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Fenman
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Cambridge, UK Joined: Nov 24, 2011 04:44 Messages: 695 Offline
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The Power Director menu creation is, without question, the most clunky, frustrating and non-intuitive piece of software I've ever had the misfortune to use! (almost the exact words I've used in a post under "Cyberlink listen to this suggestion" on the PD14 forum).

I'm trying to create a menu for a new disc and for some reason it won't let me specify the number of buttons on a page. I've followed the directions in the User Guide but it just doesn't work. When I pull down the 'Buttons on a page' submenu it only lists numbers up to the number already in the template. If I start a new template it only lists 1 button and I can't see any way to increase that.

The project consists of three titles, imported as PD projects. The first and last titles have no chapters, the second title has six. I would like to have all six chapters displayed on one page but I haven't any templates with more than three buttons per page and as I say it won't let me increase that.

Any suggestions would be welcome whilst I've still got some hair left . . . . . Regards,
Mike

Home-build system:
Intel Core i5 Quad Core 3.3GHz, 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333MHz,
Asus Nvidia GT440 1GB, 2 x Western Digital WD10EARS 1TB, 1 x Seagate ST1000DM010 1TB,
Windows 7 Prof 64-bit, PD 9 Ultra 64, PD 13 Ultimate 64
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tomasc [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Joined: Aug 25, 2011 12:33 Messages: 5578 Offline
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I have no problems creating and modfying 6 thumbnail menus in PD13 but I agree that it is easier to create them in an earlier version of PD, like PD version 9 in your case. You then can bring them in the PD13 menu designer to do things like autoalign which is desired by most people and also to ensure menu compatibility with PD13.
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Fenman
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Cambridge, UK Joined: Nov 24, 2011 04:44 Messages: 695 Offline
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Hi tomasc,

I didn't say anything about PD9. However since you mentioned it as a test I have tried to do the same thing in PD9. Under Content I loaded 6 PD9-compatible projects and used a menu template with 4 buttons as I don't have one with more than that. I then tried to increase the number of buttons to get all six titles on one page but the 'Number of buttons per page' dropdown only lists up to 4.

So PD9 behaves exactly like PD13.

Now I'm certain that this feature used to work in PD9 so I have to conclude that this is a problem that has been introduced when I installed PD13, probably because some shared file was updated.

The upshot of this is that I now have a crippled menu designer (well, that's more crippled than it normally is).

I must say this is almost the last straw as far as PD is concerned. I updated from PD9 to get around an existing bug in the PD9 menu designer only to find an equally frustrating one in PD13.

It would be really nice if the coders at Cyberlink would pay a little more attention to the usability of features like these when releasing new versions rather than adding lots of new whizz-bang effects that most serious editors will never use. Just because it's a consumer product doesn't mean it automatically has to be flashy and tacky.

I'm seriously wondering if I should take a deep breath and invest in a proper product like Premiere or Final Cut Pro because I seem to be getting nowhere with this junk. Regards,
Mike

Home-build system:
Intel Core i5 Quad Core 3.3GHz, 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333MHz,
Asus Nvidia GT440 1GB, 2 x Western Digital WD10EARS 1TB, 1 x Seagate ST1000DM010 1TB,
Windows 7 Prof 64-bit, PD 9 Ultra 64, PD 13 Ultimate 64
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GGRussell [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Joined: Jan 08, 2012 11:38 Messages: 709 Offline
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I have no issue creating a Menu with 6 chapters in PD13.

Go to created disc
select the Menu you want to modify
Right click and choose Modify
This opens the Menu Designer
First, at top of left side click on the drop down.
Choose ROOT or Titles/Chapters Menu
Right click on the menu area and select Add New Button
Add as many as you want
Click SAVE
you will be asked for a Menu Name so you can use later.

Now you are back to Create Disc / Menu Preferences
Right click the menu you just created and choose APPLY TO ALL PAGES

that should do it Intel i7 4770k, 16GB, GTX1060 3GB, Two 240GB SSD, 4TB HD, Sony HDR-TD20V 3D camcorder, Sony SLT-A65VK for still images, Windows 10 Pro, 64bit
Gary Russell -- TN USA
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ynotfish
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: N.S.W. Australia Joined: May 08, 2009 02:06 Messages: 9830 Offline
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Hi Guys -

Gary - that just what I was going to say, but you've saved me the trouble laughing I've attached a screenshot to illustrate.

Mike - The steps Gary described are shown quite adequately right here - https://youtu.be/f-do66vpFeA?t=1m52s (modify menu) & here - https://youtu.be/f-do66vpFeA?t=4m54s (create menu)

Whilst I don't disagree with the bah humbug and blank page statements, it's worth knowing/using the facility that Menu Designer has.

Cheers - Tony
[Thumb - Menu Buttons PDR13.jpg]
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Fenman
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Cambridge, UK Joined: Nov 24, 2011 04:44 Messages: 695 Offline
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Maybe I've misunderstood. I know you can explicitly add buttons using those commands but I thought the idea of setting the max number of buttons per page (see below) is that PD will then use up to that number as needed by the project using that template.

I admit I haven't tried adding buttons explicitly. I'll give that a try but it will have to wait until next week now.

Last night I completed a draft standard DVD using my third-party authoring software and it was a breeze. The PD menu creation is hard work!!!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Oct 23. 2015 05:13

Regards,
Mike

Home-build system:
Intel Core i5 Quad Core 3.3GHz, 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333MHz,
Asus Nvidia GT440 1GB, 2 x Western Digital WD10EARS 1TB, 1 x Seagate ST1000DM010 1TB,
Windows 7 Prof 64-bit, PD 9 Ultra 64, PD 13 Ultimate 64
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JL_JL [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Arizona, USA Joined: Oct 01, 2006 20:01 Messages: 4749 Offline
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Quote: Maybe I've misunderstood. I know you can explicitly add buttons using those commands but I thought the idea of setting the max number of buttons per page (see below) is that PD will then use up to that number as needed by the project using that template.


That is correct, but the menu template must first layout the max number of buttons in the template. Say one laid out 4 in the menu template, the drop down box will be valid from 1-4, PD has no idea where you'd like the 5th so not a option. Overall rather useless in my opinion, very unlikely a menu laid out for 6 buttons will have things postioned correctly for just 2 buttons so you have to adjust and move things anyway. However, one can do those modifications on the preview window without creating a new menu template.

Jeff
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Fenman
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Cambridge, UK Joined: Nov 24, 2011 04:44 Messages: 695 Offline
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Thanks for your help Jeff.

When I was using PD9 I'm sure I was able to just increase the max number of buttons per page without having to explicitly add new buttons and PD just placed them in default positions which could be adjusted later. The way I interpret the manual it should still work this way.

The truth is that it's quite some time since I tried to do this and I can't remember exactly what I did (senility creeping on!). I'll try your suggestions for adding buttons but can't do anything until Tuesday at the earliest so will report back then.

Thanks again. Regards,
Mike

Home-build system:
Intel Core i5 Quad Core 3.3GHz, 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333MHz,
Asus Nvidia GT440 1GB, 2 x Western Digital WD10EARS 1TB, 1 x Seagate ST1000DM010 1TB,
Windows 7 Prof 64-bit, PD 9 Ultra 64, PD 13 Ultimate 64
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JL_JL [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Arizona, USA Joined: Oct 01, 2006 20:01 Messages: 4749 Offline
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Quote: When I was using PD9 I'm sure I was able to just increase the max number of buttons per page without having to explicitly add new buttons and PD just placed them in default positions which could be adjusted later. The way I interpret the manual it should still work this way.

I've not seen that capability in my use of PD. Here is a snapshot of PD8 and PD10, should be similar to your PD9 experience, all prior to the "major" menu overhaul in PD13. Both of these versions have the same limitation, buttons control setting limited by max buttons defined in the template.

Jeff
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[Thumb - PD8_DVD_Menu.png]
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Fenman
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Cambridge, UK Joined: Nov 24, 2011 04:44 Messages: 695 Offline
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Ok, that definitely proves senility IS creeping on! laughing

Thanks again, Jeff.

Still, you'll have noticed that in the last couple of days someone else has stated a need for chapter points in a video that don't generate pages of buttons. This has been raised on a number of occasions but so far there has been no response from CL. I still think the menu creation section of Power Director needs a radical rethink but I'm not optimistic about it. Regards,
Mike

Home-build system:
Intel Core i5 Quad Core 3.3GHz, 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333MHz,
Asus Nvidia GT440 1GB, 2 x Western Digital WD10EARS 1TB, 1 x Seagate ST1000DM010 1TB,
Windows 7 Prof 64-bit, PD 9 Ultra 64, PD 13 Ultimate 64
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JL_JL [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Arizona, USA Joined: Oct 01, 2006 20:01 Messages: 4749 Offline
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Quote: I still think the menu creation section of Power Director needs a radical rethink but I'm not optimistic about it.


Couldn't agree more, lots of hype about the PD13 enhancements at the time but in my view fell really short of user needs. These user needs have been articulated well for many years.

Jeff
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Fenman
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Cambridge, UK Joined: Nov 24, 2011 04:44 Messages: 695 Offline
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Ok, Jeff, I've had another shot at the menu creation and added the extra buttons as you described. I managed to get it into more or less the shape I wanted, so thanks for the help on that.

The next problem was that the disc creation kept crashing during the authoring phase and that highlighted another deficiency in all versions of Power Director. I thought the problem was being caused by insufficient free space on my system partition - I only had about 50GB - and spent about a day resizing it. When I initially installed Windows 7 I created the partition big enough for the system with a bit of extra space for additional program installations and contingencies. I try to get all applications to use my data partition for both temporary and permanent storage so that if I have to reinstall Windows I don't lose all the data. It would be so useful if one could specify PD's working space. This is an issue that's been raised on several occasions and something that would appear to be relatively simple to implement but Cyberlink have so far stubbornly ignored all requests.

I resized to give about 125GB of free space but it didn't cure the problem. I eventually sorted it by checking the Hardware Video Encoding checkbox. I had previously unchecked it thinking that CPU encoding might give better quality and because other users have reported problems with hardware encoding. I have no idea why it crashed with CPU encoding as PD, of course, gives no error information. I watched the process in Task Manager and memory usage peaked at about 1.5GB and CPU 95% but these figures were the same with and without hardware encoding.

Anyway I now have a BD-RE to try in my player and will look at it later today - and hope I don't have to make any changes!

Edit:

The Blu-Ray quality is appalling - multiple ghost images whenever there is any movement. Totally unwatchable. I'm not sure where I go from here. I used H.264 encoding. I might try using that encoding to produce each title to a file and then import them into the disc creation module instead of their projects. I'm not optimistic that it will be any better though.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Oct 29. 2015 07:54

Regards,
Mike

Home-build system:
Intel Core i5 Quad Core 3.3GHz, 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333MHz,
Asus Nvidia GT440 1GB, 2 x Western Digital WD10EARS 1TB, 1 x Seagate ST1000DM010 1TB,
Windows 7 Prof 64-bit, PD 9 Ultra 64, PD 13 Ultimate 64
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tomasc [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Joined: Aug 25, 2011 12:33 Messages: 5578 Offline
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Quote: The Blu-Ray quality is appalling - multiple ghost images whenever there is any movement. Totally unwatchable. I'm not sure where I go from here. I used H.264 encoding. I might try using that encoding to produce each title to a file and then import them into the disc creation module instead of their projects. I'm not optimistic that it will be any better though.


Fenman - Something is changed. I remember that you seem to be satified with the blu-ray videos created with both versions of PD. It was only the menu problems that you didn't like.

I like to use svrt and cpu rendering to create my BD's. For a period of about 1 year, I had to use hardware encoding to create BD's that would not lockup on the menu in my low price standalone BD player with the earlier version of PD. There was little visual difference with the earlier svrt encoded BD and the newer 1080/60p hardware encoded BD. With the later versions of PD, I found visual artifacts on moving subjects even if 1080/60p is used with hardware encoding. That problem is moot for me now since there is no hardware encoding with AMD later graphics card drivers. My fix for this is to buy a S..Y brand standalone BD player that works with the PD created menus. I have since gone back to using svrt and cpu rendering.

Each user do things different because of possible hardware limitations. That is why you read that some users like to use HA and they may see little or no difference like I did. I do update my drivers and make changes in the way I do things when I encounter problems.

Can you remember the settings you used in the past to create a BD... Did you use Hardware encoding...Are you seeing those moving artifacts now on TMT5 that did not exist on your earlier created BD's.

Let us know if any of this might help...
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Fenman
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Cambridge, UK Joined: Nov 24, 2011 04:44 Messages: 695 Offline
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Hi tomasc,

You're right, I produced quite decent quality Blu-Ray discs but was stymied by a menu bug in PD9. I upgraded to PD13 on the basis that it would allow me to create a disc without a root menu which got around that problem but introduced a new one whereby when played on a player the buttons appeared in a different place than when viewed in the preview screen.

I have now managed to resolve the quality issue with this latest project. I did what I was suggesting in my previous post, i.e. I pre-produced each title separately to a file in the Produce module using H.264AVC encoding which is the same as the camcorder source files. I used SVRT and unchecked hardware encoding, so theoretically most of the footage should have been passed through without re-encoding and any that needed it used the CPU. I then imported the resulting .M2TS files into the Create Disc module, authored and burned to a .ISO file and then burned that to a BD-RE disc using ImgBurn.

I can't remember if I used hardware encoding in Create Disc for my previous BD's but I know I didn't pre-produce the projects to .M2TS in this way.

An obvious advantage of creating the .ISO file is that if the test disc is satisfactory I can then use the file to make a permanent copy on a non-rewriteable disc without having to re-author, thus knowing that the permanent copy should burn successfully and be exactly the same. I know I did this with my previous discs as I needed to make a number of identical copies.

Using this production path the results are satisfactory, perhaps not quite as good as HDTV if you look really closely but perfectly acceptable, so this is the method I shall be using from now on.

However there is no getting away from the fact that this is a workaround due to problems in the Power Director software on my system. It had no problem producing to a file using H.264 with CPU encoding in the Produce module yet for some reason it repeatedly crashed whilst trying to do this within the Create Disc module. The only difference in this latest project is it's total size - about 17GB. The earlier projects were much smaller. Maybe this has some bearing on the problem but PD ought to be able to cope up to the ful 25GB of a Blu-Ray disc.

As I've remarked before I think the Cyberlink engineers time could be better spent sorting out some of the long-standing and widely-reported issues rather than adding "90+ Amazing new effects"! Regards,
Mike

Home-build system:
Intel Core i5 Quad Core 3.3GHz, 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333MHz,
Asus Nvidia GT440 1GB, 2 x Western Digital WD10EARS 1TB, 1 x Seagate ST1000DM010 1TB,
Windows 7 Prof 64-bit, PD 9 Ultra 64, PD 13 Ultimate 64
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Myk
Senior Member Private Message Location: The Hartland of Michigan Joined: Feb 05, 2015 16:09 Messages: 205 Offline
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Quote: Hi tomasc,
As I've remarked before I think the Cyberlink engineers time could be better spent sorting out some of the long-standing and widely-reported issues rather than adding "90+ Amazing new effects"!


Maybe give us scroll bars for a reduced size program window? How simple can that be?

Have you considered using a Virtual machine for different versions of PD? That would negate a shared file getting updated, and breaking something. .
.
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tomasc [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Joined: Aug 25, 2011 12:33 Messages: 5578 Offline
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Fenman - Glad that you created a BD that you are satisfied with today by pre-producing each title separately using svrt. What is not clear is that did you have to author in 2D with hardware encoding or without it. You said in the earlier post that hardware encoding was needed or else the authoring kept crashing PD.

In the past, I can create a 3 hour 1080/60i BD 16Mbps in less than 1 hour on my pc using svrt. Hardware encoding takes much longer and produce a BD with lesser quality in the later versions of PD. I am at a loss to explain why hardware encoding was necessary for you to get past the authoring step. Maybe a user here can explain this.

If you had to use hardware encoding to finally author a BD then maybe a user can explain why the quality was not bad like before you pre-produced the project first. I too agree with you and others that PD need some bug fixes.
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Fenman
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Cambridge, UK Joined: Nov 24, 2011 04:44 Messages: 695 Offline
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Hi tomasc,

No I didn't need to enable the hardware video encoding int the Create Disc module when authoring with the pre-produced material. When I said the module kept crashing without it in the authoring phase I was distinguishing between that and the burning phase. It was obviously crashing during the encoding part of the authoring rather than in the menu creation.

It's interesting that the Create Disc module does not offer SVRT as an option. I didn't time how long the three individual files took to encode but since SVRT passes most of the footage through without re-encoding one would expect it to be a lot faster. Regards,
Mike

Home-build system:
Intel Core i5 Quad Core 3.3GHz, 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333MHz,
Asus Nvidia GT440 1GB, 2 x Western Digital WD10EARS 1TB, 1 x Seagate ST1000DM010 1TB,
Windows 7 Prof 64-bit, PD 9 Ultra 64, PD 13 Ultimate 64
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JL_JL [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Arizona, USA Joined: Oct 01, 2006 20:01 Messages: 4749 Offline
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Quote: It's interesting that the Create Disc module does not offer SVRT as an option. I didn't time how long the three individual files took to encode but since SVRT passes most of the footage through without re-encoding one would expect it to be a lot faster.

PD does offer SVRT in "Create Disc", it's just not user selectable. PD does it for you. If your timeline formats meet a SVRT criteria for the physical media and formats you have selected, SVRT will be used automatically behind the scene during the "Create Disc" process. This works if going to actual media, a folder, or a ISO.

Jeff

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Oct 30. 2015 07:25

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Fenman
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Cambridge, UK Joined: Nov 24, 2011 04:44 Messages: 695 Offline
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Hi Jeff,

That's interesting to know. In the strictest sense it is not offered as an option. It seems strangely inconsistent that it is made selectable in Produce but not in Create Disc, especially since one presumes that the same codec is used. Regards,
Mike

Home-build system:
Intel Core i5 Quad Core 3.3GHz, 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333MHz,
Asus Nvidia GT440 1GB, 2 x Western Digital WD10EARS 1TB, 1 x Seagate ST1000DM010 1TB,
Windows 7 Prof 64-bit, PD 9 Ultra 64, PD 13 Ultimate 64
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JL_JL [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Arizona, USA Joined: Oct 01, 2006 20:01 Messages: 4749 Offline
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Quote: Hi Jeff,

That's interesting to know. In the strictest sense it is not offered as an option. It seems strangely inconsistent that it is made selectable in Produce but not in Create Disc, especially since one presumes that the same codec is used.


I guess in the strictest sense it's offered as on option in "Produce" as a user selectable feature vs just being made selectable in Produce?

The hidden ability to use SVRT in "Create Disc" was shown here http://forum.cyberlink.com/forum/posts/list/20867.page#116989 and links contained therein and also a fairly detailed pdf showing results.

Jeff
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