Adding Easter Eggs to Your Menus

It is becoming increasingly popular to add hidden items to DVD projects. For example, you may include a track or menu that you only want people to find if they know the right buttons to push.

Most often, invisible buttons on less-used menus are used to access these items. Depending on how elaborate you want to be, you can configure the button navigation so that the viewer can only get to the invisible button by pressing non-obvious arrow buttons on the remote control.

For example, if you have a menu with a column of six buttons, you could set the button navigation so that the invisible button is reached only by pressing the left arrow button when on the fourth button in the column. (Most viewers would not think to press the left arrow button if the menu’s buttons are arranged in an obvious up/down fashion.) You can make it even harder to find by using multiple invisible buttons, with each requiring the correct arrow button presses to get to the next, with incorrect presses jumping back to the visible buttons.

About Invisible Buttons

You can set an overlay button to be invisible by selecting Invisible in the Advanced tab of the Button Inspector. In this case, making a button invisible means that the highlight colors do not appear when the button is selected and activated. This can be confusing when combined with visible buttons on a menu because it can lead to a condition where nothing appears to be selected.

Instead of using a true invisible button, you may want to use a button whose normal state is invisible, but which acts as a visible button when selected and activated. To do this, you only have to make sure the button has no normal state graphics on the menu’s background (making the button invisible when not selected), but does have supporting graphics, such as a star or happy face, in the overlay file that will show the selected and activated highlight colors. Note that if you do this, a viewer playing the DVD on a computer may be able to find the button just by waving the pointer over the menu.

See Advanced Tab in the Button Inspector for information on invisible buttons.

Important: While using invisible buttons can make it difficult for viewers to accidentally find hidden features, you should not assume this is entirely secure. Determined viewers can use a variety of methods to find hidden content on a DVD disc.