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Tomasc, that was really good of you to post the clip. Thanks! That's exactly what I'm doing, adding some motion to a still image on the root menu that comes up after my intro video. Looks nice when it works!

I keep burning tests as I zero in on finishing this project, always burning to folder, and then burning to disc if I want to test things on a DVD player. Two tests back, the motion worked in the burned copy - But in the latest test, the motion didn't work. Absolutely no changes were done to the menu for those two versions, I was honing some moments in the video itself, that's why I was burning another test. So, it's still hit and miss when it comes to the menu motion, and it's mostly miss. In both instances, in those last two tests, in the preview of the menu, the motion was working - but the burned results are often not what's shown in the preview.

As for my DVD player, I've checked, and there is no menu setting for changing the aspect from 4:3 to 16:9. So none of my tests play correctly on that old machine - I check things on a neighbor's new machine, and things work correctly on that. I'm convinced that my menu highlights are actually working right, even though they don't on my home machine. The highlights display correctly on my computer monitor, just as on the neighbor's DVD/BluRay player, so I'm content with that.

This is a 1 1/2 hour video, and it takes about 3 1/2 hours to burn to folder, so naturally I don't want to do yet more testing. The video itself looks fine, the menu functions, it's only the motion which isn't sticking - But it's not worth going through yet more tests which take so long, just to get that motion working. This last test of the video is the best, I think it will be my final master copy - unfortunately, it's one without motion, but that's a very tiny point in relation to the whole video. So - there it is!

Thanks again.

Tomasc, thank you so much for the replies. To cut to the chase:

--It's not my computer that's underpowered, but my DVD player! It's about 5 years old, and after running more tests, discovered it doesn't display menus properly.

The same misaligned highlights as talked about on the thread you posted only happen when playing a test disc on my old player. I've now tested it on 2 newer machines, and all the highlights work properly. The navigation highlights which don't show up at all on my player display on newer machines, and the thumbnail highlights are aligned correctly. That's all there is to that!-- It was crazy making, though, since the menu looked perfectly fine on the computer--when previewing in PD, and when playing a burned disc with any media player.

THANKS for the info on getting rid of the unneeded thumbnail numbers. That had alluded me.

The main issue that remains is the lack of motion. Whenever I re-open one of my menu templates, it's been re-set to "no motion." I'm trying to use motion on a still image - a jpeg, which is certainly the most common image format. Don't know what's going on there. I've basically moved on and given up on trying to get motion.

I'm always saving new versions of the menu with Save As - But I can see that PD gets confused when I try to use a newer, edited template. I've had the shadow removed from the title for many menu versions now, but the shadow persists. I'll also live with that.

But I'm happy - I just can't use my DVD player for reliable testing!

Thanks again.

I must be on version 50 of the menu, trying to correct these things. Probably the most annoying problem is how motion on the background sticks to a template only about 5% of the time. Over and over, I'm making a new version of the template, just so I can get one where the motion consistently works.
I wanted to develop a more elaborate DVD menu than usual because of the very special nature of my current project. Results are promising, but there are a number of persistent problems preventing complete success.

This menu has been built from scratch, and I've made dozens of attempts to get what I want. This is using Power Director 11:

1) I want motion on my background image. Over and over, when I run the preview, there's no motion. Sometimes there is, usually there isn't. Is there some trick for making the motion stick?

2) I'm using 6 thumbnails since I have many chapters. I thought the small numbers at the upper left of the thumbnails wouldn't be in the final version, but they show up even in a final test burned to disc. The program templates don't have those numbers, and my old custom templates don't have them. The numbers are redundant, so not needed, and mess up the design. Is there a way to get rid of them?

3) Using the red square outline highlight for the thumbnails works fine on the computer when I run a preview. But when burned to disc, the top row of 3 thumbnails have their highlights moved up on the screen, so the bottom of the highlight is about half way up the thumbnails.

4) Similarly, the first screen's buttons for Play and Scenes have their highlights moved up a bit, with the result of a messy looking blur in the hard DVD copies I've burned. They work fine on the computer, but not in the final copy.

5) The navigation buttons often come out without any highlighting, so it's impossible to choose them in hard copy tests.

6) The program seems confused when I've already tried one version of the menu, and replace it with a new version. Vestiges of details from the previous versions persist - for instance, I took out the shadow on some text, but when attempting to try out the new menu, the preview is still showing the old detail I took out, like the text shadow. Is there a way to purge the old menu template so I can start fresh?

I don't know if this is causing any problems, but this is the first time I've made a short 20 second video to appear at the start of the menu. That's working fine, with the transition to the static screen with the background and titles playing smoothly - except that the motion on the final background doesn't stick as mentioned above.

Hope at least some of these issues can be cleared up.

Quote: ...
Free converter for the MXF container

Great - Thanks, Carl! Later on, they're going to send me test clips. Then I'll see if this converter you posted will work, or if I need something else. The event is still 2 months away - It'll all eventually be figured out!

For those on this thread who may still be interested, the company has sent me the info on the cameras they'll be using:

Canon C300 and Panasonic AG HPX300P

It's all over my head! But there's the info.

Quote: rbowser, thank you for the detailed explanation of what they agreed to do...

Thanks, Carl - When I have the brand and model #s of the cameras they'll be using, I'll post them here so people can take a look!

Great post, Carl - I appreciate your concern. I've inserted replies, making the whole story more clear:

Quote: I am wondering if your photographer company can or will do the conversion of their video to a consumer format for you?

Yes, they could do that. It's approximated that the 8 hours of full HD footage would take between 20-30 hrs machine time to transfer and convert, and machine is $65 an hour. That could come close to $2,000 more, and that's out of the question. That's why they've pointed me to Sorenson, software they use, so I could only have the expense of buying the conversion program. They know what my original budget for the whole project was, and have come as close to it as possible . Having me do the conversion is part of the costs savings they've suggested, and that I agree with.

Quote: We really do not know what you are getting until you see the actual video.

That's literally true, but there's much I didn't include in my original posts on this thread. I've worked with this company several times before, and they've produced the very best videos of live events possible. They're the only local company of any sort which has received the "Business of the Year" award from our area's Chamber of Commerce. So I have reason to completely trust that the footage they'll do of this event will be excellent.

Quote: It may be a case of the photographer really does not want to give up their work and are trying to make it hard for you to do the editing yourself.

You know that they have the equipment to turn out a turn key job.

They do not seem to want to help you. They seem to want to block you from bypassing half of their work.

As I said, I appreciate your concern, Carl - but you're basing your post on too little information. They quoted me the price for using their very best, top of the line, full HD cameras. Using those cameras dictates that the data is raw, uncompressed footage which consumer programs like PD just can't handle.

They outlined another option, to use "prosumer" cameras that record to HDV tape. But then there would be the step of transferring that footage to data I could use on my computer. If they had to load the footage onto one of their edit systems to transcode it and put it on a hard drive for me, then I'd lose all the cost savings. Using the pro cameras that don't use tape will give me better footage, and at the same total price. I don't have the capability to digitize HDV tapes, so going that route wasn't an option.

My contact person is a friend and one of the co-owners of the video company. I've known him for well over 10 years now, so he did all he could do set up this project in a way I could afford.

Quote: My question, is exactly what did you contract with them to do? Did you change the terms after the shooting was done?

When I first contacted the company, I explained I needed this event covered on two nights, from 3 different camera angles. To avoid the huge cost of them doing post-production, I said from the beginning that I would do the editing, since I feel competent about putting together a final edit that I'd be happy with. So my friend came up with what the costs would be, with the number of cameras and operators needed, and with them providing me just the raw footage on a hard drive - That's when the discussions about formats came up.

I also outlined my needs for the soundtrack. They'll be recording to a 4 track digital recorder, one track for the person on stage, wearing a wireless mike, and two mikes to capture the audience in stereo. The event has a soundtrack I produced which will be played back live - sound effects and music. Those tracks will be imported directly during the editing process, so we'll have the best sound possible for that soundtrack. I'll be producing a mixed soundtrack, balancing performer, audience, and music, in Sonar (digital recording program) - importing the mixed soundtrack into PD, something I've done a number of times now.

This event isn't until November. This week was the first time we started negotiating, and it looks like a Go to me, even though I'll have more to figure out with their footage, settling on what conversion program to use.

So - there's a detailed explanation, Carl. Things should be much more clear now. It's a long response I've typed, but maybe it'll be interesting to people at the Forum as a look into the kinds of challenges that can come up when working in conjunction with a pro video production facility.

Quote: The next question is will your system handle the substantial load of uncompressed video. I don't know how long the event is, but you could easily be looking at 100GB of video or more with multiple cameras.

Right, Jaime - At this point, I'm very sure PD won't be able to handle the footage directly. When I get the clips, I'll be testing if RAW4 Pro can convert them to what I can edit. If it can't do the job, then I'll find what software can, but hopefully not the $350 Sorenson software.

The video company estimates the raw footage will be between 500 and 800 GBs - 2 Cameras one night, 1 camera a second night, all three covering the entire 2 hour event from 3 different angles. Plus extra footage before and after the event both nights from another camera. The data will be on a hard drive, and then step 1 will be to convert it to a high quality consumer format before I edit. This computer has edited that much video before, I'll just clear space off onto archive drives as needed.

Quite a project!

Quote: Would you inform me how do you figure it out? I just found a solution to use Faasoft Video Cropper...

You don't need a 3rd party program to simply crop - In the PD edit window, just grab one side of the image and drag as far as you want, the aspect ratio stays the same. For the most control, turn Snap off so you can crop the image exactly the way you want. If you're going to do a huge crop, needing to zoom in a lot, just make the display in the edit window smaller so you can drag out farther.

I did look for Sorensen Squeeze, there is a free trial. You may be able to convert the files for free using the Trial.

Since it's the weekend, it looks like I won't get the sample clips until next week. Meanwhile, I looked at the limitations of the Sorenson trial - "Your Squeeze Server software download is the full version of our software. Output is watermarked." So, that wouldn't work.

I found "RAW4 Pro" -

Only $59, and that's a Donation request - ! - "Any cameras/recorders that save DNG RAW files are supported." - If the company I'm hiring uses cameras that save as DNG RAW - then it looks like RAW4 Pro could do the trick. Seems great from their website anyway.

Quote: PowerDirector can import most of the common Video formats except for maybe RAW. RAW is the native uncompressed output of the camera without any processing.

Depending on the brand of camera, Camera Manufacturers have downloadable software to covert RAW to a Standard Video format such as H.264.

Thanks for that, Carl - I'm awaiting the sample clips from the video company. They must be some form of RAW files, but in two different formats, two different brands - But they'll both definitely be uncompressed, HD. Once I've tested them, I'll follow up on what you suggest, seeing if the manufacturer of the particular camera has conversion software available.


Quote: ...I'm assuming you've already attempted to import a sample clip from the video guys. What cameras will be used for the recording? In what format will the clips be delivered to you?...

Thanks for the reply, Tony - They will be sending me 2 short clips to test, 1 from each of the kinds of cameras they use. I don't know the name of the file format or the specific camera models - I was hoping my question here could be general, asking if PD is able to import Any pro, raw, native, uncompressed files.

When I get the clips, I'll test them, I'm prepared to buy a conversion program if I have to!

I do think this is the basic clash of professional equipment and files versus consumer products, in this case, PD. Thanks again.

I'm pretty sure I know the answer, but I'll run this by the group anyway.

I'm hiring a pro video production company to cover an event I'm producing. To make their services affordable, they'll record the footage with 3 cameras, then I'll edit it myself, rather than also paying them for post-production.

They're using high end, pro cameras, and the data will be full, uncompressed, native HD. Typical consumer that I am, I was under the impression that I would be able to import that data into PowerDirector as-is. But I can't do that, can I? They suggested I get Sorensen Squeeze, a $350 program for converting the footage to the highest quality consumer format that PD can handle.

Any thoughts? I can't import their data can I? Is there a less expensive program that will do as good a conversion job as Sorensen?

Quote: Your original AVI is most likely an MP4 in an AVI container. Used to be common for web video, but rarely done any more.

Thanks for the reply, Jaime - Something's certainly screwy with it, since it's impossible to do the edit and save as an AVI again without that freakishly large result.

Now that I have my profiles working again (another thread-at first I couldn't get profiles to work with PD11) I'm happy with tests I'm doing:

--WMV produced a file 445 MBs not looking too much worse than the original.
--MPEG produced a file 756 MBS which is almost OK
--but a new MP4 profile with the dimensions and bitrates set the same as the original has produced a file that's 352 MBs, almost the same size as the original, and pretty much the same quality. I'm cooking now. I can use this for other episodes my friend is sending me, fixing the audio sync problem, and ending up with copies that look the same as the original and don't take up more room.

Quote: That is such a tiny-size video, I'm not sure what the Roku will play, but I'm surprised it looks good under any circumstances. Investigate the useable formats and try to re-create all the aspects of the original video except the AVI. What about Divx?

Yeah, tiny! But it looks fine on our old square TV - as good as most stuff. hehe. Since posting, I see Roku doesn't support WMV on its own, but I use the Plex server to stream things from my hard drive, and Plex can do the WMV so it plays on Roku.

--What about Divx? You mean that Thing that I keep meaning to uninstall? I guess I don't get the concept of Divx.

Quote: Did you try WMV?
What is the nature of your original file?

Hi, Barry, thanks for the reply. Hmmm, WMV might work, I don't need to burn this to disc, but I want it in my Roku lineup to stream to the TV - I'm not sure if WMVs work for that. I've used just MP4s and AVIs for Roku. I'll look into it.

This original file is just a small little AVI - 320 X 240, 330 MB in size. Modest bit settings and all that. It streams and plays on Roku, but the sound is out of sync just slightly, as I mentioned. This fix I did in PD11 worked great, now to save the results in a file that isn't so much larger than the original.

That 54 gig AVI though--isn't that something else?? I've never seen such a thing.

I Do wish I could fix this sync problem directly with the AVI file itself without having to render a new copy.

I wanted to try fixing up an AVI file a friend gave me of an old TV show. It's a 50 minute video, and the AVI file is a modest 330 MB in size. Unfortunately, the picture and soundtrack are slightly out of sync. In PD11 I unlinked the video and audio, sped the vid up by 0:15 seconds, and that fixed up the sync.

Then I produced the results to a new AVI. The resulting file--- 54 GIGS!!!! --- What is That all about? Obviously quite a glitch, but have no idea what caused it.

So I tried producing to an MP4 and that came out at 2.2 gig, reasonably sized, but it doesn't look as good as the original, and is still larger than it needs to be.

Is there a program or utility where I can do an edit like I've described directly on a video file without having to re-render it?

Quote: ...
(b) delete the Profile.ini as above, then go to C:\Users\xxxx\AppData\Roaming\CyberLink\PowerDirector\9.0 - right click on Profil.ini > Copy - then paste in in the 11.0 folder...

That did the trick, Tony! Got me old profiles in PD11 now. AND I know now what I did wrong earlier - User Error time. The other day I followed the instructions to open the old .ini file, copy it, and paste the text into the blank PD11 .ini file. Well, I used Notepad to do that editing, and it did the job of messing up the formatting.

So, copying text and pasting didn't work, but just copying the file and pasting it, without copying text - that worked.

Thanks much, Tony!

More info! After replying to you just now, Tony, I took a look at the PD 11 ini file and it looks messed up. When I first followed the instructions to paste in the profiles from PD9, PD11's ini file was empty. Fine - Today I was trying to make some custom profiles in PD11, wasn't successful. Now it looks like the program was trying to add the new things to the file --um, but---

I'm attaching this PD 11 ini file - look at the bottom half-- It's double spaced between every character! Above that you can see the PD9 text I pasted.--- ?

Quote: Hi rbowser -

There must be a reason your copied/pasted profiles from the PD9 Profile.ini aren't showing up under the custom profiles in PD11.

Could you please attach your original PD9 Profile.ini document here? Members may be able to test & locate the issue. That might save you remaking the profiles.


Attached is a .pdf describing the basic steps of customising a profile by editing the Profile.ini

Cheers - Tony

Thanks for the reply, Tony - I'm attaching the original PD9 Profile .ini file as requested.

Right now, I'm unable to make any new profiles in PD11. I choose custom options in the Produce window, like I did in PD 9, and it won't be saved. Like I said in my original post, a message comes up about no custom profiles existing - That's like, unresponsive, has nothing to do with trying to create one. The error message sounds like it thinks I'm trying to open a profile, not make one.

I've looked at the PDF you attached - This doesn't mean that to make a custom profile, you always have to go the .ini file and edit it, right? This is only if you're trying to use some parameter that isn't allowed while there inside the program--?

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