Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the interface, part of iDVD '09 Essential Training.
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In this video I'm going to walk you through an overview of the iDVD interface. I'm going to show you where everything is and what certain items are called, but we are not going to get into a lot of detail about each item yet. What I want to do is get you comfortable looking at the iDVD window so you know what I'm talking about later when I reference different areas or buttons or menus. So let's launch iDVD. If you have installed iLife, you should find the iDVD icon in your dock; if not you will find iDVD in your Applications folder. If you haven't open iDVD before or if iDVD can't find a previous project you might have been working on, this is basically iDVD's What You Want To Do dialog, and you can see we have four choices here. We have Create New Project, Open Existing Project, Magic iDVD, which lets you create a project with a minimum amount of effort, and OneStep DVD, which lets you create a project directly from your video camera.
We will be talking about these last two later but for the purposes of learning the interface I'll Click Create a New Project. iDVD is going to ask me to name and save my project. I'm going to save this on my Desktop, I get the default name of My Great DVD, I'm just going to call this Example DVD because I'm just going to use this project to take you on a tour of iDVD and I don't intend to burn it to an actual disc. We can also choose our Aspect Ratio for our project. We can chose between the Standard ratio of 4:3 or Widescreen Ratio of 16:9. I'll stick to Widescreen although you can always change your selection later.
So now we are looking at the main iDVD window, pretty much all the primary work you'll do on your DVD will happen in this one window and you can see the window contains a couple of panes as well as several buttons and other interface elements. So let's just walk through everything here and familiarize ourselves with what's what in iDVD. Let's start with the centermost controls down at the bottom of the window. This button in the middle starts and stops any animations that may be built into the theme you are working with. You can see there is a large selection of themes or looks for your DVD menus in the pane on the right of the window and the themes are categorized by the versions of iDVD that have been released in the past and all these 7.0 Themes have motion built into them. And you can preview the motion by Clicking the Motion button.
(Music playing.) But as you are working on building your DVD, you'll probably find it distracting to have your menus constantly in motion, so just Click the Motion button again to stop the animation. Motion menus in iDVD will be moving in your final DVD whether you have the animation paused here or not. And you will find that nearly all the themes except for some other ones that are mostly found in the Old Themes section have motion built into them. But I'll be showing you how to turn motion off if you don't want any as well as how to skip the menus all together and jump right into your video. But let's continue examining the interface first. To the left of the Motion button is the DVD Map button and this lets you see the layout of your DVD and check out how all of your menus are connected.
I don't have much of anything going on this project right now, so it's a pretty limited map. But as to continue to add menus to your project you will see additional menus get added to your DVD Map. We'll check this out more later. For now I'm going to Click Return to go back to the main menu. To the right of the Motion button is the Drop Zone Editor. All of iDVD's themes have areas into which you can drop videos or photos to personalize the look of the menu you are working with. You can see on this theme we have a one drop zone right here. I'm going to drag the playhead so you can see that a little bit better. You can see this label that says Drop Zone 1, but other themes, like for instance this one called Forever. Switch over that. This one has lots of Drop Zones. As I scrub it through here you can see all the different Drop Zones that are available.
So I could drag several movies or photos into these Drop Zone areas. Alternatively you can Click the Drop Zone Edit button if you want one central location to drag files into. This can be specifically handy in a theme like this one where you can't see all the Drop Zones at once. So instead of having to drag the playhead back and forth you can access all the drop zones from here. And that includes the Drop Zone for the themes background. In all iDVD themes you can customize the background image, which we'll see how to do a little bit later. I'll Click the Drop Zone Editor button again to close that area off. In the lower left hand corner of the iDVD window we have two buttons. Clicking the i or Info button, opens the Menu Info window which floats above the main iDVD window so you can always get to it. And from this Menu Info window you can customize the behavior of your theme. I'll talk about this more later as well.
To the left of the Info button is the + symbol or Add button and this is the button you used to add links to Submenus, Movies or Photo Slideshows. So if I want to add a sub-menu I have to select Add Submenu, you can see my sub-menu appears there, and add another one, I can add a link to a movie and so on and so on. So each time I make a selection, a new menu is added to my project. But I'll get rid of all these for now. Just select them and hit the Delete key on my keyboard. Let's move on to the right, here's the Volume slider, and this controls the volume of audio playing back while you are working in iDVD. A lot of the available themes in iDVD also contain music but if you don't want to hear the music while you are working in iDVD or if you want to hear it louder just use the Volume slider.
But be aware that this slider has no effect on the final output of your project. Even if you have the Volume slider all the way down so that you can't hear anything while you are working on your project, your audio will show up normally in your final DVD. To change the level of the audio on the final DVD, you have to go back to the Menu Info pane and play with the Menu Volume slider here under Audio. But we won't mess with that right now. Next we have the Play button, this is the button you use to preview your project, to see what it will look like when somebody actually sticks your final DVD into a DVD player. And you even get this handy remote control to test it out.
Of course not much is going on this particular DVD. I can turn up the music. (Music playing.) So when you are done previewing your DVD just Click Stop to go back to the Main iDVD window. And next to the Play button we have the Burn button, which starts the process of burning your final DVD. Now obviously I have added no movies, or other content to this project and iDVD knows that so it's telling me there are errors and I should probably check them out before I try to burn a DVD. I'll just Click OK.
And finally in the lower right hand corner of the iDVD window, we have three buttons for displaying the Themes, Buttons and Media we want to use in our projects. We have already seen the Themes is where you select the look of your DVD menu and again up at the top you can chose from the most recent 7.0 Themes, some of the older 6.0 Themes and even from a large selection of even older themes from previous versions of iDVD. The Buttons pane is for altering the look of buttons, which are the Clickable areas of your menus. Here you can significantly change the look of your menus by selecting from several categories up here at the top of the window. So you can chose from Text buttons, Bullets, Shapes, Frames and so on and so on.
Again, we'll look more at this area later. Finally from the Media button you can access the Movies, Photos and Music on your Mac and drop them into your iDVD project. So that's a very brief overview of the iDVD interface. Again, we'll be getting a lot more in depth of all of these elements in the movies that follow.
- Using drop zones and menu backgrounds
- Applying and editing button styles
- Editing text
- Adding DVD-ROM content
- Creating slideshows
- Using Magic iDVD