One of DVDAfterEdit's most powerful and frequently-used functions is the ability to replace a Video Title Set. This article describes briefly how to use it, while retaining all the exisiting navigation from your project. Common uses of this procedure would be to swap out a copyright message, company ident or even an updated element.
To get started, open up the build file of your project. DVDAfterEdit displays a representation of the information contained in the information (IFO) files of the DVD. You can see the Video Title Sets of your project by unfolding the arrow of the VTS node, in the Left Pane. Using Tracer or the Preview Window in the Right Pane, find the VTS you would like to Replace, unfold it's node arrow, and select the Title PGC (PGC_TT) node:
The Right Pane is displaying all kinds of information about the VTS, but for the time being let's concentrate on the Pre-Commands. Unfold the arrow as shown above if you can't see them. These commands control the detailed navigation of the disc. Pre-Commands are executed before the video in the PGC is played, and Post-Commands are executed after it has been displayed. If you're a DVD Studio Pro user and have written "scripts" to control navigation or the selection of audio streams, for example, your commands will be here - although they may be difficult to find or recognise!
Don't worry - we don't need to understand these commands at all for this process - we just need to make sure we don't loose them when we Replace our VTS. We do that by making sure that the VTS TT_PGC node is selected as in the illustration above, and choosing "Copy PGC Commands" from the Edit menu. So all those commands are copied into the Paste Buffer, and will stay there until we've replaced the VTS with our new one containing the DTS audio stream. Then when the Replace function has finished, we can just paste them back in again.
Try it, making sure the Project you're working on has been backed up first. Select the VTS node instead of the PGC_TT node, control-click on it and select "Replace VTS":
You'll get a requester like the one shown below. Browse your way to the VIDEO_TS folder of the project which contains your new VOB file, in this case the VTS_01_1.VOB:
As you can see, DVDAfterEdit offers you the chance to Import any commands or menus associated with the VTS VOB you have chosen, but since we are taking the VTS from a project which has nothing to do with this one, we don't either of these options, so un-check both boxes, and click "Choose". This won't take too long, but for a larger VTS it will be some minutes. The program shows you a progress indicator.
Once the VTS has finished importing, select it's node arrow and unfold the arrow in the Right Pane to look at it's properties:
Bingo! We have a new VTS. We're not quite finished yet, though - if you unfold the VTS node arrow again and select the Title PGC again, you'll see that as expected, the VTS has no Pre or Post Commands - we chose not to import them, remember.
So now we simply have to select "Paste PGC Commands" from the Edit menu (while the title PGC is still selected), and the commands we copied to the Paste Buffer before starting the Replace VTS function will slot straight in. The navigation and/or scripting for the DVD will now behave exactly as it did originally, but with a new VTS where the dummy track was. All we need to do now is Save the project and we're done!
To recap, here is this procedure in outline:
At this stage it's also worth using DVDAfterEdit to check all the other properties of the new VOB - aspect ratio, subtitle & audio streams and their languages and so on, just to make sure that everything is as it should be.
If your original VTS had a more complicated structure than just one title PGC, you would copy the commands from the whole project rather than just the Title PGC, and use DVDAfterEdit's Title List editor to create the correct VTS PGC structure before pasting those commands back in. This is also quite straightforward, and is covered in other articles.
Hopefully you can now see that DVDAfterEdit's Replace VTS function is both extremely powerful and extremely easy to use. Any VTS can be replaced, so you could insert a new version with DTS audio, for example, or a VTS with animated subpictures (overlays), or one with complicated subtitle requirements - in fact, any feature not currently supported by your authoring application can be added, allowing you to keep creative control of the rest of the project, and pass the savings in time and efficiency on to your customers rather than letting the work go elsewhere. I'm sure someone out there will come up with some truly innovative uses for this function, and I look forward to seeing them!