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With the image sequence overlay, you can create an effect of viewing an object or a scene from all sides. It's like you're standing at the center of a revolving turntable and the scene passes all around you. This effect is accomplished by playing a series of images, one right after another, which forms our progression like frames in an animation or pages in a flipbook. Let's see how it works. So here's my document and I want to add an image sequence to it. On my hard drive I have a folder full of images that I'm going to use for the image sequence, so let's take a look at them.
I'll select the first few images and open them in Preview, and as I view them, I can see that they are indeed like frames of film, they form a progression and each one is a little bit different than the previous one. Now you might be wondering at this point, how do you make a group of images like this? Well, there are several applications that can do this for you. Adobe Photoshop Extended can export an image sequence like this out of a 3D object. If you just want to have frames of an animation or video, you can use Adobe Flash Professional or Adobe After Effects, as well as other programs.
The key for our purposes here is to have a single folder of image files that are in PNG or JPEG format and they have to be named properly. They have to be named with the same root name, followed by an ascending sequence of numbers, so in this case I have Vase_ followed by the numbers with several leading 0s. For a smooth animation you should have at least 30 images in the sequence, but you don't have to have a huge number. Having too many images won't make the animation any smoother, but it will increase the file size of your folio, so experiment and find the right number for your project.
Now I'm going to go back to InDesign and start building the image sequence. I'll press Command+D or Ctrl+D to get the Place dialog box and I'll just select one of JPEGs and place it. It's not necessary to do this step, but I like it, because it helps me automatically create the frame to the exact dimensions of the image sequence. I could just start with an empty frame if I preferred. Then to make it an Image Sequence Overlay, I'll go to the Folio Overlays panel and I'll choose Image Sequence.
At the top where it says Load Images, I'll click on the folder icon and navigate to my files, Exercise Files > Links and the folder at the bottom, Vase_Image_Sequence. I'll click Open, and I can see the file path here. Now let's look at the options for an Image Sequence Overlay. If I choose Show First Image Initially, then the first image in the sequence is used as the poster, or if I select Play in Reverse down here at the bottom, then the last image will be used as the poster. I can select Auto Play to have the image sequence be played as soon as the page is viewed, but the image sequence doesn't have to begin immediately if I don't want to, because I can set a delay to occur also.
I can set the speed in terms of frames per second. The speed can vary from one frame per second up to 30 frames per second. In the case of this vase image sequence, I have 30 images, so if I set the speed to 30 frames per second, the entire sequence would take one second. If I set the speed to 15 frames per second, this sequence would take two seconds to complete and the effect would be slower. I can set the sequence to play a specific number of times, or I could have it loop endlessly, or I could have it stop at the last image. I can allow the person viewing the image sequence to swipe to change the image, and if so, I can have it stop at the first and last image if I want to.
I can also allow the user to tap to play and pause the image sequence. Now that we know what these options do, let's preview this. I'm going to set it to Auto Play with a Delay of 2 seconds, I'll enable Tap to Play/Pause. I'll set the Speed to 30 frames per second, I'll set it to Loop and I'll click Preview. Once the Preview begins, there is a 2 second delay and there's my image sequence showing me the 360 degree view of the vase.
Now this is way too fast for me. I can't really appreciate the detail of the vase or the background, I'm just kind of getting dizzy, but I can tap to play or pause it at any time, and if I want to reset it to the beginning, I can double tap. So let's slow this down. I'll go back to the Folio Overlays panel and we'll change the speed to 10 frames per second that way the sequence will now take 3 seconds to complete one cycle. I'll click Preview again, and there, that's much nicer and the same controls work to tap, to play and pause, and double tap to reset it.
An image sequence can add a very interesting and unique visual element to your DPS folio, and it's not much more difficult than placing a still image. The keys are getting the images created for the sequence in Photoshop or another application, then naming them properly and using the Folio Overlays panel to set options for speed and other controls.
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