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Hidden Tricks in iDVD 5, Part 3

Setting your buttons in motion
Elements of a motion button: the mask file
The other motion element you need to create is the motion mask. The mask is the object in the button that defines which portions of the asset (the thumbnail preview of the movie the button links to) will be visible behind the shape file. If, for example, you create a triangular-shaped mask, then, regardless of the contents of the shape file or the thumbnail within the button, the thumbnail will be triangular.

Here's how this works.

The mask uses blacks, whites and grays to define the opacity of the asset showing through the mask. The black portions of the mask will make your asset fully transparent in those areas; the white portions make the asset fully opaque; and the gray portions give you semi-transparency. So design your mask accordingly.

In the example below, you see white circles inside a black field.

In practice, this means the asset will be visible as follows.

Now, since we're creating a motion file, you can take this a step further by using the mask to transition your asset in and out of the button. You can, for example, begin with a completely black mask, then fade, dissolve or wipe to your final mask shape, which may be completely white, or, as with my example, a combination of whites, grays and blacks. Here's a portion of the mask that I'm using for my final button.

There are two considerations here as well. The first is that you need to keep in mind what portions of the asset you want to show through the button. The second is that you should make the duration of the mask the same as that of the shape file you created previously, even if it means adding extra frames of white or black to the beginning or end.

Finally, when you're done, export the file to a QuickTime format.

Putting it all together
You now have your motion elements created, so it's time to put it all together. For this example, we'll insert our motion elements into the place of an existing button's elements, just to keep things simple. You can also create brand new buttons, if desired, using the techniques described in the previous installments in this tutorial series.

Specifically, for this example, we'll be replacing the contents of the heart-shaped button called "HeartDown."

1. Begin by opening the package contents of iDVD. (Right-click or Control-click the iDVD 5 application, and choose "Show Package Contents" from the contextual menu.

2. In the new window that pops up, navigate to /Contents/Resources/HeartDown.Media.Pox. Back up this file if you wish to be able to go back to iDVD's original state.

3. Click on HeartDown.Media.pox, and navigate to /Contents/Material. There you will see three TIFF files with long names. The first one is the highlight file. Replace this with whatever highlight you wish to use for this button. (Again, this process is described in part 1 of this tutorial series.)

The second one (75E69C56-1571-11D8-81FA-000393AE67F4.tif) is the mask file normally used for the heart-shaped button. The third one (75EADA3A-1571-11D8-81FA-000393AE67F4.tiff) is the shape file normally used for the heart-shaped button.

4. Select the mask shape file's name, and copy it. Then paste the name onto your new motion mask file. (When you rename your motion file, you'll be asked whether you really want to change the file's extension to .tif. You do want to use .tif.) Once it's renamed, drag the motion mask file into this folder to replace the old mask.

5. Then select the shape file's name, copy it and paste it onto your new motion file. Again, a dialog will pop up asking you whether you want to use the .tiff extension. And, again, you do. After you rename the shape file, drag it into the Materials folder as well, replacing the old file.

6. All that's left now is to let iDVD know the duration of your new button. You do this by opening up the file that's sitting just outside the Material folder in the iDVD package called "Patch." If you have installed Property List Editor, then double-clicking this file will open it up in that application.

7. Now you need to change two things in this file, and these things are buried deep. Click the little triangle on the left of the word "Root." Then keep clicking those triangles in the following order: Root > RootChunk > NamedSubChunks > Oxygene Patch > NamedSubChunks > PatchElements > NamedSubChunks > GroupHierarchy > NamedSubChunks > InstantialModuleList > IndexedSubChunks > 0 > NamedSubChunks > InstantialModuleHierarchy > NamedSubChunks > PluginData > NamedSubChunks > Image File Importer > IndexedSubChunks > 0.

That's long, I know. Here's a picture to make it a bit easier.

Once you get into the "0" section, you'll find two entries, labeled "Media Duration" and "Media Ending." Enter a value for "Media Duration" equal to the length of your button's motion files in seconds. (This doesn't seem to need to be precise; I've put fairly random values in there, and they all work out, as long as the value isn't 0 or 1.) Same with the "Media Ending" setting.

Save the Patch file, and you're done. Quit and relaunch iDVD, and apply your new buttons to a project.

Here, again, is my final button.

Note that you may see some unpredictable behavior with these buttons until you drag in a video asset, but, trust me, the disc will burn as expected. I've burned multiple discs and tested them on various players to make sure of that.

If you have any further questions, be sure to drop me a line or visit me in one of the forums at http://www.dmnforums.com.

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Related Keywords:apple idvd 5, motion buttons, motion masks, button transitions, moving buttons

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