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Create custom DVD menus using Toast 6 Apps

I had a hunch that the background design for menus in Toast 6 must exist as a tif or jpeg somewhere inside of the Toast package. I was surprised to find that, actually, it's a PSD (Photoshop) file -- and it's not just the background, either! It also appears that Roxio intended to include different "Themes" in Toast 6, but didn't complete them.

By manipulating the ocean.psd file found in: Toast (control-click and choose "Show Package Contents") -> Resources -> Themes, you can completely change the look and feel of the DVD menu background, preview chapter buttons, and titles.

Read the rest of the hint for the how-to...

  1. Archive your ocean.psd file so you can replace it with the original. I actually duplicated it and changed the name to oceanArchive.psd and left it in the Themes folder. It doesn't seem to bother Toast.
  2. Open ocean.psd in Photoshop. Don't worry if it's blank -- all the layer visibility is turned off.
  3. Make your changes: Each layer has a purpose -- in fact, all the visibility is turned off in photoshop, so it will look blank when you open it.

Now, a description of the layers:

  • The "background" layer is the background.
  • "Forward" and "backward" layers, as well as the "selected" versions, are the buttons for moving through several pages of chapters (I'm assuming if you have more than three pieces of video, these automatically come up).
  • "Title" gives you the size, alignment and placement of the Title of the DVD.
  • The numbered layers: these indicate the titles and previews for the video clips. I recommend linking these so they move together (unless you want to make it challenging to navigate your DVD!) They work in sets of seven and are numbered: image 1, frame 1, frame 1 selected (the rollover), indextext 1, text 11, text 12 and text 13 all belong to the first video clip.

I haven't gone very far with this -- only moving the images around and changing the background, but I suspect you can change the font type, size, color and alignment -- as well as change the black "image" layers to be different shapes, transparency (by changing the black to grey or erasing parts of the black - I haven't tried this, yet) and maybe sizes, but I'm a little doubtful of that.

WARNING: don't forget that you need about 50 pixels around the edges without any content -- each TV is different, but the edges of this PSD will be cut off on the TV!

In short, I think with this that Toast 6 becomes a much more robust DVD authoring environment. No DVD Studio Pro, but darn good for my uses (ReplayTV -> DVDs).

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Authored by: stonemtn on Jan 05, '04 10:35:40AM

Follow-up on this. I have determined that Toast uses the FIRST file in the folder to make the menu. In other words, it doesn't just look for Ocean.psd but simply for the first file in the folder. If you have something named Apple.psd and nothing comes before it alphabetically, that is the file it will use for the menu. I learned this the hard way! :-)


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Create custom DVD menus using Toast 6
Authored by: GORDYmac on Jan 05, '04 11:58:10AM

Also, it seems that fonts will not change. Toast will revert any custom fonts to Verdana.

Hopefully, in a future update other themes will be available. It's a headache working on these files.

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Create custom DVD menus using Toast 6
Authored by: stonemtn on Jan 06, '04 08:55:33AM

For me, it's not such a headache -- this is exactly how I would lay out any DVD menu in a more professional manner. Since I use ReplayTV files and Toast 6 really chews through them with style.

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