DVD Studio Pro: Creating Different Visual Options

DVD Studio Pro is the program you would use to turn your Final Cut Pro video projects into DVDs that can be watched on the TV. One of the important things to keep in mind throughout this entire process is the aspect ratio of your video. That's the ratio of the size of your video frame which is determined by the width times the height.

This is a decision that you will make before you shoot your first video clip, and it generally boils down to two choices: standard 4 x 3 and wide screen 16 x 9. Standard was used with older televisions whose screens have a square shape. These televisions are generally becoming obsolete thanks to the flat screen televisions that employ wide screen as their standard aspect ratio.

Step 1: Exporting Your Project at the Correct Aspect Ratio

When you're video begins post production in Final Cut, you're going to want to make sure that your project is set to the same aspect ratios you shot at. Then, when you're finished editing, make sure that Compressor is also set at the same aspect ratios when you export the project. Both of these aspect ratios need to be correct in order for your video to look it's best.

Step 2: Applying the Correct Aspect Ratio in DVD Studio Pro General Settings

Now that you're video is exported, you can begin building your DVD. Open DVD Studio Pro and create the new project. Then, go to 'DVD Studio Pro'-> 'Preferences'. 

In the 'General' tab, you'll see options for Standard and high definition DVDs. Underneath each is an option to change the display mode. The kind of DVD you're making will determine which option is changed. But, the choices are the same: '4:3', '16:9 Letterbox', '16:9 Pan and Scan', and '16:9 Pan and Scan plus Letter Box'. Make sure you click apply for the changes to take effect.

Step 3: Playing Back Settings

Next, head on over to the 'Simulator' tab. Choose the appropriate aspect ratio under play back settings.

Step 4: Changing the Menu

Now, you will head on over to the DVD Studio Pro interface and select the 'Graphical' tab. Then, select the 'Menu' icon. Change the display mode to your video's aspect ratio.

Step 5: Changing the Timeline

Select the 'Track 1' icon and change that display mode to the proper aspect ratio.

Step 6: Creating a Menu

Templates are provided in various sizes, and when you apply one to your wide screen project, it may be displayed at standard aspect ratios. Don't be frustrated if you experience this. Instead, go to the inspector, select the menu tab, and apply the proper ratio. The problem should be fixed.

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