I’ve been authoring DVDs for two years now, and operating out of my current authoring lab for 4 months. All of a sudden, with this one project, I’m having a frustrating menu problem.
The symptoms of the problem are:
1. Overlays no longer match up, they’re WAY off, by about %10 of screen size
2. Big drop in image quality of menus, text looks like garbage.
Here’s my workflow for the menus:
1. Create .mov files in After Effects, comp settings D1 720x486, render at lossless
2. Pull into FCP to create audio, render in FCP as 10 Bit Uncompressed, export using compressor at MPEG-2 (DVD Best 90 minutes)
3. Create overlay files in AE, render frames as PSD files
I’ve tried a lot of variations on this tonight, such as exporting .tiff’s from FCP and building the overlay in Photoshop, or using Compressor to encode the .mov’s from AE independent of FCP. The two symptoms are always there. When I pull the raw .mov from AE into DVD Studio Pro, the quality is a little better but the overlays are still off.
You should bypass FCP altogether - AE and PS should be enough, unless you do something else in FCP other than render.
First, set your AE sequence to 720x480, not 486. Export still from AE, open in PS, and make your overlays. Keep everything at 720x480 and you'll be good. I'm assuming you're working in 4x3 - so double check that your Compressor doesn't flag the stream as 16x9.