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    TLDR; I am trying to do what I have captured in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG6eeBfW5g0

    I have been transported back in time 15-20 years and find myself in need of help in authoring a DVD. Using DVDLab Pro 2, I have successfully figured out how to add my video, two audio streams, two subtitle streams and create two branches using chapter playlists which are tied to the language selected via a branching object. What I absolutely can NOT figure out how to do is have a (text) button be invisible, but become visible when the button NEXT to it is selected. The menu is an episode selection screen with 6 episode titles, listed vertically (right justified to make a clean line on the right side). What I want is to have a "chapters" text button to the right of each episode title, but I only want the "chapters" button to display if that corresponding episode is "selected" (not activated). You can think of it kind of like a simple navigation tree with only 2 levels. My requirements are that each button have their own link (clicking episode title will jump to that point in the video, and the "chapters" button will link to a chapter menu for that specific episode). I am also NOT using a solid background, so that complicates things. There is also background audio on the menu that I don't want interrupted without "activating" a linked button. I designed by menu backgrounds in photoshop, so I also have that if I need it for any reason. Help is much appreciated!

    Here are some example images of what I want to do that I captured from an existing dvd (so I know what I am trying to do is POSSIBLE on dvd, just not sure if Dvdlab Pro 2 is capable):

    Example 1 has neither episode selected, chapters buttons invisible
    Image
    [Attachment 62094 - Click to enlarge]


    Example 2 has first episode selected, first chapters button visible, second chapters button invisible
    Image
    [Attachment 62095 - Click to enlarge]


    Example 3 has second episode selected, first chapters button invisible, second chapters button visible
    Image
    [Attachment 62096 - Click to enlarge]


    Example 4 has first chapters button selected
    Image
    [Attachment 62097 - Click to enlarge]


    Example 5 has second chapters button selected
    Image
    [Attachment 62098 - Click to enlarge]
    Last edited by mistateo; 1st Dec 2021 at 17:41.
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  2. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Not going to get into the specifics of the app, as I don't use that one.
    But, in general, what you are trying to do can be done by using similar looking, but actually different menus.

    To be clear, "highlighting" (pre-selection) is different from "selection" (executing). In the former, using the compass arrows on a remote will choose which is highlighted. And since highlighting is an interaction of the (rectangular) area of highlight interest with the subpicture, when highlighting the 1st element, if the area of highlight is large enough to encompass the chapter section, it can also activate the subpicture there as well. However, since there is only 1 area of highlight (aka button) for both spaces, it is not possible to highlight the 1st element and then "select"/activate the chapter section independently.

    My suggestion was to select/activate the 1st element, which takes you to a separate menu that already has the chapter section of the 1st element visible. You would do this for each element and their chapter/other sections, so it can get to be quite a number of similar menus.

    Scott
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    Thank you for your reply. I was referring to the terminology used in DVDLab Pro 2 (selecting for highlighting), (activating instead of selecting), but you understood what I was saying. I really don't want to do the separate menu approach as it would restart the background music each time. As I said in my original post, I know what I am trying to do is POSSIBLE on dvd without jumping to a new menu, as what I am trying to replicate came from an existing dvd. Here are two more examples that show there was some trickery involved when the original author made the buttons.

    Image
    [Attachment 62099 - Click to enlarge]


    Image
    [Attachment 62100 - Click to enlarge]


    The odd thing here is that the cursor is over the left side button in both images, but in the second image, the cursor is a little more to the right, therefore selecting (highlighting) the chapters button and deselecting (unhighlighting) the episode title button. On standalone dvd players, there isn't a hovering cursor, so I never noticed this until playing the dvd in windows. This isn't an issue, I just hoped it would provide a hint on the underlying structure.
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  4. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    The problem is button highlight areas are rectangular and aren't allowed to overlap which would sort of be required here.
    I'm pretty sure this cannot be done this exact way unfortunately.

    However, what you can do is place the (invisible) button rectangles for the chapters to the right of each of the the chapters and have those in "Auto Action" mode (or whatever it is called in DVDLab).
    That way, you would have the following behavior:
    Using the up and down arrow keys the viewer scrolls through the episode titles (Blue Sea, Surprise etc.) while on the right the word "chapters" appears for the currently highlighted episode. If the viewer pushes the right arrow key, the corresponding invisible dummy chapter button is triggered and takes the viewer directly to the chapter menu without having to push OK first.
    It's the closest you will get.




    Originally Posted by mistateo View Post
    Note you can greatly improve the quality of the button highlights (yellow here) if you prepare the subpic the right way in Photoshop. Basic anti-aliasing is possible using all 4 allowed colors. The key is to index the subpic in Photoshop using a palette that DVDLab will adopt. I don't use DVDLab but afaik it is pretty similar to DVDMaestro.
    Alternatively, you can also replace the subpic after authoring with a high quality anti-aliased 4 color bitmap using DVDSubEdit. I used to do it this way sometimes.
    Last edited by Skiller; 1st Dec 2021 at 16:38.
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    The problem is button highlight areas are rectangular and aren't allowed to overlap which would sort of be required here.
    I'm pretty sure this cannot be done this exact way unfortunately.

    However, what you can do is place the (invisible) button rectangles for the chapters to the right of each of the the chapters and have those in "Auto Action" mode (or whatever it is called in DVDLab).
    That way, you would have the following behavior:
    Using the up and down arrow keys the viewer scrolls through the episode titles (Blue Sea, Surprise etc.) while on the right the word "chapters" appears for the currently highlighted episode. If the viewer pushes the right arrow key, the corresponding invisible dummy chapter button is triggered and takes the viewer directly to the chapter menu without having to push OK first.
    It's the closest you will get.
    I don't really care to replicate the overlapping issue I see when playing the dvd on my computer, as I am authoring it for standalone dvd players with a remote. I will try to use your idea as it is very close to what I want (ideally I would like to have to click the button on the chapters). What I CAN'T seem to do is to have the "chapters" button become visible just by having the corresponding episode highlighted. The closest I could get was to have chapters being invisible, but highlight if I hover over where it is. Problem is, nobody would know the chapters button is there unless they just happened to press the right arrow key. So how would you implement the solution you presented? Basically having the chapters button become visible when I have the corresponding episode highlighted is the exact thing I am trying to solve.


    Originally Posted by mistateo View Post
    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    Note you can greatly improve the quality of the button highlights (yellow here) if you prepare the subpic the right way in Photoshop. Basic anti-aliasing is possible using all 4 allowed colors. The key is to index the subpic in Photoshop using a palette that DVDLab will adopt. I don't use DVDLab but afaik it is pretty similar to DVDMaestro.
    Alternatively, you can also replace the subpic after authoring with a high quality anti-aliased 4 color bitmap using DVDSubEdit. I used to do it this way sometimes.
    The sad part is, these example images aren't even from my Dvd, they are from a production anime Dvd authored by Visionwise Inc. So they made the subpicture stuff. To be fair, this was back in like 2004, when HDTV wasn't as common as it is today so it was probably fine at the time.
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  6. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Sorry, I assumed you had that figured out already.
    You simply make the button rectangle of the episode title so large that it covers the "chapters" text as well. The word "chapters" is not present in the menu background, just in the subpic.
    Having one of the episodes highlighted then makes the word chapters appear (and disappear when another one is highlighted).
    It does require clever use of the 4 colors you can use in your subpic but it's not hard to do.


    Originally Posted by mistateo View Post
    (ideally I would like to have to click the button on the chapters)
    The reason this cannot be done is it would require two button rectangles over the chapters text. First, the large one, as just mentioned above, to make the word chapters appear and another one for highlighting/activating it. So we get around this by using invisible Auto Action buttons and ommitting the highlight of the chapters.
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  7. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Yes, what I was trying to say WAS use of of the subpic with the lettering, rather than the background.


    Scott
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    Sorry, I assumed you had that figured out already.
    You simply make the button rectangle of the episode title so large that it covers the "chapters" text as well. The word "chapters" is not present in the menu background, just in the subpic.
    Having one of the episodes highlighted then makes the word chapters appear (and disappear when another one is highlighted).
    It does require clever use of the 4 colors you can use in your subpic but it's not hard to do.


    Originally Posted by mistateo View Post
    (ideally I would like to have to click the button on the chapters)
    The reason this cannot be done is it would require two button rectangles over the chapters text. First, the large one, as just mentioned above, to make the word chapters appear and another one for highlighting/activating it. So we get around this by using invisible Auto Action buttons and ommitting the highlight of the chapters.
    I really appreciate the help, I will try your suggestion when I get home. If a picture is worth 1000 words, perhaps a video is worth 1000000. I shot a video on my phone of what I am trying to do and uploaded it to youtube. It may better describe what I want, while showing someone has already accomplished it. If it can't be done with DVDlab Pro, I can either implement your suggestion, or see if there are newer/better options than dvdlab pro. Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG6eeBfW5g0
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  9. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Methinks there is some visual trickery going on here.


    As has been pointed out, the invisible button becomes visible once the 'parent' button is highlighted (not necc. to have any different colour etc.). That is a standard procedure where you often see arrows or underlining under a menu object to guide you where you are in the menu. But the 'child' button really is an extension of the 'parent' and provides the link that the 'parent' could have provided with a change of colour etc. and no visual aid from the invisible button. Once the 'parent' is no longer highlighted the 'child' becomes invisible again. All that is explained in the help section for DVDLAB-Pro.


    So this is where you are being tricked. Moving focus from the 'parent' actually invokes a secondary menu which looks like the first but now the hidden button is now an ordinary button with highlighting/focus and selection with the original 'parent' just plain or dummy.


    Of course you also would have to provide for the reverse procedure where the original 'parent' regains all it's previous qualities.


    Now this can not be achieved with just two menus. There would have to be a menu of each 'parent' selection and the reverse.


    And if you want music for background it will be a tell-tale sign since that would restart on each menu.


    So, as Scott pointed out, much simpler to invoke a secondary menu from the initial selection with a 'Play All' and chapter selection options.
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    Yes, what I was trying to say WAS use of of the subpic with the lettering, rather than the background.


    Scott
    Thanks for your help Scott! Are you saying to have the entire episode title and chapters as a subpic and then just have plain blue text over the background, or just the chapters part as the subpic? Also, I am not particularly good at articulating what I want to accomplish, so I shot a video with my phone in front of my tv/dvd player to demonstrate exactly what I want. So SOME genius from Visionwise media (people who authored this example dvd) knows how to do what I want, and it is indeed possible (but maybe/maybe not with DVDlab Pro). Here is the video example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG6eeBfW5g0
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  11. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    mistateo if you still have access to that DVD, I'd love to see the button rectangles of that menu. It can be seen in PgcEdit by selecting the Menu PGC containing the buttons and then Ctrl + M.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Methinks there is some visual trickery going on here.


    As has been pointed out, the invisible button becomes visible once the 'parent' button is highlighted (not necc. to have any different colour etc.). That is a standard procedure where you often see arrows or underlining under a menu object to guide you where you are in the menu. But the 'child' button really is an extension of the 'parent' and provides the link that the 'parent' could have provided with a change of colour etc. and no visual aid from the invisible button. Once the 'parent' is no longer highlighted the 'child' becomes invisible again. All that is explained in the help section for DVDLAB-Pro.


    So this is where you are being tricked. Moving focus from the 'parent' actually invokes a secondary menu which looks like the first but now the hidden button is now an ordinary button with highlighting/focus and selection with the original 'parent' just plain or dummy.


    Of course you also would have to provide for the reverse procedure where the original 'parent' regains all it's previous qualities.


    Now this can not be achieved with just two menus. There would have to be a menu of each 'parent' selection and the reverse.


    And if you want music for background it will be a tell-tale sign since that would restart on each menu.


    So, as Scott pointed out, much simpler to invoke a secondary menu from the initial selection with a 'Play All' and chapter selection options.
    See the video that I shot with my phone. No trickery, just sitting in front of my standalone dvd player and tv recording what I am trying to accomplish. It shows some clever authoring from some guy at Visionwise media inc circa 2004 or so. It shows exactly what I am trying to do WITHOUT jumping menus (or at least if the menu is changing, the music does NOT restart). So this IS clearly possible, although not sure if it can be done in DVDLab Pro. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG6eeBfW5g0
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    mistateo if you still have access to that DVD, I'd love to see the button rectangles of that menu. It can be seen in PgcEdit by selecting the Menu PGC containing the buttons and then Ctrl + M.
    I do. I shot the video after creating this thread because it seems to defy conventionally known DVD authoring. I didn't know PgcEdit could actually look at the structure of a menu (never used that program before). I will give this a shot and post back my findings.
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  14. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Yep, there must be some clever trickery going on. Your video speaks for itself it does in fact work that way. I suspect they did overlap the buttons even though that is technically not allowed. Let's see, this is getting really interesting.
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    Maybe not with this program even if it has most of the qualities of pro authoring.


    Studios would inevitably have used programs such as Scenarist.


    The actual example is rather interesting inasmuch that the right-side selections are not so dependant on the left. That, itself, suggests standard buttons which are not really invisible (but I may be talking garbage right now)


    But like you it is 10+ years since I last used the program. I have forgotten more than I learnt to use it.
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    mistateo if you still have access to that DVD, I'd love to see the button rectangles of that menu. It can be seen in PgcEdit by selecting the Menu PGC containing the buttons and then Ctrl + M.
    Holy Cow, PCGEdit is AMAZING. I will be donating to that guy for sure..... I am JUST barely learning how to use PGCEdit so bear with me, but I think I got what you asked for. I am no expert, but it definitely LOOKS like overlapping buttons. This dvd isn't the same exact one from my dvd player, but another one in the series authored by the same company, with the same exact look and feel (it has this same episode/chapters feature I want). I don't see the subpicture in PGCEdit when I did cntrl + m, but I am guessing that is to be expected. Anyway, here are the screen captures:

    Image
    [Attachment 62106 - Click to enlarge]


    Image
    [Attachment 62107 - Click to enlarge]


    Image
    [Attachment 62108 - Click to enlarge]


    Not sure if it will help, but here are some VM commands from the menu
    Image
    [Attachment 62109 - Click to enlarge]


    Image
    [Attachment 62110 - Click to enlarge]
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  17. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Fantastic.
    Like I was suspecting, it does look like the buttons are overlapping but to make absolutely sure you would click on "Edit" and check if the X-Position and Width of two buttons that are on the same row indicate overlapping.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Maybe not with this program even if it has most of the qualities of pro authoring.


    Studios would inevitably have used programs such as Scenarist.


    The actual example is rather interesting inasmuch that the right-side selections are not so dependant on the left. That, itself, suggests standard buttons which are not really invisible (but I may be talking garbage right now)


    But like you it is 10+ years since I last used the program. I have forgotten more than I learnt to use it.
    I looked at scenarist and apparently they have a "subscription" model similar to Photoshop. I wouldn't be opposed to paying for a month of scenarist to complete this one DVD if absolutely necessary.
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    Fantastic.
    Like I was suspecting, it does look like the buttons are overlapping but to make absolutely sure you would click on "Edit" and check if the X-Position and Width of two buttons that are on the same row indicate overlapping.
    Here you go. It sure does look like overlap to me (which I thought was illegal, especially with all the warnings in DVDLab Pro).

    Image
    [Attachment 62111 - Click to enlarge]


    Image
    [Attachment 62112 - Click to enlarge]
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  20. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    It's confirmed the buttons are overlapping! Awesome!!! I'm stunned!
    Button 1 and 2 are overlapping by a whopping 283 pixels!
    I can't believe I just learnt something new after ~15 years of authoring, some of which were really complex discs. I did not think this is even possible without breaking the menus.

    Originally Posted by mistateo View Post
    It sure does look like overlap to me (which I thought was illegal, especially with all the warnings in DVDLab Pro).
    It is, it's a hack, but it works perfectly as demonstrated by that Dragonball DVD.


    You don't need Scenarist to pull this off just use PgcEdit after authoring to overlap the buttons you prepared in DVDLab. Easy.
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    Officially, it is illegal. The highlight rectangles are areas of interest that determine which element you have highlighted (selected) and/or selected (activated). The issue is: how should a playback system react in those areas of overlap? If you activate, which one are you activating? It cannot be both, and "neither" is just as useless. I guess given an unusual occurrence such as this, one player might chose button order as precedence, another might do areal size, another might do geographic preferences, etc.

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  22. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    I don't think the rectangle area plays a role in what action to take if you press OK because no matter the rectangle the buttons are still numbered and assigned to their designated code as usual. Navigating between buttons is also coded and not tied to the actual size and position on screen. You can actually see that in the last two screenshots; you can edit which button to jump to if the user pushes which of the four directional buttons. Afaik the rectangle is needed just for revealing the underlaying subpic.

    The overlap is going to produce weird results when navigating such menu on a PC using the mouse, that's for sure.
    But it is pretty cool and I will try it.
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  23. I did a "bunch" of DVD's and I know for sure, just do a menu that everyone would expect, menu with episodes and then menu with chapters. Other "original" menus are only appreciated by the author, but user does not want to think even for a split of a second.
    It can be done fast if having done menu in photoshop (even 20 years old, guessing first CS version iirc) using layers and making menu.bmp and layers ready, proper project that consider aspect ratio etc., I had done tutorials on this website already. Just import it in DVD lab and there just drawing rectangles for buttons, which is seconds, because they do not need to be exact. You can also make chapter menu with a theme background, now that is a professional menu. I want to watch this and this but I do not know what was the name. The theme is always a tell.

    custom sub-picture menu for DVD Lab Pro
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    Very true. When I was actively authoring dvds it is very easy to get carried away with features that you like. But the end-user wants something to view the important bit and not go on a wild goose-chase.


    Even if you do this for yourself, what might have looked cool - hey, I just duplicated some commercial feature - it might not be so cool if it does not actually work in a real envoirment.
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    I get your point, guys. But in this case I don't see how this would fall into the category of getting carried away and making it cumbersome for the end user to use the DVD. If anything thanks to this hack the menu is less cluttered because the word "chapter" isn't there 3 million times but just once where the cursor is (which is self-explanatory for anybody). I think this is a neat hack and very appropriate in this case.

    By the way, how do most other TV series DVDs actually deal with this (chapter menu for each episode)?
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    I just checked one TV series and there is no chapter menu. Methinks it is rather superfluous for these. But whatever floats your boat.


    Mind you the sample is also a perfect example why buttons should NOT overlap. The buttons are numbered in such a way that title and chapters are consecutive. The casual viewer presses the down key + enter once for title 2 without paying attention to the fact that the selection is actually the chapters for title one and could be mighty cheddared to realise that he did not get what he thought he was getting.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    The buttons are numbered in such a way that title and chapters are consecutive.
    The actual button numbering (or layout in general) is not tied to navigation, it's what authoring softwares make you think. Which button you can jump to by pressing one of the four directional buttons is individually coded for each button and may be freely adjusted (most authoring softwares don't let you do that and do it for you on a logical grid base). You may allow jumps to any button on the same menu, even if that button is in the opposite corner, or disable some arrow keys for certain buttons altogether.

    So to avoid this...
    The casual viewer presses the down key + enter once for title 2 without paying attention to the fact that the selection is actually the chapters for title one and could be mighty cheddared to realise that he did not get what he thought he was getting.
    ...you just disable all arrow keys except left for the chapter buttons. Or make down jump to the episode button diagonally below (probably best). It's easily done after authoring using PgcEdit. I check it all the time because authoring softwares sometimes make stupid navigation decisions.
    Last edited by Skiller; 15th Jun 2022 at 06:44.
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    I don't think the rectangle area plays a role in what action to take if you press OK because no matter the rectangle the buttons are still numbered and assigned to their designated code as usual. Navigating between buttons is also coded and not tied to the actual size and position on screen. You can actually see that in the last two screenshots; you can edit which button to jump to if the user pushes which of the four directional buttons. Afaik the rectangle is needed just for revealing the underlaying subpic.

    The overlap is going to produce weird results when navigating such menu on a PC using the mouse, that's for sure.
    But it is pretty cool and I will try it.
    Did you ever get a chance to replicate the functionality with overlapping buttons? I tried and am getting weird results, not what I want. Do you use the "text" object and attach links to it, or just have text with no links and draw rectangles and add links to those?
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  29. .... never mind, sorry
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    Originally Posted by _Al_ View Post
    .... never mind, sorry
    I understood what you were saying. If I intended to distribute this DVD for others, I would probably go a more conventional route. I am making it for me. For this particular series, there are 11 Sagas. Only 2-11 were ever released to the US due to distribution rights. Only Australia got all 11. So I bought Saga 1 from Australia. To my dismay, the menu was completely different (different authoring company). So for THIS PARTICULAR Dvd, I am trying to emulate the same exact look and feel of the menus, chapter points, chapter playlists, etc from the American NTSC version so it will be consistent with my existing collection of sagas 2-11. I have already ripped all of the video/audio/subtitle streams etc. I used TMPGEnc to encode a deinterlaced video with 720x480 resolution, but still playing at 25 FPS. Then used a program called DGPulldown to convert 25 FPS to 29.97 FPS. I realize that the project isn't perfect, as reencoding always loses quality in MPEG2 and the DVD structure is weird (but consistent with my existing collection). I even plan to burn it with an inkjet printable dual layer DVD so I can have the same design. I also made a corresponding photoshop project for the dvd case cover consistent with the collection. Obviously having a purple playing surface means it won't look like a professional dvd, but it is what it is. I'm not ignoring what people are saying regarding best practices, just trying to do something apparently unconventional in this particular case. I do appreciate your input.
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