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Customizing Masks in DVD Studio Pro 2

Part 2: Creating pan and zoom masks By Dave Nagel
In our last article in this DVD Studio Pro 2 mini-series, we examined one method for creating custom masks that allowed us to zoom in on a specific portion of a button asset. That technique was designed for use with a specific asset and would not work, generally, with any other asset that you'd apply to your button. This time around, we'll look at an alternate method for creating a zoom mask that will allow you to create a similar effect, but one that will more likely work with a variety of assets, rather than one specific piece of footage.

As always, if you're not completely familiar with DVD Studio Pro, you might want to look at some of our previous articles covering more general and preliminary aspects of the program before moving on to this current topic. The following is a list of articles available here as of this writing.

Creating a pan/zoom mask
The previous masking method we discussed has one serious disadvantage, namely that it's designed for one specific asset, and you might not want to have to repeat this process for a large number of buttons that each use different assets that might not work properly with one specific kind of mask. So there is a more general approach you can take.

The basic concept is this: As with the previous method, we want a mask that's larger than our visible button, but we also want to use a mask with a radically different aspect ratio from our asset's footage. This will allow us to pan on the asset within DVD Studio Pro left and right or up and down, allowing us to zoom in on different portions of different assets. The zoom, however, will still be fixed at whatever percentage you use when you create the mask in Adobe Photoshop.

For my example, I'll be using a scrapbook/photo album theme for my button, and my asset, when we're done, will show through the center photo frame. Now, here's my problem. The subject in my asset--in this case, my other daughter--is too small and off to the left using a standard mask in this particular button configuration. And I don't simply want to distort the entire button to make the subject fit. It wouldn't work right with this button.

So, instead, I'll create a mask that will bring the subject in closer and also allow me some freedom of movement of my asset once I bring the button into DVD Studio Pro 2. Here's how it works.

To begin, create your shape file in Photoshop using the standard layer order and naming conventions. This time around, fill the Mask layer with black. Do not yet create the white portion of your mask.

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