written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/4/2011
Learn about the different elements that make up an interactive DVD.
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More Than Just a Video Disk
DVDs themselves are more than just a place to put your video project. They consist of an entire interactive format, complete with videos, menus, and background media content. There are a number of different elements that work in concert to make up the entire DVD.
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The background is one of the main elements and comprises the background images or video for each menu. In most DVD authoring programs you can insert a picture or video to be in the background, or even incorporate these things into a background template that the program offers. If you want to be even more creative you can use graphical design to create your own project-specific menu background.
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The main interactive element in the DVD interface is the button. The buttons allow you to switch between menus and play the video content. You place these buttons strategically on each menu, customizing them to the theme that the menu has.
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Text is an essential element for the DVD menus because it explains and titles the content in the DVD, as well as being its own informative content itself. Without this element all the design and media will mean nothing because it will have no context. Text in this fashion is always placed on the menus to label and provide information. If you want to just have text sections you can create menu pages that function just to display the text.
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Frames and Video Buttons
Frames are an important part of each menu because they create a special button to play video or other media content. These items are given by the software as a way to create video buttons. These function similar to other buttons, but you are able to put photos or videos onto them so that they play continuously. You then connect these buttons to the video or photo slideshow tracks you want to play. When they are complete they are now called video buttons.
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Audio can be an essential part of the DVD system, and you can import audio tracks to play with each menu or during transitions between menus. There is usually a specific spot in the menu creation interface that allows you to insert and customize an audio track. This track should really accent the content of the menu, including the theme and the video.
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These are just some of the more basic DVD elements, but there are many more when you enter into advanced DVD production. Keep these as a checklist to make sure you covered most of your bases when making your own DVD.