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Motion Menu Problems

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Nick Jenkins
Motion Menu Problems
on Sep 5, 2010 at 5:03:56 pm

Hi,

This is a linked question to one I just posted in the Final Cut Pro forum but as this part doesn't involve FCP at all I figured I'd better post it separately here instead. I'm in the process of making a DVD for a 10min film. I've created a menu in Photoshop and then created a motion menu in After Effects (this only had a slight noise and glow effects added). The motion menu was then exported as a .mov file with no codec.

In Encore I have put the .psd menu in and then linked the motion menu over the top. The .psd menu has button highlights in the form of an icon that appears next to the text but these were omitted from the motion menu so that they only appear when they are meant to.

Now when I render and preview the menu the highlight icons are missing pieces and low quality. However, when I click on the 'Show Selected Subpicture Highlight' button they show up perfectly. I've tried burning a test DVD and the issue is still there. Is this likely an issue with transcoding or is there a problem I've missed somewhere? Thanks in advance for any help,

-Nick


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Nick Jenkins
Re: Motion Menu Problems
on Sep 5, 2010 at 5:07:26 pm

Just a quick thought, all my menus, motion and otherwise, are 16:9 1920x1080. This is due to my film being in that resolution and because I have a menu transition which has to be the same frame size as the video it links to.

Could this have anything to do with the problem?

-Nick


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Jon Geddes
Re: Motion Menu Problems
on Sep 6, 2010 at 4:22:04 am

A few things...

1) For best quality, you will want to create the menus in the same resolution that they will be authored in. So if you are making a standard widescreen DVD, you should be using that preset in After Effects and Photoshop (720x480 widescreen pixel aspect ratio).

2) Your transition does not need to be the same resolution as the main video, because if you are creating a standard DVD, Encore is going to downscale it anyways (and Encore uses a very poor quality algorithm for downscaling, AE is much better).

3) Button Highlights are 2-bit graphics only. You cannot have anti-aliasing or pixels that are semi-transparent. You will have to learn to use shapes that still look good even with this limitation.

4) I cannot stress enough that you need to create your menus in the 720x480 widescreen format and not let Encore downscale a 1920x1080 menu. Encore will cause the sub picture highlights to look like absolute garbage. You can take your menu and downscale it in Photoshop for much better results.

5) All these suggestions are assuming you are creating a standard definition DVD and not a Blu-ray disc. If you were creating a Blu-ray disc, all my suggestions would have been different.

Jon Geddes
http://www.precomposed.com


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Nick Jenkins
Re: Motion Menu Problems
on Sep 8, 2010 at 12:31:16 pm

Hi,

Thanks for the replies and sorry for not getting back here sooner, I've been trying to get this DVD finished for tomorrow and now it looks like that's not going to happen.

You're right in assuming that I'm making a DVD and not a Blu-Ray and so my problem with quality is likely due to Encore downscaling as you mentioned. I realise now that I made this mistake for no reason. Although my film is 16:9 1920x1080, once I compress it for the DVD it is 720x576. I made the mistake of assuming that if I create my menus in a high resolution then they will be better quality in the end. My problem now is how to downscale them myself in Photoshop. When I change the image size to 720x576 or 720x480 I lose the 16:9 ratio. Is there something I'm missing or will I have to create all the menus again using the Pal D1/DV Widescreen preset? I'm hoping there will be a way as I have a lot of menus to downscale as well after effects motion menus for each one which will need downscaling too (this I imagine will be easier as I can just change the resolution etc. when I export from after effects, is that right?)

Again, thank you for the help.

-Nick


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Paul Benson
Re: Motion Menu Problems
on Sep 7, 2010 at 9:24:19 pm

Not sure of your system, but there have been reports of highlight issues and Snow Leopard. Here is a link (with a partial workaround of using the =3 layer).
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/145/867264#867868

Pauley



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Nick Jenkins
Re: Motion Menu Problems
on Sep 8, 2010 at 2:48:04 pm

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the link. I read the thread and think this might have something to do with it as I'm running Snow Leopard. I understand how to change the =1 to =3 but I can't work out how to empty encore's cache. I've googled it but haven't found any clear instructions. Could you please tell me what it is I'm looking for and whether I simply delete it or what?

Thanks,

-Nick


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Jon Geddes
Re: Motion Menu Problems
on Sep 9, 2010 at 12:20:38 am

I didn't realize you were in PAL land, so yes, you would be using the 720x576 preset, which has a 1.46 Pixel Aspect Ratio. The non-square pixel aspect ratio is probably what was throwing you off with the size. Just make sure your pixel aspect ratio is set correctly before starting the menu.

I wouldn't worry about the (=1) Highlight bug in Snow Leopard yet, as this has nothing to do with the problem you are having.

Jon Geddes
http://www.precomposed.com


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Nick Jenkins
Re: Motion Menu Problems
on Sep 16, 2010 at 12:22:44 pm

Hi again,

thanks so much for all the help so far but I'm still experiencing the problem. I've remade the menu in the photoshop preset PAL Widescreen Square Pixel, I've simplified the highlight icon to a simple triangle arrow, I've also changed the =1 to =3 and tested it in a new Encore project so that there won't be any issue with clearing the cache etc. and I'm still having the same problem. On my first preview of the menu the highlight icons are slightly distorted and out of position.

I think the problem comes from using the square pixel setting as I can't have 720x576. The PAL Widescreen Square Pixel setting is 1050x576. My problem with this is that I need to have the square pixel setting in order to make a motion menu in After Effects. If I use the 720x576 setting with 1.46 aspect ratio, when I import it into After effects it becomes 4x3.

It seems that in order to avoid the highlight problem I have to forego the motion menu. This is a serious limitation with Encore if that is the case. I'm really struggling with this now as I have a deadline by which it needs to be finished and I've been trying to solve this problem for weeks now. Any further help will be immensely appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

-Nick


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Jon Geddes
Re: Motion Menu Problems
on Sep 16, 2010 at 3:41:09 pm

The square pixel aspect ratio is definitely messing you up. Make sure you are working with 720x576 PAL DV Widescreen throughout each program.

After Effects should detect the non-square pixel aspect ratio of your PSD file. If not, you can right click on the PSD in the project panel, then go to Interpret Footage. At the bottom, under Other Options, you can set the pixel aspect ratio that it interprets the file as.

Make sure your AE composition is also the same format (720x576 DV PAL Widescreen).

Jon Geddes
http://www.precomposed.com


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