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Customizing iDVD, Part 2

Creating additional button presets By Dave Nagel
Last time around with iDVD 2, we took a look at methods for creating custom buttons by replacing the default buttons with ones that you've created yourself. This week we look at an additional possibility with buttons--the ability to add to the list of available default buttons.

iDVD, of course, is a consumer-level DVD authoring tool that comes standard on all Macintosh systems that include a DVD burner. Though it's designed for consumers, it has certainly found a place for itself among professional users as well, particularly post houses that want to supply their clients with footage on DVD rather than VHS.

And for this purpose, iDVD 2 is ideally suited--well, almost, anyway. You might say that the preset buttons and themes that ship with iDVD don't exactly exude an air of professionalism. This is easily rectified.

Button customization
If you haven't already, I suggest you read my previous tutorial on customizing iDVD 2. I'm not going to repeat that tutorial here. It can be found at http://www.creativemac.com/2002/10_oct/tutorials/idvd021001.htm. (For My DMN subscribers, you can view the ad-free version of this story here.)

Now, replacing those buttons is all well and good, but what if you want to add buttons to the list of available default buttons in iDVD? No problem. This is a little trick I picked up just recently while perusing the preferences, strings and plist files associated with iDVD 2, an activity I highly recommend for anybody who has trouble falling asleep. I'll spare you all the gory details of the process and just hit on the two facts you need to know.

First, you need to create your custom buttons as described in my previous tutorial, and it would help, in addition, to create custom small icons for your custom shapes so that you can identify them easily from your button menu in iDVD. To do this, simply follow the steps outlined in my previous tutorial, but modify the two icon files associated with the button as well, saving them in the TIFF file format when you're done.

To clarify, each button in iDVD has five individual TIFF files associated with it. We'll take the "Classic" button as an example. The five files for this button include:

  • Classic.Highlight.tif
  • Classic.Icon.tif
  • Classic.mask.tif
  • Classic.Shape.tif
  • Classic.tif

Of these, the two files that serve as icons in iDVD are Classic.Icon.tif and Classic.tif. So, if you intend to create custom icons for your custom buttons, these are the files to modify.

All of the individual TIFF files associated with a given button.

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