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Customizing iDVD 2

Part 1: How to create new button borders By Dave Nagel
When Apple introduced iDVD, the company couldn't have known just how useful the application would be for professional users. Apple, of course, envisioned iDVD as a consumer application for distributing home movies and photo albums and the like. But professionals have found it a simple, effective tool for for client work and presentations as well. However....

However, iDVD is, in the end, a limited application. And one of its notable limitations is in the quantity and quality of styles available for creating buttons. I mean, you're not going to send a DVD to a client with heart-shaped borders around your links, are you? Of course not. And while some of the button styles might be presentable, they still aren't terribly professional. They're not meant to be.

But we can do something about this. You can actually create your own custom borders and highlights for your DVD buttons, including logos, creative borders or no border at all. Here's how you do it.

Note: Save a backup of your original application before proceeding. This process is destructive and can cause problems of which I am not aware.

Begin by locating an existing button style that you'd like to replace. The heart-shaped button is probably a good one. To find it, right-click on the iDVD 2 icon (or Control-click, for those who have not yet bought a two-button mouse). Then choose the "Show Package Contents" option from the contextual menu that pops up.

When you do this, a new window will open showing you the contents of the iDVD 2 package. Open this, and then open up the folder called "Resources." This is the folder that contains all of iDVD's styles, as well as individual buttons. Within this folder, locate three files:

  • HeartDown.Highlight.tif
  • HeartDown.Mask.tif
  • HeartDown.Shape.tif

These are the three files containing the highlight style, shape and mask for the heart-shaped button in iDVD 2. Drag these files out of the Resources folder and onto your Desktop. Then open them up in an image-editing application, such as Adobe Photoshop.

When you open up these files, you'll see the existing designs.

Changing the Normal state
To change them, begin with the file "HeartDown.Shape.tif." This is the file that contains the Normal state of the heart-shaped button. Select all, and hit the delete key to remove existing data. Then insert your own border. Keep in mind that the inside of the border can be no larger than 122 pixels wide by 92 pixels high. (At least that's the limitation now.) As an intermediate step, you might want to create a reference for this limitation on a new layer, as seem below. (Make sure you do this on a new layer rather than Layer 0, as you'll need to delete it later.)

You can then build a logo or style around the available space. Keep in mind that you will be able to alter the shape of the mask later.

If you want no border, just select all and then delete.

Once you're done designing this portion of the project, delete the mask reference layer and merge all of the other layers, making sure to retain transparency. Then save the file with the same name as the original. If you don't want to replace the original, save the new file to a different location and keep a backup of the old file.

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