Join Chad Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Blu-ray pop-up menus, part of Encore CS4 New Features.
The Blu-ray disc format allows for some special privileges and features that you don't see in DVDs. One of those things is a pop-up menu. This a menu that pops up while the Timeline is playing, so that way the user doesn't have to go back and stop the video and go back to the menu to make another selection. They can just press the pop-up menu button right there on their remote control to make the menu pop up and make it decide what they are watching or go to the menus while they are still watching content. So Encore CS4 allows you to do that. There are a few steps here. So let's go and right-click in the Project panel, Import As > Menu. Now we could just bring this in as a pop-up menu that would save a few steps. I am going to show you how do this manually with a menu. So I am going to Import as Menu, in the Stills folder of the Media folder in the exercise files, you'll find Pop Up Menu.psd. I am going to click Open to bring that in. Now this is a plain menu, three buttons on a white background.
This is going to be our pop-up menu. Now as I mentioned, pop-up menus actually pop up over the Timeline. So you might be looking at this saying, well, how is that going to work, because this has this huge white background? Well, when we select a menu in the Project panel, then go over to the Properties panel, you'll see that there is now a Pop-up tab for menus in the Properties panel and you could click Set As Blu-ray Pop-up. As soon as you choose that, the background is completely wiped out and all that remains are the buttons. The icon for the menu even changes to the Pop-up Menu icon.
Now we have established this as a pop-up menu but you also need to associate it with a Timeline. So we need to select the Timeline in the Project panel, come here to the Properties panel and now there is a new Set Popup Menu dropdown. So I am going to change this to Pop Up Menu 2. Now if we click here on these buttons you will notice that they are just regular buttons, so we create links to them as you normally would. Also you'll notice as you look really closely-- actually let me zoom in here a little bit so you could see that. You'll notice some partial transparency in these buttons that you could see the transparency grid through the dark button background. So that's another cool aspect of these pop-up menus; they can be semi-transparent.
Now at this point you might be wondering, well, how do we what it looks like over our Timeline? Well, that's one of the frustrating things about the whole pop-up menu deal. We can't just go preview the DVD and see this pop-up menu over our Timeline. The only way to really preview this is by selecting the menu in the Project panel, and then by going over to the Properties panel with the menu selected, make sure you are on the Pop-up tab and then you can choose Background Timeline. So we can choose a background Timeline to get a feel for what is going to look like when it pops up over our Timeline. If you want to see what this pop-up menu will look like when its popped up over a certain frame of your Timeline you can change the background frame here. Let's say you want to look at this pop-up menu at about one second into your Timeline. So what I can do is go over here into the Timecode for BG Frame, type in 1 second and then just click away to enter it, and then it advances to 1 second. You could see what the pop-up menu looks like over that particular frame.
Now I realize that that's not the most awesome thing that could happen, to have to preview your pop-up menus by using this BG Frame timecode, but that's the way it works. Now remember, this is only a feature of Blu-ray discs. If I were to take this now and try to output to the DVD format it would not work; there would not be pop-up menus on the DVD. But even though there is that limitation and also the way to preview it is kind of hokey, and also due to the fact that there is probably about ten of you out there right now that have a Blu-ray burner, this feature might not be as cool as possible, but even still it's a really cool thing that Encore is moving into this field where we are starting to do some more interesting authoring, taking advantage of Blu-ray features.
- Creating streaming Flash video
- Supporting dual-layer Blu-ray discs
- Exporting subtitles
- Using the improved Flowchart and Menu Loop Points