Author Archive: Stefan Gruenwedel

Updated Flash video templates

The tutorials in the Flash video templates section of the Flash Developer Center are designed to help you learn about the video authoring capabilities of Flash. Each project combines video with graphics, custom branding and navigation, and interactivity.

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Whether it’s a showcase website for personal video, a product description website with video clips, a video presentation with navigation, a spokesperson presentation with synchronized graphics, or a Flash video gallery, these samples will help you get started exploring video on the web.

Prepare for the Flash Player 9 April 2008 Security Update

April is just around the corner and so is a planned security update for Flash Player 9 to strengthen the security of the ubiquitous player. To ensure a seamless transition to the update, which may impact SWF content, check out Preparing for the Flash Player 9 April 2008 Security Update. This document provides an overview of the upcoming Flash Player changes, links to TechNotes, and relevant documentation to help you better prepare.

Announcing Flash Media Rights Management Server

Flash Media Rights Management Server. FMRMS. It’s a mouthful but it’s an important piece of the puzzle when posting media online and allowing people to view it but not steal it and call it their own.

Desiree Motamedi, senior product marketing manager for Flash Media Server, writes a high-level overview of FMRMS; and Laurel Reitman, senior product manager for Flash Media Server Services, writes about content protection options with Flash Media Rights Management Server.

Of course, sharing media freely may be just what you want, and that’s what Creative Commons is for. But if you want to prevent people from profiting from any media that you don’t license under Creative Commons, then FMRMS might be worth a look.

Flash video template: Spokesperson presentation with synchronized graphics

The Flash video templates have remained popular downloads in the Flash Developer Center. This “spokesperson presentation with synchronized graphics” template features video, labeled content keyframes that synchronize text and graphics to the video, and navigation buttons along the bottom. While the video plays, the keyframes appear at preset times and the navigation buttons highlight the relevant topic. When the user clicks one of the buttons, the video and content update themselves to that topic automatically.

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Regulars of the Flash Developer Center will recognize this template from way back when it was first released with Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004. (Note that the presentation example talks about “Macromedia On-Demand” — hey, anything to keep fans of Mike Downey happy.) Anyway, Dan Carr updated it a couple of years ago for Flash Professional 8 and now it’s all ready for Flash CS3 — and ActionScript 3.0. Enjoy!

Shantanu Narayen and Kevin Lynch speak at Engage 2008

Engage 2008 came and went (what, you didn’t get the invite? neither did anyone I know, including me) but you can see what happened early in the day by viewing this 50-min. video of Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and CTO Kevin Lynch presenting in front of the audience of “key thought leaders and influencers.”

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If you can’t get enough of Engage 2008, there’s aways Scoble’s shaky Qik videos to entertain you.

Creating an icon in Fireworks

Vane Kosturanov and Vanco Stojkov pack a one-two punch as DryIcons: one is a developer, the other a designer (I’m sure their skills overlap). Together they wrote an amazing tutorial that shows you how to create a web icon — one of the basic ingredients of any good website.

Everyone I know who touched this article before posting on the Adobe Developer Connection told me how much fun it was to create the icon. Sarthak Singhal, a QE on the Fireworks engineering team, wrote, “I followed the article step by step and could not believe myself creating a beautiful folder icon. It is simply amazing.” Tommi West, the copyeditor, said, “I loved this article sooo much! I followed along with all of the steps, and I’m very pleased with the folder icon I made.”

Gee, who knows what you’ll think? Me, I’m pretty excited that I got to work with two excellent technical writers from Macedonia. There’s a first time for everything.

New video technology center launched

Sometimes what’s important is not a matter of posting new material on the Adobe Developer Connection but simply (simply?) reorganizing what’s already there, so that people can find what they’re looking for. Such is the case with our video-related articles, which for the most part have lived in the Flash Developer Center. That made sense when Flash MX Professional 2004 supported video better than ever.

These days, however, video isn’t always about the Flash authoring tool, so we moved that material out of /devnet/flash/ and into its own site: The Video Technology Center. Check it out!

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The Video Technology Center puts the ever-popular Flash Video Learning Guide at the center. Major topic areas branch off from there.

If you work with video on the web — whether planning a video project, encoding FLVs, delivering video, using audio, or whatever — what resources do you need most? Are you getting what you need from Adobe.com or do you go elsewhere for helpful information about web video?

Grab the notes from Colin Moock’s AS3 tour

Since October 2007, Colin Moock has traveled to several cities around the world on Adobe’s dime to promote the wonderful world of ActionScript 3.0. Appearing in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Tokyo so far, Colin has given a free, intensive day of AS3 training to hundreds of developers. He covers the fundamental skills developers need to program for Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR.

Now you can grab a PDF of the notes he hands out in person at these events.

Lee Brimelow posted a video of Colin’s appearance in San Francisco. Charlie Griefer from the Fusion Authority was also pretty impressed with Colin’s SF appearance too.

Anyway, the ActionScript 3.0 From the Ground Up Tour continues to other locations in Europe (Munich, Amsterdam, London) as well as Bangalore and Sydney. Sign up to attend in a city near you. As Charlie put it, “I don’t know ActionScript, and I don’t know Colin Moock, but I figured for the free admission, I’d risk it. Now that it’s all said and done, I’d say the session was easily worth twice the price.”

What’s new about FMS 3

After we launched some new articles to support the recent release of Flash Media Server 3, I sat down with the product manager and asked him to talk plainly about what’s was so special about FMS 3. Kevin Towes obliged and now you can see the video on the home page of the FMS Developer Center.

Kevin Towes video

Enjoy!

Cool FLV bitrate calculator

Robert Reinhardt, author of Adobe Flash CS3 Professional Video Studio Techniques, has created a cool online calculator that helps you determine the optimal bitrate for encoding FLV files that you either embed on a web page or stream with Flash Media Server. This application augments the FLV bitrate spreadsheet that accompanies his book on the enclosed DVD-ROM.

Whenever I look at traffic patterns in the Flash Video Developer Center, I see that video-related topics rank high in popularity. Robert’s FLV bitrate calculator should prove to be very useful as you encode your FLVs. It includes helpful presets to get you started. Even if you decide to deviate from the recommended values for “talking head” or “action trailer” movies, knowing at least where to begin will save you time down the road:
www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/apps/flv_bitrate_calculator/index.html

The “Grid Quality: Best” link in the Video section of the calculator is also worth checking out. It lists optimal frame dimensions for Flash video.