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Animating buttons that play a video thumbnail after the animation ends

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Charles Lawrence
Animating buttons that play a video thumbnail after the animation ends
on Apr 14, 2010 at 1:22:00 am

This subject has probably been discussed before, but, if so, I have not been able to find in this forum. If it has, then please point me in the right direction, and excuse my starting up a new thread on an old subject.

I have successfully created a menu with several buttons that have the video thumbnail layer (%). The buttons play the animations starting at the poster frame and loop back correctly. No problem there.

Next, I wanted to make the menu a little more interesting by having the buttons fly in and settle in place. This was not difficult to accomplish using After Effects. I did it the standard way as described in the Adobe help files for EN and AE. Briefly, in EN, I used the "Create After Effects Composition..." from the EN menu and set up the transforms within AE. I then rendered the comp out to an AVI clip that I imported back into EN as an asset. I used the pick whip in the EN menu properties to set the menu motion video to the AVI clip. I then disabled all the appropriate layers in the original EN menu, so that the buttons would appear to fly in. Pretty straightforward stuff. I had to disable the (%) layers of the fly in buttons, of course, otherwise the video clips in the thumbnail layers would be visible, and playing, in their final resting spots as the buttons fly in. Not a desirable effect! Therein lies my problem. The (%) layers are disabled, so after the buttons fly in and settle down, there are no playing thumbnail clips visible, just the static buttons with the poster frame showing.

Obviously, I would like the thumbnail clips to begin playing when the fly in animation is ended. Can this be accomplished, and if so, how?

Thank you in advance for relaying your knowledge back to such a relative EN/AE novice.


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Clint Milner
Re: Animating buttons that play a video thumbnail after the animation ends
on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:00:58 pm

Hi Charles,

What you want is something I just did the other day for a client.

Basically I first had my menu the way I wanted it. Made the Thumbnails and linked them to their chapter markers, adjusted poster frames... all that.

Then I took my menu.psd into AE and did just what you described. Had the chapter thumbnail placeholders (just grey boxes originally) slide into place. I made the comp just long enough to see the thumbnails in their resting place.

Rendered it out and brought it back to Encore where this rendered video was my First Play and then its End Action was the menu.

So basically you see the menu, background and the chapter thumbnail place holder fly in, and then the video thumbs jump in as soon as the menu is loaded.

FIRST PLAY VIDEO


MENU with ANIMATED THUMBS



Another way you could do it is to have the thumbnails rendered in AE as well and just have a menu highlight which also would be a nice touch.

Hope this helps a bit and kinda makes sense.

Clint

Adobe CS4 Master Suite
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John Rich
Re: Animating buttons that play a video thumbnail after the animation ends
on Apr 14, 2010 at 2:07:05 pm

If you want to have your moving buttons have moving thumbnail pictures in them, you have to make a motion background which shows the buttons moving into position and then remaining stable for the remainder of the menu. You make the buttons active by setting the loop point for a time after the buttons settle into position.

To make your button thumbnails, you have to create a short clip for each thumbnail and scale it down to fit into the button.

If I'm reading correctly and you have trouble with the idea, let me know and I could try to put together a screen capture.

John Rich

JOHNR


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Charles Lawrence
Re: Animating buttons that play a video thumbnail after the animation ends
on Apr 14, 2010 at 3:03:10 pm

Thank you John, for your reply.

I was not so much wanting the thumbnail clips playing as they were flying in, as I was in having them start to play as soon as the fly in settled down to its final position. However, having them playing as they are flying in will add a bit of professionalism to it.

Your offer to put together as screen capture on how to accomplish that trick will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Charles


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Charles Lawrence
Re: Animating buttons that play a video thumbnail after the animation ends
on Apr 14, 2010 at 2:48:27 pm

Thank you so much Clint, for your solution to this problem. I was so hung up on following the Adobe instructions in their help files, that I could not see "outside the box."

Let me see if I have your idea straight. Basically, you suggest dividing the menu into two parts. The 1st is the AE "animated fly ins", and the 2nd is the EN "animated buttons" of the original menu. Instead of having the AE rendered animation of the flying buttons become the background video of the original EN menu, as I was trying to do, it should be its own separate 1st part of the menu that links to the second part, hopefully seamlessly. Excellent! This will "kill two birds with one stone." It provides a way to link back into the "middle" of the menu where the thumbnail clips start to play, instead of having to link to the beginning of the menu where the fly ins re-occur every time. Such a looping can become distracting to the viewer after a few repeats.

The way I made the AE comp from the EN menu, I had the poster frames set ahead of time, so the AE rendering also had the poster frames inside the flying buttons. Your example did not have the first frame (or poster frame) of the thumbnail clips displayed during the fly in. A matter of personal preference.

You mentioned that another way would be to have the thumbnail rendered inside AE. If you could, please elaborate a little on how one might accomplish this. I, being such a newbie, do not as yet see how to do this.

Again, thanks so much for your solution. I'm going to try to implement it right now.

Charles


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Jon Geddes
Re: Animating buttons that play a video thumbnail after the animation ends
on Apr 14, 2010 at 2:51:44 pm

Charles,

Please read my response, as it does elaborate on how to achieve the second method.

Jon Geddes
http://www.precomposed.com


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Charles Lawrence
Re: Animating buttons that play a video thumbnail after the animation ends
on Apr 14, 2010 at 3:09:54 pm

Thank you Jon, for your posts.

I am looking forward to visiting your web site to view the tutorials you spoke of. Sounds interesting and informative. Thanks for the information.

Charles


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Clint Milner
Re: Animating buttons that play a video thumbnail after the animation ends
on Apr 14, 2010 at 4:04:41 pm

Hi Charles...

Yeah, there's two ways to do it.

My way has a motion "fly-in" and a static menu with Motion Thumbs.
Jon's way has a motion intro and menu with menu highlights.

Here's another really good tutorial if you're interested:
http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/dvd_authoring/

This tutorial creates a pure video intro and background like Jon's example.

Cheers,
Clint

Adobe CS4 Master Suite
Vista Ultimate 64 SP1
Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.60GHz
12 GB DDR3 RAM
NVidia Quadro FX 3700
Matrox RT.X2 LE Capture Card
4 TB RAID 5


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Jon Geddes
Re: Animating buttons that play a video thumbnail after the animation ends
on Apr 14, 2010 at 2:43:45 pm

We demonstrated this effect in our latest Pro Motion Menu Kit: 07 - White Wedding:







In the sample video, we inserted still images for the scene selection menu, but you can just as easily insert video.

To have the video playing during the transition and the actual menu, it will all have to be rendered in After Effects, and you will have to disable the (%) Layer in the Encore menu.

Import your video into After Effects, and line up the start of the chapters with the start of the transition (or wherever you would like them to start). Render out the transition and entire motion menu, import into Encore, then set as the motion background of the menu. You will also need to set the loop point if you transition is part of your motion background.

If you are interested in learning more about how we create our motion menu templates, you are welcome to watch the complete product tutorials from the tutorial section of our website. They are freely available to everyone.

Jon Geddes
http://www.precomposed.com


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John Rich
Re: Animating buttons that play a video thumbnail after the animation ends
on Apr 23, 2010 at 1:10:36 pm

Charles,
I took the liberty of putting together this series of screen captures. Hope it helps.

http://vimeo.com/album/214460

John Rich

JOHNR


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