17 Replies Latest reply: May 31, 2006 7:07 AM by (krisc) RSS

    PGC...data rate too high

    Community Member
      Hallo,

      message nunew33, "Mpeg not valid error message" #4, 31 Jan 2006 3:29 pm describes a certain error message. The user had problems with an imported MPEG movie.

      Now I receive the same message, but the MPEG that is causing the problem is created by Encore DVD itself!?

      I am working with the german version, but here is a rough translation of the message:
      "PGC 'Weitere Bilder' has an error at 00:36:42:07.
      The data rate of this file is too high for DVD. You must replace the file with one of a lower data rate. - PGC Info: Name = Weitere Bilder, Ref = SApgc, Time = 00:36:42:07"

      My test project has two menus and a slide show with approx. 25 slides and blending as transition. The menus are ok, I verified that before.

      First I thought it was a problem with the audio I use in the slide show. Because I am still in the state of learning how to use the application, I use some test data. The audio tracks are MP3s. I learned already that it is better to convert the MP3s to WAV files with certain properties.

      I did that, but still the DVD generation was not successful.

      Then I deleted all slides from the slide show but the first. Now the generation worked!? As far as a single slide (an image file) can not have a bitrate per second, and there was no sound any more, and as far as the error message appears AFTER the slide shows are generated, while Encore DVD is importing video and audio just before the burning process, I think that the MPEG that is showing the slide show is the problem.

      But this MPEG is created by Encore DVD itself. Can Encore DVD create Data that is not compliant to the DVD specs?

      The last two days I had to find out the cause for a "general error". Eventually I found out that image names must not be too long. Now there is something else, and I still have to just waste time for finding solutions for apparent bugs in Encore DVD. Why doesn't the project check find and tell me such problems? Problem is that the errors appear at the end of the generation process, so I always have to wait for - in my case - approx. 30 minutes.

      If the project check would have told me before that there are files with file names that are too long, I wouldn't have had to search or this for two days.

      Now I get this PGC error (what is PGC by the way?), and still have no clue, cause again the project check didn't mention anything.

      Any help would be greatly appreciated.

      Regards,

      Christian Kirchhoff
        • 1. Re: PGC...data rate too high
          Community Member
          Hallo,

          here are the results of my further tests:

          - I saved the project as a copy.
          - I deleted all other slide shows in order to speed up the DVD generation.
          - I relinked the flow chart, cause the slide shows where missing there now.
          - I opened the slide show that is producing the error.
          - I deleted all slides that would be shown AFTER the time that was mentioned in the error message
          - I had chosen "adjust length of slide show to length of audio" the durations of all the slides were longer now. I unchecked that option, which reset the duration for all slides to their former values, which is the default duration for that slide show (2,5 mins.)
          - I tried to generate the DVD

          I received the same error message, only that the given point in time was now later. But that's because the slides duration changed. Still the error occurred during the presentation of that one particular slide.

          - So I deleted that slide and tried to generate again.

          Again now.
          - I opened the slide show that is producing the error.
          - I deleted all slides that would be shown AFTER the time that was mentioned in the error message
          - I had chosen "adjust length of slide show to length of audio" the durations of all the slides were longer now. I unchecked that option, which reset the duration for all slides to their former values, which is the default duration for that slide show (2,5 mins.)
          - I tried to generate the DVD

          I received the same error message, only that the given point in time was now much earlier.

          So now it's another image that is producing the error?

          What I'll do now is I'll remove the transitions. That way each slide should be inserted as an IFrame into the MPEG, now transitions would have to be rendered. Maybe that changes something.
          • 2. Re: PGC...data rate too high
            Community Member
            Hallo,

            without the transitions the generation process is super fast of course, and I didn't get any error messages.

            Thus I presume it's the transitions that are rendered into the MPEG that cause the error. But why?

            Can anybody help me?

            Regards,

            Christian Kirchhoff
            • 3. Re: PGC...data rate too high
              Community Member
              Hallo,

              Now I took my original project and just deleted the transitions from that one slide show. DVD generation works fine now.

              The other slide shows in that project use transitions, too, so it couldn't be that alone. There has to be something in addition.

              Should I change the transcoding options? But how and why could Encore DVD offer options that produce invalid MPEGs?

              Regards,

              Christian Kirchhoff
              • 4. Re: PGC...data rate too high
                Community Member
                Hallo,

                meanwhile I've isolated two slides that cause problems by doing this: I just set the transition of every slide to "none". Then I selected the first slides and chose the blend transition for them. By the way: I am always only using the blend transition.

                Tested generation: Error at a certain time. Now I deleted the blend transition again and only selected it for the slide immediately before the problematic one. Tested generation: error.

                I then deleted the transition even from this slide. Tested generation: No error.

                I did the same with the other image. The time that is shown in the error message falls into the duration of a certain slide. But the transition has to be deleted from the slide right before that image in order to get it to work. Maybe its the jump from the end of the transition into the IFrame showing the slide image...

                Next thing I will test is change the transcoding options...

                Regards,

                Christian Kirchhoff
                • 5. Re: PGC...data rate too high
                  Community Member
                  Hallo,

                  by the way: The error message appears during "files for movie are being sorted" in the progress window.

                  That is:
                  - after the slide shows are created
                  - after the video is imported
                  - after the audio is planned
                  • 6. Re: PGC...data rate too high
                    Community Member
                    If I change the duration of the blend, DVD generation works, too.<br /><br />Maybe from an experts point of view this makes sense, but for me it doesn't. The blends between all images had the same properties (4 secs. duration). But two of them caused problems, not when creating the video file that is showing the blend, but afterwards, when all videos (blends and stills) are combined to a single MPEG. <br /><br />I found the video containing the blend in the folder "<project name>\Testprojekt 2\Cache\Temp_Transcode\", and it played fine in Windows Media Player.<br /><br />Seems that Encore DVD has a problem with the change of the data rate from the blend to the next still image. <br /><br />But why only for those two slides and not for the others? And why only for certain durations? For 3, 4 and 5 secs it didn't work - for 2 and 8 secs it did.<br /><br />It will be very time consuming to generate a DVD containing slide shows  over and over again, find out which slides produce an error, and then find out which blend duration will help to prevent the error.<br /><br />Again, any hint why this is or how this would be corrected would be greatly appreciated.<br /><br />Regards,<br /><br />Christian Kirchhoff
                    • 7. Re: PGC...data rate too high
                      Jeff Bellune CommunityMVP
                      Christian,

                      Your troubleshooting method so far has been excellent. So now I ask you:

                      1. Are there any clues in the content of the troublesome slides?

                      2. Are there any clues in the physical location of the troublesome slides or the project folder - network drive, external drive, specific folder location, etc.?

                      3. Are the troublesome slides always the same, or do different slides cause the problem at different times? Have you done any disk maintenance (defrag, chkdsk) to see if that helps?

                      -Jeff
                      • 8. Re: PGC...data rate too high
                        Community Member
                        Hallo Jeff,

                        to answer your questions:

                        1. Are there any clues in the content of the troublesome slides?
                        > No, all images are JPGs, RGB and 8Bit.

                        2. Are there any clues in the physical location of the troublesome slides or the project folder - network drive, external drive, specific folder location, etc.?
                        > All images reside on my local hard drive, no network locations. There is one folder containing subfolders which contain the different images. One of the troublesome images was in a folder that had french accents in its name. I copied that folder and gave it another, shorter name without any accents. The file itself had a german special character in its name, which I changed, too. Then I relinked the asset in Encore DVD to the new file. But the error still occurs.
                        When a project is closed and you rename source files and then open the project again, you are asked for the new locations. After you relink the assets, the asset's names are not changed in Encore DVD. Only if you relink the assets when the project is open, the asset's names will be changed according to the new file name. So I had some long asset names whereas the file names where shorter already. I renamed those assets, but the attempt to generate a DVD was still without success.

                        3. Are the troublesome slides always the same, or do different slides cause the problem at different times?
                        > I can move one of those slides to another position, Attach a blend to the predecessing image, and then the time shown in the error is corresponding to the new position of the image. So I think the troublesome images are always the same. And the troublesome images are the NOT the ones I attached the blend transition to, but the ones following them. And the transition has to have certain durations for the error to occur.
                        I created a new project from scratch with only two images, one of them being considered as "troublesome". I created a slide show, first the "normal" image, then the troublesome. I attached a blend transition to the first image, duration 2 secs. I tested the generation: success. Of course, in my other project the problematic image worked with a Blend duration of 2 secs as well. Changed the duration to 4 secs: error.
                        So yes I am pretty sure I can say its always the same images. But there has to be a blend of a certain duration before that image. The predecessing image doesn't matter. I exchanged it for another image: Same error during DVD generation. But when I shorten the duration of the blend to 2 secs, or set the transition to "none": Success.

                        Have you done any disk maintenance (defrag, chkdsk) to see if that helps?
                        > Not so far, no. But I could give it a try...

                        Besides: Changing the transcoding options from VBR 2-pass to VBR 1-pass or CBR didn't solve the problem. That's what I said I wanted to test next...

                        Maybe you see something from your point of view that could help me and others. Honestly I don't think it is connected to the file names or locations...

                        Best regards,

                        Christian

                        P.S. I will get back to my office on Monday, so I won't test any more before that
                        • 9. Re: PGC...data rate too high
                          Community Member
                          P.S. Instead of "soft blend", which I used in all cases before, I know tried it with "blend to black", but the result is the same: Error for certain durations (4 secs don't work, but 2 secs do)
                          • 10. Re: PGC...data rate too high
                            Jeff Bellune CommunityMVP
                            Christian,

                            I meant the content of the images themselves - for example day/night shots, photos vs. drawings, dark vs. light, that kind of stuff. Things that might affect a transcoder when transcoding the file, and things that may be common to the troublesome images.

                            Have you tried opening the known troublesome images in Photoshop, making changes (both radical and minor), saving as a copy or as a new image format and then replacing the original troublesome images with their changed counterparts? That would be an interesting test.

                            -Jeff
                            • 11. Re: PGC...data rate too high
                              Ruud Blauw Community Member
                              Christian,

                              The only thing I can think of at the moment is that the MPEG encoding engine is "derailing" during a blend. I have seen this happen with other MPEG encoders. Because MPEG encoding achieves most of the compression by encoding only the differences between frames, a blend can be quite difficult to compress within the given bit rate: Too much is changing from frame to frame. What the encoder should do is to apply the emergency brake (which would show as "macro blocking" or mosaicking), but what they sometimes do is simply overshooting the allowed bit rate, by a lot.

                              I am not saying that this is what is happening, but just that it could be happening.
                              • 12. Re: PGC...data rate too high
                                Community Member
                                Hallo,

                                thanks, Ruud and Jeff, for your comments.

                                The images are all scans of ancient paintings. And they are all rather dark. They are not "optimized", meaning they are JPGs right now (RGB), and they are bigger then the resolution for PAL 3:4 would require. I just found out that if I choose "None" as scaling, there is no error, and the generation of the DVD is much, much faster.

                                A DVD with a slide show containing two slides and a 4 second transition takes about 3 minutes to generate when the scaling is set to something other than "None". Without scaling it takes approx. 14 seconds. The resulting movies size is the same (5,35 MB).

                                I wonder why the time differs so much. Obviously the images have to be scaled to the target size. But it seems that the images are not scaled only once, that those scaled versions of the source images are cached, and those cached versions are used to generate then blend effect, but for every frame the source images seem to be scaled again.

                                So I presume that the scaling - unfortunately - has an effect on the resulting movie, too, and thus influences the success of the process of DVD generation.

                                basic situation:
                                good image > 4 secs blend > bad image => error

                                variations:
                                other blend times don't cause an error:
                                good image > 2 secs blend > bad image => success
                                good image > 8 secs blend > bad image => success

                                other transitions cause an error, too:
                                good image > 4 secs fade to black > bad image => error
                                good image > 4 secs page turn > bad image => error

                                changing the image order prevents the error:
                                bad image > 4 secs blend > good image => success

                                changing the format of the bad image to TIFF doesn't prevent the error.

                                changing colors/brightness of the bad image: a drastic change prevents the error. I adjusted the histogram and made everything much lighter.
                                Just a gamma correction with values between 1.2 and 2.0 didn't help.

                                changing the image size prevents the error. I decreased the size. The resulting image was still bigger than the monitor area, thus it still had to be scaled a bit by Encore DVD, but with this smaller version the error didn't occur. The original image is approx. 2000 px x 1400 px. Decreasing the size by 50% helped. Less scaling (I tried 90%, 80%, 70% and 60%, too) didn't help.

                                using a slightly blurred version (gaussian blur, 2 px, in Photoshop CS) of the bad image prevents the error.

                                My guess is that the error depends on rather subtle image properties. The blur doesn't change the images average brightness, the balance of colors or the size of the image, but still the error was gone afterwards.

                                The problem is that I will work with slide shows that contain more images than two. It would be too time consuming to try to generate the DVD over and over again, look at which slide an error occurs, change that slide, and then generate again. Even the testing I am doing right now already "ate" a couple of days of my working time.

                                Only thing I can do is to use a two image slide show and test image couple after image couple. If n is the number of images, I will spend (n - 1) times 3 minutes (which is the average time to create a two slides slide how with a blend). But of course I will try to prepare the images and make them as big as the monitor resolution, so Encore DVD doesn't have to scale the images any more. That'll make the whole generation process much shorter.

                                If I use JPGs or TIFFs, the pixel aspect ratio is not preserved when the image is imported. I scaled one of the images in Photoshop, using a modified menu file that was installed with Encore DVD, because it already has the correct size for PAL, the pixel aspect ratio and the guides for the save areas. I saved the image as TIFF and as PSD and imported both into Encore DVD. The TIFF is rendered with a 1:1 pixel aspect ratio and NOT with the D1/DV PAL aspect ration that is stored in the TIFF. Thus the image gets narrowed and isn't displayed the way I wanted it any more. Only the PSD looks correct. But I think I saw this already in another thread...

                                I cannot really understand why the MPEG encoding engine would produce bit rates that are illegal and that are not accepted afterwards, when Encore DVD is putting together all the stuff. Why is the MPEG encoding engine itself not throwing an error during the encoding process? This would save the developer so much time. Instead they have to wait until the end, thinking everything went right, and find out then that there was a problem.

                                Still, if sometime somebody finds out more about the whole matter I would be glad about further explanations.

                                Best regards,

                                Christian
                                • 13. Re: PGC...data rate too high
                                  Ruud Blauw Community Member
                                  Christian,

                                  At the moment I can't offer any further theories about the possible cause of the problem. But I do have a suggestion to (hopefully) get your project back on track: Instead of doing the slideshow in Encore, create it in Premiere and export as DV AVI or MPEG-2. Because you are using transitions anyway, the DVD disc space used by using a movie doesn't have to be much larger than with the Encore generated version.
                                  • 14. Re: PGC...data rate too high
                                    Community Member
                                    Hallo,

                                    thanks for that hint. I know that Premiere is often recommended here for different purposes. The problem is that I don't have it. We bought Encore DVD alone, because it's not as cost intensive as Premiere. Right now we don't have to deal with videos, it's only about slide shows made out of of still images, and therefore Encore DVD should be enough, we thought.

                                    Yesterday - after only 13 days of testing and trying to create workarounds - I eventually was able at least to burn my first DVD. I hope things will speed up now for me...

                                    Thanks for your help, and best regards,

                                    Christian
                                    • 15. Re: PGC...data rate too high
                                      Harm Millaard Community Member
                                      If you will be working with stills and slideshows often, you might have a look at Imaginate from Canopus. It is less costly than Premiere and can output to AVI, which you can then use in Encore.
                                      • 16. Re: PGC...data rate too high
                                        Community Member
                                        Thanks, Harm, for that useful hint. I'll take a look at that.

                                        Christian
                                        • 17. Re: PGC...data rate too high
                                          Community Member
                                          P.S.: I created a Photoshop script. First it opened a file that has the exact size necessary for PAL 4:3 (copied from a menu that was installed with Encore DVD 2.0). Then it opened all JPEGs in a given folder (those JPEGs I need in my final DVD), copied the background layer of the JPEG into the other file, resized this new layer so that it entirely fit into the image and saved everything to a PSD file with the same name as the source JPEG.

                                          I imported those new images to Encore DVD 2.0 and build a new slide show. Now the slides don't have to be scaled any more. The DVD generation process is much faster But still I received those "data rate too high" errors. And even for images that during my former tests didn't cause an error.

                                          After that I modified the Photoshop script in a way that it saves as JPEG again. Allthough I set the quality to 12, I think the compression modifies the image a bit. Anyway if I use those images, I don't have any errors when I create the DVD.

                                          Of course I don't know if this applies to any image I will use in the future.

                                          Regards,

                                          Christian