Creating a Simple DVD

While DVD Studio Pro is capable of creating complex projects, you may find yourself needing to create a very simple project that does nothing more than start playing when you insert the DVD into a DVD player—with no menus and no viewer interaction at all. This could be a disc that plays in a standalone kiosk or a DVD daily whose only purpose is to distribute a video track for approval.

To create a simple DVD
  1. Choose File > New (or press Command-N) to create a new project.

    By default a new project contains Menu 1 and Track 1.

  2. Select the Menu 1 tile in the Graphics tab and press Delete.

  3. Control-click the Track 1 tile, then choose First Play from the shortcut menu.

    This sets the project to automatically start playing this track once the DVD is inserted into a DVD player. (By default, DVD Studio Pro sets Menu 1 as the First Play element.)

  4. Drag the movie from the Library or a Finder window to the Track 1 tile in the Graphics tab.

    This not only imports the movie but assigns it to Track 1.

  5. Select the Track 1 tile in the Graphics tab so that the Track Inspector appears.

  6. Do one of the following to control what happens when the movie finishes playing:

    • To have nothing happen when the movie finishes playing, leave End Jump (in the top section of the Track Inspector) set to Not Set. Once the movie finishes playing, the DVD player will stop. The viewer can press Play to play it again.

    • To have the track play again in an infinite loop, choose the track from the End Jump pop-up menu.

And that’s it. You might want to consider adding a few additional elements to the project that would improve the viewer’s experience.

Adding Chapter Markers

Depending on the length of the movie, it can be very helpful for the viewer to be able to use the DVD player’s Previous and Next buttons to quickly skip through the movie to points you define with chapter markers.

If the movie was edited in Final Cut Pro, you can add the chapter markers at each scene change or at other significant points in the movie. These chapter markers will automatically import into DVD Studio Pro. See Adding and Configuring Markers in Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express for more information.

You can also manually add the markers in the DVD Studio Pro Track Editor. Even just placing markers every five or ten minutes can help the viewer locate specific parts of the movie. See Working with Markers for more information.

Adding a Menu

This goes a bit against the general idea of a simple DVD project, but it might be worth adding a simple menu so that the viewing experience once the movie finishes playing is a bit better. For example, you could leave the track set as the First Play element but have the track jump to a menu once it finishes playing. The menu could have a single button that says “Play Again?” Or the menu could have a credit list.

If You’re Using Multiple Movies

You may have a situation where you have more than one movie to put on the DVD. You can handle that in a couple of ways:

  • You can put each movie in its own track: If you do not want to have a menu, you can have the End Jump of the first track set to the next track, linking the tracks together. This assures that the viewer will watch the movies in the order you specify.
  • You can concatentate the movies in a single track: This is a bit easier than placing each movie in its own track because you do not have to set the End Jumps for each, and it also ensures that the movies will be watched in a specific order. This does require that each movie uses the same video and audio formats.

In most cases with multiple movies, you will want to create a menu where the viewer can choose which movie to watch. You may even want to have a menu where the viewer can choose to play a specific movie or to play all of them. See Creating a Play One or Play All Project for information on setting up this situation.