Encore 2.0 Motion Menus
I have never really created an effective .. seamless motion menu, i have searched my manual to get a good basic idea, im very proficient at both AE and Encore , however i must be missing something. I have done some research and i came up with this tutorial, but it seems to be missing something.
when i do the steps they say .. it will play the motion menu .. however at the end it goes black .. i set the loop (with no loops) also set it to 0:00:00:00. It does not recognize the Main menu that it is supposted to transition into .. Please help. If someone needs my project files etc. I will glady forward those to you. Any help/guidance is MUCH appriciated
Also I have rendered the motion menus before previewing, they always jus show a working menu , but no motion , the links are correctly pointing to the ae composition or the video when i try to get it to work but still nothing
Are you trying to create a menu with an animated background from which the audience can make a selection, or are you trying to make an animated menu that transitions to a static menu? Viewers would then make their selection from the static menu.
If it's the latter, you don't need separate menus. Create your animation in AE, using whatever menu elements you want. When it's time for the menu to become "static", make sure all animating elements in your AE comp stop moving and are at rest in their final positions. Give yourself at least a minute with everything static before ending the comp.
When you add your animated/static AE clip to the Encore menu as a background, set the loop point for the menu a few seconds after the elements stop animating. What will happen is that when the menu first appears on-screen, the animated bit will play, then at the loop point the subpicture highlights will become active and the audience can make their selection. When the menu duration expires, it will loop back to the loop point as seamlessly as the audience's DVD player will let it, giving the illusion of a static menu that stays on-screen forever.
If you want to go back to this menu later in the program or from other parts of the menu system, you can make a static copy of the menu so the viewer won't have to watch the intro again. If you want to force them to see the animation each time the menu is selected, then you don't have to make a copy.
I forgot to add that you need to turn off the visibility for all layers of the menu once you are back in Encore. The static menu elements that used to be animating in your AE comp will function as the button graphics. Don't delete the button layers in Encore, just hide them. Otherwise your button won't work.
Thanks Jeff, i will try this today, hopefully it will work out. If not ill post any probs and hopefully you will be able to help out.. Thanks again
As you stated, i want a motion menu to become a static menu seamlessly. I get the video to play, and the "buttons" to fade in and it to loop. After that , nothing, i cannot select the menu to link the buttons (as it apparently doesnt see the buttons i made in AE (with create encore buttons option)). I am using the Dynamic link feature, it does everything but create the actual buttons. In encore (obviously) the menu i am using is hidden so that we can view the motion menu. I have also created a simple menu to test to see if i had something complex. To create that menu i simply made a solid fade, and a single button in the middle. It does the same thing , as im sure encore works perfectly fine for this , i am obviously goofing up somewhere still. I can create an .ncor and .aep for the simple menu if need be so you can view any my mistakes or something. Thanks for your time
Let's try this:
1. Create your static menu in Encore.
2. Go to File>Create After Effects Compostion. Save the menu as a .psd file in a location that is convenient for you.
3. AE will open and load the menu from Encore as a comp.
4. Open the comp and animate as desired.
5. Save the AE project in a location that is easy to get to.
6. Return to Encore (it should still be open) and do File>Adobe Dynamic Link>Import After Effects Composition.
7. In the dialog box that opens, navigate in the left pane to where you saved the AE project and select it.
8. In the right pane, choose the comp that contains your animated menu. Click OK.
9. The AE comp is now an asset in the Encore Project panel.
10. Make sure the Encore version of the AE animated menu is loaded in the Encore Menu viewer.
11. Alt+Drag the AE comp to the Menu viewer to make it the new background of the menu.
12. Make sure the Properties panel is forward in one of Encore's frames. Click with the Selection tool in the Menu viewer to load the whole menu into the Properties panel.
13. Select the Motion tab in the Properties panel. Verify that the Duration is the same length as your AE comp.
14. Set the Loop point to a time where all of the menu elements are static, but also close to the time that they stop animating. For example, if the buttons animate for 5 seconds, choose a loop point of 6 or 7 seconds.
15. Set the Loop # to Forever.
16. Bring the Layers panel forward in its frame.
17. Poke out the eyeball for each and every layer that you can in the Layers panel. That ensures that only the subpicture highlights for the menu will be visible when the various buttons are selected.
18. Right-click in the Menu viewer and select "Preview from here".
19. During the preview, the buttons should animate, then become static. When the menu duration reaches the loop point time that you set, the subpicture highlight for the default button should become visible (and active!).
20. When the menu duration expires, it should loop seamlessly back to the loop point timecode that you set.
Let me know if you still are unsuccessful creating this motion menu.
Yay, after fiddling a bit more , i figured it out, thank you SO very much. hopefully i will have not further issues with this. Oh , one last question , can set it up in AE so that when a menu is highlighted, it fades another still picture over a current one .. say main is Black and white pic , but when selected it turns visible ? Or, have a still image fade from nothing to a photo and become static ?
h++p://home.comcast.net/~renzor/scene7.jpg , obviously im having a few problems with overlapping buttons i suppose that would be the biggest problem there.
If you want to do a fade effect for each button, you're going to have to use multiple motion menus (one for each button) and make the fade part of the background video for the next menu. On each of the button menus, the default button will link to content, and the other buttons will be set to Auto Activate and link to the appropriate menu.
You can achieve a similar effect (without the fade and without pure black and white for the starting image) by altering the Menu Color Set for the menu. Make the subpicture layer for the button exactly the same shape and size as the picture for the button. Then make the Normal subpicture highlight a neutral gray color and set its opacity to 70% - 90%. Make the Selected subpicture highlight transparent. When the audience navigates to a button, the gray, opaque Normal subpicture highlight will disappear and the image will look like it popped into full color.
You guys are my lifeline, thanks a lot. I fixed the motion menu problems. Now I have to create the button design and layout. Thanks agian
Glad to help. :-)
Hoping to catch the eye of Jeff Belune here...resurrecting an old post but a great answer: but I need to take the idea a step further...
Jeff, I followed your step-by-step for motion menus in this threadh with great success using Encore in CS2 Production Studio. I am trying to take it a step further though and you seem to be very knowledgeable on the subject of Encore and customizing menus.
I want to take one of the menus that came with Encore 2.0 and customize it. It is a MOTION menu (a .em file) that has a short .wmv video file associated with it. It is also only available in 4 x 3, and I need it in widescreen!
So....easy enough to change the .psd portion of the menu in Photoshop by adding some fill on either side of the 4 x 3 canvass to fill it out to 16 x 9. Easy enough to customize the title and buttons. (By the way this is the televsion.em menu which has a TV set in it and the video is simply snow/static on the TV screen...)
Also easy enough to go through the steps you outlined in this thread to animate the buttons in and then go to a static menu awaiting the user to make a selection.
The problem comes in when I try to link it to the .WMV video and get the static onto the screen. That I cannot seem to be able to do at all and have the static on the screen show up when I do a preview.
Can you help?
Thanks in advance,
I have made a little progress here. I decided to simplify for the time being by staying with 4x3. I ended up with two menus at the beginning of the DVD, one does the animation of the buttons into the menu (2 sec long) and then it links to an identical menu which is the original .psd that came with Encore (Photoshopped of course so both menus look the same). Since you can only (I think) link one menu to one video clip OR After Effects Comp, then the 1st Menu is linked to the AEP and you see the buttons animate in, but there is no static on the TV screen. When the 2 seconds is up, that first menu links to the 2nd menu which IS linked to the .WMV of static/snow that came with Encore. And then you see that the buttons remain static, but the snow appears on the TV screen. I have a feeling this is as close as I am going to get unless someone can tell me to have one menu linked both to an AE Comp AND to a .wmv file at the same time.
The only real problem with this is there is a short hiccup when Encore goes from the 1st menu to the 2nd. Is there any way to smooth out that transition? We're not pressing any buttons when Encore goes from Menu 1 to Menu 2, so I don't even get the Transition tab under properties.
Any ideas once again would be greatly appreciated.
PS. I should be able to duplicate the success I've had so far in 16 x 9, trying to do that is next on my list...
First off, kudos to Jeff for basically creating a pretty darn good motion menu tutorial.
From one of your earlier posts though I see one of your problems.
As you stated, i want a motion menu to become a static menu seamlessly. I get the video to play, and the "buttons" to fade in and it to loop. After that , nothing, i cannot select the menu to link the buttons (as it apparently doesnt see the buttons i made in AE (with create encore buttons option))
When you click the create encore buttons, that creates the correct naming format for the buttons. An encore menu created externally can only be a photoshop.psd. The ae comp, rendered out, is just a flat movie, they aren't buttons.
When you have the final placement of your buttons, have hit the "create encore buttons" "highlights", go to top bar "composition"---"Save frame as" "photoshop layers". Then when you go into encore, you import this .psd as your menu.
Seems you were there, just misunderstood exactly what the create encore button meant.