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Creating DVD Menus

Okay, technically, although we’re building a DVD menu in this project, this is not really a DVD menu technique—and it’s not really one technique, it’s four (like an all-in-one project). The first and most important technique lets you create a popular tinted grain effect that’s used in backgrounds. After that, you’ll learn three more along the way.

Step One. Open the photo that you want to use as the background for your DVD menu (in this case, we’re building a DVD menu for a fictitious military rescue mission movie). Press Command-A (PC: Control-A) to Select All, then press Command-Shift-J (PC: Control-Shift-J) to cut the image from the background and copy it onto its own layer.
Step Two. Go under the Image menu, under Adjustments, and choose Desaturate. This removes all the color from the photo. Then go under the Filter menu, under Noise, and choose Add Noise. When the Add Noise dialog appears, set the Amount to 7, for Distribution choose Gaussian, and make sure you check the Monochromatic checkbox (so the noise you create doesn’t have little red, green, and blue dots). Click OK.
Step Three. Choose Hue/Saturation from the Create New Adjustment Layer pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers palette. When the dialog appears, click on the Colorize checkbox, then drag the Hue slider to 200 to put a blue tint over your noisy photo (as shown here). Then click OK. At this point, the first technique—the very popular noisy tinted background—is complete, but since we’re working on a DVD menu, we might as well keep learning other cool stuff, right? Right.
Step Four. The next technique is a popular way to add backscreening, so you can put type over one or more parts of a photo so it can easily be seen. To do this, click on the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. Set black as your Foreground color by pressing “d” and fill this new layer with black by pressing Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace). Then, in the Layers palette lower the Opacity setting of this layer to 40% so you can still see the jet.
Step Five. Press the letter “m” to switch to the Rectangular Marquee tool and make a large rectangular selection around the area where you want your DVD chapter sections to appear. Then press Delete (PC: Backspace) to knock a large rectangular hole out of the black layer (as shown). This leaves a 40% backscreened horizontal bar at the top and bottom of your DVD menu so you can add navigation text. Deselect by pressing Command-D (PC: Control-D). That completes the second technique—creating backscreened bars so you can put text over your photo.
Step Six. Now, the third part...To create some depth, we’re going to add a stroke and a glow around these 40% black bars. Choose Stroke from the Add a Layer Style pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers palette. When the dialog appears, click on the small color swatch, and change the color to white in the Color Picker. Then, in the Styles list on the left side of the dialog, click directly on the words “Outer Glow.” Change the Blend Mode pop-up menu to Linear Dodge, click on the small color swatch and change it to white, then increase the Spread to 18 and the Size to 18. Click OK.
Step Seven. Here’s the fourth technique: putting a photo inside a circle. Press Shift-M until you get the Elliptical Marquee tool, hold the Shift key, and draw a circular selection where you want your first chapter section photo to appear (as shown here).
Step Eight. Open the first photo you want to appear in this circle. Press Command-A (PC: Control-A) to put a selection around the entire photo, then press Command-C (PC: Control-C) to copy this photo into memory. Now, return to your DVD menu (your selection will still be in place) and choose Paste Into from the Edit menu. Your photo will be pasted into your circular selection on a new layer. Press Command-T (PC: Control-T) to bring up the Free Transform command. Hold the Shift key, grab a corner point, and drag inward to scale your photo down to size (as shown here). Press Return (PC: Enter) to lock in your transformation.
Step Nine. Now you’ll add a glow and a white stroke around your circular photo. Choose Outer Glow from the Add a Layer Style pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers palette. Change the Blend Mode pop-up menu to Linear Dodge, lower the Opacity setting to 43%, and set the Glow Color to a light blue by clicking on the small color swatch. Increase the Spread to 18 and Size to 21. Then, in the Styles list on the left side of the dialog, click on the word “Stroke.” Just change the Stroke color to white and click OK.
Step Ten. For the other chapter photos, repeat the same process of making a circular selection, opening the photo you want to use, selecting all, copying it into memory, then returning to the DVD menu and pasting the photo into that circle. Use the Free Transform command to size the image. Then, in the Layers palette, click on the word “Effects” underneath your first circle photo, and drag-and-drop it under your second circle photo layer in the Layers palette. The glow and stroke effects will be copied to that layer. Repeat these steps until all four circular photos are in place (as shown).
Step Eleven. Lastly, just add some text with the Type tool. The text shown here is set in the font Stencil Std Bold in all caps. To make the scene text headers easier to read, you might want to go to the Add a Layer Style pop-up menu in the Layers palette and add a black Outer Glow to the text underneath each circle (as shown here) with the Blend Mode set to Normal, which completes the DVD menu.
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