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  1. How to create VCD menus and chapters with VCDEasy
    You'll find a lot of information that tells you how to add chapters using VCDEasy, but none of them say how to incorporate menus. Since my goal was to make my VCDs both functional and aesthetic, incorporating menus was the next logical step. Specifically, I wanted a main menu, scene-selection menus, and a notification at the end of the first CD to "insert disk 2". This guide will show you how to add an interactive menu structure to your VCDs using VCDEasy.

    This guide will assume you already know how to add chapters and burn with VCDEasy. Refer to these guides otherwise:First of all, let's realize that we have to work within the VCD specification. Our level of interaction is limited to a few buttons: previous, next, return, default, and 1-99.

    The guide is split into these sections:A. Menu Images
    MPEG stills are the way to go. A still is basically just an image converted to MPEG format, but the VCD specification allows a resolution up to 704x480 (for NTSC). So make sure your source image is at least that. Since my source is the original DVD, I captured a few of the menu screens using
    WinDVD.

    Then I opened the images in Paint Shop Pro to paint over the text I didn't want, and added my own fancy text within PowerPoint. (Don't add text too close to the edge as your TV will chop off some of the image). The purpose of adding text, of course, is to tell viewers what buttons they need to push to navigate through the menus. When you're done, PowerPoint has the option to export as BMP. If you'll be displaying on a regular TV, you'll probably want to crop the images down to 640x480 so that they won't look distorted.

    B. Create the MPEG Stills
    Launch VCDEasy, go to the Tools menu, and select MPEG Stills. Check "Recursive Drag'n Drop" (if you have more than one image to encode), and specify the output folder. Set "Aspect Ratio Correction" to 4/3, and that should avoid distorted images when displaying on your TV. I also adjusted "TV cropping" to 3%, and had to increased the size to 142kb. Now select all of your BMPs from Windows Explorer and drop them into the window (see image below). The MPEGs will be generated automatically.


    C. Load the MPEGS
    Select "(S)VCD" in the left column and then "Main" from the top menu. You can drag and drop your files so that they are ordered properly. Ordering is important as it will make things easier later. Also, don't forget to change the "Volume Label" and "Album Name" (in the "Options" page).



    D. Add Chapters
    Refer to the existing guides on this. The only other adjustment here is for the second disk. I prefer to continue the numbering scheme from the first disk, but it's up to you.



    E. Interactivity
    I want to add a main menu, scene-selection menus, and a notification at the end of the first CD to "insert disk 2". Here's how I wanted the movie to play. You may want to adjust this to suit your own preferences. Go to the "Interactivity" page.

    1. Main Menu
    Make sure the main menu segment is highlighted.
    a) Change to wait 15 seconds (The VCD will start in the main menu).
    b) Timeout to the start of the movie (so the movie will start automatically after 15 seconds).
    c) Change "Return" to go to the first chapter of the movie (this effectively works like the "Play" button in this case). Or you can disable it by selecting "Event Disabled."
    d) Check "Overwrite this default Assignment".
    e) Enable the chapter sequence by starting with "Key 1" and working your way down each row. Change "Key 1" to the first chapter of the movie, "Key 2" = second chapter and so on.
    f) Now select "All", and the sequence is assigned to the rest of the MPEG stills.
    g) You may wish to set the "Default" to the start of the video. "Default" often defines what will happen when you press "play" on your DVD remote.
    NOTE: Another way to do this (and perhaps a more standard way) would be to use numbers to control the actions on the main menu. For example:
    1. Play Movie
    2. Scene Selection

    ...and then go through steps d through f only for the chapter menus.



    2. Scene select menus
    a) Change the play item to the second menu.
    b) Change to "Wait infinite" (this will play the menu indefinitely - you could also have them timeout to another play item).
    c) Change "Return" to take you to the main menu.
    d) Again, you may wish to set the "Default" to the start of the video.
    Repeat a-d for the rest of the menus.



    3. Chapter Sequence
    a) Change the Play item to the first chapter of the mpeg movie.
    b) Change the "Return" to go to the main menu.
    c) Select "All" to propagate this to the entire chapter sequence.



    4. "End of Disk/Insert Disk 2" image
    After the VCD ends, screen will come up telling you to insert the second disk.
    a) Change the Play Item to the final MPEG Still.
    b) Change the "Wait" to 10 seconds.
    c) Change the "Previous" to go to the last chapter.
    d) Change the "Return" to go to the main menu.
    e) You can also uncheck "Use numeric keys" since you won't need to access chapters from this menu.



    Press "Go" to create the BIN and CUE files. Then you're ready to burn the CD. Want to test the VCD before you burn it? Try
    Daemon-tools. It allows you to mount the BIN to create a virtual CD-ROM. Then you can test the VCD by playing it in WinDVD, PowerDVD, etc. before burning the disk.

    Good Luck!
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  2. Thank you, for answering me so fast. I managed to correct MPEG Stills. Now I am trying to create menus using your guide. In section 2 I am following your guide by doing steps a, b, and c. I do not understand what button to push after step c)? You wrote we should to repeat this for the rest of the menus, but how computer memories previous steps. Maybe I have to push button All, or any others button. I have tried 4 times, but managed to get only picture of main menu I had created. No menus at the beginning of VCD.


    Thank you, again for useful advises and your time.

    Sincerely V. Siretskiy
    My E-Mail idasiretskiy@hotmail.com or probably siretskiy@vcdhelp.com

    2. Scene select menus
    a) Change the play item to the second menu
    b) Change to “Wait infinite” (this will play the menu indefinitely - you could also have them timeout to another play item)
    c) Change "return" to take you to the main menu.
    Repeat this for the rest of the menus


    :P
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  3. ty gosto for the tutorials..

    i just wanna ask btw.. if it is possible to apply sound on an mpeg still??

    thanks man.. enuff respect
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  4. I just found this a few days ago, but haven't tried it yet. It requires some XML editing. VCDEasy allows you to write out an xml, and burn from an xml, so you could still do the majority of the work within the GUI.

    http://www.geocities.com/mikk999/StillsWithAudio.htm
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  5. I get everything to work but i don't understand how you are going to navigate in the menu.

    I mean there must some buttons so you know where you go. So what i wonder is how you create them and how you import them in VCDEasy.

    Thanks
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  6. You're going to navigate using the Next, Previous, Return and Number keys (1-99). The Interactivity page allows you to control the what these buttons will do. If your question is "how does someone know what buttons they need to push when they play the VCD", that's why you should edit the images and include the appropriate text. For example, the text on the main menu should have something like this:

    Play (return)
    Scene Selection »

    Another way to do this (and perhaps a more standard way) would be to use numbers to control the actions. For example:

    1. Play Movie
    2. Scene Selection

    My guide does not show exactly how to do this, but you could easily make these modifications.
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  7. ty gonzo for replying... but with the guide... am i gonna burn it or add the still with audio like i'm adding a still in the vcdeasy? ty man.
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  8. Does anyone here using VOB to burn the cd image created with VCDEasy?
    Can you tell me how because I can't.
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  9. gonz,

    Thanx for da guide. I was looking for something like this. Aside from vcdeasy not working with cdrao on my windows 2000 box (something about the aspi layer not compatible), this app is great.

    My question is this: I encoded a mjpeg-avi to mpg2-svcd, and now want to import this , 780 mb, into vcdeasy and create custom chapters. i.e. a chapter every 5 or 10 mins. Someone suggested breaking the mpg up into 7 or 8 , 100 mb, mpg's or so, and using Nero's menu. I'd rather use vcdeasy to do the custom chaptering and burn with fireburner.
    Is this possible with vcdeasy or any other appz?

    t.ia.

    ZtR
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  10. My recommendation would be just to try it (with a smaller mpeg), and burn on a CD-RW first. That's basically how I learned.

    But I can't think of any reason why the guide couldn't be used for SVCD with a few minor tweaks (like generate stills in SVCD format). And no need to cut up the MPEGs, just use entry points.

    Regarding the burning issue, I'm running win2k also, and had great luck with forceaspi. I got it here: http://aspi.radified.com/. Just back up the files that it will replace in case you run into problems.

    P.S. If you do want the real chapter times, you can get most of them at blockbuster.com. ...only for released DVDs, though.
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  11. Hi, I have a question: Wich button should I press after step 2- c)
    in order to go to the next step????

    Thanks

    Daniel
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  12. This is the second time this question has been asked, so maybe this will make more sense...

    Section 2 is where I set my "scene select" menus (mpeg stills). I think I had 4 of them in that case, so I would repeat steps a, b & c for all 4 menus. So I guess the next thing you would do is go back to "a" and select the next segment in the "Play Item" list. Remember, all you're doing in the Interactivity section is defining what happens when you press the buttons in your DVD player remote (previous, next, return and numbers). Once your done here, go to step 3 - that's were you'll define the behavior of the video sequence (the next thing in the "Play Item" list). Also, CD-RWs are very useful when your trying out new things like this. Trial and error is a great way to learn.

    Note: The "all" button is quite useful - you can save some menu picks if you use this. You can use it in step 2, but it will change the settings of all the menu segments (including the main menu from step 1). In practice, I usually do steps 1 & 2 in reverse order and take advantage of the "all" button to save some time. After you try it a few times, you'll see what I mean.
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  13. I followed your guide to create a VCD with menus, used VCDEasy to create the .bin and .cue files and then used CDRDAO with X-Duplicator to actually burn my CD. When I tried to play the VCD on my computer, using Cinematograph, the menu doesn't come up. Instead the VCD starts with the first clip and just plays them straight through. Do the menus not work on a PC or Cinematograph? Or am I doing something else wrong?
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  14. I got the pgm using my own still images as main and sub menues.
    Burning on a CDRW for test with a small video file in SVCD.
    Everythink is working fine on my PC with Interwindvd pgm.

    Using the CD on my Pionner DVD i got the following:
    Stills are not displayed but timer implemented in Interactivity menue of VCDEasy are working fine that is to say the video is normaly started from the main menue as defined in your guide.
    The video is played normaly but the last still is not displayed too.
    The stills have been created from JPEG images using VCDEasy.
    Looking at the XML toc file everythink are correct .
    Pls try to help me ....
    I should add than i am using normaly the Pionner player in SVCD format with my captured video and formatted with Pinacle Studio V7 without menue but using chapter in VCDEasy.
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  15. Do the menus not work on a PC or Cinematograph? Or am I doing something else wrong?
    I'm not familiar Cinematograph, but VCDs should play properly on your PC. I use WinDVD, and the menus work. Like some DVD players, Cinematograph may just start playing the movie and skip over the menus. Does Cinematograph have something equivalent to the "return" button that would take you to the main menu? (In WinDVD, I have an option for "top menu" or "root menu" that does this.) Does the VCD work in your stand-alone DVD player?

    If you send me a message with the text from your .xml file (this gets created when you create the bin & cue), I can see if something is set up incorrectly.

    Stills are not displayed but timer implemented in Interactivity menue of VCDEasy are working fine that is to say the video is normaly started from the main menue as defined in your guide.
    The video is played normaly but the last still is not displayed too.
    I've seen several posts of people who can't play MPEG stills on their DVD player, so you may want to search the forum on this topic. If everything works properly on your PC but not on the stand-alone player, then maybe your stand-alone player doesn't support the MPEG stills from VCDEasy. Here are a few things to try:
    1. There are a few options on the MPEG Stills Tool page. You could try adjusting these to see if it helps (SVCD "hacked", MPEG size, high or low resolution.)
    2. You could try creating the stills with another program.
    3. Use motion mpegs for your menus. You'll have to live with a lower resolution, but it might work. You can use TMPGEnc to create an MPEG from an image file and a short wav file. See the guides in the "How to Author" section.
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  16. Thank a lot for your guide and your answer.
    I agree totally with what you say.
    I will try using motion menue.
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  17. I sent you a personal message with the link to the text file that had all the text from the xml file. I also wanted to let you know that I tried the VCD in my sister's brand new Dell laptop that has WinDVD 2000 and it didn't display the menu in that either. I look to see if there's a menu button though. I didn't find one in Cinematograph. I'm afraid I don't have a stand-alone DVD player, so I can't try it out on that. The cd was originally for a friend of mine who did have a DVD player. I gave her a copy of the cd today so by tonight, I'll know if the vcd worked in her DVD player. Thanks for all the help.
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  18. gonzo.. in tmpegnc... what does illegal decimal point floating (error) means???

    ty man
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  19. "file vcd_files.c: line 781 (_get_scandata_table): assertion failed: (i = _get_scandata_count (info))"


    I get this annoying error in vcd'easy'. Not to worry though, back to TSCV i suppose, i mean VCDeasy is just a clone
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  20. Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    test
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  21. Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Chaos Theory
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    hey gonz0
    Thank's for the great tut :P
    i used to break my mpeg's up and burn with nero to get chapter's
    maybe i missed something or maybe it's not possible ?
    when i try the vcd's after burning them with VCDeasy, they work fine but i notice when i bring up the display on my dvd player's it show's the time remaining & the time elapsed, but it alway's show's the chapter as being zero no matter what chapter you are on. is there a way to make it so it show's the correct chapter you are on ?
    thank's again for the great tut!!!!!
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  22. I suspect that your DVD player is showing the track number as opposed to the chapter number. If you burned the VCD with a single mpeg (as described in the guide), I think that means you have one track. The chapters are just "entry points" within that track. I guess that's the downside of using entry ponts. The upside is that it's much easier to author the VCD and playback is probably smoother.

    Note: my DVD player doesn't even show the time elapsed and remaining with VCDs.
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  23. Great guide Gonzo, I had no problem creating the menus. The only problem that I have is on playback. The menus work fine but when playing the movie , I get jittery playback. Any ideas what may be causing this and what I have to do to correct it. Thanks.

    CG
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  24. You'd probably get more response if you post this in a different forum (DVD Players, Conversion, etc.) because I don't think it's related to VCDEasy. I've seen poor playback on my DVD player if the bitrate is too high or the field order is set wrong in TMPGEnc. If you decide to repost in a different forum, include more information like:
    • Source - DVD, DIVx, etc.
      DVD player model
      What type of VCD (VCD, XVCD or SVCD)
      PAL or NTSC?
      If NTSC, what framerate? (23.976 or 29.97fps)
      Whether you've tried it on several DVD players
      Whether it plays properly on your PC DVD player
      What programs you're using for encoding
    You may also want to seach the forum. I've seen a lot of posts related to poor playback.
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  25. Some pointers to the above posters:
    1. Chopping up an MPEG into multiple fragments and then using Nero is not making chapters. This is making a multitrack VCD. The only way to making real chapters on VCDs is to use entrypoints (which can be done with VCDImager -- VCD Easy being a GUI to VCDImager). The reason multitracks are not chapters is because playback of multitrack VCDs are not seamless at the track changes. http://www.vcdimager.org/guides/chapters.html
    2. The still images as encoded by VCD Easy (i.e., based on MJPEG Tools) may not be fully standard in that there have been some reports that they do not play properly on some players. This is as opposed to, e.g., VCD Toolkit encoded stills that play on everything. However, it is still a MUCH better situation than TSCV which uses TMPGEnc + hex edit to make stills.

    Regards.
    Michael Tam
    w: Morsels of Evidence
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  26. Thanks for the great instructions, worked perfectly like you said. Here's a picture of my first menu:


    www.geocities.com/lapzerus/test.jpg if the images doesn't show up.

    Thanks again
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  27. To Ice-X and others:

    Yes, it is possible to add a background sound to a still image. First, you have to create the mpeg file of the still image (in VCDEasy). Then, launch TMPGEnc and load the mpeg file in the video box. Then, load the audio in the audio box (a wav file, avi sound, etc.). Set up your settings for a vcd if needed (Load, pick VCD / SVCD ntsc or pal, etc etc.) and create the new mpeg file. Use the newly created file in VCDEasy as your new menu (or whatever.)

    Walla! There it is...

    Btw, side note. If you want a song (say an mp3) as the background noise, winamp does a great job of creating the wav file using the output plugin.

    Also, another note. I just found this out myself so if it doesn't work for you, I cannot help you.
    If you ain't making waves, you ain't kicking hard enough!
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  28. I dont understand the guide to add menus. If someone can elaborate more on what i have to do i would appreciate it thanx. The guide is confusing and jumps straight into something i dont understand.
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  29. Member
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    hey Enigma577 i tried what you said and i got a invalid floating point decimal error...

    what am i doing wrong?...
    Big_Jit
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