Page 3 of 4: Multiple slideshows on a single DVD

Step 3: Multiple slideshows on a single DVD

This step will show you how to put multiple slideshows created by DVD slideshow GUI onto a single DVD.

The first thing to do is to export the slideshow using the ".all" option - this will export the slideshow to several files, .m2v (video), .ac3 (audio), .ssa (subtitles) and .txt (chapters). I like to create a new folder for each slideshow, so my files don't get mixed together. Do this for each slideshow.

DVD slideshow GUI: Export .all

We will then use a DVD authoring tool to combine all these files together into a DVD. The easiest way to do this is to use DVD Flick - unfortunately, it won't create a menu, but instead, will play one slideshow after the other and it also loses the chapter information. If you don't mind these inconveniences, then you can read our AVI to DVD using DVD Flick Guide to find out how to do this (even though the guide is for AVI files, it is easily applied to any other file input, including M2V) - when using the guide, create a title for each slideshow and also don't forget to load in your audio (.ac3) and subtitle (.ssa) files.

If you want menus, subtitles and to keep the chapter stops, then the recommended tool is GUI for dvdauthor. GUI for dvdauthor is a fairly advanced tool. We won't have the space in this guide to cover all the features (perhaps something best left to a dedicated GUI for dvdauthor guide), so we will only concentrate on the basics of creating a multi-slideshow DVD with a select menu.

First, download and install GUI for dvdauthor. Start the application.

From the "Settings" menu, select "Project". Change the "Output Directory" to somewhere where you want the output DVD files to be located. Check the "Delete temp. files" option to delete the temporary files generated by GUI for dvdauthor. Select "PAL" or "NTSC" to match what you selected under DVD slideshow GUI. Press "Save" to save these settings.

GUI for dvdauthor: Project Settings

From the "File" menu, select "Save as" to save your project - you should periodically save your project as you make changes, to prevent you from losing all your work.

Right click on the main area to the right (menu preview area), which represents the layout of the DVD menu and select "Menu Properties". Here, you can adjust the properties of the menu, in particular, choosing a background image or music (in AC3 format). There are also settings for highlighted/activated items. In the screenshot below, I have selected one of the pictures in my slideshow as the background, and the audio track for one of the slideshows as the background music to the menu.

GUI for dvdauthor: Menu Properties

From the "Source" directory browser on the left, locate your saved slideshows and it should list the ".m2v" file in the space just below. Click and drag the .m2v file over to the menu preview area.

GUI for dvdauthor: Source

Once you drag over the m2v file, the "Video + Audio files" window should pop up - we will load in our audio, subtitle and chapter files here. The audio file should have been loaded by default. You need to click on the folder icon (GUI for dvdauthor: folder icon) to load in your subtitle file (.ssa). Repeat with your chapter information file (.txt). Press "OK" to continue.

GUI for dvdauthor: Source

After you have loaded in all your slideshows, the names of the slideshows should appear on the menu preview area - this is actually the clickable button that selects which slideshow to play. Right click on each of the names and you can change the displayed title/name for each slideshow, as well as the font.

GUI for dvdauthor: Edit Button

You can arrange the position of buttons to your liking. Please note that you cannot position the buttons too closely together, or you might get a warning when you try to preview the menu.

The "Insert" section at the top allows you to insert other text or images into the menu.

GUI for dvdauthor: Insert

Once you are happy with your menu, you can click on the "Preview" button at the top to preview what the menu will look like.

GUI for dvdauthor: Preview

Once you are happy with your creation (now is a good time to save the project again), press the "Create DVD" button to create the DVD. You can click on the "Burn DVD" button to burn the DVD straight to disc if you have Nero installed, but even so, I like to use the Create DVD feature so I can test the DVD before burning. The log window should show up and when everything is finished, there should be a green tick.

GUI for dvdauthor: Log

The DVD files should be created in the directory you specified in Project Settings, and you can test your creation by using a DVD player capable of playing DVD folders, for example PowerDVD. You can then burn the DVD folder using ImgBurn - instructions here.

This guide is now finished, unless you want to continue on and learn how to export your slideshow to your website.



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