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Old 13th January 2004, 14:45   #1  |  Link
RB
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SceneImport: import chapter lists directly into Scenarist

Hi,

SceneImport is an utility I wrote that makes it possible to import scenes into tracks directly from the Scenarist GUI. Helpful if you prefer to author some project manually and want to skip the Export to Script/ScenChap step.Here is the Readme. Have fun!
Code:
SceneImport v1.2 for Sonic Scenarist by RB
==========================================

   Release : 1.2
      Date : Tuesday, March 9 2004


1. What's this?
2. Usage
3. History


1. What's this?
---------------

SceneImport is an utility that enables importing of chapter (scene)
lists directly into a Scenarist project. You no longer need to export to
script and use tools like ScenChap if you prefer to manually author some
project.


2. Usage
--------

Copy SceneImport.exe and SceneImport.dll into the Scenarist installation
directory, in the same directory with Scenarist.exe. I have tested with
Scenarist 2.6 and 2.7. Then run SceneImport.exe, this will automatically
launch Scenarist. Now to import a chapter list, switch to Track Editor,
select a track and select "Import Chapter..." from the Tools menu.

Chapter files need to be text files, containing one chapter time code
per line in HH:MM:SS;FF format. The delimiters actually don't matter and
can be any character but they need to be there. For example:

00:01:02:12
00:05:04:05

and so on. IFOUpdate and DVDDEcrypter create chapter files in this
format, for example.

Alternatively, you can import CCE chapter point files (like those
created by IFOUpdate and DVDDecrypter). The format of the CCE chapter
files needs to be

chapter=<framenumberX>:
chapter=<framenumberY>:

and so on. The chapter files may have some "header lines" (comments,
format specifiers and so on), these will just be skipped.

If the currently selected track is NTSC, there will be a checkbox for
conversion to NTSC drop-frame timecodes at the bottom of the Open File
dialog. If you check this option, SceneImport assumes that the currently
selected track is drop-frame NTSC but the timecodes in the chapter file
are non-drop frame (CCE chapter files are always "non-drop frame").
Timecodes are then automatically converted to drop-frame while importing
so that your scene times will be accurate. Unfortunately, there is no
way for SceneImport to automatically detect whether or not the
drop-frame format (yes or no) of the selected track and chapter file
matches, so you'll have to know what you are doing. In any event,
chapter files created by IFO parsing utilities like IFOUpdate or
ChapterXtractor will always be in non-drop frame format because IFOs
always use non-drop frame time stamps.

Now select the appropriate chapter file and click Open. Scenes will be
imported from the chapter file.

Note, Scenarist needs to be run through SceneImport.exe for SceneImport
to work. Because of this, SceneImport associates itself with Scenarist
project files (.SCN) every time it is run. This way you can still run
Scenarist by double clicking on a .SCN project file and use SceneImport.

To uninstall SceneImport, simply delete the two SceneImport binaries
from the Scenarist directory and run Scenarist.exe once to repair the
.SCN file association.


3. History
----------

09/03/2004 v1.2

       - Added support for Scenarist 3.0.1, verified support for
         Scenarist 3.0.0


29/01/2004 v1.1a

       - It was not possible to import scenes after creating a new
         script from the Scenarist Project Manager dialog. Fixed.


22/01/2004 v1.1

       - Added NTSC non-drop frame to drop-frame conversion
       - Added ability to import CCE chapter point files


14/01/2004 v1.01

       - Found a potential timing issue. Solved by moving the code that
         simulates the keystrokes into a separate thread. This also
         ensures that the scenarist GUI remains responsive while
         importing chapters.


13/01/2004 v1.0

       - First release supporting Sonic Scenarist 2.6 and 2.7

Last edited by RB; 23rd May 2006 at 07:48.
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Old 13th January 2004, 23:17   #2  |  Link
Matthew
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Sounds like you've used a similar type of approach as EclCCE, and much better than Scenchap IMO - I'm in PAL land and just find copying and pasting chapters manually less hassle. But this is even easier =)

Great work once again RB =)

What about the whole NTSC/drop frame problem? Don't you have to adjust the chapter list or something?
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Old 14th January 2004, 10:25   #3  |  Link
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Well, I'm in PAL land too, so for now I decided to simply ignore the NTSC issues and assume that the chapter file is already adjusted for the drop-frame issue if necessary. Anyone knows whether IFOUpdate does this when saving the chapter files? I'll ask jdobbs anyway.
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Old 14th January 2004, 21:24   #4  |  Link
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Here is a first minor update. Download new version from link in first post.
Code:
14/01/2004 v1.01

       - Found a potential timing issue. Solved by moving the code that
         simulates the keystrokes into a separate thread. This also
         ensures that the scenarist GUI remains responsive while
         importing chapters.
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Old 15th January 2004, 01:54   #5  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by RB
Well, I'm in PAL land too, so for now I decided to simply ignore the NTSC issues and assume that the chapter file is already adjusted for the drop-frame issue if necessary.
If you've coded it in the straightforward way, most likely all you need to do to sidestep drop-frame issues is to simply make sure that the timecodes in the chapter file are the same format as how the .m2v that is used in the Scenarist track was encoded. In other words, if the .m2v used in Scenarist was encoded in non-drop-frame, make sure that non-drop-frame timecodes are used in the chapter file, and vice versa.

Your alternative would be to increase your code complexity. You would figure out whether the .m2v is drop-frame or non-drop-frame, read the chapter file and note the colon or semicolon separators to figure out whether the timecodes in the chapter file are drop-frame or non-drop-frame. And if they're the opposite format from the .m2v, you would convert the timecodes individually during the import.
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Old 15th January 2004, 02:03   #6  |  Link
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I assume that this will work even for VOB-ID projects too, right ?

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Old 15th January 2004, 10:06   #7  |  Link
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@SomeJoe:
The problem is that unlike Maestro, Scenarist doesn't indicate drop-frame time codes by a semicolon frame delimiter (even for PAL projects, the format of the scene location edit box is always hh:mm:ss;ff). After all, there's no official Scenarist scene list format. So in the next version, I'll simply add a checkbox "Convert to drop-frame timecode" to the Open Chapter File dialog. I'll try to find a way to determine whether the currently selected track is drop-frame NTSC so the checkbox is available only in this case. The ideal solution of course would be to import chapters directly from an IFO, but I'll leave that for a much later version if at all

@hrg27:
Sure. You just need to have chapter files for the VOB IDs (IFOUpdate can generate these).
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Old 15th January 2004, 22:32   #8  |  Link
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sounds nice. Will give it a try soon.
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Old 16th January 2004, 16:43   #9  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by RB
@SomeJoe:
The problem is that unlike Maestro, Scenarist doesn't indicate drop-frame time codes by a semicolon frame delimiter (even for PAL projects, the format of the scene location edit box is always hh:mm:ss;ff). ... So in the next version, I'll simply add a checkbox "Convert to drop-frame timecode" to the Open Chapter File dialog. I'll try to find a way to determine whether the currently selected track is drop-frame NTSC so the checkbox is available only in this case.
I understand, but how Scenarist interprets the timecodes isn't really the issue. In fact, if Scenarist doesn't interpret the timecodes based on the frame delimiter, that's all the more reason for your import code to interpret them from the file and convert them if necessary.

Having a checkbox for conversion is somewhat confusing because it may not be applicable under several different sets of conditions. If you can determine the drop/non-drop status of the .m2v, then your import code can do precisely what is necessary with no input from the user.

It's just an idea.
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Old 18th January 2004, 15:13   #10  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by SomeJoe
In fact, if Scenarist doesn't interpret the timecodes based on the frame delimiter, that's all the more reason for your import code to interpret them from the file and convert them if necessary.
But how do I tell from the chapter file whether the timecodes in there are drop-frame or not? There are so many utilities that can generate chapter files. For instance, IFOUpdate generates "Scenarist chapter files" that always use a semicolon frame delimiter even for PAL.
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Old 18th January 2004, 23:37   #11  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by RB
But how do I tell from the chapter file whether the timecodes in there are drop-frame or not? There are so many utilities that can generate chapter files. For instance, IFOUpdate generates "Scenarist chapter files" that always use a semicolon frame delimiter even for PAL.
The pseudo-defacto-standard (is that even a real word? ) is to use the delimiters for indication. Semicolon for drop-frame, colon for non-drop-frame. You'd just read the last delimiter (between seconds and frames) and use that to determine.

But I understand what you're saying that there are many utilities that generate chapter files with timecodes & delimiters that don't follow this standard. For that, I'd suggest the following:

Have a check box that says "Override automatic SMPTE Timecode detection and:" followed by two radio buttons that say "Assume all timecodes are drop-frame" and "Assume all timecodes are non-drop-frame".

This gives the user the ability to use a non-compliant chapter file.

Of course, if the .m2v is PAL, you wouldn't even offer the options, since no timecode conversion would ever be necessary.
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Old 20th January 2004, 05:15   #12  |  Link
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excellent app, great work again RB.. saved alot of time..
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Old 20th January 2004, 22:40   #13  |  Link
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does IFOUpdate export the timecodes in drop frame or non?

and say, the m2v was a film (23FPS instead of 29FPS), is the timecodes exported by IFOUpdate film or not?
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Old 22nd January 2004, 17:26   #14  |  Link
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IFOUpdate always exports non-drop frame timecodes. And yes, IFOUpdate exports chapter files for NTSC film mode.

OK, uploaded new version 1.1 with optional NTSC drop-frame conversion and ability to import CCE chapter files. See readme in first post. I have tested this fairly extensively, but would welcome any feedback from NTSC users.
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Old 22nd January 2004, 18:05   #15  |  Link
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Thanks a lot,

Saved me a lot of time to re-author Alien quadrology...
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Old 29th January 2004, 10:28   #16  |  Link
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Got a small bugfix release.
Code:
29/01/2004 v1.1a

       - It was not possible to import scenes after creating a new
         script from the Scenarist Project Manager dialog. Fixed.
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Old 8th February 2004, 07:23   #17  |  Link
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Seems to be no mention of support for version 3.0 of Scenarist. So thought I would say I just tried it and seems to work fine =)
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Old 8th February 2004, 13:11   #18  |  Link
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Great Thanks for testing!
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Old 4th March 2004, 13:06   #19  |  Link
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How did you get it to work in v3? We can't. We tryed it on v3.0.1 Build 115470b2.

A great product though, very useful

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Old 4th March 2004, 13:08   #20  |  Link
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We? you have a multiperson disorder ?
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Last edited by influenza; 4th March 2004 at 14:49.
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