Menu window - Create Button Links
Menu objects can be either active (meaning it has links to another Movie or Menu) or inactive.

An active object is commonly referred to as a "Button", though it can be any shape. An active object could equally be text or a frame.

Create a simple link Edit

To create a simple link, just drag an Item from project window and drop it on a object.

You can drag the "link" to an empty space on menu and DVD-lab will automatically create a new object. In the case of a Movie, it will create a simple rectangle button with still frame from the movie.

Tip: Hold Shift while creating the new object this way and you will be offered the option to create a Text object instead of a still frame.

Create links to Chapter Points (VTS menus) Edit

A very convenient and intuitive way to create a link is to right-click on the Menu object and select "Link". From there you will be shown a list of places to link to that DVD-lab knows about and keeps track of for you. As shown in the screen shot here, if we select a Movie that has Chapter Points defined, we can directly link to a specific Chapter Point.

This method will give you access to link to any object in the project.

Note: You can link to chapters only from VTS menus. From the VMG menu you will be able to link only to Movie Start and no other chapter points will be listed! This is in compliance with the DVD-Video specifications.
Tip: Press Spacebar when you have selected object and a link menu will directly appear at the place of cursor.

Remove Link Edit

To remove a Link, right-click on the object and select Remove Link.

Button order Edit

When you create a link, a number will appear near the top left of the object showing that button's order.

The button order is not so much the order in which you created the links, but the order in which the objects will be navigated on the player's remote control. That means, if you start adding text from the top, the top button will always be button number 1 no matter in which order you created the links. As you add or remove links, DVD-lab will keep track of the button number order.

It most important for us to know which button is first.

First Button Edit

Each Menu will display Button 1 as selected, by default. That's why it is important to set a first button. You can make any Button a first Button by right-clicking on it and choosing "Set as First Button". Another way is to select the object and move it to the back with the layer buttons. You can also Force Select any other button to be selected.

Frames as links Edit

We know that if you drop a frame on an object, it will position the frame to surround the object. And that if the object happens to have has a link, the frame will pick-up that link. Defining a frame as an object to link to gives us good creative options, especially for thumbnails and images.

Notice the following images:

  1. Here are two video stills each with a link (top). When the Menu plays (bottom) the whole image is highlighted.
  2. Here we have a frame around the thumbnails (the frame was dragged to the Menu from the Assets / Buttons & Frames bin) and the frame has a link (top). When the menu plays (bottom) only the frame is highlighted rather than the image creating an outline effect.

Overlapping Edit

Buttons on DVD can not overlap. This is DVD illegal as the player could not determine which button to activate. If you create a new object or move two active objects so that they overlap, you will see the overlap warning as show by the rather obvious red grid.

Just move the buttons some where else until the Overlap warning disappears.

Visibility Edit

Now the fun part starts. A button may have visibility properties.

This is a setting in the Link tab of Menu Properties. An active object may be:

Visible (default)
The object is always visible against the background. If it is selected then the object is highlighted using the highlight color.
Invisible Normal
The object is not normally visible. If it is selected then just the highlighted image is shown.
Invisible Selected
The object is visible against the background but when it is selected it doesn't show the highlighted image
Invisible All
The object is both invisible against the background and as highlighted. The user cannot see that such a button exists but can navigate there and press Enter. This is sometimes used for "Easter Eggs" or secret buttons.

The most useful are the first two settings.

Here are some examples. We have two text objects that link to movies.

  1. The first text is set as default Visible. The second text we set as Invisible Normal.
  2. When the menu is played and the first text is selected, it is highlighted. Since the second text is Invisible Normal we don't see anything else there
  3. When the second text is selected (press Enter), the player then shows only its highlighted picture.

Application of visibility Edit

Besides creating Easter Eggs, the visibility settings has a quite important role in customizing the menu.

Please consider the image below:

  1. We removed the Links from the text 1 and text 2 objects and added a rectangle below each text. Next we add links to each of the rectangles. (See the button numbers to their left).
  2. Next we set both rectangles to Invisible Normal.
  3. When we play the menu - it looks like the selected text is underlined.

Similarly, we can modify the example with frames where we set the frames to Invisible Normal:

Though the thumbnail images have no visible frame, when the menu plays, only the "Invisible Normal" frame which has a link defined will be highlighted.

These settings let you customize a menu in many ways. Instead of highlighting what the user sees as a button you can highlight a frame around an object, highlight a bullet such as an arrow placed over an object or beside it, an underline etc...

Special Commands Edit

DVD-lab PRO has a special set of commands that can be called from the button. See more in Special Links

These features give the DVD Author a lot of freedom and creative options. When used along with the Group Hotspot feature, this gives you some very impressive design tools.

Shortkeys Edit

Action Shortcut Description Edit

Add Link SPACE Shows a Link menu below cursor Remove Link Shift+Del Shows a Remove Link menu item below cursor