DVD Architect Overview

Configuring DVD Architect to work with Swoopware TandemVids is possibly the trickiest part of the procedure. There are a number of traps for young players.

This is not a tutorial on using DVD Architect. It's a complicated product and capable of creating anything you see on a Hollywood DVD so it would be impossible for us to teach that here. What we will show you is how to make it work with TandemVids. Along the way you'll see a few tips and tricks to avoid re-learning all the traps we've encountered.

The single biggest problem is that DVD Architect is not scriptable. Sony do not expose the object model like they do with Sony Vegas so it cannot be controlled by software. What we do instead is trick it into loading the new customer video instead of a place holder video and then we send it some key strokes to kick off the burning process. It's not an ideal solution but it does work.

In a nutshell, you need to

  1. Create black video placeholders

  2. Load those black videos into a DVD Architect project

  3. Set the extras folder in your DVD Architect project to the photo folder defined in TandemVids

  4. Lock the DVD Architect project so no-one can accidentally save a customer over the black video placeholders

  5. Set TandemVids to use the DVD Architect project

Tips and tricks

  1. Lock the DVD Architect project or you'll end up with truncated videos

  2. When you copy the project for use in multiple instances, fix every reference for every Instance

If you have a single reference from an Instance 02 project pointing to an Instance 01 file, the project will not load correctly, key strokes will be missed and a customer might end up with the wrong video or photos. If the Instance 01 video file is being rendered while the Instance 02 project is trying to create a thumbnail from the Instance 01 video, it all goes pear shaped. We know this because we've been there.

An instructor can save a write protected DVD Architect project by clicking Yes twice in Windows 7. If they do this at the start of the weekend, every video will be truncated to the length of the saved customer. We know this because we've been there.

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After every burn, you will be prompted to save the DVD Architect project. Always click NO.

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Even if it's read-only, you can still save it. Always click NO.

That's enough warnings. We'll jump straight into creating DVD Architect projects for use in Swoopware TandemVids. Let's start with Black Videos.