DVD Menu Studio

In previous chapters you learned about the types of menus you can create. This boils down in the DVD Menu Studio into 2 basic types you will design

Note: There can be also a combination of both for Impression DVD-Pro.

You design your menus the same way for all supported programs. Once you learn how to make a Subpicture menu you can use it right away in all the authoring software.

Simple Subpicture Menu

You draw on the canvas in a Normal editing mode or in one of the 4 Subpicture mode. There are 5 buttons on the top of the canvas window:

By clicking on the button you Editing (Adding objects) in that mode.

All what you draw in Normal mode will then become a part of a background. You don't have to distinguish what is going to be a button. For example we expect to have 3 buttons on our menu: Play Movie, Scene Selection and Special Features. We simply design this as a part of the picture, because the next step - subpicture will define the "button" hotspot.

When the background is ready, simply switch into a Subpicture mode (Usually Sub 1 or Sub 2) and draw the subpicture. At this moment you don't have to worry about the color of the Subpicture. The Subpicture colors are later mapped to desired colors either in the DVD Menu Studio or the authoring application. The color is just an indication which part of Subpicture it is.

Here we clicked on Subpicture 1 (red)... ..and draw an underline with Rectangle tool for each menu item we want.

This all is clearly shown in the Layer view:

Note: When you select an object the Editing mode will switch to the mode of object. For example if we now select the text, the editing mode will be set back to Normal. Then if we select the subpicture item, the editing mode will be set to Subpicture 1.

Believe it or not, this is basically it.

Now you can test the result, simply click on the Preview button

This will open the preview window:

You can click on the arrows of the DVD navigator (right top part of the preview) and the underline will move to next item.
You can already see that the subpicture was mapped into different color (green). This is the task of the bottom part of the screen, but we will come to it later. Just for now note on the picture above the first line of the mapping where is a red square and text Subpicture 1. The Selected column shows Green color (this is what we see if the button is selected) and the Activated Column shows Blue. (This is what we see when we press the Enter on the remote)


This time we would like to have the text change the color instead of underline. Now let's delete all the 3 subpicture objects.

Select the first text we would like to have as button:

Now click the Copy/Change to Subpicture 1 button

This will copy the object (text) as a new subpicture

Note: When you use this button to a Normal object it will copy (duplicate) that object as a subpicture. If you use it on a Subpicture it will change the subpicture color only (it will not duplicate) for example from Subpicture 2 to Subpicture 1.

Now do this again for the second and third text object. Then press Preview.

This time the whole text will be highlighted:

Order of Subpictures

The order in which you add subpictures is often important. Basically you should start from the object which would become a first button and then continue to the last. In Layer view the first subpicture will be on the bottom and last on the top.

Why is this important? When you export the menu the order in which you put the subpicture will become also the order in which the buttons will be numbered by the application. Usually only the first button is important because this will become a default highlighted button when menu starts.

You can simply change the order by selecting the Subpicture and clicking on the Layer move buttons:

Again the bottom subpicture in layers will become a first button in the DVD application.

Note: When you adding subpicture and normal objects the normal objects will always be added below existing subpicture. This is of course logical. However with the layer move buttons you can move the normal object above subpicture (or subpicture below normal objects). This will cause no problem in export (neither it has any benefits) since the export will treat the normal and subpicture objects separately.

Show/Hide Subpictures

There is a small button on the Subpicture menu which lets you show/hide the subpictures.

This has no effect on the export.