Reviewed By: Craig
Ed Note: Magnet Media Films is a sponsor
of lafcpug.org, however this review and all reviews published
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opinion in any way, shape or form.
Great DVD Studio Pro 2 Training DVD!
Inside DVD Studio Pro 2 is my second foray into Magnet Media's innovative
method of training creative folks on new software and upgrades.
I had been a user of DVD studio pro since it's inception and
upgraded as soon as version 2 was released. Being a typical guy
I plunged into the interface without a thought to the user manual
or online PDF file. I figured I'm pretty good at figuring stuff
out...that manual and tutorial stuff is for beginners, I mean,
look at the interface - just like iDVD! How much simpler could
it be? Plus everything online I had been reading sang the praises
of how simple this program is and what an improvement over 1.5
this was, yadaa yadaa yadaa. You can imagine my frustration as
I delved into the program and was spit back out time after time
again. The program didn't crash mind you. I was left with a spinning
beachball one minute and nothing to show for it on the other.
My pride had taken too many blows and I needed help. Not to mention
I was in the middle of several projects that needed resolution
and my frustration level was to the "deinstall and re-install
Along comes magnet media to the rescue.
Along with your trainer, Zeth Willie, you 'll take a tour of
some of the basic and advanced aspects of DVDSP2. 6 HOURS worth
of touring. Granted, I don't have 6 hours to sit and watch training
(I had a tough time justifying the LOTR trilogy) but the beauty
of this style of training is you can pause, stop and go when
you have the time. I myself took the training in snipets here
and there, or when I was stuck in a project and needed a refresher.
I keep an image of the disc handy at all times and still refer
to it often. even after having completed the training.
I was pleasantly greeted with a familiar
interface having used Magnet Media'a Inside Editing with Final
Cut Pro 4. While you cannot run the training and DVD studio Pro
2 at the same time, you can do what I did which was to run the
quicktime movies sans interfacve on an opposing PC while you
work through the training sessions. The DVD is broken into three
sections, an introduction for beginners, an intermediate and
an advanced section. Despite my experience with 1.5, I found
the introduction a great ice-breaker for navigating the interface.
While most reviews I've read suggested the mild learning curve
of pro 2, I was lost. The introduction gave me the push over
the hump I needed to start producing with 2. Admittededly, after
the first section, I completed several projects and started discovering
pro 2's features by trial and error. but the process was vastly
quickened by Magnet and Willie's help.
Enter the next section (actually a subsection
of the introductory section). Now it starts to get fun. Not to
get too techie, but things that I myself have left up to the
program I wanted to learn about. Square versus rectangular pixels,
quicktime compressors versus pro 2's built in mpeg2 compressor,
and whatever the heck GOP markers are, you will have a greater
understanding of these concepts after completing this section.
Many users of pro 2 can stop here. They
will have enough background to complete most of their DVD projects
easily. If you are like me however, once you have the basics
under your belt, you'll want to start customizing your own motion
menus, creating video loops and overlays for customs navigational
buttons, even submenus and scripting. Magnet can hold your hand
here too. Willie takes us on a tour of a sample DVD he's creating
for some local New York band he likes, and shows us the importance
(again) of Pixel Aspect ratio as it relates to your custom made
graphics. Ever wanted your menu-to-clip flow to have a transion
clip? Willie shows you how. How about handling multiple audio
clips and soundtracks? Covered. All along the process Willie
and Magnet demonstrate how to do the technically sophisticated
aspects of "Hollywood style" DVD's while also showing
good asset management and time-saving technique. My workflow
was dramatically changed because of this training.
The Advanced section I watched mainly
for reference. I honestly don't use many of the advanced features
of pro 2 (web access and advanced scripting) but if the need
arrose, I have the training material to tackle that task. It's
interesting stuff just the same. I had a few "I didn't know
I could do that" moments in the advanced section.
As I stated earlier, DVDSP 2 is for advanced
users. The great thing is you can ease into the program ala iDVD-style
interface, then move up to intermediate and advanced interfaces
as you hunger for more control. Magent's DVDSP 2 training DVD
is the ideal way to jumpstart your using of this software. Plus,
you will have an invaluable reference at your disposal as you
move into the more advanced features of DVDSP 2. I believe this
to be money well spent that will rewards you with better workflow,
less frustration and more professional-looking DVDs on the menu
level as well as on the Playback level.
2004 Craig Musni
for purchase in the lafcpug Store