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encore menu graphics looking shaky

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encore menu graphics looking shaky
on Dec 14, 2006 at 10:30:54 pm

Hi all,

I have created a very simple DVD using encore v2.0 and Photoshop v.7, and there seems to be issues with the clarity and stability of the menu text on some screens - pixellation and ever so slightly shuddering (like you can see the two fields going or something).

I have constructed the menus entirely within PS, and I know there may be some issues here as the version I have is so old and not vector based - but this doesn't explain why the text looks perfectly crisp on the computer DVD playback, and also my rear projection widescreen set at home?

The menu text is arial black with white fill on a black background. Maybe there are some problems here with the solid on solid?

I would really like to keep my set layers etc in PS as any changes to be made are obviously so fast.

Someone said to me that they exported their menus on Mac as uncompressed 10-bit video to ensure clear picture - I'm on PC and it seems to me I should be able to make such a simple menu without any gliches just with photoshop and encore.

It's aimed at being shown in agencys who usually have wide screen plasma/LCD I really need to figure out how to make it perfect!

Any ideas?? thanks so much!

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Neil Wilkes
Re: encore menu graphics looking shaky
on Dec 15, 2006 at 5:52:40 pm

As you will know, the p[roblem area is usually the subpicture highlight layer.
The actual background can be up to a 24 bit uncompressed TIFF file, so detail is always preserved. However, when you go to the button part, we need to use a 2 bit highlight later.
This effectively gives you 3 colours to be used, with no anti-aliasing allowed.
Apple's DVDSP uses a spec fudge to stack things and excee3d the limit, but menus like this are simply out of spec and will not be guaranteed to work.

Basic rules for menu creation, to avoid problems like you describe, are as follows:
1 - Colour Palette
Avoid Highly Saturated colours (above 75 to 90%)
Detail should be defined by differences in brightness (visible in Grey Scale) rather than by the contrast between two colours of the same brightness (IE, dark red text over a dark blue background) - using Solid Black & White is asking for trouble as TV screens are interlaced.

2 - Definition & Detail.
Fonts should be at least 11-12 points, with the thinnest parts of the letters at least 2 points thick to avoid moire and flickering
Sans Serif fonts display better than serif fonts
Avoid putting more than 10-15 lines of text on any one screen
In Line ARt, use lines that are at least 4 pixels wide.

I hope this helps somewhat, but I honestly think the White on Black will have to change.

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Re: encore menu graphics looking shaky
on Dec 16, 2006 at 12:58:49 am

Hi Neill, thanks for's almost the answer!

It's definately got nothing to do with the subpicture highlihgt layer - the highlight is a separate white square coming up next to the text. As I said I'm working in Encore, so I thought I would be using the background from my PSD file ie. created in photoshop so as to retain layer info which makes changes easier later. Would you recommend making the BG as an uncompressed TIFF to import into encore?

I'm a lot more familiar with DVDSP so I've learned quite a few tricks to get smooth looking button problem is that the new corporate rebranding for this DVD showreel is black and can't be changed. The wheels in motion, things printed etc.....

Font is Arial Black.....very chunky so no issues with it being too fine.

Is there NO WAY to make white text on black BG? I will try reducing the brightness, opacity and saturation in order to get the levels not clashing with each other so much...

Thanks for the technical explanation.

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