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Setting Up a Simple DVD

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Lesson Files



Media > Swiss folder


This lesson takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.


Storyboard your DVD

Set DVD Studio Pro preferences

Use encoding preferences

Create a single-play DVD

Import video and audio tracks

Manage assets in the Assets tab

Set chapter markers for faster navigation

Set first-play action

Simulate your DVD

In the next four lessons, you will create a simple DVD for Swiss tourism that contains a promotional movie and a slideshow designed to attract visitors to Switzerland. As befits its European subject matter, the Swiss Tourism project uses the PAL video format, which is the standard in Europe and many countries around the world.

The Swiss Tourism project is a good example of a corporate-style DVD that is relatively simple to put together. It builds on the features that are commonly used in iDVD and at the same time introduces some exciting capabilities of DVD Studio Pro, such as flexible drop zones. As you step through the various exercises, you’ll learn how to build one of the most common types of DVD on the market.

This lesson focuses on the first step in this process—creating a single-play DVD that contains only a video track and its associated audio. You will set the DVD to play automatically when it is put into a DVD player. To allow users to skip through the video, you will also set chapter markers by importing them from a list.

Storyboarding Your DVD

Before beginning any new DVD project, even simple projects with only a few assets, you should plan out the way you want the buttons and links to work by creating a storyboard. A storyboard is like a road map that simplifies the creative process. It reduces the possibility of mistakes and alerts you to problems you may have while authoring, such as missing media or graphics. We’ll go over the process of creating a generic storyboard here, and then go on to create the storyboard for the Swiss Tourism DVD.

The best way to create a storyboard is to make a visual diagram, almost like a flowchart. Your diagram illustrates the navigation path the viewer will follow, from menu to menu, and from button to track or slideshow.

Start your storyboarding process by listing all of the media you want to include, as well as any special elements you might require, such as subtitles or alternate tracks of audio and video. Think about how many menus you will need to link these elements together.

Then begin to draw the chart. Each element in your DVD—menu, video track, slideshow, and so on—gets its own box.

Most DVDs have at least one main menu containing buttons that link to the other project elements. Consider how many buttons you should put in a menu. Although you can have as many as 36 buttons per menu, that would not create a good user experience.

You can handle the need to offer additional choices by adding submenus and creating buttons in the main menu to link to the submenus. Draw squares in each menu or submenu to represent buttons. Then draw a line from each button to the box that represents the element it links to. When you are done, you should have a simple diagram, much like a family tree, that shows how each element is linked, either to a menu, submenu, or another element.

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