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DVD Studio Pro Scripting

Project 1: Creating a 'last viewed' button By Dave Nagel
For most, scripting in DVD Studio Pro is a complete mystery. It's not that it's complex by any means; it's just that there's a dearth of accessible documentation and a lack of real-world examples to provide a reference point for getting started. Nevertheless, scripting can be an essential part of your DVD presentation and can also save you hours of repetitive, redundant work. In short, if you create DVDs, you ought to know scripting.

With this in mind, the idea for this new series of articles on Apple's DVD Studio Pro is to provide you with project-specific examples of DVD scripts in action. There are, of course, many ways to perform any function in DVD Studio Pro, and these examples may not be the most efficient. But they should not only show you how to get the job done, but also get you thinking about how to extend the functionality of what you've just learned.

For our first project in this series, we'll be creating a fairly simple set of scripts that will enable you to have a "Play Previous" button in your presentation. In other words, no matter where you are in the DVD, you can click this button to play the clip you just viewed, without having to create separate buttons for each clip and multiple menus to accommodate this kind of function. It's just one reusable button that "remembers" the last-played track.

Our presentation in this example will include three tracks. (Obviously the benefits of using scripts like these are more significant when you have a whole mess of tracks to work with. But three will suffice to show you what's going on.) It will also have one "View Previous" button. And it will include four little scripts: one for each track and one for the button. You can use your own button or download my custom shape here (80 KB, Stuffit archive).

Scripting the tracks
To begin, we're first going to create the scripts for our individual tracks. These scripts simply set a value when the track is played, which will enable our "View Previous" button to know which track it should play when it's clicked. Here's how it works.

1. Choose Project > Add to Project > Script.

2. Switch over to your Script tab, and you should see your script there with one command listed (labeled "Nop").

3. Click on the command in the Script tab, which will call up that command's properties in the Inspector palette.

4. What we're going to do now is switch that "Nop" command to "Set GPRM."

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Related Keywords:apple dvd studio pro, dvdsp, scripting, button

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