Join Keith Gilbert for an in-depth discussion in this video Prepare video, part of InDesign: Fixed-Layout EPUB Interactive Techniques & Publish Online.
- [Voiceover] To include video in an EPUB or a Publish Online file, the video must be prepared to certain specifications for it to work properly, and you'll want the file size to be as small as possible as well. If you have a buddy who is a video professional perhaps you can bribe him or her to prepare the video to your specifications, otherwise there's a few things you'll need to learn to do yourself. Luckily most of this can be done in Photoshop. In the Exercise Files folder, open the 06_01_video_begin file.
You'll see I've placed a frame on this page that I eventually want to put a video clip in. And I want the video to be exactly this size. And if we look at the control bar at the top of the screen, we'll see that that rectangle is 660 pixels wide by 370 pixels high. So I need to prepare my video to those exact dimensions. You don't want to size or crop video in InDesign. In the Exercise Files folder, open the 06_01_video_high_res_begin file.
That should open in QuickTime. In QuickTime Player we see that this is a 16 x 9 format video that's letterbox with black bars at the top and at the bottom, and it's almost 80 megabytes in size, 2000 pixels wide, much larger in both dimension and file size than we need in our final EPUB or Publish Online project. So let's see what we can do about that. Open the 06_01_video_high_res_begin file right into Photoshop.
Even though this is a video content that has opened up in Photoshop, we can apply much of our knowledge of how to work with still images to video. For example, I can crop video, just like I would crop a still image. So I'm going to pick up my crop tool. I'm going to set my preset here to W x H x Resolution, and then I'm going to enter the exact dimensions that I want for my crop. So I want 660 pixels by 370 pixels. And that neatly trims off the top and bottom black bars and then I just double click inside the crop boundary to apply the crop.
And you might get a message about converting this to a smart object layer, that's just fine, go ahead and click Convert. And you'll see that the video gets cropped and resized. Now we're going to save this out in the proper format. To do that, go to File, Export, Render Video. And just give the file a name and a location, and then choose Adobe Media Encoder for the type of output. And then there's three different formats to choose from here, we just want H.264.
Basically, InDesign for EPUB and Publish Online purposes needs video to be an MP4 file with H.264 encoding, you don't need to know what that means, just that's what it has to be. So choosing H.264 here is what we want and for the preset we want Low Quality because this is going to play back on a small screen in a small size, we don't need anything beyond that. It's going to default to outputting it at the size at which we cropped it, so then all we need to do is click on the Render button.
Rendering video out can take a long time depending on the length of the video and the amount of compression needed, so you might be in for a bit of a wait here while it does this. Photoshop makes it easy to do many other video production tasks such as trimming time off the start or end of a clip, color correction, fading to black, and more. To learn these techniques, watch the Moving Images chapter of Julieanne Kost's Photoshop CC Essential Training course or the Editing Video chapter of Deke McClelland's Photoshop CC One-on-One: Mastery course.
Once Photoshop has exported your MP4 file double click on it to play it in QuickTime Player, and you'll see that it's now much smaller but it's no longer letterboxed. It still should be sufficient quality for the size at which we're going to use it, and if we look in the Inspector up here in QuickTime we'll see that now it's only six megabytes. And it's exactly the dimensions that we intended. I always try to aim for a goal of 10 megabytes per minute of video, so this is right in that range.
Both Adobe Media Encoder, a component of Adobe Creative Cloud, and the free program HandBrake are excellent options for further compressing video. Proper preparation of your video files will ensure that they play back smoothly, while keeping file sizes to a minimum.
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- Creating a scrolling panorama
- Embedding video
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