Last updated: 11/29/2004 by Jeanl.
Thanks to everybody in the forums for their help, to 2COOL
for his guides that inspired this one, and r0lZ for coding
If you're having problems with this guide, post here and you'll get some help!
If you're on a Mac, or with Linux, PgcEdit does not have any
video or menu previewing. See this
version of the guide.
Other PgcEdit guides...
Goal: Most commercial DVD begin playback with some annoying stuff: FBI warnings, previews, studio logos etc, and in some cases, it can take up to a minute to get to the main menu (and in some very annoying cases, you can't even skip all this with the remote because of PUOs (prohibited user operations) in the VOB files!). This guide will show you how to skip all this stuff and rapidly get to the first menu. It will also show you how to skip stuff that's after the menu, but before the movie playback (for example the THX bit, or more studio stuff).
Note 1: In this
we just skip playback,
do not actually remove the skipped material from the DVD. As a
there is no gain in space.
Note 2: If you want to bypass a menu (for example a language menu), this guide is not for you! Check out 2COOL's guide for that, or my guide for jumping straight to the main menu or the movie.
Basic Idea: PgcEdit has a great
called "Trace". This allows you to step through the commands and the
in your DVD pretty much the way a settop DVD player would, while
everything that's going on (version 0.4.3.0 and above of PgcEdit also
you preview the video!) If you're familiar with programming, this is
equivalent of putting a breakpoint at the start of your program, and
through each instruction, enabling/disabling breakpoints etc.
We're going to use this function to play your DVD from the start, and "kill playback" on any program we don't want, until we hit the main menu. We can also kill playback on annoying stuff that comes after the main menu and before the movie!
This will enable the Trace display at the bottom of the window.
If you're not familiar with PgcEdit, what you see on the left is the list of PGC (Program Chains), and on the right the pre, post and cell commands for the selected PGC. Click HERE if you need to learn about PGC, pre-commands, post-commands and cell commands.
"Start Preview automatically when playing a cell" means that if
run the trace and the virtual player encounters a PGC with video, it
automatically launch the previewer so you can see what's in there.
"Automatically start preview Playback" means that in addition, it will start the playback (as if you clicked on the "Play" button of the previewer).
"Close preview automatically at the end of the cell playback" means that the previewer will be closed at the end of the playback.
"Close preview automatically after a short delay" means that the previewer will close after a delay selected by the slider.
For now, it's probably simpler to do things by hand.
You can see that the program stopped at PGC 11 of the language unit 1 (LU 1), in the video manager (VMGM). You can also see that the video material played back is 3 seconds long (0:03), and has no buttons (0b.). If you want to know more about this PGC, you can right-click on it, and a window will popup with lots of info (how many cells, how many programs etc)
The preview window lets you see what's in the current PGC. You can use the slider to go anywhere in the PGC. The cell display will show you which cell you're currently in. You can use the arrows "<" and ">" to move 1 frame left or right, and the Cell+ and Cell- buttons to go from cell to cell. Additionally, you can hit the BMP button to save the current image as a bitmap file. That would be useful to extract an image from a DVD file, for example to create your own menu in an authoring tool.
This offers to not only bypass the playback of the cell(s) in the
but also mark the PGC as having no cells/programs. Simply click No for
You'd click "yes" if you wanted to further process your files with IfoEdit to do a VOB ID strip: If the cells are no longer referenced, the ID for the cells will be automatically deselected in IfoEdit's GUI and you don't have to remember which VOB ID you need to strip.
The display will show:
I've circled in red the area that changed. As you can see, the
has been copied and put at the bottom of the pre-commands.
Pre-commands get executed before the video in the PGC cell(s) is played back, while post-commands get executed after the video is played back. Post-commands normally jump (or link) to some other place in the DVD so playback can continue after the video has played. In the example above, the post-command "LinkPGCN" links to the second PGC in the same "domain" (here the VMGM, or video manager menu). So the normal sequence is
1) play the video in the PGC, then
2) jump to PGC #2
But "Kill Playback" copied the post-command as a pre-command, so the program links to PGC #2 before playing the video which has in effect been skipped! We can think 2COOL for this clever trick (and r0lZ for the corresponding macro in PgcEdit!). Things get a bit more complicated when certain pre-commands are present (such as break). You can read about such cases in 2COOL's guide.
- Now we can hit the "Next PB" button
again, which will get us to the next non-empty PGC, and repeat Step
3 above if there are no buttons, killing each PGC we
on the way!
Eventually, we'll get to a PGC that does have buttons, the first menu you'd see in a DVD player, unless the DVD was setup to play the movie right away.
We can proceed to Step 4 below.
There are 5 buttons here so I
don't want to kill this PGC.
As you can see, I'm in VTSM 1 (Video TitleSet Menu 1), Language Unit 1 (LU 1) PGC 1. You can also see that this is also the "Root Menu", the menu you would go to if you pressed the menu button on your remote. It has 5 buttons, and you can also see that it's a "motion menu" because it has a duration of 42 seconds (a motion menu is an animated menu, as opposed to a still menu). By right clicking on the highlighted PGC, you would find out that it has 3 cells, with the middle one having the 5 buttons. The first cell probably has the "menu intro" (what you see before the buttons appear, and the third one has the "menu outro" (what you see after you press a button).
If you hit the preview key "`", you will lauch the previewer, and you can hit Play or move the slider to see exactly what's in there.
Here, I get to the main menu, with a first cell that's a short
animated "intro" to the menu, a second cell with the menu buttons, and
a third black cell. At this point, I know I need to keep this menu! (If
you want to get rid of that menu, or more precisely, have the DVD jump
straight to the movie instead of going through that menu, then check
Well, we're pretty much done!
Click on the button that corresponds to "Play Movie" and click Select. Playback will resume and stop at PGC of the next video displayed.
The duration of the PGC shows 1:20:45, one hour and 20 minutes.
the PGC confirms that this is indeed the movie, so we can stop right
Save, and test in a software player. You will see that you'll skip the
annoying stuff before and after the main menu! When you click
"Play" on the main menu, the movie will start right away.
If you're having problems with this guide, post here
you'll get some help!