I'm a newcomer to Premiere Elements 11 - on a new mac - and I've just finished my first edit. This is a PAL HDV project - and my goal is to burn a Bluray disc using an external BD burner.
I have created a menu using the most basic HD template provided, and I am trying to replace the default background image with a still image from my movie.
I have "shared" my movie frame - and successfully captured a .jpg file for my new background image. However, when I add this to the menu template, it distorts the image to a 4:3 aspect ratio - with black bars to left and right.
How can I get my background image to fill the 16:9 menu background?
Thanks in anticipation for any advice!
You can change the proportions of your background image by selecting it on the Disc Layout screen and resizing it by dragging on one of the side handles rather than corner handles. You can make it as skinny or as narrow as you want.
Thanks very much for your help with this.
I had overlooked the "handles" on the background image, but, unfortunately this has not solved my problem.
Although I can now make my custom background image smaller, I cannot make it larger, because the handles will not move outside of the frame. Thus I still cannot find a way to remove the black bars either side of the image.
I have tried a workaround by resizing my custom image in photoshop, and reinserting in the menu background.
The initial image size (from the project) was 1440 x 1080 px. I tried resampling this to 2000 x 1080 - which certainly reduces the black bands but does not eliminate them. Increasing the image width above 2000 has the unexpected effect of introducing black bands above and below the image in the menu background, while not reducing the right and left bars any further.
This is all very frustrating so I would appreciate any further thoughts anyone may have to resolve this.
Premiere Elements has a limited workspace for creating DVD and BluRay disc menus.
That's why many of us supplement Premiere Elements' excellent video editing ability with a dedicated DVD authoring program. My personal favorite is DVD Architect Studio, a mere $39 download.
It's amazing what it can do! You can see demos of it on this page.
Thanks again for your advice, Steve, and, yes ... I've used DVD Architect Studio (along with Movie Studio) for years on PCs, but I was hoping Premere Elements would give me a one-stop mac os-x application, that would edit native avchd and output to Bluray disc (unlike iMovie). I seem to be falling at the final fence here and past experience of DVD Architect only increases my frustration!
Just replacing the default background with a custom graphic didn't seem like a big ask from Adobe - but the unexpected resizing and shape-shifting of the image looks to me like an "undocumented feature".
Has anyone had any success with replacing the entire background of a Premiere Elements 11 menu template, without unsightly black borders?
Even with PrE 11, the authoring capabilities are somewhat limited, and rather linear, but it does a good job for 95% of the users, who want the authoring to be simple, and also linear.
A full-featured authoring app. can be a bit daunting, for the uninitiated (you are not one of those, however), but with the learning curve comes great power.
I only use Adobe Encore (only available bundled with PrPro now), but if I did not have that program, would go to DVD Architect, because I use that power, and control. The only times that I use the authoring functions in PrE is to do tests for people on this forum. For general authoring, it is easy, and semi-automatic, which, again, works for the vast majority of users.
For the Mac, I am not sure which programs are ported for that platform (does Sony offer a Mac version of DVD Architect?), but beyond programs, like Encore and DVD Architect, the price goes up, and quickly, with Sonic Scenarist, which with all modules, runs about US $ 50,000, and for full BD (Blu-ray Disc) authoring with full BD support, soars in price, even more, plus one must pay a certification price for each BD Project - only suitable for major production studios.
Good luck, and please update this thread with any programs that you find for the Mac.
Thanks for your comments, Bill.
As a newbie to this forum - I must say I'm impressed (and grateful) to have got such quick and knowledgeable feedback!
Perhaps I should admit defeat, and run DVD Architect through Bootcamp on the mac - (because Sony is not as enlightened as Adobe when it comes to porting their software to os-x). Adobe Encore and PrPro are somewhat above my budget at present!
Alternatively, is it remotely feasible to build a custom template from scratch for Premiere Elements? Is there any documentation on this??
Creating your own template is possible -- but it's a lot of work. (I've got instructions for it in my Photoshop Elements/Premiere Elements combined book.)
Though if all you want to do is replace the background or drop a new image into a Drop Zone, it's probably not necessary.
Is your reason for wanting to enlarge the background image beyond the size of the video frame so that only a portion of it will show as you menu background? If so, why not just create a cropped version of the photo that only shows the area you want and use it for your background?
Sorry for not explaining clearly ... I don't want to enlarge the custom image, I simply want to remove the black bars that Premiere Elements insists on adding to left and right, so that my image runs to the edges of the video frame.
As soon as I insert any image (of any shape or size) into the background, Prel adds black padding that becomes part of the new background image. The adjustment handles are actually outside of the black bars, and adjusting the handles moves or shrinks the black bars along with the image, but doesn't give me any way to get rid of them.
Perhaps this is a "feature" of the mac version of Premiere Elements, that you are not seeing on the PC version?
I'll try and get some screengrabs to illustrate what I'm talking about when I'm next at home with the mac...
Just to clarify my problem, here is the menu template showing the default background image, which is nicely scaled to the 16:9 aspect ratio of the project, and fills the frame:-
...and this is what happens when I insert a custom background image:
Although the image has the correct aspect ratio, PrEl is squeezing it horizontally, and adding the black side bars. Note that the area bounded by the adjustment "handles" includes the black bars, making it impossible to stretch the image to fit the frame.
I have tried various images with a variety of sizes and aspect ratio, and in every case PrEl adds black sidebars.
Can anyone see a solution - or a workaround - for this?
Thanks in anticipation
Thanks for this thought, but I have already tried this without success.
The photo in the screenshot is 1440x1080 (as per the project settings). I subsequently tried 1920x1080 which reduces the width of the black padding but does not eliminate it. Resizing to widths above 2000, whilst retaining a height of 1080, letter-boxes the image - adding black padding above and below, as well as either side!
It seems to me this is a bug in the one-and-only generic HD template provided, so I think my next approach will be to try and find the .psd file where the original image is located, and switch in my image there.
Are there any dangerous repercussions with this plan??
Nope. It's exactly what I would suggest.
Just make sure (per my book) you don't change any layer set names or locations and, if you're saving the file as a separate template, that you save it in its own directory folder and that you have both an SM and MM file in the folder or it won't work.
Newly armed with Steve's excellent book, I decided to have a go at modifying the "Slideshow Pan & Zoom" template in order finally to resolve my background image issue.
Now I'm feeling really stupid, because I cannot find this template set on my Mac harddrive. It seems to be the one template that is not downloaded from the web, and, consequently, does NOT sit beside the other templates in ../11.0/ONLINE/DVD TEMPLATES/..
Can anyone give me the path to this template on a Mac?
Thanks in anticipation!
As far as I can see, the templates are stored in MAC HD/LIBRARY/APPLICATION SUPPORT/ADOBE/PREMIERE ELEMENTS/11.0/CONTENT/ONLINE/DVD TEMPLATES/ALL_LANG/.
However, until you actually download and install the templates, the folders include only the thumbnail files.
Is that not what you're seeing, John?
This is the path to all of the templates EXCEPT pan and zoom.
The Slideshows subdirectory only contains (AV)Wedding Doves.
Pan and Zoom definitely exists, and is selectable under the Slideshows heading in PrEl - but I cannot find it. Spotlight on the mac doesn't find it when I search for "pan" - so I am guessing it might be in a hidden folder?
Does anyone know where Adobe hides this template on a mac install?
Thank again for your help!