Right now I am using DVD Lab Pro for my DVD creation. It's ok but lacks alot of features, functions and advanced capabilities. I am looking for something that has all of that. Especially the ability to create animated (motion) title menu screens, menus, buttons, chapter thumbnails etc from video. More overall templates (main and chapters) and advanced ones plus ability to create your own would be excellent. More professional and not homemade looking but at the same time not extremely hard to figure out and use.
What does everyone use? Know of anything that will handle what i described?
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Last edited by pcapone; 12th Apr 2016 at 15:03.
DVD authoring programs generally do not do what you want as such items are created outside that program and then imported.
You will not find anything close to DVD Lab Pro for advanced authoring not in the price range.
Programs such as Corel DVD have preset animated menus but I do not think that is what you are asking for here.
I can create the video clips outside of the program I just need something that will allow me to use them as background, chapters etc. I think is saw in DVD Lab Pro's help file that it supports what im talking about but im not sure if I understood it correctly.
As for price range the money isnt really an issue as long as its quality.
The preset animated menus would be cool, little something extra.
I know there has got to be something else out there. I saw a video on youtube of a guy who was using Nero and did what i was talking about.
Watch this - https://youtu.be/G88gvhnIBb4?t=1080 you'll see what I mean. Notice the menu animation, the buttons and the chapter thumbnails? I think he might have put an intro in also.
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
Thanks I will take a look at that and try to figure it out. If that works I think I should be able to import an image with the movies title over the video and also place my play and chapters buttons on top. Too bad I cant do the chapter thumbnails.
DVDLabPro has a tons of things that automatize something ...
But years back I uploaded DVD Lab project, images for 100% custom menu, maximum 3 color highlight. Those images were done in Photoshop.
You can upload custom_subpicture_menu_DVDLABPRO.zip and investigate. There are 2 menus (no titles) couple of MB for download, one correct and one shown in wrong way, settings for that menu in DVD Lab are intentionally wrong so you can see what is different between those menus, VIDEO_TS download, all bmp that were used, photoshop projects, DVD Lab Pro project.
So templates are useless, because you create it all in Photoshop. You'd create theme menu, to "mirror" your video, not someones template. You can have them thousands, but everyone would say that your menu generated software. Those menus you can see when you buy a DVD are not made in DVD authoring tool. They are just assembled there. DVD Lab Pro does that but those loading functions are berried in menu! and it makes little sense at first. You'd need to load menu (bmp for example) . Make sure you have menu selected, then
-menu/External S picture/Load external background ... (do not drop bmp into menu in GUI)
-menu /External S picture/Load external sub-picture
-select highlights (manually drawing rectangles in menu area), you have to select correct tool left from the window
-set it correctly on the right (use that example I posted)
I do not understand why this 100% custom creation workflow is not done better, in the sense it is clear hoe to do it, that is the reason DVDLabPro is here I think, (comparing DVD Maestro here, that soft was incredible in its time)
Then there is the thing how DVD navigation actually works. It is not for one afternoon. You can give it a week, load well known VIDEO_TS into PGCedit and figuring out what commands are used. What PGC is, VMGM, title, , why every PGC has Pre-command section, and post-command section for commands. Then there are user defined cells (value 0-255) called GPRM, the there are SPRM that return what DVD navigation remembers etc., that allows you to create your own codes.
Then you' not need any of those tons DVDLabPro features that automatize things, thoug that chapter menu might be handy, it is labor demanding to create
so , point is, all of this, only because of some some stupid menu, that nobody likes any more, perhaps even hates it
Last edited by _Al_; 12th Apr 2016 at 17:35.
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
Ah yea I see what you mean with the menu then sub picture. They do make it hard to figure out. What I was doing was just dragging dropping my menu image but soon found out that doesnt work because it wont auto resize. I imported it then selected and it went in fine. For buttons I imported custom buttons I made and then placed text over them using the text option on the side bar. Only thing is it highlighted everything instead of just the text. I will have to play around more with the settings and read the help files.
Thanks for the very informative post.
You by chance ever made any "motion menus" in DVD Lab Pro? It's the next thing for me to learn to do.
Last edited by pcapone; 12th Apr 2016 at 18:12.
Motion menu is just like still except you use video instead of image, and again, if it is 100% custom made, you just include graphics for buttons in that video, meaning you do it (m2v with DVD specs) outside of DVDLabPro, in Adobe premiere, Sony vegas or better in After Effects or something.
This is like finding a holy grail to realize that you make video for menu (and audio as well) with buttons in it, customized 100%, whatever you want, and DVD Lab Pro just defines rectangles for buttons and sets colors you suppose to see or transparency (normal, selected, activated). As my menu zip shows. Not many realizes that on DVD it is rendered as one. That it is not some sort of overlay (video and buttons) or something, like most see it while designing. (Blu-Ray might be different though)
My menu example does not have graphics for buttons, but text, that is already in image, but imagine it could be whatever in there. Instead of text, there could be created a button and text in photoshop or something, where button color or transparency is defined with subpicture BMP, just like you see in DVD you buy. You can make text in subpicture, so text would pop up on screen while user selects that button, instead of that underline. All you do instead of that underline you write a text choose proper color (red, blue or black) and export it as subpicture and you do not include text in menu.BMP
So from this you can gather that images can sometimes sort of pop up on screen while navigating DVD menu, but notice, it is only subpicture with max 3 colors. So combination of background and subpicture and transparency of that subpicture can give an illusion of images popping up on screen.
Sometimes you could see poping a nice anti-aliased text on screen, but again it is a subpicture where 1color was used for text and rest of those two colors were used for anti-aliasing effect (different shadow, grey) to create nice smooth text. Photoshop has functions for this.
So you load subpicture the same way as for image (white background and graphics in red, blue and black, max those three colors, it depends, could be only white background and one color if just planning to just underline of some sort etc.). DVD specs allow max 3colors for highlights.
Then draw rectangles to define those buttons, use correct tool for that, it is called "group hotspot", just like for image menu, then set it correctly on the right in that menu gui, in "link" TAB it should be set to "invisible normal" , set map TAB correctly, depending what colors you use in highlight image for "normal" ( user does not hover over button while browsing menu) and selected (user selected button) and "activated" (user clicked on button, so those colors will activate for a fraction of second before DVD jumps to particular link ).
Then give it a link. Right click any rectangle/ Link ...
I use word highlits instead of correct subpicture sometimes, so hopefully you understand.
Last edited by _Al_; 12th Apr 2016 at 19:15.
In your example zip how did you line up the lines in the menu under each word so that they are perfectly spaced?
Photoshop, using whatever to orient yourself, using layers etc.
Photoshop files are those PSD files included in there.
If you have photoshop, you'd see that every single thing that was designed can have its own layer, everything is designed at the same time, menu and subpicture only just before exporting BMP , you make visible what you want to export, menu or highlights.
Last edited by _Al_; 12th Apr 2016 at 18:57.
Gotcha. I totally overlooked the psd. Im still getting use to Photoshop. I am a little confused still on how you did some of the menu but I think I have the idea down. You sound like youre going to be my new go to man for dvd-lab problems. lol
Got a question here that should apply to about any of the programs out there like DVD Lab Pro... Maybe you can shed some light on this _Al_.
Images - When i import images into DVD Lab for example what format should they be? Currently I have been putting .jpg backgrounds and buttons. You had mentioned .bmp. Should i be using .bmp or does it matter?
Audio - I add audio to my menus etc and usually when i create the audio i leave it as a .wav, standard settings then import into DVD Lab.
Should i be sticking with a specific audio format for sound clips?
Doing everything the way I have above so far the output is great. Cant notice any differences. Except... maybe the audio which could do with some dolby action instead of 2 channel. I suppose thats something ill have to look into and learn whats best when I get to the point.
Learning more and more about DVD Lab and similar older apps until I am ready to make the move to Pinnacle Studio Ultimate. Can't wait to get to that point.
Any image is going to be encoded into mpeg2. Whatever works, but bmp or png are best to start with because jpg is compressed already. But loading image into DVD authoring tool has one potential mess-up - aspect ratio, DVD is anamorphic and our photos are square pixel. Check if DVD Lab compensates for this.
I'd load (that what I was only doing) exact 720x480 with correct aspect ratio. Photoshop has a function for that, it creates anamorphic image, just like DVD specs are.
File/ New and choosing preset NTSC DV 720x480 (or widescreen if that is the case). What it does, is that if you paste anything in that new created window in Photoshop it fixes aspect ratio correctly. Then save 720x480 into DVD lab pro (or any DVD authoring) , you would see correct aspect ratio. Circle will be exact circle on your screen while watching DVD. AND this was done in a way so DVD authoring did not have to resize your loaded image (and degrade the quality a bit more). Of course, it is a hassle, I'd say nobody plays with these like that anymore. To do one menu for that is fine, but 50 pictures? Just so you know. Anyway, slideshows etc. on DVD is really a waste a bit, resolution is not there, and any TV or whatever device would do slideshow as an embedded function on the fly with a directory full of pictures in it.
Some were importing square pixel 720x540 into DVD authoring so after resizing by DVD authoring into 720x480 it had correct aspect ratio, but one more resize need to be done. Or any square pixel resolution, perhaps original, and DVD Authoring makes 720x480 - in this case, not sure if aspect ratio is correct on DVD. Never done that.
Audio - why not to create AC3 right away. Wave is going to be put on DVD, but it takes a lots of space. If that is not a concern, why not.
Not sure if Pinnacle is right move to. User created all kinds of weird DVD's with it in the past, not sure if it is changed now. Test it before any purchase. If it can create DVD without needing to re-encode again DVD complaint streams etc. Their encoder was not good as well, but that was a long time ago.