15.5. Phase 3: Hand Off to iDVD
Once you've added your chapter markers in iMovie, you're ready to hand off the whole thing to iDVD, where you can do your menu design and DVD burning.
Start by saving your iMovie project. Then choose Share iDVD and, in the confirmation dialog box, click Share.
Your hard drive whirs, thunder rolls somewhere, and after a few moments, you wind up in iDVD itself. If this is your first time using iDVD, the factory-setting design is called Travel, in which a clarinet tootles away, confirming your arrival in iDVD Land (Figure 15-6). If you've run iDVD before, you see whatever design theme you used last.
Figure 15-6. In iDVD, you add, edit, and manipulate the
15.6. Phase 4: Design the Menu Screen
On the main menu screen now before you, you'll find two
Tip: If iDVD seems
15.6.1. All about Themes
The moving drop zones, any music that's playing, and the font for your buttons are all part of a theme : a unified design scheme that governs how the menus look and behave, complete with attractive backgrounds, coordinated typography, and background music. iDVD 6 offers 10 new eye-catching new theme families that include a host of stunning effects. Each theme family contains a main menu screen, a chapter navigation screen and an "extras" screen for all those bonus DVD features you can build with iDVD.
It takes a lot of individual design decisions to make a theme. For example:
Figure 15-7 illustrates two very different looks for the same project. The difference lies only in the chosen theme.
15.6.2. Choosing a Theme
From the pop-up menu at the top of the Themes palette, choose a theme set . iDVD offers four built-in sets, each named for the version of iDVD that first included them: 6.0 Themes, 5.0 Themes, 4.0 Themes, and Old Themes (from iDVD 3).
Within each theme, you can often click the flippy triangle (Figure 15-6) to reveal variations of that themea complementary menu design for the scene-selection screen, for your DVD extras page, and so on. In all, you have 69 menu designs to choose from, which ought to keep you busy for awhile.
Tip: Many of the new iDVD 6 themes are designed to match the iMovie 6 themes described in Section 5.9.4. The idea is that both the DVD menu screens and the movie itself can now appear as a matched set.
If you've bought additional themes online, this pop-up menu may offer other choices. In any case, you can use this pop-up menu to switch between them, or just choose All to see all installed themes in a single scrolling list.
Scroll through the list of themes, clicking each one to see what it looks like in the main work area, or just rely on the little thumbnail icons to get a sense of the theme's overall flavor.
Note: At first, clicking a different theme thumbnail may produce the baffling error message shown in Figure 15-9. For now, click Keepand then read the discussion in Section 15.6.4.
If your DVD menu system consists of only a single screenthe main menu you've been looking at the whole timeit takes on your chosen theme instantly. A movie you've exported from iMovie, however, probably has chapter markers in it, and therefore your movie probably has at least one additional menu screen: your scene-selection screen.
In that case, when you click a theme thumbnail, iDVD asks if you want to apply the Theme Family to the entire project, so that the main menu and the Scene Selection menus match; almost always, this is what you want. Figure 15-8 shows how.
Note: You can also apply a theme to all the menus of a project later by choosing Advanced Apply Theme to Project. Or you can apply a theme only to the submenusnot the main screenby choosing Advanced Apply Theme to Submenus.)
When you're happy with the way the new theme looks, you're ready to proceed with your iDVD design work. Fortunately, you don't have to commit to a theme at this moment; you can swap in a different theme at any time until you actually burn the DVD.
Tip: You can buy additional themes, or download free samples, from other companies (such as iDVDThemePAK.com ). Install them by creating a folder called Favorites in your Library iDVD folder (the Library folder in the main hard drive window, not in your Home folder), and then
15.6.3. The Inevitable Paragraphs About Aspect Ratio
As you probably know, there are two popular aspect ratios screen shapesfor television these days. There's the traditional shape, also known as squarish or 4:3 (that's the width-to-height ratio). And now there's widescreen, also known as 16:9. With every passing year, more people are switching to widescreen sets, because that's the shape of high-definition TV, and that's the future of television.
iDVD 6, as it turns out, can create DVDs in either format (see Figure 15-7).
Unfortunately, even if you have no
You'll notice, for example, that when you're clicking various menu themes to see what they look like, you'll frequently be
Figure 15-9. You'll see this message whenever you select an iDVD theme that, behind the scenes, has been flagged with an aspect ratio that doesn't match your movie. Click Keep to keep the current settings.
Unfortunately, that little dialog box will keep popping upand don't think that turning on the "Do not ask me again" checkbox will solve the problem. It won't. That checkbox doesn't mean "Always keep the aspect ratio I've already got. "In fact, it means, "Always change the aspect ratio to the preferred format for the theme I've just clicked," which is probably not what you want. (Each iDVD 6 theme has a "preferred" setting, either standard or widescreen, that it
So how do you keep all of this straight without going insane? Here are two ways to deal with the frequent appearance of that Change Aspect Ratio box:
Now, it's worth noting that permitting iDVD to switch your project to the widescreen format may not be the worst thing in the world. It turns out that all of the iDVD 6 themes have been cleverly designed to look great on both standard and widescreen TV sets. Figure 15-10 explains all.
So if the menu screens will always look good, regardless of TV shape, why not just choose widescreen format for every DVD you make?
in your DVD isn't so
The bottom line: Choose the aspect ratio for your DVD according to the aspect ratio of the video that's in it.
15.6.4. Editing Menus
If you like the way everything looks when you click a desired theme,
Note, however, that a great deal of flexibility and control await in the meantime. You don't have to accept every element of the theme as it appears when you first select it. You can move your buttons around, change the labels on them, and so on.
Chapter 17 offers the full scoop on these procedures, but here are a few of the most common redesign
18.104.22.168. Editing titles and buttons
iDVD usually adds a title to your menu screens, often near the top of the page, and usually in a larger font than any other text. You can edit it just as you would a Finder icon name: Click inside it to
Figure 15-10. Each of the new "widescreenable" themes comes in two versions: a standard 4:3 version (top) and a widescreen version (bottom). The question is, what happens if you create a widescreen DVDand then play it on a 4:3 standard television?
GEM IN THE ROUGH
Secrets of the Theme Scrubber
iDVD 6's scrubber bar (the thin white scroll bar
Many themes, including the one shown here, include a "play once" introductiona preliminary animation that plays before your menu buttons even appear. It's represented in iDVD by a crosshatched area of the scrubber bar, to the left of the main section (which represents the looping portion of your menu animation). Some themes also have a crosshatched area at the end, a "play-out" portion that helps link back to the beginning of the loop.
At times, you might want to turn off that introductory animationfor example, when you're designing secondary menu screens (like the Scene Selection screen). If you turn off the checkbox to the left of the scrubber, you hide the crosshatched section of the scrubber bar. You also eliminate the introductory portion, both as it plays in iDVD and on the final, burned DVD. Now only the main, looping portion of the
Speaking of scrubber-bar secrets: If you turn off the Motion (running-man) button at the bottom of the iDVD screen, you bring the menu's animation to a halt. (The menu will be frozen on the finished DVD, too.) Once Motion is turned off, you can drag the scrubber.
Choose View Hide Motion Playhead to tuck the scrubber bar out of sight and View Show Motion Playhead to bring it back.
Note, by the way, that not all drop zones may be on screen at once; the drop zones in several themes take their time in parading onto the screen, or rotating through it. To give yourself a quick tour of all the drop zones in your chosen theme, drag the handle of the thin white scroll bar at the bottom of the menu window to cycle through the entire presentation; see the box in Section 15.6.5 for details.
iDVD offers three different ways to fill these empty gray spaces with videos and pictures:
Drag directly into the
Drag into the Drop Zone palette . The Drop Zone palette is a dark gray, transparent window that you can resize or drag around the screen, much like the Photo Settings palette in iMovie (also shown in Figure 15-12). To make it appear, double-click any full-size drop zone rectangle in the main monitor window. (You can also choose Project Edit Drop Zones.)
What's nice about the Editor is that it shows small thumbnail representations of all of the theme's drop zones at once, so you don't have to wait for them to cycle into view in the main display window.
Drag into the Drop Zone list . This list appears when you click the Menu button (see Figure 15-13). Its primary feature is the Autofill button, which loads photos or moviesof iDVD's choosing, not yours automatically into the drop zones of the theme.
No matter which view of the drop zones you're using, here's how they work:
Adding to a drop zone . Drag any video, photo album, image, or collection of images right into a drop zone outline to install it there. You can drag icons out of the Finder, or directly out of the Media pane.
Replacing items in a drop zone . To replace what you've installed in a drop zone, just drag something new into it.
Removing items from a drop zone . To delete an item in the drop zone, drag it away from the spot, just as you'd drag something off the Mac OS X Dock or the Sidebar. You get a cute little puff of smoke to indicate the movie or picture's disappearance.
Editing a drop-zone slideshow or movie
. If you've created a movie or slideshow drop zone, you have some additional editing powers available to youlike deciding what order the photos appear in the slideshow, or which part of the movie
Add sounds . Drop zones have no sound, although you can import audio into the menu screen that contains the drop zone. See Section 17.5.
Turning on Motion . If you've installed video into a drop zone and it doesn't seem to be playing, click the running-man Motion button at the bottom of the iDVD window, or press -J. If it still doesn't seem to be playing, the menu duration may be set to 0 (Section 22.214.171.124).
Turning off Motion also turns off any background audio track and
Changing the duration . Use the Menu pane to adjust the loop duration for your menus (how long a movie clip plays before starting over). Whatever time you specify here controls the loop length of movies in menu backgrounds, video buttons, and drop zones.
You can change every tiny aspect of your themethe music, the background, the colors, the fonts, and so onif you have the time and patience. If you're so inclined, turn to Chapter 17 for a full discussion of theme creation.