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In Flash Catalyst CS5 Essential Training, author Mordy Golding demonstrates how to create and publish fully interactive Flash (SWF) micro sites, widgets, portfolios, and applications from static Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks artwork—all without writing code. The course covers planning a project, importing and organizing assets, creating interactive components, defining repeating data lists, and publishing final projects. Exercise files are included with the course.
To really bring the feel of an interactive tour here online we want to incorporate some video clips of the tour itself inside of this application. In this project called olive_tour_ media I can click on the Picking page and you can see that I've put an image here, but I've also created both Pause and Play Buttons. The intention here is that the image itself is just the placeholder for a video clip that I'm eventually going to put in this location. One of the great things about working with Flash Catalyst is how easy it is to incorporate video into your project, however we need to make sure first that the video is in the correct format.
Flash Catalyst has the ability to place Flash Video into a project and they can be either in the formats of FLV or F4V. Chances are any of the video clips that you already have or any video clips that you might get from your client or from anyone of you might hire to shoot them are not going to be in any of those 2 formats. However the good news is Adobe includes a separate utility called Adobe Media Encoder. Using this separate utility you can convert practically any video format into either FLV or F4V necessary for placing them into Flash Catalyst.
You'll launch Adobe Media Encoder just like any other Application. On Windows you'll find it in your Start menu and on a Mac you'll find it in your Applications folder. I'm going to switch over now to Adobe Media Encoder and using it is pretty straightforward. All I need to do is add existing video clips into this window here, or my queue, then I'll specify the settings for how I want that video to be encoded and I'll end up with the correct file that I'll need to use in Flash Catalyst. One of the really nice things to note about Adobe Media Encoder is that it's the same technology used in Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium.
In other words the results that you get with Adobe Media Encoder are the same results that a professional expects to get when they're using tools like After Effects or Premiere Pro. To add a video clip you can either click on the Add Button here or quite simply from my Desktop here I have a folder which is in Chapter 7 of my Exercise Files and it contains a QuickTime video clip. I can simply select this file and drag it into this window in Adobe Media Encoder. You can see that in my queue it tells me the source name, which format I'm going to convert it into and the output file will go into the same folder.
Currently my queue is waiting to start processing. What's really great about Adobe Media Encoder is that I have the ability to actually add multiple video clips, and have them all be encoded in the background while I work on something else. In the pop-up here for Presets you can choose from a variety different Presets. In this case I'm going to choose F4V and Match Source Attributes for Medium Quality. Next I'll click on the Start Queue Button to allow Adobe Media Encoder to convert this now to the proper format.
You can see the status here across the bottom, you can see a preview of the video clip right here, and I can even go back now to Flash Catalyst to continue working while that's happening. This is one of the benefits of having a separate program doing all the encoding for me. If I go back to Adobe Media Encoder I'll see now that that file has been completed and there's a little checkmark here that lets me know it's done. A quick look inside of the folder reveals that in addition to the QuickTime file, I now have a Flash Video file that I can use inside of my Flash Catalyst project.
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