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In Encore CS5 Essential Training, author Chad Perkins gives an extensive overview of Encore CS5, Adobe's powerful application for authoring DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, and Flash-based video for the web. This course covers adding audio and subtitle tracks, creating image slideshows, and using Encore as a presentation tool. Also explained are the Blu-ray enhancements in CS5, and advanced techniques such as creating games and hidden content for disc menus. Exercise files are included with the course.
When we're dealing with menus, sometimes, in this day and age, especially, just having a static image in the background may not be what you want all the time. If you're just making a DVD of home movies or whatever, then the menu doesn't need to be that spectacular. But if you're making it for a client and you really want it to be very impressive and engaging, you could actually create motion in the background. This is referred to as a Motion menu. I'm going to show you two different ways to do that. First of all, let's turn our attention back to the Library panel, and I've clicked on this Menu button to see only menus.
Most of the icons here are very similar, but every once in a while, we'll see a menu with like a folded over, dogeared flap in the upper right-hand corner there. That indicates that this menu is different from the others, because it is a Motion menu. See, this is a regular old menu that we're looking at here, and it's just a still image in the background, and that's fine. But this one right here, again, with the folded over corner, indicates if we were to add this to our project, this is actually a Motion menu. This is not a still image in the background. This is a movie.
So this particular movie has, like, this 3D rendered baby crib, which is really cool. Actually, what we're going to do is go to the Corporate set, and then we are going to scroll down here, and we are going to go to the Clock menu. Go ahead and double-click the Clock menu, which, again, as you could tell by the folded over corner of the icon, is a Motion menu. So double-click that to add that to your project. When you add that to your product, it not only adds the menu to your project, but the accompanying movie that is the menu's background. Now if we were to preview this menu, we would not see any of the motion, by default, because these Motion menus must be rendered first.
So to render this Motion menu, we're going to go to the File menu > Render > Motion menus. After a minute or two, the render will be complete and ready to preview this Motion menu, and I'm just going to right-click on the menu itself, the NTSC_Clock menu, and I'm going to choose Preview from Here. We haven't really connected this anywhere to our project, but we just want to preview this object and choosing Preview from Here will allow us to preview just this object. We could see this really cool clock animation going on, and this happens in our background while the viewers are just kind of hanging out looking at the menu.
So this is much more stimulating and engaging than just a simple still image in the background. Again, not appropriate for every audience or for every project, but for those ones where you want to make a strong impression, Motion menus can really make a difference. Let me go ahead and click Exit and Return here. There might be times when you want to make your own Motion menu. So I'm going to double- click this NTSC_Blank menu. As you can see, it's not a blank menu. I've added a background, and I've added some buttons and some text here. But I also have my own video clip, and what I want to do is add my own video clip as the background video to this menu here.
So what I'm going to do is hold the Option key on the Mac or the Alt key on the PC while I drag this video to the background. Again, you need to hold down the Option or Alt key as you're dragging to do this, but once you do, it replaces the background and puts your video as the new background. So now, again, I need to go to File > Render > Motion menus, which will render this background, and then will allow us to preview this as a video. So now that that's rendered, I'm going to, again, right-click on the menu and choose Preview from Here, beautiful! So as you could see our video in the background, and it play while viewers are waiting to make their choice. Again, it's just a much more engaging way of presenting information.
Now, it's important that you don't confuse Motion menus with what I call Video menus. Motion menus, as we've been talking about here, are basically just a menu, and the background is video. Later on in this training series when we get into advanced cool tricks and tips later on, I'm going to show you how to actually take a video and make that an entire menu. So the buttons can be videos as well. But for now, you've got to admit, it's a pretty cool trick. I challenge you to go out and play in the Library panel. Look through the different sets. Look through the different Motion menus. Make your own Motion menus.
Bring in videos of your own. Put those as backgrounds and menus and see what you can come up with.
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