Setting a Dual-Layer DVD Break Point

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the March, 2011, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

Jeff Mack writes:

I found your tips on burning DDP files for a replicator for a dvd 9. I am having some issues and would appreciate your advice. I followed your advice in detail for setting the dual layer breakpoint. I meticulously searched for the best point and set a dual layer marker on an existing chapter marker. I did the build and format and burned to disk. It created the 4 files perfectly.


The next day I went to my menu and selected the burn option to burn a DVD dual layer master. This is when I get the error message about the first layer exceeding the maximum amount. My project creates three tracks. The first is a 50 second open first intro. Then there is a menu that gives the viewer to chose between the concert and an interview. If you choose interview, it just plays through for 36 minutes – single audio track with it. If you choose the concert, a second menu comes up to choose 3 different audio tracks – Dolby stereo, Dolby 5.1 and DTS 5.1. When you make that choice, it opens a final menu that allows a play concert or foes to a set list for individual song selection.


The question is, what determines what is on layer one vs. layer two? If I assume the concert is on layer one, it would make sense that based on size, the dual layer marker should be like 75% through the concert, then switch to layer two for the last 25% and all of the interview. In setting the dual layer marker, how would I know if the interview and 25% of the concert s/b on layer 1 or 2. What if the break should be in the interview track? Can I force which track goes to which layer?

Larry replies: Jeff, there is less logic here than might at first appear.

Dual Layer break points are determined by where the VTS segments are located, not just which is the longest, or most logical, clip within which to place a break point.

Here’s an article that goes into dual-layer DVDs in more detail.

The key is that VTS location is critical to setting the ultimate break point.

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