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Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

A new addition to Muvipix, with support and discussion of Sony's DVD Architect Studio.

Re: Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

Postby Bob » Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:25 pm

Is there anything inherently different, functionality-wise, between the original button object and a scene button object?


As far as resizing and appearance, there is no difference. You should be able to manipulate both types of button the same way.

There is a difference between the two types of button. Your original button is actually a media object. Media objects are what define a media file to DVD Architect and contain the location of the file. When a media object is placed on a menu, it appears and behaves just like a button. The destination property identifies the media and cannot be changed. On the other hand, scene buttons do not define anything. They simply display a button and need to be linked to a target object. You can select the object to link to by using the destination property drop down menu which displays the objects known to DVD Architect.

Using the tree view in the left panel, it is possible to move an image object off a menu and onto the tree. That would have also been a solution to your problem. I didn't recommend that because I have occasionally encountered glitches in the past with DVD Architect 4.5 Studio where those objects could be accidently reached using the remote control and I couldn't get back to the menu. That's not supposed to happen. That may be fixed with DVD Architect 5 Studio, but I don't really know.

Glad you're making progress!
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Re: Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

Postby cgwaters » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:25 pm

Now that I'm a roll :) , I'm in the process of authoring the remaining 11 DVDs in this set. For each DVD, I'm repeating the steps of selecting the original button / media object, inserting a scene selection menu and scene buttons, dragging all of the second through N scene buttons to Page 1 (I also moved the scene buttons by dragging them on the tree; however, I could only do so one button at a time and had to re-arrange the order of all of the items), deleting the submenu, and then matching the appearance of the original button / media object with the scene buttons. I can't help but wonder whether there is a more efficient way to do this.

It seems that the thumbnail and text for the original button is different than those of the scene buttons--at least, initially, upon moving the scene buttons to Page 1. The only way I've found to make the two types of objects match, appearance-wise, is to use the Sizing Tool to re-size the original button's thumbnail to meticulously match the scene buttons' thumbnail....and then do the same with the text. Very tedious. A 'Format Painter' feature, like in Microsoft Office and many other apps, would be ideal.

Is there a more efficient way to do this? I'm also wondering if it's possible for me to create a template, of sorts, and use that as a starting point for the remaining DVDs?
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Re: Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

Postby Bob » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:57 am

You're doing more work than you need to do. There are some features built-in that will make your job much easier.

DVD Architect Studio uses templates which it calls "Themes". Each new project will start with a default theme, but you can apply any of the supplied themes you want.

Begin by creating the first DVD. Once you have everything laid out the way you want it, export the menu as a theme. This will create a template/theme and add it to the theme selection window.

When creating the first dvd, add your custom jpg background and edit the menu text as desired. Add the media to the menu like you have been doing and create the scenes menu. Go to the scenes menu and click and drag on the menu panel to draw out a rectangle around the second through fourth buttons to select them. Once they are selected, copy them using the standard keyboard shortcut or use the application menu. Go back to the main menu. Paste the copied buttons into the main menu. Now you can delete the scenes menu. The buttons may not be lined up and have different sizes. That's ok. Go to the DVD Architect edit menu and select "reapply theme layout". That will line up the buttons and make them uniform -- including the text.

If you want to change the sizes and position of the buttons, this is the time to do it. Begin with Selection Tool active and click and drag to select all the buttons. You can now drag the buttons as a group. If you need to resize the buttons, select the Sizing Tool. The selection will change to a bounding box surrounding all the buttons and you can drag the handles to resize the group. Go back to the Selection Tool when you are done.

When you have the menu the way you want it, go to the application menus and select File > export menu as theme. Once saved, you will use this theme for subsequent DVDs.
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Re: Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

Postby cgwaters » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:39 am

Bob wrote:When you have the menu the way you want it, go to the application menus and select File > export menu as theme. Once saved, you will use this theme for subsequent DVDs.

Thanks! I wondered whether Themes could be used for what I'm looking to accomplish.

After I export the finished theme, I'm thinking about the process for working on subsequent DVDs. Each DVD has different menu text, a different video, and (potentially) a different number of scenes. For each DVD:
  1. Create a new project, using the new theme
  2. Update the menu text
  3. Change the video the media object points to
  4. After the media object's video is updated, is it possible to have the markers (added to the video in Movie Studio) automatically update the scene buttons? Otherwise:
    1. Update the marker each scene button points to
    2. If there are less scenes, delete the extra scene buttons
    3. If there are additional scenes, for each additional scene, copy the last scene button and then paste/update it
  5. Re-apply the theme to re-align/re-center all buttons and their text
  6. Preview the results
  7. Begin the Burn DVD process
Does that cover it?
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Re: Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

Postby Bob » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:11 pm

Hold off on using themes for now. I'm seeing some strange behavior in some sample projects I tried. Give me a couple of hours to try out some ideas and I'll get back to you with a revised methodology.
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Re: Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

Postby cgwaters » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:51 pm

Understood, thanks.
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Re: Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

Postby Bob » Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:52 pm

Thanks for waiting.

It looks like DVD Architect Studio 5 fixed the glitch that I was having with the previous version when I placed the media object outside of a menu. I tried to cause it to glitch and couldn't. I now feel it's safe to go ahead and use that method and I think it will work out very well for you. Details are below.

I also tried a number of approaches using themes and I wasn't entirely happy with some of the results. There are two types of themes -- positional and grid. If you save menu to theme using the basic method, you get a positional theme. Positional themes remember everything about the menu: how many buttons, where they are, what text was present, font, size, etc.. Sounds good until you start to use them. The number of buttons is fixed. If you use it on a menu with more buttons than the theme, the extras get piled up. Worse, if you reapply the theme, the actual text you placed in your buttons gets replaced by the text saved in the theme. In addition, the media object gets renamed. I couldn't find any way to prevent the overwriting behavior. So, positional has it's place, but it's not as useful as I originally thought. The other type, grid, is found under the advanced option and does not save the button locations. Instead it defines a grid where the buttons can be placed. It allows for differing numbers of buttons, but you don't really have much control over where they get placed and I found that the font size varied with the amount of text in each title. For the type of menu you are creating, I don't think the theme approach is going to save you much. But, feel free to experiment.

Taking everything into consideration, I think the following will be the easiest way to go.

1) Start each DVD as a completely new project. From the file menu, select "New" and choose "menu based" and select a project video type of dvd type of mpeg-2 720x480 4:3 (ntsc) for a standard full screen dvd or mpeg-2 720x480 16:9 (ntsc) for a wide screen dvd. The new project should have the default theme with the basic blue background and a single title.

2) Add your new background jpg to the menu and edit the title text.

3) In the tree view in the left panel, add the media object: move the cursor to the empty area below the tree, right click and select "Insert Media". After you add the video object this way it will appear in the tree below the folder containing the menu. It should not be in the menu folder or appear as a button on the menu.

4) Right click on the media object and select "Insert Scene Selection Menu". The scene selection menu will be created below the media object in the tree.

5) Double click on the scene menu in the tree to open it in the center window. Using the click and drag method I described in an earlier post, select all the buttons on the menu and copy them (ctrl+c).

6) Double click on the Main menu to open it in the center window. Right click on the menu in the center window and select "Paste".

7) Delete the Scene menu from the tree. You don't need it anymore.

If all went well, you should be done and ready to preview. If necessary, you can make adjustments. Remember, you can select all the buttons and make changes to all the buttons at once. If you need to tweak the text size, for example, select all the buttons and a tool bar will appear under the center window. You can select a size from the drop down menu or type a specific number in that field. "Auto" can result in differing text size as it attempts to make things fit.

I'd recommend doing a "save as" and save each project with a different name so you'll have it if you need to go back for some reason. You can delete them after you're sure you don't need them anymore.
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Re: Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

Postby Peru » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:36 am

Rather than saving a theme, once you get a menu set up the way you like it, save the project it with a name like "Template 1" and use it as a template. Just replace the media as necessary.
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Re: Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

Postby cgwaters » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:32 am

Bob wrote:...Taking everything into consideration, I think the following will be the easiest way to go
...
If all went well, you should be done and ready to preview. If necessary, you can make adjustments. Remember, you can select all the buttons and make changes to all the buttons at once. If you need to tweak the text size, for example, select all the buttons and a tool bar will appear under the center window. You can select a size from the drop down menu or type a specific number in that field. "Auto" can result in differing text size as it attempts to make things fit.
...
I'd recommend doing a "save as" and save each project with a different name so you'll have it if you need to go back for some reason. You can delete them after you're sure you don't need them anymore.

Thanks, Bob. Now that you've told me how to add the video without creating a button, the process will be much easier for me. Having to periodically do a unique Save As is a pain, but I understand why it could prevent grief.

I have a question about the "Auto" text size. Both Steve's book, as well as your message, indicates that if the text size is *not* set to Auto, the text size won't change as the box containing the text is re-sized. I've not found that to be the case; if I set the text size to (say) 12 and then adjust the size of the box, the setting reverts to Auto and, unfortunately, the text changes size. Is there a way to prevent that from happening--to 'lock', as it were, the text size?
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Re: Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

Postby cgwaters » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:11 am

Peru wrote:Rather than saving a theme, once you get a menu set up the way you like it, save the project it with a name like "Template 1" and use it as a template. Just replace the media as necessary.

Thanks, Peru. I can do that and, for each use, update the media object's video property as well as each existing scene button's marker property. But what do I do if I my video contains additional scene markers? For each additional scene button needed, can I simply copy the last scene button, paste it, change the scene marker, change the text, and then re-position all of the objects on the page?
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Re: Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

Postby Peru » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:56 pm

Yes, you should be able to.
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Re: Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

Postby Peru » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:58 pm

cgwaters wrote:I have a question about the "Auto" text size. Both Steve's book, as well as your message, indicates that if the text size is *not* set to Auto, the text size won't change as the box containing the text is re-sized. I've not found that to be the case; if I set the text size to (say) 12 and then adjust the size of the box, the setting reverts to Auto and, unfortunately, the text changes size. Is there a way to prevent that from happening--to 'lock', as it were, the text size?


I'd like to know that, too. I've had the same experience.
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Re: Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

Postby Steve Grisetti » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:33 pm

Me, too. I think it's part of the program's design. I guess Sony assumes that, if you're resizing the text box, you want to resize the text too.

Although, for what it's worth, this only happens when resize the text box smaller. Not when you make it larger. I guess it's partly because the box has to be a certain size just to accommodate your text.
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Re: Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

Postby Bob » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:51 pm

You can edit the media properties and replace the target video, but that won't update the linked button's text or thumbnail. It also won't refresh the markers using the new clip, it will still use the original clip's markers. You won't be able to update the destination chapter on buttons or generate a scene menu using the new clips markers. You will need to delete the media object and go through the same process as before. You really don't save much effort or time.

As for the "auto" setting. I know of two things that will change a fixed font size to auto. 1) applying (or reapplying) a theme. And, 2) adjusting the size of the text box. There isn't anything you can do about applying a theme -- it always resets according to the theme. Modifying the text box size may or may not change the text size to "auto" depending on how much space is in the box. As long as there is sufficient room in the resized box to contain the text at the specified size it won't change. If the modified box is too small to contain the text at that size, it will revert to "auto" in order to make it fit.
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Re: Place links on opening screen-instead of on submenu?

Postby cgwaters » Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:34 pm

Bob wrote:You can edit the media properties and replace the target video, but that won't update the linked button's text or thumbnail. It also won't refresh the markers using the new clip, it will still use the original clip's markers. You won't be able to update the destination chapter on buttons or generate a scene menu using the new clips markers. You will need to delete the media object and go through the same process as before. You really don't save much effort or time.

I was afraid that was the case, as I didn't see a way to refresh the project so as to see the updated video's markers.

So setting up a template and then modifying the buttons (as suggested above), won't work. :(
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