Adding Drop Zones to Your Menu

Drop zones are similar to buttons; you can assign an asset to them, move them around, and change their size. Unlike buttons, however, they do not have jump targets and they are not counted as buttons in the menu’s button count.

Drop zones allow you to add graphics to a menu that you would otherwise have had to add to the background using an external video editing application.

To create a drop zone by dragging an asset
  1. Drag a still image, video clip, or shape to an empty part of the Menu Editor. You can drag this from the Assets tab, the Palette, or a Finder window.

  2. Choose Create Drop Zone from the Drop Palette.

A 120-pixel high by 180-pixel wide rectangle appears, with the still image, video clip, or shape filling it. You can position and resize the drop zone the same as you would a button’s active area. See Working with Assets in Buttons and Drop Zones for more information.

To create a drop zone by drawing a rectangle
  • Hold down the Option key while dragging to create a rectangle in the Menu Editor, similar to the way you create a button’s active area.

You can use the Drop Zone Inspector or drag to assign a shape and asset to the drop zone.

To convert a button to a drop zone
Do one of the following:
  • Choose Project > Convert Button to Drop Zone.

  • Control-click the button, then choose Convert Button to Drop Zone from the shortcut menu.

The name of the drop zone is “DropZone _,” with “_” being the next available number.

To convert a drop zone to a button
Do one of the following:
  • Choose Project > Convert Drop Zone to Button.

  • Control-click the button, then choose Convert Drop Zone to Button from the shortcut menu.

The name of the button is “Button _,” with “_” being the next available number.

Once you have created a drop zone, you can drag an asset to the drop zone, or select an asset in the Drop Zone Inspector. See Working with Assets in Buttons and Drop Zones for more information.

Setting Drop Zone Properties

The Drop Zone Inspector appears once you create a drop zone. It contains basic settings for configuring the drop zone.

Figure. Drop Zone Inspector.
  • Name: Enter a name for the drop zone.
  • Start Frame: When the asset assigned to the drop zone is a video clip, this area displays the video. Use the slider or the timecode entry to choose the start point for motion playback (if motion is enabled) or to choose the frame to use in the drop zone if motion is not enabled.
  • Motion: Select this checkbox to enable motion in the drop zone when the drop zone’s asset is a video clip. See Configuring Motion Menu Settings for details on looping video within drop zones.
  • Shadow: Select this checkbox to apply the menu’s drop shadow setting to this drop zone.
  • Coordinates & Size: This area lets you set the location of each edge of the drop zone, plus the drop zone’s height and width. The upper-left corner of the menu is at pixel 0, line 0. You can enter values for each edge, allowing you to precisely position and size the drop zone. (You can also drag the drop zone and each of its edges with the pointer.)
  • Rotation: Rotate the knob or enter a value to rotate the drop zone. The values can go from 0.0 to 359.9, with a value of 0.0 as normal.

About Using Drop Zones

Any drop zones you add to your menu will become part of the menu’s background when the project is built.

Overlapping Drop Zones

While you should avoid overlapping buttons, you can feel free to overlap drop zones, because they are not involved in navigation. Because drop zones can be overlapped, you should use care when adding them to the menu—those added later have a higher priority and will cover up those added earlier.

To change a drop zone’s priority
  • Control-click it, then choose an option from the shortcut menu. See About Button Numbers for more information.

Note: Drop zones, text objects, and buttons are included in the same priority list; a drop zone can have a higher priority, and thus cover up a button.

Shapes in Drop Zones

While shapes are primarily intended to be applied to buttons, they can be useful when applied to drop zones, too.

Without a shape, a drop zone usually has a rectangular outline, because that is the shape of the still images and video clips you can add to the drop zones. Shapes, however, can have an irregular outline, and when applied to a drop zone, the irregular outline is maintained. This makes it possible to have heart- or star-shaped drop zones—or any shape you want to create and import. Using a shape in a drop zone, you could add your corporate logo to your menus without having to composite it externally.

Shapes with patches can also be used with drop zones. See Adding Shapes to a Menu for more information.

Note: A drop zone can also have an irregular edge if the asset assigned to it has an alpha channel. See Creating Graphics for Drop Zones and Buttons for more information.