Managing Elements Using the Outline and Graphical Tabs

You can use either the Outline or Graphical tab to manage your project’s elements.

Renaming Project Elements

In addition to entering an element’s name in its Inspector, you can rename an element in the Outline or Graphical tab.

To rename an element in the Outline tab
  1. Select the element whose name you want to change.

  2. Click the element’s name.

  3. Type the new name, then press Return.

The element’s name is changed.

To rename an element in the Graphical tab
  1. Double-click the element’s name.

  2. Type the new name, then press Return.

The element’s name is changed.

Deleting Elements

You can delete elements to remove them from your project.

To delete an element or group of elements
  1. Select the element or group of elements to delete.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Edit > Delete (or press the Delete key).

    • Control-click in an empty area of the Outline or Graphical tab, then choose Delete from the shortcut menu.

Important: If you delete a track that has stories, the stories are also deleted. An alert appears to warn you of this.

Duplicating Elements

You can duplicate elements within the Outline and Graphical tabs. You can build a chapter index menu, for example, and quickly make duplicates of it that just need to have their connections changed to become functional.

To duplicate an element
  1. Select the element to duplicate.

    You can also select multiple elements.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Edit > Duplicate (or press Command-D).

    • If you have selected a single element, Control-click the element, then choose Duplicate from the shortcut menu.

    • If you have selected a group of elements, Control-click in an empty area of the tab, then choose Duplicate from the shortcut menu.

The new element is named with its type (menu, track, and so on) followed by the next number. For example, if you duplicate a menu when there are already five menus, the new one becomes “Menu 6.” In the Outline tab, the new element appears last in the section.

Assigning the First Play Element

In addition to using the Disc Inspector or the Connections tab, you can assign your project’s First Play element directly in the Outline or Graphical tab. The First Play element is the one that plays when a DVD player begins playing the project.

To assign the First Play element in the Outline tab
Do one of the following:
  • Control-click the disc element, choose First Play from the shortcut menu, then choose the First Play element from the submenu. This method allows you to select a specific button (menu), slide (slideshow), or chapter marker (track or story) within an element to play from.

  • Control-click an element, then choose First Play from the shortcut menu. This method uses the element’s default button (menu), first slide (slideshow), or first marker (track or story) to play from.

To assign the First Play element in the Graphical tab
Do one of the following:
  • Control-click in an empty area of the Graphical tab, choose First Play from the shortcut menu, then choose the First Play element from the submenu. This method allows you to select a specific button (menu), slide (slideshow), or chapter marker (track or story) within an element to play from.

  • Control-click a tile, then choose First Play from the shortcut menu. This method uses the element’s default button (menu), first slide (slideshow), or first marker (track or story) to play from.

See Setting the Project’s First Play for more information.

Simulating Elements

The Simulator provides a way to verify your project before you build the title. Starting the Simulator by clicking Simulate in the toolbar simulates the project from its beginning, at the element designated as “First Play.” However, often you will want to start the Simulator at a specific project element, for example, to verify the navigation of a chapter index menu.

You can use the Outline or Graphical tab to start the Simulator at a specific element so that you can quickly verify it is working as planned.

To start the Simulator at a specific element
Do one of the following:
  • Choose File > Simulate Element, where “Element” is the type of element currently selected.

  • In the Outline or Graphical tab, Control-click the element at which you want to start the Simulator, then choose Simulate from the shortcut menu.

  • Select the element to start the Simulator with, then press Command-Option-0 (zero).

Note: Clicking Simulate in the toolbar always starts the Simulator with the element assigned as first play. If no first play element has been assigned, the Simulator starts by playing the first track.

Using Item Descriptions

An item description is an XML text file that lists all the properties of an element. You can save and load an item description, and view the description using TextEdit. You can also load an item description from one project into another. This can make it easy to create menus in multiple projects that all look the same or to copy a script between projects.

To save an item description
  1. Select the element for which you want to save a description.

    You can select the element in the Outline or Graphical tab or in any of the editors.

    Note: You cannot export an item description of a story. Item descriptions of tracks include their stories.

  2. Choose File > Export > Item Description.

  3. Enter a name for the file and select its destination in the dialog that appears, then click Export.

DVD Studio Pro creates the file and saves it in the location you specified.

To load an item description
  1. Choose File > Import > Item Description.

  2. Locate the description file to load and click Import in the dialog that appears.

Important: Item descriptions from previous versions of DVD Studio Pro cannot be loaded into DVD Studio Pro 4. An alternative is to open a project in DVD Studio Pro 4 that contains the element you originally made the item description from, then save a new item description from it.

With the exception of script item descriptions, you cannot import item descriptions created in one DVD standard (SD DVD or HD DVD) into the other DVD standard. Additionally, you cannot import item descriptions from one video standard (NTSC or PAL) into another video standard.

The description file loads and a new element appears in the Outline and Graphical tabs. The description file uses the same name it had when it was saved, unless that name is already in use. If the name already exists, a number is added to the end of its name, or if a number already exists, the number increments to form a unique name.

Note: When you load an item description into a project, all of the assets used when the description was saved must still be available. An error message appears if any problems are encountered.