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Video with Adobe Flash CS4 Professional Studio Techniques

Book Description

The definitive guide to creating video for the Web

In Video with Adobe Flash CS4 Professional Studio Techniques, Robert Reinhardt goes beyond the entry-level coverage found in other books to bring you a comprehensive look at what you really need to know to produce, host, and distribute Flash-compatible video on the Web, including FLV and AVC/H.264 content. Real world examples and hands-on projects with sample video files provide the expert training you need with tips and insights that everyone can benefit from.

You’ll learn:

  • Basic methods, from preproduction through delivery, including

  • capturing, processing, and compressing your video.

  • Production essentials for sharing your footage on the Web, including setting up your Web page and server for seamless video playback and how to create your own video player.

  • Advanced techniques, including building an index and play list, adding captions and banner ads, and designing a comprehensive video experiencefor your audience.

  • The DVD-ROM includes complete sample Flash files as shown throughout the book. More than 2 GB of source files are provided, including High Definition (HD) clips, which you can use to perfect your video compression skills. The source files for each chapter are found in the corresponding Lessons folder on the disc.


  • Robert Reinhardt is a highly respected authority on Flash and Flash video. He has authored or co-authored numerous books on Flash, including the Flash Bible and the Flash ActionScript Bible, and his blog and other online articles draw a wide audience. He has developed multimedia courses for educational facilities in Canada and the United States and is an Adobe Certified Instructor for Flash courses at Portland State University. He is a former Vice President of the Multimedia Platforms Group at Schematic and now works with a wide range of clients from his base in Portland, Oregon. A frequent presenter at conferences such as Flashforward, FITC, Flashbelt, and NAB, he is also a contributor at DesignProVideo.com. Forums and updates for this book can be found at FlashSupport.com, where you can share questions and answers with Robert and other readers.

    Table of Contents

    1. Copyright
    2. About the Author
    3. About the Technical Editor
    4. Acknowledgments
    5. Introduction
      1. End-to-End Production Know-how
      2. Who Should Read This Book?
      3. What’s in This Book?
      4. What’s on the DVD?
      5. Where Do I Go Beyond This Book?
    6. I. Working Foundations
      1. 1. Pre-production Primer
        1. Designing the Video Experience
          1. Nonfloating rectangular video
          2. Floating rectangular video
          3. Masked video
          4. Chroma-keyed video
          5. Resizable video
        2. Planning Your Video Shoot
          1. Storyboards and shot lists
          2. Location scouting
          3. Talent
          4. Wardrobe, props, and other considerations
        3. Selecting Equipment
          1. Video formats
            1. High-definition (HD) video
            2. Standard-definition (SD) video
          2. Video cameras
            1. Imaging device
            2. Lens quality
            3. Exposure control
          3. Microphones
            1. Balanced audio
            2. Unbalanced audio
          4. Lighting
          5. Tripods and stands
          6. Hard drives and storage
          7. Backdrops
      2. 2. Capturing and Processing Video
        1. Capturing Video
          1. Guidelines for better video captures
            1. Connecting the video device to your computer
            2. Running your video capture program
            3. Specifying a capture location
            4. Initiating the capture process
            5. Saving the clip list
            6. Backing up the capture files and source tape
          2. Video acquisition with Adobe Premiere CS4
            1. Preparing your video device
            2. Creating a new project and sequence
            3. Starting a video capture
        2. Processing Video with Adobe After Effects CS4
          1. Rendered video effects vs. real-time Flash effects
          2. Basic video effects
            1. Adjusting color temperature in After Effects
            2. De-interlacing video with After Effects
      3. 3. Compression and Encoding Primer
        1. Distinguishing Source Files and Their Differences
          1. Ideal source file formats
            1. Apple QuickTime (MOV)
            2. Microsoft Video for Windows (AVI)
            3. MPEG
          2. Ideal source video codecs
            1. DV codec
            2. DVCPro, DVCPro HD, and AVC-Intra codecs
            3. MPEG codecs
            4. Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) codecs
            5. Hardware-specific codecs
            6. Apple HD codecs
            7. Lossless video codecs
          3. Ideal source audio format
        2. Understanding Video File Bit Rates
          1. Variations within clip properties
          2. Variations within subject matter
          3. Variations in audio quality
          4. Variations in connection speed
        3. Learning About Player Versions and Codec Options
          1. Sorenson Spark codec (H.263)
            1. Strengths
            2. Weaknesses
            3. When to use it
          2. On2 VP6-E codec
            1. Strengths
            2. Weaknesses
            3. When to use it
          3. On2 VP6-S codec
            1. Strengths
            2. Weaknesses
            3. When to use it
          4. AVC/H.264 codec
            1. Strengths
            2. Weaknesses
            3. When to use it
          5. Screen recording codecs
          6. Audio codecs
        4. Determining Your Video Compression Profiles
          1. Total bit rate
          2. Audio bit rate
          3. Video bit rate
          4. Frame size
          5. Frame rate
          6. Keyframe interval
          7. CBR and VBR encoding
      4. 4. Delivery and Deployment Primer
        1. File Formats: SWF, FLV, H.264, and HTML
          1. Embedded video (SWF)
          2. External video (FLV or H.264)
          3. Video playback (SWF or AIR)
          4. Web page (HTML)
        2. Protocols: HTTP vs. RTMP
          1. HTTP
          2. RTMP
          3. Protocol usage
            1. Encoding parameters
            2. Guaranteed access
            3. Content protection
            4. Online or offline playback
            5. Duration of content
        3. Delivery: Web Server, Flash Media Server, or CDN?
          1. Low-volume Web site with limited video
          2. Low-volume Web site with protected or long content
          3. High-volume Web site with distributable content
          4. High-volume Web site with protected content
        4. Playback: Live Streaming vs. Prerecorded
          1. Requirements for live streaming from Flash Player
          2. Built-in real-time compression
          3. Comparing live streaming video to prerecorded video
        5. Budgets: Bandwidth and Transfer Rates
          1. Real-time streaming video
          2. Progressive-download video
          3. Bottom line: estimate your transfer rates
    7. II. Production Essentials
      1. 5. Placing Video on a Web Page
        1. Integrating FLV Video with Dreamweaver
          1. Setting up the FLVPlayer SWF
          2. Detecting Flash Player with SWFObject
        2. Playing Video with Flash CS4 Components
          1. Picking a Flash Player version
          2. Playing video with the FLVPlayback component for Flash Player 9 and newer
            1. Building a video player with video assigned at author time
            2. Creating a video player with an HTML-assigned video
          3. Using the FLVPlayback component for Flash Player 8
            1. Making a video player with a video assigned at author time
            2. Creating a video player with an HTML-assigned video
          4. Navigating the MediaPlayback component for Flash Player 6 and 7
            1. Making an FLV player with an FLV assigned at author time
            2. Constructing an FLV player with an HTML-assigned FLV
        3. Gathering Files for Deployment
          1. Dreamweaver FLV Player
          2. FLVPlayback for Flash Player 9
          3. FLVPlayback for Flash Player 8
          4. MediaPlayback for Flash Player 7
      2. 6. Exploring the FLVPlayback Components
        1. Overview of the Components
        2. Configuring the Component
          1. For the FLVPlayback component (AS3)
          2. For the FLVPlayback component (AS2)
        3. Enhancing Playback with Cue Points
          1. Planning cue point usage
            1. Cue point types
            2. Cue point behavior
          2. Creating embedded cue points in Adobe Media CS4
          3. Implementing embedded cue points
        4. Dynamically Placing Video on the Stage
          1. Building solutions with ActionScript 2.0
            1. Attaching an instance on the first frame
            2. Loading a preview image
          2. Producing results with ActionScript 3.0
            1. Creating an instance on the first frame
            2. Loading a preview image
        5. Modifying Skins
          1. Creating a modified FLVPlayback skin for Flash Player 8
          2. Revising an FLVPlayback skin for Flash Player 9
        6. Building a Player with Custom UI Components
      3. 7. Building Your Own Video Player
        1. Making a Connection
          1. ActionScript 2.0—progressive-download video
          2. ActionScript 2.0—real-time streaming video
          3. ActionScript 3.0—progressive-download video
          4. ActionScript 3.0—real-time streaming video
        2. Building Basic Playback Controls
          1. Pausing the video on load
            1. ActionScript 2.0
            2. ActionScript 3.0
          2. Adding Play and Pause buttons
            1. ActionScript 2.0
            2. ActionScript 3.0
        3. Reading Metadata from a Video
          1. ActionScript 2.0
          2. ActionScript 3.0
        4. Enabling a Full-Screen Mode
          1. ActionScript 2.0
          2. ActionScript 3.0
      4. 8. Integrating Multiple Bit Rates
        1. Knowing When to Offer More Than One Bit Rate
        2. Determining Which Bit Rates to Offer
          1. Content scaling
          2. Content quality
          3. Connection speeds
          4. Capacity
        3. Preparing SMIL Files
        4. Calculating Available Bandwidth
          1. Placing bandwidth bets over RTMP
            1. Installing the server-side script
            2. Setting up the FLVPlayback component
          2. Estimating bandwidth over HTTP
            1. Monitoring download speed with ActionScript 2.0
            2. Calculating download speed with ActionScript 3.0
        5. Enabling Dynamic Buffering with a Real-Time Stream
          1. Dual buffering with ActionScript 2.0
          2. Dual buffering with ActionScript 3.0
        6. Using Dynamic Streaming with Flash Media Server 3.5
    8. III. Creative Explorations
      1. 9. Building a Video Index and Playlist
        1. Making a Marker Index for Video
          1. Retrieving cue point data
          2. Creating buttons for each cue point
          3. Changing the button color during playback
        2. Building a Video Playlist
          1. Determining an XML schema
          2. Loading the playlist
        3. Playing Video Ads During a Video Feature
          1. Defining the XML schema
          2. Instantiating the PlaylistManager class
      2. 10. Constructing Banner Ads and Captioned Videos
        1. Coding a Video Banner Ad
          1. Reviewing the technical requirements
          2. Surveying the assets
          3. Controlling playback of the interactive ad
          4. Adding captions to the ad
            1. Reviewing Captionate’s XML schema
            2. Implementing the custom Captions class
        2. Controlling Captions with Timed Text XML
          1. Understanding the Timed Text schema
          2. Integrating the FLVPlaybackCaptioning component
      3. 11. Constructing an Interactive Video Host
        1. Planning the User Interface
          1. Understanding the business objectives
          2. Reviewing the technical requirements
          3. Surveying the production requirements
        2. Producing the Video Footage
          1. Shooting the video
            1. Reviewing the equipment and costs
            2. Rolling the tape
          2. Editing the video
          3. Processing the footage in After Effects
        3. Encoding a Flash-Ready Video
          1. Establishing specifications
          2. Adding cue points
        4. Developing the ActionScript 3.0 Code Base
          1. Core classes
            1. DraggableWord class
            2. WordCollection class
            3. VideoWords class
          2. Document class
      4. 12. Delivering a Reliable Video Experience
        1. Creating a Deployment Plan
          1. Defining progressive enhancement
          2. Examining the technical requirements
          3. Assessing the production requirements
        2. Encoding the Flash-Ready Video
          1. Establishing specifications
          2. Improving the source video file
            1. Removing interlacing and cropping the footage in Adobe After Effects
            2. Extracting an audio track in MPEG Streamclip
            3. Combining the video and audio tracks in QuickTime Player Pro
          3. Determining encoding profiles
          4. Creating the compression presets in Telestream Episode Pro
        3. Developing the Video Player
          1. FLA files
            1. ExpressInstall file
            2. Poster file
            3. Video player file
          2. Core classes
            1. ReliableVideo class
            2. ApolloPoster and Poster classes
            3. ExpressInstall class
          3. ReliableVideoExample document class
        4. Customizing the Video Experience with HTML and JavaScript
          1. HTML and CSS
          2. SWFObject revisited
          3. External interface and JavaScript
    9. Appendixes
      1. A. Software Installation
        1. Adobe Software
        2. Video Encoders
        3. Flash-Related Video Utilities
          1. QuickTime software
          2. Adobe FLVCheck tool
          3. Captionate
        4. Public-Domain Video
      2. B. Web Video Project Checklist
      3. C. Encoding Video for the Flash Platform
        1. Overview of Common Features and Workflow
          1. Major Compression Controls
          2. Other Factors
          3. Recommendations for Compression Tests
        2. Comparing Video Encoders
        3. Other Flash-related Video Utilities
          1. On-Demand Compression
          2. Open Source Tools
          3. Caption Tools
      4. D. Troubleshooting Video for the Flash Platform