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
Have you tried a photo that's been cropped to 1920x1080 pixels?
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.
I'll give it a go tonight, and let you know how I get on.
(...and I've put your book on my Christmas list!!)
Cool! Thanks, John!
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!
This is a reply to a very old message of yours...but I'm hoping you'll respond!
Did you manage to find the location for the Pan & Zoom templates? Like you, I've searched for it but can't find it anywhere. I've just upgraded from PRE10 (which was littered with bugs, mainly in the disc menu area) to PRE13 (which is also littered with bugs). Using PRE10, I edited the .psd menu template files (as a workaround for problems), and have discovered that adding menus to projects in PRE10 causes the software to crash (as reported elsewhere on this site). So, I am forced to use PRE13, but cannot find the Pan & Zoom template files to edit. Another Adobe mess.
Any help would be appreciated!
Are you using Premiere Elements on a Windows or Mac computer?
If you are using Premiere Elements Windows, the menu locations are defined for versions
4 through 12. I have not updated for the 13 information but it should be the same as for 11 and 12.
I am strictly an Elements Windows user. Keeping that in mind...for versions 11, 12, and 13 Windows, the disc menu
theme "Slideshow/Pan and Zoom" comes with the program - no content download required. So you are
not going to find it in the Online Folder.
So you should find Slideshow/Pan and Zoom wherever the Mac counterpart is for
Local Disk C\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Elements 11 or 12\DVD Templates\Common\ and in the Common Folder is the category folder names Slideshows which contains the "Pan and Zoom" theme Folder which is installed when the program is and ready for use.
As an aside, you should not have run into any problems with your customized Premiere Elements 10 theme.
Using PRE10, I edited the .psd menu template files (as a workaround for problems), and have discovered that adding menus to projects in PRE10 causes the software to crash (as reported elsewhere on this site)
Please cite the reference for "as reported elsewhere on this site". If you want help with the Premiere Elements 10 disc menu, please do not hesitate to ask (we can try to overcome any Windows Mac differences if you are using a Mac computer).
I'm using a Mac. On Yosemite, PRE10 works fine in terms of editing the video, but problems arise when adding a menu template ("a serious error has occurred..." etc) (see Re: Premiere Elements 10 crashes on disc templates for the same problem on Mavericks). With PRE10, the file path you describe is correct, i.e. there is a Common subfolder, but there isn't one with PRE13 - the only templates available are via the Online Folder.
Library/Application Support/Adobe/Premiere Elements/13.0/Online/DVD Templates.
Thanks for the follow up with additional details on Premiere Elements 13 Mac and trying to find the files for the Slideshow/Pan and Zoom disc menu theme.
Strange. On the Windows side of things, Slideshow/Pan and Zoom is available for use and found in the (non Online Folder) location that I have indicated in post 19.
If you have time, let us challenge the Premiere Elements 13 Content from another angle...
Go to Premiere Elements 13 Expert workspace, put some jpgs on the Timeline, and then go to Create/Instant Movie. Are you offered Pan and Zoom as the only choice
with a blue ban in the thumbnail when you browse display of choices there? If you do have that choice, then let us know if there is a path to its files for the Mac counterpart of
Local Disk C\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Elements 13\Movie Themes\Slideshow\Pan and Zoom.
Ok - so I did as you suggested and was offered Pan & Zoom as an option, BUT it was not the only choice and there was no blue banner in the thumbnail corner. All the other thumbnails, on the other hand, did have the blue banner. I've searched again, but I haven't found the Movie Themes anywhere other than in the Online folder, which again only contains the Wedding Doves files!!!
Thanks for the update.
Just not to take anything for granted....are you saying that you were able to find and use the Instant Movie Pan and Zoom theme within the Premiere Elements 13 Mac project and in addition find its files on your computer in a non Online Folder location? If so, what was that non Online Folder location?
Now back to Movie Themes...
Am I understanding correctly...you are able to find the Pan and Zoom theme in the 13's Movie Menu customization area of the project, but, when you go to use it in the project, the program crashes? And, in addition, you cannot find the Pan and Zoom Movie Menu theme files anywhere on your computer (in Online Folder or other)? Please clarify since I am not sure
if I am mixing 10 with 13 details, with the exception that you cannot find Premiere Elements 13 Pan and Zoom theme files in Mac.
PRE10 and 13 are two separate issues!
Menus in general (not just Pan & Zoom) won't work in PRE10 when using Yosemite - a "serious error has occurred" when I try to add a menu to my project. In PRE13, menus work fine but I would like to edit the Pan & Zoom .psd file but of course I can't find it.
Also, using PRE13, I successfully created an instant movie using the Pan & Zoom theme but still cannot find the files anywhere - they don't exist in the Online Folder or any other (non-Online) folder - and I think I've searched just about every Adobe-related file there is!
Thanks for the clarification...so we still do not know where the files are for the Premiere Elements 13 Mac Content that comes with the product install even though we know they exist because you can use them in the project. Right?
As I mention, this is not Adobe. Rather user to user. And, the frequency of the Adobe presence in this forum is undefined. However Adobe's PRE_help has been appearing in some threads related to the new 13 version. Perhaps we can draw PRE_help's attention to this thread and the matter of the location of the Theme content that comes along with the product install and is not classed as Content Download.
Is there any possibility of a hidden files/folder status that might be attached to this matter?
I will see what I can do.
I did have a good look in the hidden files/folders too but nothing! I really would like to know where these Pan & Zoom files are, so anything you can find out would be greatly appreciated!
Just to let you know that I am working on this. The matter has captured my curiosity even though I am strictly an Elements Windows user.
OK, mac users - this is what you need to do.
Go to Macintosh HD --> Applications --> Adobe Premiere Elements 13 --> Support Files
RIGHT CLICK on Adobe Premiere Elements.app (NOT Adobe Premiere Elements 13. app), Select "Show Package Contents". Here you'll find DVD Templates --> Common --> Slideshows
One thing that has always annoyed me with HD menus - why do the thumbnails have black bars at the top and bottom? They ruin a perfectly good design.
Great news "SUCCESS", especially on this particular Mac topic. Great job.
Where did you find that information? More intensive exploration or other?
All the big name writers seem to stop after mentioning the Mac Online Folder.
This is a major contribution to Premiere Elements knowledge base. Many thanks.
More intensive exploration - and I found the "Explore Package Contents" method whilst searching for a way to edit menu templates in Toast.