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Using Menu Transitions in DVD Studio Pro

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/1/2011

Menu transitions are a great way to add character to your DVD Studio Pro project. Learn how to use and alter them to your creative needs.

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    The DVD Is Your Canvas

    One of the greatest things about using an intricate DVD authoring program like DVD Studio Pro is that you are able to turn your DVDs into an individual work of art. They do not need to just be devices that showcase your video work, but also can be creative outlets themselves. One way you can customize your DVD is by using transitions between menus.

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    Menu Transition

    A Menu transition is a video transition effect that you can set to occur when one menu links to another. Similar to effects you can find in editing software like Final Cut Pro, these transitions treat each menu like a video clip where you can have an effect bridge the gap between the two. To do this you go to the graphical display and select the desired menu. Once there go to the Menu window in the lower right-hand corner of the DVD Studio Pro interface and select the tab labeled Transition. Here you can select a transition from a huge library, ranging from classical film transitions like fades to animated transitions designed specifically for this program. Each transition has its own set of characteristics that you can alter, such as the intensity of a blur or the speed of an iris out. Once you set a transition it will be the transition that happens any time someone goes to any menu from the one you just altered.

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    Using Media

    If you want to use a picture, or piece of video in the transition, you can do so in the same screen. Make sure the media file that you want to use has already been imported into the program and is sitting in the Asset menu. In the Transition menu you will see at the bottom there is an option for Start and End. Go into each of these menus and you can select a piece of media for each that will play at their respective times during the transition. For example, if you select two different photos then one will play during the beginning of the transition and one will play at the end. This is not an exact science so you should try out several combinations and see what works.

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    Setting Duration

    In the Transition menu you can usually control the speed of the transition. This is important because you do not want the transition to be so slow moving that it makes navigating the DVD a chore, but you also want it to be seen. Two seconds is an adequate time for such a transition.

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    Go Forth and Be Creative!

    The best way to decide what you want to include is to just play around with it as much as you can. The creative process is filled with trial and error, and DVD authoring is no different.