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Getting Started

Getting Started

Welcome to the official Apple Pro training course for DVD Studio Pro 4, Apple’s powerful DVD authoring application included with Final Cut Studio. This book is a lesson-based guide to authoring professional DVDs using DVD Studio Pro 4.

In addition, the book includes lessons on how to use other Final Cut Studio applications that are designed to work with DVD Studio Pro, such as Compressor, which prepares video and audio files for use in a DVD project, and Final Cut Pro, Apple’s non-linear digital video editor. Whether you’re a professional DVD author or are just getting your feet wet, DVD Studio Pro can do it all. So let’s get started.

The Methodology

This book is a hands-on course that demonstrates, with practical lessons, the best ways to author a project with DVD Studio Pro. Since there are different ways to accomplish the same task, the book focuses on the methods preferred by most professional DVD creators. Each lesson is designed to help you start authoring projects in DVD Studio Pro as quickly as possible. Once you have worked through a lesson, we recommend that you continue on to the next one, as each lesson builds on the knowledge (and the project) you just completed.

Course Structure

Over the course of this book you will create four DVDs. To get you started, the first project is a simple DVD for a tiger documentary, with a movie, slideshow, and two basic menus. Next, in the following six chapters you will build a more sophisticated DVD on Swiss tourism and learn the basic features of DVD Studio Pro. The third DVD project, BlackBox, is more complex, and it builds on the basic techniques you learned in the first two projects. Finally, the last lesson focuses on the technique of delivering high-definition material in Final Cut Studio.

As you progress through each lesson, you will learn how to access more intermediate and advanced features, as well as how to customize DVD Studio Pro to suit your working style.

Organizing the course around four DVD projects instead of one requires you to repeat, and thereby reinforce, some of the same basic tasks on every DVD. As each project reinforces the previous one, it also introduces powerful new tools and features that enhance the look and sound of the DVD, or speed up the authoring process. By the time you finish the fourth project, you will know how to build a full-featured DVD with multiple video angles, subtitles, and motion menus.

The lessons are broken down as follows:

Lessons 12TigerBasicBasic
Lessons 38SwissBasic/intermediate
Lessons 914BlackboxIntermediate/advanced
Lesson 15One Six RightIntermediate/advanced

Copying the Lesson Files

Apple Pro Training Series: DVD Studio Pro 4 comes with a DVD that contains all of the files you need to complete each lesson. Here’s how to install the project files and their corresponding media onto your system.

Installing the DVD Studio Pro 4 Lesson and Media Files

The book’s DVD includes a DSP Book Files folder, which contains a Media folder, a Lessons folder, and two folders called My_Projects and Appendices. These folders in turn contain the media, project, and other files you will need to complete this course. To work through the lessons in this book, you’ll need to copy these files onto your hard drive. After the media files have been copied to your hard drive, they can be easily accessed for use in the lessons.

Insert the APTS_DSP4 DVD into the DVD drive of your computer.

Drag the DSP4 Book Files folder to your hard drive. The folder contains about 6 GB of media, so it will take some time to copy.

It is important to keep the Media and Lessons folders together on your hard drive within the single DSP4 Book Files folder, and not to move them after you have begun working through the lessons. Moving the media or lesson files could result in broken links and project file errors.

As you work through the lessons, you will be asked to come back to this folder location to import the media necessary for the four DVD projects. In other words, remember where you parked your files.

Reconnecting Media

When you move the DSP4 Book Files folder from the APTS_DSP4 disk to your hard drive, you may lose the links between the project files and the media files.

The easiest way to avoid broken links is to save your project file after each lesson and reopen it when you start the next lesson, thus using the same file as you work progressively through the project. This is the method we assume you’ll use.

If you choose to skip a lesson, however, you’ll need to use the project Start file from the disk, and you may need to establish valid links between the project file and the media files you copied to your hard drive.

Reconnecting your media is a fairly simple task. When you open a project with media that has become disconnected, you are presented with a screen that asks you to reconnect the media files. Follow these steps to reconnect your media:

When the Missing Files window appears, click the asset (or file) you want to reconnect. In some cases, this will open the Relinking File window. If it does, skip to step 3. If it does not, go to step 2.

Click the Locate button.

The Relinking File window opens.

Find the file on your hard drive.

Click Relink. Once you relink one asset DVD Studio Pro will automatically detect all other media files in the track. You’ll have to repeat these steps for the menus and graphic files, pointing DVD Studio Pro to each of those folders when it prompts you for each folder’s location.

Refreshing Assets

Throughout the book, when you open a project for the first time, you may encounter an Asset Refresh dialog.

This dialog appears when you open a project that has assets that DVD Studio Pro has not yet processed. Simply click OK, and be sure to save your project to avoid refreshing your assets the next time you open the project file.

System Requirements

Before you begin to use DVD Studio Pro make sure that your computer meets the minimum requirements for working with the application. Many of the frequently used preview and encoding functions rely on adequate system performance to work properly. For up-to-date information on system requirements, see Apple’s Web site at

About the Apple Pro Training Series

Apple Pro Training Series: DVD Studio Pro 4 is both a self-paced learning tool and the official curriculum of the Apple Pro Training and Certification Program. Developed by experts in the field and certified by Apple, the series is used by Apple Authorized Training Centers worldwide and offers complete training in all Apple Pro products. The lessons are designed to let you learn at your own pace. Each lesson concludes with review questions and answers summarizing what you’ve learned, which can be used to help you prepare for the Apple Pro Certification Exam.

For a complete list of Apple Pro Training Series books, see the ad at the back of this book, or visit

Apple Pro Certification Program

The Apple Pro Training and Certification Program is designed to keep you at the forefront of Apple’s digital media technology while giving you a competitive edge in today’s ever-changing job market. Whether you’re an editor, graphic designer, sound designer, special effects artist, or teacher, these training tools are meant to help you expand your skills.

For those who prefer to learn in an instructor-led setting, Apple offers training courses at Apple Authorized Training Centers worldwide. These courses, which use the Apple Pro Training Series books as their curriculum, are taught by Apple Certified Trainers, and they balance concepts and lectures with hands-on labs and exercises. Apple Authorized Training Centers have been carefully selected and have met Apple’s highest standards in all areas, including facilities, instructors, course delivery, and infrastructure. The goal of the program is to offer Apple customers, from beginners to the most seasoned professionals, the highest-quality training experience.

For more information, please see the ad at the back of this book; or to find an Authorized Training Center near you, go to


Apple Pro Training Series: DVD Studio Pro 4 is not intended to be a comprehensive reference manual and is not a replacement for documentation included with the application. For more information about DVD Studio Pro features and troubleshooting advice, refer to the following resources:

  • DVD Studio Pro 4 Help guide, which is accessed through the Help menu in DVD Studio Pro

  • Apple’s DVD Studio Pro Web site:

  • Book’s companion Web page: Should there be any errata corrections or revised lessons, they are posted at

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