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Thread: tytool enhancement techniques

  1. #1
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    tytool enhancement techniques

    This thread is a place to put techniques/howtos/tweaks for tytool.

    Please reserve the actual tytool thread for discussion of tytool and its standard functions.

    Please purge old or superceeded techniques and use this as a howto collection, not a discussion thread.

    Disclaimer: If you mess something up, I'll try to help but I'm not responsible for any damage someone might accidently do to their IFO/VOB set. Please don't erase your original files until you've tested any modifications.

    DirecTiVo Hacking - Live Links

    Freeware "Helper" Applications

    Graphics Techniques

    Disc Labeling Resources

    High-Quality frame captures for backgrounds

    Reduce Visible Menu Artifacts by Adding Texture

    Text on a DVD Menu

    Menu Tweaking

    Custom Menu - Text, Background, Overlay

    Custom Menu - Text, Background, Overlay II

    Custom Overlay for Menus

    Custom Overlay Colors

    Menu with Wingdings as pointers

    Multiple DVD Menus

    Quick Custom Button Placement

    Working with Red Menus

    DVD layout

    Autostart DVD w/no menu (eastwind's mehod)

    "Blank" VOB entry to create extra text lines

    "Chained" playback

    Enabling CC with TyTool 10r3

    Enhanced DVD

    Making a "first play" or autoplay tytool DVD (laserfan's method)

    Play-Once-Before-Menu hack

    The "Straight Skinny" on Transcoding

    Playback

    Tuning Media Player Classic (outdated, ignore this post)

    Video Playback Package new 2007-03-26
    Last edited by FredThompson; 03-26-2007 at 02:35 AM.
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    placeholder 1

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    placeholder 2

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    placeholder 3

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    placeholder 4

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  6. #6
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    Freeware "Helper" Applications

    DVD Authoring

    DVD ReBuilder http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=74308
    DVD Shrink http://www.dvdshrink.org/
    DVDAuthor http://dvdauthor.sourceforge.net/
    DVDAuthor gui http://users.adelphia.net/~liquid64/dvdauthorgui.html
    IfoEdit http://mpucoder.kewlhair.com/derrow/index.html
    MenuEdit http://menuedit.dimad.net/home.html
    PgcEdit http://home.tiscali.be/debie.roland/pgcedit/index.html

    DVD Burning

    CDBurnerXP Pro http://www.cdburnerxp.se/
    Deep Burner http://www.deepburner.com/index.php
    Virtual Drive Creator http://www.j-a-associates.com/vdc.htm

    Fonts

    DaFont http://www.dafont.com/en/
    Font Freak http://www.fontfreak.com
    Fontleechhttp://fontleech.com added 2005-04-27
    fontlover http://www.fontlover.com/
    Fontosaurus http://www.fontosaurus.com/
    Fontseek http://www.fonkseek.com
    Fontz http://www.fontz.ch
    Nick's Fonts http://westwood.fortunecity.com/isaac/898/

    Graphics Editors

    Gadwin PrintScreen http://www.gadwin.com/printscreen/
    Paint.NET http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/paint.net/
    Project Dogwaffle http://www.squirreldome.com/
    The Gimp http://www.gimp.org

    Textures

    cooltext http://www.cooltext.com/
    Customize http://www.customize.org/
    deviantART http://www.deviantart.com/

    Video Editing

    VirtualDub-MPEG http://fcchandler.home.comcast.net
    VirtualDub filters http://www.neuron2.net

    Video Players

    ffdshow http://athos.leffe.dnsalias.com/
    Media Player Classic http://sourceforge.net/project/showf...ckage_id=84358

    Windows Automation

    Auto It http://www.hiddensoft.com/autoit3/index.php
    Shellexe http://www.whirlywiryweb.com/q/shellexe.asp

    Linking to This Post
    Last edited by FredThompson; 04-27-2005 at 09:59 PM.
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  7. #7
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    High-Quality Frame Captures for Backgrounds

    Use VirtualDub-MPEG2 and filters to make very high-quality screen grabs from a tytool-generated VOB for use as menu backgrounds.

    1) Load VirtualDub-MPEG2 and a good paint application
    2) In the File menu, use "Load processing settings... Ctrl-L" to load the configuration which is attached to this post. Click "OK" when the error window appears.
    3) In the File menu, use "Open video file... Ctrl-O" to load your MPEG or VOB.
    4) Move through the video until you find an appropriate title page in VirtualDub-MPEG2's right-hand window.
    5) In the Video menu, use the "Copy output frame to clipboard CTRL-1"
    6) In the paint application, choose the option to paste from the clipboard.
    7) Save the image as a BMP

    You can also crop the image to remove the overscan on the right and left side then increase the canvas size to 720x480 before saving to center the image. Do NOT resize the IMAGE to 720x480. If you do this, it's a very good idea to keep whatever grayish lines exist on the edges of the frame. If the background is a solid color, use it. This will reduce the complexity of the picture wrt compression so the quality will be slightly higher in your final menu.
    Last edited by FredThompson; 04-04-2005 at 06:15 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Custom Overlay for Menus

    Modify the menu overlay for tytool-generated IFO sets.

    This can be used to preserve anti-aliased text and/or use custom shapes as pointers.

    Anti-aliasing attempts to reduce the appearance of jagged edges. Turn it on by right-clicking on your desktop, choose "Properties" then "Effects" then the option to smooth the appearance of screen fonts. It can also be set on/off by editing the Windows registry:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop FontSmoothing REG_SZ 2=on 0=off
    HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop FontSmoothing REG_SZ

    Tytool-created DVD menus consist of a background image and an overlay. All the black pixels of the overlay are considered transparent. Every other pixel is displayed as pure white unless it's the current selection in which case it is red.

    1) Generate your tytool menu and IFO set as normal.

    Be careful with the next few steps. Dead-ends or non-accessible buttons are very possible so pay attention to what you are doing. It's a good idea to copy the files from the ISO location into a backup directory.

    2) edit the overlay.bmp file

    It's usually a good idea to use the tytool-created file as a starting point. Everything in the overlay will be displayed as white on top of the background. Keep and/or add only what you want to be used as selection characters.

    3) copy the attached customoverlay.bat file into the ISO location directory.

    4) edit customoverlay.bat to match your paths and the button locations from the last portion of the tytool-created make.bat file.

    5) run customoverlay.bat

    There are a LOT of things you can do with this technique. Attached is a real example showing a very simple modification.

    You can change the locations of the buttons. Keep in mind the button areas define which parts of the overlay bitmap will be displayed as red for the corresponding selection.
    Last edited by FredThompson; 03-29-2004 at 01:50 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Enhance visibility of menu and selection text

    Modify the tytool-generated background so the white text of menu entries and the red selection text don't visually disappear in light or red parts of the background.

    (in development)

    OK, I've done even more experimentation with methods to increase/ensure high enough contrast between the background bitmap and menu text.

    There are some things which can be done that are quite effective. However, the only thing I've found that works consistently is haloing.

    The biggest challenge is the visual disappearance of the edges of the characters when backgrounds are white, yellow, pink, red or lightly-saturated.

    This is a complete reversal from what I said earlier. My test mockups were 1 pixel of pure black around the white text created by tytool. That looked like junk. The detail was too fine and the contrast too great. Instead of yielding a minimally-obtrusive distinction around the shape of the characters, it became dominant in the image.

    However, I've hit on an idea for creating a mask which just might solve the challenge.

    A mask bitmap is created using every pixel of the overlay as a test condition. If a bit in the overlay is non-white, bits in the mask are set with one of these patterns:

    Code:
    ..sssss..     ..sss..
    .sssssss.     .sssss.
    ssss*ssss     sss*sss
    .sssssss.     .sssss.
    ..sssss..     ..sss..
    It's tedious but gives a good-sized area around the original bitmap.

    A number of things can be done applying this mask to the source background then re-rendering the white text onto it. Their effectiveness will vary depending on the source image.

    These might include:

    1) decreasing brightness (helps with white and yellow backgrounds, not that effective with red backgrounds)

    2) decreasing saturation (not that effective with white, yellow or lightly-saturated backgrounds, fairly effective with red)

    3) replace with another color (grey works well on almost everything but bright non-yellow works better for white, yellow or lightly-saturated backgrounds because it is minimally distracting from the background bitmap. There must be sufficient contrast between the new color and the text and highlight colors.)

    4) combine one of the above with a different text and/or highlight color.

    All the rectangular masking I tried was horrible because accounting for ascenders and descenders meant too much area was affected.

    As it turns out, 2 of the 3 backgrounds I've been trying to use "break" the current method. One is the all-red Modern Marvels background you can see on the tytools site. The other has a map of the U.S. colored as an American flag on a dark blue and black background (see attachment.)
    Last edited by FredThompson; 03-06-2004 at 04:19 AM.
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  10. #10
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    18 Automating TyTool

    I am searching for tools that might assist in automating the use of TyTool. I have been told by more than one programming source, that it is (at least in theory) possible to entirely automate the process of creating DVD filesets from shows on the Tivo.

    The process would involve:
    ONE-STEP: Get a NowShowing list and select which shows to burn... THE END

    The automation process would take care of filling in all the right fields and using whatever default background is specified.

    I have written up some comments complete with screen shots here. Fred recommends "autoit" to accomplish the above. I can't seem to make it work as yet, but am still trying. Since there are no plans to actually implement it into TyTool itself, I would like some help finding a third party tool (whether commercial or freeware) to accomplish this very achievable goal.
    Last edited by snoopy; 03-04-2004 at 05:10 PM.

  11. #11
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    Reduce Visible Menu Artifacts by Adding Texture

    While making some menus for Christmas stuff, I ran into a real problem. The traditional red and green for Christmas are high contrast, something MPEG compression doesn't like. In addition, it also doesn't like white text on solid backgrounds and you'll see lots of mosquito noise.

    Here's a possible solution.

    First, I designed the background and added a single-pixel width grey line to separate the green and red. This won't remove all the artifacts but it does help.

    Project DogWaffle's Filter | Artistic | Apply paper... with a setting of 23 was used to add some texture. Finally, the bells and bow graphics were added.

    This isn't perfect, but it works.

    Attached are a split-screen menu showing the grey line and texture and an m2v made with TyTool.

    Update: This could be improved. Attached is a better background with a 45 texture setting and pale yellow edging. Overlay highlight color is 41 E2 5E. Overlay background color is F4 87 50. The finished menu is quite regal.
    Last edited by FredThompson; 03-29-2004 at 06:09 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Enhanced DVD

    UPDATE: This is safe. The problem I reported earlier with the Apex 2500 DVD player was created by a bad power supply hooked to the DVD burner. Apparently, the burn was intense enough for the DVD recorder to read the data but not the DVD reader in the Apex player.

    WhirlyWiryWeb ShellExe is a very flexible auto-loader for Windows PCs which works with all versions of Windows. This example uses it to load an HTML file.

    "Enhanced DVD Sample" should not go on your DVD. It's a partial image showing how the files should be arranged.

    autorun.ini points to the DVD icon and the file to run. In this case, the icon looks like a disc and the runme.htm is loaded. runme.htm immediately refreshes to extra/contents.htm which allows the added files to be kept neatly in a sub-directory. If the PC has auto-load turned off, the user will probably click on the runme.htm file.

    Update: It appears some hardware DVD players will search directories looking for VIDEO_TS.IFO so don't store multiple copies of the startup ifo and vob in their native format. Zip them instead. (This really had me banging my head for hours. My Apex was playing the main menu stored in the "backup" folder, not the one in the VIDEO_TS folder...)

    Burn enhanced DVDs as regular data discs.
    Last edited by FredThompson; 04-01-2004 at 04:09 AM.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy
    I like the attached black and blue menu screen. Can you send me a custom layout of just that part without the words?
    The background and template are posted at http://www.tytool.com
    I don't want to do near as much work as you describe but I like the default background. I also like the > marks you put in.
    It's actually not that difficult. Try it a couple of times and you'll see. The first thing tytool does is create the menu and overlay bitmaps then it works on the video files then goes back to finish the menu controls. Start the IFO creation process then edit the overlay.bmp and save it as customoverlay.bmp. When the IFO process is done, right click on make.bat and customoverlay.bat, selecting "edit". Replace the last line of customoverlay.bat with the last line from make.bat and save it. Run customoverlay.bat. Simple

    This is also one of the reasons I asked about 2-byte unicode characters for tytool menus. Arial has a right-facing triangle which would amke this part even easier. The NOVA disc I used as a sample for enhanced DVDs has the triangle on both sides for better visibility. It's a little too hard to see just one of them and underlining would be too difficult.

    Oh, I suppose you could modify a charater in a font you normally use so it makes a good pointer character and just use it in order to skip the manual "filling in" required for the "<" and ">" characters.

    That's the best default background I have found. I wish I could find more.
    All I did was use the VirtualDub method described above and moved through the show copy with the largest size to find a good screen. The template was tweaked to that particular background
    Last edited by FredThompson; 03-12-2004 at 12:44 AM.
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  14. #14
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    Text on a DVD Menu

    One way to add text-only elements to a TyTool menu is to take advantage of the Preview button of the Make Menu window.

    Basically, you create a template to put selections where you want the text objects. Then, start the "Create IFO Files/Dirs" process with enough VOBs to match the number of text elements you want. Use a VOB for each text item and set the element title to the text you wish to display.

    After that, select the preview and capture the preview window with a paint program. If you don't have a window capture program, try Gadwin PrintScreen.

    Attached are some sample images showing how I added a static text title to a background. Since this sample only needed one text element added, it was done using the DVD title, not a selection.
    Last edited by FredThompson; 03-29-2004 at 01:23 AM.
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  15. #15
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    Custom Menu - Text, Background, Overlay

    This is a combination of earlier techniques. In this example, there is colored text and custom shapes used for the selection overlay.

    The background itself was made with 5 elements taken from CMT's website. The yellow color was pulled from the center of the logo onto a 640x480 canvas then project dogwaffle's paper texture was applied to help reduce visible mosquito noise around the letters. The pictures were applied and the result resized to 720x480 using a precise bilinear. Future menus for the same series will start with this same file but the images will be changed.

    Then, the text-only method was used to put white anti-alised titles under the pictures. After that, blue from the CMT logo was used to make an anti-aliased text overlay with Paint Shop to cover each white title. (I tried leaving them but after compression it was impossible to read white letters on a pale yellow background.) It's not a perfect match but better than nothing and does tend to build on the CMT color theme.

    For the actual IFO set creation, each menu element had NO text. After the IFO set creation was done, the custom overlay was applied.

    This was a lot of manual work because of the tools which were used. More ideas are coming for how to make it quicker.

    This shows it's very possible to create some interesting custom effects.
    Last edited by FredThompson; 03-15-2004 at 12:49 AM.
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