PapaJohn Productions


Vista - DVD Maker

DVD Maker, a new software app from Microsoft, comes with Home Premium and Utimate versions of Vista...

If you have the Home Basic version without it, you can purchase an upgrade to Home Premium.

Open it directly from the start menu, or use Movie Maker's option to "... Publish for playback on your DVD player or computer...".

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Use quick and easy disc making options with limited options. A one-size-fits-all process works at times and not at others. As you use the various choices, you'll get to know which ones work best for your needs.

For access to all options, open DVD Maker from the start menu when you're ready to package pictures, music, videos, or a combo of them.

DVD Maker

In the view above, DVD Maker is now in the forefront, with Photo Gallery and Movie Maker open in other windows.


Newsletter #128 was about DVD Maker.... Click the image to read it.

Animated Menu Styles

Video The Baby Blue style is the lead in to movies with an obvious theme.

... except the set I used to demo the style didn't quite fit... you'll have to do your own

Video Baby Pink also has it's obvious place.

... the animated teddy bear is the opening host...

Video The Bandwidth style doesn't seem to have a message... it just shows some eye-candy before and between the main features, your movies.

This set of samples are on YouTube.

Video The Color Cycle style... makes smooth transitions of color.

Being a bit color-impaired, I'll leave this one to be the favorite of others...

Video The Full Screen style... plays the videos as larges as they can be...

.... while preserving the aspect ratio. I'm very impressed with Movie Maker and DVD Maker in Vista for how well they handle the aspect ratio. I can give them a mixed set of clips from a camcorder tape and each clip will show appropriately.

Video The Highlights style... is a neat techno-modern one.

They were saved in Movie Maker 2 at the option of Video for LAN (768 kbps)...

Video Layers is another style from a Movie Maker 2 title animation...

I used the default settings when making this set of files.... I didn't explore the changing of fonts.

VideoThe Page Flip style is right from the classic Photo Story and Movie Maker transition of that style.

DVD opening menus are now part of the main production...

VideoHere's one showing the Performance style.

It's my personal favorite, but it's hard to not pick another.

VideoThe Photographs style is pretty neat....

I prefer styles like this that seem more like DVD menus to those that are spinoffs of transitions or effects in Movie Maker.

VideoThe Push style is another one that reminds me of story and movie making transitions....

... but it's well done, as they all are.

VideoReflections is another style I like.

If your movies have water in them, it's a good choice... even if they don't.

Videothe Rolling Hills style...

looks like a good one for videos of your golf outings...

Videothe Scrapbook style...

... for the scrapbookers who are also into making digital ones.

Videothe Shatter style is a familiar transition in Movie Maker...

... and will now be equally familiar on DVDs.

Videothe Soft Focus style is a familiar effect in Movie Maker...

... one that looks equally effective as a DVD menu animation... I'm kind of partial to the whole line of Pixelan soft organic effects and transitions

Videothe Special Occasion style goes with most everything.

... if you like an old fashioned look. I do.


The Travel style will work with my 'Europe 301' vacation project.

I'm building a full set of the 20 styles for these links...

... but will keep the other set on the YouTube playlist below for Apple users, as they can't see videos on the mydeo service.

Video... the Video Wall... is interesting and a different kind of style...

... The Wall is my favorite Pink Floyd album, but there are other kinds of walls.

Video... the Vintage style is attractive... I've always liked antiques and such a look fits right in with many of the things I do...

Here's another set of the same clips, this time in a YouTube playlist.

Although the styles are great, you have only basic disc authoring choices... DVD Maker is a quick way to 'burn and play'.

Creating DVD

Bottom line... it's easy to use, and makes great looking and playing discs... but if you want more control of the full authoring process, you'll want to continue using other DVD software.

Creating DVD

Behind the Scenes

An SDK helps you create and add your own custom transitions, buttons, and menu styles for Windows DVD Maker. The link is...

Windows Movie Maker and Windows DVD Maker SDK

The Shared\DvdStyles folder has a DVDTransform.fx file, 34 png files, and 16 bmp files... things like navigation buttons that are common to all styles.

Then there are folders of style-specific files. Here's a snapshot of those in the 'Baby Blue' folder...

From top left to bottom right, the files are a .png thumbnail image, 10 WMV animation clips (5 PAL and 5 NTSC) at bitrates of 8000 kbps, and 6 navigation thumbnail .png images.

Vista - DVD Maker - Style Folder

One of Eric Gunderman's Blogs provides some Windows DVD Maker SDK Information about command line options and the DVD Maker project file format.

Tips and Tricks

Widescreen Viewer

What Can go Wrong

For fixes and work-arounds, see the same item number in the next section...

Fixes and Work-Arounds