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Create new menu for existing DVD « Behind the Scenes

Create new menu for existing DVD

September 22nd, 2009

This tutorial explains how to create a new menu for an existing DVD (one that has already been authored and burned to disc) without requiring the original project files. It does so without recompressing or otherwise modifying the video tracks or other menus.

This is done entirely with freeware running on Windows XP.

Important: If you want to modify an existing menu, another post will be made soon to clarify some of the differences.


Contents



Why?

This tutorial is written for anyone looking to replace the menu page on an existing, already authored DVD. This is for situations in which you don’t have access to the original DVD project files (if you have access to these files you should just re-author the DVD through standard processes).

It is also for those who would like to create a menu on a DVD that doesn’t currently have one.



Setup

You will need the following programs to complete this tutorial:

Begin by copying the VIDEO_TS folder from the DVD to your harddrive.

  • You may have to right-click on the DVD icon in My Computer and choose Explore in order to display the folders, then simply drag the VIDEO_TS folder to an internal or external drive.
  • If the disc is write-protected you may need to use software such as DVD Decrypter to rip the VIDEO_TS folder from the disc to your harddrive.

From now on, when I refer to a VIDEO_TS folder it is in regards to a folder on the harddrive, not on the original disc.



Create new menu image

Important: The method described here requires that all buttons be drawn as part of the menu BMP image. They will be mapped later on in the process.

  • Create a new menu image using the image editor of your choice
  • Start with a canvas size of 720×540 (4:3)
  • After creating your image, resize it to 720×480 (NTSC) or 720×576 (PAL). This will correct for the difference in pixel aspect ratios between your pc display and DVD
  • Save your image as a bitmap (.bmp). You can see my example below.

supermenu_sm

You must also create a subpicture, which defines where the button highlights are on the menu image.

  • Choose two colors (one for background, one for highlights). I use green and black.
  • The colors you choose here have no bearing on the color of the highlighted buttons, they are simply for defining what part of your subpic image represents the background and what part represents the highlights.
  • Define where your highlights will be using the highlight color on top of the background color
  • Here are two examples. The first will change the color of the buttons, while the second will create a square highlight over that whole section of the menu.

submenu_sm1submenu_sm2



Create menu PGC

  • Open PgcEdit

pgcedit1a_sm
settings addressed in this tutorial are highlighted in red

  • File > Open DVD
    select the VIDEO_TS folder of your source DVD

The PGCs present in the DVD will be listed on the left side of the interface. The important distinctions (for our purposes) are as follows:

  • VMGM = menu
  • VTST = video track

If there is no VMGM present then there is no menu. If there is a VMGM, but you want to create a new menu from scratch, then remove it by selecting one of the VMGM PGCs and clicking Menu > Remove Menu.

  • Menu > New Menu
    create a new VMGM in the PGC list
  • PGC > Edit PGC
    open Edit PGC window

pgcedit2a_sm
settings addressed in this tutorial are highlighted in red

  • Create new cell
    create an empty VOB cell associated with your menu (this is the cell that we will replace with VobBlanker later in the tutorial)

Click OK to return to the main PgcEdit window. Click File > Save DVD to save changes to the source VIDEO_TS files.



Import menu image

  • Open VobBlanker

vobblanker1b_sm2
settings addressed in this tutorial are highlighted in red

To begin with, you must link MuxMan to VobBlanker.

  • Settings > Configure Paths
    opens the PATHS menu
  • Path to MuxMan
    browse to your MuxMan.exe file and click Open to set the path.

Click Ok to return to the main VobBlanker screen.

  • Input Video Manager
    select the VIDEO_TS.IFO from the source VIDEO_TS folder
  • Output Folder
    select a new, empty folder to output your modified VIDEO_TS folder.
    (Optionally, you can select Use Input Folder under settings in order to simply overwrite the VIDEO_TS folder specified in the Input Video Manager. This is not recommended unless you have a backup of that folder.)
  • TitleSet
    select VIDEO_TS.VOB, should be the top item in the list, then click Menu on the right hand side to open a new window

vobblanker2a_sm
settings addressed in this tutorial are highlighted in red

  • Language Units
    select the menu you want to modify from the list of languages (generally there is only one option)
  • Menu PGCs
    select the PGC that corresponds to the menu you want to modify. Most of the PGCs will list 00 Cells, 00 Buttons, 0:00:00.00 Duration, —- Action, etc. These are not what you are looking for. Find the PGC(s) that have data in these categories and click Preview on the right hand side to help locate the PGC that contains the menu image you are looking to modify
  • Menu PGCs > Cells
    once you find your target PGC, select it and click Cells to bring up a new window

vobblanker3b_sm2
settings addressed in this tutorial are highlighted in red

  • CELLS IN MENU
    select the cell that contains your target menu image, use Prev/Cut to preview
  • Still
    select your target cell and click Still to bring up a new window

vobblanker_still2_sm
settings addressed in this tutorial are highlighted in red

  • I Frame Selection > dropdown
    set this to “File”. In the following pop-up window, browse to and select the BMP image you created for your new menu (not the subpic file).
    (if you set the path correctly, VobBlanker will automatically call MuxMan to process the BMP into a VOB)
  • Browse
    If you need to change the file you selected in the pop-up window above you can use this button to force the pop-up window again and select a new VOB file.

Click OK then click Apply then click OK to return to the main VobBlanker screen.

  • TitleSet
    make sure that VIDEO_TS.VOB lists its Action as “Process”. If not, select it and click Process on the right hand side.
  • Skip
    (optional) to cut down on the processing time you can select the non-menu VOBs under TitleSet and click Skip to ignore them during processing (assuming no changes were made to the audio/video tracks)

Click PROCESS!! to create your new DVD files.

  • The new VIDEO_TS files will be exported to the specified output folder. These are the files that will appear in the VIDEO_TS folder of the final DVD.


Import Subpicture

  • Open DVDSubEdit

dvdsubedit1_sm
settings addressed in this tutorial are highlighted in red

  • File > Open VOB File(s)
    select the VIDEO_TS.VOB file in your new VIDEO_TS folder.
  • Subpic Color / Transparency > dropdown
    select “Use automatic CLUT” from the dropdown menu.
  • Subpic Color / Transparency
    • set b and p to the background color of your subpic BMP (must be exact color)
    • set e1 and e2 to the highlight color of your subpic BMP (must be exact color)
  • File > Replace current subpic with .BMP file
    select your subpic BMP file
  • File > Save all modifications
    save your project and quit DVDSubEdit.

Important: You must set the Subpic Color / Transparency settings before importing the subpic BMP. This is how DVDSubEdit knows which elements of your BMP represent the background and which represent the highlights.



Edit menu buttons

  • Open PgcEdit

pgcedit1b_sm
settings addressed in this tutorial are highlighted in red

  • File > Open DVD
    select the VIDEO_TS folder of your source DVD
  • PGC
    select the VMGM that you created at the start of the tutorial.
  • Menu > Show/Edit Menu Buttons or BOVs
    select the target VMGM on the left hand side then click this menu option to bring up a new window

pgcedit3a_sm
settings addressed in this tutorial are highlighted in red

Create / modify buttons:
This will show you how to map buttons on your BMP image. It will not allow you to create new visual images, but simply to define the areas occupied by image elements that are intended to be buttons. This is similar to creating image maps in HTML.

Also, by defining rectangular areas for the buttons, any part of the subpic image that is within a rectangular boundary will appear as a highlight when that button is selected.

  • Edit
    The first time you click this it will ask if you want to create a new button, say yes.

pgcedit4a_sm
settings addressed in this tutorial are highlighted in red

  • Button > New button
    create a new button. Use this to create all the buttons you need, you can edit the parameters of each by toggling between them with the Edit button slider.
  • X position / Y position
    set the horizontal or vertical position of the button
  • Width / Height
    resize the button to fit your background image
  • Adjacent Buttons
    set what button will be selected if a given arrow is pressed on the remote (generally, set position 1 to the button above or to the left of the selected button, position 2 to the button to the left or above the selected button, position 3 to the button below or to the right of the selected button, and position 4 to the button to the right or below the selected button)
  • Use color scheme
    set this to 1 for all.
  • Edit Color Schemes
    click this to bring up the Color schemes Editor window.

pgcedit_colors_sm
settings addressed in this tutorial are highlighted in red

  • Color for Selected button
    you only need to edit these colors for a basic menu.
  • Background and Pattern > Contrast (Opacity)
    set the Contrast (Opacity) of these to 0. Color doesn’t matter.
  • Emphasis 1 and Emphasis 2 > Color index in PGC lookup table
    set these to the highlight color of your choice (both should be the same, though I think Emphasis 1 is the active one).
  • Emphasis 1 and Emphasis 2 > Contrast (Opacity)
    set the transparency of your highlights.

Click Ok to return to the Menu Editor window.

  • Below the Edit Color Schemes button there is a button that looks something like this:
  • pgcedit_insert

    • Click it to open the Command Editor.

    pgcedit5a_sm
    settings addressed in this tutorial are highlighted in red

    I am assuming in this case that you are simply targeting video tracks with your buttons rather than other menus.

    In the Command Editor:

    • Jump to… > VTST Title > JumpTT
      select this to target a video track
    • Jump to the entry PGC of title
      enter the number of the VTST that contains the video track you want to target. To find this you may have to return to the main PgcEdit screen and preview the VTST entries on the left hand side by selecting them and clicking Preview > Preview PGC

    Click OK and OK again to return to the Menu buttons window. Now repeat the above steps (from Create/Modify buttons through to here) for each button on your menu (creating new ones as necessary).

    When you are finished editing the menu buttons, save your changes with File > Save DVD.



    Create first-play and root-menu PGCs

    This step is only recommended if you have added a menu to a DVD that previously had no menu.

    This will make the DVD start out on the new menu, and return to it when you press the menu button during the video.

    • Keep PgcEdit open
      or re-open it if you closed it after the last section (and load your project)

    pgcedit1_menubuttons_sm2
    settings addressed in this tutorial are highlighted in red

    • VMG, First-Play PGC
      select the first-play PGC. This will be the first PGC in the list, and is always present because PgcEdit will add it if it is not.
    • pre commands
      the right hand window will show the current first-play commands, probably something like “(JumpTT) Jump to Title 1″. This means that the DVD will begin by playing the first video track. Select this command
    • Edit Cmd
      this will bring up the Command Editor window

    pgcedit_command_sm
    settings addressed in this tutorial are highlighted in red

    • Jump to… > VMGM Menu > JumpSS-VMGM-pgc
    • Jump to VMGM PGC
      enter the number of the VMGM PGC that contains your new menu (this is the VMGM PGC that you modified earlier in the tutorial)

    Click OK to return to the main PgcEdit window.

    Each video track (represented by VTST in the PGC menu) should have a corresponding VTSM. Some may not, in which case you will have to add them.

    To add a VTSM to a VTST, select the VTST and click Menu > New Menu. Do this for each VTST that doesn’t have a VTSM directly preceding it in the PGC list.

    By default, newly created VTSMs should contain the following pre command: (JumpSS) Jump to First Play PGC

    Check each of your VTSMs, if their command looks like this then you can leave them be (pressing the menu button on the remote will repeat the first-play action, which we already set to the menu).

    If a VTSM contains different commands, select it and do the following:

    • Edit Cmd
      this will bring up the Command Editor window
    • Jump to… > First Play PGC > JumpSS-FP

    Click OK to return to the main PgcEdit window.

    When you are finished editing the VTSMs, save your changes with File > Save DVD.



    Build ISO / burn disc

    • Open ImgBurn
      Upon opening, select “Write files/folders to disc” or “Image file from files/folders” to start a new project. Alternately, select Build from the Mode menu.

    imgburn1a_sm
    settings addressed in this tutorial are highlighted in red

    • Source
      select the folder you set as the output folder in VobBlanker (this is your new VIDEO_TS folder). You can also set this through the File menu.
    • Destination
      select ISO file or Disc as target using the Output menu, then select the specific ISO location or Disc in the Destination section of the interface
    • Labels/Advanced
      You can also change some of the other settings on the right hand side, particularly under the Labels and Advanced tabs. These will allow you to make changes to the disc metadata such as the disc label that will appear by its icon on your computer. You can even force specific creation/last-modified times. Of course, all these right-hand settings are optional.

    Click the Folder > Disc/ISO button to build.

    • If ImgBurn builds without errors then you have successfully created a new, modified version of your source DVD (either in disc or .ISO format).


    Conclusion

    There is certainly a lot more you can do to modify existing DVDs. You can create submenus, create motion menus, remove the menus and/or autoplay the main video, modify subtitles, loop videos, combine multiple DVDs, and even add brand new audio/video content (which you will then need to create new menu buttons for).

    If any of these topics, or related ones, are of interest to you, drop me a line at ben@backstar.com and I will see about putting together another tutorial.

    If you have a project that you need assistance with, please let us know via my e-mail (above) or the Contact-Us section of our site.



    Sources



    4 Responses.

    1. Polprav says:

      Hello from Russia!
      Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

    2. Ben says:

      Thanks for the interest! Feel free to quote, just include a link back.

    3. Will says:

      Hi Ben,

      This seems to be a great tutorial, but I’m stuck at the point where I have to specify the main menu bitmap file.
      I specify the file and the screen is black.

      I’ve setup everything as you specified.
      I’m using:
      Vista Enterprise
      MSPaint to create the bitmap
      VobBlanker 2.1.3.0
      MuxMan 0.16.6 (Free version)

      Can’t get beyond this point so the other software are n/a.

      Do you have any suggestions?

      Thanks,

      Will

    4. Will says:

      I got the preview to show finally!

      This url helped:
      http://forum.doom9.org/archive/index.php/t-121766.html

      I had to go to More Settings and place a check on the “Do not use Overlay”.

      After that, it work.

      As I was exchanging email with Ben so that he can help me, my other Vista Home Premium shows the preview screen fine, but doesn’t have that option checked.

      Don’t know why but I’m happy to continue with this experiment.

      Btw, Ben has been really patient in assisting me with this issue.

      Many thanks to Ben.

      Will



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