16:9 Menu?

Avi to DVD and other video conversions, such as wmv to DVD, mts to DVD, mkv to DVD and more. 2 pass encoding, multi-core support, and always more files supported.

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Coral
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Post by Coral » Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:29 am

To be frank and honest I don't like Corel at all. Since they took over Ulead they made a mess of all their software. They did the same with InterVideo. Someboady once told me that Corel is the place where software go to die and I belive it. I have tried the so called "top rated" DVD MovieFactory which I didn't like.

In my opinion, menu wise , DVD Workshop is still much better than DVD MovieFactory. Pity that Corel killed DVD Workshop. I would rarther stick to CX2D than use MovieFactory.

Again in my opinion, what CX2D needs is a menu editor which would allow the user to edit menus with inter active buttons. Example: Why should I press a key several times to jump chapter pages.

With DVD Workshop you can set the default button so when you want to jump chapter pages you will find the forward button already highlighted and all you have to do is press once to go to the next page or use the direction keys to go to the thumbnail or key you want to use.

You can also edit the top menu to have a link to all the chapter pages, say, 1-6 or 7-12 and so on. You can also include a "first play" short movie as intro. You can link each object on the menu to any sub menu. DVD Workshop is a very good authoring application but that's where the story ends, since it has not been further developed. It can transcode from avi (never did it myelf. too slow). Subtitles require attention and only takes txt files. And no 16:9 menus.

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Post by Tattoo » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:27 am

ckhouston wrote:There is something wrong then. All items are stretched evenly for me in VLC player and on my TV.

Remember the primary purpose of the workaround is to provide backgrounds that are not distorted when displayed in 16:9. The amount of stretching is 33%. I don't think even people with video experience but not familiar with a CX2D template would even notice that amount of stretching of buttons and text. The most objectionable is the thumbnails which can be fixed if one wants to go to the trouble.

Read the user reviews in the link toaddub gave. One says it won't create 16:9 menus (Coral also mentioned that above) and another says it doesn't work in Vista or Win 7. It is an old program.

I'm going to stick with my copy of Nero, it does a good job as far as I'm concerned, and VSO might want to consider doing something similar in any menu editor they implement.
Thanks, I'll try VLC Player to see what it looks like in it. And I was under the impression that DVD Workshop did 16:9 menus. Well, I guess that idea's out the windows then. Damn. Maybe I'll look into Nero then to see what it'll do.

And I agree with Coral about Corel screwing up programs. I tried a couple of theirs and didn't like them. I had a real hard time with one of them but don't remember which one. I jsut deleted it and didn't look back.
There were some others I tried as well but with no luck. I can't remember their names tho. It's been a while.

And Thanks toaddub for the links to DVD Workshop 2 but I don't want it now that I find that it won't do 16:9 menus.

Thanks for all the input...

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Post by Coral » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:00 am

Don't ask me which, but I've had a go at most applications that do rendering and authoring. I've discovered that things aren't easy to do in some and others just promise you to take you to heaven but drop you in hell. I haven't yet found the application that delivers all that really I wish for.

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Post by ckhouston » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:10 am

Nero Vision is beginning to look better now. It will do at least some of the things Coral mentioned for DVD Workshop but I haven't tried them. From the help file
You can choose the individual form and design of the menu in the advanced editing mode.You can place and edit your own graphical items and text on the menu, modify, delete and create various button options, as well as create links between any buttons, menus and videos.
And you can do the usual desired things like drag menu elements around, resize and rotate them. It has a number of preconfigured templates and you can save your custom ones.

It has one major drawback for the purpose discussed here. It will import VOB files (it will merge them automatically) but not IFOs. So you lose chapter points, but it will rebuild them by automatic scene detection or periodically or you can set them manually. Don't know how it handles subs or multiple audio tracks. But, at the very least, you will lose original sub font colors that are in IFO files, they can be restored later by modifying the converted IFO but is an extra step.

And it does 16:9 menus and doesn't re-encode DVD compliant files like those from CX2D conversions or mpeg-2 files that are compliant.

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Post by JoeB » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:36 pm

Coral and ckhouston have both brought up one thing I was wondering about regarding using a third party program to add custom menus, and that is the issue of adding subtitles. I'm a stickler for subs that are in sync, and when necessary I sync my .srt subs with Subtititle Workshop and ConvertX handles them excellently. I will have to see how the Corel product handles them, and when ckhouston gets the time and opportunity to check out how well they are handled with Nero I'd be happy to hear the results. :-)

I definitely agree with the comments about Corel products in general. But given that ckhouston is in the position of testing the Nero product I might as well not re-invent the wheel and instead give the Corel product a try. I do know from reading the specs that it won't do multi-layer menus for when you have more than one title on a disc, but I rarely do that anyway.

Regards,

JoeB

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Post by toaddub » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:16 pm

JoeB wrote:These may all be worth looking at for menu creation, but the problem I have had when trying to research this stuff for the past few days is that it is hard to get confirmation that you can make the menus in these various programs, add your joined VOB files from your ConvertX conversion (because we all want the best conversion and that's with ConvertX) and then have one of these menu programs output the DVD compliant files without re-encoding the movie itself, which will change the quality.
The programs I mentioned do not re-encode compliant VOB files and do support multiple subtitles and audios and possibly support existing chapter marks, I'm not sure. I'm reading off their feature lists and from what other people told me. I have not used these programs myself because I already have other programs to create menus and import the CXD files in. I'll probably try DVD Styler as it appears to have improved since I last used it. Both of these programs do accept custom backgrounds and I think you can place the buttons in any position you like so they won't cover important aspects of the background. They may not be user friendly as other commercial authoring packages but they get the job done for free. With practice, you'll get used to how they work, and they do have a very active support forum should you need help.

Nero has nice menu templates, but I don't install it because it is really bloated.

Also, another approach is to do the normal CXD conversion with menus. Then use third party tools to convert to "true" 16:9 menus, but this method is not for the average user. So the guide link provided by ck should be sufficient enough.

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Post by Tattoo » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:48 am

JoeB wrote:Coral and ckhouston have both brought up one thing I was wondering about regarding using a third party program to add custom menus, and that is the issue of adding subtitles. I'm a stickler for subs that are in sync, and when necessary I sync my .srt subs with Subtititle Workshop and ConvertX handles them excellently. I will have to see how the Corel product handles them, and when ckhouston gets the time and opportunity to check out how well they are handled with Nero I'd be happy to hear the results. :-)
I'm also a stickly to having subs. I'm deaf from loud concerts and always try to get them when they aren't there. So I guess that'll be another issue I'll have to get right. Thanks for the heads-up about Subtititle Workshop, JoeB. I just got it now and will try it out when the time comes.

I have a lot of testing to do from all the input you guys have given me. I thank you all very much. At the moment, I'm learning how to rip a movie from a DVD to .mkv from all the info on Doom9 Forum. Altho, they talk a lot about ripping HD/BlueRay disks but I've found info how to do a non-HD movie. After that I'll mess with menus and tell ya'll if I get something working good.

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Post by JoeB » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:16 am

Tattoo wrote: Thanks for the heads-up about Subtititle Workshop, JoeB. I just got it now and will try it out when the time comes.
Use the Help file that comes with Subtitle Workshop, and use v.2.51 of that program, not the v.4 beta. The Help file is one of the best I've come across for almost any program and reading it will definitely make it easy to use to adjust most subtitles that are out of sync with just a few minutes effort (given that you've read the Help files). I assume that you're already aware of sites to find .srt subtitle files for various movies. :-)

Regards,

JoeB

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Post by Tattoo » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:06 am

Thanks JoeB for the heads-up with the version. So far it won't load a .sub file that was made with MakeDVD when ripped from DVD into .mkv. Says it's bad. And yes, I know about opensubtitles.org. It's best for me but there are others I found but opensubtitles seem to have the most.

Thanks...

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Post by JoeB » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:13 am

Tattoo wrote:Thanks JoeB for the heads-up with the version. So far it won't load a .sub file that was made with MakeDVD when ripped from DVD into .mkv. Says it's bad. And yes, I know about opensubtitles.org. It's best for me but there are others I found but opensubtitles seem to have the most.

Thanks...
If you haven't tried it, you might also want to try Subscene.com:

http://subscene.com/

And try to use get only .srt subtitles, because they work the best. However, my experience with Subtitle Workshop is that it will do a good job of both .txt subtitle files and .sub files (assuming the latter aren't part of a sub/idx pair), as long as you open them in the program then save as Subrip format (which is the .srt format), and then modify their timings after first saving them properly.

Regards,

JoeB

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Post by ckhouston » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:40 am

toaddub wrote:The programs I mentioned do not re-encode compliant VOB files and do support multiple subtitles and audios and possibly support existing chapter marks, I'm not sure.
VOB files or mpeg files obtained from them do contain all subtitle and audio streams so are available to use in authoring. But there are a couple of problems that will be encountered if the authoring program cannot read the original IFO files associated with those VOB files.

Subtitle font colors are in the IFO files so the original colors are lost if the IFO files are not read by the authoring program. That program may insert default colors in the new IFO files it generates, since it doesn't know what your original ones were, or maybe some programs will allow you to set the colors. One can always edit the new IFO files to set their color preferrence if necessary after authoring.

I don't know for sure that chapter points are in the IFO files, you know more about them than I do. But I do know that:

1. Nero Vision will not pick up chapter points when VOB files are imported.

2. VLC does not pick them up either when playing a VOB, won't even show next and prev chapter buttons like it does when a complete VIDEO_TS folder with IFOs is loaded.

3. WMP does show next and prev buttons for a VOB playback but they skip in 5 minute increments -- apparently a program default value -- instead of to the actual chapter points defined in a movie. It will skip to those defined in the movie though if the VIDEO_TS.IFO file is played instead of a VOB file.

So I assume chapter points are also in the IFOs and will be lost unless the authoring program reads the IFOs.

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Post by Coral » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:27 am

Remember that Nero still does not support MKVs, beside being an over bloated hog of an application.

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Post by Tattoo » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:12 am

JoeB wrote:If you haven't tried it, you might also want to try Subscene.com:

http://subscene.com/

And try to use get only .srt subtitles, because they work the best.JoeB
Yes, I've been there and I learned quick about using .srt. The others suck. I tried SubRip to get the subtitles from the movie Hancock I bought and it's some kind of .bmp or something. I was typing in the letters to each image that represents each letter and after 10 works I was like screw this. I also just tried DVD Decrypter, DVD Shrink, DVDFab 8, MakeMKV and Handbrake and i couldn't get the subs for nothing. So I went to opensubtitles and found one that worked after trying damn near all of em.

I haven't tried anything with menus yet. It took me a while to figure out how to rip to .mkv properly with DVD Decripter and MeGUI. But it would have been faster if I downloaded the movie instead of ripping it myself. I can download a 720p .mkv faster than I can rip an ordinary DVD movie from disk.

Hmm, chapters, that's something I'll be looking into tomorrow when I try Nero Vision. Will just have to play it by ear for now but thanks for the info, ckhouston.

As far as Nero not supporting .mkv files, I'll just remux it to an .avi or .mp4 That had me held up before when I was doing these. I didn't know what I know now so I just stayed with CX2D. But now that i want a widescreen, I need to figure out how to do it correctly.

Oh yeah, ckhouston, the buttons and chapters I said were stretched bad, I figured out why. I changed 16:9 to 4:3 in CX2D for a movie that was 4:3 and forgot to change it back. I then wrote 12 movies with 4:3 that were suppose to be 16:9 and it was one of those that looked funky because a movie I wrote correctly doesn't look bad. I guess I could deal with that for now. I just want to be able to make a 16:9 menu.

And after reading the stuff on Doom9 Forums, one can get lost easily with all the different programs that are used to process video. Oh my God. I was starting to get a headache reading all the info on there.

Thanks again. You've all been very helpful. I don't know what I'd do without knowledgeable people like you all.

Good night. I'm gonna start up 'The Green Mile' 1080p .mkv in CX2D to go on a DVD9 and I gotta crash... Oh yeah, and I've just used BatchXtoDVD and am thinking to myself why I didn't use it sooner. I'll be using it a lot more...

wellpip

Post by wellpip » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:56 am

ckhouston wrote:Different things are important for everyone. I personally think of menus as tools to play the main attraction, the video, so appearance of menus is not very important. But some want their menus to be professional works of art so they are important to them, there is nothing wrong with that.

I'm not privy to inside info, but I suspect that support for widescreen menus will not be offered until a menu editor is introduced, and that may be far into the future.
"VSO is one of the few developers that welcome and act on user requests."

Not so sure about that!

Many have been requesting a menu editor including myself and have been fed the same old nonsense, sacrifice quality etc.. As I’ve said before I will not be forking out again until there are some major changes in this department.. It’s time the application moved forward it looks so dated.. In short VSO only pander to the geeks (no offence intended) and ignore everyone else. I’ve heard others say the same thing in forums “ good quality video but their menus suck”

Lets face it, putting the DVD into your player and widescreen TV and up pops a silly square menu with black bars down each side!

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Post by ckhouston » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:28 pm

In short VSO only pander to the geeks (no offence intended) and ignore everyone else.
That is not true, at least in my experience.

VSO is a business that, like other businesses, usually does what is best for them to make more money. Think about the many users that consider you a geek and wonder why you aren't satisfied with the supplied templates. My guess is that VSO pays more attention to the number of people asking for a feature than a handfull that keep bringing it up more than once.

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Post by JoeB » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:36 pm

UPDATE: While I don't know much about this stuff, I would suggest thad you don't bother trying Corel's MovieFactory Pro 7 for your menu creation. Yes, it does read the chapter settings from your IFO file and sets them accordingly, or lets you set your own. The Scene Detection is terrible, however, because it sets a chapter every time the camera switches suddenly to another character (not with fades), so you can have 99 chapters before 10 minutes of the movie has gone by! And yes, you can load your original subtitle file and it seems to sync fine, but that's not sufficient reason to go with this IMHO.

Templates are very limited. Motion menu setting only allows a maximum of 30 seconds of background video AND audio! De-selecting motion menu means you don't have it, of course, but then you can have unlimited background audio time. Pretty lame from my perspective.

I also tried Corel's VideoStudio Pro X3, which had DVD Factory 2010 for authoring, which I thought might be better. Should have researched it first! Most Corel users think it's junk, and I agree. Couldn't even figure it out in the end. And apparently Corel got so many complaints about DVD Factory 2010 they came up with Movie Factory 7SE (only available to registered Studio X3 users) to compensate. And most users doen't like MovieFactory Pro 7 either, although apparently 7SE is better.

Typical Corel, I guess.

Just thought I should update people in case they were going to spring for the $29.99 special offer for Pro 7. I would advise not to do so.

Regards,

JoeB

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Post by Tattoo » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:07 pm

Thanks for the update JoeB. I figured as much. With the problems I had with their programs before. I wasn't planning on forking out any money to Corel. The only money Corel ever got out of me was back in 1993 when I paid $258.00+tax for Corel draw upgrade. I wasn't suppose to be able to buy it but Best Buy didn't check that I had a previous version. I think the full vesion was close to $400.00. Even tho it was a good program and worked good for what I was doing, I think the price was way to high.

And I was thinking about what Coral said about not being able to use an .mkv file in Nero and what I said of remuxing it. The plan was to convert in CX2D then use Nero. It wasn't planned to use an .mkv file.

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Post by ckhouston » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:52 pm

Nero Vision probably won't be suitable for most of you either.

I haven't used all of its capabilities because my needs are modest, but the help file makes no reference to subtitle. I ran a short test with a sub and 2 audio tracks included in the source VOB and neither was included in the output. It does have a timeline editing mode so a second audio track could probably be added if it was available in a separate file. And I think a separate text file can also be added but doubt that a srt sub file would be applied as a subtitle, might, I just don't know for sure. It also uses a fixed menu time but can be easily changed in the tpl template files.
JoeB, referring to MovieFactory, wrote:The Scene Detection is terrible, however, because it sets a chapter every time the camera switches suddenly to another character (not with fades), so you can have 99 chapters before 10 minutes of the movie has gone by!
Did you check to see if it has scene length or sensitivity settings for scene detection when automatically setting chapter points?

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Post by toaddub » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:20 am

ckhouston wrote:Subtitle font colors are in the IFO files so the original colors are lost if the IFO files are not read by the authoring program. That program may insert default colors in the new IFO files it generates, since it doesn't know what your original ones were, or maybe some programs will allow you to set the colors. One can always edit the new IFO files to set their color preferrence if necessary after authoring.
Yes, subtitle font colors are defined in the Color LookUp Table (CLUT) in the IFO. Should the authoring program do not parse the info from IFO, one can use DvdSubEdit to set the colors straight.
So I assume chapter points are also in the IFOs and will be lost unless the authoring program reads the IFOs.
Correct.

One easy way to overcome this dilemma is use the software of your choice to create the menus, whether it's 16:9 or 4:3, because you like its selections better. It does not matter whether the software will reencode the VSO converted files (the drawback for this is a waste of time), lose the subtitle colors and chapter points, you can always get this back using other tools. Simply replace the newly created VOB files with the VSO converted files with VobBlanker (freeware) or DvdReMake Pro (not free).

Of course, it'll be nice if there's an all-in-one software that does all these things.

Other authoring packages with menu capabilities that one may want to look into are TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4, DVD Architect Studio, DVD Lab Pro (DLP). DLP is pricey but it can do all the limitations and concerns that have been discussed here.

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Post by JoeB » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:02 am

ckhouston wrote:Nero Vision probably won't be suitable for most of you either.
You are correct, ck. This time I did some research in advance :-) and found out that Nero Vision doesn't support subtitles. Apparently Nero Recode does, but it comes with the Nero Multimedia Suite 10 package and, I suspect given that it's named "Recode," will re-encode your imported VOB files. And I imagine (but don't know for a fact) that you'd then have to open in Vision to get the full menu editing stuff, and even then I don't know if Vision would honor the subtitles. :-(
ckhouston wrote:
JoeB, referring to MovieFactory, wrote:The Scene Detection is terrible, however, because it sets a chapter every time the camera switches suddenly to another character (not with fades), so you can have 99 chapters before 10 minutes of the movie has gone by!
Did you check to see if it has scene length or sensitivity settings for scene detection when automatically setting chapter points?
Yes I did, and there are no sensitivity settings in Corel's product.

What I find most amazing - and frustrating - about this whole topic is the following:

(a) That there is little or no information available on the sites of the various authoring programs that actually point out whether or not mpeg2 compliant files can be authored with the programs customizable menus without re-encoding the imported mpeg complant files;

(b) That there is little information (albeit a bit more on some of the software sites) to indicate whether the program supports subtitles; and

(c) That given all of the interest in video editing and authoring nowadays there is no simple way to get good, interactive, customizable menus into DVD compatible files without re-encoding the best source you might have.

Give point (c), and given that ConvertX presently provides the best quality DVD output of any consumer level conversion program, I am now coming to the conclusion expressed by a few others that VSO could, in all probability, dramatically improve sales if they did one of the following:

(a) Actually integrate a good, flexible menu editor that allowed easy menu customization, including separate custom timings for background and button motion video as well as background audio, or

(b) Develop a very inexpensive program that was solely for creating customized menus and that used a one or two click option to insert those menus into projects already converted with ConvertX (no re-encoding).

Option (a) likely has the disadvantage that it would likely introduce bugs, regressions, etc., into the existing program, while opotion (b) would only require adding coding similar to that of VOB Blanker or DVD Remake (programs suggested by toaddub) to replace the original converted menu with the new customized menu.

That, of course, is JMHO, because I'm not a programmer and never will be. :-)

Regards,

JoeB
Last edited by JoeB on Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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