DVD Studio Pro: A Basic Guide To Menu Buttons

Menu buttons are what make DVDs an interactive form of media. If you plan on having a menu for your DVD, then you need buttons, otherwise your disc is just going to consist of just one still image when it's played. Buttons are used as a bridge from the menu to the video. For every video function you want to have from 'Play Movie,' to 'Scene Selection' and 'Special Features,' you need a button to take you there.

The Perquisites For Buttons

Buttons can easily be created for any project. But before you start creating them, you should first have your menus and video prepared and in DVD Studio Pro. Creating a DVD can get a little hectic. Make sure that you're organized, and that everything is properly named so it can be easily identified.

Creating Buttons

The image for your menu may already have objects in there that you wish to turn into buttons, or you can create objects in Photoshop that you wish to turn into buttons. Creating your buttons separately in Photoshop is an easy way to add buttons while maintaining control over the look of the menu.

Choose 'File'-> 'Import' to add the image to your project. Then drag your image into the 'Project Window' and try to position it exactly where you want it. Wait for a pop-up menu to appear, which will offer you several options of what to do with this new asset. Choose 'Create Button.'

If you need to move the button, just click on it with the mouse and bring it to its new position. You can resize the button by dragging one of its corners with the mouse. Holding down the shift key while doing this will maintain the aspect ratio. For precise resizing, click on the 'Advanced Tab' in the inspector.

Giving the Buttons a Purpose

Buttons look nice, but without a purpose, they become useless and confusing. You need give each of them a function. Simply click on the button you wish to work with and go to the 'Action Field.' Choose 'Jump When Activated' and link the button to its appropriate MPEG file, or marker in the MPEG file if the button's function is to serve as scene selection. 

Work Order

Depending on the complexity of your project, it might become a little confusing if you're jumping around all over the place. Make a work flow chart before you start your project and add functions to buttons when they're created. That way you're sure to be on top of what is going on with your DVD.

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