Saturday, March 22, 2014

PE11: Full Background Replacement Faux Widescreen Disc Menu


Customization of the disc menus in the Movie Menu section of Premiere Elements 11 includes replacement of the background in the menus. However, often this replacement allows for only partial replacement of the original background.


The specific question that came up was "How do I get a full background replacement for the existing background for the Premiere Elements 11 General/Faux Widescreen disc menu?"

The main menu of the Adobe Faux Widescreen disc theme with its original background displays in the Movie Menu customization area as shown in Figure 1 (view when no scene markers yet added).

Figure 1. Adobe General/Faux Widescreen Main Menu With Original Background. No Scene Markers Applied.

 A full replacement for built in black border plus the gray panel cannot be obtained by using the Adjustments/Menu Background option in the Movie Menu customization of the program. The end result for such an attempt is represented in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Adobe General/Faux Widescreen  Main Menu With Original Background Replaced Within The Project In Movie Menu Adjustments/Menu Background.

However, a full replacement for the built in black borders plus the gray panel can be obtained by going into the .psd file for the main menu and replacing the background in the .psd's Layers Palette. (One new Background Layer is created as the original Background Layer and original Black Bars Layer are deleted in the process)

Photoshop Elements can do this job since opening of the .psd Layers Sets is not involved. When Photoshop Elements 11 was used for the edit of the .psd file, the end result is represented in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Adobe General/Faux Widescreen Main Menu Background Replaced By Replacing Background In The Layers Palette Of The Main Menu's PSD File.
The image used for the replacement background was 1050 x 576 pixels.

Here the .psd editing is being done with Photoshop Elements for reasons stated above. If Photoshop CS or higher is being used instead, editing of the text layers in the subLayer groups can be done at this stage for a more permanent result. With Photoshop Elements as the .psd editor for reasons stated above, then  appropriate text editing (font, font size, font color) is easily be done when the modified menu is opened within the project in Movie Menu section.


Solution to the ISSUE of Full vs Partial Background Replacement for the Faux Widescreen disc menu template is found by removing the Background Layer and Black Bars Layer in the Layers Palette of the main menu's psd file and adding one Background Layer as the replacement. Appropriate text editing for font, font size, font color can be done when the menu is opened within the project in Movie Menu section (when Photoshop Elements is being used as .psd editor).

Note: Although the mentions are for main menu and Premiere Elements 11, the principles apply also to scene menu and Premiere Elements 4 through 12 where the Faux Widescreen is available. The use of Faux Widescreen theme is indicated for use in NTSC DV Standard or PAL DV Standard projects. There is no set of "w" widescreen or "hd" high definition files for Faux Widescreen as there are for many of the themes.


Premiere Elements 11 Windows 7 Professional SP1 64 bit NTSC DV Standard Project

Locate the files to be modified.

The files sought are 


(They are sized by Adobe for a NTSC DV Standard or PAL DV Standard project. There are no "w" widescreen or "hd" counterparts as is the case for many of the other themes)

These files can be located
Local Disk C\Program Data\Adobe\Premiere Elements\11.0\Online\DVD Templates\All_Lang\General\Faux Widescreen.

Figure 4. Faux Widescreen Files In Program Data Directory For Background Replacement.


Prepare the files for modification.

Place copy of each of the two .psd files involved into a new desktop folder named specialfaux.

Change the names of the the .psd files inside the specialfaux folder.





Edit the main menu .psd file to replace the background.

From the computer desktop location, open the main menu.psd file in Photoshop Elements, and, in the Layers Palette, delete the Background Layer and the Black Bars Layer.

Figure 5. Photoshop Elements 11 Editing Of PSD Of Faux Widescreen Main Menu.

Then with the bottom Play All Layer Set selected, go to File Menu/Open in order to open the replacement background image. It will appear on screen. In addition, a copy of the file will be in the Photo Bin along with the .psd file. With the mouse cursor drag the image from the screen into the .psd file in the Photo Bin. The .psd file should now reappear with the replacement image in its Layers Palette. If it is not already, drag the replacement image to the bottom of the Layers in the Layers Palette. Important: Rename the replacement image from Layer 1 to Background.

Save the edited file, replacing the original copy with the edited file. Maintain the file name and formatting.

If a replacement background is wanted for the scene menu, then apply the same principles as above.

Place the modified files/folders in the correct directory location

At this point,  the modified .psd files for the Faux Widescreen theme are in the in the specialfaux folder on the computer desktop. Place the specialfaux Folder in a new folder named Simon Specials, and then place the Simon Specials Folder inside the Common Folder in the following path:

Local Disk C\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Elements 12\DVD Templates\Common

Note: For user modified themes, I prefer this directory location cited.

Find the modified Faux Widescreen in the opened project with a NTSC DV Standard project preset.

The modified menu will be found Tools Menu/Movie Menu and, in the dislay of Movie Menu choices, under Simon Specials/specialfaux.


September 03 2014 Add On
Also see blog post
PE: Disc Menu Folders/Files Locations