Actually I used the sunflower theme in the end but I noticed that this and the revolution theme seemed to be the only ones with Chapter, Main & Extras ?
Actually, all the Themes have Main, Chapters and Extras. Well, all the version 6.0 and 7.0 Themes have. Some of the Old Themes don't, but you may not have these. Old Themes were carried over from the earlier versions of iDVD (up to version 5.0) and are all 4:3 aspect ratio that suited the DV format (the format that uses miniDV tapes, but not HDV which is widescreen).
Alongside each of the Themes you will see a small arrow pointing to the right. This is known as a "disclosure triangle". Click on this and the arrow will point downwards, revealing all the separate pages for the Theme, that is, Main, Chapters and Extras. You'll notice these disclosure triangles right through the Mac apps, including iMovie.
I also changed to PAL under preferences. I am wondering if I send a copy to a friend in the USA she will be able to play it on her TV or perhaps I should make one for her in NTSC format ?
My understanding is that most NTSC DVD Players in the USA will not play DVDs encoded in the PAL format. There's lots of information on the internet about this, which confirms my thinking. However, in Australia the opposite is true. We can generally play NTSC discs on our PAL DVD Players.
So I think it would be sensible to create a separate DVD in the NTSC format. You don't need to go back to iMovie for this. Here's what to do:
- In iDVD click on the menu item "File > Save As". In the window that opens change the name to something different to the original. I would simply add NTSC to the original name, to identify it accordingly. Save it to the Desktop.
- The project that is now open in iDVD will be the one you've labelled with NTSC (check the top of the window to be sure).
- In the iDVD menu, select "Project > Project Info"
- In the window that opens, for Video Mode select NTSC. You may get a warning message about the project assets having to be encoded again. Click OK.
If you are happy with how it all looks, you can now go ahead with creating a Disk Image (if desired) and then burning the DVD using Disk Utility, or simply just burning now from within iDVD, as I've described previously.
NOTE: Encoding as NTSC will change the frame rate to (approx) 30 frames per second (fps), which is 5 extra frames when compared to the PAL frame rate of 25 fps. iDVD will take care of this, but you may see a slight change in some parts of your video, particularly shots with lots of motion. However, the audio should remain in sync with the video.
The "music" in the themes is pretty awful. Can I delete it and replace with my own ? if so what codec ?
Yes, the music can be quite easily replaced, particularly if you are using iTunes. You really don't need to worry about audio codecs, as most popular codecs should be fine. Here's how to do it:
- Click on the Media box at the bottom right of the iDVD window, then on the Audio tab at the top right.
- In the Audio panel that opens, you should now see all your music in iTunes and also in GarageBand (if you have any there). I'm not sure about any other music in other folders on your Mac. When you are ready to drag the music (see shortly) you may have to drag it from the other location, rather than from the Audio panel.
- Open the Inspector (click on the i button on the bottom left of the main window - alternatively, open it from the menu item "View > Show Inspector").
- From the Inspector, make a note of the "Loop Duration". Most Themes default to about 30 seconds, but this is flexible.
- From the Audio panel that you have open on the right of the main window, locate the music you wish to use. Otherwise, go to the folder or location (maybe Desktop) where you have stored your music.
- Having found the track, drag it directly onto the Audio box in the Inspector. Notice that the music title changes to the name of the track you've dropped on the box.
- The Loop Duration will also change. It will now show as the duration of your music track, which will probably be too long for the menu (most songs being at least 2 to 3 minutes or more).
- Drag the Loop Duration slider back to what it showed originally for the default music (probably about 30 seconds).
- It's nice to have the music fade out at the end of each loop. Click on iDVD > Preferences in the menu. In the General tab, if not already checked (ticked), check the box labelled "Fade volume out at end of menu loop".
- If necessary change the "Menu Volume" slider in the Inspector to your preferred level. I find that the centre position is fine for most music.
- Close the Inspector and your done!
Test everything by clicking on the Motion icon (button) at the bottom centre of the main window. Otherwise preview your movie as I described previously.
Incidentally, what is the format that allows it to be shown on Windows Media Player and Imac as it was successful on my old XP ?
Do you mean the DVD itself? That should play on your iMac and on any Windows PC, as well as all modern DVD and Blu-ray Players. It's encoded in the standard format for DVDs which is MPEG-2. No need for you to worry about formats, as it's all taken care of by iDVD. On your iMac, after loading the DVD the DVD Player app should open. If not, open it from the Applications folder.
I will send this off and post separately about a couple of other things, as I indicated earlier.
Once again, good luck with all of this!
Hi again Chris,
I mentioned in a couple of my earlier posts that I would give you some information about the encoding settings in iDVD.
In iDVD's menu item "Project > Project Info" you will see a selection box labelled "Encoding". Three selections are available, as follows:
- Best Performance
- High Quality
- Professional Quality
Best Performance is generally used for projects up to one hour in duration. It can be set to encode in the background while you are working on your iDVD project, thus saving a significant amount of time. The setting can be changed in the menu item "Advanced > Encode in Background".
High Quality or Professional Quality must be used for projects in excess of one hour, up to a maximum of two hours for a single-layer disc. You can fit almost double this time on a double-layer disc.
Professional Quality takes about twice as long to encode, but produces the best quality possible.
In looking at project times, you need to allow several minutes for the menus. More advanced menus with numerous chapter pages and extras will take up extra time compared to a basic menu with no chapters or extras.
For more detailed information about encoding settings in iDVD, please see these two Apple articles:
For projects less than an hour, I generally use Best Performance. With background encoding turned on, this saves time and produces excellent results.
I haven't noticed much of a quality difference between High Quality and Professional Quality, so generally use High Quality for projects in excess of one hour.
Message was edited by: John Cogdell