Start DVD-lab Pro. If this is the first time you've used DVD-lab pro, then you will be greeted with the new project setup screen (see below). If not, don't worry, you can access the same screen from the "Project" menu's "Set Default Project" option (there is a checkbox at the bottom where you can choose to have this window automatically displayed upon starting a new project, or not). Here, you can configure the type of project you want to make. Choose PAL or NTSC depending on your source material. You can also choose the complexity of the project, either a normal disc with menu or movie or a simple movie only project or a previously saved template. The "Mega-Project" option is for when you want to produce a title when hundreds of menu pages, which can cause memory shortage problems and so creating a "Mega-Project" will store these menus in the system cache instead of system memory. Once you are happy with your options, press "OK" to continue.
Let's first have a look at the DVD-lab Pro interface. The main interface is divided into several sub-areas. There is the usual menu bar at the top where you can access the option menus "File", "Edit", View" "Project" ...
The "Project" tree view area (this is what I will refer it as from now on) gives you a tree view of your current project, including all movie assets, menus ... it's a fast way to skip to sections of your project. The "Assets" section is where the assets that you wish to use in the project are loaded and stored. An asset is basically any element used in the project, including graphics for menu buttons, background audio and even the main movie itself. To the right of that is the "Preview" area, where you can preview assets. Going up, this is the main work area. The "Connections" window shows how the menus and content/movies link to each other ... this is a good way to see how navigation works on the DVD, and you can create new menus, navigation links here. Then there is the "Movie Editor" window - the screenshot above actually shows the "Movie 1" window, which is the movie editor window for the content "Movie 1" (it's blank at the moment). This is where you add chapter stops, additional audio tracks and cut/skip sections out from the movie. You can arrange the windows in this main work area from the "Windows" menu, selecting tile for example.
Okay, the first thing we will do is to configure the project properties. From the "Project" menu, select "Project Properties". Here you can configure the properties of this project. You can change the video system of the project again here, as well as specify what types of movies are acceptable to the project. You can then specify the quality/size of the menu, Full D1 being the highest quality (recommended). Select the aspect ratio of the menu, widescreen or fullscreen. If your movie is widescreen or if you've chosen to have a widescreen menu, then "Widescreen Movie/Menu Display on 4:3" options are relevant. These two determine how the disc/player should display widescreen content on 4:3 displays. If you choose the "Letterbox" option, then black borders will be automatically added on the top and bottom to correct the aspect ratio (this is the recommended and default setting). You can also choose "Pan & Scan", which will zoom into the widescreen picture to get the 4:3 picture (but the left and right are cut off) - this is not recommended for movies, but you can use this for menus as long as you place all the relevant buttons, text and images within the pan & scan area (more on this when making menus). My personal preference is to use the "letterbox" setting for both. Note that if you have multiple VTSs in your project, you can configure the system/aspect ratio of each VTS set independently, but this guide does not cover multiple VTSs (useful for making a disc that contains both the fullscreen and widescreen versions of the same movie, for example).
The "Palette" tab allows you to configure the colour palette for the project. This refers to the colours used by things like highlights and button selects, so if you prefer to use a set of specific colours, input them here. Press "OK" to close the "Project Properties" window.
Now's probably a good time to save the project, so do so. Remember to save the project often.