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Old October 12th, 2009, 02:55 PM   #1
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Adding backgrounds to DVDA Pro 5

OK, I have a project that I need to use different Menu backgrounds for. I found a suitable background in one of the DVDA themes. It's a metallic background that I tinted in different colors to match elements of the videos that will go on corresponding Menu pages. I saved them in .png format, the same as the original, and in the same folder. I can't seem to get them to show up in the Backgrounds tab in DVDA. There are other .thm folders with multiple background files in them (some .png, some.jpg) and while they only show up as a single design in the Theme tab, the various iterations of backgrounds show up in the backgrounds tab. I don't necessarily need my new background files to show up as a theme, just as individual choices in the Backgrounds tab. How can I bring these new files I created into DVDA so that they show up in the Backgrounds tab? I exported a theme and copied the additional background files into its folder, but still no go.

On another note, there are still some folders from DVDA 4.5 on my computer and they are identical to their counterparts in the 5.0 folders. Can I delete these 4.5 folders or is there something about them that makes their redundancy necessary? TIA
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Old October 12th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #2
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Rick, what I do in situations like yours is to change the default background to the new one I created.

If you really want to create your own themes though, here's what the DVDA 5.0 help file has to say about custom themes.

Creating Custom Themes

If you're comfortable editing XML, you can create your own custom themes to use with your DVD Architect Pro projects.

Themes are installed to a folder at C:\Documents and Settings\Your Username\Application Data\Sony\DVD Architect Pro\5.0\Themes (C:\Users\Your Username\AppData\Roaming\Sony\DVD Architect Pro\5.0\Themes in Windows Vista). Each theme is saved as a .thm file, which is essentially a .zip file that contains the theme's XML file and media.

In previous versions of DVD Architect, themes were installed in a subfolder below the program folder. However, not all users could access the Program Files folder and the theme information. With the current folder location, if two or more people are using DVD Architect Pro from the same computer, the theme information will be duplicated.

The easiest way to create your own themes is to work on a copy of an existing theme.

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Create a copy of the theme you want to modify and rename the file.

Open the .thm file in a program such as WinZip and extract the files to a working folder.

Edit the theme's files as necessary:

You must change the <NAME> field in the <THEME INFORMATION> section to a unique name for DVD Architect Pro software to recognize the theme.

Change the <AUTHOR>, <COPYRIGHT>, and <ABOUT> tags with your own information.

The default.xml file contains all information about the layout, including button positioning/spacing, font, text, graphics, and audio information. Do not rename this file.

The media files in the theme are used for button and menu graphics, backgrounds, and audio. You can use any file format that DVD Architect Pro software supports, including .bmp, .png, .jpg, .gif, .avi, and .wav.

Resave the .zip file, renaming it to a .thm file, in the themes subfolder below the DVD Architect Pro program folder. The program will detect the new theme the next time it starts.

If there are any mistakes or missing files referenced in the default.xml file, the theme will not load.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 01:46 AM   #3
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I've often wondered why Sony make it such hard work for people to develop their own themes. (I'm talking about people with limited or no XML skills, like me). You'd think that the availability of third party themes would be an attraction for new users.

A WYSIWYG shell around all that XML would be nice.
Ian Stark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 13th, 2009, 12:01 PM   #4
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Thanks, Mike, but Ed Troxel already gave me a simple solution. It was so simple I can't believe I didn't think of it. Simply dragging and dropping the background graphic I want from the Explorer window in DVDA on my project allows me to use any background I want. Problem solved!
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