Creating Buttons over Video

Having buttons appear while a track plays can be a very useful navigational tool, providing the viewer with options that can significantly add to the DVD title’s value. For example, you can use buttons over video to allow the viewer to jump from the current track to a track containing related information, such as an interview of an actor, a news clip, or an explanation of how an effect was done.

How Do Buttons over Video Work?

DVD Studio Pro uses subtitles at specially configured markers to provide the buttons over video feature. You configure the buttons exactly as if you were configuring a standard menu using advanced overlays: You create each button’s active area, assign its connection, set the button navigation (if you use more than one button), and set up the color mapping for the highlights.

Each subtitle containing buttons over video is tied to a marker. You must create a marker at the point where the subtitle should appear, and another where it should disappear. You can mix standard subtitles in the same stream as button over video subtitles.

You can only view one subtitle stream at a time. Because the buttons over video feature uses a subtitle stream, you effectively disable the normal usage of subtitles on the title while the buttons over video stream is selected. (Although a subtitle clip can have both buttons and subtitle text, often the buttons need to appear longer than normal dialogue text.) In most cases, you would configure the title so that the viewer decides whether to enable buttons over video by selecting a button on a menu. When selected, the subtitle stream that contains the buttons is usually configured to be forced to display so that the viewer does not inadvertently turn it off.

Adding Button Highlight Markers

To create a button over video subtitle, you add a marker at the point where the subtitle should appear, select its button highlight setting, and add a second marker where the subtitle should end. Once you do this, if you create a subtitle between these markers, its start snaps to the marker with the button highlight setting selected and its end snaps to the second marker, regardless of its type.

Any marker can be configured as a button highlight marker. See Working with Markers for information on adding markers to a track.

To configure a marker as a button highlight marker
Do one of the following:
  • Control-click the marker, then choose Button Highlight Marker from the shortcut menu.

  • Select the marker in the Track Editor. In the Marker Inspector, select the Button Highlight type in the General tab.

You can also select any of the other types available. Depending on the other types you select, at least a part of the marker will change to red. See Working with Markers for more information.

The second marker, which ends the button over video subtitle, can be of any type.

How a Button Highlight Marker Affects the Subtitle Stream

If a subtitle already exists between the two markers that specify the start and end of a button over video subtitle, its duration changes to match the time between the two markers. This is true of all subtitle streams. If you have traditional subtitles on one or more of the other subtitle streams, adding button highlight markers will also affect them. For this reason, you must use care when deciding when and how long to have the buttons over video subtitle appear, so as not to affect existing subtitles.

You can have several subtitle streams in the same track configured for buttons over video. For example, you may be using text for the buttons and want to have different streams for each language. It’s important to keep in mind that all button active areas, connections, navigation settings, and color mapping settings are applied to all subtitle streams. The only element that can be different between the streams is the text or overlay you use.

Adding a Button over Video Subtitle Clip

Once you have configured the button highlight marker and the ending marker, you can add the button over video subtitle.

To add a button over video subtitle clip
  • Double-click in the subtitle stream between the button highlight marker and the ending marker.

A new subtitle clip appears, with its duration matching the time between the two markers. See the next section, Configuring a Button over Video Subtitle Clip, for information on configuring the subtitle clip to provide buttons over video.