Ulead MF 4

Has anyone checked out Ulead Movie Factory version 4 yet? If so anything worth noting?

Didn’t notice it was out! Must see if I can acquire a copy.

It seems that the standard edition now supports AC3, so the Disc Creator version may not necessarily be required for re-authoring with set-top-recorded material.


For those of us who edit MPEG2s in a separate program and use MF for authoring, a cursory glance at the features shows not much extra that can’t be done with a couple of freeware programs and DVDMF3-DC (16:9 a/r [use DVDPatcher or IFOedit], optimised re-encoding to fit [DVD Shrink]).

Incidentally the comparison table MF4-DC vs. MF3-DC is wrong about the latter’s inability to burn double layer. There’s an update on the same site to allow it (and which works).

MF4 trial version not available until end March, apparently…

There are some changes with this Disc Creator edition. There are elements of counterparts to DVD Shrink and NeroVision Express in this release.

Running this software on my PC is a little CPU-intensive.

System info:

AMD Athlon XP 2600+ at 2.08GhZ; DirectX 9; 512MB memory; Hard drive: 120 GB; NVIDIA GeForce4 Integrated GPU display adapter and NVIDIA nForce2 memory controller; XP Home; computer: HP Pavilion, model a220n

I don’t like ULEAD’s approach to cutting MPEG-2; guess I’m spoiled from using Womble’s MPEG Video Wizard (not MPEG-VCR). I have also noticed that, where some other programs (including NeroVision and Sonic’s MyDVD 6) try to include thumbnail files when creating a VCD/DVD slideshow, then crash, that MF4 will ignore those thumbnails and just produce a VCD/DVD slideshow. Those other 2 programs apparently want to copy even hidden files, such as “thumbs.db.”

I haven’t made a compliation DVD-Video yet; am still studying the so-called help files, which are, as usual, weak. I’ll try to make one this weekend to see how it goes.

MF3-DC will only allow editing at the GOP level - in your experience does MF4-DC edit with greater resolution (ie frame accurate as does MPEG-VW)?

If you do any editing at all, such as removing adverts, does still MF4 always re-encode (as does MF3)?

MF4 has a pretty slow video scrubber, and it takes longer to make edits than in Womble MVW. With Womble, the CPU requirements are lower, the video scrubber is rocket fast, and it only re-encodes when it has to.

I haven’t finished assessing MF4’s re-encoding of edited material. Will do so this Sunday or Monday (my normal days off) when I have mor time for research.

Thanks. Any knowledge of the editing resolution…?

OK - with the trial version now available here (~97 MB for the Disc Creator version, so that’s broadband only, folks), the editing resolution can be confirmed as now at frame level. Can also use the mouse wheel as a jog dial, although as highlighted above the speed of movement through an MPEG2 file is slow and nothing like as responsive as the Womble products.

I’ve obtained DVDMF4 (non-DC) and I have to say it feels a little faster in general operation than MF3DC. As others have noticed the editing is still woefully behind the Womble products in useability.

I tried the “16:9 project” function to see if this would eliminate the need to use IFOEdit (post-authoring, to set the WS flag) but unfortunately it doesn’t force 16:9 for the titles, only the menus. If the titles originated from an anamorphic widescreen source, they will still be displayed as 4:3 when played back from a DVD created with this application. So writing to DVD folders and then using IFOEdit will still need to be my modus operandi for the time being.

The one advantage I can see with version(s) 4 is that menus are much more flexible - that is to say that items can be moved around the menu page right there in the program simply by dragging them around. That’s great if you need the flexibility of customising menus each time you use the program.


Didn’t notice that bit about dragging menu components. That’s cool - can you resize the thumbnail frame sizes on the fly as well?

I did notice a 2-pass encoder option in the options, but haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. I can’t imagine it’ll beat DVD Shrink, but if it’s as good as, then having decent re-encoding at the same time as menu generation might be an advantage too.

I have a friend who Use’s ADOBE PINNACLE and I have been very PLEASED

You bored, by any chance, John?

Yes you can resize the thumbnails on the fly.

I never use menus when using DVDShrink anyway, so for me DVDShrink is the only tool I need for movie backups - apart from the burning app, of course.


Not by Chance

I’ve now compared non-DC and DC versions of MF4.

The actual app that I use (MF4 itself) seems to be identical in both versions - there are no “Disc Creator” splashes to be seen in MF4 itself. The additional tools are the ones in the parent MF4 Disc Creator section of the start menu. Therefore if you don’t need the functions like shrinking, or other stuff that comes with DC, then the standard edition of the product should be just fine for you.

As has been mentioned before, though, if you have MF3DC, you probably don’t need to upgrade, as you don’t appear to gain much.


Some were obviously taught by a great teacher to the extent that even when the same teacher discovered the quicker and more flexible method [DVDPatcher] and tried to educate others, the benefits fell on deaf ears…


Why it it quicker? It takes me about 8 seconds to modify DVD files (for both menus and title sets) from 4:3 to 16:9 using IFOedit.

For a start this job cannot be done by DVD patcher AFAIK. It can modify the aspect ratio of the titles individually - but not multiple titles at once. And it can’t modify the aspect ratio of the menus. And it takes about 15-30 seconds (on my machine) per title.

If I’m missing something as to the functionality and / or speed of DVD patcher, I’m sure you will inform us.

The only “benefits” that I can see of using DVD patcher are when you have a title set containing titles of differing aspect ratios, or when you are burning titles to ISO disk for playback as unauthored MPEG2, and you want the playback device/software to adjust the screen for you automatically.


Just tried something else. It seems that the format of the menu templates is still the same for DVDMF4. I copied my favourite custom templates (which originated with MF3, and which I subsequently altered with PhotoImpact 10) into the relevant MF4 program folder, then selected one for a new project.

Using the template didn’t give rise to any issues, in fact I was still able to adjust the menu further if required right there in MF4.

Cool onions.


a) Errr… OK, it’s quicker for me.

b) Ulead DVDDC menus patched in IFOEdit to 16:9 are crap when viewing the result on a 4:3 screen with DVD player adjusted to 16:9 (NOT letterbox). The highlights of the thumbnails do not coincide with their position on the screen. Esoteric but annoying.

see) above

in dee)d


So now you are recanting and admitting that you applied a blanket label (“quicker…more flexible”) to DVD patcher that is in fact only applicable in certain circumstances. Good.

And I would have thought that the whole idea of setting a 16:9 flag is that you already know that the (main) playback setup for said disks includes a 16:9 display. Otherwise surely you wouldn’t record the source material in 16:9 format?

Re: highlights and thumbnails - I have found this also, but only with cheap players. I presume you have noticed this on your Yamada - me too - but on my two DVD recorders and other players this has not been evident.