A while ago, I did a series of posts about custom iDVD menus. At the end of the article, I mentioned that there were several little tricks that I didn’t cover. Well, here are five iDVD tricks that I’ve found particularly useful.
Hide the Apple Watermark
I love Apple’s products a lot, but that doesn’t mean that I want them putting their logo on my DVD menu. To turn it off, just go to the iDVD menu and choose Preferences. Under General uncheck the box next to Show Apple logo watermark.
Show TV Safe Area
Even with HDTV, you still want to pay attention to the TV safe area. How do you know where it is? Go to the View menu and choose Show TV Safe Area. iDVD will draw a red box around the TV safe area, helping you make sure that your menu doesn’t get lost on an older TV. You may want to turn the TV safe area off before you test your DVD, though. For some reason iDVD leaves the red box on in preview mode.
Custom Scene Selection Tips
After I posted my custom DVD menu articles, I discovered a very interesting thing. When you create a scene selection menu from chapter markers, iDVD automatically uses the entire movie for every scene’s thumbnail image. This is not really a problem if your movie is small. But if you have a movie that is already pushing the limits of your DVD’s space, it can be a huge difficulty, because iDVD renders the movie once for every scene, resulting in a huge file.
Here’s how to fix it. Simply select a chapter marker button in iDVD, click the info button, and then check the box for a still frame. Now all you need to do is drag the slider to find a frame that you like. If iDVD’s automatically chosen frames don’t satisfy you, then you can just…
Use Custom Thumbnails
It’s simple, really. Find a frame from your movie, export a still of it, and then drag it into the box for a custom still frame in iDVD. That’s all you have to do.
Export to Disc Image
If you created your DVD with a non-self-contained movie, you will need to re-export every time that you change the movie. Besides that, when your movie is finished, it’s a good idea to throw away all of the render files to conserve space on your hard drive. If you did that and then wanted to burn another copy from iDVD, you would be faced with a lovely error.
In order to fix this, just head up to the File menu and choose Save as Disc Image. iDVD goes through the DVD creation process, but this method ends with a disc image instead of a DVD. Now use Apple’s Disc Utility (in /Applications/Utilities) to burn the disc image to a DVD.
So there you have five tips that make your life easier and customize your DVD menu.