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iDVD '09 connects with other iLife '09 applications to create slick, professional-looking DVDs incorporating pictures, movies, and music. In iDVD '09 Essential Training, Garrick Chow takes a detailed look at how to create a DVD using Apple's built-in shortcuts or the provided customized templates. Users will see how to build menus and submenus, automatically create scene selection menus, and archive the final project on a disk or as a disk image. Exercise files accompany the course.
In the previous chapter we looked at the important and fundamental things you need to know about iDVD before getting started with building DVDs. In this chapter we'll start from scratch and build a complete DVD project from beginning to end. So what we are going to do is create a DVD containing a main movie, a shorter movie of let's call them deleted scenes and we'll also add a slideshow of photos. And each of these three items will be accessible from the main menu of our DVD. In addition we'll take advantage of iDVD's ability to also include DVD-ROM content on your disk, which is nice if you also want to provide files to the people viewing your disk.
For example, if you want your viewers to be able to print out copies of the photos you used in your DVD slideshow, you can place high resolution copies on the disk that can be accessed when the DVD is inserted into a computer. Now I'm going to be working with movies and photos that are contained in the folder on my Desktop. Of course, with iDVD being part of the iLife 09 suite you can also import movies and photos directly from iMovie and iPhoto using iDVD's built-in Media Browser. And I'll cover how to do that in this chapter as well. But for now we are going to be work with iDVD as a standalone application as much as possible. Again, when you are working with iDVD, you still need to have media files that you might have created in say iMovie and iPhoto. But I want you to see that you can use iDVD completely by itself to create your DVDs even if you are working media files that weren't created in other iLife applications or that maybe were given to you on a disk.
So the first thing we are going to do is create a new project. So I'm going to choose File > New and I'll save this to my Desktop and I'm going to create a new folder to contain my project and its files, and I'm just going to call this folder Southern Utah DVD and for the project file itself, I'm going to call this Southern Utah Trip. And because the majority of the footage shot for this DVD was in the Widescreen aspect ratio, I'm going to keep Widescreen selected and then I'll Click Create.
And that's really all there is to it. You can see the title of this project is now called Southern Utah Trip. That folder has been created here on my Desktop and there is the project saved in that folder. And right now I'm just looking at the default theme, which is Revolution Main. Again, you can find that in your 7.0 Themes right here at the top. But I don't think this is the theme I want to use for this project, so let's just browse through here and see we can find some other themes. Sunflower is probably little too cutie for what we want. Don't really need Vintage Vinyl.
I think I'm going to go with Modern, kind of like the look of that, just nice clean lines, couple of Drop Zones. Now while we are here, let's customize the menu a bit with some of our own photos. I'm going to open the Drop Zone Editor, and I can see there are three Drop Zones to fill. Now again you could drag movies into the Drop Zone if you wanted to, but I'm just going to use photos here, because I know this theme actually does some nice motion and transitions with items you drag into the Drop Zones. So I'm going to open up my exercise files folder and I'll just pick a couple of images here. Let's go with 01, looks good. 02, now that's more of a vertical photo and since this is a horizontal layout I'm going to pick a different photo. Maybe 08. It's a little bit better. And I'll go ahead and use 15.
So let's check this out and see how it will look when we actually play the DVD. So I'm going to Click the Motion menu. (Music plays.) So you can see we have these nice crossfade transitions as the pictures sort of slide across the background. (Music playing.) That third picture doesn't really work for me; it's mostly just blank sky here.
So let's go ahead and open up the Drop Zone Editor again. I'll just find something with some mountains in the background. That looks better. Now let's pick that up again. I'm just going to move the playhead back a bit, so I can see that transition. (Music plays.) Yeah, I like that a lot better. (Music plays.) And the music fades out. And you can see the playhead went back and we are just going through the whole loop again.
So that background music will probably have to be changed. I don't really think it's appropriate for the DVD I'm creating here, but we'll take care of that in a little bit. Now we have noticed that when the playhead reaches the end of menu loop, it goes back to the beginning like that. But it doesn't really go back to the very beginning; it actually skips the parts of the playback bar at the beginning and end that have these hash marks in them. So you can see we have that at the end of the playback bar and at the beginning. And these are the menu's intro and outro areas and they only play when you enter or leave the screen. I'm going to grab the playhead and drag it all the way to the left and play. You kind of already saw the effect that's going to occur. Let me go ahead and play this for you.
(Music plays.) So we kind of have that nice wipe effect that introduces this menu. And if I drag all the way to the right, now I can't play this for you because it's just going to loop, but I can continue to drag to the right and you can see the effect that will happen at the end. So you can see it just kind of wipes from left to right and fades to black. So when someone Clicks on one of the menu items that we are eventually going to add here, they will see that outro transition. When they first enter this menu, they will first see the wipe in and then they will see the three Drop Zone photos. And if they don't Click anything, once the playhead reaches the end of the bar it will go right back to the beginning, of course skipping the intro animation and just continue in this endless loop. Then when someone actually Clicks one of the menu items, then they will see that outro.
So having these intro and outro sequences is a nice way to ease in and out of the menus on your DVD rather than just having the menu suddenly appear and disappear. You can turn the intro and outro animations on and off as you like by checking and unchecking these boxes on either end. Or you can Click the Info button to open the Menu Info panel, and here under Background you can also check and uncheck the Intro and Outro. I kind of like having them in there, because they do nicely easy you in and out of the menus. And while we are in here, this is also where you can adjust the Loop Duration.
The loop is the portion of the menu animation that starts after the intro and ends right before the outro. So for example, if you feel that the pace of the menu's rotation through the three Drop Zone images is too slow, you can shorten the Loop Duration just by dragging the slider to the left. You can see that significantly shortened the length of the loop animation there. So if I play now, you can see there is a much faster cycle through the three different photos. But I like it the way it is, so I'm just going to leave that all the way at 30 seconds. And I'll go ahead and close the Menu Info panel.
One more thing we need to do here; we are going to take the default title and rename that. So again, I'll Click it once to select it, then Click it again to make the text editable, and we'll just change this to Southern Utah Trip. And I'm fine with the current font face and size, so I'll just leave that the way it is. So we've now created a new project and added some pictures to the Drop Zones to customize the theme a bit and I have changed the title to be appropriate to this project. Next, let's tackle the music that's part of this theme. We'll do that in the very next movie.
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