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Old 05-25-2008, 06:48 PM
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Default LCARS DVD Menus

For anyone familiar with Adobe Encore (a prosumer DVD authoring program, included with various releases of the Creative Suite package), you're probably aware that you can build your own Menus for use in the program with layered Photoshop files, using certain naming conventions for the layer names.

That's essentially what I've done for a family-video project I've been editing for DVD in my spare time during the past few months, using the LCARS operating system as a basis. The layering can actually get quite complex, if you want to get really detailed with it. This is what I've got, which is basically a final product. I created HD and SD versions of the same thing, since menu-enabled Blu-Ray burning isn't that far off for home users... Encore is already capable, provided you have a burner. I've uploaded the HD versions, for the sake of clarity. And for the sake of people's bandwith, and having this pictures mess up the alignment of the text of my post, I've opted to link to them instead of displaying them in this thread.

Main Menu (self-explanatory)

Sub-menu #1 (for a single feature, eg. a movie or single-topic video)

Sub-menu #2 (for a video comprised of multiple, seperate fragments requiring more description, eg. a family video where the camera starts and stops often. Obviously, I'll be using this one for this project):

The "No Data" window is a stand-in for a still or video thumbnail from the video that button leads to (thanks to the layering, Encore adds in the thumbnail automatically, though you can change it to be any frame from the video in question). What's currently selected is shown by a certain element of the button turning from blue to red... in the case of the main menu, that middle bar in each button, and for the submenus part of the frame of the chapter buttons. Since After Effects and Encore integration also allow you to control the way in which the menu first appears on-screen, I'll probably add a brief intro video with some kind of LCARS-esque "Loading" screen, and have the various different bars and buttons of the menus fade in at different times, and maybe flicker a bit.

I'm not sure yet whether I need to do any kind of audio/subtitle selection menus, since these things aren't likely to have multiple audio tracks... unless I can get my grandfather to record a commentary for the video of our family's renunion back in the 80s when they rented a video camera. All the other stuff is a bit more current, either from an old Sony Hi8 camcorder, or a miniDV cam.

Last edited by TM2-Megatron : 05-25-2008 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 05-27-2008, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TM2-Megatron View Post
For anyone familiar with Adobe Encore (a prosumer DVD authoring program, included with various releases of the Creative Suite package), you're probably aware that you can build your own Menus for use in the program with layered Photoshop files, using certain naming conventions for the layer names.

That's essentially what I've done for a family-video project I've been editing for DVD in my spare time during the past few months, using the LCARS operating system as a basis. The layering can actually get quite complex, if you want to get really detailed with it. This is what I've got, which is basically a final product. I created HD and SD versions of the same thing, since menu-enabled Blu-Ray burning isn't that far off for home users... Encore is already capable, provided you have a burner. I've uploaded the HD versions, for the sake of clarity. And for the sake of people's bandwith, and having this pictures mess up the alignment of the text of my post, I've opted to link to them instead of displaying them in this thread.

Main Menu (self-explanatory)

Sub-menu #1 (for a single feature, eg. a movie or single-topic video)

Sub-menu #2 (for a video comprised of multiple, seperate fragments requiring more description, eg. a family video where the camera starts and stops often. Obviously, I'll be using this one for this project):

The "No Data" window is a stand-in for a still or video thumbnail from the video that button leads to (thanks to the layering, Encore adds in the thumbnail automatically, though you can change it to be any frame from the video in question). What's currently selected is shown by a certain element of the button turning from blue to red... in the case of the main menu, that middle bar in each button, and for the submenus part of the frame of the chapter buttons. Since After Effects and Encore integration also allow you to control the way in which the menu first appears on-screen, I'll probably add a brief intro video with some kind of LCARS-esque "Loading" screen, and have the various different bars and buttons of the menus fade in at different times, and maybe flicker a bit.

I'm not sure yet whether I need to do any kind of audio/subtitle selection menus, since these things aren't likely to have multiple audio tracks... unless I can get my grandfather to record a commentary for the video of our family's renunion back in the 80s when they rented a video camera. All the other stuff is a bit more current, either from an old Sony Hi8 camcorder, or a miniDV cam.
TM-2-

Some great work!!!

Can these be utilized for the Pinnicle DVD Creation system?
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Old 05-27-2008, 06:37 AM
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I think Pinnacle (certain versions of it, anyway) do allow you to create a layered PSD file to use as a menu. The layer name conventions are probably different than what Encore requires, though. Pinnacle may also not be as flexible in terms of what the file can contain.

As an example, Encore accepts things like vector objects while DVD Architect Pro (another fairly good DVD authoring program) won't. I used vectors almost exclusively to make these menus, since it's mostly composed of basic shapes and curves. I'd need to know more about Pinnacle's abilities with regards to what it can take in, however you'd probably need to flatten out the layer sets (a group of objects all collected into a folder-esque layer) and convert all those vectors into rasterized graphics.
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Old 05-27-2008, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TM2-Megatron View Post
I think Pinnacle (certain versions of it, anyway) do allow you to create a layered PSD file to use as a menu. The layer name conventions are probably different than what Encore requires, though. Pinnacle may also not be as flexible in terms of what the file can contain.

As an example, Encore accepts things like vector objects while DVD Architect Pro (another fairly good DVD authoring program) won't. I used vectors almost exclusively to make these menus, since it's mostly composed of basic shapes and curves. I'd need to know more about Pinnacle's abilities with regards to what it can take in, however you'd probably need to flatten out the layer sets (a group of objects all collected into a folder-esque layer) and convert all those vectors into rasterized graphics.
Hmmm I could try that. Or just try using creating my own LCARS graphics and trying to modify an exosting menu.

Thanks for the excellent info~!
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:09 AM
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Awesome, I use Adobe Encore in my film production business, great menus...can one such as myself steal them? and or compensate you for them in some way? I feel bad downloading these links and then modifying them without asking you first.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:56 PM
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I could send you the layered PSD files; much easier than breaking up a JPEG back into layers. That way you'd also get the original vector shapes, which would make the whole layout much easier to modify than rasterized graphics could ever be. Those layouts, at the moment, are optimized for my current project. They'd undoubtedly need to be tweaked depending on the application. Use the PM to send me your e-mail, and I'll send the files along. Maybe just include my name in any DVD credits (although I've only ever encountered these as an easter egg on some titles) you might include in the project you use the menus in. I credited Mike Okuda in mine, as well... he did develop the interface, after all. And the streamlined, clean nature of it does make it ideal for use as something like a DVD menu.

The HD versions are a tad large, but I could send the SD easily. I've experimented a bit, and I've found that the quality is actually better when using the SD versions for an SD project, anyway. I imported the HD versions into Encore to use in an SD project, and the result was just a bit fuzzy. I created a Blu-Ray ISO using Encore, though, and played it back on my computer... man, I can't wait to get a burner, lol... the layout benefits so much from all those additional pixels. The primary pain of most SD displays is that you can't put things too close together (10 or 15 pixels, I can't quite remember), or else the screen starts to flicker a bit around that area. I had to compensate for that in the SD menus... as such, the buttons and sweeps aren't spaced as finely as I'd have liked.

In any case, you'd be able to use the SD files to create HD versions quite easily when you do start working in Blu-Ray menus. I made the HD versions out of the SD, just changed the pixel aspect ratio to square, and stretched everything up to 1920x1080. Given the nature of vector graphics, and the fact font is also basically vector-based (and the PSD files are only font and vectors, except for that "No Data" screen), you can really stretch it as much as you want without any quality loss. To display them properly, though, you'll need the LCARS font... Swiss 911 Ultra Compressed BT.

Last edited by TM2-Megatron : 05-27-2008 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:35 AM
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The font is pretty easy to come by. It's also in alot of Trek freeware fonts.
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