Connection Items

There are three items involved in making a connection:

Project Elements

The project element you select in the Outline or Graphical tab determines the list of sources displayed in the Connections tab. Selecting the disc displays all sources from all elements, plus a few sources that do not appear in any of the other elements.

Sources

Sources fall into five categories: the disc, menus, tracks, stories, and slideshows. The number of choices you see in the list of sources depends on the selected element and whether you have chosen Basic, Standard, or Advanced from the View pop-up menu above the source list.

Figure. Sources pane of the Connections tab, showing the different types of sources.

The right half of the source list shows the current connections.

Figure. Sources pane of the Connections tab, showing the current connections.
  • Basic: The most fundamental jumps you can make are in the basic list of sources. These include the startup action for the disc and the jumps made when the viewer presses the Title and Menu buttons on the remote control when the disc is inserted in the player. The basic link for menus is where to jump when buttons are activated. The basic links for tracks and slideshows are where to jump when playback is finished and where to jump when the Menu button is selected while the track or slideshow is playing.
  • Standard: The most commonly used jumps are found in the standard list of sources. In addition to those in the basic list, pre-scripts (scripts designed to run when the element is chosen) are listed for menus, tracks, and slideshows. If a DVD menu has been on the screen for a period of time specified in the General tab in the Menu Inspector, the subsequent action is determined by the Menu Timeout Target link. Each marker in a track and each slide in a slideshow displays its own end jump and menu button links.
  • Advanced: The advanced list of sources contains all of the possible sources available for the selected element. In addition to the basic and standard sources, the Return button on the DVD player’s remote control is also listed.

Additionally, for tracks and slideshows you can set connections for the following buttons found on some remote control devices: Audio, Subtitle, Angle, and Chapter menu buttons. These links can make it convenient for viewers to access DVD menus that allow them to select audio and subtitle options, an angle, or a chapter. However, be sure to design your title with other ways to reach these DVD menus because very few remote controls offer these buttons.

Important: It is important not to confuse these buttons with the Audio, Subtitle, and Angle selection buttons commonly found on remote controls—these buttons do not access a menu and instead directly change the selected stream.

See Source Details for a complete list of sources as well as methods (other than the Connections tab) that you can use to link them.

Next Jump and Prev Jump

Tracks and slideshows have two settings, Next and Previous Jump, that can only be set in the Connections tab with the advanced sources displayed. These settings define what happens when the viewer presses the Next and Previous buttons on the DVD player’s remote control.

While a track or slideshow is playing, the Next and Previous buttons allow the viewer to skip forward or backward between markers or stills. A setting in the Connections tab defines what happens if the viewer presses the Next or Previous button when there is no next or previous marker or slide. By default, with nothing assigned to these settings, nothing happens. This is the normal action used for most projects.

If you establish a connection to either of these buttons, there are two issues that you must be aware of:

  • You will no longer be able to set the Menu button action for each marker—you will only be able to set it for the first marker.

  • The DVD player will no longer display a play time for the track or slideshow.

See Setting a Pause on the Last Slide for information on using the Next Jump setting in a slideshow.

Targets

The list of targets includes all menus and their buttons, all tracks and their stories and markers, all slideshow stills, and all scripts. There are four additional commands that can appear at the top of the list, depending on the selected source: Resume, Stop, Same as Disc, and Same as Track.

See Target Details for a complete list of targets.

Default Connections

There are two types of connections that DVD Studio Pro makes automatically: linking each marker in a track to the next marker, and assigning the same menu button action to all of a track’s markers. These connections are not shown in the Connections tab and can be overridden by assigning different targets while in the Standard or Advanced source view.

Chapter-to-Chapter Connections

DVD Studio Pro automatically links the end jump from one marker to the beginning of the next marker. This allows a track to play seamlessly through the markers. The end jump for the last marker is not linked to any targets—you must set this yourself using the End Jump setting.

Setting Chapter Marker End Jumps

In addition to the limit of 99 chapter markers per track, DVD Studio Pro has a combined limit of 106 chapter markers and individual chapter end jump settings per track. This is normally not an issue except in special cases where you decide to set an end jump for each chapter marker.

If your track has 54 chapter markers, each configured with an end jump, the result is a combined 108 markers and jump settings. This will cause an error message to appear when you build the project. Because setting end jumps on chapter markers prevents the track from playing seamlessly from start to end, you can instead divide the track into two tracks, each containing a portion of the markers and thus avoid the 106 limit.

For example, you might use chapter markers with end jumps set to “edit” a track into multiple small clips. If you configure a menu button to jump to a specific chapter marker, the track starts playing from that point. Once the next marker is reached, the end jump directs the DVD player back to the menu, resulting in only a small portion of the track playing.

The advantage of this is that you can easily configure a track to play as short clips and not worry about running into the 99 tracks, stories, and slideshows per project limit. The disadvantage of this is that you cannot play the track from start to end—as soon as the first marker that has its end jump set is reached, the player jumps to that setting.

You can accomplish a similar result by creating a story that plays only from one chapter marker to the next. The disadvantage of doing this is that if you have a lot of these that you want to configure, you will quickly run into the 99 tracks, stories, and slideshows per project limit.

Menu Button Connections

Once you establish a connection to the Menu button of the DVD player’s remote control, it is automatically applied to all markers in the track.