This page is an introduction to dvda-author's advanced usage for complex projects, as implemented in version 10.06.
1. Menu authoring
Top menus facilitate navigation with track links. A top menu is a
screen that may be called by pressing on the "(Top/Main)
menu" button of your DVD-player remote control.
Two types of top menus may be created:
- List menus, which are continuous. Below is an example:
- Hierarchical menus, with a first screen listing only links to group menus. Below is another example:
To automatically create a hierarchical menu, use:
--topmenu --menustyle hierarchical
There will be as many screens as there are groups, with an extra first screen listing groups.
Attention: You should not use more than 32 tracks per group with this type of menu.
To create a standard list menu, just use --topmenu. There are no limitations as to the number of tracks per group in this case (under the normal 99-track limit).
You can also author the top menu Mpeg file with other tools. This will be the case, in particular, when a motion menu (with or without sound) is used.
In this case, use:
Currently this option is only supported with list menus (and just one menu screen).
- Active menus, which are actually still pictures displayed while a track is playing.
Automatically-created links to tracks will appear just as in automatic top menus, yet in different colors.
You may use the links either to navigate within the same group or to jump from one track of any group to any track of another group.
Below is an example created for a test:
Topmenu Active menu
Active menus may be generated along with a top menu, or without it.
Command line is simply:
and should you combine top menus and active menus, use:
--topmenu --menustyle active
ColorsPredefined colors can be changed using the following command line switch:
in which t,b,h,s are colors in alpha-YCrCb 32-bit hexadecimal coding, separated by commas:
- t is the color of the track text (white by default)
- b is the color of the background screen (black by default)
- h is the color of the highlighting element (red by default)
- s is the color taken by track text when the link is selected and activated, for about 1 second (depending on players)
alpha-YCrCb codes are one of the various ways of encoding colors. If needed, you will find a useful color tester here.
and an explanation of the YCrCb model here.
It is normally useless to use non-zero alpha values (the first byte of the 32-bit sequence).
Example: --palette 0x0051F05A,0x00108080,0x00286DF0,0x00902235
yields red track text against a black background with a blue highlighting element and text turning green on link activation.
Below is another example of what a menu looks like, when created with a grey background (command line: --palette 0x0051F05A,0x00D18080,0x00286DF0,0x00902235):
FontsThe default font is Courrier-Bold. The size of the font is computed automatically. It depends on several factors, like the number of groups to be displayed on each screen and the number of tracks per group. You can change both font type and font size by adding:
in which N is the number of pixels of the side of a square in which a letter of size 10 can contain. N depends on the font. For Courrier-Bold, N=6. For other fonts, N is not tabulated and should be experimentally determined. It should be close to 6 in general.
--font Courrier-Bold,20,6 The list of available fonts is that of the mjpeg tools used by dvda-author to create the pictures. It can be displayed by launching mogrify -list fonts .
The highlighting motif by default is an underline. It can be changed by specifying:
for automatic menu authoring with little square before titles. Below is an example of what the above menu would become with this highlighting option added to command line:
for button highlight as below (first track is selected again):
Background pictureThe background picture should always be of JPEG format. Below is an example, in which background.jpg is a grey screen ornated with a white ellipsis containing "Symponies by Mozart". The group and track labels are created by the --topmenu option and added to this background:
You can also specify different background pictures, using commas to separate files:
for N menus. Again, pictures should always be of JPEG format.
Number of menus and menu columns
Whether you create menus using the automatic default procedure or by
adding user-defined details, it is possible to create a given number of
N menu screens by adding:
However this option is only available for list menus, not hierarchical menus, which have as many menu screens as there are groups (plus the group-listing menu).
You can also force the number of columns per screen (by default 3):
It is not advised to use values higher than 4. Also, be careful not to specify both --nmenus and --ncolumns options,as incompatibilities may arise. Normally, N and C are related by the following equation: N = (int) number of groups/C (+ 1 if the ratio is not an integer)
2. Still pictures and slideshows
In addition to menus, slideshows can be created. Pictures will be shown while a track is playing, with transition effects and a user-defined timeline or, alternatively, with browsable pictures, using the player's remote control.
A still picture is the particular case in which there is just one picture per audio track.
You will need to author pictures of jpg format with independant software like the Gimp. Once created, rename pictures as follows:
Then gather them in the same directory dir. Add:
To create a slideshow you will first need to author slides for each track and choose your timeline, ie at which time after the start of the track each slide starts and ends.
You need to enter pictures manually as follows. If pjk is picture j of track k, enter:--stillpics p11,p21,...,pn1-p12,p22,...,pn2-...
with tracks separated by hyphens and pictures by commas.
If there are no pics for a track use -- as below (no pics for second track):
You can also optionally choose slideshow options, like transition effects.
Here is a link to a playable slideshows (converted to mpg):
To enter options, use:
Separate options with commas. Each option applies to ranked pic,
so use rank=k to indicate that the following options apply to the k-th
picture, starting with 0. Ranks are counted across tracks, so for
if you have three tracks with two slides each, the corresponding
options will be:
--stilloptions rank=0,(options 0),rank=1,(options 1),rank=2,(options 2),rank=3,(options 3),rank=4,(options 4),rank=5,(options 5)
Transition effects should be chosen among the following ones:
- fade or just 'f': picture will gradually fade out or in
- dissolve or just 'd': picture will dissolve into a blank screen
- top or just 't': top-wipe effect, with the picture sliding down from the top of the screen
- bottom or just 'b': bottom-wipe effect, with the picture sliding up from the bottom
- left or just 'l': left-wipe effect, with the picture sliding across from the left handside
- right or just 'r': right-wipe effect, with the picture sliding across from the right handside
These effects can be applied either at the start or at the end of the slide.
To apply a transition effect at the start use the following syntax:
To apply a transition effect at the end use endeffect instead of starteffect.
To to set the time line you need to choose a set of time marks,
ie how many seconds elapsed between the start of the track and the
onset of picture.
Use ...,start=T,... as a suboption of --stilloptions to set the time mark at T seconds for the corresponding picture.
Optionally, the duration of transition effects can also be set, both for start effects and end effects.
Use ...,lag=L,... to set the duration of the following transition effect at L seconds. Below is a complex example:
Here the first picture will be shown after 5 seconds with a 2-second fade-in effect. The picture will disappear in a 5-second bottom-wipe effect and be replaced by another picture 25 seconds after the start of the track, with a 3-second left-wipe start effect.
3. Display aspect
Currently only PAL, SECAM and NTSC standards are supported. PAL is enabled by default. To switch to NTSC, use:
and for SECAM, use:
Display ratio can also be customized. By default, display will be determined by your picture input.
To switch to 16:9, use:--aspect 3