Photoshop Goes To the Movies
Who would have ever thought Photoshop CS3 could be a video creation tool? In this article, which kicks off an irregular series designed to show you how the tools in the CS3 Creative Suite integrate with each other, we create a video that starts in Fireworks CS3 and winds up in Flash.
Approximate download size: 8.7MB
What AVC/H.264 Means for the Future of Flash Video
During the week of August 20th, Adobe announced its plans to support the AVC/H.264 video standard in the final release of Flash Player 9 update 3. You can currently download beta 2 of Flash Player 9 update 3 on the Adobe Labs site. This beta contains the AVC/H.264 codec, which enables you to test MPEG-4 files using the H.264 codec right now! I won't recap the information already provided by Adobe, but I'll provide a context for this announcement with existing Flash Video codecs and the world of Internet-delivered video.
Using the CS3 Studio Flash Video Encoder
Sporting a brand new look and a feature that will knock your socks off, the CS3 version of the Flash Video Encoder may just be a the sleeper hit of the Studio.
Approximate download size: 8.4MB
Flash Video: Move Over?
In November 2006, I wrote an article title "Flash Video: Why the Other Players Don't Get It", wherein I made a case for Flash Video on the web. Indeed, Flash Video is everywhere on the web, from Google to YouTube to Blip.tv. However, within the last couple of weeks, Flash Video suffered a casualty: ABC.com replaced Flash Video as the video player technology on their showcase Full Episode Streaming site. I initially blogged about the event, chiding Adobe for not moving faster to address widely known concerns about Flash Video streaming on the web, especially by providers who want to protect their content. After my post received over 1000 web views within 12 hours, I got the feeling that I should write more about my thoughts on Flash Video, and how it might suffer more casualties if Adobe doesn't take their customers (especially their big customers, like ABC.com) more seriously. (Or should I be so bold as to say they shouldn't take them for granted?)
NOTE: This article is an editorial reflecting my personal concerns about Flash Video technology, and does not reflect the views and opinions of any other entity.
The Art of Encoding Flash Video - Part 2: Sorenson Squeeze
If you want to dramatically increase the quality of encoded video, you need to go beyond the free Flash 8 Video Encoder that ships with Flash 8 Professional. Third-party software such as On2 Flix Exporter for Flash and Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 are the best options for encoding video with superior quality. Third-party encoding software also has many options and settings: deinterlacing options, pre-processing filters and greater control of audio/video data rate and compression settings, are all enhanced options that any encoding professional needs to make the best video they can for streaming delivery.
If you want to shake your "money-maker" with top-notch video, then this article is for you. This article will go into detail of all the advanced settings of Sorenson Squeeze and make quality comparisons to video encoded with the Flash 8 Video Encoder.
The Art of Encoding Flash Video Series:
The Art of Encoding Flash Video - Part 1: About the FLV Format
The Art of Encoding Flash Video - Part 2: Sorenson Squeeze
The Art of Encoding Flash Video - Part 3: Advanced Compression Settings with Sorenson Squeeze Coming Soon
From Final Product to Upload in Flash Professional 8: Part 2
In January, 2007, friendsofED will be releasing a ground breaking book: From After Effects to Flash: Poetry in Motion Graphics. Written by Community MX Partner, Tom Green and Community MX contributer, Tiago Dias, the book is the first exploration of how After Effects and Flash are about to become a motion graphics power house.
Over the next few weeks, we will be presenting the first two chapters of the book. These two chapters are designed to explore the emerging workflow between After Effects and Flash and they take you from concept to upload. In this second excerpt, from Chapter 2, you convert the project created in the previous chapter into an FLV.
Approximate download size: 3.1MB
Flash Video: Why the Other Players Don't Get It
Flash Video has taken over the web video industry. There should be little doubt by now that Flash Video is a major player—in any sense of the word—with online distribution of video. I've personally worked on several high-profile Flash Video deployments, and you can see the evidence of Flash Video on just about every major video-enhanced web site.
From Concept to Final Product in After Effects 7
In January, 2007, friendsofED will be releasing a ground breaking book: From After Effects to Flash: Poetry in Motion Graphics
. Written by Community MX Partner, Tom Green and Comunity MX contributer, Tiago Dias, the book is the first exploration of how After Effects and Flash are about to become a motion graphics power house.
Over the next few weeks, we will be presenting the first two chapters of the book. These two chapters are designed to explore the emerging workflow between After Effects and Flash and they take you from concept to upload. In this first excerpt, from Chapter 1, you are introduced to the After Effects work space and how Projects and Compositions are created in After Effects.
Create Weather in Flash
Who says creating rain and snow in Flash has to be difficult? Combine Flash and After Effects and you too can be a rain maker or snow maker.
Warping Video in a Flash
Sometimes video needs to be such an odd shape that using a simple mask in Flash just won't solve the issue. In this video tutorial, I show you how to use the bezier Warp tool in After efects 7 to create a video that wraps around a shape. Then I show you how to output the video in After Effects and use that video in Flash.
Building a Flash Video Kaleidoscope - Part 1: Video Reflection
The ideas that sparked this series came about in an unexpected manner.
Having just completed an article on the subject of creating reflections in Flash
, I started thinking about how it could be done using video instead of images. In typical Community MX fashion, I bounced my question off of our Flash guy Joseph Balderson, and we rapidly solved the problem. (That's happens when a couple of "Tech weenies" get hold of Flash Video.) By that I mean we have a fascination with what we can do with this technology. As such the two of us starting thinking:, "Yeah that is interesting but, really, what more can we do with this basic technique?"
It turns out there is quite a bit more you can do with the video reflection technique. At one point in our discussion Joe said, "Hey, now that we have one reflection working, why not add a few more? Let's show 'em how to build a video kaleidoscope too!!" And so this series was born.
Approximate download size: 4.2MB
Creating Reflections in Flash 8
Things in Flash aren't always as difficult to achieve when you look at them. Objects containing a reflection on the stage is a good example.
Creating a Blurred Mask
In this exercise you will create a video that blurs the edges of a mask to create the effect of a video that is in focus in a "knock out" area while the remainder of the video, under a black bitmap, is blurred using a Threshold effect. The key to this exercise, is to understand that the shapes you draw are composed of colored pixels. These pixels form a shape and that shape, when the movie is displayed on your screen, is seen by the computer as a bitmap.
Approximate download size: 4.3MB
Applying Filters and Blends Through ActionScript
Filters and blends can be applied without the use of code. They are all available through the Property Inspector and can be applied singly or in combination with each other. The filters and blends can also be applied through the use of ActionScript.
In the first of two exercises, you will blur a video by dragging your mouse across it. In the second exercise you add a screen blend mode that simulates the effect of a video being projected onto an underlying image… but the image shows through.
Approximate download size: 4.1MB
Looping Flash Video
Of course you can't loop a video in Flash because there is nothing in ActionScript that specifically deals with the issue. Turns out you can indeed do this. All you have to do is to eavesdrop.
Approximate download size: 2.6MB
Cool GoLive Features Part 4: The QuickTime Editor
It's really rather surprising. Hidden in Adobe GoLive you get a whole other application: a QuickTime movie maker and editor. It includes everything from Sprite tools to Flash integration to drop-dead simple slide shows. So don't despair if you don't have an expensive, dedicated movie editing program but you do have Adobe CS2. You will be amazed at what you can do with the GoLive QuickTime Editor.
In this first tutorial in the QuickTime series, we'll look at the GoLive QuickTime tools and environment, and then create a slide show movie with picture, sound and text tracks. In upcoming tutorials we will look at Sprites, Flash integration, filters, and other more advanced GoLive QuickTime features.
This tutorial includes a sample MP3 and folder of images so that you can follow along.
Approximate download size: 1.8MB
Getting Movies onto Your iPod
In this article, you'll learn how to rip your DVDs to MPEG-4 format for playback on the fifth-generation iPod Video. You'll also learn how to view your iPod videos on a computer or television.
Blogging 101: Why All the Fuss Over Blogs?
For a word that didn't even exist a few years ago, the world of blogs and blogging and personal web publishing certainly gets a great deal of attention these days. From LiveJournal blogs where college students are spilling the beans about their love lives, to the serious and frantic world of political blogs, to the professional blogs that companies are using to put a human face on their organization, blogs seem to be everywhere you go.
In this 20 minute Breeze presentation I'll take you through the world of blogs and blogging. You'll learn what blog is, how blogs are being used by different people, and your options for publishing your own blog, or for advising a client on how they might get started with a blog. Finally, the presentation wraps up with some recommendations on how you can become a successful blogger and how to make the most out of the time you invest in your blog.
Alpha Video Tricks
Looking to do some cool video stuff in Flash Professional 8 such as adding a drop shadow or having the background "project" onto the subject? Read on...
Adding Flash Video to Dreamweaver 8
Web video is suddenly all the rage thanks to Flash Professional 8, those wonderful people at On2 and Sorenson and the folks at Adobe who provide the video editing software. It is enough to make a web developer's head spin. Suddenly we are confronted with putting web video in our web pages because clients see the neat stuff the "Cool Kids" over on the Flash side of the street are doing and we get caught with a "Me too!" The guys at Macromedia must have anticipated this because they did something with Flash Video in Dreamweaver 8 that is rather amazing; they made it even easier to use. Best off all, it is free.
Prior to the release of Dreamweaver 8, the Flash Video Kit for Dreamweaver MX 2004 was a spending decision on your part if you wanted to add Flash video to your pages. Mind you, the "Kit" included a copy of Sorenson Squeeze Lite and it is still an integral FLV creation tool if you didn't purchase either Studio 8 or Flash Professional 8. The Video Kit is now bundled with the application and is even better than the retail version of the Video Kit.
Macromedia has pulled off a rather amazing feat with Dreamweaver 8. They made adding video to your web pages even easier than ever.
Five Little Things to Love About Fireworks 8
It could be argued that there hasn't been a serious overhaul of Fireworks since the release of Fireworks MX. In that version of Fireworks major changes to the interface were introduced as Macromedia aligned all of the tools in their web production suite. While Fireworks MX 2004 made some minor improvements to the software, nothing profound was really added. Now with the release of Fireworks 8 the same kinds of complaints are being heard.
In my humble opinion there's plenty to like in Fireworks 8. But sometimes it's the little things that matter, and in this release I've found lots of nice little changes that make my work easier and allow me to work more productively. No, they aren't ground-shaking changes, but several have been on my wish list for some time, while others fall into the "Gee, I wish they'd done this sooner" category.
In this series of five short Captivate video demonstrations I'll show you what's different in Fireworks 8 and contrast these changes with the way things used to be done. By the end of these short clips you'll have a better idea of what the little things are that I really like about Fireworks 8.
Choosing a Video Codec for Your Flash 8 Movie
By now, you've probably heard about--and seen--the new On2 VP6 codec featured in Flash Player 8. While the codec offers image quality that is far superior to Sorenson Spark, On2 VP6 is not always the best choice for your video content. In this article, you learn how to determine which codec will offer the best experience to your audience.
Create Great Attention Grabbers in Fireworks
Recently I needed to send out one of those e-mail messages that contains specific instructions on what the recipient should do on their computer. You know the ones. "First, CLICK HERE, then read the instructions posted on the next page." Of course the challenge with these kinds of messages is that you never know if the person reading the instructions will really be paying attention, or will even understand what it is you want them to do. In an attempt to make it perfectly clear what they should do I decided to highlight the items with big bold graphics that catch the eye. In short, I needed an attention grabber, and for that I turned to Fireworks
In these two Captivate video tutorials you'll see how I created the two objects I used--a red circle that appears to be brushed onto the image, and a bold curved arrow.
FLV Creation in Flash Professional 8
Creating Flash video was a rather mysterious process until Macromedia added the Flash 8 Video Encoder to the product. In the process they did something amazing: Complicated the process and made it even easier to create an FLV.
Creating a Curvy Interface in Fireworks
Creating a curvy web interface is a simple enough task to perform in Fireworks, if you know the right steps to take to get the job done. By combining simple shapes and a few basic techniques you too can make one of those nicely rounded designs that provide an attractive viewport for framing your web content—whether it be a web page, a Flash video, or Flash media player.
In total this series of Captivate video tutorials will provide you with nearly 20 minutes of video instruction on the use of Fireworks for creating your own design and will show you common techniques used for the creation of vector objects, how shapes are modified and combined to create a design, and demonstrate some ways that you can position, modify, and apply styles to an object to complete a design task.
Flash Video: Your Playback Options
If you have been following this series, Part 1 explained how the video file is created and Part 2 walked you through the creation of the FLV file that will deliver the video. In this, the final installment, I review the end game: "How the heck do I get video to play in my Flash movie?"
At first glance that may seem to be a dumb question. It isn't. In fact, it is one of the most common questions asked of me when I talk about video in class or at a variety of speaking engagements. If you take the time to really think through the question you quickly come to the realization it is a two-parter:
- Do I use FLV or a SWF?
- Which video delivery option is best for me?
The answer to the first question depends upon how the video is to be delivered. If it is to be streamed either from your web server or a Flash Communication Server then FLV is the best route. All other scenarios will most likely require a SWF.
A Quest for Flash Communication Server Magic
In this tale of deception, deceit and a quest for knowledge, you will follow me as I discover that using the Flash Communication Server isn't as easy at it appears and learn, at the end of my quest, "something I wish I would have known" before I started.
A Photo Correction Case Study
you'd taken the perfect picture with your digital camera, only to find that when it was examined on your computer that there were some serious flaws. In this Captivate video case study you'll follow along with me as I fix a family photo that was taken recently. How can Fireworks be used to remove those flaws using the Rubber Stamp tool? What settings work best in certain situations, and what other tools can you use to help speed things along? This 3-part video tutorial with 15 minutes of instruction answers those questions and more as you follow along with the steps I took to fix my photograph.
Slicing and Exporting Multiple Buttons in Fireworks
Slicing images in Fireworks is one of those fundamental skills that every user of the software has to get a handle on at one time or the other. Sure, you can use Fireworks only for creating images, but that isn't really what it was made to do. Fireworks is a web production tool and understanding different methods for doing production work is part and parcel of learning how to work with this fabulous tool.
In this set of four Captivate video tutorials you'll have the opportunity to see one method for creating a simple rollover navigation bar like the one below.
A JumpStarts Case Study: Replacing Page Design Elements
One of the things that I really love about the JumpStart designs from Community MX is the fact that I don't need to worry about the little tweaks and hacks that are so common when attempting fully validated CSS-P designs that are compatible across multiple browsers and platforms. Frankly, I just don't have the time to remember all the little things that need to be done to make a CSS-P design work, and having the CSS wizards at Community MX doing that part of the work allows me to concentrate on the things that do matter to me, like getting a design completed to meet my client's requirements. OK, they're only imaginary clients at this point, but imagine the all-too-real instance of a client saying that they like the overall design that you've worked out, but that things are just a "little too purple". This part of the series shows you how to locate all those other elements of your JumpStart design, how to change them to create a unique design, and how to use Fireworks to help in the process.
Note to non-subscribers purchasing this tutorial: The download file for this tutorial is approximately 39MB. If a download of this size is too large for you, please send an email to email@example.com after your purchase and a link will be sent to you where you may download each video contained in the article separately. Please include the email address that is associated with the PayPal account used to make the purchase. For subscribers, there will be links at the end of the tutorial itself giving you the same options.
Flash Video Kit for Dreamweaver MX 2004
In typical Macromedia fashion, the Flash Video Kit has been quietly introduced and, based on my first impressions, they have a sleeper hit on their hands.This thing is an absolute breeze to use and doesn't require you to know anything about video in Flash. No components. No "netConnections". No "netStreams". No video objects. No intimate knowledge of Actionscript 2.0. Nothing. Nadda. If you can access a menu item in Dreamweaver, you can now add video to your web pages.
Immersive Imaging - Part 2 - Adding A QTVR File To A Web Page
In Part One of this two-part series, we looked at the basics of creating panoramic images for use in QuickTime VR (QTVR). In Part Two, we'll look at bringing the panoramic image into your web page as a QTVR movie.
Also included in this tutorial, is a video that shows the process of embedding the QTVR movie into a web page, and adding various parameters to the movie via Dreamweaver.
More Money - Same Workload
Using a simple time and billing program helped me make more money, make better business decisions and bid on flat fee projects more accurately. Best of all, the software was easy to use and blended into my workflow problem-free. Read how a time and billing software program can help you and then watch a video on how to use one such program.
In this Breeze presentation, you'll learn how to set up a web site for use with Macromedia Contribute. Whether you're working with an existing client, work as part of a larger organization, or want to begin offering services centered around offering Contribute as a method for adding and maintaining site content, then this presentation will help point you in the right direction.
Using Flash Resource Manager
How to install and customize Mike Chambers' Flash Resource Manager to view and search Macromedia documentation, web sites, and more.
Fireworks Slicing Technique #2--Slicing Page Compositions
In this second set of video tutorials on slicing in Fireworks, you'll take a look at a method for working with complex page compositions. Fireworks is a great program for creating design concepts, and with the appropriate and efficient use of slices you can take that design idea and turn it into a full-blown page in Dreamweaver while maintaining small file weights.
Fireworks Slicing Technique #1--Inserting Rollovers
In the first of a series of Camtasia video tutorials, we'll look at a simple method for inserting slices over an existing navigation bar, creating a rollover effect, and some best practices for working with Fireworks slices. Along the way you'll learn about arranging and organizing your slices, naming slices, and some tips on exporting sliced graphics for use in Dreamweaver.
Creating Desktop Recordings with Camtasia Studio 2
If you've spent some time on CommunityMX.com, you probably already know that we offer video
. What you may not know is that we use Camtasia Studio 2 to create them.
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to record screen actions with Camtasia Studio 2, assemble the elements of your project, and publish the completed video to Flash SWF format.
CMX Insert Camtasia Video
This extension for Dreamweaver MX and Dreamweaver MX 2004 greatly simplifies inserting Camtasia videos into HTML documents. Simply click the Camtasia Video button on the Common tab of the Insert bar, and you're prompted for the location of your controller and configuration files. The extension takes care of the rest.
Video Capture in FlashMX 2004
This past week I picked up an iSight for my Mac. Once I got over the initial thrill of having iChat play "All Tom, All the time", I started wondering: "What can I do with the video feed from the camera." It turns out, if you have Flash MX 2004, the answer is "Quite a bit."
Instant Replay Part 2--Flash
The History panel, new to Flash MX 2004, allows you to track each step you take in your Flash document and then use the Replay button to repeat the steps. In this tutorial you'll see how to take some of the drudgery out of creating repeating objects, as well as how to use this new feature for making interesting graphical objects and simple animations.
Using Smart Shapes in Fireworks MX 2004
If you've been waiting to upgrade to Fireworks MX 2004 you're missing out on one of the really fascinating new capabilities that the program has. With Smart Shapes you can easily create complex objects like arrows, stars, rounded rectangle, and even 3-dimensional objects with click and drag ease. What's really cool is how easy it is to modify these objects once they're on you canvas, as you'll see in this introductory video tutorial.
Coding for Flash with PrimalScript
With the introduction of ActionScript 2.0, Flash MX 2004 makes creating and extending classes easier than ever. However, the Flash IDE is not ideal for working with ActionScript 2.0 classes.
In these three video tutorials, you'll learn how to use Sapien PrimalScript to code for Flash. The first video explains how to set up workspaces and projects in PrimalScript. The second video shows you how to use PrimalSense and the class browser. The final video explains how to integrate a command-line compiler with PrimalScript, so you can publish your SWFs with the touch of a button.
Understanding the Pen Tool
Ah, the Pen tool. This incredibly versatile drawing tool is also one of the most difficult tools to learn. Why don't things look the way I expect? How do I create anchor points that act the way I want? And what the heck is a Bezier curve anyway? All these questions and more are answered in the five video tutorials that you'll find here.
Bye Bye Quicktime
Does the release of Flash 7 make 3rd party media apps such as Quicktime, RealPlayer and Windows Media unneccessary?
Using Flash Elements in Dreamweaver MX 2004
One of the coolest new features of Dreamweaver MX 2004 is Flash Elements. In this tutorial, we will insert the Image Viewer Flash Element into a Dreamweaver MX 2004 document, and edit its parameters using the new Tag inspector. Image Viewer enables you to create image slide shows embedded in Flash Player 7, complete with captions, hyperlinks, and transitions. This tutorial contains Camtasia videos which will play through the Flash Player.