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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.
Another thing that will really affect navigation, and also the user's whole experience, is how you set permissions. You see you can allow users to do stuff or not do stuff based on Permissions. So I am going to go ahead and click on this timeline in the Timeline panel so I could adjust its properties in the Properties panel. Now, you'll see this frequently, Operations: All permitted. So this is where you can set permissions for this particular timeline. So I click on Set, and by default, everything is permitted. You might want to allow them to do nothing, but more than likely, you'll probably want to customize a timeline user operation, especially if they're something like an FBI warning or something like that and you need them, by law, to see that, or maybe it's like required by your company that they see some disclaimer or something.
Just to make sure that they can't rewind or fast forward by leaving this unchecked. But you want to be able to probably have them stop something or pause something in most cases. So set to All, unless I have a very distinct reason for choosing Custom. A lot of times on a DVD remote, they will have an Audio button and a Subtitle button, which allows them to change the audio tracks and the subtitle tracks without having to go back to the menu and choose those things, which is really convenient. So if you uncheck these, they won't be able to do that. Again, sometimes you'll have things that you'll want your viewers, you'll force them to watch, as it were.
But this tends to drive users crazy. I know that when I am watching a DVD, and they kind of force me to watch previews, and I can't skip pass them, it drives me bonkers. Generally, people like to have the power to adjust things if possible. But if you need to change things, that's where they are. Now, you also have the opportunity to change user permissions for menus and the disc as well. So if I click on a menu, for example, I go over here to the Properties panel with the menu selected, and I could click on Operations: All Permitted, and I could choose some options here, not too much in the way of power here.
The real control is over the Timeline Permission. That's really where it's very important. But you can change some permissions here. If I click a blank area in the project, so essentially nothing is selected in the Project panel, then, when I go over to the Properties panel, I am actually controlling the properties of the entire disc itself. So with the disc selected, I can go and set some user permissions for the entire disc. So that's how you set permissions for the disc, for menus and for Timelines. Be aware that you need to do this for each timeline individually.
You may not want to allow users to skip and fastforward through the FBI warning before your movie. But you may want them to be able to fastforward through the actual video that they're watching. Just be aware that changing user permissions will drastically change the user's experience. And sometimes you need to do that, for your own sake, the sake of your company and whoever your client is, but as much as possible, you want to give the user as much control as you can.
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