Using DVD Studio Pro 3 from Apple enables us to create some exciting DVDs for Ultralab. An example of this would be the latest SummerSchool DVD which was completed before Christmas and is full of extraordinary examples of young peoples’ creativity.
As good as DVD Studio Pro is, there are some limitations which mean some things can’t be done in the way you want. In order to enhance the work you can do, you need to use an editor which works on the files you create with DVDSP. Such an editor would be MyDVDEdit by Jerome Cabanis. This small app lets you ‘look’ inside the DVD structures and alter the scripting that DVDSP writes for you so that you can make your DVDs even more interactive.
One example of this is to target the loop point in a motion menu… currently in DVDSP you can’t return back to the point in an animated menu where the buttons appear after watching your footage. You either have to sit through the entire opening animation, or the DVD has to contain a second menu which is static and has the buttons on it. This, of course, takes extra space on your disc. However, with MyDVDEdit you can very easily open up the VIDEO_TS folder, locate the menu and add the necessary lines of code to add this functionality.
I have written a brief tutorial available from MyDVDEdit.com (originally hosted over at Editorsbin.com ) which explains exactly how to do this using MyDVDEdit. I should add that this application is not alone – there is a far more fully featured application (which is also licensed by the DVD Forum, by the way) called TFDVDEdit – both are Mac based apps.
MyDVDEdit is shareware, TFDVDEdit is a fully professional editor. I get the distinct feeling that MyDVDEdit will continue in rapid development and will be adding more and more features as time goes by. The fact that it isn’t licensed by the DVD Forum shouldn’t put you off using it, but the old rules apply… always make a back up of your VTS folder and work on that. Neither Jerome, nor I, can be held responsible for anything that you do to your projects!
Thanks go to Alex Alexzander for the editorsbin site, and to Jake Russell, who started the whole idea in my head! Jake is part of the TFDVDEdit community, and a lot of good work is done over there about this kind of post build editing. Ian Sheppard is a good example of someone who began to develop this particular technique. Jake posted the first article I saw about it, and mine simply follows his work.