Join Jeff Sengstack for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding menu features, part of Up and Running with Encore CS6.
In this chapter I'm going to discuss menus, and before we dive into creating menus and editing menus, I'm going to just talk about menus in general. First of all, why have menus? Well, obviously menus are the way that you access the assets, access your timelines, and your slideshows, and other menus inside your DVD project. You access them by clicking on buttons that have links to those timelines, slideshows, and other menus. What do menus consist of? Well, menus can have static backgrounds like this, they can have video playing in the background, they can have text buttons, or buttons that are made up of graphics, or buttons that look like this, that have these little placeholders where you can place still images or videos playing.
You can also have audio inside menus so that's the basic way that menus can look. All menus inside Encore are Photoshop files, and that's very important because you can edit all your menus inside Photoshop and those edits will show up immediately back on Encore. They have such close relationship, that all you need to do is click on this little button here to open up these files inside Photoshop if you have Photoshop. Clicking in that will open up this menu inside Photoshop. Let's do that. This is what a menu looks like inside Photoshop. It consists of these layers and layer groups, each group here is a button. And these little funny things at the beginning tell Encore what kind of button this is. A plus sign says it's a button, and then the one next to it says this is a Return to the Main Menu button and are called Main button.
This is the Previous button, meaning Return to the Previous Menu, to the Next Menu, so the number sign tells that this is a Chapter button that says you got this little placeholder, that's how that will work inside Encore, so there is reasons for these little naming conventions that tell Encore what these buttons are all about. There's also a text layer on top here, the little T tells you they are the Text layer, if you've worked with Photoshop you know about that. And that every single Photoshop file has to have a Background layer like that, and that's the Background layer. As I mentioned if you make changes inside Photoshop and save them, they will show up inside Encore. So let me go down here, add a new Hue/Saturation layer above this one. Let's just change things.
Let's change it to a different color like that. Not that's a good color, but I'm just changing it. I'm going to save this, I go File > Save, don't need to name it, just save it. I can close Photoshop now and go back to Encore. And the change shows up inside Encore. It's an amazing feature. It works so well. That structure that you saw inside Photoshop shows up inside Encore. If I select a menu by clicking somewhere inside, like clicking on one of these elements just click here to select the menu and go down to the Layers panel, here is that same structure, same naming convention.
So open it up, and there is the layer group with all those elements inside it. Now I have two kinds of menus here, I have what's called the Main Menu and a Scene Selection Menu. If I go over to the Main Menu and double-click on that, you'll see that it's a bunch of text buttons. That's typically the way that your opening menu looks. Then the Scene Selection Menu typically has these little thumbnails that allow you to put video clips or static images inside there, so you select scenes from within a video. That's typically the way things lay out. Now you don't have to do it this way, but that's just sort of the general approach. Let me go back to the Main Menu and take a look at that.
It has another element inside here called the Replacement layer. You can tells it's a replacement layer by this little icon here. That's this special kind of layer inside Photoshop that has a mask in it, and the mask creates this rectangular look here. But we change that to a different look if we want to, and that's one of the cool things about working with menus. This menu started its life as a template. If I go to the Library panel here like that, I click on the Entertainment set, and click on the menu button here and scroll down a bit, you see I have menus called Studio Menu HD--High Definition--and that's how this menu started. It's just the template. I didn't change it, that's just the way it looks inside Encore.
But if I want to change it, I can. So for example, if I wanted to change this replacement layer from that rectangular shape to something else, I can go over to the replacement layer group over here, change it back to General-- for example--go down here to this Horizontal Oval. I want to replace this. I'm going to I click on this. I want to delete it, take this one and drag it up there. I've changed the shape, and what the replacement layer does is I can take an image and put it inside there and replace it with what's inside there, and that's what it looks like now instead of rectangular. So I've customized this menu, and there are all other kinds of things you can do to customize menus.
You have to use a template. I've changed the buttons to something else, all kinds of button possibilities besides the ones that came with the template. I can have little graphics that go inside there. Graphics can reside on their own, or I can convert them to buttons if I want to. I can change the background from this collection of backgrounds just by dragging in a new background. Change the way that text looks from that sort of relatively straightforward white text, to something like this, and I can add graphics that are all blue like this, but then you can apply styles to them to make them look different, and you can also convert them into buttons if you wish to.
Now I mentioned backgrounds, and here are some backgrounds over here, and if I bring these backgrounds in, they won't fill this whole thing, because this is HD and these are not HD except for that one. I will fill it in, but I will change this one, though. It won't be full screen like the other one. So if you want to replace a background, let's say with a Photoshop file, you can't just drag a Photoshop file in here and just say, okay, replace the background. It just adds it as an image. But there is a way to replace that background with your own background, rather than the one that comes with Encore, and I'll show you how to do that in a separate movie. So that's a basic overview of menus. We're going to cover how you make menus from templates, how to customize those templates, and how to change other elements of menus in the upcoming lessons.
- Creating a basic project
- Linking dynamically to Premiere Pro and After Effects
- Working with menu text and buttons
- Defining navigation and using a flowchart
- Previewing and testing a project
- Burning a DVD or Blu-ray disc or exporting a web DVD