sidebar 2006.03.06
What tool do you use for that?
--Kirk Mon Mar 6 14:04:40 2006
DVD authoring (which includes menus, content selection & flow) is still something of a black art. I've used SpruceUp to create simple static menus, or muxman if I just want to skip the menu and only have the movie.
--ericball Tue Mar 7 00:28:49 2006
I've been using Nero Express, I think it's called.
--The_Lex Tue Mar 7 10:27:02 2006
I'm using TMPGEnc DVD Author, a program which I mainly use to create still menus with nice background images; I've never had the patience to try using motion menus partly because I'm not a fan of them on DVDs-- motion menus that take control for a few seconds before you get a menu are often quite cool the first time and really irritating every time thereafter, to say nothing of the occasionally AFK moment when you hear it looping away while trying to work on something else. The other problem with it is that I don't have any tools that'll happily edit mpeg2s (DVD-format) so I can clip out bits and make them into a menu-- much less clip out several bits and stitch them togehter into a micro-teaser before the menu.

DVD authoring is indeed a black art. I did just get a copy of Adobe Encore (legit!) and will give that a try soon-- TMPGEnc was affordable at the time $60 and very useful. Its DVD-writing interface shows evidence of it having been translated from Japanese, but the authoring interface is quite excellent and useful, so I'm happy to recommend it.

I respect the profession, by the way, but IMO what you're trying to do should be as simple as the tools you do it with, and there ought to be better tools for DVD-authoring. Most Authoring apps are designed to start with Digicam video, and don't cope will when you throw different filetypes in there, such as that MPEG4 of a still-in-theaters movie that one could download, or else the MJPEG that you recorded at the karaoke bar with your Canon Powershot digital still camera.
--LAN3 Fri Mar 10 01:22:09 2006
I've got a moving background that doesn't really take too much time or interfere with selecting anything on the menu. Then again, the movement is only for a couple seconds.

I wish they provided a more non-linear approach, though, allowing you to lay out the frames graphically rather than have to do guesswork with a little virtual knob.
--The_Lex Fri Mar 10 13:23:49 2006
That MJPEG is a kind of odd beast...I put the blame for that more on Canon who I suspect chose what was easiest to implement on board the camera.

I don't like animations before the menu activation, but looping videos while you can still operate the menu can be kind of fun.
--Kirk Fri Mar 10 13:37:19 2006
DVD author apps probably only handle MPEG2, since that's really all that DVD groks. So if you have something which isn't DVD compliant MPEG 2 video, then you need to convert it. And although TMPGEnc will try to handle any input format (via the MS codecs mostly), sometimes passing it through AVISynth or VirtualDub will work better.

IIRC AVISynth can handle MPEG2 streams. Which would then allow you to extract clips and create a micro-teaser. A good hangout for this kind of thing is
--ericball Fri Mar 10 18:22:51 2006
Yeah, that is one kinda annoying thing about this program: can't make the little episode choices animate.
--The_Lex Fri Mar 10 22:10:34 2006
Hiya, been meaning to post to this lovely thread. MPEG Streamclip is a free app I downloaded to transcode VOB files from a homemade DVD. It exports the files as any format I need, DV, mpeg-4, quicktime, a host of demux options, including AIFF, with nice options like de-interlace and frame rates. I've heard DVDtoDV is good too, but cost $. Easy to use, just open the VOB file and export. Very useful for accessing that movie you made and then lost the editable quicktime files.
--ErinMaru Sat Mar 11 00:51:21 2006
oh, and you can choose in and out points.
--ErinMaru Sat Mar 11 00:52:19 2006
Ericball, while do I use TMPGEnc DVD Author, I didn't mention that I do indeed using TMPGEnc Xpress 3, which is just a premium version of their free encoder for converting to mpeg2, which is the only thing I ever throw at TMPGEnc DVD Author. I didn't mean to confuse the two, heh. 

In some cases, yes, this does require a pass through virtualdub, which I love love love. It also handles MPJEG very well, so I use it either to rotate them 90 degrees (my camera's not that smart) or to convert them to an uncompressed format so Windows Media Encoder 9 won't give me too much guff when I try to convert it to that more common format (for sending videos of supercute nieces to coworkers, for example).

Also, Adobe Encore DVD was picky! When I started to try it, it insisted on very specific pixel-length/widths for input videos, so I haven't yet tried it, still.
--LAN3 Sat Mar 11 16:40:04 2006