Burning a Blu-Ray or DVD without Menus

Ah, discs: the medium that just won't die. Be it for a film festival submission or for class, we all occasionally must buckle-down and bring our project back to 2006. For burning your projects, we recommend using Adobe Encore CS6. You can find it on any of the computers on the 6th and 8th floors of Ansin. Blu-ray/DVD burners can also be found scattered around our labs. Ask a lab assistant for help if you're having trouble finding one.

Whether you're burning a Blu-ray or a DVD, this guide will take you through the process step-by-step. Before you begin, you'll need to export a full resolution copy of your project from your editing program of choice. For most projects, you can export in Apple ProRes 422 HQ. If you have questions about how to export, take a look at our article on codecs.

Creating a Project

  • Open Encore and select "New Project".
  • Name your project and save it to your external hard drive by selecting "Browse".
  • Choose the appropriate Authoring Mode and set your Television Standard to "NTSC" unless you intend to screen your project abroad.
  • Under "Default Transcode Settings" set the Max Audio/Video Bitrate to 20 Mbps for Blu-ray or 9.4 Mbps for DVD. You must set Dimensions and Frame Rate to match your exported file. To check these values, open your file in QuickTime Player and hit CMD + I.
  • Select "Ok" twice to create your project.

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Back to Top

Interface

  • Project: This area acts similarly to the project tab in Premiere or a bin in Avid. It holds all of your media and assets (timelines, menus, etc.)
  • Menus: This tab will show you all menus present in the Project tab without the clutter of other timelines and other assets.
  • Timelines: This tab will show you all the timelines present in the Project tab without the clutter of other Menus and other assets.
  • Build: This tab is where we will go when it’s time to burn the disk.
  • Monitor: This is where we will be able to preview our Timelines and Menus
  • Properties: This tab is crucial to our workflow. Any time an object or asset is selected, the properties tab will reflect the properties of that specific asset. This will become especially important when we set buttons and end actions.
  • Character: Contains options to customize text
  • Timeline: This acts the same as a timeline in Premiere or Avid without the editing capabilities. This is where we can add chapter markers.
  • Library: This is where we find all of the objects which come included with Encore, such as premade menus and buttons.
  • Layers: This tab is a good tool when creating menus if you are familiar with Photoshop.
  • Tools: Select, Direct Select, Move, Rotate, Text, Vertical Text, Zoom. Next to these are two other options: Photoshop (which will open your menu in Photoshop) and Preview (which will allow you to navigate a preview of your DVD/Blu Ray Menus and Timelines before building the disk)

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Getting Started

Importing Assets

  • In the Project tab, right click and navigate to Import as>Asset. This will open a Finder window through which you can select your exported Quicktime file(s) and any images or audio you plan to use for

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  • Tip: You can skip the next step by importing your Quicktime files separately from any images/audio. Right click and select Import as>Timeline. In your project tab you will see a Quicktime file and a timeline appear. 

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Creating a Timeline

  • In the project tab, right click and select New>Timeline. From here you can drag a Quicktime from the project tab into the timeline. You should now be able to scrub through the timeline and preview it using the monitor tab. Be sure to name each timeline! As with most of post-production, organization is key. Extra or unnecessary timelines may cause problems down the road.

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All the Fun Stuff

This guide will show you how to create a basic DVD or Blu Ray which will automatically play your project then stop when it finishes without any frills or special features.

You can spend plenty of time customizing your disk with menus, chapters, and all kinds of fancy options. More more information, see our guide on Blu Rays and DVDs with Menus here: Burning a Blu-Ray with Menus

Building Your Disk

  • Right click on the timeline in your project tab and make sure that it is set to the first play by selecting "set as first play." If you have only imported one time, then it will likely default to your first play. If the menu says "clear first play," do not click this option. This means your timeline is already the first play.
  • Select your timeline in the Project tab (top left). And set the End Action in the Properties tab (top right) to "Stop". This will tell the Blu-ray/DVD player to stop playing once your film is complete.
  • Navigate to the Build tab (top left), and the Properties tab will display your disc settings. Name your disc then set the title button to "Stop".

  • In the Build tab, select "Check Project" and hit "Run". If no error messages appear, you're good to go. If anything does come up, make sure you followed the previous steps correctly and then find a Lab Assistant for help.
  • Make sure to name your disc in the Properties tab.

For Blu-rays

  • In the Build tab, set the format to Blu-ray and the output to Blu-ray Image. This will create a file that can then be burned onto the disc. We do this instead of burning directly to the disc so that if any errors occur, you haven't wasted a disc.
  • Set Source to "Current Project" and Destination to your external hard drive.
  • Take a look at the disc you plan to burn to - it should list its size and its image type. Make sure the fields under Disk Info match that information.

  • Select "Build". This may take some time depending on the size of your project.
  • Once your disc image has finished exporting, change your Output to "Blu-ray Disk".
  • Set Source to "Disk Image" and browse for the file you just created (it will be a .iso file).
  • Insert your disk into the burner and change the Destination to that disk.

  • Select "Build" and wait while Encore burns your disk.

For DVDs

  • In the Build tab, set the format to DVD and the output to DVD Image. This will create a file that can then be burned onto the disc. We do this instead of burning directly to the disc so that if any errors occur, you haven't wasted a disc.
  • Set Source to "Current Project" and Destination to your external hard drive.
  • Take a look at the disc you plan to burn to - it should list how many sides it has and its size. Make sure the fields under Disk Info match that information.

  • Select "Build". This may take some time depending on the size of your project.
  • Once your disc image has finished exporting, change your Output to "DVD Disk".
  • Set Source to "Disk Image" and browse for the file you just created (it will be a .iso file).
  • Insert your disk into the burner and change the Destination to that disk.

  • Select "Build" and wait while Encore burns your disk.