Basic iDVD Features
It used to be that
The other great thing about iDVD is that it's not only a DVD-authoring program, but it also includes built-in DVD menu design, which basically means that you can make your DVD screens inside the program. This is another area in which DVD authors used to have to
The defining characteristic of a DVD is that it gives you the ability to watch digital video interactively on your television. It's possible to make a DVD disc that goes directly to the video when you put it into a DVD player, but most DVDs have some kind of menu. A DVD
is simply a screen that gives you several choices, with selectable
Figure 18.9. A simple DVD menu with a number of choices with the currently selected choice highlighted.
Apple, with its consistently good taste, has put together a number of built-in, customizable themes and styles in iDVD, which give you the ability to make DVDs professional-looking menus. Themes are like costumes for a DVD screen. They include different background and button designs that enable you to express yourself and create a unique space to drop your iMovies into.
iDVD includes a central window, as shown in Figure 18.10, where you can easily try out different themes, some of which allow you to add your own photos as background.
Figure 18.10. Choosing a theme in iDVD.
Some of the available themes actually have video clips as backgrounds, and some also include sound. These themes enable you to include what's known as a
on your DVD. You can even set your own motion backgrounds in some themes by dragging a movie into the drop zone. You might discover (if you haven't already) that sometimes when you're working on a DVD project, you want to
Figure 18.11. The Motion button to turn on or off motion menus.
When you want to go beyond the automatic colors that are
Figure 18.12. iDVD gives you the ability to choose your own
While you can add individual elements (such as movies and slide shows) to your DVD, you can also create folders in the menu and add a secondary menu in which to add even more elements. Simply click the Folder button at the bottom of the iDVD window. Double-clicking a folder will open it, so you can add content and even apply a completely different theme!
You can insert a variety of DVD content, including music, still photos, and movies. The Audio palette, shown in Figure 18.14, integrates with your iTunes library to allow you to add background music to your chosen DVD theme.
Besides integrating with your iTunes library, iDVD connects directly to your iPhoto library. From the Photos palette, shown in 18.15, you can drag-and-drop photos to create Slideshows, which we'll look at shortly, or to customize themes that contain drop zones. (Refer to Figure 18.9 for an example of a theme containing a drop zone.)
Be sure you've upgraded your version of iPhoto to at least version 2 and launched iPhoto at least once (so it can perform file system changes) before trying to integrate with iDVD.
The Movies palette lists all the movies stored in the current
DVD slideshows can be a nice way to share digital pictures, so that people who watch your DVD can see the pictures on their
When you drag digital pictures into the editing window, you can easily rearrange them and preview the show, just as you might have done with a traditional slide projector and the infamous slide sorter.
You may recall from Chapter 12, "Using iPhoto," that you can easily export a slideshow created in iPhoto to iDVD.
There's also an option for iDVD to draw arrows on the screen so when a person views your DVD, there's a visual reminder to press the arrow keys on the remote to select which slide he wants to see. See Figure 18.17 for an example.
When you make your own DVDs, at some point in the process the computer system has to encode the video into a special format (MPEG-2) so that a DVD player can play it properly.
It used to be that you had to use a separate program and adjust a variety of advanced settings to prepare video for DVD. In iDVD, you simply drag your iMovie into the program, and ”if iMovie hasn't already encoded it ”iDVD automatically encodes the video for you as you work on your project. And if you want to check in on how things are going, iDVD can give you an update on how the encoding is coming along, when you open the Customize tray window and click on the Status tab, as shown in Figure 18.18.
You can also use the Status palette to add DVD-ROM content to your DVD and to organize that "bonus" material into folders.
When you've finished your DVD project, you probably want to preview it first by clicking the Preview button, and then you're ready to burn a DVD disc. You simply click the Burn button to activate it (see Figure 18.19), and then click it again.
When you click the Burn button a second time, the SuperDrive opens. You can insert your DVD disc (see Figure 18.20), and you're off!