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Custom buttons by TIWA

Custom buttons by TIWA By gjslaw - Last updated on Sunday, October 25, 2009
9484 Views :: 9 Comments :: Article Rating (Total Votes: 13)
Category: Studio 1-15 Tutorials / Menus  -  Previous tutorials
Published on Saturday, January 31, 2009
Created on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 2:45 AM

We have already issued one tutorial regarding the creation of customized menu buttons.

TIWA now gives us his method. It is interesting because it raises several points that were not covered in our other recent tutorials.

Step 1 : The Need

Studio allows only three ways to highlight menu buttons:

  • Framed by a rectangle;
  • Covered by a color, more or less transparent;
  • Underlined.

These are rather limited and lack imagination.

Professional DVDs generally use "tokens" or symbols that represent some element of the video. That is what we will try to achieve here.

Step 2 : The Principle

Obviously, we must stay with what Studio allows us to do.
The only Studio highlight mode that will serve us is the one where the entire button is covered by a color. Indeed, highlighting can use any form. So, this is not really a limitation.

For this method, only the selected button should be visible. (We will show you how to make the others invisible.). So, text and images that must remain visible cannot be used for our buttons! Additionally, this method can only be used for menus without thumbnails.
One last point to resolve: How to hide the buttons that are not selected? Well, we'll do like the chameleon, so that the image of the button is superimposed over the background. This, therefore, excludes the use of menus with animated backgrounds.

Enough of the theory, here we go. It will become clearer in practice!
Hang in there. It's a little long, but not too complicated!

Step 3 : The Method

We will learn to:

  • Cut shapes on an image to make buttons;
  • Save these images to have any outline (in tga format used by Studio);
  • Use these images to highlight menu options in Studio.
  1. Prepare your menu background:
The first thing to do is prepare your menu without any buttons, (but knowing where you want to put them). Here for example is my menu. The token buttons will go to the right of the text.

Preparation of image and text

Prepare the image and place the text. That's all for now.

  1. Prepare the token buttons for the menu :

Here I will use buttons that represent the contours of the island of Martinique. Use your favorite drawing or image editing software for this.

For now, don't worry about the size of the button image. What matters is that the background of the button image be a solid color (here, it is white) and that it contrasts with the rest of the design.

One thing I have not yet mentioned : The button tokens can only be one color. (Blame this on the DVD Standards Forum).
The chip with contours of Martinique island
  1. Prepare the "chameleon" buttons:

I use Paint Shop Pro 8, but any software that can manipulate layers and tga files will do.

  • Open PSP 8.
  • Open your menu in TitleDeko (the Studio menu/title editor). Simultaneously, press "Alt" and "Print Screen" to copy the active window to the clipboard.
  • Switch to PSP and press "Ctrl"+"V" to paste the image. The screen image appears.
  • In PSP, open the button image, and use the Image => Resize control to make your button the correct size. (Make sure that your two images -- the menu and the button -- are set to 100% zoom). I suggest that you place the button image over the menu image to better judge the size.

Here is what you should have:

Preparation of "chameleon" buttons

Adjust the button to the right size.

With the "Magic Wand" tool, select the white part of the image and press "Ctrl"+"C" to copy it to the clipboard. Make a copy of the button for the clipboard

Select your menu image and press "Ctrl"+"V" (Paste as a new selection) to paste the clipboard contents as a new layer. Move the white box with the mouse and place it where you want the button placed and click to attach it to the menu image.

Insertion of the cameleon button

This will be the base for the future menu button.

Repeat with all your buttons. They don't all need to be the same, although mine are here!

Establishment of other chips

The 3 chameleon button images.

Well, we are now ready to create images for our buttons.

  1. Creating buttons :

Choose the rectangular selection tool. Selection of button tokens

For each token button:

  • Select a rectangle that covers the white rectangle;
  • "Ctrl"+"C" to copy the selection;
  • "Ctrl"+"V" to put the selection in a new image.

The cloned image on a white background.

Each button is now a white background with a "clone" of the base image.

Do the same with as many images as (future) buttons. Then, we only need to make the images transparent (using "tga" format, which is one that Studio can accept).

For that:

Take the "Magic Wand" (setting a tolerance that is not too low if there are points of color in the white, like here) and select the white background. Selection of the future transparent part

Create the mask : Select the menu "Layers => New mask layer => Hide selection"

Creating a mask

Create a mask which makes the selection transparent.

Only the image of the token remains.

Save the mask in the Alpha Channel: Select the menu "Layers => Load/Save Mask => Save to Alpha Channel"

The button with transparent contour

Save the mask in the Alpha Channel.

Click "Save" in the dialog box. Then do a "Save As" choosing the format "True Vision (tga)".
Tip : give the files usefull names like "FilmButton.tga", "BonusButton.tga" ...

Now...the hardest part is done, shall we continue ?

For information, you can also read the tutorials of saby "Create transparent areas in still images with Gimp" or "Handling layers with Gimp" that will give you the foundation needed to perform all these operations with Gimp which is free.

Step 4 : Using in Studio

Return to Studio and open your menu. Find your images. Place each token in its place and resize if necessary. If everything has gone well, they are completely invisible. Everthing is OK, yes?
Tip : Do not use the menu mode in the title editor yet, otherwise the buttons will be difficult to move.

The created tokens in place

Here the three buttons are placed and selected. Without that, nothing would be seen!

There is nothing left to do but choose "Normal button" and Highlight style:"Highlight is the shape of the button."

The selected button appears

Voilà !! Once selected, the button appears.

Preferably, increase the opacity of the highlight color (why not 100%?) so that the button is more visible.

{Thanks to gjslaw who translated this tutorial from French to English, and Loosecannon who cross-checked it}

Share/Save this article

Marten Janse By # Marten Janse @ Sunday, February 1, 2009 11:02 AM
I have just started to explore your website and reading your mails... I would encourage gjslaw (and others) to continue all endaveours to keep an English spoken contribution to this amazing site !! I do appreciate it very much !

Ron Talbot By # Ron Talbot @ Sunday, February 1, 2009 12:10 PM
Thank you gjslaw! Obviously I can not say that most of us here do not speak French but those of us that do really appreciate your efforts to keep the rest of us informed. Thank you again.

Graham Pearson By # Graham Pearson @ Sunday, February 1, 2009 2:50 PM
Thank you for your efforts.This site has helped me many times.I would have given up on Pinnacle if not for the information on this site.As far as American support this is the only site I have found.There is all kind of support in media for FCP,Sony Vegas,Adobe,anything Mac,but I don't see even a glint of info on Pinnacle except the rare review and even then there isn't much discussion or comparison with other NLE's.Yes if you surf too much or have the wrong security programs it gets buggy.But there are so many cool things you can do with it.Just wish I had more time to mess around with it.I'm not ready to go full time.I'm in a profession where I don't get a lot of downtime.But I hope to use Pinnacle to make a move into event video production and of course there is still the Captain Ozone project coming to a theater by 2019!

Graham Pearson By # Graham Pearson @ Sunday, February 1, 2009 3:07 PM
I wish you could translate the owners manuals I get.This was very clear and I didn't have to waste time trying to figure out nomenclature.I don't know where you find the time for this but thank you very much.Information like this seems to help bridge the gaps with the higher powered NLE's.Graham P.S. It was in college trying to diagram sentences in french that I realized I had never formally learned grammar so I really appreciate your work.

C. Schipper By # C. Schipper @ Sunday, February 1, 2009 4:33 PM
Thanks so far to all the people involved in this site for their jobs. I do not know if there are any other sites, that are so much involved with the siteprograms of Studio. I really like the site. It would be pity if the English part would fall away. I hope this for the meantime this is enough encouragement to continue those guys who doing a marvelous job.

Francois Haasbroek By # Francois Haasbroek @ Monday, February 2, 2009 2:02 AM
Had Pinnacle 9, just upgraded to 12 Ultimate. Studio 9 opened the world to me, now looking forward to learning Studio 12. Would love to be an expert on it, but it is a long and lonely road. So a big THANK YOU to gjslaw for your time and effort, people like me need all the help and encouragement we can get.


South Africa

Gary Moser By # Gary Moser @ Monday, February 2, 2009 2:22 AM
Please know that as an English speaking follower of this website, I appreciate all the hard work that is done to translate for us non-French speaking Studio users. I have learned so much about Studio from reading all of the tutorials. In fact, this tutorial solved a problem with a current project I am working on. Hats off to you gislaw for your excellent work!

John Meijer By # John Meijer @ Monday, February 2, 2009 5:38 AM
Dear Readers,
I used to work with Studio 9 and could import all about 274 effects without any problem. Now I have a new computer with Studio 12 Ultimate and Vista and I cannot import the effects any longer.

Does anyone have a soluation for this problem. THanks and thanks and thanks a lot.

John Meijer Barendrecht - Netherlands

Kevin Smith By # Kevin Smith @ Tuesday, February 3, 2009 1:25 PM
From one of your American video editors. A hardy well done on this one. It worked well and will add a new dimension to our menus.

Thanks and keep up the good work

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