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Creating and saving custom themes

From: iDVD '09 Essential Training

Video: Creating and saving custom themes

As we have already seen iDVD has a wide selection of themes to fit just about any occasion, but chances are there that you still want spend some time customizing themes to suit your particular needs. We have seen that you can change the appearance of text and alter the background images of the menus, and you can also customize themes by adding your own custom music or audio tracks, or by changing the size and shapes of the buttons that link to your sub-menus or movies. We will see how you can these things in the next chapter. The point is that after you've spent all this time customizing a theme, it would be a shame to lose all of your work, or maybe you've created a customized theme that you think you will be able to use for other projects. In either case, it's a good idea to save your theme so you can bring it up again later and apply to another project.

Creating and saving custom themes

As we have already seen iDVD has a wide selection of themes to fit just about any occasion, but chances are there that you still want spend some time customizing themes to suit your particular needs. We have seen that you can change the appearance of text and alter the background images of the menus, and you can also customize themes by adding your own custom music or audio tracks, or by changing the size and shapes of the buttons that link to your sub-menus or movies. We will see how you can these things in the next chapter. The point is that after you've spent all this time customizing a theme, it would be a shame to lose all of your work, or maybe you've created a customized theme that you think you will be able to use for other projects. In either case, it's a good idea to save your theme so you can bring it up again later and apply to another project.

So let's go ahead and make some changes here. I'm going to select, let's say, the Soft Frame theme. And I'm just going to use this as the basis for a customized theme. So I'm going to Click the Menu Info window to open that up. I'm going to turn-off Drop Zones, so I won't really need them for what I have in mind. I am going to make sure if Free Positioning is turned-on. So I can drag menu items anywhere I want to, and let's drag a picture in now. I'm going to go into my exercise files, and under Bryce Canyon Pics, I'm going to use the IMG_0015 image. So I'm going to turn-on my Drop Zone Editor so I have access to the drop zone for the menu's background and I'm going drag the photo in there.

Now I should probably move some of these menu items around. So I'm just going to select my menu items, and drag them over here, and I'll grab the Title and maybe put that there. I should probably turn on the TV Safe Area just to make sure everything is in place, and what do you know, I'd actually manage to stay within the TV Safe Area. Oh, actually the highlights for the menus are a little bit outside, so I should probably move those in a bit. Those are just colored bars that will appear when somebody Clicks on any of these to pick their menu items. Now it's difficult the read the Southern Utah text. So with that selected, I'm going to Click the Info button again, and that gives me the Text Info window.

So I'm going to open up the Color Well, and I can choose colors from any of the different color pickers here, but I usually like to choose colors that are already present in the theme I'm working with. So I'm going to Click the magnifying glass which gives me the ability to sample colors from anywhere within my screen. And I'm just going to grab some of this dark reddish brown color. Here we go. It looks pretty good. And I'm going to do the same with the menu. So let's go ahead and select those and instead of that bright white, I think, I'll sample this pale blue color that's in the clouds.

Here we go. That's kind of a little more subtle. So this is looking pretty good to me. So now I want to save this as a customized theme which I think you will agree looks nothing like the theme I started out with. To do so, I'm going to choose File > Save theme as Favorite. I'll give it a name. In this case, I'll just call it Southern Utah and I have the choice here to check Shared for all users, which means if I want other people who might have accounts on my Mac to be able to access this theme I just created when they open iDVD, I would check Shared for all users. Now I'm going to uncheck Replace existing, because I don't want to replace the existing theme that I selected. I still may want to have access to the Soft Frame theme just the way it is some time in the future. So with my theme named, and I'm going to be sharing with all users, I'll Click OK. And let's go ahead and turn-off the TV Safe Area. And now I'll just pick another theme like Center Stage, just to drastically change the look, and now when I go to my Themes menu, I can choose Favorites, and right here on to Favorites, here is Southern Utah, I can select that, and here is my Custom theme again.

The really cool thing here is that iDVD knows where things like menu items should go, because I saved the theme with some menu items in. So even if I come in here and delete these all out of here ... If I choose to add more menu items, you can see that they all appear in exactly the same place as my original menu items because I had saved this theme with menu items present. That's something to keep in mind when you are creating customized themes. And you don't have to customize the themes to save it as a Favorite. If there are a handful of themes that you find yourself using all the time just the way they are but maybe they are scattered through the 7.0 Themes, or the 6.0 Themes, or the Old Themes, you can put them all into the Favorites area by selecting each one.

Let me just go ahead and select Revolution, and then choosing File > Save theme as Favorite. Now you will have to keep the name Favorite in the name because there already is a theme called Revolution Main, unless you want to rename this entire theme entirely but I'm fine with leaving the word Favorite at the end there. And I probably don't want to share this for all users because I haven't change the Revolution theme, and all those users already will have access to this theme just the way it is. So I'll Click OK. And when I look into under Favorites now, there is the Revolution theme. So this is a good way to keep all of your favorite themes in one place if you find yourself using different themes from the different collections. Of course, you could have access to all the themes at once by selecting all, but that's means you actually have to scroll through all the themes that you don't want to use, and there are a lot of them in there.

So it's much easier just to pick the ones that you want to use frequently and put them in Favorites. Now if you want to remove the theme from the Favorites menu, it's a little trickier because there is no direct way to do it from within iDVD. So you have to remove it manually. Now where you are going to find your favorite themes depends on whether you chose to share the themes with all users or just with yourself. If you chose to share the themes with all users, you will find the theme on your main hard drive, under Users, under Shared, iDVD and Favorites. So here is the Southern Utah theme.

So if I wanted to get rid of that particular theme as a favorite, I can just drag this to Trash, but I'm going to hold it for now. And if you didn't have Shared for all users checked when you save the theme as a favorite or if you've checked Replace existing, you will find the theme in your Home folder in Library, Application Support, iDVD, Favorites and here is Revolution Main. I will go ahead and delete that because I don't really need that in my favorites and come back to iDVD. Now it still shows the theme here but if I quit iDVD, I'll go ahead and save that and open it up again. Notice that when I go back to Favorites, the Revolution Main Favorite theme is no longer located here.

So in either case, if you want to get a theme out of Favorites, just locate it on your hard drive and drag it to the trash, and that's how you save and remove customized or favorite themes in iDVD.

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iDVD '09 Essential Training

30 video lessons · 13472 viewers

Garrick Chow
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