Writing Your Movie
What makes a DVD authoring program work for the user is when it has a perfect unity of usability and power. The program needs to be able to facilitate all the creative and technical desires of the post-production artist, while at the same time being able to figure out the mechanics easy enough so that the controls become intuitive. Along with this is the ability for the software to not just act free standing but be able to be part of a workflow in an entire post-production suite. DVD Studio Pro, and essential part of the Final Cut Studio package, is one of the best DVD authoring programs available to consumer markets exactly because it hits all these points perfectly.
Media and View
The interface itself is modeled closely to that of Final Cut Pro. Once your film pieces are compressed and converted you import them to the Asset list, which is similar to the Browser in Final Cut Pro. This is also where you will import any of the media or music that you are going to want to use in the DVD menus. In the center you will see the basic construction for the whole disc, and the connection view is the easiest to navigate. In this view you take all of the pieces, like video tracks and menus, and see them laid out plainly as little icons. Each are connected by arrows showing the flow and interplay between all of the menus and media. If you want to select any of these individual pieces from here you can just click on it and open it up.
From here you begin adding video tracks and menus. The video track is where you will drag and drop the video and audio that you imported into the assets bar. You can easily add chapter markers and other elements to the video. Menus are the key part of this program, and you have a world of options available to you. There are a number of templates available that allow you to customize them with your own media, and this is the best way for people without access to graphic designers. With these you can select transition types between the menus, videos that will play on the menus, how the buttons will appear, and what kind of music plays. The program really excels in the number of options for personalization that each element gives you makes it so that even the most guided discs will end up being unique.
Top of the Line
The program has as many features as any DVD authoring program available. It works quickly, checks for any problem spots or missed connections, and is working toward giving a variety of new technologies.
This post is part of the series: Apple Post-Production Software
Here are profiles and reviews on some of Apple’s best post-production and non-linear video editing software.