Apple this morning announced DVD Studio Pro 3 the latest iteration of its professional DVD-authoring application.

DVD Studio Pro 3 features a new Alpha Transitions feature that will create stylish DVDs and a new Graphical View that visualizes a project’s entire flow, the company says. It also includes Compressor 1.2, Apple’s media-encoding and -compression tool.

Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of applications marketing, said: “DVD Studio Pro is the most sophisticated, yet easy-to-use, professional DVD-authoring application on any platform. With its tight integration between Final Cut Pro HD, Motion and Adobe Photoshop, DVD Studio Pro 3 is the most complete environment for creating compelling DVDs.”

The new Graphical View feature helps DVD authors see the relationships between menus, tracks, slideshows, stories and scripts within a project using a digital storyboard. This information can also be printed for ease of reference.

The application offers 30 professionally designed transitions that can be blended between menus, slides in slideshows and stills in tracks. It offers standard transitions, such as dissolve, radial blur and fade through colour.

The new Alpha Transitions features consist of what Apple describes as: "stunning QuickTime-based movie transitions that add a new level of elegance and sophistication to DVDs".

DVD authors can also build their own Alpha Transitions from Scratch using Motion or After Effects.

DVD Studio Pro 3 can scale digital video, Standard Definition (SD) video, HD, and encode directly to MPEG-2 all in one step. It supports Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio.

DVD Studio Pro 3 will be available in May for £349. Registered users of DVD Studio Pro 1 and 2 can upgrade to DVD Studio Pro 3 for £139. Prices include VAT.