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Hands-On Guide to Flash Video

Book Description

The Hands-On Guide to Flash Video is a professional reference book written by industry experts that are currently helping professionals produce Web video and implement Flash Media Server. This book covers Flash Video production from soup to nuts, beginning with how to configure your camcorder and ending to advanced server techniques like bandwidth detection and FMS logging and reporting. Real word lessons from case studies of successful Flash Video deployments are also included.

Supplemental files located at:

By reading this book, you'll learn to:

* Shoot high quality video for streaming
* Choose the best encoder and encoding techniques for producing Flash Video
* Deploy Flash Video via progressive download or via the Flash Media Server.
* Create and light a compression friendly set
* Deinterlace and preprocess your video prior to encoding
* Choose encoding parameters like data rate, resolution and frame rate
* Optimize encoding with Sorenson Squeeze, Flix Pro and the Adobe Flash Video Encoder
* Shoot and produce chromakey video for alpha channel delivery
* Customize a Flash player via skinning, and use Cue Points for navigation
* Setup, install, and maintain Flash Media Server

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Halftitle
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. Contents
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. Introduction
  9. About the Authors
  10. 1. Quick Start
    1. Creating the FLV File
    2. Importing the FLV File into Flash
    3. Exporting the Application
    4. Deploying the Application
    5. Conclusion
  11. 2. The Streaming Media Landscape
    1. Bandwidth and Data Rate
    2. Interframe Compression and Video Quality
    3. The Importance of Knowing Your Target
    4. Limit Extraneous Motion
    5. Conclusion
  12. 3. Designing Your Set
    1. Background Choice Is Critical
    2. Choosing and Using Synthetic Backgrounds
    3. Creating Compression-Friendly Real-World Sets
    4. Dressing for Streaming Success
    5. Theory Is Great, but Test Anyway
    6. Conclusion
  13. 4. Lighting the Set
    1. Use at Least Three Lights
    2. Use Soft Lights
    3. Use Flat Rather than Three-Point Lighting
    4. Checking Exposure on the Set
    5. Lighting for Chroma Key
    6. Conclusion
  14. 5. Streaming-Related Shooting Skills
    1. Minimize Motion during Shooting
    2. Ignore the Safe Zone
    3. Framing Your Shots
    4. Using Rule-of-Thirds Positioning
    5. Camera Settings for Optimum Quality
    6. Producing a Soft Background
    7. Conclusion
  15. 6. Correcting Video and Audio Problems
    1. Introducing the Waveform Monitor
    2. Color Correcting Your Footage
    3. Fixing Backlit Video
    4. Fixing Audio-Related Problems
    5. Noise Reduction
    6. Understanding Compression and Normalization
    7. Perfecting Normalization
    8. Conclusion
  16. 7. Preparing for Compression
    1. What We Know about Flash Output Parameters
    2. That Whole Square-Pixel Thing
    3. Summary and Recommendations
    4. Scaling to Your Target Resolution—Where and When?
    5. Producing the Correct Output Resolution in Premiere Pro
    6. Producing the Correct Output Resolution in Final Cut Pro
    7. Producing the Correct Output Resolution in After Effects
    8. Preprocessing Your Video
    9. Conclusion
  17. 8. Producing Alpha Channel Video
    1. Perfecting the Chroma Key
    2. Creating QuickTime Movies with an Alpha Channel
    3. Creating the FLV File with Alpha Channel
    4. Application-Specific Details
    5. Deploying FLV Files with an Alpha Channel
    6. Conclusion
  18. 9. Encoding Your Video
    1. High-Level Editing Workflow
    2. Which Codec, Spark or VP6?
    3. VBR or CBR?
    4. Advanced Encoding Controls
    5. Output and Encoding Workflows
    6. My Decisions and Targets
    7. Application-Specific Details
    8. Encoding with On2 Flix Pro
    9. Encoding with Sorenson Squeeze
    10. Encoding with the Flash Video Encoder
    11. Conclusion
  19. 10. Flash Video Concepts
    1. A Brief History of Flash
    2. What Exactly is Flash?
    3. The Evolution of Flash Video Codecs
    4. Delivery Options for Flash Video
    5. Flash Player Compatibilities
    6. Conclusion
  20. 11. Deploying Progressive Flash Video
    1. Deploying Flash Video—An Overview
    2. Player Components
    3. Deploying Progressively Loaded FLV Video Files Using the FLV Playback Component
    4. Dreamweaver 8 Insert Flash Video Dialogue
    5. Playing an FLV File Using ActionScript
    6. Deploying a SWF File
    7. The Eolas Patent
    8. Introducing SWFObject
    9. Conclusion
  21. 12. Customizing the FLV Playback Component
    1. Introduction to Skinning and Customization
    2. Modifying an Existing FLV Playback Skin
    3. Adding Custom Designs to the FLV Playback Component
    4. Using the FLV Playback Custom UI Controls
    5. Conclusion
  22. 13. Using Cue Points
    1. Introduction to Cue Points
    2. Cue Point Types
    3. Adding and Processing Cue Points
    4. Conclusion
  23. 14. Controlling Your Content
    1. Introduction
    2. Using FlashVars for Configuration
    3. Summary
    4. Using the LoadVars Object for Configuration
    5. Using an XML File for Configuration
    6. Reliably Detecting the End of an FLV Video
    7. Looping Playback
    8. Playing Videos Back to Back
    9. Conclusion
  24. 15. Advanced Effects and Playback Options
    1. Creating a Glow Effect in Flash
    2. Creating a Glow Effect Using ActionScript
    3. Using Alpha Channel Video
    4. Video Snapshots Using BitmapData
    5. Playing Full-Screen Flash Video
    6. Adding the Stage Listener
    7. Processing FLV Metadata
    8. Statistics and Reporting on Progressive FLV Delivery
    9. Conclusion
  25. 16. Introduction to Flash Media Server
    1. Overview of Flash Media Server
    2. Installing Flash Media Server
    3. Examining the Server’s Folder Structure
    4. RTMP Connection Routines
    5. Connection Tips and Examples
    6. Conclusion
  26. 17. Streaming Video with Flash Media Server
    1. On-Demand Streaming Using ActionScript
    2. On-Demand Streaming Using the FLV Playback Component
    3. Using SMIL and the FLV Playback Component for Bandwidth Detection
    4. Streaming Flash Video Using a Flash Streaming Service Provider (FVSS)
    5. Live Flash Video
    6. Conclusion
  27. 18. Advanced Flash Media Server Techniques
    1. Using Virtual Directories to Organize FLV Files
    2. Serving Streams According to Flash Player Version Using Virtual Keys
    3. Using Bandwidth Detection
    4. Logging and Reporting
    5. The Power of SharedObjects
    6. Conclusion
  28. 19. Case Studies
    1. The Roanoke Times
    2. Cnet Uk
    3. ESPN
    4. Digital Life TV
    5. Blip.TV
    6. Conclusion
  29. Index