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Please help... (very frustrated) How can i use buttons with an AE motion menu??

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carlos crooks
Please help... (very frustrated) How can i use buttons with an AE motion menu??
on Oct 19, 2008 at 2:46:59 am

Hello all,

I would GREATLY appreciate some guidance with this issue. I have a motion menu that I have made in After Effects. To be more specific, I created a video that has a "play" text slide in view at the end. I've tried SO many ways to allow the user to click on that play button, but it wont work. Encore won't recognize it as a button. In AE I pre-composed it and named it "(+) button", still nothing...
I've tried making a button in PS and importing it as a menu in Encore, but the text will show up immediately which makes (two) play buttons on the screen!
All I want to do is click the "play" button when it slides in.
Why is this so hard!??
I apologize, I'm just frustrated because I've been working on this for about 5 or more hrs now with no results. Please help if you have any suggestions.
Thank you and TK,
Carlos



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Joe Bowden
Re: Please help... (very frustrated) How can i use buttons with an AE motion menu??
on Oct 20, 2008 at 4:24:41 pm

[carlos crooks] "I've tried making a button in PS and importing it as a menu in Encore, but the text will show up immediately which makes (two) play buttons on the screen!"

This is the only correct approach, but you don't exactly have the right understanding yet.

It's not possible to make a video file into a menu - you must have a PSD file with the correct layer prefixes to have a menu in Encore. So what you do is create a PSD that has ONLY the button layer sets with highlights within it, and then add the video to the menu background.

You then set the Loop Point property to the timecode where you want the buttons to be active.

That's pretty much it.



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Scot Sheely
Re: Please help... (very frustrated) How can i use buttons with an AE motion menu??
on Oct 20, 2008 at 10:30:24 pm

Joe is exactly right!

Of course, there IS a way to have your cake, ice cream and eat it too!

I think I know what you are trying to accomplish with this, and here is the work-around"

1) Create a standard menu either in Encore from their presets or in Photoshop. You can customize the preset menus in PS by right-clicking on the menu once it is added into the project and choose "Edit original" from the drop down menu if you need to do so.

2) Import your .AVI from your AE project (render it out if you haven't already done so) or use the dynamic link feature in Encore from your AE project. The trick is to overlay and link the video as a motion menu into your exisitng menu so you can position the menu buttons correctly. A bit of trial and error in Photoshop and / or AE for positioning the static buttons is required to make this work correctly.

You will need to render a preview to see if you have everything lined up correctly. Tweak and adjust the static buttons' positions to match that of your AE project pseudo "buttons" or vice-versa so that they line up in the exact same final positions.

3) Make a copy of your finished menu in Photoshop, save as "Transition Menu", "First Play" or something similar. Before saving, remove all of your static menu buttons, but leave any of the other graphical content unless all of that appears in your AE video, in which case, you simply want a blank 4:3 or 16:9 menu.

4) Use the End Action feature in Encore to create the illusion of your motion menu's buttons flying in. Specifically, choose your "First Play" or "Transition Menu", set it as your DVD's First Play by right-clicking on the menu and selecting that feature. Then, with that same menu still selected, go to the end action feature on the Properties panel and point the end action to your "static" main menu.

The static menu doesn't actually have to be static, only the menu buttons have to be static (except for Blu-ray titles; more will surface on those advanced features in later BD specs). You can still use your motion menu that you created in After Effects, obviously minus the menu buttons part of that animation, which means that you will have to tweak your AE project a bit to suit the Encore project's requirements.

With the main "static" menu selected, go to the PROPERTIES panel and click on the MOTION tab. Then, link in your Dynamic Link AE project or the AVI or MPEG2 animation using the pickwhip for the VIDEO section. If you have accompanying audio, link that as well.

The net result is a cool looking motion intro that resolves into a similar looking menu with a (hopefully) animated background.

Of course, you could actually skip the first menu and simply use a video set in a timeline, with the end action pointed to the main menu. This will give you the same type of result, but I have noticed in past projects that this is not always desirable, as the straight video doesn't seem to line up exactly right in line with the main menu's motion video background. That is why i suggested that you use the first method instead, which should yield the exact type of results you are looking for.

This is a lot less succinct than I would have preferred, but if you get confused or have any questions, you are welcome to contact me via e-mail or phone and I will gladly assist you further on this.

Scot Sheely
Interactive Media Gurus
http://www.imgvideos.com
E-mail: scot "at" imgvideos.com
803-708-8043



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