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Photoshop text looks lousy when imported into DVD Studio Pro menu

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Jon DavidsonPhotoshop text looks lousy when imported into DVD Studio Pro menu
by on Dec 19, 2005 at 5:03:00 am

Help,

I have a problem. When I design text with Photoshop, it looks great until I import it into DVD Studio Pro as a menu, then the text looks jagged. I've tried smoothing the text in Photoshop, deinterlacing it (which makes it look worse on DVD Studio Pro's simulator), rasterizing it, sharpening it, it all looks great in Photoshop, but terrible when in DVD Studio Pro or on a tv screen.

What is driving me crazy is that one time I accidentally created very smooth-looking, great looking text that looks great on DVD and television, but don't remember how I did it! So there must be a way. I am using Zapfino font, a very thin font I know, and I understand about using a thick font and avoiding angles. Can anyone give me advice on how I can make fonts look better on the DVD menu when playing on television? Thanks for any input.

John


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Noah KadnerRe: Photoshop text looks lousy when imported into DVD Studio Pro menu
by on Dec 19, 2005 at 5:57:00 am

Definitely avoid the thin fonts- not enough pixels to make them look good. Also avoid high contrast- black on white etc. Make sure any text layers are rasterized- i.e. flattened.

Noah


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Jon DavidsonRe: Photoshop text looks lousy when imported into DVD Studio Pro menu
by on Dec 19, 2005 at 7:09:39 am

Thanks for the input, but I've also had the same problem with jagged lines even using the widest fonts, like Impact or Arial Rounded Bold. I've tried rasterizing the text and it has the same problem. The thing is I accidentally stumbled on a way to make even thin fonts look smooth without jagged lines, and now can't remember how I did it! I'd be glad to email a couple samples of what I mean to any interested parties. Thanks.


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Steve KirkhamRe: Photoshop text looks lousy when imported into DVD Studio Pro menu
by on Dec 19, 2005 at 10:35:24 am

Zapfino is a very, very fine text with a lot of italic "slant". Ifr used quite large I guess it would work but at smaller sizes would be a no-no... some people swear by slighlty blurring the text beforwe taking in to DVD-SP. That might help? Choice of fonts is often difficult when designing menus. Personally I never take fonts below around 22pt size (can sometimes get away with slightly smaller if very bold font). I do all my menus in Photoshop then save them down as a flat background file as a PICT and a flat overlay file as a PICT for the highlight.

Hope this helps

Steve Kirkham


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EsbenHRe: Photoshop text looks lousy when imported into DVD Studio Pro menu
by on Dec 20, 2005 at 12:55:12 pm

When you save your PICT files, do you use 32bit or 16bit compression?

I am asking because I am sitting with a project where half of the machines I try my final DVD in can't see the menu pictures...?! I can "click" my way through the DVD and run all the films and slideshows with no problem. The DVD player just doesn't show menus and buttons. It only shows a grey "nothing".

My menus are build in the same way as you explain, but with Photoshop files, flattened, and saved as JPG files. The buttons are created in DVDSP, not in another layer of Photoshop, but as a simple text following the simplest Highligt Set with 3 colors, and with my text written into the text field in the style pane of the button properties window (center positioned, and checked in "Include text in highlight". I am not running an extra picture in the overlay mode, as the button overlays are designed within DVDSP.

But why some players can't show the menus is a puzzle to me??? I thought DVDSP was following the strict rules of the ISO 9660 standard, and thus could be played on ALL DVD players?

I am now going to try to convert all my menu pictures into PICT files, and see if that helps, but it is a desperate method, since I can't understand why that should help?

If anybody can help, it will be most appreciated, since my client is very annoyed it can't play on ALL machines world wide, Thanks!

EsbenH



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Art KuhRe: Photoshop text looks lousy when imported into DVD Studio Pro menu
by on Dec 19, 2005 at 4:33:15 pm

What size are you making the photoshop files?



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Jon DavidsonRe: Photoshop text looks lousy when imported into DVD Studio Pro menu
by on Dec 20, 2005 at 5:24:44 am

I discovered I was making them the wrong size, 800 x 600. I resized them to 720 x 534 pixels (per Apple's DVD Studio Pro handbook recommendations), and the text got a little better, but not spectacularly. I also tried 720 x 540, which made no difference, nor did other sizes seem to improve the text appearance. I tried changing the pixel aspect ratio from square to DV/NTSC (0.9) ratio, which appeared to make no difference in DVD Studio Pro's viewer. Does it have a feature built in that automatically converts the pixel ratio? It seems like it does. I have Photoshop files I can send any interested parties (small still files) to demonstrate what I'm talking about. One looks great, the other doesn't, even though I've tried to emulate what I did right in the good one.

Thanks for your input,

Jon


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Jon DavidsonRe: Photoshop text looks lousy in DVD Studio Pro - The Answer!!!
by on Dec 21, 2005 at 5:44:39 am

Hey All,

Thanks for your input, after six frustrating hours last night I finally stumbled on the solution to my jagged-appearing text problem. The problem was that I was following the advice of my DVD Studio Pro User's Guide! It told me to make (or resize) my graphics to 720 x 534 pixels, which it said converts to 720 x 480 (NTSC rectangular) pixels when imported into DVD Studio Pro 3. Then a later blurb in the book says, oh by the way, this might cause jagged-appearing text, if that happens resize to 720 x 480. I did and still had the jagged-appearing text problem (more on that in a minute).
However, when I tried creating a graphic from scratch at 720 x 480, then writing text into it, it imported into DVD Studio Pro perfectly, with no jagged edges or "staircase" effect, and looked great! The reason they state making graphics at 720 x 534 pixels is to make sure that circular objects remain circular and not oval when imported into DVDSP. However, that comes at the cost of smooth text that contains diagonal lines. They could have put those two facts next to each other in the book and saved me some grief.

The kicker is that later on that night, when I reinspected the graphics I had resized earlier to 720 x 480, suddenly they looked as smooth as if I had created them at that aspect ratio! I know for a fact that earlier they had appeared jagged, because I would have stopped looking for the answer at that point. My only guess is that DVD Studio Pro's import software woke up at some point and imported the resized graphics properlly. I had been warned that there were gremlins of this type with DVD Studio Pro's software, and it happens arbitrarily, because I recreated the jagged/smooth effect with the same resized 720 x 480 graphics a couple times. So if your text graphics still looks jagged after resizing to this aspect ratio, quit DVDSP, restart it, and reimport the graphics. You may find it gives the result you want. Better yet, I will simply make all future graphics at 720 x 480 when doing text menus with diagonal lines. Didn't mean to go on so long, but it took me almost a week to resolve this! I hope this saves someone out there some hair-pulling.


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David BanburyRe: Photoshop text looks lousy in DVD Studio Pro - The Answer!!!
by on Jan 20, 2006 at 3:48:37 pm

Thanks for your long post.

I tpp have been pulling whats left of my hair our with exactly the same problem.

I used to get GREAT text in layered photoshop files. All of a sudden, redoing a menu using the same steps as usual, the text is lousy.
Cannot try your 720x480 trick as I am working in Pal (So I have tried 720X576) to see if it would "wake up" DVDSP (as you put it).

I hope you solution works. Thanks again
David



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Jon DavidsonRe: Photoshop text looks lousy in DVD Studio Pro - The Answer!!!
by on Jan 20, 2006 at 4:36:40 pm

Do your original graphics still look great? If so, you might try doing what I did, and bring them into Photoshop, and then review all the testings, one at a time, and see if there is a discrepency between them and the new lousy-looking graphics. This involves a lot of things that don't leap out at you, including original file size (720 X 520, etc)., pixel aspect ratio, type of font you used (the thicker the better for thin diagonal fonts), whether you chose the smooth/sharp/smooth feature, etc.

You might try re-creating a test graphic from scratch at the file size you want,and then testing it, rather than resizing it. DVD Studio Pro seems to like that better. I assume you are doing the same thing I did, importing Photoshop graphics into DVDSP. They say you don't need to flatten the image, but you might try it flattened and unflattened to see if it makes a difference. Finally, you might play with the pixel aspect ratio. PAL might have a different pixel aspect ratio than NTSC (which is 0.9). Don't let Photoshop or even your computer display be the final judge, as computer pixels are square and TV pixels are not. Let your TV be the final judge as to the final look. I understand that may mean some wasted burned DVDs, but it may be worth the trouble. Hope some of this helps.

(By the way, you are turning off the "pixel preview" in Photoshop before you look at the graphics, aren't you? It doesn't affect how the graphic imports or looks in DVDSP, but it could be deceiving you into thinking you have lousy graphics when you don't. For some reason, turning the pixel preview off actually makes the graphic display look better, because the preview makes the graphic imitate the shape it will have on the TV. However, this comes at the cost of smooth-looking lines.)


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David BanburyRe: Photoshop text looks lousy in DVD Studio Pro - The Answer!!!
by on Jan 22, 2006 at 1:23:24 am

All fixed.

In photoshop resized my files from 1024x576 to 720x576 (PAL dimensions) and text in final dvd menus is good again.
Thanks for your advice.
Cheers
David



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Nick DunlopRe: Photoshop text looks lousy in DVD Studio Pro - The Answer!!!
by on Oct 26, 2011 at 11:17:14 am

Thanks for the help. I was getting jagged text in DVDSP from a psd file, at 1024 x 576. When I resized to 720 x 576, the jagged text was smooth again.


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Takeshi FukushimaRe: Photoshop text looks lousy in DVD Studio Pro - The Answer!!!
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 2:46:22 am

I know this is an old topic and old technology as well, but I have another question. If I were to do 16:9, am I do creat graphics with that the same aspect 720x480?
Thanks,
T


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Jon DavidsonRe: Photoshop text looks lousy in DVD Studio Pro - The Answer!!!
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 3:31:26 am

Wow, time sure does fly, doesn't it?? Now it's "old technology!"
I don't know if it will work or not, but your question is a logical one that should have been anticipated. I don't know if the folks at the company where you bought your current software can answer that, but I honestly don't know. Since you're converting from 4:3 to 16:9, it might make your text look stretched, but I don't see how it should make it look jagged. Now as far as converting it to 16:9 and wanting it to look both smooth AND non-stretched, that's a puzzle that's beyond my experience to figure out. I'm afraid you might be stuck doing trial and error experiments to get it both non-stretched and smooth-looking. Sorry I couldn't help more. Good luck. Let us know what you find out!

DigiGuy


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Alex AspRe: Photoshop text looks lousy in DVD Studio Pro - The Answer!!!
by on Apr 18, 2012 at 5:09:19 am

First of all, there is no need to revive a topic that has been discussed back in 2005, you'd have a better chance to get a proper answer if started a new topic, since you don't really contributing to the old one.
When this happens I also have a felling that people forget to read the manual before they start using the software, and then they complain that the software is not working the way they imagine, or does not live up to their expectations.

Anyway, start your menu design in Photoshop, preferably the latest version. When you open a new file in Photoshop, you are given a preset that suit your needs. For example there are presets for a menu called NTSC DV and NTSC Widescreen. They have the right pixel dimensions and pixel aspect ratios. Nowdays, when most screens and TV's are wide, you should naturally design your menu using a widescreen preset. This will help you to avoid nubys' mistakes with safety zones and squashed geometry. It will also help keep the text in menu looking good.

There is a lot of information that manual provides for the correct menu creation, and it is accessible from within the application. The Photoshop files you are importing into DVD SP should be in non-compressed formats. Either TIFF or PSD should be used and files like JPEG should be avoided.

Alex Asp/Solaris Digital Ltd.
Subtitle utilities HERE
Anti-aliasing for Highlights:HERE


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