BOOT CAMP 508 (15/01/08)

Digicam to PC to TV part 5


A typical DVD slideshow of 20 or 30 photographs, say, only amounts to 100 megabytes or so, which is a bit of a waste when you consider that a blank DVD can store up to 4.7Gb of data, so this week, in the final instalment of this short series I’ll show you how to put several slideshows on one disc.


The procedures are basically the same as those used to compile a single slideshow disc but there are a few differences in the way the files are managed, and some extra options for you to play around with, though as before it is a good idea to master the basic techniques first, before getting too carried away.


The first thing to do is get organised and create a New folder on your hard drive where the individual slideshows you want to appear on the disc will be stored; it’s not compulsory but it will make your life a lot easier when we get to the authoring stage. Inside the new folder create sub-folders for each slideshow.


You can now begin compiling your slideshows using the DVD Slideshow GUI program we looked at in part 3 (Boot Camp 506) and if you’ve already managed to create a couple of discs and know your way around try adding some background music or a commentary. It’s worth inserting a few subtitles as well, especially if you are making the disc for a friend or relative who may not know everyone involved; it’s a really useful way of letting your audience know where a photo was taken, or who’s in it.


After you finish each slideshow go to Export on the File menu and save the files in one of your newly created sub-folders, and don’t forget on the Save As Type drop-down menu use the ‘gui for dvdauthor’ option.


Next, open GUI for DVD Author (see part 4, Boot Camp 507) and if you have changed any settings (PAL/NTSC colour system, for example), make sure they are correct for the new DVD by going to Permanent on the Settings menu.


I would start off by choosing a background image for your main menu. I would go for something fairly light to ensure that the buttons we’ll be making in a moment are clearly visible. Right click into the image editing screen and select Menu Properties. Locate the photo you want to use by clicking the Explorer icon to the right of the Image file path box. This dialogue box also lets you chose an audio file that will play whilst the menu is on screen, however, you can only use .ac3 tracks that have been created by DVD Slideshow GUI.


Now go to the directory tree on the left and in the upper section locate the subfolder where the first of your slideshows is stored. Double click and inside there will be a file with the extension * .m2v. Drag the file icon onto the screen display window and a dialogue box opens. The Audiofiles box should show the track created by DVD Slideshow GUI and this should have an .ac3 extension.


If you have added any subtitles to the pictures check that they are listed in the Subtitles box below. I found that on one or two occasions this box was empty and there may be a bug in the program, however, it is easily remedied. Simply click the folder icon, which should open your slideshow project then select the file with the extension *.ssa.


Click OK and the title of your slideshow appears as a button. Right click on it to change its properties (size, text etc.), and to make it look a bit more interesting I suggest overlaying the button on a thumbnail image. Go to Insert > Image and click on the display window. Use the dialogue box that opens to select an image and if necessary change the size. Drag the image and button to the desired positions and repeat the procedure for each of your slideshows.  


Since this is the opening screen I recommend adding a title of some sort. Click Text on the Insert menu and the now familiar Edit Text dialogue box opens. You can also add a Play All button, which you will find on the Insert menu.


At this point you have all of the ingredients for a fully functional multi slideshow DVD and you can go ahead and burn the disc, but if you are not in a hurry there are a few more embellishments you could add – see this week’s Top Tip.


That’s more or less all there is to it and all that remains is to load a blank DVD and click the Burn DVD button (or Create DVD if you want to preview before burning). Nero or ImgBurn (see part 4, Boot Camp 507) start the recording process and in a few minutes your disc will be ready to use.


Next Week – Poor Man’s Vista





Audio Codec 3, developed by Dolby Laboratories and probably better known as Dolby Digital, the multi-channel audio compression system used on DVDs



Three or four character code at the end of a file name, indicating the type or format of file or the program used to create it



To create new folders and sub folders open Windows Explorer (XP) My Computer or Computer (Vista), highlight your main drive icon (usually C:/) right click in the right hand pane right-click and select New > Folder.





There’s a lot you can do to give your multi-slideshow disc a really polished and professional appearance but at the very least you should insert titles and alter the background images for each slideshow intro page because as it stands the default background image chosen for the Main Menu will appear. It’s very easy to change; on the lower section of the directory tree double click the ‘TitleSet’x’Menu icon for each slideshow to open the Start page. Right click on it and select Menu Properties. You will see that there is already a Back button, to take the viewer back to the DVD’s main menu and you can change this and add a thumbnail image to make it stand out.


Don't forget, there's a full archive of previous Boot Camp Top Tips at



© R. Maybury 2007, 0512


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