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Tech Take-Apart
Be your own movie producer with iMovie Part 2
by kp

Just a recap of last month... we created a home video using iMovie covering importing clips, constructing the movie and adding special effects. Our next step is preparing the video for burning to disc using iDVD. This program is designed for ease-of-use when customizing a video for DVD. iDVD 5 has upgraded features to include OneStep DVD option, pre-designed DVD themes, and widescreen format (16:9). OneStep DVD works well if you have a digital camcorder and need the video to DVD quickly. iDVD's packaged themes and new widescreen feature also help customizing your movie even faster and better.

creating chapters
creating chapters

Starting with iMovie, open your movie project and click on the iDVD icon. The iDVD menu allows you to create chapters for your DVD before you import your movie to iDVD. To specify chapters, first switch iMovie to Clip Viewer mode, select a clip, then click "Add Chapter." The program will display a small thumbnail of the clip and highlighted name of the clip. From this menu, you can customize the name of each chapter, and continue following these steps until all of your clips are itemized. After completing the DVD chapters, your movie is ready to go to iDVD. There are a couple of ways you can sent your movie to iDVD: click on "Create iDVD Project" and let iMovie import your video into iDVD or go to File -> Share. iMovie has a variety of exporting options for email, web, QuickTime, Bluetooth and of course, iDVD. Each option already has pre-set specifications, so you can click and go. For iDVD, choose the iDVD icon, then click Share, and iMovie will automatically import your movie into iDVD with your chapters.

creating chapters
settings

Now, it's time to get creative and make an interface for your movie. Begin by selecting the "Customize" button at the bottom of the viewing window. This will roll out a menu drawer to pick your movie settings. Under the "Themes" menu, there is a large selection of pre-designed DVD interfaces to choose from including animated interfaces with sound. Depending on which theme you select, you can drag and drop your movie or photos to show in the background. Once you've selected a theme and customized the background, you can move on to the "Settings" menu to edit the text and buttons. Using the Transparent Black theme as an example, click on the text to change the font style, color and size. The Settings menu includes a customization feature for your background images/video to control the timing, transitions and audio. Also, there is a button style menu that allows you to edit the existing buttons or create your own using the pre-set styles. Remember those DVD chapters we created in iMovie, iDVD automatically integrates those chapters under its own button usually called "Scene Selections" in the interface. When you choose the Scene Selection button, a folder icon appears showing chapters, and by clicking on this folder will lead to a new interface page where you can customize your chapters with individual buttons.

Next, choose the “Media” button. This menu let's you import audio, video or photos to your movie. iDVD uses your iTunes library for audio imports and your iPhoto albums for photos. When you're finished importing from the Media menu, we need to examine some of the other iDVD menus before our movie will be complete. iDVD is equipped with some extra tools to help monitor your movie's size and structure. The "Status" menu which is located next to the Media button shows the Project Size by DVD capacity, motion menus, and tracks. The "Map" icon found below the viewing window gives a graphical representation of your movie arrangement, and the "Motion" icon controls the background interface to be stagnant or animated. The "Slideshow" icon can be used to turn your iPhoto albums into movies, and the "Folder" adds submenus to your movie interface.

Once the elements of your movie are ready, it's time to burn your movie to DVD. Insert a DVD disc to your drive, then go to File -> Burn DVD. For the DVD interface to be animated, the Motion feature needs to be active when you go to burn your movie. This process may take time depending on the length of your final movie, so you might want to step out for a coffee. When the disc is done, stick a label on it and you're done. Making your own home movies using iMovie and iDVD turns a seemingly overwhelming work into a practically effortless job. With the integrated capability of iPhoto and iTunes, customizing a movie is as simple as clicking and dragging files into an interface. iMovie and iDVD gives you professional results quickly and are great tools for building your own family movie library.

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