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Review: DVD Studio Pro: Special Edition DVD Training Aid

August, 2008


DVD Studio Pro: Special Edition
DVD Training Aid
DVD Studio Pro: Special Edition
$59.95 - Paypal



by David A. Saraceno

DVD Studio Pro: Special Edition continues the tradition of introductory and intermediate CallBox training DVDs directed at the video professional. This particular instructional piece contains shortcuts, tricks, workflow, and tips targeted at the beginning and intermediate DVD Studio Pro user. The information embraces a wide range of subjects from basic encoding strategies to creating "easter eggs" in DVD SP. The author includes tutorial media and projects and a patient narrative about tools, tips, and workflow. Each topic includes basic and more advanced tips, a narrative on various tools and their use, and alternative workflows. It is priced at $59.95.

Although the DVD is decidedly targeted at the novice to intermediate user, there is something here for virtually every level of DVD SP user. The DVD is constructed to making DVD authoring more efficient by examining tools in Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, and Compressor that contribute to the over all polish of a finished DVD.

The explanation of bit rate strategies is "must view" for the novice DVD SP author. Learn how poor encoding decisions will result in an unusable DVD; Kadner dispels the notion that "more is better" when setting maximum encode rates. A discussion of how VBR works, average and maximum bit rate consequences, and other Compressor workflow is provided. There is discussion of how to create loop points for DVD SP menus in Final Cut Pro. Kadner also discusses creating menu overlays in both Photoshop CS3, and earlier versions which did not incorporate video menu presets.

The section on logic testing explains how to quickly evaluate and test connections/jump actions between menus, tracks and stories. An excellent tip on how to use keyboard commands to quickly set jump actions in the graphic view is provided. The author combines the narrative with video displaying the workflow in DVD SP -- which enhances the learning process.

In the organization chapter, there are tip on how to organize DVD projects in the Finder and your media drive that will preserve that structure when importing those assets into DVD Studio Pro. Practical advice is provided on how to test your DVD before burning or sending to a duplicator or replicator.

Over 35 minutes of instruction is provided. There are 1.65 gigabytes of tutorial files included in a DVD ROM folder.

Copyright ©2008 David A. Saraceno

David A. Saraceno is a motion graphics artist located in Spokane, Washington. He has written for DV Magazine, AV Video, MacHome Journal, and several state and national legal technology magazines. David also moderates several forums on, and contributes as a Level IV as the Apple Professional Applications Discussions.

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