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Introduction to Flash Animation in InDesign CS5

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Who says you need to work with Adobe Flash to create Flash content? Adobe InDesign CS5 adds a load of new features and panels that enable you to add interactivity to your documents. From motion, buttons, video, and more, Brian Wood shows how you can turn your InDesign documents into multimedia extravaganzas!

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Add a Media File (Video)

Add a Media File (Video)

You can add several types of audio and video files to the InDesign file for use in an exported SWF file. You can import video files in Flash Video format (.FLV and .F4V), H.264-encoded files (such as MP4), and SWF files. You can also import audio files in MP3 format. Other file types like .MOV or .AVI are supported for export to PDF. Just know that if you insert video or audio in InDesign, a link is created to the video file. So if you send the InDesign file or the exported SWF file to someone else, the video file needs to go along.

Next, you will add a video file and sound file to the InDesign document.

  1. With your document still open, make sure nothing is selected and choose File > Place. Navigate to a supported video file like an .FLV or .SWF file, for example. Select the file and click Open to place it.
  2. Click in the spread with the loaded video cursor to place the video (see Figure 11).
  3. Figure 11 Insert video.

  4. To preview the video, make sure that the video object is selected in the document with the Selection tool. Open the Media panel (Window > Interactive > Media) and click the Play button to play the video in the Media panel. To preview the video as part of the page, open the Preview panel (Window > Interactive > Preview) and click the Play Preview button in the lower–left corner of the panel. In this instance, you will most likely need to also click on the video in the Preview panel to get it to play (see Figure 12).
  5. Figure 12 Preview the video.

  6. In the Media panel, with the video selected in the document, there are several options you can set for video appearance and playback. If you want the video to play back as soon as the page loads, select Play on Page Load. If you want the video to play to the end, then start playing at the beginning automatically, and do this continuously, select Loop in the Media panel.
  7. The Poster option in the Media panel allows you to change what users see in the video bounds before the video plays. Here’s what each poster option means:
    • By default, From Current Frame is selected in the Poster menu. If you drag the preview slider in the Media panel to a different frame, then that frame is taken and used as the poster.
    • If you don’t want users to see anything before the video plays, choose None from the Poster menu.
    • To insert a generic video icon before the video plays, choose Standard from the Poster menu.
    • To insert your own image into the video bounds before the video plays, choose Choose Image from the Poster menu and select an image (see Figure 13).

    Figure 13 Set the media options.

  8. The Controller option allows you to “skin” the video giving it controls such as play and pause. You can choose from a variety of these skins and make it so that the controller only shows up when the user rolls over the video (not all the time) by choosing “Show Controller on Rollover.”
  9. The Navigation points in the Media panel allow you to seek out different parts of the video by dragging the preview slider in the Media panel to a point in the video, then clicking the Add a Navigation Point button (it looks like a plus (+) sign). This will not do anything except add a navigation point that you can cue to using a button or other methods. This makes it so that you can play the video from that point (the navigation point) onward. This is a great way to have, let’s say, an instructional video that users can jump to parts of using buttons you create.

  10. Try dragging the preview slider below the video in the Media panel to a part of your video. Click the Add a Navigation Point button, immediately name the navigation point, and press Enter or Return (see Figure 14).
  11. Figure 14 Set navigation points.

  12. Draw or paste some content to be used as a button. Follow the steps for creating a button, as mentioned previously. When the button is created, click the Add New Action button in the Buttons panel and choose Video. Make sure that the video name appears in the Video menu. In the Options menu, choose Play from Navigation Point. Choose the navigation point you created from the Point menu. Test out the button/video combination in the Preview panel (see Figure 15).
  13. Figure 15 Create a button to play a navigation point.

5. Export to SWF | Next Section Previous Section