Choosing the Menu’s Overlay
The second step in creating a menu is to choose its overlay (if you are using one). The
overlay is a graphic that defines what kind of highlight appears when the viewer selects
each button using the DVD player’s remote control, and where each button’s highlights
occur on the menu. The highlight can be an outline of the button, an underline, or even
Note: If you intend to use shapes to create your menu buttons, you do not need to choose
an overlay file. You can use an overlay file and shapes in the same menu.
There are two types of overlays you can use when creating your menus:
• Simple overlay graphics: These have a single highlight color. Simple overlays use white
where they will be transparent, and black to define the highlight areas.
• Advanced overlay graphics: These can have up to four colors or shades of gray,
depending on the mapping type you intend to use. Using advanced overlays, you have
multiple highlight colors appear when selecting or activating buttons.
A single overlay graphic provides the highlights for all buttons. When creating your
buttons, you must single out each button’s active area to ensure that when the viewer
selects a button, only its part of the overlay graphic is highlighted.
The overlay typically provides the art only for each button’s selected and activated states.
It can also provide the art for the normal state, but this state is most often incorporated
into the background, allowing for very nice-looking, 24-bit resolution buttons. An advanced
overlay’s four-color limit, and especially a simple overlay’s one-color limit, greatly restrict
the visual quality of normal-state buttons.
The four colors used in an advanced overlay depend on the mapping type used for the
• Chroma: The overlay must use the colors black, red, blue, and white, with white typically
being the background color.
• Grayscale: The overlay must use the colors black, dark gray, light gray, and white. White
is usually used as the background color.
Creating Menus Using the Standard Method
The Mapping Type setting in the Menu Inspector’s Colors tab indicates the type of overlay
you are using.
If colors other than those specified are present in the overlay, they are mapped to their
closest equivalents, which can produce surprising results. Use care to include only the
specified colors when creating your overlays. See
for details on creating
overlay graphics, including the color values used by the chroma and grayscale mapping
It is important to understand that the actual colors used in the overlay, whether you use
the chroma or grayscale method, are not what appear as the highlights in the menu. They
only identify where the actual highlight colors should appear. DVD Studio Pro uses color
mapping to set the highlight colors.
Understanding Color Mapping
to learn more about color mapping.