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Customizing iDVD 3, Part 1

How to add your own button presets By Dave Nagel
Whether you're preparing footage for a client or setting up a presentation for the boardroom, it's a good bet you don't need the full functionality of a high-end DVD authoring suite. After all, you're not duplicating this thing for the mass market. Nevertheless, you want your DVD to have some professionalism to it. And while Apple's iDVD is certainly adequate for home movie presentations--more than adequate, since the advent of iDVD 3--it's likely your professional audience won't be too impressed with the preset buttons and graphics packed into this consumer application.

Now, we've explored several ways to customize the old iDVD 2 to make it more useable for presentations and client work. But if you've tried the same techniques with iDVD 3, you're undoubtedly baffled at why it just won't work the way it used to. With iDVD 3, there are some changes that make it a bit more difficult to customize the program, particularly changing the look of the preset buttons. But guess whose ultimate Macintosh hero has figured out the way: That's right, yours. And it wasn't easy for me.

This will be a multi-part series covering various aspects of customizing iDVD 3. But to kick things off, I'll show you what most of you have indicated you wanted to see: a method for changing the preset buttons. In subsequent installments, we'll look at methods for adding more buttons to the menu, increasing the size of buttons and other techniques for customizing iDVD 3.

Customizing buttons
We begin the same way we did with iDVD 2. That is, we're going to get into the image files that make up the various elements of the buttons in iDVD 3. To start, locate the iDVD 3 application on your hard drive. Right-click its icon (or Control-click), and choose the "Show Package Contents" option from the contextual menu that appears. (Note that since we'll be modifying the contents of the iDVD package, you might want to work on a backup copy ... just in case.)

Once you select this option, you'll be presented with a new folder, full of resources and settings files. Locate the subfolder called "Resources."

There you'll see the graphics and theme files used by iDVD. For this example, locate the the graphics files for the "Formal" button. The specific files you're looking for are called:

  • Formal.Highlight.tif
  • Formal.Icon.tif
  • Formal.Mask.tif
  • Formal.Shape.tif
  • Formal.tif

Select all of these files, copy them outside of the iDVD package, such as your Desktop. While you're at it, copy out the folder called "Formal.Media.pox," and place it in a safe place along with the five image files you've copied out. You'll be using this later.

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