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Layer break not on cell boundary

Mar 17, 2012 6:58 AM

I recently authored a dual DVD for glass mastering in Encore CS5 and this is what the Mastering Company emailed my client "


Our Premastering Dept gets this message " Layer break not on cell boundary"
which means that there may be a problem on some players when the dvd goes from layer0 to layer1,
they can stop for example.

Face to this risk, we have to ask your approval before we go ahead with production with this master,
or you send us a new master revised by your authoring studio.


Does anyone know how to fix this.


Thank you.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 17, 2012 7:48 AM   in reply to srukweza

    How did you set the Layer Break?

    Where is it supposed to be placed in your project?

    If you used Encore, then it might have been automatically set and this sometimes does not work.

    Also, did Encore transcode your footage to MPEG-2 or did you use a pre-cooked MPEG-2 file?

    If the latter, it is possible your layer break is not on a properly configured chapter point - do you have chapter points in your main film?

    Aso, how did you supply the final master - DDP images or a playable DVD+R DL disc?

    Finally, are you on a mac or a PC?


    Sorry for the questions, but if you can let me know the answers I think I can help you through this one.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 17, 2012 9:04 AM   in reply to srukweza


    Can you try exporting your project to a folder.

    Then, go grab a copy of the excellent PGCEdit and open the folder in this.

    It will tell you exactly where the layer break is located and should be able to correct this problem.

    (To open the title itself, simply "open DVD" and broswe to the VIDEO_TS folder and it will be opened up)


    To open the main timeline for analysis, double-click on it in the left-hand tree (see screenshot below where it is highlighted in grey and will open up to the view you see)



    It's not really that big a deal, and PGCEdit will be able to fix this.

    See this forum post for a detailed description of what is going on here, and what it really means.

    What has most likely happened - and PGCEdit will confirm this - is that the layer break will be flagged as seamless.

    This is a logical impossibility as the player must refocus, and this is the reason some discs carry the disclaimer that "the layer break may trigger a slight pause in playback" on their packaging. If PGCEdit tells you the layer break is flagged as seamless, reset to non-seamless & go with it.


    I would then use IMGburn to make your final disc for replication.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 17, 2012 9:06 AM   in reply to Neil Wilkes



    PGCedit is incredibly powerful, and if misused may result in an unplayable disc.

    ALways test before sending to replication, and if there are any issues then reload your automatically backed up files that PGCedit will createfor you.

    They are just the IFO files, and very small - simply take them, copy them & paste back into your original VIDEO_TS folder to get things back how they were.


    No DVD author should be without this invaluable tool - and please, please donate to the creators if you find it useful.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 17, 2012 10:44 AM   in reply to srukweza

    Yes, it is.

    That actually looks correct to me - I wonder if PGCedit automatically corrected the problem? It should automatically pick the best place & set the flag correctly.....

    Easiest way to check is to create a disc using IMGburn now, from the folder you opened in PGCedit.

    If the break is correctly set, IMGburn will do one of 2 things:

    1 - If there is only one place it can go, it will just use that & burn.

    2 - If there are options, it will present you with a list of possible locations, along with the option to preview them, and a grading as to the suitability of the location.


    Another, superb option, is to allow PGCedit to do it all for you.

    See this guide on exactly how to set everything up properly - it is invaluable, and a great introduction to this awesome tool


    All this done, you will now have a working disc. BUT - we can also try to find out exactly what Encore is up to, if you feel like doing it.....

    What I would be inclined to do is create a few Chapter Points in Encore by doing the following (instead of using Dynamic Linking) if you cannot add chapter points with Dynamic Link.

    (I do not know if you can do this or not, as I have never tried. If you CAN add Chapter Points to a dynamically linked source file, then you do not need to render to interim file types)

    1 - Render out your interim file from PPro to your usual file type. If source is all DV AVI, then render to DV AVI and WAVE file for audio.

    2 - Import these into your project, and set up the disc as normal.

    3 - Set a selection of Chapter Points in the main film, at suitable places.

    NB - I would look to place these at Scene changes, ideally with black video & no sound....but you may not be able to do this.

    Export the project to a folder, and take a look in PGCedit at what you see....or else load the resulting folder into IMGburn, and see what options it gives you for the Layer Break.

    The beauty of these apps is that you can preview where the break point is - in PGCedit, click on the black arrow at the far right of the cell where the layer break is, and it will bring up a still of the exact point. In IMGburn, just tell it to preview and it will launch a player & do this for you.

    The reason for jumping through these hoops is purely to give you some options, and to try & ascertain exactly what Encore is up to.


    DDP images over written discs.

    If Encore is flagging the layer break as seamless, you might still get the error if mastering to a DDP image - Again, I do not use this part, as I always premaster in a different application.

    Now, although the error can be ignored you do run the risk of getting playability issues because the player might lose it's location........see the thread I linked to earlier for details.

    DDP images are better to send than a written disc mainly because of the built-in error correction.....and the sad but true fact that written discs can contain errors.


    Some basic pointers for using PGCedit are needed, I think.

    Before you open the folder, go to the Options menu.

    Make certain that the options for "input/output" have the setting "when saving, leave at least 32kb of space between IFO and BUP" is checked.

    Basically, everything on that page should be checked.

    Also, in the Command Editor section, make sure the option to "highlight errors, GOTO targets and dead commands" is checked.


    I hope this all helps.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 17, 2012 10:52 AM   in reply to Neil Wilkes

    Did you also download & install all the plugins for PGCedit?

    Well, well worth get access to some really neat stuff.



    It seems that PGCedit will almost certainly have set the right placefor the break, but if you study the guide I just linked to, it walks you through the whole process.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2012 5:28 AM   in reply to srukweza

    I would leave the box unchecked - this is the seamless/non seamless flag.

    Setting to non seamless forces a flushing out of the buffers, which although doing this might cause a slight pause in playback on certain machines will definitely prevent similar players skipping forwards or otherwise losing their place in a timeline that is literally split in the DVD.

    Some players will sail through this with no issues at all, and you will not even see the LB has been crossed.

    Others will trigger a slight transition pause.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2012 8:30 AM   in reply to srukweza

    Seamless Layer Break must *not* be activated.

    In PGCedit & the second screen, these must be off - it is on in the second screenshot.

    As it says, not supported - meaning replication will flag this as an error.

    It may make players lose their place.....

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2012 9:48 AM   in reply to srukweza

    Please keep me informed as to how it comes out?

    These type of settings have always worked for us, so they ought to work for you.


    The problem we face with PreMastering DVD is that it becomes an excercise in the art of compromise to get the best possible compatibility.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2012 10:49 AM   in reply to Neil Wilkes

    I don't believe Encore ever sets the seamless layer break flag as far as I know. In fact, when we create dual layer ISO's, we always have to manually choose the layer break while burning in ImgBurn, as the layer break info is not included with the ISO. I would recommend creating a DDP image for the replicator instead of providing them with a dual layer disc, especially since there are only two brands of Dual Layer discs that actually work (Verbatim and Falcon Media Pro), and you must burn at a slow speed for those to work. Never let Encore automatically set the layer break unless you don't care about where the pause occurs. You want to manually set the layer break when there is a natural pause in the video. Sometimes this is at the begining of a timeline, menu, or even at a chapter point.


    Sometimes you will build a test image and see that there were no good spots to place a layer break, which usually occurs with very full dual layer discs or when you don't have frequent chapter points in your videos, so the layer break is placed in the middle of a chapter and stalls playback at a very bad time. What you can do then is go back into the Encore project, locate where the layer break was originally placed, then find a spot right around that location where you would rather have it pause for the break, such as while there is low/no audio and not while someone is in the middle of saying something, then place a chapter point. That chapter point will then become a perfect spot for the layer break.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2012 5:08 PM   in reply to srukweza

    If you create a DDP image, then you don't have to worry about the replicator choosing anything. Your files that you send to the replicator will already have the layer break defined. Is there a reason why you aren't sending them the DDP image?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2012 9:07 AM   in reply to srukweza

    You can always encode in the Adobe Media Encoder or a third party application before bringing them into Encore, and use a bitrate calculator to make sure you do not exceed capacity. You will just have to factor in motion menus as well.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2012 10:07 AM   in reply to srukweza

    As I mentioned before, the Layer Break info is not included in an ISO image. This is why you must select a layer break when burning a dual layer image with ImgBurn, and why the replicator was giving you trouble. They don't like being the one's to choose the layer break, especially when it's in the middle of a video, as it must be carefully and sometimes creatively chosen. The DDP image contains the layer break info, which is why I recommended (twice) that you submit this to the replicator instead of an ISO image. Glad to hear you got it all worked out.

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