VTS Editor

The VTS Editor allows you to verify and control the VTS (Video Title Set) structure of your project. Using the VTS Editor, you are able to manually assign elements to VTS blocks. This makes it possible for you to optimize the final DVD’s layout so that when it’s played there are minimum pauses due to the player having to move between elements in different parts of the disc.

For most projects, the VTS assignments automatically made by DVD Studio Pro while you build your project will work fine. However, complicated or specialized projects using many scripts and menus can have their playback performance improved by manually moving elements between the VTS blocks.

About VTS Blocks

The contents of a video DVD are contained in one or more VTS blocks. In DVD Studio Pro, each track and slideshow must reside in its own VTS. Additionally, each VTS has a structure to support one or more menus and one or more scripts. Also, all DVDs have a video manager that knows the VTS structure of the disc.

Figure. Shows VTS block details including the main content space, menu space, and script space.

Menus and VTS Blocks

All menus in a VTS must use the same video and audio settings, including formats, aspect ratios, resolutions, and in the case of audio, sample size. For example, if you have some menus using AIFF audio and others using AC-3, they must be placed in different VTS blocks. DVD Studio Pro automatically places menus into VTS blocks as needed by their assets.

Each VTS in an SD project is limited to a single file to hold the menu content, with a maximum file size of 1 GB. If you have a lot of motion menus, you may exceed this limit and need to split the menus between multiple VTS blocks.

Note: A single VTS in an HD project can contain up to 99 1 GB files for menus.

DVD Playback and VTS Blocks

When you play a DVD and a jump must occur, such as when a menu button is selected that jumps to a track’s chapter marker, there is a slight pause while the DVD player’s laser locates where to jump to on the disc.

  • If the track is in a different VTS block than the menu: The laser must first jump to the video manager files, and from there on to the track’s VTS.
  • If the track is in the same VTS block as the menu: The laser is able to go directly to the track.

You can improve a disc’s playback performance by keeping related elements together whenever possible. For example, you should place the scripts used with a specific track in the same VTS as the track.

Because menus often link to multiple tracks or slideshows, you will not be able to keep them together with everything they can jump to. However, you can minimize the time a DVD player spends jumping from the menu to the video manager files by keeping the menus in the first VTS, which is physically located close to the video manager files.

See Standard SD DVD Video Zone Files for more information.

Showing the VTS Editor

The VTS Editor is located in the Outline tab. By default, the VTS Editor is hidden in the Outline tab.

Figure. Outline tab showing the By Type view.
To show the VTS Editor
Do one of the following:
  • Click the Alternate View button.

    The Outline tab changes from the current display, either By Type or By VTS, to the alternate display. If the display is in a split-view mode (showing both By Type and By VTS), clicking the Alternate View button swaps sides between the two views.

    Figure. Outline tab showing the By VTS view.
  • Drag the partition toward the tab’s center.

    The partition edge can be on the left or right—it is the side that has the handle indication.

    Figure. Outline tab showing a split view of By Type and By VTS items.

Comparing the By VTS and By Type Displays

The elements in the By VTS and By Type displays are very similar and can be used to do many of the same things. For example, double-clicking an element in either display opens it in its editor and inspector. (Selecting an element in one display also selects that same element in the other.)

The primary difference is in how they are organized.

  • By VTS: Lists the elements based on the VTS they belong to. A VTS can have only one track (which can also have stories) or one slideshow, but it can have multiple menus and scripts.
  • By Type: Lists the elements based on their type (menus, tracks, slideshows, and scripts). See Using the Outline Tab for more information on using the By Type display.

Note: The Languages section in the By Type display does not represent actual elements—it represents languages that can be used for the menus. It does not appear in the By VTS display because it is not specific to a VTS.

Moving Elements from One VTS to Another

You can move elements from one VTS to another by dragging. This is most often done to place scripts and menus in the same VTS blocks as the tracks or slideshows they most closely relate to.

To move an element to a different VTS
  • Select the element and drag it to the destination VTS block’s name.

As you drag the element, a black box surrounds the VTS name that it will be moved to as you pass over it. Releasing the element places it in that VTS. The element has a “pin” added to its icon to indicate it has been manually placed in that VTS.

Once you start dragging the element, all incompatible VTS blocks (containing pinned incompatible menus) have their names struck through and yellow warning triangles placed in front of them. If you move a menu into an incompatible VTS, a warning appears, and the incompatible menus have a line through their names. See About Pinning Elements in the By VTS Display for more information.

Important: It is possible to manually move incompatible menus to the same VTS. The project will not build, however.

Figure. Outline tab in By VTS view showing dragging an item from one VTS to another.

About Pinning Elements in the By VTS Display

As you create elements for your DVD project, DVD Studio Pro automatically places them in appropriate VTS blocks. For example, if you create a menu that uses a different audio format than the others, it is automatically placed in a separate VTS.

If you manually move an element from one VTS to another, the VTS Editor indicates it with a pin on the element’s icon.

Figure. Outline tab in the By VTS view showing an item that has been pinned to its VTS.

You can also pin an element to a VTS to prevent DVD Studio Pro from moving it to another VTS.

To pin an element to a VTS
  • Control-click the element in the By VTS display, then choose Pin Element Type to Video Title Set from the shortcut menu, with Element Type being the type of element being pinned (menu, script, and so on).

To unpin an element from a VTS
  • Control-click the element in the By VTS display, then choose Pin Element Type to Video Title Set from the shortcut menu, with Element Type being the type of element being pinned (menu, script, and so on). (Because the element was pinned, it has a checkmark next to this entry in the shortcut menu.)

Once it is unpinned, the element is moved to the VTS where DVD Studio Pro would normally automatically place it.

Adding Additional VTS Blocks

You can add additional VTS blocks to your project as needed.

To add a VTS to your project
  1. Ensure the By VTS display is visible by doing one of the following:

    • Click the Alternate View button.

    • Drag the partition toward the center of the Outline tab.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Control-click in the By VTS display, then choose Add Video Title Set from the shortcut menu.

    • Click the Add VTS button along the top of the Outline tab.

A project can have up to 99 VTS blocks. The actual number of VTS blocks you can have depends on the number of stories in your project. Even though stories do not get placed in their own actual VTS blocks (they share the VTS block that contains the track they are related to), they use virtual VTS blocks. For example, a project with five stories can have a maximum of 94 actual VTS blocks.

If any VTS blocks are empty when you build the project, you are asked if you want them to be deleted. While it does not violate compatibility with the DVD specification to have empty VTS blocks in the build, they do use a small amount of disc space. Additionally, each VTS block that does not contain a track or slideshow reduces by one the total number of tracks, slideshows, and stories your project can have.

VTS Inspector

You can see the properties of a VTS block by clicking its name in the VTS Editor.

Figure. Video Title Set (VTS) Inspector.

The VTS Inspector shows the name of the VTS block and its audio and video properties. The properties are defined by the menus assigned to the VTS. If there are no menus in the VTS, these properties are left blank. It is these properties that determine whether or not any new menus that are added are compatible.