split this off from another topic...
manthing said in his post to try to get the picture that I save from the net as big as possible, he recommended 640X480 pixels or larger, I just saved one and saved it as bitmap, but the size of it is 315X400
How do I make the pics be the size that he recommended that they be?
When you're making menus, you need to make them in layers. Your menu is not a single image when it's being built -- at least it shouldn't be. Bad amateur menus use a single image with text haphazardly slapped on it.
Remember that a menu's sole purpose is for navigation, to help you quickly jump to a certain sport on a disc. For some, this is a chapter in a long movie, for others this is an episode listing to pick an episode middle of the disc. Sometimes it's a composite of videos, or a collection of clips. You get the idea.
This means the menu needs to be READABLE.
It is better to have a menu with no images and plain text, or no menu at all, than one that has complicated fonts, letters that go off screen (failure to abide by "tv safe" overscan area boundaries), or have background images that compete with the text (or selector icon), thus making it hard to read. ........... Yes, that was a long sentence (I'm sure my gradeschool English teacher is shaking her finger from retirement or the grave).
In private, we made you a menu, that had a dark attractive pattern, an image of a person/character to one side, and then a clean readable list of videos on the other side. Everything was inside the "tv safe" area.
The background is one layer, 720x540 full size image. Forum member manthing suggest 640x480 to you as a minimum, but I prefer 720x540 based upon the software in use (DVDWS2, which you're also using), and some upscale/downscale issues. Remember DVD is 720x480, 720 should be the goal width, not 640.
The character is another layer, a cut-out on a Photosho "alpha layer". An alpha layer has transparent areas. The cut-out is not a square size, it's a person-shaped shape.
The text is another layer, a special Photoshop "T layer".
You save this master PSD (Photoshop document) file for editing. You also save a BMP or JPEG version (I prefer BMP for using in DVDWS2), as a flat layer-less image. This is what the authoring software needs. Yes, some softwares including DVDWS2 can take layers, but they rarely position everything correctly. It's hard for them to screw up a flat image.
This final flat image, for use in Ulead DVD Workshop 2, is 720x540. This was the size of the template I made for you, based off the info and images you provided.
To make new menus, you need to open up that original PSD file -- or better yet, a copy, so you don't "mess up" the original and lose it -- and then swap out your character with a new one. The new character needs to be comparable in size to the old one. The old one was made 350 wide by 500 tall, or close thereabouts. A smaller image has to be upscaled, and it may not look as good. You also need to use the Photoshop eraser and cut out all the crap around the new person/character. Nothing looks more amateur than a square image plopped on top of a menu. So get to cutting!
In my cut-out, I smoothed the edges, using a layer effect. Open up the file, select the layer with the person, then see what effects have been applied.
Honestly, you may need to buy Photoshop For Dummies, and give it a good read. Or spend time at Adobe.com, watching the intro videos. Youtube probably has some too, although many of them appear to be written by kids (young voices), often with inferior info. This site just has not had time for Photoshop tutorials to date -- that's a 2010 project.
To change the color of the background from maroon, select the background layer, and then go to IMAGE > ADJUST and pick the HUE/SATURATION option. Drag the hue slider left or right, and see how the colors change.
You need the same font that I use, to edit the image menu text. Install the new font in Windows, reboot, then it will be there for Photoshop to see. Otherwise you'll need to pick a new font. I suggest using the one I gave you, as it was clean to read, yet had some style to it. The basic rule of design is to NEVER use the fonts that come with your computer (excluding websites, which have no choice)
. They are not very good, compared to what else is out there -- including a ton of free serifs and sans serifs, not to mention the artsy/stylized ones.
To take an image from the web, you need to save it to your computer. Then open it in Photoshop too, along with your master PSD menu file (or better yet, again, a copy of it). Get the marquee "dotted line box" tool, and click on the web image. CTRL+A to select all (or EDIT > SELECT ALL), copy it with CTRL+C or EDIT > COPY, and then go to your menu PSD and paste it (CTRL+V or EDIT > PASTE). You can zoom in with the magnifying glass tool (note: hold ALT to change mag from + to - sign to zoom out), and then erase the stuff around the new person, make your cut out. You want to do it zoomed in, as it's more precise cutting, not do it at fit-on-screen size. Use the hand tool to move it around, as needed, click and grab then let go to stop. Get erase tool again, erase.
When the erasing is done, and if you need to resize the guy bigger or smaller --- (hopefully not larger, as that zooms and loses more quality -- and let's face it, web JPEG/PNG/GIF images aren't very good to start with)
--- select the layer with the person, then go to EDIT > FREE TRANSFORM and find the lower right corner of the image. Hold SHIFT and then drag it in. If you can't see the lower right corner, then zoom out a lot, and make the file canvas (gray dead space) really large. You should see it now. If you forget to hold SHIFT, you'll make a mess of the layer, it will skew and lose aspect.
Some more good tutorials on Photoshop include the "You Suck At Photoshop" web video series -- which is both funny and insightful. Google that phrase for any number of sites carrying those videos.
I know this guide is quick, and is heavy on text (with no pics), but I know you want quick answers for this project you're doing. I've already made a number of custom guides (even did a menu for you!), so hopefully this will get you where you need to be without too many more questions on it.
Some of this may sound confusing or hard, but it will clear up once you get your "hands dirty" more, just toying around in the program, seeing how it works. Read what I wrote, read what others have written (you know where), and maybe read or watch some of the things I suggest. It will clear up after use.