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One of the most transformative events in the history of the web has been introduction of video through Flash. Flash changed the nature of video online almost overnight. The ease at which Flash allows video to be created and deployed over the web is directly responsible for the recent explosion of online video. In showing how committed they are at easing the deliver of online video, Adobe has given Dreamweaver the capability to insert Flash video or FLV files directly into your site even if you don't own or understand Flash itself.
Before we start using Flash video on our site, it's worth discussing how to create FLV files for your own sites. Almost every video creation and editing tool now has the capability of exporting FLV files, so if you're a video editor you should be able to create FLV files from your source editing program. If you're not Adobe ships the Adobe Media Encoder with many versions of the Creative Suite and Flash. If you don't have it, you can download a 30 day free trial at adobe.com. We need to create four FLV files from one large QuickTime Movie source file. We will use the Media Encoder to create the files at the right quality for our site and trim each one into shorter segments.
So here I have the Adobe Media Encoder open. To start encoding files, I will go up to the Add button and click Add. I will browse out to my Desktop and find my Chapter 15 folder. I'm going to go in the 15_04 folder and look inside the assets. Inside that we have one large QuickTime Movie file called, Layout_web. I'm going to go ahead and open that up. That's going to add that movie to what we call the queue and you can see the queue is right up here at the top. If you like all of the preset settings you can just start the queue and Media Encoder will go ahead and create your FLV file for you.
Now there are plenty of presets but we are going to click on the Preset so we can customize this. Now when you do that, on the left side you're going to see a little preview of the movie and on the right hand side you're going to see the Export Settings. Grab the Preset pull down menu, we are going to use FLV - Web Medium (Flash 8 and Higher), that's going to make sure that older versions of the Flash player are going to be able to see the video and the Medium setting is going to make sure that the quality is high enough to look good but low enough to playback over most connections.
Currently I'm looking at the Adobe Media Encoder Export Settings in the Simple mode and when I click on this circle which will take us into Advanced mode, I don't really necessarily want to go through all the settings but if I click on the Video tab I'm able to resize this video. So I'm going to click on Resize this Video, I will make sure that I'm constraining the Width and Height. I'm going to resize it to 320 pixels wide. Then the next thing I'm going to do is go ahead and choose what portion of the video I want to export for this particular file. I have got a little Scrubber toolbar over here that allows me to scrub through and then I have these Set In Point and Set Out Point icons that will allow me to set a start point and an end point for my video. So I could go to the beginning and say well let's start with that scene and set the In Point and then I could mouse over through the video until I find him just about the surf and then maybe right about here I set the Out Point.
Notice that we are going to export out a much smaller video file than our entire video. I'm going to go ahead and click OK and now we are ready to go ahead and start our queue. Now, before I do that, I mentioned that we were actually going to do four of these, so instead of having to redo this every single time, notice that once you get your settings down you can simply duplicate this few more times and each time you can click the Custom Preset and all of these settings are going to fine. We are just going to adjust our In Points and our Out Points. So for the next video I want to do a little segment on them surfing, so will start where they start surfing, set the end point and actually you may need to go ahead and move these In points and Out points and then I'm going to scrub over to where they are done surfing, maybe when he is walking up with his board about right here and I will set the Out Point, perfect.
You could write down these time codes if you really wanted to, we will click OK. Now let's do our third one and for this one there is some interview segments at the end of this and we are going to break those interview segments up into two interviews. So I'm going to scrub over with my playhead until I see the interview starting and you can use your arrow keys to nudge it a frame at a time. So if you get close to it, you can hold down your arrow key until you see the exact frame you're looking for. Here I will start my In Point and then I will go through the second interview and when that interview is over, I will set the Out Point, perfect. One more to go and with this one - and now the Out Point is going to go all the way to the end. So all I have got to do is really take a look at the In Point and that is when our third interview starts right there.
So again just going to go back to fourth until I find this interview starting and then set my In Point. I will go and click OK. So now we are ready to create our FLV files and there is one more thing we need to do before we start the queue, you'll notice that they are all given sort of these generic names, Layout_web, Layout_web1, Layout_web2, well they don't mean anything in terms of our context. So I'm going to click on the output file here and in the 15_04, _assets folder, we are going to go ahead and name these. I'm going to name the first one, intro. I'm going to go ahead and name the second one, surfing. We will name the third one, interview_ 01 and the last one, we will name, interview_02.
Now, we are ready to create our files and I'm just going to click Start Queue. When you do that, you're going to see a little preview of the file in the lower right hand corner and you'll see a progress bar down here. It's a pretty quick Media Encoder. It usually doesn't take it very long at all to create these movies. The Flash Media Encoder is an amazingly powerful tool but it's simple enough to use and comes with enough presets to deliver high quality video regardless of your experience level. Now that we have our FLV files, we will tackle integrating video into our site in the next movie.
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