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DVD Studio Pro: Tips for Altering Menu Templates

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 8/6/2010

Here are tips on how to change the menu templates in DVD Studio Pro.

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    Menu Mastery

    DVD Studio Pro has included menu templates for those of us that do not have an impressive professional portfolio of graphic design work. If we want reasonable looking menus for our home authored DVDs then these menu templates are a great option, even if they are pretty standardized and familiar to those who have seen a lot of them. If you are going to utilize one of these DVD Studio Pro menu templates then it is important to make a few changes, but not in a way that is going to damage what actually makes these menu templates work. Here is a tutorial on how you can make changes to the DVD Studio Pro menu templates appropriately.

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    The Menu Templates

    In the Palette window on the right hand side you are going to see menu templates. For each theme there are several templates, that way you choose template can include the same menu theme for the different types of menus you will need in your DVD. Once you select it you will bring it into the main view and will now have the ability to make changes.

    The most important thing to remember when altering your menu templates is to not violate its central purpose. What this means is that each menu template is designed to serve a specific function in your DVD, such as be a main menu or a chapter selection menu. Within this there will be labeled buttons that indicate that, spots where you can place video clips, and heading locations that will be appropriate. If you are planning on using these DVD Studio Pro menu templates it is because you like their general formatting and you should try to follow that. What this means in practice is select the proper menu template for your purpose, that way you can limit the number of changes you will need. Only remove the buttons that you are not intending on using, as will be the case where there are more buttons than will be necessary. If there are items like Play or Home buttons then try to use them as such as this will indicate the purpose of the menu template and it will fit there best. Many of the text blocks will include holding text that will inform you of what would be best in that location, such as Company Name Here.

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    Adding video clips to drop points is one of the first ways that a person will customize their DVD Studio Pro menu template. This is a great Picture 6 option on the templates as their will be downward arrow points that will indicate you can place a video there. This is going to work out well, as long as the video you place is a snapshot from your film and is cut to be very short. This will create a visual cycle for your DVD Studio Pro menu and will maintain energy, but if it goes for more than 20-30 seconds it will confuse the DVD user and will give them too much footage from the film they are about to watch.

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    The general position of everything on a menu template is designed for the specific objects that are on that menu, but if you begin altering your DVD Studio Pro template then you can easily throw the entire menu out of balance. Try to reposition the buttons, text, and geometric decorations in a way that makes sense. Clutter is going to distract a DVD user more than anything else.