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Chapter 17.  Designing iDVD Themes

Chapter 17.  Designing iDVD Themes

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17.1.iDVD'sBuilt-inThemes

IniDVD5,Appleadded15newthemes.Manyofthenewones

includefabulousmotionbackgroundsandmovingdropzones,

asdescribedintheprecedingchapters.Specialeventsinspire

somethemes,liketheweddingandnew-babythemes.Others

keyintospecialinterests,likesportsandtravel.

Themesalsovaryincomplexity.Someoffercompletelyrealized

presentations.Othersprovidelittlemorethancolorsandfonts,

leavingituptoyoutomoldthem.Eitherway,thebuilt-in

themes,botholdandnew,provideanexcellentjumping-off

pointforyourDVDs.



17.1.1.TheThemesPane

Allthreecollections5.0Themes,4.0ThemesandOld

ThemesappearintheThemespaneintheCustomizedrawer,as

youcanseeinFigure15-10(page366).(ToviewtheThemes

pane,clickCustomizetoopentheCustomizedrawer,thenclick

theThemesbuttonatthetopofthepane.)

Asyoustudythescrollinglistofthemes,you'llnoticethat:

Favoritesappeartogether.WhenyouchooseFavorites

fromtheThemeSetpopupmenuatthetopofthepane,all

Favorites(themesthatyou'vecreated)appeartogetherin

thesamelist.Thislistisemptywhenyoustartoutusing

iDVD.

Mostnon-Applethemesappearseparately.Themes

you'veboughtfromothercompanies(like

www.idvdthemetastic.comorwww.idvdthemepak.com)are



listedseparatelyinthepane'spop-upmenu.

Viewseveralsetsatonce.iDVD5letsyouviewasingle

setofthemes,orallthemesatonce.Toviewjustoneset,

selectitsnamefromtheThemeSetpop-upmenu.Toview

allthemes,chooseAllfromthatsamemenu.

Thewalking-maniconmeanssoundoraudio.When

youseeasmall,round,walking-manlogointhelower-right

cornerofthethemethumbnail,that'syoursignalthatthe

themeusesamotionbackgroundoraudioloop.

Theribbonmeansfavorite.Agrayprizeribbonappears

inthelower-leftcornerofcertainthemes.Thisiconletsyou

knowthatthethemeisaFavoriteathemethatyoucreated

yourself.You'llfindouthowtocreateFavoriteslaterinthis

chapter.



17.1.2.TheBuilt-inThemes

Inqualityandusability,iDVDthemesrangefromtheelegantto

theabsurd.Here'saquickrundownofthethemesbuiltinto

iDVD5.



Tip:You'llfindanexcellentinteractiveoverviewofiDVD'sbuiltinthemes,showingwhattheylooklikeascompletedDVD

projects,atwww.apple.com/ilife/idvd/theater/newthemes.html.



17.1.3.5.0Themes

Table17-1.

Name



Notes







Travel

Cards



Thisthemeisthefactorysettingfornewprojects.It

includesaseriesofsix"postcards"(photodropzones)

thatglidesmoothlyacrossthescreenoveratropically

inspiredbamboobackground.Avastimprovement

overthepreviousversion'sdefaulttheme.



Threewaterdropletsfallintoaplacidpool,each

creatingripplesthatwidenintoadropzone.

Memories Unfortunately,thewhiteletteringoftheall-text

buttonsishardtoreadunlessyouchoosecontrasting

drop-zonecontents.



Sliding

Panes



Asilenttheme,SlidingPanesfeaturesaseriesofdrop

zonesthatgraduallygetcoveredupwithaseemingly

randomseriesofrectangularblackblocks.Outof

sevendropzones,onlytwoappearinthemainloop.

Makesuretouseshortbuttonnameswiththisoneand

don'teventrytopopulatethesevendropzones

directly.Instead,usethedrop-zoneeditor(choose

Project

EditDropZones)soyouwon'thaveto

play"catchtheanimateddropzone"withyourcursor.



FullFrame Theseall-textthemesprovidesimplelabelingontop

1and2

ofasingle,full-framephotoorvideoclipbackground.



Anime

Pop



ThisthemerepresentsJapaneseAnime-style

animationatitsmostfloral.Fivedropzonesfly

aroundadesertbackgroundinhappy,happyflowers.

Plonkymusicplaysandstarsdrifttotheground.



Wedding

White



Elegantandeasyontheeyes,thisthemeoffers

animated,semitransparentwhitewavesthatrollbyon

thebottomhalfofthescreen,asaslideshowoffour

photosfillstheupperhalfofthescreen.Triumphant

musicplays.Choosestillsratherthanslideshowsor

videostocreatethebestimpactforthislovelytheme.



Baby

Mobile



Sixdropzones,resemblingphotoshangingfroma

baby'scribmobile,rotateassweetmusicplays.The

lighting,shadow,andperspectiveeffectsarefabulous;

it'salmostworthhavingababyjustsoyoucanuse

thistheme.Keepthebuttonnamesshort.



Travel1



Alivelyverylivelytravel-themedofferingthatnever

seemstostop.Elevendropzoneslookliketravel

postcardsshooting,nonstop,fromrighttoleft,

obscuredoccasionallybyanimatedglobesand

suitcasesflyingfromlefttoright.Youwon'tbeableto

catchabreath.



Travel2



Thesedate(andmercifullystill)companiontoTravel

1.Worksoutveryhandilyasasubmenu.



Threedropzones(eitherinB&Worcolor)recede,

Techno

thenshrinkontoawhitebackdrop,whilea"control

B&W(and

bar"(purpleintheB&Wtheme,grayinColor)offers

Color)

text-buttonaccess.Keepthetextshort.



Lines



Astripofsixdropzonesscrollsslowly,silently,like

framesoffilm,fromrighttoleftonastarkblack

backdrop.Oneofthebetter5.0themes.



Portfolio



Twelvedropzonesjumpupoutofamosaiclayoutto

showthemselvestoyou.LikeareverseoftheTechno

theme,exceptthisversionisattractive.



Nicemusichighlightsascrapbookinspired

presentationwitharotationofthreedropzones.

Scrapbook

Flowers,suns,andballoonsdancearoundandchange

colors.



17.1.4.4.0Themes

Table17-2.



Wedding

Acurtainbillowssilentlyinthebackgroundofthis

(Bronze

cool,eleganttheme,offeredintwocolorsandtwo

andSilver) styles:mainpage("One")andsubmenu("Two").



Drive-in



Aretro-inspiredDrive-in.Nottheheightofgraphic

designperfection,whatwithitsbusydesign,huge

dropzone,andsomewhatgratingaudioloop.The

submenutheme(Drive-inTwo)isonlyslightlybetter.



Montage



Brashandstylish,Montageoffersanexcitingand

usablescreendesign.Withitsflashingcolorsand

loudrhythms,however,thisthemeisn'tforthe

easilyannoyed(orpeopletryingtosleep).



Kids

Theater



Thisthemeisgearedtowardjuniormoviemakers,

althoughits"GoodOldSummertime"calliope

backgroundloopmaydriveevenchildrenloopy.

Partsofthedesignfalloutsideofthesafevideo

zones.KidsTheaterTwo,thesubmenuversion,isa

tadbetter.



RoadTrip



Goodmusicandacleverdropzone.Yourpicturesor

moviesappearintherearviewmirrorasyourroadtrip-mobilecruisesthroughthedesert.(RoadTrip

Twoisaviewoutthebackwindowofthecarcute,

realcute.)



Pop-Art



Unfortunately,thethin,high-contrasttextmakes

thisthemealmostunusableonstandardtelevision

sets.It'sprettyonyourcomputer,notsoprettyon

disc.



Reveal



Abasic,workablethemeinwhichacolumnofdrop

zonesslowlyrevealtheircontents.



Fish



ThisstylishthemeoffershintsofFindingNemo,asa

realistic-lookingfishswimsbackandforthinfrontof

whateverphotoormovieyou'vedroppedintothe

dropzone.Cleanandwitty.



Blocks



Here'sanawfullycutesy,baby-centeredtheme.At

leastitdoesn'tmove.



Marquee



Lookslikeanold-stylemoviemarquee,complete

withold-stylemusic.



Transparent ThenaturaloutgrowthoftheiDVDteamsaying

(Blue,

"Quick,weneedthreeextrathemes."Yourdrop



Green,

Black)



zonefillsmostofthescreen,withtextbuttons

beneath.



17.1.5.OldThemes

Table17-3.

Name



Notes



Reddrapesopenandclosetorevealadropzonewhile

Theater softmusicplaysinthebackground.Textbuttons.Bad

fontsandadisappearingdropzone.



Book



Overlappingbooks,onecontainingadropzone.Folk

guitarmusic.Textbuttons.Verypleasant.



Aprojectorappearstoplayamovie(actually,ablackand-whitedropzonewithanoverlay).Old-fashioned

Projector projectorclicksandhissesprovideanextralayerof

realism.Afuntheme,butitstextbuttonsaresmalland

hardtoread.







GenY



Coolfunkymusicdrivesastylishgrungepresentation

withacentraldropzone.Well-designedtextbuttons.

Well-built,balancedtheme.



PictureCentraldropzone.Textbuttons.Overall,grayand

inuninspired.Somedesignerhadabadmorning.

Picture



Beigethemewithblacktextbuttonsandadropzone

Brush

thatappearstopaintitselfontothescreen.(Thisis

Strokes whathappenswhendesignersgetcarriedawaywith

thevideoeffectcalledmotionmasking.)



Western



Awoodbackground,anOldWesttextfont,anda

centraldropzone.It'sBonanzaalloveragain.



Sport



Textlabelsonasportsjersey-themedbackground.The

largedropzonemakesitveryworkable.



Caribbeanmusiconaverybusypassport-themed

Passport background.Textbuttonsandasmalldropzone.May

behardforviewerstopickouttheforegrounddetails

fromthebackground.



Postcard



Largedropzoneandtextbuttonsonapostcard-style

background.OneofiDVD'sbestthemes.



Fun



Retromusicplaystoastylishretroforeground-it'sright

outoftheBewitchedopeningcredits.Smalldropzone.

Multi-coloredtextbuttons.Mediocremusic,nicedesign.



Confettifallsinthewhitemotionbackground.Bluetext

buttonsandadropzone.Quasi-bigbandmusic.The

Confetti

font'ssmallandhardtoread,andthebackgroundis

verybusy.TakeDramaminebeforewatching.



Rose

Heart



Whitetextbuttonsoverarosepetalbedecked

background.Portionsofadropzoneappearthrough

thepetals.Theawkwardheartshapecoversrather

thanemphasizesdropzonematerial.Worse,itcanbe

hardtoreadthethin,whitetextontopoftheoverly

texturedbackground.NotoneofApple'smasterpieces.



Blue,



Jazzyclarinetmusicplaysbehindastaticblue-on-blue

menu(orpink-on-pink,ororange-on-orange)festooned



Pink,

Orange



withstars.Textbuttonsandarectangulardropzone.

Overall,inoffensivebutdull.



Portfolio

Blackandwhiteandcolorversionsofthesamething:

B&W,

picturesonapushpincorkboard.Thecoolpartisthat

Portfolio

eachbuttonhasadifferentshapeunusualforatheme.

Color



Moving

Bars



Moremaskingmadness.Thedropzonepictureplays

behindthetranslucentbuttons.Gooddesignelements

areoverwhelmedbytheoverlybusy,all-dancing,

somewhatblurrydropzone.Notfortheweakof

stomach.



Brushed LiketheoriginaliDVD2BrushedMetaltheme,butwith

Metal

adropzone.(Hint:UseBrushedMetalTwoasthe

One

submenutheme.)



Brushed LikeBrushedMetalwithregularbuttonsandnodrop

Metal

zones.Missingthelarge,horizontal,rectangularbox

Two

feature.



Green



Anearth-tonegreentexturedbackgroundwithgreen



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Chapter 17.  Designing iDVD Themes

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