Home Theater Custom Intros - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-11-2008, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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There has been a long lull between threads on custom home theater intros, so I thought I would share my experience with my intro made by Digital Forge Multimedia. This company makes the "Awards Night" , "City Cinema" etc for a bunch of the online Home Theater suppliers. I ordered my "Awards Night" intro with great expectations. When I recvd it, it was a big dissapointment. Especially for what it cost me to have produced. As it played it blurred and jittered to a point that even the most un-informed guest made comment on whats with that intro? My theater is new with all new equipment. I was playing it on a new Pioneer DV-58 via HDMI thru a Epson Cinema 1080 projector. I notified the company and stated a delightful dialog with Eric Smith, their producer. He made it clear from the start that what I experienced was not acceptable and that he was going to do everything in his power to make it right even if that meant a refund. His work ethics even had me e-mailing back and forth on Saturdays and Sundays. He went through two re-renderings and finally produced a clear, vibrant, magnificant intro that would knock your socks off. The DTS soundtrack was excellent. I was very impressed with his willingness to make me satisfied and not just blow me off with some BS reason why it did not play right. Not only did he fix it, he offered to send me a copy of City Cinema intro so that I had something to play at our 4th of July theater party while he worked on the Awards night intro. This guy has some serious commitment to his craft. Should you be in the market for an excellent intro for your home theater, please consider these guys at Digital Forge. You will not be disappointed. It is refreshing to find a company that is devoted to real, honest customer service. Kudos to Eric and Digital Forge.

I knew it, they're all in kahoots. Slim Pickings- 1941
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-11-2008, 12:46 PM
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I agree. I have purchased several different intros for my theater and the digital forge intro seems to be of the highest quality and my favorite. fortunately, I didn't have any issues but it is good to hear that you were taken care of promptly. Kudos to them!
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post #3 of 17 Old 07-12-2008, 05:24 PM
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It's been my experience with this hobby that most companies are pretty damn helpful compared to other industries. I think that people who "love movies" are for the most part a bit more creative, patient, and understanding. Just my 2 dollars anyways.
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-01-2008, 02:31 PM
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Thanks for the input. I looked around at intros and eventually began making them myself. I wanted to get away from the traditional intros that were 3D animation and do something more cinematic. I wanted a feel of the beginning of a movie. Needless to say, I'm still working on about 5 of them and hope to have them complete in the next few months.

When I wrap each up I'll post a demo.
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-12-2008, 06:27 AM
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I love the intro and everyone gets quite a kick out of it. It really adds that professional touch to a home theater. I think I'd like to have a few different ones and have them cycle through them but I don't imagine it would be an easy install.

john
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-13-2008, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobodude View Post

There has been a long lull between threads on custom home theater intros, so I thought I would share my experience with my intro made by Digital Forge Multimedia. This company makes the "Awards Night" , "City Cinema" etc for a bunch of the online Home Theater suppliers. I ordered my "Awards Night" intro with great expectations. When I recvd it, it was a big dissapointment. Especially for what it cost me to have produced. As it played it blurred and jittered to a point that even the most un-informed guest made comment on whats with that intro? My theater is new with all new equipment. I was playing it on a new Pioneer DV-58 via HDMI thru a Epson Cinema 1080 projector. I notified the company and stated a delightful dialog with Eric Smith, their producer. He made it clear from the start that what I experienced was not acceptable and that he was going to do everything in his power to make it right even if that meant a refund. His work ethics even had me e-mailing back and forth on Saturdays and Sundays. He went through two re-renderings and finally produced a clear, vibrant, magnificant intro that would knock your socks off. The DTS soundtrack was excellent. I was very impressed with his willingness to make me satisfied and not just blow me off with some BS reason why it did not play right. Not only did he fix it, he offered to send me a copy of City Cinema intro so that I had something to play at our 4th of July theater party while he worked on the Awards night intro. This guy has some serious commitment to his craft. Should you be in the market for an excellent intro for your home theater, please consider these guys at Digital Forge. You will not be disappointed. It is refreshing to find a company that is devoted to real, honest customer service. Kudos to Eric and Digital Forge.

Bobodude,
Do they offer the Awards Night intro in 1920x1080 resolution in Cinemascope ratio (2.35:1 or 2.40:1)? That was my only concern about spending $150 on an intro, would be getting a DVD quality at 480 resolution and a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which defeats the purpose of me investing into CIH set up with an expensive project an AR lens.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-13-2008, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffczyz View Post

I looked around at intros and eventually began making them myself.

I second this...

I have been working on several HT intros. Most with the help of other AVS'ers on here.

Such as:

Fox intro
Universal intro
Death Star Universal intro
Disney Intro
New Disney intro
Lionsgate intro

These have all been studio reproductions, but I am now starting work on some non - studio intros

The thread using the videosopilot stuff was an inspiration to move beyond studio themed intros, so I have that one as well.

Currently I am in the beginning phases of making a Terminator HT intro.

So, good luck and post some examples when you get a chance...
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-13-2008, 08:41 PM
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How are you guys playing your intros, from an equipment perspective, are you all using a PC of sorts?
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-13-2008, 10:09 PM
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I use my modded Xbox (the original, not a 360) running XBMC. This is networked to my desktop with 2 external HD's one for movies one for music.
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-14-2008, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sa91899 View Post

I second this...

I have been working on several HT intros. Most with the help of other AVS'ers on here.

Such as:

Fox intro
Universal intro
Death Star Universal intro
Disney Intro
New Disney intro
Lionsgate intro

These have all been studio reproductions, but I am now starting work on some non - studio intros

The thread using the videosopilot stuff was an inspiration to move beyond studio themed intros, so I have that one as well.

Currently I am in the beginning phases of making a Terminator HT intro.

So, good luck and post some examples when you get a chance...

What type of software app(s) are you using to edit and produce your intros?
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post #11 of 17 Old 08-20-2008, 05:05 PM
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Those of you that are using these Intros, Do you use a DVD Changer? I mean the intro lasts all but about :30 seconds or so then you have to get up and change the DVD if you don't have a disc changer right?
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post #12 of 17 Old 08-20-2008, 06:23 PM
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Sam,

For the Studio themed intros we have been using Blender to create the 3D stuff and then with the resulting avi (in my case) I import this into Vegas and add the AC3 track. I then export them individually, for reasons I'll continue to explain answering Chuck.

For the more cinematic intros, I have taken a big plunge (and maybe over the edge of a cliff) and have upgraded to After Effects & 3D Max. I already had Premiere Pro and Vegas but after seeing some of the videos people were making I decided why not add a couple more expensive apps...

Now that I'm working on the Terminator intro, I will create a good portion of the intro in 3D Max.(not sure off hand which version) While this is still considered 3D, I hope to make a more cinematic feel by having some sort of storyline that I follow and not just try to recreate a studio intro...

Chuck,

I started out burning them to DVD and then having 2 players pausedand switching between them. Lots of fast maneuvering with the remots let me tell you!

I then decided it was time to mod my Xbox. The main reason was because I found out there was a media center program that looked like it could do pretty much anything I wanted to do and then some. So I modded the Xbox, loaded XBMC and networked the Xbox to my router. I have 2 external HD's connected to my desktop and I use 1 for movies and one for music. In XBMC, I can create playlists of music or playlists of movies, or playlists of mixed material. Pretty convenient...

Now to get around to finish answering Sam's question, for the intros I have created so far, the audio has already been available as they were studio intros I just needed the AC3 file used in the intro. I import both the video and audio into Vegas to make sure they link up correctly as far as timing goes and if something needs tweaked I fix that. Once done, I export them seperately.

Now, I use the last and final app - DVD Architech

In DVD Arch, I chose to make a single movie with no menu. I import the video, then import the audio check the preview to make sure they still are in sync and then chose to prepare the DVD. this output gives me a folder with the Audio_TS and Video_TS folders. I then transfer the Video_TS folder over to my external HD that holds the movies and they are ready for use in XBMC.

In XBMC I choose the trivia file I want to use, the Dolby intro I want to use, the HT intro I want to use and then the movie file I want to use. Save it as a playlist and its ready for veiwing later once everyone has arrived and I can sit back and enjoy it all along with everyone else instead of playing tag with 3 different remotes.

Now understand, the process I described above for Vegas and DVD Arch, are just my way of doing it and I am not saying that anyone else has to do it this way. I'm sure there is an easier way, but after trying it several ways and having less than perfect results, I was able to get a perfect transfer everytime I have done it this way, and have since forgotten exactly why I do it this way (as in the seperate video and audio file into DVD Arch) but I believe it was because once done, there was a sync issue..

Anyway, hope some of the above was helpful...
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post #13 of 17 Old 08-21-2008, 06:19 AM
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Okay Okay, you guys have made me so hungry for a good intro now, that I must have one!!! LOL Would any of you on this thread consider sending me a sample of some of your custom intros(my email address: Gatsby191@aol.com), that would only need a different named HT added to it if you were to make one for someone else? (hint, hint) I am decent on the computer at best, and I'm 44 now. So getting into all the technical know how that is required to make some of these intros that you guys often post, is just too much for me at this point. I really tip my hat to all of you!! Due to the fact that I am 44 going on 21, I am always looking into the newest HT TOYS!! (Gear, Accessories,Automation, etc..). So I am asking everyone on this thread in particular, if someone would consider selling me one of their "Homemade" intros with "Uncle Joes Home Theater" in it at the apropriate spot. Yes Uncle Joes, not Uncle Joe's. My nieces and Nephews call me Uncle Joes, and they have all been doing it since they were able to speak, and they all sound so natural saying it that way(they're 1,2, 4, and 5 years old), that I won't ever have the heart to correct them.
Take care all! Joe B.
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post #14 of 17 Old 08-21-2008, 10:05 AM
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hmmm I got Final Cut Pro HD and Motion for high end video editing, so I might have to play around and see if I can make one of these myself as well! LOL! I came across this site that had some cool intros but you guys may have already seen these though.

http://www.cinemashop.com/3/dfi.htm
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post #15 of 17 Old 08-21-2008, 05:28 PM
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Like others, I've assembled some of my own custom Booth Bijou HT intros in Blender, exported them as QuickTime (.mov) files, imported them into iMovie and added the appropriate fades and music. The two I've done so far (Fox-based and Universal-based ones) can be viewed HERE.

As for playback, I have a dedicated Mac Mini as my home theater PC. I use a program called VLC to put together my selected string of videos (HT intro, coming attractions, snack bar video, etc) which VLC plays back in my desired order nice and seamlessly.

I also use the Mac Mini to entertain our guests with pre-movie slide shows (via iPhoto). It's complete with movie theme music as the snack bar and various trivia slides "play".

Of course, before I start the computer-based entertainment, I always queue up the main attraction on either the HD DVD or Blu-ray player and put it on pause. Then, once the custom intros and coming attractions have played, a single button press on my PC-programmable remote automagically: Switches the A/V receiver over to the HD DVD or Blu-ray input, dims the lights, and puts the player in play mode. The effect is seamless! Frankly, more seamless than most movie houses I've attended!

Mark
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post #16 of 17 Old 08-22-2008, 04:00 PM
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I'm afraid sa91899 is right. Without After Effects and Cinema4D/3DS you will be a bit limited to what you can do.
After Effects can create some stunning stuff from scratch, couple that with a good 3D program and it's a powerful combination
I've messed around with a few here http://www.youtube.com/user/EubanksDVDs
and you'll get some great AE tutorials from here - http://www.videocopilot.net
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post #17 of 17 Old 08-21-2013, 09:59 PM
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Hello Eubanks, I love your work, please if you could make a DVD or two for me, contact me by email and I will send you my info, shainengk@mail.com
Thanks
Shaine
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