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Bob Cole
motion menu delay?
on Mar 23, 2006 at 2:36:30 pm

I know this must have been covered before; please forgive the basic question, but I have never delved into motion menus, and I would like to know whether these ideas are practical, in 1.5 or 2.0.

Two scenarios:

1. When a menu opens, it is in motion. It resolves seamlessly (with zero delay, no transition to a new menu) to a full-resolution still, and waits for user input.

2. When user selects button, menu goes into full-screen motion (seamlessly and with zero delay) for just a second, before fading out and transitioning to timeline.

From what I've seen so far, #1 is easy, #2 is problematic. Right?

Do you more-experienced DVD authors find that motion menus raise any usability problems?

Thanks for any insights into this.

-- Bob C


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Mylenium
Re: motion menu delay?
on Mar 23, 2006 at 6:02:41 pm

Actually neither of the two is a problem from a usability point of view, but you shouldn't let yourself be fooled by the myth of "seamless" menues. There is no such thing (though there is a so-called "seamless" mode for DVD authoring), it's inherent in the way the MPEG streams are handled. 1) is probably more convenient and easier to pull off because it usually only involves activating the menu subpicture at a later point than the menu entry, but it doesn't really involve a true still menue. Even if the background movie comes to a halt, it is still a movie clip. The problem with 2) is that you're always having to at least use 2 separate clips - one in the menu and one in the timeline the menu button transitions into. Now DVD-players and -drives have become faster and faster over the last years, but it still takes some time for the optics to re-calibrate and read the new stream, causing an ever so slight delay, no matter how perfect you want it to be. So the trick here is to find edit points, where this delay/ lag is least noticeable.

Mylenium

[Pour Myl


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Bob Cole
Thanks very much
on Mar 23, 2006 at 7:56:53 pm

I appreciate the real-world reality check on this. It's a very alluring idea but the caution is well heeded.

It brings to mind one motion menu that seemed to be outstandingly cool: on the DVD for a feature documentary about a family accused of child abuse, which was based largely on home movies, there was an image of an 8mm projector, with a flickering, grainy home movie playing in the background. The clunkiness of the home movie and the relative clunkiness of the way DVD shows motion menus sort of went well together.

-- Bob C


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