This video contains a look at the details of InDesign’s media support and best practices for working with audio and video in interactive documents. You can export InDesign files as PDFs, EPUBs, and Publish Online documents with embedded or streaming video and audio. The use of Adobe Media Encoder is also demonstrated to convert a video’s size and format.
- [Instructor] Since InDesign is primarily a page layout tool, with its origins in print production, you might be surprised to know that it has offered support for placing audio and video all the way back to the CS2 days. And now you can export InDesign files as PDFs, ePubs and Publish Online documents, with embedded or streaming video and audio. So, let's take a look at the details of InDesign's media support and some best practices. The first thing to know when it comes to working with media in InDesign, is which formats are supported for placing and output.
When it comes to putting audio into your InDesign documents, you should use the MP3 format. If you have audio in other formats, you can use tools like iTunes on Mac or Windows, to convert it to MP3. For video, you can place files in Flash Video format, and SWF files. As well as H.264 encoded files. Of those formats, the recommended best practice is to use the H.264 encoded files, because they're fully supported within InDesign. So you get to use all the controls in the media panel, and they're supported on mobile devices.
Also note that you can place animated GIFs into your InDesign files. They won't play if you export it to interactive PDF, but they will work just fine in ePub and Publish Online documents. Another best practice when you're planning to embed video in your projects is to keep the file size down as much as possible. By trimming clips to the length you intend your viewers to see. And choosing a size that's appropriate for your output. Do these tasks before you bring the video into InDesign. Common sizes, like 400x300 and 640x360, often work well.
If you're planning to publish to the iPad, and you want full-screen video, make it 1024 pixels wide. In terms of tools you can use to work with video, Adobe's Media Encoder application, or the open-source application Handbrake, will allow you to convert video to different formats, change cropping, aspect ratio, frame-rate, compression level and other tasks. And both applications work on both Windows and Mac. Ultimately, your goal is to find the right balance of file size and video quality.
Obviously, you want your video to look as good as possible, but not at the expense of creating huge, bloated files that are slow to transfer and load. Let's take a quick look at how to use Adobe Media Encoder CC to convert video formats. Here in the finder, I have a video that H.264 encoded, QuickTime format, with the extension MOV. And I can see that it's pretty large. It's over 60 megabytes right now. In fact, that's so large that it won't be included in the exercise files for this course.
So, don't worry when you don't see it in the folder for this movie. So, let's bring this into Adobe Media Encoder. In the Media Encoder window, on the top right you'll see the queue. Now, you can either drag and drop files into this queue area, or you can click the plus button to add them. I'll navigate to the Desktop, select this Falling Candy movie, and click Open. If I hover my cursor over the video, I can see its specs. So, right now its size is 720x480, it's 30 frames per second, and it's 16 seconds long.
Below that are pop-up menus where I can choose an output format. And a preset with a size and frame-rate. I can also choose an output location by clicking on this file path. And note here, I can also change the name of the output file. I'm just going to leave it as Falling Candy on the Desktop. So, I'll cancel out of here. Clicking either the format, or the preset choice opens the Export Settings window. So I'll click on H.264, I get the Export Settings Window.
And here, I can do things like trim the clip by dragging the start and endpoints, down here at the bottom left. I can tweak the audio and video settings. I can add effects, work with captions. And I can publish my output directly to Creative Cloud or Facebook by enabling these options. So, in the export settings at the top, I'll make sure that the format is H.264. And for the preset, I'll scroll down.
I'll choose Apple iPhone, iPod - 320x240. I'll click OK, and then with my settings ready to go, I'll click the green play button to start the conversion. I can see it progressing, and when it's done, I can click the file path to reveal the new video file on my computer. And here, I can see that the file size is way down, 1.1 MB. I'll press the space bar here on the Mac, to preview the video with Quick Look.
And there it is. So to sum up, when working with media in interactive documents, it's important to understand which formats to use so your media will look good, and function on mobile devices. Remember to use H.264 encoded video in MP4 format, and MP3s for audio. Animated GIFs will also work in ePub and Publish Online. Also, for best results crop and trim your videos before placing them in InDesign. And make the file sizes as small as possible.
- Overview of interactive document types, including PDF and EPUB
- Creating interactive objects
- Setting up hyperlinks, cross-references, and a table of contents
- Working with media
- Publishing documents with Publish Online
- Creating EPUBs
- Following workflows for interactivity: interactive PDF, reflowable EPUB, and fixed-layout EPUB