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Adobe Encore DVD: In the Studio by Doug Dixon

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Great DVDs

This chapter looked at DVD design from two perspectives: first reviewing design guides based on how DVDs are used and viewed (imposed constraints), and then breaking free of assumed limitations by exploring the possibilities for exploiting the available capabilities of DVDs to add some additional spark and fun.

The DVD-Video specification provides wonderful tools for creating presentations with user-guided navigation. And the navigation can be controlled with a simple remote control interface, thanks to menus with buttons and interactive highlights. However, how these capabilities are actually used to create an interface to the DVD is totally under your control as the DVD author. There is no official specification for the design of a DVD interface. Instead, the industry has developed some common conventions such as chapter index menus, and typical approaches for button sizes, layouts, and highlighting.

If the purpose of your DVDs is to share and communicate with others, it certainly makes sense to be aware of these issues in designing your DVDs, and to follow the interface design conventions that your viewers have learned to expect from commercial DVDs. Especially when designing for a mass audience, inexperienced viewers, or professional and corporate markets, take care to have legible text, clearly distinguished menu buttons, and straightforward and intuitive navigation paths.

However, all these boring guidelines and conventions do not need to crimp your creativity, for ...

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