Adobe Encore CS3

Adobe Encore CS3

As you link buttons to menus and tracks, you can see your whole project in a convenient flowchart view, which shows how all the elements link to each other. You can do a test preview of your project at any time, and a project checker feature lets you know if you’ve got any broken links or other glitches to fix. Finally, you can output your final productions to DVD, to image files, or to DLT tape, in case you’re going to press large batches of discs at a replication facility.

 

Encore doesn’t support scripting (something that DVD Studio Pro does), but frankly, the majority of DVD projects won’t need it. On the other hand, Encore packs two cutting-edge features that DVD Studio Pro just can’t touch. First, Encore can author high-definition Blu-ray discs, which you can burn with a third-party Blu-ray burner and play on any Blu-ray player from Sony, Samsung, and others. (DVD Studio Pro can author the competing HD-DVD format, but there are no Mac-compatible HD-DVD burners on the market yet, so your only option is to record 30 minutes of HD video to a standard dual-layer DVD and then play it in a Toshiba HD-DVD player.) Blu-ray authoring is more useful in our book: Blu-ray discs can store over two hours of video, and more Blu-ray players are on the market.

 

Second, Encore can even output your DVD as interactive SWF Flash files (menus, tracks, and all), which you can post online for any Flash-equipped computer to play. This is a great way to quickly show clients and colleagues your work in progress, and it’s also a perfect example of how Adobe is integrating its array of apps.

 

The bottom line. Tight Photoshop integration along with Blu-ray and Flash output make Encore your best option for many DVD projects. Too bad for Final Cut Pro users that Encore isn’t available separately from Adobe Premiere Pro.

 

COMPANY: Adobe

CONTACT: www.adobe.com

PRICE: Bundled with Adobe Premiere Pro CS3, which is $799 à la carte, $299 upgrade, and available in two CS3 bundles ($1,699 to $2,499)

REQUIREMENTS: Intel processor, Mac OS 10.4.9 or later, 1GB RAM (2GB for HDV and HD)

Easy, intuitive interface. Templates get you started quickly. Photoshop-enhanced menu building. Blu-ray high-definition disc burning. Ability to convert DVD projects to Flash.

Doesn’t work on PowerPC Macs. No advanced scripting.

 

 

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