I work at a company where we do dance recital videos - these are usually quite long, between 2 and 5 hours - and the process of creating a menu for each disc usually takes some time.
Each song in the recital is given its own chapter. We then use a pre-designed template from Photoshop and import it into either Adobe Encore DVD or DVD Studio Pro. The recital information is added to the Main Menu page, and then there are 'Select A Dance' chapter pages. The names of each song in the recital must be manually entered for buttons on each chapter page, and then each button must be linked with the appropriate chapter. For some recitals, this can be upwards of 60 dances, and is quite time consuming.
Is there any program that allows you to create your own menu template - use your own background, buttons, logos, text, etc. and then, when importing the MPEG2 data, can read the number of chapters required and add & link chapters for the appropriate number of buttons? Then, from the chapter information from the MPEG2 file, automatically add titles (song names) to each button?
If there is an automated way of doing this, it would definitely save alot of time.
Also, if there is a program that exists that can do this, can it create Blu-Ray menus in the same fashion?
Adobe Encore can do all of this using the Chapter Index feature. We design advanced motion menu templates for use in Encore or DVD Studio Pro, but we recommend using Encore not only for it's far superior integration with Photoshop, but because of features such as this.
In order to use this feature, the buttons must be named with a special prefix, which I believe all the templates that come with the software do. The templates that come with our products also support this feature. If all your chapters are named, which can be done in premiere or directly in Encore, then when you create the chapter index, it will change the text of each button to that of the chapter name. If your chapters do not have any name, it will just number them sequentially (such as "Chapter 1").
So basically what you do is create a single scene selection menu, drag the first chapter from the timeline onto the first button, then go into the menu bar and tell it to create a chapter index. Based on how many buttons are on the screen and how many chapters are in your timeline, it will know how many additional menus to create, and will properly link up the next and previous buttons to navigate between them. It's really one of the best features they've added to the program in a long time.
If you'd like to watch a video tutorial that explains how to use this feature, in addition to a little tip to avoid a bug with it as well, then you are welcome to visit our website and watch the Encore tutorial for any of our products. You can access it from the tutorial section of our website. All our tutorials are freely available to anyone.