Burning a Blu Ray or DVD with Menus

Ah, discs: the medium that just won't die. Be it for a film festival submission or for class, we all occasionally must buckle-down and bring our project back to 2006. For burning your projects, we recommend using Adobe Encore CS6. You can find it on any of the computers on the 6th and 8th floors of Ansin. Blu-ray/DVD burners can also be found scattered around our labs. Ask a lab assistant for help if you're having trouble finding one.

Whether you're burning a Blu-ray or a DVD, this guide will take you through the process step-by-step. Before you begin, you'll need to export a full resolution copy of your project from your editing program of choice. For most projects, you can export in Apple ProRes 422 HQ. If you have questions about how to export, take a look at our article on codecs.

Creating a Project

  • Open Encore and select "New Project".
  • Name your project and save it to your external hard drive by selecting "Browse".
  • Choose the appropriate Authoring Mode and set your Television Standard to "NTSC" unless you intend to screen your project abroad.
  • Under "Default Transcode Settings" set the Max Audio/Video Bitrate to 20 Mbps for Blu-ray or 9.4 Mbps for DVD. You must set Dimensions and Frame Rate to match your exported file. To check these values, open your file in QuickTime Player and hit CMD + I.
  • Select "Ok" twice to create your project.

1.png

Back to Top

Interface

  • Project: This area acts similarly to the project tab in Premiere or a bin in Avid. It holds all of your media and assets (timelines, menus, etc.)
  • Menus: This tab will show you all menus present in the Project tab without the clutter of other timelines and other assets.
  • Timelines: This tab will show you all the timelines present in the Project tab without the clutter of other Menus and other assets.
  • Build: This tab is where we will go when it’s time to burn the disk.
  • Monitor: This is where we will be able to preview our Timelines and Menus
  • Properties: This tab is crucial to our workflow. Any time an object or asset is selected, the properties tab will reflect the properties of that specific asset. This will become especially important when we set buttons and end actions.
  • Character: Contains options to customize text
  • Timeline: This acts the same as a timeline in Premiere or Avid without the editing capabilities. This is where we can add chapter markers.
  • Library: This is where we find all of the objects which come included with Encore, such as premade menus and buttons.
  • Layers: This tab is a good tool when creating menus if you are familiar with Photoshop.
  • Tools: Select, Direct Select, Move, Rotate, Text, Vertical Text, Zoom. Next to these are two other options: Photoshop (which will open your menu in Photoshop) and Preview (which will allow you to navigate a preview of your DVD/Blu Ray Menus and Timelines before building the disk)

2.png

Getting Started

Importing Assets

  • In the Project tab, right click and navigate to Import as>Asset. This will open a Finder window through which you can select your exported Quicktime file(s) and any images or audio you plan to use for menus. If your project contains a lot of assets, we suggest sorting these assets into folders.

3.png

  • Tip: You can skip the next step by importing your Quicktime files separately from any images/audio. Right click and select Import as>Timeline. In your project tab you will see a Quicktime file and a timeline appear.

4.png

Creating a Timeline

  • In the project tab, right click and select New>Timeline. From here you can drag a Quicktime from the project tab into the timeline. You should now be able to scrub through the timeline and preview it using the monitor tab. Be sure to name each timeline! As with most of post-production, organization is key. Extra or unnecessary timelines may cause problems down the road.

5.png

All the Fun Stuff

Menus, Text, and Buttons

  • Menus and Buttons are completely customizable within Encore with the option to customize further using Photoshop.
  • Under the Library tab, you will find a myriad of premade Menus and buttons. Navigating between “sets” will give you even more thematic options. Underneath the “set” options you will see a few icons sort the objects into menus, buttons, images, backgrounds, layer sets, text options, shapes, and replacement layers.
  • Begin by choosing a menu as a base. Double click the desired menu to add it to your project. Be sure to select the HD option if you plan to burn an HD Blu Ray. In the screenshot, I chose to use the Classic Menu HD. If you plan on adding chapters or a submenu of some sort, you can load that into the project window too. Each time you double click on a menu in the library tab, a new menu will be added to your project.
  • You will find that most of these menus come with a background, title text, and buttons (usually in the form of text).

6.png

  • To add a button, simply double click it inside the Library tab. It will appear in the monitor tab (note: buttons do not appear as an asset in the Project tab)
  • The use of your tools will become important at this step. You can move text/buttons using all three selection tools or the rotation tool. The text tools can be used to add text which can also be turned into a new button, if you so desire, by right clicking and selecting “Convert to button.”

7.png

  • In my example, I’m going to delete the “special features” and “Language selection” buttons. Simply select one with the selection tool, and hit the delete key on your keyboard. I’m also going to delete the button I added, as I have no use for it in my project and unnecessary buttons will prevent you from burning your disk.

8.png

  • If you want to set an original background, you will need to import an image to the project tab.

9.png

  • Drag the image from the project tab to the monitor. Use the selection tools to resize the image (hold shift when dragging from the corners to maintain proper proportions). You will probably find that the image is covering your buttons.

10.png

  • Open the Layers tab (next to Library on the bottom right) and you will see that the image is the top layer. We need it to be below all of our buttons. To fix this, right click and select Arrange>Send to back. Now your background will likely be covering your image. Make sure your image layer is selected and right click again Arrange>Bring Forward. This should place it above your background but below any other assets.

11.png

Menus in Photoshop

  • To open your menu in Photoshop, click the Photoshop button next to the tools.
  • All of the Photoshop tools you know and love are now at your disposal. To update the changes in Encore, simply save in Photoshop.
  • The only important difference between a menu and a regular photoshop file is the naming convention of the layers.
    • (+) Button_Text: This tells Photoshop the folder (containing multiple layers) is a
      Button created out of text
    • (+#) Button_Text: This tells Photoshop the folder is a button created out of an
      image (usually a thumbnail of chapters)
    • (=1) highlight: This layer contains the highlight that will appear when a button is
      selected on the DVD
    • These folders may contain other text or shapes. Be sure to leave all of a button’s contents inside the folder.
  • Otherwise you are free utilize any of Photoshop’s vast capabilities.   

Setting First Play, Buttons and End Actions

  • Once you have your menus set, it’s time to tell the program what each button will do.
  • Before we even set the buttons, it’s a good idea to set your first play. This is the first thing that we will see when when your DVD is read by a player or computer. Some projects may warrant an intro or legal warning, but most of the time you will want to set your first play to your main menu. To do so, right click on the main menu in your project tab and select “Set as First Play.” You will notice a small play button on the icon of the menu.

12.png

  • Now it’s time to assign buttons. I’ll start with the “Play Movie” button on my main menu. Make sure you have the correct menu selected in your project tab. In the properties tab, the heading should read “Menu”
  • Select the button and the properties tab will read “button.” You should see the text “Link: Not Set.” The swirly icon next to this is called the “pickwhip.” Grab the pickwhip and drag it to the correct timeline in your project tab.

13.png

  • Next to “link:” it should now read “[NameOfTimeline]: Chapter 1.” The program adds 1 chapter marker at the beginning of each timeline by default. We can add more of these in a moment.
  • Now we need to assign the “chapter selection” button. I’m going to link this to a submenu. You can use the pickwhip just as I did last time, or you can navigate using the drop down menu.

14.png

  • Now that all of our buttons have an assigned link, we need to tell the program what will happen when the timeline has finished playing. Select the timeline in the Project menu. Under the Properties tab (which should read “Timeline”) you will see the option to set the End Action. Using the pickwhip, you can send it back to the main menu. You also have a few more options in the drop down, such as “Stop” (the DVD will stop playing completely), or “Return to last Menu.” The choice is yours but you must set an end action for every timeline before the disk can be burned.

15.png

  • NOTE: It is important that EVERY button be set in each of your menus. We will not be able to burn the disk with extra buttons. You can delete unwanted buttons by selecting them and hitting the delete key.

Setting Chapters

  • Setting chapters is done in the Timeline.
  • Zoom in as needed and move your playhead to the frame that marks a new chapter and click the “Add Chapter” button.

16.png

  • Once you have set each chapter marker, open the submenu intended for chapter selection. To assign buttons to the chapter markers, simply drag the marker from the timeline to the button in the menu monitor. When done correctly, a frame from the chapter will appear inside the button, unless you are assigning chapters to text or less conventional buttons.

17.png

  • Now just be sure all of the other buttons (Next, Previous, Return to Title) are set. You may need multiple menus for chapter selection, in which case you would set the “next” and “previous” buttons to the corresponding menus. If you only have one chapter selection menu, feel free to delete these two buttons.

Building Your Disk

  • In the Build tab, select "Check Project" and hit "Run". If no error messages appear, you're good to go. If anything does come up, make sure you followed the previous steps correctly and then find a Lab Assistant for help.
  • Make sure to name your disc in the Properties tab.

Back to Top

For Blu-rays

  • In the Build tab, set the format to Blu-ray and the output to Blu-ray Image. This will create a file that can then be burned onto the disc. We do this instead of burning directly to the disc so that if any errors occur, you haven't wasted a disc.
  • Set Source to "Current Project" and Destination to your external hard drive.
  • Take a look at the disc you plan to burn to - it should list its size and its image type. Make sure the fields under Disk Info match that information.

Blu-Ray_Image_Screen.png

  • Select "Build". This may take some time depending on the size of your project.
  • Once your disc image has finished exporting, change your Output to "Blu-ray Disk".
  • Set Source to "Disk Image" and browse for the file you just created (it will be a .iso file).
  • Insert your disk into the burner and change the Destination to that disk.

Blu-Ray_Disk_Screen.png

  • Select "Build" and wait while Encore burns your disk.

Back to Top

For DVDs

  • In the Build tab, set the format to DVD and the output to DVD Image. This will create a file that can then be burned onto the disc. We do this instead of burning directly to the disc so that if any errors occur, you haven't wasted a disc.
  • Set Source to "Current Project" and Destination to your external hard drive.
  • Take a look at the disc you plan to burn to - it should list how many sides it has and its size. Make sure the fields under Disk Info match that information.

DVD_Image_Screen.png

  • Select "Build". This may take some time depending on the size of your project.
  • Once your disc image has finished exporting, change your Output to "DVD Disk".
  • Set Source to "Disk Image" and browse for the file you just created (it will be a .iso file).
  • Insert your disk into the burner and change the Destination to that disk.

DVD_Disk_Screen.png

  • Select "Build" and wait while Encore burns your disk.