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10-04-2009, 09:09 AM
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split this off from another topic...

Quote:
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.

Good luck.

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  #2  
11-01-2009, 04:22 PM
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I just tried to make a menu, I did what I wanted to in PS, and when I opened it in Workshop, the pic only filled half the screen in the middle..there's still background black on both the left and right sides of the pic, and its a lil longer on both the top and bottom of the tv safe zones..how do I expand the to fit the sides and bring the top and bottom of the pic into the safe zones?
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  #3  
11-01-2009, 06:08 PM
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You did something wrong.

A menu image must be 720x540, not any other size.
Building that image from multiple images is what the first post here was all about.

You're having a really hard time grasping a lot of this stuff,
I'm starting to think making DVDs is going to be too hard for you to do, at the level you want.
There's not much more I can say, lately I find myself just repeating what I've already said.

Re-read the above post.

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  #4  
11-01-2009, 06:14 PM
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I'm confused..why did you tell me before to do searches for pics that are 640x480 or larger? The pic for this particular menu is 609x800
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  #5  
11-01-2009, 06:35 PM
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Your confusing the final menu image with the bits and pieces used to make the menu

The menu must be 720x540. You make that image from text, other images, etc.

Professionals completely draw or photograph their own images, or use motion clips from their videos (or even render CG graphics). I build my menus from backgrounds I generate in Photoshop, clips from the video, scanned photos, or my own hand-drawn art. CG is currently outside the scope of my skills, so that's the one thing I don't do.

Home users generally scan, or more commonly (and often with dismal results) take images off the web. Web images need to be of decent size (at least 640x480) to not be blurry when used on a menu. Downsizing is always better than upsizing. I'll sometimes do this for a hobby project (scan a magazine cover, take an image from the web), but I try to avoid it.

Home users also often use really, really crappy templates. There's nothing more ugly than a "portrait" (vertical) image stretched horizontally to fill the arbitrary rectangle on the template. Or using a gaudy Times or Comic Sans font in a similar color as the background, and where letters are written on top of something else, where you can't read it. A good bit of what I've seen out there can only be described as a "visual abortion". Menus that look that bad should be reserved strictly for designers that have been condemned to hell, to stare at for all eternity. Quite a few homemade discs would be better off with no menu at all.

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  #6  
11-01-2009, 06:53 PM
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The menu for this particular DVD that I'm making now (and all regular VHS videos that I'll be putting on DVD for that matter, not the comps you helped me with in the VNC) is a picture of the VHS video box...it's not a picture of the actual box, but a full picture of the picture that was on the box...if that makes any sense.
It is not going to be designed as the one that you made me...it's just the one single pic...so I brought that into PS, cropped off some of the bottom of the pic that I didn't want on it, and then I added some text on it, and saved it. Then I brought it into Workshop, drug it onto the menu screen and that's where it appeared a little too tall for the safe zone, and not wide enough to fit the rest of the screen, as I said there's still black menu background on the right and left of the pic. The pic is 609x800
I did different searches for images that are 720x540 and nothing was there for any search that I did....the picture that I saved for this menu was the largest one that I could find for this particular video...
You said I did something wrong, but this is literally everything that I did..I actually think this pic is bigger than the pic that you used to make the menu for me that you made...so, what can I do to fix this and get it to fill the safe zone? Am I going to have to go back into PS and do something in there?
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  #7  
11-01-2009, 07:00 PM
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Also to go along with my last post...how do I tell that the menu that I make in PS is 720x540? What do I do to make it that way before I make the menu and then find out it's not 720x540, how do I make it that size right from the start?
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  #8  
11-01-2009, 07:44 PM
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You have to resize the image. The odds of finding a 720x540 by looking through Google is close to zero, I'd imagine. Drop the image on top of a 720x540 blank, and then use EDIT > FREE TRANSFORM to make it fit.

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  #9  
11-01-2009, 08:06 PM
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How do I get a 720x540 blank? I assume by blank you mean when the program is first turned on and what comes up when it opens?
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  #10  
11-02-2009, 05:00 AM
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File > New
Tell it to make a 720x540 with a white or black background.

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  #11  
11-02-2009, 08:34 AM
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That doesn't work. When I do it, a error box comes up that says "This image would be too large to store in a file..Decrease the dimensions or the resolution."

Here's what the boxes say..
Width - 720 inches
Height - 540 inches
Resolution - 41.666 pixels/inch
Mode - RGB Color

Contents
White
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  #12  
11-02-2009, 08:42 AM
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720x540 pixels, not inches.
At the default 72dpi.

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  #13  
11-02-2009, 08:46 AM
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Ok....when I changed them to pixels, the numbers changed as well. The new numbers are-

Width - 30000 pixels
Height - 30000 pixels
Resolution - 72 pixels/inch
Mode - RGB Color

Is this right?
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  #14  
11-02-2009, 08:53 AM
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No, that's not correct. Start over, try again.
Width - 720 pixels
Height - 540 pixels
Resolution - 72 pixels/inch
Mode - RGB Color



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  #15  
11-02-2009, 08:57 AM
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Ok....it made a medium sized or so white box...so I then went to File-Open and opened my pic, and it didn't automatically open in the medium sized white box, it opened in seperate window that was much bigger than the white box...so, how do I get the pic inside of the white box?
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  #16  
11-02-2009, 09:05 AM
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You copy the menu image (not 720x540) into the menu-sized template (720x540).

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  #17  
11-02-2009, 09:10 AM
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I opened the picture and tried to copy it by right clicking and pasting into the the white box, but that didn't work...then I tried to copy the icon of it from my desktop where I have it saved to and paste it, and that didn't work either...so, how do I copy the picture?
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  #18  
11-02-2009, 05:41 PM
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I've tried a few more times, but I just can't get it. I think this is the last thing that I have to learn and then I'm finally good lol
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  #19  
11-03-2009, 10:12 AM
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Still need assistance..

I opened the picture and tried to copy it by right clicking and pasting into the the white box, but that didn't work...then I tried to copy the icon of it from my desktop where I have it saved to and paste it, and that didn't work either...so, how do I copy the picture into the white box?
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  #20  
11-03-2009, 10:50 AM
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I don't know how else to teach this to you. I have to give up. Your question was already answered in the first post. Read it again.

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