18 Replies Latest reply on Aug 30, 2014 9:25 AM by A.T. Romano

    Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?

    Rickster213 Level 1

      It's great that Elements 12 has a way to automate menus for a DVD, but so far I can't find one I like.  Specifically I want a picture background to fill up the whole screen, just like I can do with a title.  Maybe my question should be can I turn a title into a menu by adding markers? 


      And a related question is do I have to have a main menu and a separate scene selection menu?  I am used to creating menus (with Pinnacle) that allow just one menu screen and buttons that can be added (and the "button" can be text or a picture). 


      Now I'm getting ahead of myself but if I have a scene menu and someone selects a scene, at the end of the scene will it just continue playing or return to the scene menu?  It's an option in Pinnacle.  I'm hopping it is in Premiere as well because once the scene is done I would rather have it continue to play on like commercial DVDs would if you jumped to a scene in the middle of the movie to continue watching.


      Thanks for any comments.



        • 1. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
          A.T. Romano Level 7



          All modifications of existing disc menus is done either

          a. Movie Menu Customization Area (Tools/Movie Menu)


          b. For more advanced customization, at the level of the disc menu .psd file for the main menu and the .psd file for the scene menu.


          The Titler is not involved here.


          Lots of possibilities...

          • If you do not use scene markers on the Timeline content, you will not have a Scene button on the main menu or any Scene Selections pages.
          • If you use main menu markers on the Timeline content and you add enough buttons to the main menu, you can have a one page main menu to access Timeline movies.
          • And so on.

          If you have scene markers placed on Timeline for you viewer to start with that particular scene, clicking on the corresponding scene button on a scene selection page will result in the scene plus the rest of the TImeline content being played back to the end of Timeline and then automatic return to main menu. Placement of stop markers is necessary to provide for viewer to select a scene for viewing and then be returned to the main menu after play back of that particular scene. About stop markers...

          Never put a stop marker at the end of the last item of the Timeline

          Use of stop markers in the Timeline makes the Play All button of the main menu meaningless.


          ATR Premiere Elements Troubleshooting: PE11: Full Background Replacement Faux Widescreen Disc Menu

          ATR Premiere Elements Troubleshooting: PE: Adding Movie Thumbnails To Disc Main Menu

          ATR Premiere Elements Troubleshooting: PE: Scene Menu Customization/Decreasing Existing Scene Buttons Per Page

          ATR Premiere Elements Troubleshooting: PE: One Page 14 Scene Buttons DVD Menu


          Except for certain circumstances, editing of the menu .psd files will require Photoshop CS or higher.


          Please do not hesitate to ask questions or to ask for clarification.


          We will watch for your follow up to go at whatever pace you want through the details.





          • 2. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
            Rickster213 Level 1

            Thanks for the reply as usual, and as usual, I still need help.  I tried going to the links you suggested but didn't understand most of it.


            I put some numbered timeline markers in my video, but I don't see how to put a related button on my menu.  In Pinnacle, I simply needed to click on "add a button" and then tell it the number of the marker I wanted to use.  I was able to figure that out myself because it was so obviously simple.  Is there something similar in Premiere that I am missing?  I hope the answer isn't to go into the psd files.  Otherwise I'll do a scene menu but I was really hoping to just have a one screen menu.

            • 3. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
              A.T. Romano Level 7



              Numbered and unnumbered markers are not going to work in disc menus.


              You need to apply a Menu Marker - main menu marker (blue), scene marker (green), stop marker (red). In a moment I will tell you

              how to get there.


              For now I will assume your goal is scene thumbnails in the Scene Selection page of your disc menu.


              Place the Timeline Indicator in the Expert workspace edit area to where you want the first scene marker on the Timeline.

              (The scene where the marker is on the Timeline will be represented as the first thumbnail in the Scene Selection page

              when you get to the disc menu customization area.)


              For placement of that first scene marker, go to Markers (top left above Timeline module/Menu Marker/Set Menu Marker. When you click on Set Menu Marker,

              the Menu Marker dialog will pop open. Select the type of menu marker you want. In this example, select Scene Marker.

              Click OK, and the first Scene thumbnail (button) is placed.


              Adobe Premiere Elements 11 * Creating disc menus


              I will try to clarify customization of the menu, but first we need to be in sync about placement of the menu markers on the

              Timeline...that is where it all begins for menu marker and disc menu buttons. When you place a scene marker on the workspace Timeline, it is going to trace to a Scene Selection page of the disc menu. If you place a main menu marker on the workspace Timeline, it is going to trace to a Main Menu page.


              More later. Just want to make sure we are OK so far.





              • 4. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
                Rickster213 Level 1

                What I want is just one main menu.  I placed a menu marker at the beginning and called it "Play All", then a 2nd one, and all was good.  One menu, 2 buttons, and using Preview Disc, they both worked. 


                Then I added a 3rd menu marker (I want to have 6 or 8 overall) and it created a Main Menu 2 with the 3rd marker and a link back to the main menu.  I deleted it and did it again to make sure it was a menu marker.  And it is blue on the timeline, so it is a menu marker, but I now have a main menu 1 and a main menu 2.

                • 5. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
                  Rickster213 Level 1

                  Now I want to just create my DVD without a menu and I can't even figure out how to delete it.  I don't see it on the timeline.  When I open it up I don't see how to delete it.  I hate to keep comparing this product to Pinnacle but on Pinnacle, the menu shows up in the timeline and all I have to do to delete it is click on it and hit the delete key.  I"m not sure if the problem is the Mac version of Premiere works differently from the Window version or that's just the way it works but it sure is difficult to figure things out with this software.  And should anyone wonder, there isn't a version of Pinnacle for a Mac.

                  • 6. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
                    A.T. Romano Level 7



                    All is there but just a little redirection is needed.


                    When thinking disc menu in Premiere Elements, two major focuses

                    a. Timeline to place the menu markers that will trace to the menu

                    b. Tools/Movie Menu and Movie Menu customization where all the disc menu work is done.


                    In the disc menu customization area (you got there from Tools Menu/Movie Menu), look to the tab that you pressed for Preview. Now look further to the right on that row to where you see Reset. Hit Reset, and you are now in a no menu (AutoPlay) type status.


                    Please let me know if you are OK with that information. Next post, coming any minutes will explain your disc menu setup and prospects.


                    Coming soon



                    • 7. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
                      Rickster213 Level 1

                      So I thought I'd just give in and do a main and scene menu but all the templates seem to want thumbnails.  I don't want thumbnails.  My video has too many scenes that look the same.  Isn't there one that just allows text with one background picture?  Preferably one that fills up the whole screen?

                      • 8. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
                        Rickster213 Level 1

                        Thanks for the "reset" option.  I'll wait for your next reply to decide what to do about a menu.

                        • 9. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
                          A.T. Romano Level 7



                          The disc menus come as a set of main menu page and scene page.

                          The main menu page has buttons for Play All and Scenes Selection (to get to the scene menu page if the viewer does not want Play All.

                          The scene menu page has buttons for the Scenes for the viewer to select what to view first. But, remember that after the viewer watches the selected scene, the viewer in not going to be taken back to the main menu unless he/she selected the last scene to watch.


                          The number and sequence of the scenes in the scene menu page will be directed by where you place the

                          menu markers on the Timeline content. The main action for disc menu set up is going to be in Tools Menu/Movie Menu/Movie Maker Customization.


                          The main menu page comes with a designed in number of buttons. So does the scene menu page.

                          a. main menu markers on the Timeline to place main menu buttons

                          b. scene menu markers on the Timeline to place scene menu buttons.


                          Now here is the consideration. If the number of scene markers on the Timeline exceeds the number of designed in button for the scene menu, then the excess spills over to additional pages. Same situation for the main menu and main menu markers.


                          Example...if you have 6 scene markers placed on the Timeline and you use a menu with a scene menu with only 4 spots for buttons, then you are going to end up with 2 scene menus, the first with 4 buttons/page and the second with 2 on the page. In the end

                          a. 1 main menu...Play All Button and Scene Selection Button

                          b. 2 scene menus....lst with 4 buttons


                          Let us try this. Go back to my blog posts and see if the introduction in any of them describes what you want to do.

                          If one looks promising, then we can go step by step through the how to provide for smoother sailing through the details. The details may look better on the second read.


                          Based on all that I will see if I can customize something beyond which I have already written about.


                          Right now for practice look at 8 Timeline scene markers for the Memories/Memory Box theme which should give you

                          1 main menu page with a spot to insert a picture

                          2 scene menus page (each with 4 buttons per page)




                          Note: If all your scene markers appear to have similar scenes, make sure you have put a few frames distance between menu makers.

                          Also, in the Marker's dialog, use the Offset to move the view a little. This will not affect the position of the marker on the Timeline, just the

                          view of what you are seeing in the scene thumbnail.


                          We can get rid of thumbnails but it will take us into the theme's psd editing in Photoshop CS or higher or depending on the circumstances

                          Photoshop Elements.

                          • 10. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
                            Rickster213 Level 1

                            I appreciate the information you have provided.  However, I just decided to make my menu conform to a Premiere template instead of being able to easily customize my menus as I could with Pinnacle.  I am using a menu from the slideshow option that will allow 6 buttons.  I'll stay within that constraint.


                            I am not exaggerating when I say with Pinnacle I could have created a menu and markers and text and a picture background and as many buttons as I wanted on one screen in less time than I have spent reading and writing on this forum to figure this out.  And it would all have been done within the Pinnacle software.


                            And the buttons could be a thumbnail from the video, which is done by positioning the video where you want it then select "use as thumbnail" and you're done.  With Premiere, I struggled with the offset value because I assumed that would be the offset from the beginning of the video.  Why wouldn't it be?  The values were right there when I selected the frame I wanted so I plugged them in to the menu.  Imagine my surprise and further frustration when the thumbnail was not what I expected.  I had to do the math of where the thumbnail was minus where the marker was to get the offset.  I don't understand why the exact location of the frame couldn't be used.  It seems like it would have to be a unique value.  Did I miss an easy way to calculate the offset? 


                            I hesitate to mention I wanted to put a picture in a scrolling credit with text at the end of my video.  I got it to work - sort of.  The picture scrolls ok, but it lost its color when I put it in for some reason.  It almost looks like a negative.  But I have a simple solution for that - I will create my rolling credits with pictures in Pinnacle on my PC because I can then create an avi I will bring into Premiere and that will work nicely.



                            • 11. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
                              A.T. Romano Level 7



                              In Premiere Elements if you want a picture with your rolling credits at the end, you do not really want the picture to roll with text, best only the text rolls not the picture. Consequently, picture on Video Track 1 and rolling title on Video Track 2 directly above.


                              When the title is being created in the opened Titler, there is an opportunity (Text Menu/Add Image) to add on image to the title. With the arrange option, you set so that the picture is not hiding the text. But, that way, the picture and text roll together.


                              Another point about the movie menus that you should keep in mind....the menu marker that you place on the Timeline are not glued to the scene to which it had been applied. So, if you do decide to move things around, the menu markers are not going to travel with Timeline content movements, deletion etc.

                              For that reason especially, place the menu markers on the completed edit area otherwise you need to reposition the menu markers to coordinate with the Timeline content wanted in a scene button.


                              Please review the latest comments and let us know what is happening.





                              • 12. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
                                Rickster213 Level 1

                                I'm done with the menus.  I used a template with 6 scenes so that was OK.  Not the way I would have done it if I could have easily customized it, but it will work OK.


                                I'm not sure if I will scroll a picture now or not, but in the past I have done it effectively with Pinnacle.  I did a memory video of my daughter's pom-pon team of which there were 16 members.  At the beginning of the video I did a scrolling "Starring..." and I listed each girl's name under their picture and it looked good with a slow scroll.   At least the girls all liked it!


                                But I have a new question now.  Part of my video is pictures taken at an event and I have added music.  To get the pictures to end with the music I need to customize the picture duration.  In Pinnacle, I could select all the pictures and then modify the duration of just ONE (say 4.5 seconds) and they would all get adjusted.  Does Premiere have the same function?  I want each of 65 pictures I have to have the same duration and I was hoping to be able to do it simply.  I selected them all and went into "time stretch" thinking that would do it but no luck.  Or maybe I wasn't doing it correctly.



                                • 13. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
                                  Rickster213 Level 1

                                  Never mind.  I was able to change the duration all at once using Clip - Time Stretch.  Not sure why it didn't work at first.  I find it hard to believe, but initially I did "select all" and this time I selected ranges by doing a "shift-select" and then I was able to change the duration using Time Stretch.  Although one thing I don't understand is that even with all pictures having the same duration, at each minute mark the timeline seems to add 2/30 of a second.  So at 4 second increments, the time goes from 00;00;52;00 to 00;00;56;00 to 00;01;00;02.  Then it keeps incrementing by 4 seconds until it hits the 2 minute mark and the time goes to 00;02;00;04.  Yet if I look at each pictures duration they still show 4 seconds even.  Very strange.  And it makes it difficult to understand what is going on sometimes but I'll live with the discrepancy.  Perhaps it's just a bug in how the time displays.

                                  • 14. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
                                    A.T. Romano Level 7



                                    We can go back over it if you want, but, if all you had on the Timeline was just 65 photos, then Edit Menu/Select All or holding down the Shift key as you selected the photos to be included all at one time should have worked for you to gain your all at one time selection. Any chance you had more in the Select All than you thought - like a video file?


                                    When you were setting the duration in Time Stretch...were you OK with the format

                                    00;00;00;00 (hours; minutes;seconds;frames).

                                    Example: If you wanted the duration 4.5 seconds, then you should have set 00;00;04;15


                                    If you look at Edit Menu/Project Settings/General, you will see Display Format choices for the project.

                                    30 fps Drop-Frame Timecode - the default

                                    30 fps Non-Drop-Frame Timecode



                                    If you have 65 photos, each at 4.5 seconds duration, the total duration as read from the timecode above the Timeline is

                                    00;04;52;15 when the 30 fps Drop-Frame Timecode is used. If you use the 30 fps Non-Drop-Frame Timecode, then that timecode will

                                    read 00;04;54;22. There is a lot online about all this. No bug.


                                    I tried to find something online. For now, focus on the end part of the following YouTube video for the explanation. I will see if I can find

                                    something else later if necessary.

                                    Time Code: Drop Frame vs. Non-Drop Frame - YouTube





                                    • 15. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
                                      Rickster213 Level 1

                                      Well, that was certainly interesting.  I never knew that, and I've been making successful DVDs for years now without knowing it, so I wonder when it comes into play.  When I did the "math" to calculate my offsets for my thumbnails I was able to get it exactly where I wanted to.  But you don't need to try to explain it at this point.


                                      I do have another question though, about the timeline.  Up where the time numbers are, I have part shaded in a light gray and part in a dark gray with a little vertical bar where the color changes.  I can drag that bar left and right and move the light and dark gray areas but I have no idea what that is doing.  That I would like to know.  I tried searching on colors and timelines but couldn't find anything.  I also see a very thin red line and very thin red - or maybe it's orange - line underneath the gray areas.  What's that trying to tell me?  Everything seems to be working fine.  I just put transitions on the photos.  I don't know if that generated those colors on the timeline or not.


                                      Thanks again.



                                      • 16. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
                                        Phil.com Level 1

                                        Regarding filling the menue with another picture. There is one menu that allows that. Tools/ Movie Menue/Wedding/ Elegant. As far as I could find out that is the only one where you can swap out the background for your own picture. I use if all the time.


                                        Cheers! Phil

                                        • 17. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
                                          Rickster213 Level 1

                                          Thanks for the info.  I'll keep that in mind for next time.  I have the menus working good enough for now and I don't want to change anything at this point for fear of causing me too much grief!  I do have a background picture I like - it just has black borders around it instead of filling up the whole screen but the borders aren't too big.


                                          As for my recent comment about the colors on the timeline, it appears to be related to rendering so I'm not concerned with it anymore.  Looks like the vertical bar in the gray timeline controls whether or not to render certain parts.

                                          • 18. Re: Can I Create a Custom Menu In Premiere Elements 12?
                                            A.T. Romano Level 7



                                            Regarding post numbered 15...


                                            it sounds like you are in the Work Area Bar with it 2 gray tabs. The program is supposed to set those gray tabs automatically so that they span the Timeline content. The area that the tabs span is a light gray. The area not spanned by the gray tab is a dark gray. If you want to do selective export of Timeline content, you set those gray tabs to span just the area of the Timeline content that you want to export AND, in the export area, you make sure to have a check mark next to "Share Work Area Bar Only". You can set the gray tabs with the mouse cursor or with shortcuts. You can get yourself into trouble if you go to render the Timeline content and the gray tabs are not set for what you want to render. More on this later if you want more details.


                                            Regarding posts numbered 16 and 17...


                                            if you decide you need supplemental information on the disc menus, please let me know.

                                            With regard to disc menu customization and full backgrounds within the Tools Menu/Movie Menu customization of the program...

                                            In the case of the Wedding/Elegant theme, If you use 4:3 or 3:2 photo as background instead of 16:9, you could end up with black borders....check it out with a SD as well as HD project to demonstrate the result.


                                            If you want full background menu (done at .psd level), please see my blog details for that

                                            ATR Premiere Elements Troubleshooting: PE11: Full Background Replacement Faux Widescreen Disc Menu


                                            Just starting my day - a little behind schedule. We will be watching for any further questions.