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The DVD Studio Pro 2.0 Walkthrough

Part 1: Basic creation of custom shapes, buttons and drop zones
Once the button is in DVD Studio Pro, I can then set the highlight color in the Button palette. I can also set the opacity of the basic highlight so that the details of my frame.

Here, then, are the selected and unselected states of my button side by side.

Note that if you're creating this file as a drop zone, you don't need to create a highlight layer. But it won't hurt anything if you do.

The Mask layer
And finally we come to the Mask layer. This is not the mask for the button itself but for the thumbnail of the asset you assign to this particular button. The areas you set as white will show your asset thumbnail, while the black areas will mask it out. (Various shades of gray will also provide varying degrees transparency.) For this button, I want my asset to show inside the frame shape, but not outside it. Therefore I'll place white inside the frame and black everywhere else.

And here's what it looks like with an asset set to the button within DVD Studio Pro.

Finishing up
You're now done with your button. Save it anywahere on your hard drive. To import it into DVD Studio Pro, launch the application and select the Shapes tab in the Palette, and select your file in the dialog that pops up. It will be imported into the Custom section of your Shapes tab. To apply it, simply drag it onto the stage.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you're working on your button.

  • All layer effects must be rasterized before bringing them into DVD Studio Pro.
  • Because DVD Studio Pro relies on the layer structure of your file to define individual elements of your button, any additional layers you've created must be merged onto the appropriate layer. For example, if your Shape uses a text layer and an image layer, the two must be merged together into a single Shape layer.
  • Do not leave your icon layer blank. Either fill in the layer with a graphic (or text), or delete the layer entirely. It's not required. If you do not include an Icon layer, the Shape layer will be used to represent your button within DVD Studio Pro.
  • Buttons can be of any size, but you should make your buttons the largest size you plan to use in your project. (In other words, avoid the loss of quality that might occur if you have to scale up your graphic.)

So there you have basic button and drop zone creation. In future installments, we'll look at some tricks for using these elements to create special effects and more sophisticated menus. Until then, if you have any questions, drop me a line or visit me in one of the forums listed below.

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at [email protected].

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