Using Languages with Menus

You can configure a menu to support up to 16 different languages. When the DVD first starts playing, it checks the menu language setting of the DVD player and automatically displays the corresponding menu (if a menu for that language is available) or the menu for the first language available (if there is no language match).

The Outline tab lists the languages you have added to the project in the Languages section. The languages you see there are used to determine only which menus to display and have no effect on the stream settings within the tracks. By default, one language, based on the Default Language setting in the Project pane of DVD Studio Pro Preferences, appears in the Outline tab.

You do not actually create different menus for each language—you simply assign separate background, overlay, and audio (if applicable) files to each language. You can also change the text in any text objects and buttons. These three files and the text changes are the only differences between the languages. Button active areas, links, and all other menu settings are exactly the same for each language.

Note: Because the start frames of transitions are based on the menu’s background video, separate transition clips are rendered for each language that uses a different background video.

Creating and Configuring Menu Languages

There are two approaches you can take to configure menus for multiple languages:

  • Create the primary language’s menu first, and then create the alternate languages in the Outline tab: When you create the menu languages after you have created the primary menu, all of the primary menu attributes are applied to all language versions of the menu, including those that can be different between the languages. This makes it easier to configure the menus for the other languages, especially if you are not changing much between the different languages.
  • Create the languages first, and then create the menus: When you create the languages first, the menus all start out empty. Anything you apply to one of the menus that is not language-specific gets applied to all versions of the menu. If you apply an item that is language-specific—for example, you create a text object—a text object is created on all versions of the menu, but only the menu you created it on will have the text and text attributes (font or color). This can require more effort because you have to set not only the text, but its attributes for each version of the menu. (If you had created the primary menu first, all of the other versions would have the text object with its font and color—all you would need to do would be type the new text.)

Most often you will find yourself using a mixture of these methods. For example, you might create the languages and menus, and then find you need to add an additional language. The menu configurations for the new language will match the primary menu settings.

Adding Menu Languages

You can use the Outline tab’s shortcut menu to create menu languages.

To create menu languages
Do one of the following:
  • Choose Project > Add to Project > Language, or press Command-Slash (/).

  • Control-click in the Outline tab, choose Add from the shortcut menu, then choose Language from the submenu.

The new language appears in the Outline tab under the Languages heading. By default it is named “English _,” with “_” being the number of the language. The General pane in DVD Studio Pro Preferences contains a project default language setting that you can use to define the default language. See General Preferences for more information.

Important: For every language you add, DVD Studio Pro creates a new menu for each menu in your project. This is true whether or not you assign different backgrounds to each language. For projects with a lot of motion menus, these additional menus can take up a significant amount of space on the DVD.

Configuring Menu Languages in the Outline Tab

You can use the Outline tab to configure the menu languages.

To configure menu languages using the Outline tab
  1. Click the triangle next to Languages to display the available languages. There should be at least one entry.

  2. Select the language entry to open the Language Inspector.

    Figure. Language Inspector.
  3. Choose a language from the Language Code pop-up menu. This is the language that this language element should map to on the DVD player when the title plays.

  4. If desired, enter a new name in the Language Name area. This is the name that you will see when configuring your menus. By default, it changes to match the name of the language selected in the Language Code pop-up menu. This name is not seen by the viewer; it is strictly for your use while configuring menus.

  5. To remove a language, select it in the Outline tab and press the Delete key.

Setting Up Menus for the Languages

Once you have created and configured your languages, you can configure their menus. To do this, you need to have created and imported all assets (backgrounds, overlays, and audio streams) that will be used for the different languages.

To configure a menu for a language
  1. Select a menu. It does not have to be fully configured yet. Keep in mind that all settings (with the exception of the background, overlay, audio file, and text) are shared among all languages.

  2. Do one of the following to choose a language to configure:

    • Choose the language from the Language pop-up menu in the Menu tab in the Menu Inspector.

    • Choose the language from the Menu Editor’s language pop-up menu, next to the View pop-up menu.

  3. Select the background file, overlay file, and audio file to use for this language. You can use the same file for multiple languages.

    Note: These files must be compatible (the same format, resolution, and, in the case of audio, the same bit rate, sample size, and sample rate) between all language versions of the menu.

  4. If desired, change the text in any text objects and buttons to what you want to appear for that language. You can also change the font and color for each language.

  5. Select any additional languages and set their asset files and text as you like.

When you choose a language that you have already configured with alternate assets, the menu’s assets and text change to match those settings.