Now it's time for what I consider the fun part: the authoring stage. I define this as, "everything you use iDVD for except burning." Since much of what you do in iDVD will change if you change your theme, let's start by looking at themes and how they work.

Themes they're not just for songs and novels anymore

One of the best things about iDVD are the nearly 40 included themes. These themes are professionally designed interface shells that you fill with your own titles, movies, sounds, fonts, button shapes and styles, and almost every other visual element your DVD will present to the viewer.

But enough jabber. Figure 3.5 shows what these lifesavers look like:

Figure 3.5. The iDVD themes look like this, only much more colorful.


I was hoping for something a little more elegant in the tutorial than the Theatre theme. Luckily, that's the whole point of having themes. To choose a new theme, open the Customize panel (drawer) and select a theme. It couldn't be easier.

To open the Customize panel (drawer):

  • Choose Show Customize Panel from the Project menu.

  • Or use the keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-B.

  • Or click the little Customize button.


Use one of these methods now and the Customize drawer will pop out of the left side of the main window, as you can see in Figure 3.6.

Figure 3.6. The Customize drawer with the Themes pane displayed this is where the fun begins.



If you've done everything correctly thus far, your project should look something like Figure 3.6 right now. If you did as I said earlier and turned off Motion, yours will certainly look different (I left Motion on in Figure 3.6 for effect).

If it doesn't look right, go back and reread the earlier sections to see if you can track down where you went astray.

I said I wanted elegant, so I selected my favorite, the Global theme, by first choosing Old Themes from the pop-up menu then clicking the Global theme, shown in Figure 3.7.

Figure 3.7. Beats the heck out of that fish thing, eh?



The Old Themes are (surprise!) the themes from iDVD 2; the new ones are new to iDVD 3. You can choose from both Old or New themes if you choose All in the pop-up menu (instead of Old or New). Also note that if you use the Global theme, the background movie (Celebration) you added by dragging it to the drop zone earlier won't be there anymore because the Global theme doesn't have a Drop Zone. If you then choose a theme that does have a Drop Zone, Celebration will be in it. Nice touch.

Try some of the other themes on for size just click 'em in the Themes panel (pane) and take a peek. The ones with the little circle-dude in the lower right corner are motion menus. Be sure to turn them on by clicking the Motion button so you can enjoy the full effect.

When you've peeked all you're going to peek, choose the Global theme again so yours has at least some chance of looking like mine in the upcoming pictures.

Menus and buttons and text (oh my!)

Text in iDVD is as easy to deal with as Themes. To change button or menu text, just click the text to select it, like this:


Then type your replacement text, like this:


That's all there is to it. Feel free to change the title of your project or the title of any or all of the movies in the project now.

Next, let's see some motion buttons. When you add a movie to an iDVD project, the button created in the main window is automatically a motion-menu button. To see a preview of one now, click the Motion button.

By default, iDVD uses the first frame of the movie as its preview image. (If you've created a poster frame in your QuickTime movie, that frame will be used instead.)

To change the still image to another frame in the movie, drag the slider above it, as shown in Figure 3.8.

Figure 3.8. Notice how the picture changes when the slider above it slides.



What's that you say? You don't see a slider? Ooh… You have to first click a button to select it; selecting it makes the slider appear.

If you want to remove the motion menu and use a still image on a button instead, just click the button to select it, move the slider to the frame you like best, then click the Movie checkbox above the slider to deselect it.

Add some pizzazz with a slideshow

If you have a digital still camera or your camcorder can take decent still pictures (most can't), the iDVD slideshow feature is a low-maintenance way to share lots of pictures and present them in a unique manner.

And, as always, iDVD's slideshow feature couldn't be easier to use. Just click the Slideshow button.

Clicking this button will create a new My Slideshow button in your project.



The Fit to Audio option is kind of neat it times your slideshow to last as long as the song you select. So if you have 30 slides and a three-minute song, each slide will appear for roughly ten seconds. Neat!

Double-click the My Slideshow button to open the slideshow editor window. Then drag the six pictures named Slide 1 through Slide 6 (from the Tutorial/Media folder) to the slideshow window, as shown in Figure 3.9.

Figure 3.9. Yes, it is this easy to create a slideshow from still images.


Next we'll add background music by dragging the file Slideshow audio.mp3 into the Audio "well," like this:


Other slideshow options include large or small thumbnail pictures (in the Thumbnail menu), how long each slide remains on-screen (in the Slide Duration menu), and whether or not the viewer can click the Next and Previous buttons on screen with their mouse to move to the next or previous slide (the "Display during slideshow" checkbox).


It should be fairly obvious that this option only applies if the disc is being viewed on a computer. Most televisions don't have a mouse.

All of these items are shown in Figure 3.10.

Figure 3.10. These are the other slideshow options.


Click the Return button (to get back to the main menu screen), name your slideshow, and use the slider to choose a picture to represent it, like this:


Now, let's take a quick look at how to finish things up, so we can move on to the even better stuff.

The Little iDVD Book
The Little iDVD Book
ISBN: 0321197747
Year: 2003
Pages: 62 © 2008-2017.
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