Idiot requires simple DVD slideshow help
February 6, 2009 3:49 PM   Subscribe

DVD authoring for a genuine simpleton. I have three photographs, as jpgs. I want to create a DVD of these photographs playable on any standard consumer DVD player (not a computer), but not as a slideshow.

I'd like the DVD to have a menu, where each menu item goes to a photo. When a photo is selected from the menu, it will be displayed forever until someone tells it to stop or the electricity supply runs out. I don't want a normal slideshow where one photo leads to the next and then goes back to the start, I want each photo to be independent and only selectable from the menu. I have no control over the player that'll be used to show the DVD, so I can't rely on it being a fancy professional piece of kit made out of gold and diamonds. I don't have a DVD player, and have never had one, this is all unknown territory for me. Is it as simple as burning the jpgs onto a CD/DVD as data? Do normal standard budget DVD players read jpg data??

I have the photos, Vista Home Premium, Windows Movie Maker, Windows DVD Maker, Ulead MovieFactory, blank CDs/DVDs, the internet, some cardboard, scotch tape, AA batteries, a bunch of empty toilet roll tubes and some uncooked rice. Assume I am simple. Please tell me what to do. Thank you.
posted by Beautiful Screaming Lady to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There are countless brands and models of DVD players, of course, so I can't speak for all of them. But just about every DVD player sold can view JPG files by default. And in my experience, the default method of viewing is to display a menu with the names of the files. Selecting the file will display that photo until the user chooses to return to the menu. That sounds like exactly what you want.

I would say that burning your photos to the DVD would work for most DVD players in use. But I can't give you step by step directions for your set-up, since I use a Mac. But I'll add this: Cook the rice (2 cups after cooking); cut up 4 slices of bacon and fry it in a skillet. Do not drain. Add 2 eggs and scramble while cooking; add green onions. Pour the rice in and cook while stirring and adding soy sauce and teriyaki sauce. Eat it while figuring out how to make the DVDs.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 4:15 PM on February 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Is it as simple as burning the jpgs onto a CD/DVD as data?

No. There, that's out of the way.

You know, this has me intrigued. I have Adobe software, including Encore (for DVD authoring) and I might just have to see how this would be accomplished. The menus, of course, are easy.

I'll drop you a MeMail when I find out something.
posted by trinity8-director at 4:15 PM on February 6, 2009

Ah, er, Fuzzy might be right about image viewing. I'll try that myself as well as the usual DVD authoring way.
posted by trinity8-director at 4:16 PM on February 6, 2009

Oh, you didn't mention having a DVD burner. That would be an important step in any process.
posted by trinity8-director at 4:17 PM on February 6, 2009

Oh, you didn't mention having a DVD burner

Sorry, yes, I have a DVD burner, and electricity. And the necessary motor functions to allow me to press buttons etc. But I'm clean out of bacon.
posted by Beautiful Screaming Lady at 4:24 PM on February 6, 2009 [2 favorites]

In your authoring program, make a main menu with 3 sub-menus. Set the background of each sub-menu to be a photo. Remove any menu timeouts, return links, etc - that way the only way to get back to the main menu is to restart, or via the menu button on the remote.

That's how I'd do it in DVD Lab Pro, and I guess something similar can be done in any other decent authoring program.
posted by Pinback at 4:27 PM on February 6, 2009

DVD's have a very strict set of specifications.

For example, every DVD has to have a Menu and a Track (Movie) even if it's not used.

In other words, no, it's not just putting the pictures on there.

Pictures are limited in size to 720x480 - Television pixels/dots) are not square. They are rectangular (think of a image built with tall legos.) Probably, your software will compensate for this and scale down your pictures.

There are a couple of ways to do this (I only know the professional tools...DVD Studio Pro, Adobe Encore and Sonic Producer.)

But the easiest would be to make a Main Menu...and then make 3 buttons (each that go to a sub menu.) The background of the submenus would be your pictures. A menu with no buttons is a 'still'. You'd press the main menu button to return to the Main Menu

Like this.

You'd set your menus to be 'still' forever.
posted by filmgeek at 5:54 PM on February 6, 2009

Just for verification, I threw some jpg's on a dvd and tossed into my high-end Sony player. It was not happy and did not display the images.
posted by trinity8-director at 9:28 PM on February 6, 2009

As it turns out, the 720 x 480 constraint renders the images useless, because all detail is lost, and the text in them becomes illegible. But the submenu idea is indeed an excellent one, and well worthy of Offical Best Answer Gold Award status. That sorted, I can now concentrate on attempting to construct bacon from the cardboard tubes and scotch tape.
posted by Beautiful Screaming Lady at 7:11 PM on February 8, 2009

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