AUGUST 18, 2003
Apple DVD Studio Pro 2.0
Professional DVD Authoring and encoding suite
by David Nagel
Page 3 of 7

Other interface niceties within DVD Studio Pro 2.0 include comprehensive asset, file and project management and navigation through a variety of palettes, as well as the brand new timeline, all of which we'll cover in detail below. It also offers contextual alignment guides that will show your button's position in relationship to ruler units, objects, zones or fields and automatically switch between top, bottom and center alignment based on your movements.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]The list really goes on and on, and I'm sure I'm leaving out tons of new workflow features. But you begin to get the idea that this software has been thoroughly reworked to accommodate the needs of every level of user.

Menu creation and editing
So, for me, the centerpiece of the new DVD Studio Pro is its vastly improved workflow. It permeates the new suite so thoroughly that at times its difficult to separate function from flow. The new menu creation and editing process is a great example of this. To give you an idea, let me walk you through the entire process of creating a DVD at the most basic level in DVD Studio Pro 2.0.

1. Choose a theme from the Templates palette by dragging it onto the Menu window.

2. Drag your files onto the blank buttons included in the template of your choice.
3. Name your buttons.
4. Burn (or build) your disc.

OK? Everything else is automatic--encoding, chapter index creation, links, highlights, etc. That DVD project is done.

So on the barest, most basic level, operation is quite similar to Apple's own iDVD 3.

But, of course, this is a professional tool, and it goes way beyond the basics. You can create and store your own templates, whether you build them completely from scratch or use Apple's supplied elements as a starting point. (Apple includes a number of basic buttons, styles, drop zones, shapes and layouts to use for building custom menus.)

So it's as open as a professional tool should be but also provides easily accessible and modifiable starting points for getting started quickly with the menu creation process.

And once you have your buttons, backgrounds, drop zones and text elements in place, you can further customize all of your menu elements using the contextual object properties palette. For buttons alone, there are three tabs for adjusting the basic look of the button, text, navigation, streams, functions, highlights and other aspects.

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