DVD Tutorials:
Macrovision and DVD Creation - What You Need To Know By Kevin McAuliffe Awhile back, I was asked by a client to put Macrovision onto their DVD which they were sending out for replication. I didn't know very much (or anything for that matter) on Macrovision or what was required to do it, so I did some research, and I found out some very interesting things. ...Read More »
Complex Subtitling in DVD Studio Pro 4.0 - What you NEED to know By Kevin McAuliffe Like with most editors using Final Cut Pro Studio, I've been asked to make DVD's for clients from time to time, but lately, I've gotten into more complex DVD creation, and have needed to include subtitles on some of my DVD's. For most people, subtitles are pretty straightforward, but, what do you do if you need to subtitle an hour long show that is mostly dialogue the entire way through? ...Read More »
Part 20: Sharing Printers And Peripherals (Windows & Mac) By Jeff Van West and Garrick Chow Part 20: Sharing Printers And Peripherals (Windows & Mac) - Do you have more than one computer in your home or small office? If you do, you need a network! Using the network, you can share a single internet connection between all your computers, transfer files with a few mouse-clicks rather than a pile of floppy disks, and work wirelessly with your laptop from anywhere in the room. You can also use your network for sharing printers, playing music, and vanquishing the enemy in multi-player online games. ...Read More »
Burning DVDs in Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 By John Virata One of the new features in Squeeze 4.5 is the capability to burn a DVD of your video content directly from Squeeze. This is an obvious timesaver for those who just need to quickly get content on a DVD for review purposes, archiving, other reasons. You won't have to go into a dedicated DVD authoring tool, but you also don't have access to fancy menus and other niceties that DVD authoring tools provide. But for quick DVD burning, why leave the video compression tool if you don't have to? ...Read More »
Questions Answered 2: Customizing iDVD Themes By Dave Nagel For our second installment of Questions Answered, we address an issue submitted by a reader in Los Angels about iDVD. Is it possible to remove (or modify) an effect in one of iDVD's themes? For example, some theses blur portions of the menu. Maybe you don't want those portions blurred, or maybe you want them to blur more than they already do. ...Read More »
Building DVD Menus in Premiere Pro 2.0 In this video-based tutorial, Jeff Schell demonstrates using Premiere Pro 2.0 to create interactive menus for your DVDs. ...Read More »
Questions Answered: Customizing iDVD Themes By Dave Nagel In this new series of tips, we answer questions from readers about creative software and hardware--questions that might not warrant a full-bown tutorial, but that do need some step by step explanation. While some of the questions may be related to very specific problems, the answers should provide you with general information that can help you with your own projects. Some answers will be short, some quite detailed. But either way, you should learn something from them that will help you get your job done better or more efficiently. ...Read More »
Scripting 'Last Menu Viewed' in DVD Studio Pro By Dave Nagel One question about DVD Studio Pro seems to be coming up a lot lately: How do you assign a control to a DVD remote's Menu button to take the viewer to the last menu used? For example, if you're viewing a track from a chapter menu, you want people to be able to go back to the chapter menu by hitting the Menu button. But if the viewer accessed the track from the main menu, you want the viewer to go back to the main menu instead. ...Read More »
Reusing Menus in DVD Studio Pro By Dave Nagel The time you spend designing menus in DVD Studio Pro doesn't have to be wasted. Complete menu designs--including graphics and assets--can be reused over and over, within the same project, between different projects and even across multiple computers. In this tutorial, we'll look at three methods for reusing your menus. ...Read More »
Antialiasing Highlights in DVD Studio Pro By Dave Nagel One of the problems you'll encounter when designing DVD menus is jagged highlights. Highlights on DVDs aren't antialiased in the way we think of antialiasing, so when you're mapping highlight colors onto your buttons, you'll often wind up with jagged edges that allow the buttons original colors to show around the fringes, producing an unattractive result. ...Read More »
Subtitle Fonts in DVD Studio Pro 4 By Dave Nagel Working with subtitles in DVD Studio Pro 4 isn't always the most convenient thing in the world to do. In fact, there are times when it can be outright frustrating. One example of this is in formatting subtitles--especially changing fonts on subtitle streams that contain numerous individual subtitles. Well, fortunately, there are some pretty simple tricks to help make your life easier. ...Read More »
Button Tricks in DVD Studio Pro 4, Part 3 By Dave Nagel Now that we've created some custom patches for DVD Studio Pro 4, let's put them to use. One of the common requests I get as host of our DVD Studio Pro forum is a technique for making rollover effects on motion menus. What if, for example, you have three buttons on a menu, and in their "normal" state, the buttons are grayscale, while in their "selected" state they're full-color (or sepia or some other tint)? That would be a nice little trick. Here's how it works. ...Read More »
Button Tricks in DVD Studio Pro 4, Part 2 By Dave Nagel In our last article on button tricks in DVD Studio Pro 4, we looked at a method for rotating buttons. This allowed us to create presets so that we could easily vary the angle of our menu elements. We'll continue the button modification process this time around with a look at how to control the saturation, tint and overall opacity of button objects. ...Read More »
Button Tricks in DVD Studio Pro 4 By Dave Nagel If you've been reading any of our recent tutorials, you know it's possible not only to modify custom patches in DVD Studio Pro, but also to create your own, complete with custom motion masks and moving shapes. Now we begin a new series to take the creation/modification of custom patches to the next level, looking at compositing tricks and special effects that you can add to DVD Studio Pro 4's menu buttons. ...Read More »
Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0: DVD From the Timeline By Charlie White In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create DVDs right from Premiere Pro's timeline. If you want deep interactivity and plan to create complex DVD menus, you'll definitely want to go into Adobe Encore or another DVD authoring package to accomplish that. However, for a lot of editors, to be able to just get something off the DVD to a client, or create something simple using one of the included templates, everything you need is right here, without even leaving the timeline. It's surprisingly easy to use. Come along and I'll show you how it's done. ...Read More »
Slideshow Creation in Adobe Encore DVD 2.0 By John Virata A long awaited feature to Encore DVD is the capability to create slideshows. New to Encore DVD, the capability to create slideshows makes it easier for those who wish to incorporate still images into their DVDs. No longer do you have to go to an outside image or video editor to create slideshows. ...Read More »
Hidden Tricks in iDVD 5, Part 6 By Dave Nagel We've explored methods for modifying button highlights in Apple's iDVD 5. But not all highlights are the same. In some cases, themes in iDVD use text-only buttons and supply you with a bullet-style highlight that appears next to the text, rather than over an asset, as with standard highlights. And, just as with standard highlights, it's possible to modify this bullet highlight to suit your needs. ...Read More »
Custom Patches in DVD Studio Pro 4, Part 3 By Dave Nagel In the first two parts of this tutorial series, we looked at how to create motion masks and custom highlights for buttons. This time around, we're going to substitute our own motion graphics into the patches--the final step in basic patch-based button creation. ...Read More »
Creating Layered Video Backgrounds in DVD Workshop Menus By Elar Walys Creating advanced motion menus with layered video looks like it requires a lot of experience in video compositing and special effects, but it is actually quite easy to do with Uleads DVD Workshop 2 DVD authoring product. In this tutorial I’ll walk you through the process of creating a custom DVD menu complete with a layered video background and motion menu buttons. ...Read More »
Custom Patches in DVD Studio Pro 4, Part 2 By Dave Nagel Patches in DVD Studio Pro are custom elements that you can use to change the appearance of buttons in your menus. Functioning somewhat like Photoshop-based buttons, patches can take you far beyond simple still masks and styles with motion masks, motion shapes and even special effects like tinting and blurring. And, despite what DVD Studio Pro's user manual states, it is possible even to create your own custom patches for virtually unlimited possibilities. ...Read More »
Custom Patches in DVD Studio Pro 4 By Dave Nagel In DVD Studio Pro, there are three fairly straightforward methods for creating buttons for your menus. You can simply click and drag to create a hotspot over your background; you can drop an asset onto your menu to make a button; and you can create custom shape files in Adobe Photoshop, then add asset on top of those. But there's also a fourth method, one that's completely undocumented, that can not only let you use custom shapes with your assets, but also apply special effects to your buttons, from motion masks to color filters and beyond. ...Read More »
Text and Styles in DVD Studio Pro 4 By Dave Nagel I wouldn't count typography among the advanced features of DVD Studio Pro. It's assumed, after all, that the bulk of a DVD project's graphics will be created in an outside application and then brought into the DVD authoring environment. Nevertheless, there are times when you want to format your text within a project and keep it editable, especially when you're creating text fields in templates. ...Read More »
Dynamic End Jumps in DVD Studio Pro By Dave Nagel We've now explored two simple methods for creating custom end jumps for tracks, stories and chapters. One involved a couple of easy scripts; the other involved nothing more than replacing chapter links with story links. Now, though, I want to show you a way you can use scripts not just to target a "last viewed" menu dynamically, but to target any button on any menu based solely on the last button selected. ...Read More »
Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #52 By Stephen Schleicher Chapter markers should be a requirement for every DVD created. While the motion picture industry has been using them for years, those doing wedding videos, corporate, or training videos can increase interactivity and customer satisfaction. After going through these steps, you’ll smack yourself on the head and cry, “Why haven’t I been doing this all along!?” In this Final Cut Pro Quick Tip, Stephen Schleicher shows how easy it is to use chapter markers in iDVD. ...Read More »
End Jumps in DVD Studio Pro, Part 2 By Dave Nagel In our last look at DVD Studio Pro, we explored a method for using stories in a chapter index to set end jumps for specific segments of our main track. That method was nice, in that it didn't require you to do any scripting. But it also wasn't terribly practical for complex projects involving multitudes of menus, tracks and chapters. Too much manual labor involved. ...Read More »
End Jumps in DVD Studio Pro By Dave Nagel There are times when, for whatever reason, you want individual elements of your DVD to return to a specific menu rather than the disc's default main menu. A good case in point is when you create a chapter index and would like individual chapters to jump back to the index after they've been viewed. Well, there are several ways to accomplish this in DVD Studio Pro, and we'll look at a few of them, starting off this time around with the simplest. ...Read More »
Frame Interpolation in Compressor 2 By Dave Nagel I've never written much on the topic of Compressor, Apple's companion utility that ships with Final Cut Studio. Compressor is, as its name implies, a compression tool (for audio and video), and, as such, it's always been sort of a no-brainer. Drop in a file; pick your settings; and export the transcoded/compressed movie or sound file. Now, though, in version 2, it has a few extraordinary features worthy of explanation, including its new-found Optical Flow features, which use advanced algorithms for format conversions, including NTSC to PAL, PAL to NTSC, SD to HD, etc. ...Read More »
GPRM Partitions in DVD Studio Pro 4, Part 2 By Dave Nagel In our last tutorial in this series on Apple's DVD Studio Pro 4, we explored the basics of GPRMs and partitions--when to use them, why to use them and where you can't use them. This time around, we'll answer the question of how to use them, including how to create partitions in the first place and then how to incorporate these partitions into scripts. We'll also cover some of the limitations involved with partitions. ...Read More »
VTS Allocation in DVD Studio Pro 4 By Dave Nagel The contents of any DVD you author are allocated to video title set (or VTS) blocks. In DVD Studio Pro, you've never before had the ability to customize how these blocks are allocated; nor have you had any control over video title sets whatsoever. But DVD Studio Pro 4 has introduced a new feature called the VTS Editor, which brings some of that control to you. ...Read More »
GPRMs and GPRM Partitions in DVD Studio Pro 4 By Dave Nagel You've seen by now that DVD Studio Pro 4 has added a new feature for partitioning GPRMs. What most of you are probably asking yourselves is, "Why in the bejonkers would I want to do that?" The answer is simple: You want to add more interactivity to your DVD presentation. In this installment in our series on DVD Studio Pro 4's new workflow features, we'll take a look at GPRM partitioning: what it means, why it works the way it does and when you can and can't use it. ...Read More »
Loop Points in DVD Studio Pro 4 By Dave Nagel Apple's DVD Studio Pro came packed with some major new features, including HD DVD authoring and a completely revamped compression utility, Compressor 2. But it also included a number of workflow enhancements, some of which are sure to save you time when authoring your presentations. In this new series of techniques, we'll cover these new workflow features, starting today with a look at DVD Studio Pro's expanded menu loop point capabilities. ...Read More »
DVD Studio Pro: Switching Streams with Buttons over Video By Dave Nagel We've seen that buttons over video can be used to accomplish pretty much anything regular (menu) buttons can do. We've also seen that they can be a lot more trouble than they're worth, as they can take up a huge amount of development time while still providing flaky results. However, there are some cases where these buttons can come in handy for providing viewers with obvious visual cues for accessing interactive options while a track is playing. ...Read More »
Conditional Chapter Jumps in DVD Studio Pro By Dave Nagel In DVD Studio Pro, the simplest way to to enable playback of individual chapters is to use the program's Story feature. However, this isn't always feasible. It's laborious, and you may have too many tracks and individual chapters to be able to do it at all. An alternate method is to use scripting to enable users to play either just one chapter or an entire track. (Even if you don't want to do that, there's a nice technique embedded in here for creating dynamic chapter buttons.) ...Read More »
Conditional Chapter Jumps in DVD Studio Pro By Dave Nagel In DVD Studio Pro, the simplest way to to enable playback of individual chapters is to use the program's Story feature. However, this isn't always feasible. It's laborious, and you may have too many tracks and individual chapters to be able to do it at all. An alternate method is to use scripting to enable users to play either just one chapter or an entire track. (Even if you don't want to do that, there's a nice technique embedded in here for creating dynamic chapter buttons.) ...Read More »
(Invisible) Buttons over Video in DVD Studio Pro By Dave Nagel It can be a tremendous pain to work with buttons over video when authoring a DVD. But, then again, they can be of tremendous benefit when you want to add interactivity to your presentation. They can do anything menu buttons can do but have the advantage of being active while a track is playing, so the viewer doesn't have to return to a menu to make navigation decisions. What's more, buttons over video don't have to be visible at all; users can interact with them via their remotes without ever knowing they're there. That means more creative freedom in your authoring projects. ...Read More »
Hidden Tricks in iDVD 5, Part 5 By Dave Nagel We've seen now in iDVD 5 that it's possible to create custom buttons and custom highlights and motion-based buttons with motion masks. But it's also possible to do all of these things with drop zones, which is great for when you want to create a series of discs with common background elements without having to go through the hassle of making new motion graphics for each one. So in this latest installment in our "Hidden Tricks" series, we'll learn how to create these custom drop zones. ...Read More »
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