Choosing the Menu’s Overlay

The second step in creating a menu is to choose its overlay (if you are using one). The overlay is a graphic that defines what kind of highlight appears when the viewer selects each button using the DVD player’s remote control, and where each button’s highlights occur on the menu. The highlight can be an outline of the button, an underline, or even text.

Note: If you intend to use shapes to create your menu buttons, you do not need to choose an overlay file. You can use an overlay file and shapes in the same menu.

There are two types of overlays you can use when creating your menus:

A single overlay graphic provides the highlights for all buttons. When creating your buttons, you must single out each button’s active area to ensure that when the viewer selects a button, only its part of the overlay graphic is highlighted.

The overlay typically provides the art only for each button’s selected and activated states. It can also provide the art for the normal state, but this state is most often incorporated into the background, allowing for very nice-looking, 24-bit resolution buttons. An advanced overlay’s four-color limit, and especially a simple overlay’s one-color limit, greatly restrict the visual quality of normal-state buttons.

The four colors used in an advanced overlay depend on the mapping type used for the overlay:

The Mapping Type setting in the Menu Inspector’s Colors tab indicates the type of overlay you are using.

If colors other than those specified are present in the overlay, they are mapped to their closest equivalents, which can produce surprising results. Use care to include only the specified colors when creating your overlays. See Creating Overlays for details on creating overlay graphics, including the color values used by the chroma and grayscale mapping types.

It is important to understand that the actual colors used in the overlay, whether you use the chroma or grayscale method, are not what appear as the highlights in the menu. They only identify where the actual highlight colors should appear. DVD Studio Pro uses color mapping to set the highlight colors.

See Understanding Color Mapping to learn more about color mapping.

Assigning a Menu Overlay Using the Inspector

You can assign a menu overlay using the Inspector. With this method, you can only choose from assets already imported into DVD Studio Pro.

To assign a menu overlay using the Inspector
  1. Select the menu and make sure the Menu Inspector displays the menu properties.

  2. Click the General tab in the Menu Inspector (if it’s not already visible).

  3. Choose an overlay from the Overlay File pop-up menu.

The selected file is assigned as the menu overlay. Depending on other menu settings, you may not see any changes in the Menu Editor.

Assigning a Menu Overlay by Dragging

You can assign an overlay to a menu by dragging it from the Assets tab, the Palette, or a Finder window.

To assign a menu overlay by dragging it to the Menu Editor
  1. Select the menu in the Outline or Graphical tab or choose it from the Menu Editor’s View pop-up menu to display it in the Menu Editor.

  2. Locate the overlay file you want to use in the Assets tab, Palette, or Finder window.

  3. Drag the asset to an empty part of the Menu Editor and pause until the Drop Palette appears.

  4. Choose Set Overlay from the Drop Palette.

The selected file is assigned as the menu overlay. Depending on other menu settings, you may not see any changes in the Menu Editor.

Choosing a Menu Overlay from a Layered Photoshop File

You can choose a layer from an Adobe Photoshop format (PSD) file to use as the menu overlay. One PSD file can supply backgrounds and overlays for several menus.

To choose a menu overlay from a PSD file
  1. Either create a new menu or select an existing one.

  2. Click the General tab in the Menu Inspector.

  3. Assign the PSD asset as the menu’s overlay by doing one of the following:

    • Choose it from the Overlay File pop-up menu in the Menu Inspector.

    • Drag it to the Menu Editor and choose Set Overlay from the Drop Palette.

  4. Choose the layer to use as the overlay from the Overlay Layer pop-up menu.

    Figure. Section of the General tab of the Menu Inspector with overlay selections.