What Are Templates and Styles?

Templates and styles both contain properties, such as background assets, button highlights, and text colors, that you use to create a menu. While templates cover all aspects of a menu, styles are targeted to specific areas. Applying a template to a menu can result in a mostly finished menu—you may only need to link the buttons. With styles, you generally work with an existing menu, and then use the styles to change specific areas such as a button’s shape or a text object’s font.

In addition to the supplied templates and styles, you can create your own. You can import and use these templates and styles in many different projects.

Each template and style can be self-contained, including the actual assets used in the template or style, such as backgrounds, audio files, and shapes. Or, they can reference assets located in a folder on your hard disk.

Note: Templates and styles are in either PAL or NTSC format. You cannot use a template or style created using NTSC assets in a PAL project. The Palette only shows templates and styles that are compatible with the current project’s video standard. Additionally, templates using HD-specific resolutions (such as 1280 x 720p) or HD-specific video formats (HDV or H.264) cannot be imported into SD projects.

About the Apple Templates

Using the templates and styles provided with DVD Studio Pro is the quickest way to create professional looking menus. They can also help you to understand the different aspects of a template and give you ideas on how to create your own. Also, keep in mind that the Apple templates can be modified and saved as user templates.

The Apple templates are installed when you install Final Cut Studio. If you chose not to install them, you can install them later by starting the Final Cut Studio install process and deselecting everything except the DVD Studio Pro content. See the Installing Your Software document included with Final Cut Studio for more information.

In general, each template theme includes three templates designed for use in different situations:

  • Cover: Use these as the main menu. These include a text item for the menu title, one or more drop zones for you to customize their look, and several buttons that you can link to other menus and project elements.
  • Detail: Use these when you need to have a menu with several lines of explanation-type text. These include a text item for the menu title, one or more drop zones for you to customize their look, and several buttons.
  • Index: Use these for chapter index menus. These include a text item for the menu title, multiple buttons for linking to a track’s chapters, and three buttons, Back, Main, and Next, that the viewer uses to navigate to the next element.

The best way to learn what a template contains is to apply it to a menu and look for button, drop zone, and text items. Any menu item that you can assign an image to has a transparent arrowhead assigned by default.

Figure. Menu Editor showing a sample template.

Most of the templates contain motion backgrounds—be sure to have the menu play in the Menu Editor to see how it is intended to look.

About the Template Intro Movies

The Final Cut Studio installation disc includes several video assets that are intended to be used as menu intro files for specific supplied templates. These assets can be used to provide a smooth transition when a menu is selected that uses the associated template. See the “About Template Intro Movies” file, located in the Template Intro Movies folder on the installation disc for more information. Also see Using Menu Intro Clips.