White Paper - DVD Studio Pro

January 20, 2003

How to Build a Basic DVD in DVD Studio Pro
By Darrin Sayewich


After you have created all of your assets (menus, MPEG2 files, AC3 encoded audio) it is important to make sure that you have placed them in a location that is easily found and accessible.

  1. Import all of your assets into DVD Studio. Go to File>Import. Using 'command' & click with mouse, choose all of the items that you want to use in your DVD. REMEMBER:
    a) The order that you select your assets is the order that they will be imported.
    b) You can only import compatible file types into DVD Studio Pro. They are: MPG/M2V, AIFF, AC3, PSD, and PICT.

  2. Before you drag and drop items into the Graphical View to build your DVD matrix, start by naming your disc in the Property inspector. REMEMBER: It is very important to be organized. Proper naming of assets and menu items is key to a disc build without confusion.
  3. Select the first item that you want the disc to play from the Assets window and drag it into the Graphical View. In most cases it will be your first menu that you begin with, but you can begin with MPEG 2 files as well. For this instruction we will start with a menu item.
  4. Once your menu item is in the Graphical view, select the disc layer. (Click on any open space in the Graphical view)
  5. Go to the Property Inspector and set the start up action to be the menu item that you brought into the Graphical view. You must always set a start up action. When the disc is created it needs to have an entry-level script item that will engage a DVD player to play the disc.
  6. Select the menu item in the Graphical view. You will notice that the Property Inspector changes colour according to the specific item that you select. Menu items will always be blue, Track items will always green, Script items will always be brown and Slide show items will always be gray.
  7. Go to the Property inspector and set/re-set the name of the item.
  8. Go to the Picture field in the Property Inspector and choose the asset that you want visible in this item. If you are using a PSD as your source visual, make sure that you choose the appropriate layer(s) that contains all the visual material you want to see in this menu. PICT files contain no layers.
  9. Go to the Button Hilites field in the Property Inspector.
  10. Choose the appropriate colours for your selected and activated states. You also need to choose the percent that the colour is opaque. The opacity value that we set in DVD Studio Pro will not be maintained when we burn a disc. There is a 20% gamma shift that occurs when you burn. Your menu items will become lighter. Always set your opacity higher than you want to achieve the look you desire.
  11. Add the appropriate MPEG element to the Graphical View by dragging and dropping the asset into it. 2
  12. Add audio to the MPEG. You need only drag and drop the appropriate AC3 or AIFF file onto the MPEG file that you dragged into the Graphical Inspector.
  13. Double click on the thumbnail image in the Menu item that is located in the Graphical view.
  14. A sub-window will open and, if you set the Picture Asset properly you will see your menu item. In the top left side of the window you will see a box titled: untitled button. Select this button. You will know that you have this selected properly because the button will have an animated marquee around it and the Property Inspector will change.
  15. When the button is selected the cursor will change to a hand.
  16. Move the button to the appropriate location and resize it.
  17. Re-name the button.
  18. Go to a new location and drag a marquee around another item that you want to be a button.
  19. Repeat steps 10, 11 and 12 for as many buttons as you need.
  20. Once you have completed your buttons, you need to set up the action that occurs when you select the button as well as the button links. With a button selected, go to the Property inspector.
  21. Find the Action field and look for Jump when activated.
  22. Select your MPEG or marker that you want this button to activate.
  23. Go to the Button Links field and select the up, down, left and right direction that you want to have remote buttons jump to when the disc is in a DVD player.
  24. Repeat steps 14 and 15 for each button that you have created.
  25. Close the sub-menu window and select the Video item.
  26. Go to the Property Inspector and look for the General field. In that field look for Jump when finished. Set this selection to return to your original menu when the video item finished playing.
  27. Select the disc level of the DVD matrix that you have created.
  28. Click on the preview button at the bottom of the Graphical menu and test the disc.
  29. When finished testing, select File>Build Disc. Follow the saving prompts.


    a) Make sure that you save your disc build information in a place that you can find. By default in OSX, DVD Studio Pro will save all items in the Documents folder in the Home User section on the internal hard drive. It is not often a problem with smaller projects, but if the project is 1Gb or larger there can be an issue saving the material to the internal hard drive
    b) Do not use invalid characters in names such as: * / \ or -.
  30. Check the newly created file in DVD Player. Open DVD Player
  31. Go to File>Open Video TS File.
  32. Select the TS file from where you saved it. All you need to do is select the VIDEO_TS folder and click O.K.
  33. Press play on the controller located on your desktop. The VIDEO_TS file will play, as would a DVD. This is the final test to see if the disc would work.
  34. Close DVD Player.
  35. Go back into DVD Studio Pro.
  36. Go to File>Build Disc and Format.
  37. Follow the on screen prompts to burn the disc. Make sure that when you are asked if you want to rebuild the file or use existing, you choose use existing. Your do not want to re-mux (mux=multplex) the file, you just want to burn and have DVD Studio Pro use the existing file to burn from.
  38. Check it in a set top player. These steps to crate a basic DVD can be augmented to allow for more advanced menus and disc operations.

copyright Darrin Sayewich 2003


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