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DVD Studio Pro: November 2009 Archives

DVDSP.jpgLayered menus in DVD Studio Pro can allow you to create menus with far more sophisticated-looking buttons than the native DVD standard allows.  Unfortunately, this extra functionality comes at a cost.  The layered menus that you create in DVD Studio rely on some behind-the-scenes tricks to work -- and this can make them play back in unexpected ways when viewed on computer DVD players.

When you play back a DVD with layered menus on a computer-based DVD player (but not in DVD Studio's Simulator), and you try to navigate the menu using your mouse, you have to click a button once to "select" it, and then click it again to activate it. 

The menu behaves normally:
  • in DVD players, and
  • in most software, when you use the arrow keys rather than the mouse to navigate it.

After the jump, the explanation ...

Did you know you can duplicate any element within the Graphical View in DVD Studio Pro?  For example, within a menu you can duplicate a button, text object, or a drop zone and quickly make duplicates of it that just need to have their content changed to become independent.


Read on to use the duplicate function...
handbrake_image.pngHandBrake is a great software program, not to mention it's free, that you can use to convert your own DVDs for the purpose of putting them on a hard drive or iPod.  It's available for Mac or Windows.  You can download HandBrake here.  Once you have it installed on your computer, it's pretty easy to start converting your DVDs.

Start by inserting your DVD into your computer.  If the Apple DVD player automatically starts up, just close it.  Now open HandBrake.  Select your DVD and click Open.

build_format_.gifDo you ever wonder why you're given the option in DVD Studio Pro to Build, Format, or Build/Format?  Most DVD authors will just automatically choose Build/Format for the ease of a single step.  Once your project is finished and you're ready to burn, the options depend on the situation.

The Build Process is basically only creating the VIDEO_TS folder.  You can choose the location where the VIDEO_TS folder is created.  If you want to emulate or test your project on your computer by using the DVD Player, using the build process only will save you time without having to format it and find out you have mistakes to fix.  Where the correct workflow is to first test your project in Simulator, then Build your project, then test the VIDEO_TS folder you built in your computer's DVD player, then format your project and test it in a tabletop DVD player and also make sure your disk plays on your computer, you could essentially do it all in one step.

The Format process takes a VIDEO_TS folder you already have created and writes it to a DVD recordable drive.  The Build/Format option simply combines these two tasks of creating the VIDEO_TS folder and writing it to a disk, in one step.  So why even bother with the two-step process, you ask?  Well there are a couple of advantages with performing the Build process by itself first.

dvd_player.gifOne advantage being the fact that you can preview your project by playing the VIDEO_TS folder on your Apple DVD Player, and avoid burning any mistakes onto a disk.  Well why can't I just preview my project in Simulator?  You can; however the Apple DVD Player will allow certain functions that Simulator will not, for example, fast-forwarding.  You will get a more realistic point of view by playing your project on the DVD player than in Simulator.  Another advantage to using the Build step separately is the ability to choose what VIDEO_TS folder you want to burn.

But for all practical purposes, most authors will use the Build/Format option for most projects.  Check out our upcoming schedule for 1-day DVD Studio Pro training to learn all the necessary skills for authoring a fully functional DVD!  

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This page is a archive of entries in the DVD Studio Pro category from November 2009.

DVD Studio Pro: October 2009 is the previous archive.

DVD Studio Pro: January 2010 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.