Company: Sony Pictures Digital
Against rivals such as Adobe’s Encore DVD, Apple’s DVD Studio and Ulead’s DVD Workshop, DVD Architect is unusual in that it’s available only as part of Sony’s Vegas+DVD bundle (Vegas 5 is reviewed here). Looking at version 2.0, this makes perfect sense – as while its interface and integration will appeal to Vegas users, its toolset isn’t up to the competition.
The first version of DVD Architect was poor, locking the user into a series of templates that would have looked lame in PowerPoint. They’re still here (see below, left), but it’s much easier to build projects with your own elements using the new Project Overview window.
This isn’t anything new, just a directory tree of your project that should have been in the first release – but it allows us to take DVD Architect seriously at last. The flowchart view offered by the forthcoming DVD Studio Pro 3 is much more effective.
The timeline (below right) is another welcome addition, allowing users to add multiple audio tracks and subtitles – which Vegas can produce automatically if you like – or just trim clips. Adding subtitles manually in DVD Architect is easy, but the application also supports the import of standard formats.
Other useful feature fills include external monitor support and programmable end actions. More impressive is the addition of support for 24-bit, 192kHz audio – which matches Vegas – and the Fit-to-disc command, which does exactly that.
DVD Architect 2.0 isn’t in the same league as DVD Studio Pro, and can’t even keep up with Encore DVD. While DVD Architect’s integration with Vegas is on a par with Encore/Premiere Pro, Sony can’t hope to match Adobe’s Photoshop integration.
DVD Architect lacks support for layered Photoshop documents – and Encore’s library system is much more efficient than DVD Archtect’s tabbed media palette.