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iDVD Tutorial: Magic DVD

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 8/16/2010

Here is a tutorial on how to use iDVD's Magic DVD function.

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    DVD Authoring Like Magic

    Though iDVD is known for its "easy to use" DVD authoring design, you can still put together a fairly nice DVD package. The OneStep DVD is often mentioned when you want to create a very quick DVD, but there is another automatic feature that will allow for a more elaborate construction for a DVD. Right from the start you have the option of creating a regular DVD, opening a new project, utilizing OneStep, or employing the Magic DVD feature. With iDVD's Magic DVD you can create a fully loaded DVD complete with media that you can bring in from your own computer, or other iLife programs like Garage Band or iMovie. Here is a step by step iDVD tutorial on how you can create a DVD using the Magic DVD process.

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    When you first open iDVD go ahead and select the Magic DVD option from the opening window. Your project will come up in Magic DVD Picture 38 where you have an easy selection of options. At the top you will choose from the available themes, like Modern, Vintage Vinyl, or Center Stage. Below you can drag and drop movies into one section, and photos into another. On the far right panel will be an audio listing by default where you can select a library option, such as iTunes, and then see your library below. From here you can select media that you want to drop into your Magic DVD project. You can switch the tab at the very top of this panel from Audio to Photo or Movies, and you can get some of the same options. It is from here that you will drag and drop the media into the other center panel sections to be used in your Magic DVD. You can also easily drag and drop this media directly from your Finder menu on your Mac, which may be an easier way to approach the Magic DVD workflow for most people. The Photos will be used as part of a slideshow, and the videos will be available as separate clips. You can put the audio tracks over the photos so that they will play during the slideshow.

    Once you have put all the video clips you want represented on the DVD and all the photos for the slideshow you can go to the bottom to hit Picture 39 the Preview button. This will preview your DVD as if it was actually playing, and you will see that you start out with two menu options: one for Movies and one for Photos. The theme will dictate how the menus look and even the sound that is in the background of those menus. The menus and tracks will be complete and the movies will simply be named what they were before inserting them into your iDVD Magic DVD project, so make sure to name them correctly ahead of time.

    When the Preview process for your iDVD Magic DVD is complete and you are ready to finish the DVD authoring process you can go ahead and hit the Create Project button in the bottom right. This will allow you to look at the DVD in a similar way to the way you did in Preview, but with more options and the ability to make change. If you are done with your DVD authoring and want to burn your DVD then you can hit the burn button to the right of the play button and the DVD will begin the physical writing process.