Adding disc menus
The disc menus section of the Library contains a collection of menus for a variety of occasions and in a spectrum of visual styles. Each menu comprises a background picture, a text title, and a set of navigation buttons appropriate to the menu’s purpose.
To add a disc menu to your production, open the Compact Library in the Disc Editor, choose a menu in the Disc Menus (under Creative Elements), and drag it to the Menu List. To edit the actions assigned to the menu’s buttons, you can use the authoring tools provided on the timeline in conjunction with the Player, or get some automated help from the Chapter Wizard. To modify the appearance of a menu (or create one from scratch) you will use the Menu Editor.
Each menu design in the Library has two variations: main and multipage.
Main menu: In most productions, the first menu seen by the viewer is of this type. Main menus usually contain buttons with the default captions Play Movie and Scene Selection; you can change these if you like. Although the buttons’ link targets are also up to you, it helps your audience if you stick to convention. For instance, the Play Movie button is normally configured to start playing back your movie from the beginning, and Scene Selection typically switches to a subsidiary menu, one with links to the ‘chapters’ of your movie.
Multipage menu: A scene selection menu often needs to provide more of these chapter buttons than will fit on a single screen. To solve this problem, Avid Studio supports multipage menus, which have additional buttons just for navigation between menus. The behavior of these buttons is built in. A pair of next and previous buttons lets the view move between pages within the same menu; while a home button causes a transfer to the project’s first menu.
Tip: To display the main menus side-by-side with their matching multi-page menus in the Library, right-click in the gray area next to a menu and choose Sort by Ø Name.
The number of chapter buttons per page varies from one menu design to another, so one criterion for selecting a menu is the number of clips you want it to handle. But if you want a different number of buttons on a particular menu, you can add or delete buttons in the Menu Editor, which is launched by clicking the Edit button on the Player.
Menus with fewer buttons usually have more space for captions; those with many buttons will have to settle for abbreviated captions or none at all. Whether you need captions, and if so whether they should be simple (“Chapter 1”) or descriptive (“Cutting the Cake”) is a matter of your authoring style and the content of your movie.
Unlinked menus and buttons
Only the first menu in the Menu List is automatically available to the user (and then only if there is any content on the timeline to serve as the initial chapter). Menus added later do not become part of your production’s menuing system until you link them with the first menu. The link may be indirect, involving one or more intermediate menus, but until it exists the menu is an unreachable island. Such a menu is indicated by the symbol in the bottom right-hand corner of its Menu List icon thumbnail.
A special indication is also given in the Player for menu buttons that have not yet been linked either to a timeline location (a chapter) or to another menu. A linked button shows which chapter (e.g. ‘C1’) or menu (e.g. ‘M1’) it connects to. An unlinked one shows a question-mark icon instead. (If the button indicators are not visible, click the show/hide chapter numbers checkbox below the Player.)