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David Blatner brings his knowledge of and passion for InDesign to the latest release of this state-of-the-art publishing program, showing how to harness its power and functionality. InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics covers the process of publishing with an eye on the program's latest nuances: optimizing page layouts, automating InDesign with Data Merge and XML, exploring interactive documents (including making movies), and exporting publications to a variety of formats. Exercise files accompany the course.
Movies? In InDesign? Why would you want to do that? Well, once you get your head around the idea that you can create a whole multimedia experience inside InDesign, movies and animations are natural extensions. Just like buttons, movies don't do anything inside InDesign, but they can come to life when you export a PDF file. However, note that movies will not show up when you export a Flash SWF file, just PDF. Let's import a movie. How do you do it? Well, it's just like importing any other graphic. We'll go to the File menu, choose Place and then pick the movie out of our Links folder, here it is. It's a QuickTime movie and InDesign can read pretty much any QuickTime movie. You could even import a SWF file into InDesign or at least some SWF files. But to be honest I have had mixed results in using SWF files inside InDesign, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
So I usually stick to a QuickTime movie. I click Open and then just click for it to make a frame and put the movie into it. Let me drag this up with the Selection tool until it centered inside of this boundary, and we've got a QuickTime movie object sitting on our page and that's it. Well, not quite. Maybe we should add a little bit of a control over that QuickTime movie. We can do that by going to the Object menu, choosing Interactive and then Movie Options, but honestly, that's a slow way. The fast way is just double-click on the movie. When you double-click, it opens the Movie Options dialog box.
Here we can change its name if we want to, we can add a description if we want to. That's just optional. Here is the really important stuff. Source, right now it's set up to the chocolate.mov. If we wanted to switch to a different movie, just click the Choose button, but right now I am going to stick with that one. I typically do want to embed my movies into PDF files, otherwise the movies would be separate outside of the PDF and if I sent the PDF to someone, I would have to send them the movie too and that could be ugly. So, I am going to embed the movie into PDF.
Now a different option other than choosing a file of your hard drive is to specify a URL. This is kind of wacky, but bear with me. You could put a movie like a QuickTime movie on a web server somewhere. As long as you have a web address, a URL, you can target that movie. You can put the movie out on the web. Then you simply type in the URL here, click Verify URL and Movie Size and it goes out and make sure that it can make a connection with that movie and then you are done. Acrobat itself will stream that movie live over the web into your Acrobat PDF file.
It's very cool and very efficient in some circumstances. On the other hand, if you are sending a PDF to someone who may not have web access, then you definitely don't want to be doing that, because they won't be able to stream the movie. In this case, I am just going to stick with Choose a File. I have got the file on my hard drive and I'll just go with that one. Now, down to the Options section. Poster, what is the poster? The poster is what Acrobat displays when the movie is are not running. Right now, it's set to Default Poster, which is typically the first frame of the movie. But I could choose something different if I want to. For example, I could choose Standard and then I get this very silly looking graphic. I have no idea why would you want to do that, but you can if you want to.
You can also choose a Movie Frame as the Poster. If I select that I get this other dialog box that appears and I can see what this movie actually looks like. I can play it right within this movie or just drag this little slider along the bottom and pick a frame that I want to use for my movie poster. In this case, that still doesn't work for me. So I am going to click Cancel and instead I am going to choose a poster, which is an image on my disk. Now, to choose that image, I click on the Choose button, I select the image that I want, this one is called chocolate_screen.psd, just a regular Photoshop file and I click Open. It gives you a little thumbnail here, kind of hard to see this but it says, 'click to play movie.' So I am going to use that as my poster image.
By the way, there is a little secret tip. You could actually use a high-res file for your poster image and then in your PDF document, if someone prints it, Acrobat uses the high-res version to print. But if they play it on screen, it uses the low-res version to play the movie on screen, kind of cool! The Mode pop-up menu lets us control how that movie is going to play. Do you want to play it once and then stop at the end or play once and stay open, which is relevant if you are using a floating window especially, or Repeat Play? That is, loop it over and over again. In this case, I am just going to play it once. I can also choose to play on Page Turn, which means as soon that page appears on screen, start the movie going. I am not going to do that right now, but it's nice to know I have that option.
I can also show the controller during the play. The controller is the little thing that shows up at the bottom that gives you the Play/Pause buttons and that little slider that you can pick what frame you want. Also, in this circumstance, I am not going to be putting that on. Then the floating window has to do with, do you want the movie to play right inside the PDF itself or do you want it to open a new window and play the movie inside of that? In different circumstances you might want different things. So, in this case I am going to leave that turn off as well, because I kind of like having this play inside this decorative frame that I put there. So this all looks pretty good. So I'll click OK and I can see that it automatically puts the Poster there and so I can see what it's going to look like in the PDF and I can try it out.
Now, before I try it out though, I do want to point out a couple of warnings. First, you don't want to put any objects on top of your movies, you might be tempted to do some kind of cool design with the movie behind some other object. But generally, don't want to do that, because the movie when it plays will usually jump to that front and then it will obscure the objects that you were trying to put in front of the movie. So that's not a good idea. Another thing is, you can actually crop this down to play just a piece of it, but depending on the version of Acrobat, you may not get the results you want. So I do not recommend that people crop their movies, typically in InDesign.
Generally, it would be better to just have the frame exactly of the same size as the movie. So I'll go to Object > Fitting and use Fit Frame to Content, just to make sure the frame is exactly of the same size as the movie. Lastly, you don't want to use any special effects that would affect the movie itself, like changing its transparency or anything like that. That's advanced stuff. That is not going to look the way you want when it gets to Acrobat. But in this case, we just have a simple movie or a simple poster on a simple page, we are going to try it out, see if it works.
File > Export, I'll put on my desktop as a PDF file, click Save and the key here, as I've talked about in earlier movies in this chapter, you want to make sure you have the Interactive Elements checkbox turned on. A movie is an Interactive Element and without that checkbox it will not show up in the final PDF. Now, Multimedia pop-up menu, this pop- up menu here has two options: Use Object Settings, Link All or Embed All. Now I have already told InDesign to embed that movie into the PDF, so if I choose Use Object Settings, it will be embedded.
But let's say I forgot to specify that on some of my movies. I could force it to embed all of the movies by choosing Embed All from this pop-up menu, or let's say I decide I don't want them embedded after all. I could choose Link All instead. Those override the object settings themselves. In this case, I am just going to use the Object Settings, because I know I set it up properly and I'll click Export and have it write the PDF to disk. When it opens in Acrobat, it opens to the first page of the PDF, so I am going to click on the Stores button to jump me to the second page. That's where the movie was.
I can see the movie poster, click to play movie, I'll click on it and see what happens. This drives me crazy in Acrobat! This is a standard thing that happens with all interactive documents as soon as you have any kind of QuickTime or movie or something, it says "Do you trust it, do you trust it? Are you sure you want to play it?" There is no real way around that necessarily except for you could manage Acrobat's Preferences, but that will drive you crazy. So just bear with me. I'll click Play and now the movie starts playing right within my document. That's nice because this is still interactive, my rollover buttons still work, I could still move to another page if I want to. I don't have any control over here, so I can't start and stop this easily, but still, the movie is playing and that's a good thing.
Building movies into your PDF files can turn a plain vanilla document into a super deluxe banana split. Now, in the next movie, we are going to look at how to import sound files with that final maraschino cherry on top.
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