Once you’ve finished your amazing movie project, the final step is to show it off to someone else. iDVD can let you create a finished-looking DVD, playable on any computer or DVD player, and easy to share.
When you start a new project in iDVD, it will bring you to a screen that displays the current state of the DVD menu you’re creating. You can drag and drop your movie file directly into this screen, but there’s no obvious target to aim for. Therefore, I prefer to switch to the DVD map to add movies. Just click on the far-left button in the bottom menu, which looks like a little flowchart:
That will bring you to the following screen, where you can click the plus-sign button to add a movie to your DVD.
This won’t actually prompt you to add the file then; rather, it will create a box, into which you can drag and drop any movie file. Despite its helpful-sounding label, you don’t want to drag your movie into the gray box that reads “drag content here to automatically play when the disc is inserted” because that will prevent the menu screen from being the first to play.
Once you have all your movies in place, click the button labelled “return” in the lower right corner.
That will take you back to the preview of your DVD menu, where you should see your movies listed, like so:
The text that says “Revolution main” is a title, which you can change to whatever text is appropriate. The names of your video clips are clickable buttons, which will play that clip when selected. If you only have one movie, you can just change that button to say “play.” If you have more than one, pick names that make it clear what the buttons lead to.
To change a line of text, double click it and you will see the following:
As you can see, this setting will also let you change the text’s font, style (bold, italic, neither) and size.
If you single-click on the text box rather than double-clicking it, it will select the box itself instead of selecting the text, so you can rearrange the positions of the title and the buttons. As you move the text boxes around, yellow lines may appear; these are just meant to be guides to let you know when one text box is aligned with another. You might find them useful, or you might want to ignore them to achieve your own affect.
Drop Zones and Themes
Once you’ve added the movies and changed the text to something you will understand, you can stop and burn your movie, but if you have a little more time iDVD offers several features that will make your DVD look much nicer.
First, you probably noticed the spinning gray “drop zone.” You can drop a movie clip or a still image into this zone, and it will make a customized background for your DVD. You’ll know you’ve aimed your drop correctly when the drop zone has a yellow and black striped border.
If you don’t have any short clips or images readily available, going to Project > Autofill Drop Zones will randomly select a video clip from the movies you’ve already added. If you’re not happy with its selection, you can select Autofill Drop Zones again and it will pick different random clips. If you’s prefer to pick the clips yourself or you want to use still images, an MPS staffer can help you extract just what you want from your movie.
Next, you will probably want to pick a different theme. Simply scroll down the list of images on the right, and click on any that look interesting, and iDVD will use it to determine your DVD’s appearance. You can always go back to what you had before, so try several options to see what you like best. To see more options, click where it says “7.0 Themes” and select “All” instead.
Important: when you click on a different theme, if your footage is not widescreen, iDVD will probably pop up a message asking if you want to switch to widescreen. You probably do not, so click “keep.” If you end up with widescreen settings anyway, for whatever reason, you can always switch back by selecting Project > Switch to Standard (4:3).
Some themes have more than one drop zone. If you choose one of these and want to fine-tune the content in the drop zones, go to Project > Edit Drop Zones, which will bring up the following screen:
From here, you can drag content into the several drop zone boxes without being subject to the whims of the preview screen animations, and rearrange the order of your drop zone content until you have it just the way you want it.
I picked a “6.0 Theme” called Shelves, with three drop zones:
Special bonus info: if you don’t want the apple logo to display on your DVD menu, simply go to iDVD > Preferences, and uncheck the “Show Apple logo watermark” box.
When you’re all done, hit the play button to make sure everything is working the way you want it to. If it looks right, insert your blank DVD and click the button immediately to the right of the play button; it will open up to show a yellow and black “burn” button.
It will take a little while for your DVD to burn—generally twice the length of the movie footage itself—but when it’s done you will have a beautiful DVD you can share anywhere.