Understanding Color Mapping

Color mapping is the process of assigning highlight colors with transparency values to the colors used in an overlay. The colors you assign can be different for each of the three button states (normal, selected, and activated).

You can use two types of overlays: a simple one that uses a single overlay color and an advanced one that uses up to four overlay colors. For many menus, a simple overlay will provide what you need with minimal complexity. You may find, however, that an advanced overlay provides greater flexibility when you are creating complicated menus.

Differences Between Simple and Advanced Overlays

The simple and advanced overlays differ primarily in how they use the overlay file.

  • For simple overlays: The color white in the overlay graphic is set to be transparent—this cannot be changed. The only other color allowed is black. If you add a graphic element that has a soft glow or has been anti-aliased, the areas that are not black or white appear with additional highlight colors (controlled by the advanced overlay color mapping settings). You get to choose a highlight color and its transparency for each of the three button states (normal, selected, and advanced). See Creating Simple Overlays for more information.
  • For advanced overlays: You can use up to four colors when creating your overlay graphic. When setting up the color mapping, you assign a highlight color and transparency to each of the four overlay colors, for each of the three button states. This allows you to create much more varied looks to the menu. For example, you do not need to make all highlight colors for a button the same color. Using an advanced overlay can also allow you to take advantage of anti-aliased edges.

Both simple and advanced overlays use the same color mapping palette and color mapping sets. When you map a color in a simple overlay, you are also mapping the color to the black overlay color in the advanced overlay.

You can use simple overlay mapping for some buttons and advanced overlay mapping for other buttons on the same menu.

Color Mapping Palette

The DVD specification allows a single 16-color palette to be assigned to each menu. This palette provides the colors used by the overlay to create the three button states. You can set each of the 16 colors and save the palette as the default palette for DVD Studio Pro. You can also create a different palette for each menu.

Note: Avoid choosing highly saturated colors. All colors used in your project must conform to broadcast limits. If necessary, the colors are restricted during playback and you may find the colors you configured do not match those used in the title.

Setting the Colors in the Color Palette

You set each of the 16 colors in the palette independently.

To set a palette color
  1. Select the menu and make sure the Menu Inspector displays the menu properties.

  2. Click the Colors tab in the Menu Inspector.

  3. Click Edit Palette at the bottom of the Colors tab.

    The Color Palette window appears.

    Figure. Color Palette window.
  4. Select the color you want to change.

    The Colors window appears.

  5. Select the color-choosing method you want to use, then choose the color. See Methods for Choosing Colors for information on the different methods.

  6. As you choose your color, the color in the palette also changes.

To change another color in the palette, select it in the Color Palette and repeat the above process. Click the close button once you have set the colors in the Color Palette.

In the Colors tab in the Menu Inspector, clicking the Save as Default button makes this set of colors the DVD Studio Pro default palette, and it will be used in all menus and projects created from now on (until it is changed again). Clicking Restore to Default overrides any changes you have made to this palette and sets it to match the default palette.

Note: Although they are identical in how they appear and work, the Color Palette used for subtitles is independent of the one used for menus.

Methods for Choosing Colors

DVD Studio Pro uses the standard Mac OS X Colors window. The window provides a variety of methods for choosing your colors, including a magnifying glass for grabbing colors from anywhere on your system’s display. See Mac Help for information on using the Colors window.

Color Mapping Sets

While the DVD specification limits you to 4 colors in a menu overlay and 16 colors in a menu’s palette, you can use those colors in different ways on each button on a menu. DVD Studio Pro lets you choose from three color mapping sets for each button.

Each set uses the same Color Palette, but allows you to assign different colors and transparencies to each overlay color for the selected and activated states of the buttons. There are two reasons you might want to do this:

  • To include buttons with different highlight colors on the same menu

  • To get around problems with overlapping buttons

Both the Menu and Button Inspectors have tabs with color mapping settings. The settings you make in the Colors tab in the Menu Inspector affect all buttons that you have created and will create for that menu. All buttons use color mapping set 1 when first created.

Once a button has been created, its properties appear in the Button Inspector. You can select a different color mapping set (2 or 3) for this button in the Style tab. You can also change the color mapping settings (for example, picking a different color for the selected state of overlay color 2) in the Colors tab. However, this affects all buttons that use that setting, not just the current button.

The illustration below shows a menu with six buttons. The menu uses the three color mapping sets to group buttons with similar functions.

Figure. Shows a menu with buttons that have different color mapping sets assigned to them.

Using Simple Overlay Color Mapping

Simple overlays have one color setting for each button state (normal, selected, and activated). All white areas of the overlay graphic are automatically set to be transparent—all black areas become a highlight area. You can use palettes and color mapping sets with a simple overlay.

The following steps show you how to set up color mapping for a menu when using a simple overlay. Once you start creating buttons (described in Adding Buttons to Your Menu), you will be able to select the color mapping sets for them.

To set up color mapping for a menu using a simple overlay
  1. Select a menu that has a background and overlay assigned.

    The Menu Inspector appears.

  2. Click the Colors tab in the Menu Inspector.

  3. Select Simple next to Overlay Colors.

  4. In the Menu Editor, choose Display Composite from the Settings pop-up menu to see the normal color settings take effect as you set them. (You will not see the selected and activated settings take effect until you start creating buttons.)

  5. Set the color and opacity settings for the normal selection state.

    • To choose the color: Open the Color pop-up menu and choose a color from the 16-color palette that appears.
    • To set the opacity: Either enter a new value in the fields to the right of the Opacity slider, or drag the sliders. The values range from 0 (completely transparent) to 15 (completely opaque).
      Figure. Colors tab of the Menu Inspector showing overlay color, color mapping set, color selection, and opacity settings.

    Set the normal color settings based on whether the background includes the normal button graphics.

    • If the normal button graphics are included in the background: Set the opacity for the Normal color to 0 (completely transparent).
    • If the normal graphics are not included in the background: Set the opacity and select the color so that the buttons appear as intended.
  6. Select Selected and Activated under Selection States and set the highlight color settings for the selected and activated states.

You will not see any of these settings take effect until you start creating buttons. You can configure the settings for all three of the color mapping sets by selecting their buttons (1, 2, and 3).

Note: If you set the Normal opacity to 15 and see other colors around the edges of items in the overlay graphic, the graphic has anti-aliased edges. To prevent the extra colors from appearing, you should either correct the overlay graphic or use the advanced overlay method.

Using Advanced Overlay Color Mapping

Using an advanced overlay, you can map highlight colors to up to four overlay colors. You choose one of two mapping types for the overlay graphic (chroma or grayscale), based on how you created the overlay graphic. See Creating Overlays for details.

Because advanced overlays can have up to four colors, you’re more likely to use them to create the normal button states (in addition to the selected and activated states) than you would be with a simple overlay. The following sections describe strategies you can use for each button state.

Normal State

Normal settings determine what a button looks like when not selected or activated. They apply to the entire overlay graphic, not just the areas identified by the button active areas.

  • If the normal state of the button is part of the background (the overlay does not provide button graphics): You generally set the opacity for each of the overlay colors to 0, making them invisible (and making the highlight colors mapped to them unimportant).
  • If the normal state of the button is not part of the background (the overlay provides the button graphics): You need to assign a color and opacity for each overlay color for the normal state.

Selected State

To avoid viewer confusion, it is important to clearly show that a button has been selected. The way you do this depends on whether the normal state of the button is part of the background.

  • If the normal state of the button is part of the background: The overlay typically provides a highlight by adding something to the existing button, such as an outline or a small graphic (for example, a checkmark, logo, or some text).
  • If the normal state of the button is not part of the background: You can change the colors and transparency of the overlay colors used for the normal state button. For example, you could have one of the overlay colors be transparent in the normal state and appear as an additional graphic in the selected state.

Activated State

The activated state, like the selected state, must appear clearly to the user. However, the activated state generally appears for only a short time—the amount of time it takes the DVD to process the button’s action.

The following is an example of an advanced overlay, showing only one button and using the grayscale mode.

Figure. Advanced overlay showing light gray, dark gray, black, and white usage examples.

This overlay uses a white background, main text that is dark gray, a light gray checkmark, and a black “OK!”

Using color mapping, you can control how each of these elements appears in each of the three states.

Overlay color
Normal state
Selected state
Activated state
Black
Transparent
Transparent
Yellow, opaque
Dark gray
Yellow, opaque
Yellow, opaque
Brown, opaque
Light gray
Transparent
Green, opaque
Transparent
White
Transparent
Transparent
Transparent

In the above example, for the normal state only the main text (using the dark gray overlay color settings) is visible, with its color set to yellow. When the button is selected, a green checkmark (using the light gray overlay color settings) appears. When activated, the checkmark disappears, the text turns brown, and a yellow “OK!” (using the black overlay color settings) appears.

Setting Up a Menu’s Color Mapping Using an Advanced Overlay

The following steps show you how to set up color mapping for a menu when using an advanced overlay. Once you start creating buttons (described in Adding Overlay-Based Buttons), you will be able to select the color mapping sets for them separately.

To set up color mapping for a menu using an advanced overlay
  1. Select a menu that has a background and overlay assigned.

    The Menu Inspector appears.

  2. Click the Colors tab in the Menu Inspector.

  3. Select Advanced next to Overlay Colors.

  4. Set the Mapping Type to either Chroma or Grayscale, depending on how the overlay was created.

  5. Select Normal under the Selection State.

  6. In the Menu Editor, choose Display Composite from the Settings pop-up menu to see the normal color settings take effect as you set them. (You will not see the selected and activated settings take effect until you start creating buttons.)

  7. Set the color and opacity settings for the normal selection state.

    • To choose the color: Open the Color pop-up menu and choose a color from the 16-color palette that appears.
    • To set the opacity: Either enter a new value in the fields to the right of the Opacity sliders, or drag the slider next to the value. The values range from 0 (completely transparent) to 15 (completely opaque).
  8. Set the normal color settings based on whether the background includes the normal button graphics.

    • If normal button graphics are included in the background: Set the opacity for each overlay color to 0 (completely transparent).
    • If normal graphics are not included in the background: Set the opacity and select the color for each overlay color so that the buttons appear as desired.
  9. Select Selected and Activated under Selection State and set the highlight color settings for the selected and activated states.

You will not see any of these settings take effect until you start creating buttons. You can configure the settings for all three of the color mapping sets by selecting their buttons (1, 2, and 3).

Using an Advanced Overlay to Support Anti-Aliasing

Instead of using the advanced overlay’s four colors to create multiple color highlights, you can use them to create pseudo-soft edges and take advantage of anti-aliased graphics. This requires you to use the grayscale method, using either white elements on a black background or black elements on a white background. The soft or anti-aliased edges are mapped to the dark and light gray overlay colors. By mapping the same color to each overlay color, but at reduced opacities on the dark and light gray overlay colors that occur at the edges, you can effectively simulate soft or anti-aliased edges.

To configure an advanced overlay for anti-aliased edges
  1. Select a menu that has a background and overlay with anti-aliased edges assigned.

    The Menu Inspector appears.

  2. Click the Colors tab in the Menu Inspector.

  3. Select Advanced next to Overlay Colors.

  4. Set the Mapping Type to Grayscale.

  5. Select Normal under the Selection State.

  6. In the Menu Editor, choose Display Composite from the Settings pop-up menu to see the normal color settings take effect as you set them. (You will not see the selected and activated settings take effect until you start creating buttons.)

  7. If the overlay should appear in the normal selection state, set the color and opacity settings as follows:

    • Choose the same color from the Color pop-up menus for each of the overlay colors.

    • Set the opacity for the primary overlay color (usually black) to 15.

    • Set the opacity for the next overlay color (dark gray) to 10.

    • Set the opacity for the next overlay color (light gray) to 5.

    If the overlay should not appear in the normal selection state, set the opacity settings to 0 for each overlay color.

  8. Select Selected and Activated under Selection State and set the highlight color settings for the selected and activated states. Set the color and opacity settings using the same method used in step 7. You will not see these settings take effect until you create buttons on the menu.