Today let’s look at a workflow that enables fast and easy authoring of photo slideshow DVDs. We’ll access our Aperture library from iDVD and create an interactive DVD project that we can burn to disc and distribute as a rich media portfolio.
The tool that will ease our trip from Aperture to iDVD is the iLife Media Browser. If you read my last post on iWeb you’ll remember that the Media Browser makes our entire Aperture library available as high-resolution JPEGs that can be dropped into other applications on our Macs. So let’s start by launching iDVD, creating a new project, and picking a theme. Select the Media tab at the lower right of the window and choose the Photos tab from the top. You’ll see that you have access to your entire Aperture library for drag and drop into the iDVD project. Before you start dropping images into iDVD, one thing I recommend is to select the Menu tab and click the Edit Drop Zones button. This gives you a handy floating palette that shows all the available Drop Zones for your project. Go ahead and drag some photos from the Media pane onto the Drop Zones to begin customizing your DVD — you can also personalize the title text by double-clicking on it.
The next step is to create your slideshow. Click the “+” button at the lower left and choose Add Slideshow. Double-click on the “My Slideshow” text in your project window and iDVD will take you into the slideshow editor. Drag your images into the window and arrange them into your desired play order. Choose a slide duration and transition — I’m partial to the Fade Through Black transition. Be sure to click the Settings button to turn on or off the “Show titles and comments” setting. Another useful setting here is that you have the option to “Add image files to DVD-ROM”. This will add the full-quality JPEG previews to the DVD-ROM portion of the disc. You should consider the pros and cons of this option, weighing any concerns about rights management.
When you’ve finished personalizing your DVD, you can preview it in simulation mode by pressing the Preview DVD Playback button, or burn it to disc by pressing Command-R.
iDVD is one of the easiest ways to author interactive slideshows, but keep in mind that this is only a quick overview. Once you’ve created a project it can be customized and personalized as much or as little as you choose. For an online tutorial on iDVD, check out Apple’s iLife Multimedia Tutorials.