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eggs2.gifWhat do Easter Eggs and DVD's have in common?  We're obviously not talking about the traditional easter egg here, although the term in the DVD world does come somewhat from the tradition of "hunting eggs".  An Easter Egg is an intentional hidden feature of sort in a DVD left by the author.  Some examples of hidden easter eggs can be deleted scenes, outtakes, concept art, actors' interviews, etc, none of which are included in your normal advertised special features. 

In DVD Studio Pro you create Button Highlight Markers over a video track using the subtitle function.  As a viewer watches the track, they are presented with a graphic (for example an Easter Egg) for a small period of time.  When they see the graphic, they can hit the enter key on their DVD remote, which will take them to the secret special feature. You may want to explain what the viewer is supposed to do when the "egg" comes up, or you may want to let them figure it out.  Once the special feature is over, the movie can jump back to where they left off.  I'll put this in another example of a real-world situation.  You are making a training video for the local fire department.  During the video you have an "easter egg" (probably more like a Fire helmet) where they can press enter, which takes them to a 2 minute segment of a real flood rescue they've filmed, to show as an example of what the video is talking about at that point.  After the 2 minute segment is over, the video automatically jumps to where they left off before.  If they don't press enter at the time the "egg/helmet" is presented, the video just continues as normal.

Ok, so now we're ready to create one of these "easter eggs".  First you need to create markers in the video track to indicate where each of these buttons should appear.  These buttons are considered button highlight markers, which are represented by an orange marker.  Once you've clicked on your chapter marker, click on the Button Highlight checkbox in the Marker Inspector.The marker will now be half purple to represent it is a chapter marker, and half orange to represent it is a Button highlight marker.


Move your playhead about 15 seconds forward and press M to create another marker.  In the Inspector click the Chapter checkbox to deselect it, and click the Button Highlight checkbox to use this marker as a Button Highlight marker only.  An orange marker appears now in the timeline.


Now double click in the space between the two markers in the S1 subtitle stream.  Then click the Force Display checkbox in the General Tab of the Subtitle Inspector.


Click and drag your pointer on the image in the Viewer to create a button.  Now in a perfect world we could make a graphic for that button, such as an egg; however, this doesn't exactly work the way we want it to.  The graphics just don't show up as well as say text.  So, I suggest you place your graphic in your video in Final Cut Pro, then when you bring it into DVD Studio Pro, you can place your chapter/button highlight markers around that, and it will work.  But for this example I'm working with right now, I'll just use text.


Ok, so now we need to tell the button what it is connected to. To do this we Target the destination of the button action by right-clicking on the button and choose Target. Now you select what you want the button to initiate. It could be another Track, a Story, a Slideshow, or even a Menu.


In this example we are playing the easter egg Track. Once the Track has played, we will want it to go back to the point in our video where the egg button had come on screen. To do this we will set the End Jump in the Track Inspector to return us to the point in the video where we left off.


Your graphical view should look something like this


Just for fun you can check out some of these websites that list hidden easter eggs in DVDs.  The Easter Egg Archive, Movie Web, Hidden DVD Easter Eggs, & DVD Review 


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Aged Film-look Plug-in for Final Cut Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

Working with Motion Graphic Templates in Final Cut Pro is the next entry in this blog.

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