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Antialiasing Highlights in DVD Studio Pro

Adjusting highlight colors to reduce the jaggies By Dave Nagel
One of the problems you'll encounter when designing DVD menus is jagged highlights. Highlights on DVDs aren't antialiased in the way we think of antialiasing, so when you're mapping highlight colors onto your buttons, you'll often wind up with jagged edges that allow the buttons original colors to show around the fringes, producing an unattractive result.

Here's an example of this.

The two buttons shown come from the same button shape file (a Photoshop image). The one on the left is in the normal, unselected state. The one on the right is selected and has red mapped to it as the highlight color.

Now, I haven't done anything tricky here. This is a simple shape that, when created in Photoshop, had its edges antialiased. And so when it's brought into DVD Studio Pro as a custom shape, it reveals bits of the original blue color around the fringes.

But there's a simple way to clean this up.

Fixing the jagged edges
With your menu selected in the Outline tab, go over to the Inspector palette, and click on the Colors tab.

Now click on the Advanced tab, and make sure your mapping is set to the appropriate type: Grayscale if you've created a grayscale highlight layer in your shape file, Chroma if you've created a colored highlight layer in your shape file. And set the Selection State to Selected, as seen below.

Now, in my case, you'll see that I'm using only one key color in my highlight (black). And that would normally make sense, since the highlight in my shape file is black and only black. However, when I created the highlight, Photoshop's anti-aliasing kicked in and placed lighter shades around the fringes of the shape to keep the shape from being jagged. And since those lighter colors are there, I'll need to map my highlight to those key colors as well.

So for all of the key colors available--except white--I'll set the highlight color to red, just like the main key color.

Now to adjust the opacity. You can, if you wish, simply cranks the opacity of all of the red highlights to 15. That will cover up the blue fringe, but the highlights will still be somewhat jagged.

So, instead, we'll step the opacity down as gradually as possible. I'll map the dark gray key color to red with an opacity of 9 and the light gray key color to red with an opacity of 5.

And here's the result.

For your Activated highlights, just repeat this same process.

Setting highlight defaults
If you use the same highlight colors frequently, you can save yourself some effort by using this sort of setup as your default for highlights. To do this, open up your DVDSP preferences (Command-comma). Then click on the Colors button up at the top. Set the Selection State to "Selected" and Mapping Type to "Grayscale" or "Chroma," as appropriate for you.

Then just adjust the color and opacity settings to your liking. I'll set mine to yellow for the first three key colors and step down the opacity, as I did before.

Then hit the Apply" button, followed by "OK." And you're done. The next time you create a menu, these settings will become the defaults for your highlights.

If you wish to view any of our previous tutorials on DVD Studio Pro, you'll find them by clicking on the links below.

DVD Studio Pro Scripting, Series 1
DVD Studio Pro Scripting, Series 2
Other scripting articles
General design and authoring topics

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Related Keywords:dvd studio pro, highlights, jagged, aliased, anti alias, apple dvdsp, jaggies


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