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End Jumps in DVD Studio Pro

Part 1: Using stories in a chapter index By Dave Nagel
There are times when, for whatever reason, you want individual elements of your DVD to return to a specific menu rather than the disc's default main menu. A good case in point is when you create a chapter index and would like individual chapters to jump back to the index after they've been viewed. Well, there are several ways to accomplish this in DVD Studio Pro, and we'll look at a few of them, starting off this time around with the simplest.

Now, when I say that this method is the "simplest," I mean that it's the most straightforward method that doesn't involve scripting, but rather the use of stories. In fact, this method can be quite time-consuming for projects with a ton of elements that need individual end jumps. Where it's particularly valuable is in more simple projects involving maybe just one or two tracks with up to a dozen or so chapters, at least as far as I'm concerned. (Of course, it's up to you to determine how much manual labor you're willing to put up with in order to avoid scripting.)

The method at hand involves the use of stories in a chapter index or multiple chapter indices. In this way, you'll be able to set an end jump for each individual segment or chapter of your track or tracks to that the viewer will always return to the menu from whence the chapter was selected. In this tutorial, we'll walk through the process from the creation of a chapter index through the final stages of the project. Next time around, we'll take a look at one method for scripting end jumps that will be more useful for complex projects.

Creating the chapter index
To begin, import your footage into DVD Studio Pro's Assets bin. Then drag this footage into the Tracks section of the Outline tab in DVD Studio Pro.

If you do not already have chapter markers in this footage, go ahead and add them now by opening up the track in the Track Editor. To add a chapter marker, simply click in the small space above the timeline, and the chapter marker will appear automatically.

Repeat this at each location in the timeline where you want a chapter break to occur.

Now, for this project, we'll have two menus: a main menu and a chapter index. The main menu will contain two buttons: one to play the entire movie and one to take us to our second menu, the chapter index. To create the first button, simply drag your track onto the menu from the Outline tab, and choose the option "Create Button: Connect to Track." To create the button linking to the chapter index (and to create the chapter index itself), drag the track onto the menu a second time, this time choosing the option "Create Button and Chapter Index: Make Connections."

Once you do this, a new dialog box will pop up asking you to select a template for your chapter index. Choose one that seems appropriate to you. (You can also design your own templates, if desired, or use the "Layout Styles" option to create a base menu without template menu elements, just simple buttons.) In my case, I'm using a simple template I've created myself.

After I select it, the chapter index menu is created, with my three chapters separated into individual buttons.

Now, as it is, this is a fully functional DVD. However, the way the chapter index has been created, each of the individual chapters inherit the end jump of the main track. And the end jump of the main track needs to be the main menu. But I want the individual chapters not only to play individually, but also to have their own end jumps so that when one chapter finishes playing, it jumps immediately back to the chapter index menu, where the viewer can choose another chapter to view.

In order to do this, I can create scripts to handle it for me. Or I can simply use DVD Studio Pro's Story feature to create mini-tracks out of the individual chapters, each of which can have its own end jump. (As a side benefit, stories won't add appreciably to the overall size of my disc, as opposed to the alternative to this technique, which would be to import each chapter as an individual track.)

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