Setting DVD Studio Pro Preferences

The DVD Studio Pro Preferences window contains settings that you can use to configure its default operations. These settings affect all projects you create, although most of them can be overridden for individual projects within the DVD Studio Pro editors and Inspectors. Taking some time now to select these settings can make creating your projects faster and easier.

To open DVD Studio Pro Preferences
  • Choose DVD Studio Pro > Preferences, or press Command-Comma (,).

The Preferences window opens, displaying the last selected pane. The Preferences window includes ten panes, each containing settings related to specific areas of DVD Studio Pro.

Figure. General pane of the Preferences window.
To use the Preferences window
Do one of the following:
  • Click an icon along the top to open its pane.

  • Click Apply to apply the current settings and leave the Preferences window open.

  • Click OK to apply the current settings and close the Preferences window.

  • Click Cancel to close the Preferences window without applying the current settings.

Project Preferences

The Project pane in DVD Studio Pro Preferences contains settings used to define basic aspects of new projects.

Note: These settings do not affect the currently open project.

Figure. Project pane of the Preferences window.
  • Video Standard: Select the video standard to use.
    • NTSC: Select this to set new projects to use the NTSC video standard.
    • PAL: Select this to set new projects to use the PAL video standard.

General Preferences

The General pane in DVD Studio Pro Preferences contains settings used in a variety of areas in DVD Studio Pro.

Figure. General pane of the Preferences window.
Slideshows and Tracks
  • Default Slide Length: Enter a value, in seconds, that is used as the duration of still images added to slideshows and to a track’s video stream.
  • Background Color: You can set the color used as a background by the Slideshow Editor. Normally, this color is not seen because it is covered by the slide. It is seen if the still image is not the correct size to fit in the video frame. In that case, this background color fills the gaps that exist. This color is also used by the Track Editor if you add still images that are not the correct size to fit in the video frame.

    Important: This setting is not saved as part of the project. If you change this setting, it will affect all projects, including previously saved ones, that have this color visible.

SD DVD Menus, Tracks, and Slideshows
HD DVD Menus, Tracks, and Slideshows
Thumbnail Size
  • Palette: Select a thumbnail size.
    • Small: Select this to use small thumbnails in the Palette.
    • Large: Select this to use large thumbnails in the Palette.
  • Slideshow: Select a thumbnail size to use in slideshows.
    • Small: Select this to use small thumbnails in the Slideshow Editor.
    • Large: Select this to use large thumbnails in the Slideshow Editor.
Subtitle
  • Fade In: Enter a value, in frames, that controls whether a subtitle, by default, appears instantly (0 frames) or fades on over a number of frames.
  • Length: Enter a value, in seconds, that controls the default length of new subtitles you create.
  • Fade Out: Enter a value, in frames, that controls whether a subtitle, by default, disappears instantly (0 frames) or fades off over a number of frames.

Menu Preferences

The Menu preferences allow you to set a variety of defaults used when creating menus.

Figure. Menu pane of the Preferences window.
  • Motion Duration: Enter a default duration, in seconds, to use when you create a motion menu. See Configuring Motion Menu Settings for more information.
  • Auto Assign Button Navigation: See Right-to-Left Reading Mode for more information.
    • Left to right: Set the Auto Assign feature to wrap button navigation for left-to-right reading.
    • Right to left: Set the Auto Assign feature to wrap button navigation for right-to-left reading.
  • Final Rendering: Because menus can contain a variety of elements layered over the background, such as buttons, drop zones, and text, they must be rendered into a single layer, similar to flattening a multiple layer graphic file. With still menus, this takes little time, but with motion menus, where each frame must be rendered, this can be a time-consuming process. Additionally, all transitions you add to your project must be rendered. See About Menu Rendering for more information.

    The Final Rendering settings allow you to select how the menus and transitions are rendered:

    • Hardware based: This setting provides the fastest rendering. However, because the quality is dependent on your system’s video card, the quality might not be as good as when using the “Software based” setting and may not be consistent between different systems.
    • Software based: This setting provides consistent, good-quality rendering on all systems. However, depending on your system, it may take substantially longer than the “Hardware based” setting.
  • Drop Palette Delay: Position the slider to control how long of a delay there is before the Drop Palette appears over the Menu Editor when you drag an asset to it.
  • Video Background Color: You can set the color used as a background by the Menu Editor when no asset has been assigned as the menu’s background. Normally, this color is not seen because it is covered by the menu background. It is seen if the background image is not the correct size to fit in the video frame. In that case, this background color fills the gaps that exist.

    Important: This setting is not saved as part of the project. If you change this setting, it will affect all projects, including previously saved ones, that have this color visible.

Track Preferences

The Track preferences allow you to set a variety of defaults used when creating tracks.

Figure. Track pane of the Preferences window.
  • Marker Prefix (Root) Name: Enter the name that all new markers use as their prefix. The Generate Marker Names setting, below, controls whether this root name is followed by a number of timecode value.
  • Check for unique name: Select this checkbox to ensure you will not have two markers with the same name within a track.
  • Generate Marker Names: You can select how markers are named when you create them.

    Note: You can rename the markers in the Marker Inspector.

    • Automatically: This setting names new markers with the prefix followed by a number that increments each time you add a marker. (You set the prefix below.) An advantage of this option is that you can easily tell how many markers have been added (although the number does not take into account any markers that you may have deleted). A disadvantage is that, because you can add markers between existing ones, the numerical order of the markers is not necessarily the same as their order in the timeline—the numerical order is based on the order the markers are created, not on their position.
    • Timecode based: This setting names new markers with the prefix followed by the timecode of the video asset. (You set the prefix below.) An advantage of this option is that the marker names are always in the order they appear in the timeline. A disadvantage is that you cannot easily tell how many markers you have in the track. When you select “Timecode based,” the “Auto update” checkbox becomes available. Selecting this checkbox causes the timecode value assigned to a marker’s name to update if you move the marker.
  • Snap To: This setting controls what happens when you place a marker in the timeline. In DVD Studio Pro, markers can only be placed on I-frames, which occur once per group of pictures (GOP). A GOP is typically 12 to 15 frames long, which means that when you place a marker, you generally will not be able to place it on the exact frame you would like. This setting allows you to control how DVD Studio Pro chooses the frame to use.

    See Working with GOP Settings for more information on GOPs.

    • Previous GOP: This setting places the marker on the GOP occurring before the selected location.
    • Next GOP: This setting places the marker on the GOP occurring after the selected location.
    • Nearest GOP: This setting places the marker on the GOP closest to the selected location, either before or after it.
  • Thumbnail Offset: A thumbnail image of the video asset, representing its first frame, appears in the Video tab in the Palette, in the Video Asset Inspector that appears when you select a video asset in the Assets tab, and at the first frame of the video stream in the Track Editor. This setting allows you to determine whether the thumbnail used in those places is based on the video frame at the start of the video asset or on a frame up to five seconds later in the asset. Because video assets often start at black and fade up, this setting allows you to set the thumbnail to a frame that has video that better represents the asset.
  • Space bar toggles between play/pause: This setting controls what happens when you press the Space bar while viewing a track. When you play a track, the timeline’s playhead follows along. With the checkbox next to “Space bar toggles between play/pause” selected, the playhead in the track’s timeline remains at its current position when you press the Space bar. When the checkbox is not selected, the playhead jumps back to where you started playing from when you press the Space bar.

    Note: This setting does not affect the pause and stop controls in the Viewer tab—only what happens when you use the Space bar while playing a track.

  • Fix invalid markers on build: While creating your tracks, it is possible to end up with markers that either are not positioned on GOP boundaries or fall outside of the V1 stream. When this checkbox is not selected, a build operation stops if any invalid markers are detected. With the checkbox selected, a build operation automatically repositions any markers that are not placed on GOP boundaries and removes any markers that are outside the V1 stream.
  • Find matching audio when dragging: Select this checkbox to have DVD Studio Pro automatically try to locate an audio file with the same name as the video file you have dragged to an element, such as a menu or the Assets tab, of your project. DVD Studio Pro only checks the folder the video file was dragged from. DVD Studio Pro does not try to find matching audio if you drag a mixture of video and audio files. You can press the Command key after you start dragging a video asset to temporarily override this setting.

Alignment Preferences

The Alignment preferences apply to the Menu and Subtitle Editors, allowing you to customize the rulers, guides, and snapping actions.

Figure. Alignment pane of the Preferences window.
  • Rulers: These settings allow you to customize the rulers that appear in the Menu Editor.

    Note: Alignment guides can only be dragged onto the Menu Editor if the rulers are visible.

    • Show: Select this to show the rulers in the Menu Editor.
    • Hide: Select this to hide the rulers in the Menu Editor.
  • Center ruler origin: Select this checkbox to have the rulers start at the center of the frame. This places “0” at the center of the rulers, with the units counting up from there in both directions. When this checkbox is not selected, the ruler’s origin is the frame’s upper-left corner.
  • Show ruler guide tooltips measurements: Select this checkbox to have the pointer’s coordinates appear when dragging an alignment guide. The values are in pixels, based on a position of 0, 0 for the upper-left corner.
    Figure. Menu Editor showing the pointer's coordinates.
  • Guides: These settings apply to the guides that appear in the Menu and Subtitle Editors.

    Note: You cannot add menu guides in the Subtitle Editor.

    • Show: Select this to show the guides in the Menu and Subtitle Editors.
    • Hide: Select this to hide the guides in the Menu and Subtitle Editors.
  • Guide color: Set the color for the menu guides and the dynamic guides that appear when you move an item in the Menu or Subtitle Editor. Click to open the Colors window.
  • Show Dynamic Guides at object center: Select this checkbox to have the dynamic guides that appear when you drag an item in the Menu and Subtitle Editors show lines referenced to the item’s center.
  • Show Dynamic Guides at object edges: Select this checkbox to have the dynamic guides that appear when you drag an item in the Menu and Subtitle Editors show lines referenced to the item’s edges.

Text Preferences

The Text preferences contain the default settings that apply when adding text to a menu, a menu’s button, and to a subtitle.

Figure. Text pane of the Preferences window.
All Text Types

The following settings apply to all types of text you can configure.

  • Font: Shows the current settings.
  • Font Panel: Click to open the Fonts window to configure the font.
Subtitle Text Settings

The following settings apply to subtitle text.

Note: You cannot set the subtitle text color as you can for the menu button and menu text items.

  • Horizontal: Select the horizontal justification (left, center, or right) to use for your subtitle text. Use this to set the default positioning of text-based subtitles you create in DVD Studio Pro. See Creating Subtitles with DVD Studio Pro for more information.
  • Horizontal Offset: Enter values to modify the horizontal justification setting. For example, you can enter a horizontal offset value to move the text slightly toward the center when you have selected left justified as the horizontal setting. Negative values move the text to the left and positive values move it to the right.
  • Vertical: Select the vertical justification (top, center, or bottom) to use for your subtitle text.
  • Vertical Offset: Enter values to modify the vertical justification setting. For example, you can enter a vertical offset value to move the text slightly toward the center when you have selected bottom justified as the vertical setting. Negative values move the text up and positive values move it down.
Menu Button Defaults

The following settings apply to menu button text. See Adding Text to a Button for more information.

  • Color Panel: Click to open the Colors window for configuring the text color.
  • Include text in highlight: Select this checkbox to have the text included as part of the button’s highlight area.
Menu Text Settings

The following setting applies to menu text. See Adding Text Objects to a Menu for more information.

  • Color Panel: Click to open the Colors window for configuring the text color.

Colors Preferences

The Colors pane contains the color mapping settings for the Menu and Subtitle Editors.

Figure. Colors pane of the Preferences window.
  • Set: Select which of the three color mapping sets to configure. These settings are only active when the Selection State is set to Selected or Activated. See Color Mapping Sets for more information.
  • Key, Color, and Opacity Settings: Choose the color and opacity setting for each of the overlay’s four colors (shown in the Key column) for each selection state and set. See Colors Tab in the Menu Inspector with Advanced Selected for more information.

    Note: Shapes and simple overlays use the black key color (the top one) for their highlights.

  • Palette: This shows the colors in the color mapping palette. You can change a color by clicking it and selecting a new color in the Colors window. See Setting the Colors in the Color Palette for more information.

Simulator Preferences

The Simulator preferences apply to the Simulator you can use to test your project. See Simulating Your Project for more information.

Figure. Simulator pane of the Preferences window.
Default Language Settings
Features
  • Enable DVD@CCESS Web Links: Select so that the Simulator can process any DVD@CCESS links in the project. This is useful to verify that email and web links work correctly. See Testing DVD@CCESS Links for more information.
Region Code
Playback Output

Destinations Preferences

The Destinations preferences control the location of files created during a variety of processes within DVD Studio Pro.

Figure. Destinations pane of the Preferences window.
  • Location: Select the location to save files to.
    • Same Folder as the Asset: This is the default setting. It places the files into an MPEG or PAR subfolder (depending on the type of file being created) in the original file’s folder. For QuickTime assets, an MPEG folder is created, with a PAR subfolder. The encoded file is placed in the MPEG folder and, if necessary, the parse file is placed in the PAR folder. For assets that are already MPEG-encoded, a PAR folder is created and the parse file is placed there. If the original files are on a volume that can’t be written to, such as a CD-ROM disc or a disk you do not have Write privileges for, DVD Studio Pro automatically writes to the Specified Folder/Fallback Folder location.
    • Project Bundle: This setting saves the files to the project file. To see the contents of the project file (the file created when you saved your project), locate the file in the Finder, Control-click it, then choose Show Package Contents from the shortcut menu. If you have not saved your project yet, the files are saved at your Specified Folder/Fallback Folder location.
    • Specified Folder/Fallback Folder: This setting saves the files to a disk and folder you choose. You can either enter the path directly or click Choose to open a dialog to choose the folder to use. It is also used when DVD Studio Pro is unable to write to the Same Folder as the Asset or Project Bundle locations. The default path is in your home folder at /Library/Caches/DVD Studio Pro Files. If you specify a location that cannot be written to, this default path is used in its place.

Encoding Preferences

The Encoding pane contains the settings that control the integrated MPEG encoder, which is used when you import a QuickTime asset. See Using the Integrated MPEG Encoder for more information on the integrated MPEG encoder and details on these settings.

Figure. Encoding pane of the Preferences window showing the MPEG-2 HD tab.