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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.
With iDVD, not only can you burn your videos to a DVD but you can also include photos on the disc to accompany your movies. So for example, if you are sending your friends a disc of your vacation videos, you can also include the still photos you took as a slideshow on that same disc or you can even just send a DVD with just photos on it if you don't have any videos. In any case, an iDVD slideshow is a great way for people to be able to check out your photos on their TVs instead of their computers. So let's see how we do this. I'm going to use the Bryce Canyon photos in my exercise files folder.
Bryce Canyon Pics and I could just drag them into iDVD from here, but for this example, I'm going to import them into iPhoto first to make this exercise little more realistic. Because if you are using iLife, you will probably keep all of your photos in iPhoto anyway. So with all of my photos selected, I'm going to drag those to my iPhoto icon in my dock to import them and there they are. Once your photos are in iPhoto, there are a couple of ways you can get them into an iPhoto slideshow. The first way is to create an album of the photos you want to send. So maybe I'll create a new album. I'll call it Bryce Canyon and I'll go back to my Last Import to find those these photos and just select them all and drag them into my Bryce Canyon album and with that album selected, I'll choose Share > Send to iDVD.
This creates a slideshow called Bryce Canyon, which was the name of my album. If I Double-Click that, I'll be taken to the slideshow here on iDVD. So that's one quick way to create an iDVD slideshow. You just select your photos in iPhoto and you don't even have to put them in an album like I did. Just select the photos you want in iPhoto and then choose, Share Send to iDVD. I am going to go back to the main menu and just delete that slideshow so I can show you another way to do it. So another way to create a slideshow is to start right here on iDVD, Click the Add button and choose Add Slideshow. You can see that creates a My Slideshow button and I'll just select that and change its name to Bryce Canyon.
And again I can Double-Click that slideshow to go into the slideshow settings and from here in the Media Browser, I can get to all my iPhoto pictures by going to Photos and then here I can find my iPhoto library and I'll just locate that album I just created, called Bryce Canyon and here are all of my photos and I can just drag in the photos that I want, or if I want them all from this album, I can just select them all and just drag them in. So now I have 10 photos in my slideshow. And my photos in this iDVD slideshow are arranged in this left to right, top to bottom view and this is the order in which they will be played in the slideshow on the DVD. That can also be the slideshow in a top to bottom fashion. But I like the other layout because it lets me see more of the photos at once. Now if I want to rearrange the order of the photos, I just need to select them and drag them around and you can see the other pictures just kind of get out of the way and readjust themselves.
Or if there are photos that I don't like or want in the slideshow, I just select them and hit the Delete key on my keyboard and they are gone. And we also have several different slideshow options at the bottom of the window to play around with. First one we have is Slide Duration. When your slideshow is played on the DVD, each photo will have a set amount of time on screen based on the selection that you make in this Duration menu. We can choose from 1 second, 3 seconds, 5, 10 and we can also choose Manual if you want to give your viewers the ability to manually advance the slideshow themselves. But if you want to keep things moving along and I suggest you do, choose 5 seconds or 3 seconds as your Slide Duration setting. That way the pictures will continue to advance forward even if the viewers aren't using their remote control and when you have automatic duration selected, your viewers will still be able to pause or jump ahead or back using the buttons on their remote control. It's just that if you choose the Manual setting, the pictures will not move at all without interaction from your viewers.
Next we have a menu for Transitions and this gives you some choices for the animations that appear between your slides. So instead of each slide just appearing in place of the previous one, you can have animations like a Cube effect or a Page Flip or any of the other options listed here. With some of these transitions selected you will see this four-directional selector appears, so you can customize the direction of the animation. For example, the Cube effect is for making photos look like they are appearing on a rotating cube. So you can adjust the direction of the cubes rotation using the direction settings. Not all Transitions are going to have a direction like Dissolve for instance. Just sort of a cross dissolve between photos and there is no direction for that so you can see that that option is grayed out. I'll keep Cube selected for now.
We also have the option of adding music to our slideshow. So if you have some music that you want to accompany your slideshow with, you can just drag it to the Speaker icon. By going to the Audio area of the Media Browser, you can browse through your iTunes library as well as any GarageBand songs that you might have composed, and if you recall back in the movie on adding music to a menu, I showed you how you can drag in any folder into this audio area to have access to the audio files in that folder directly from here in iDVD. So I still have this Jingles folder available. So I can browse through these by selecting them and Clicking the Play button.
(Music Playing) Okay, and I kind of like that Pastel Slide Long. So I'll go with that one. So if I want to use this, I just simply drag it to the Speaker icon. I can also just drag it right into the slideshow area itself.
Notice when I did that that the Slide Duration has changed to Fit to Audio. So what iDVD is going to do is take the length of that song that I dragged in which in this case is 31 seconds and then evenly distribute the length of each slide to fit within those 31 seconds. It can still change the duration if it wants to, so the song will either run out or not finish depending on the length of the song and the duration of your slides. But if you are going to have music behind your slide you might as well have music behind them all. The key is finding the right length of music to fit the number of slides you have so the images don't linger too long on screen or flash by too quickly.
Notice also that Manual is no longer available. If you want to give your viewers Manual control over the slideshow, you can't have music in the background of the slideshow. To remove music that you have added, just drag it out of that music well and then you can choose Manual again. But I do want music here, so I'm just going to drag that back in. We also have a Slideshow Volume slider you can use, if you think the music is too loud or too quite during the slideshow, and you can just preview that, when you Click the Play button which we'll do a little bit later. And then we have several other settings we can play around with by Clicking the Settings button.
We can choose to loop the slideshow so that once the slideshow reaches its end it will go back and play the whole thing over again from the beginning over and over until someone stops it. We can Display navigation arrows. I can see that this put arrows in the lower left and right-hand corners of most of the slides. These are not Clickable arrows on the DVD. But just going to be there as visual accuse telling the viewer that there are more photos before or after the current slide. So notice on the first slide we only have an arrow in the lower right-hand corner letting the viewer know that more slides are coming and then for each subsequent slide we have arrows to the left and right telling the viewer that there are pictures before this photo that you are looking at and there are more pictures coming and then at the very end we only have an arrow pointing to the left which basically, visually tells the viewer this is the last slide.
Personally I kind of find those arrows distracting, so I usually leave those off. We also have the ability to Add image files to the DVD-ROM portion of the DVD and I'm going to talk about this in its own movie very shortly, but basically when you burn your DVD, you can also include a DVD-ROM portion which will be accessible from a computer, but not from a regular set-top DVD player. But putting the DVD into a computer will give viewers access to the full resolution files from the slideshow, which is nice if you want to include printable versions of the photos on the disc. I'm going to leave that unchecked for now.
We can also show titles and comments. I'll go ahead and check that and that allows you to type some text into the fields that are now available. This can be useful to give your viewers the names of the slides they are looking at, or to add a short anecdote or a point of interest about the photos. I'll leave that checked. And the final option is Duck audio while playing movies. So yes not only can you put still images into your slideshows but you can also include movies and if the movies include audio, the music that you are playing to accompany the slideshow will then lower in volume or duck so that the audio and the movie is more prominent, which can be useful if you for example have a video of a tour guide telling visitors about a particular sight. You would most likely want people to be able to hear that tour guide or any background music you have accompanying your slideshow.
So I'll leave these two options checked and we'll Click OK to close the rest of the settings and just so you can see how this works I'll name one of these photos, call this Chipmunk and then we'll add some comments. We named him Chippy. He was delicious. You got the idea. So we'll see how those appear in the slideshow and let's also grab a movie so we can add that to the slideshow and see how that works. I'll just hide iPhoto for the moment here and in my exercise files folder I'll go into Southern Utah and I'm going to grab the Clouds_TL video. It's just a short video. I'm just going to drag that into my slideshow.
And you can see there is movie icon in its thumbnail letting you know this is a movie clip. I'm just going to drag that next to the Chipmunk photo and there is very little audio in this movie clip but you will see that when we get to that point in the slideshow that the background music will then duck below so you can hear the audio from this clip. And the only audio in this clip is just sort of this high-speed sound. But you will get the idea. So let's check out the slideshow. (Music playing.) So you can see the title's appearing. (Music playing.) There is my comment and the title.
(Music playing.) And there the volume went down while this video plays. (Music playing.) And then the volume of the background music comes right back up when we get right back into the slideshow. (Music playing.) And this is the cube effect transition we are seeing. (Music playing.) And there it is. We are taken right back to the main menu because we chose not to loop the slideshow. Let me go ahead and stop this.
So it's really easy to create a slideshow. You can do a lot of cool things with them. One last thing I want to point out is under iDVD > Preferences, Slideshow we have couple of different options here. We have Always add original photos to DVD-ROM contents. So if you always want to include those photos, you can check that option. We have Always scale slides to TV Safe Area. You might have noticed that the slideshow didn't fill out the entirety of the Preview window. Because if you want to make sure that anybody watching on any TV will see all of the photos in their entirety, you would leave this option checked. We talked about the TV Safe Area a couple of times before now. So just to make sure that none of the photos are cut off in any way, iDVD will slightly reduce the size of the slideshow photos so that you can see them all.
We also have Fade volume out at end of slideshow. So if the music that you choose is little bit longer than the slideshow itself and maybe you didn't have Fit to Audio selected as your duration length, instead of having the music come to sort of a cut-off abrupt end, you can check Fade volume out at end of slideshow to have the audio just gradually fade out. And then we have the option to always Show titles and comments. I kind of like these default settings just the way they are, but just be aware that these option are here if you want to adjust the default settings of your slideshows. You can always customize each slideshow settings individually just like we did.
The Preferences are really here just for setting the starting point of your slideshows. And I'm just going to make a slight adjustment here because my slideshow menu item looks a little bit lower than the other two because in the previous movie, I showed you how to customize buttons, and I'm just going to go ahead and customize this button with the hand- drawn underline look that we applied to the other ones. Now it looks little bit better and that's how we add a slideshow to our DVD and you can add as many slideshows to your DVD as you like. You can even have a DVD that's just photos if you had no movies to include. There is another type of slideshow you can add to your DVD using iPhoto and we'll take a look at that next.
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