (0.00) in the PGC Selector pane and selecting Preview PGC gives a black screen with Timestamp = 0:00:00.07. I presume this constitutes a video playback content.
Yes, a dummy has no cells at all. A title consisting of a single black frame is not a real dummy. PgcEdit replaces the "(0:00)" with "(dummy)" in the left pane when a PGC is a real dummy. They are rare in VTST domains, but they can be present in multi-PGCs titles, as long as at least one PGC of the Title is not a dummy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VRYK View Post
Sometimes (motion) menus consist of 2 cells - the first containing only a button’s background text layer and the second containing all button layers. What purpose does this first cell play ?. If the menu is edited, I suppose that the two cells must be processed individually (separate creation and editing of bitmap images).
Not sure I understand you. If the first cell of the menu has no buttons, you should not edit it. It's usually a menu intro. If the menu is made of several cells with buttons, then yes, you must edit them separately.

Sometimes, almost the same menu is authored in two different PGCs (with one or several cells in each PGC). It's usually for the same reason: the first time the menu is played, one of the PGC is played, with an intro. The next time the same menu is called, the other PGC, without intro, is played. In that case also, you have to edit the two PGCs (or, if you need to regain some disc space, you can convert the PGC with the intro to a dummy, and jump to the other PGC from the pre-commands, but that's another story.)
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Old 25 Jul 2012, 07:29 AM   #11
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Many thanks for your explanations.

>Not sure I understand you. If the first cell of the menu has no buttons, you should not edit it. It's usually a menu intro. If the menu is made of several cells with buttons, then yes, you must edit them separately.<

Both the cells are “motion” cells (and constitute the Video Manager Title Menu). In Trace Mode Cell 1 appears in preview mode; it ends up with the menu button background texts and includes a box for blanking the cell. The cell 2 image adds the button outlines.

Since I wish to hide a couple of the menu’s buttons, I need to delete the corresponding background texts from cell 1.

What puzzles me is that cell 1 (which I believe is what you term a “menu intro”) seems to be a mere “stepping stone” to cell 2 and superfluous; i.e. it doesn’t appear to play any role in the video’s navigation.
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Old 25 Jul 2012, 04:27 PM   #12
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Yes, according to your description, cell 1 is a "menu intro" and its only purpose is cosmetic. I suppose the buttons backgrounds appear at the end of the cell's playback with some kind of transition effect, so that the buttons do not appear abruptly when cell 2 starts playing.

Since the 2 cells are animated, it is not easy to remove the button backgrounds, as you have to use a video editor, and you will need to reauthor the whole menu and import it back in the original DVD.
To facilitate the conversion, you can convert cell 2 to still, (with MenuShrink or VobBlanker) and/or remove the intro cell (with MenuShrink or PgcEdit), as I suggested (in brackets) at the end of my previous post. If you want to keep the menu animated and with its intro, but remove the useless button backgrounds, then I wish you good luck! (Honestly, when I have removed some buttons in motion menus, I have just used the "hide button" feature of PgcEdit, but I have not edited the menu background. Too much work!)

Last edited by r0lZ; 26 Jul 2012 at 12:24 AM
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Old 25 Jul 2012, 11:46 PM   #13
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Thanks for your confirmation.

For animated menus without audio I use VobBlanker for the background and PgcEdit to hide the outlines, while for those with audio I use DVDReMake and MuxMan. Although VobBlanker has an option to retain the audio, I was never able to get it to work.
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Old 26 Jul 2012, 12:23 AM   #14
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MenuShrink is easier and faster than VobBlanker to convert animated menus to stills. Its option to keep the audio works well. However, you still have to use VobBlanker to replace the still menu background, if you want to edit it.
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Old 28 Jul 2012, 08:56 AM   #15
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Thanks for that information.

The video is now working fine. However, I was surprised when burning it with ImgBurn that only two “average” layer break positions were found (and both presented the same image). The 8 Titles are called by the Chapter (inc. “Play All”) menu buttons, and I would have thought that these would provide good break positions.
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