Changing Movie, Image, and Menu Properties

Finally, you may need to make some small but critical adjustments to one, some, or all your movies and menus. At issue is, what happens when the movie ends or if a viewer presses Next or Menu on the remote control?

You'll use the Movie Properties and Menu Properties dialog boxes to tell the DVD what to do. It's a tedious and time-consuming but necessary process.

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Unfortunately, DVDit! LE has limited this feature to only the First Play object: Movie or Menu. I have included instructions for versions of DVDit! that allow you to make changes to all movies (videos and still images) and menus just in case you do upgrade to one of the retail versions of DVDit!


Changing Movie and Image Properties

If you are using the version of DVDit! LE bundled with Premiere and your First Play item is a menu, then go to the "Changing Menu Properties" section later in this hour. If your First Play item is a movie (video clip or still image), then continue reading here.

Select your First Play movie by right-clicking it in its placeholder window (not the First Play placeholder but rather the placeholder of the movie itself). That opens the Movie Properties dialog box, shown in Figure 22.16. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • If your "movie" is a still image, you can change the default duration from five seconds to whatever time you want, or you can select Infinite to display that image until the viewer presses a remote control button.

  • If your movie is a video, selecting Infinite means the video will play to its conclusion and display the last frame until the viewer presses a remote control button.

Figure 22.16. Tie up loose ends in the Movie Properties dialog box.

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Because many videos end with a black frame, this could be disconcerting for your viewers?they'll end up staring at a blank screen, wondering what went wrong. Therefore, I'd suggest using Infinite only when you know your video's last frame is something other than black.


For both still images and videos, you need to decide what action will occur when the viewer presses the Menu or Next button on the remote control or what happens when the image or video finishes playing.

Usually you have a default menu in mind for all or most movies?typically the opening menu?but because you're probably going to use nested menus you'll likely want to return to whatever menu brought your viewer to the current video.

In any event, this is a three-step process using the three drop-down menus shown in Figure 22.17. When you're working with the Movie Properties dialog box, those menus are as follows:

Menu Button? This tells the DVD player which menu to display when the viewer presses the remote control's Menu button. The options are Do Nothing, Select One of Your Menus, and Last Menu. Choosing the Last Menu option moves the viewer back one menu to whatever menu he or she used to arrive at the current position. Choosing the Do Nothing selection does just that. The viewer will need to press the Next button to go to another movie menu.

Next Button? This tells the DVD player which menu or movie to display when the viewer presses the remote control's Next button. The options are Do Nothing, Select One of Your Menus or Movies, and Default Next (this applies to chapters, which are not supported in DVDit! LE).

End Action? This tells the DVD player which menu or movie to display when this movie finishes playing. The options are Same as "Next," Select One of Your Menus or Movies, Last Menu, and Loop.

Figure 22.17. The final step in the authoring process is telling your DVD what to do when the viewer presses certain buttons on the remote control.

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Changing Menu Properties

If your First Play item is a menu, you'll use this process to set its properties. If you have only the DVDit! LE bundled with Premiere, you can change only the menu selected for First Play. If you're working with a retail version of DVDit!, you can apply settings to all your menus.

When working within the Menu Properties dialog box, shown in Figure 22.18, you'll choose from three drop-down menus with some minor differences from the menus in the Movie Properties dialog box:

Default Button? Select the menu button that is automatically highlighted when this menu displays (as your viewers roll the cursor over different buttons, they get brighter).

Return Button? Select the action that happens when the viewer presses the Return button on the remote.

End Action? If you set a Duration value (other than Infinite), use this menu to tell the DVD what to do when time is up. Typically you'll select a button that starts a clip or opens a submenu.

Figure 22.18. The Menu Properties dialog box has some slight differences from the Movie Properties dialog box.

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Making all these selections is labor-intensive work. But failing to tie up all these loose ends could leave your viewers stranded in the middle of your DVD. That's why, when it's completed, you'll want to give your project a thorough road test. I'll cover that in Hour 24, "Burning Your DVD."



    Part II: Enhancing Your Video
     
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