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Old October 1st, 2010, 05:50 PM   #1
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Encore CS5 menu button question

Trying to be clever... not a good sign. ;-)

I've got a problem with my menu button highlights. I wanted a plain text button. To show selection, I wanted a plain colored square in front of the text. To show activation, I wanted the square to change color, so I overlayed it with a square of a different color. Simple enough, yes?

I searched around in Encore to find a button with the all three button states to copy. Dragged it into my test menu. When I test it in the menu window, all three button states work just fine. And it does just what I want mine to do -- it overlays a colored shape over another different colored shape to show activation.

Then I built my button above the Encore button on the menu so I can test them together. When I test cycle through the states using the Encore controls on the bottom frame of the window for composing menus, either "show selected subpicture highlight" or "show activated subpicture highlight" show both of my subpicture highlights. Not one or the other, but both at the same time. I only know this because if finally occurred to me to offset them so I could see if the activated state actually turns on. This isn't the way the Encore button works -- it shows the states individually as it should.

Doesn't make sense. The button from the Encore template and my button are named exactly the same way (with the "(+)" for the button and the "(=1)" for the selected subpicture and the "(=2)" for the activated subpicture). When I look at them in the Encore Layers panel they are just about identical. And they stack the same way, with the "=2" state above the "=1" state in the layer group stack.

When I look at them in Photoshop, they look just about identical. I went so far as to check the layer blending modes, and mine are exactly the same as the Encore template button.

Gotta be something obvious and simple. But what is it?
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 10:59 AM   #2
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No one can give me a clue?
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 12:05 PM   #3
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Hi Bruce,

I am no expert but try this. In Photoshop create a plain coloured box and name the layer: box. Then make a second duplicate layer and name it (=1)box, and colour it a different colour. Group the two layers and name the group (+)Text. Place the layer named box above the layer named (=1)box inside the group.

The coloured box in the layer "box" will appear on top in Photoshop, and also on top when it appears in Encore. However, when you preview the menu the coloured box in the layer named "(=1)box" will appear when the button is active (the user is hovering on that button) and the "box" layer will appear when the button is not active (when the user moves away from the button).

I also made the mistake of using both the =1 and =2 on the same button when I only wanted two states.

Hope this helps

Alan

Last edited by Alan Emery; October 2nd, 2010 at 12:09 PM. Reason: typo
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 01:51 PM   #4
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Hi again Bruce,

Here is a screen shot of a menu I modified to make a coloured box change colour from a DVD I am doing. The "return to main menu" box is constructed to show you how to do what you asked for.

The other aspect you may be interested in is a text that turns from black to green.

Finally you can see in this how to make a check mark appear and disappear in a group with a text that changes colour as well. In these groups both the (=1) and the (=2) are used because there are two sub-buttons: the text that changes colour and the box that changes colour (or the tick mark that appears and disappears).

Hope this helps,
Alan
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Encore CS5 menu button question-test-menu.jpg  
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 06:16 PM   #5
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Ah, cool. I'm going to give this a through look on Monday.

I built a prototype DVD today. Three menus (main plus two chapter menus). All the buttons work, they show the selected state just fine. But I'm still working on the activation state. Your demo should help -- I'm almost there!
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Old October 4th, 2010, 04:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Emery View Post
Finally you can see in this how to make a check mark appear and disappear in a group with a text that changes colour as well. In these groups both the (=1) and the (=2) are used because there are two sub-buttons: the text that changes colour and the box that changes colour (or the tick mark that appears and disappears).
I'm trying... I decided that what I want is the simplest possible button. Text only. But I want all three states to show. So, plain text, a different color for selected, and a third color for activated. Seems simple enough... Sigh....

So I end up with a layer group in photoshop just like yours. That is:

(=1)selected
Extras
(=2)activated

All three are text layers, for a button called, surprisingly, "Extras." Nice and short and cuts down on my typing while I try to figure this out.

Encore seems to accept this OK. That is, no errors or warnings. When I'm looking at the menu in the menu viewer, I can toggle the three button states using the row of buttons along the bottom of the menu viewer panel. The "show normal subpicture highlight" button does just what you'd expect -- shows the plain text from my layer labeled "Extras".

Unfortunately, both the "show selected subpicture highlight" and the "show activated subpicture highlight" controls exhibit identical behavior. That is, each of them shows *both* the (=1) and (=2) button states. What should happen is that the "show selected subpicture highlight" should show the (=1) state, and the "show activated subpicture highlight" should show the (=2) state.

I've tried moving the layers around in their respective layer groups, and it changes the way it looks, but still all three states show at once and they shouldn't. It *does* change the way the layers display by changing their order, just like you'd think layers should work -- the top layer is on top in the display. So moving the layers does change the way it displays. But it doesn't change the fact that both the (=1) and (=2) states show at the same time instead of separately as they should.

I'm lost. This shouldn't be this hard. It shouldn't be hard at all. But whatever it is I'm doing wrong is oddly illusive.
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Old October 4th, 2010, 10:39 PM   #7
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Hi Bruce,

Sorry, I misinterpreted your question. To make a three-state button you need to create a psd file like this. I put a different colour in all four layers just so I could see what I was doing. Then leave photoshop and open Encore. Import the menu and under the "Menus" tab click on the menu so that it shows in the window. Then click on the image of the menu and you should see the layers of the button. Now go up to the tool bar at the top of the screen and open the "Menu" dropdown. Choose Edit Menu Color Set. Set it for Menu Default (not Automatic). Make sure the "Selected" and the "Activated" colours are different. Just under the "Cancel" there is a preview box. Set it to Preview. You can move the window and see what colours Encore has chosen for you -- I can't figure out how to choose them. It seems there is a pastel palette that Encore uses from the initial colour that you set up.

Try previewing from the menu window and you should see all the states ....I hope!

The (=1) and (=2) and (=3) all seem to be for colouring subpictures differently, not button states.

Alan
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Encore CS5 menu button question-test-button2.jpg  
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Old October 5th, 2010, 01:52 PM   #8
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Alan,

This is unreal. This is all it takes to get the three button states to show up?

How weird. I can't control the colors? Hmmm... I just deleted my (=2) layer from one button's layer group. Now Encore still displays three colors, but they are different colors from the buttons that have both a (=1) and a (=2) layer. So.... you don't *have to* specify the (=2) layer at all. But you should be consistent -- either specify for all buttons, or no buttons. Again, weird.

It might be possible to exert some level of control over the colors Encore uses for the button states. It looks like you can import a color set file. Whatever a color set file might be. Looks like more digging in the docs for me. At least now I have a clue what I'm looking for.

Thanks for the tips. I'll get there eventually!
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Old October 6th, 2010, 03:39 AM   #9
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You can change the colors of the Menu Color Set. In the Edit Color Set window, click on the New Color Set icon, then double click the color boxes to set your colors. Then Save it. So it doesn't really matter what color you use in PS, as long as they are named properly.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 10:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kevin Currie View Post
....it doesn't really matter what color you use in PS, as long as they are named properly.
Got that. Finally. Although I have to say, it's about as non-intuitive as I've seen in a software product in, well, decades. Since the beginnings of GUIs even. Sigh... It hurts my head to think I've been working with computers that long! ;)

It would be nice if Adobe gave this product some the of attention they give, say, After Effects or Premiere Pro. They sell it in the same Production Premium suite with them -- you'd think it would have comparable quality.

But I'll say this for it. If you can figure out how to build the menu system you want, and fight past the crashes when building up a flow chart, it does do what it says it will -- the DVDs work once built. And it's reasonably quick in building them.

And again, thanks for your help Alan. I'd still be wandering around lost in the woods of Encore without your help.
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