Wedding DVDs: Designing the Menu

As a wedding videographer it is not only your responsibility to shoot the video but you also need to edit the footage and turn it into a wedding DVD with menus. You need to create a disc with menus because it adds quality to the DVD. After all, your customers are paying a decent amount of money for your services and you're expected to deliver the world.

If you're not familiar with DVD authoring it can be a little intimidating at first. But with a little bit of practice you will be able to get the hang of it and will be creating wonderful menus in no time.

Get DVD Authoring Software

The first step in authoring and designing DVD menus is to own the proper software. Sometimes your video editing system comes with it, otherwise you need to go to the store and buy a program. 

Convert Your Video into the Proper Format

Before you begin making your DVD menu you're going to need to prepare the video files. The first step is to break the video into chapters. In a program like Adobe Premiere Pro, all you have to do is set markers on your timeline and that will be your chapter points in the DVD.

Once the chapter points are set, you're going to export the project as an mpeg-2 file. Remember to make sure that export settings are the same resolution as how the video was shot. For example, if your camera is 1080 HD then your dimensions should be 1920 x 1080.

Also, export a still image of each frame from each chapter number that will later serve as thumbnails for your scene selection menu.

Import the Video

After your files have been transcoded you will open your DVD authoring program and import the footage. Once all your video is there it's time to begin.

Design the Menu

You can either find a video clip that you wish to loop or a still picture works too. If you are choosing a video clip then you need to alter it in the video editing program.

Your DVD is going to have two menus. The main menu and scene selection. The first step is to select your menu background. Once that is in place you will create buttons. One for "Play Movie" and the other for "Scene Selections."

You're going to have to create a timeline in the DVD program that you will put your full movie into. Link that to "Play Movie."

Next, you're going to create a sub menu for the scene selections. Design it the same ay as the main menu and link that to "Scene Selections."

You're going to have to make buttons for each scene and evenly space them apart from each other. Next, import the thumbnail stills you exported earlier and bring them onto your menu above each button so the viewer can visually see what's there. Then link the buttons to the markers on the timeline.

Test it

Preview the DVD to make sure every button functions and does what it is supposed to do. When you know everything is good you can burn the project to a DVD.

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