Adobe InDesign makes it extremely easy to add action buttons to your document. This is great if you intend on publishing your InDesign project to a digital format and want to “spice it up a bit” with some interaction. This tutorial will demonstrate how to add buttons to an InDesign project and publish the project as a Flash (.swf) file.
Posts in Category "Tutorials"
Stop motion animation is one of the best ways to build digital communication skills and team work into any curriculum. You don’t need fancy equipment or temperamental actors, just some craft materials and the digital cameras from your friendly librarian.
The really great thing about stop motion animation is that it can be used effectively with any subject and at most age levels. I have worked with students that successfully animated subjects from science (life cycle of a butterfly), social studies (scenes from Lewis and Clark), math (slope), and of course language arts with any dramatic or comedic narrative. Check out some examples at: http://www.mountsihighschool.com/directory/_dockeryj/conferences/storytelling/example_stopmotion.html
Stop motion is a great way to integrate writing and decision making into your curriculum. Planning is a critical step in the process of creating any story. I start my students out with a simple treatment that helps them focus their story by making some simple decisions about the target audience, objectives and other basic parameters of the project. (http://www.mountsihighschool.com/directory/_dockeryj/conferences/storytelling/handouts/treatment.doc) Then we plan each scene out with a storyboard, but first we talk about shot variety and do a quick exercise with our digital cameras. (http://www.mountsihighschool.com/directory/_dockeryj/conferences/storytelling/handouts/Composition_still.pdf) Storyboarding is an communication skill that is useful in most disciplines so the time spent creating and reviewing storyboards is very valuable. (http://www.mountsihighschool.com/directory/_dockeryj/conferences/storytelling/storyboarding.html ) I keep a handful of three ring binders in my room so each group can keep all this planning materials together and the group will always have it even if a member is absent.
One of my favorite things about stop motion animation is that it brings students together in such a natural way that you will see amazing results. Throughout the process there are multiple jobs that take different skills and abilities. During the planning process you will have those that prefer to write the script while others prefer to draw the storyboards. Next, some of the students will naturally gravitate to building the sets and creating the characters while others prefer to set up the cameras, lights and computer. During the actual animation process we usually have one student run the computer, one on the camera, one handling the lighting, and two animating the characters. Then once we have shot all the scenes and move into the post production process we usually have a couple students work on editing the rough cut while the rest work on sound and graphic design. No other activities I do brings students closer together than stop motion animation.
Stop motion animation is a powerful communication tool that students can control better than any other digital medium. They can use a either a digital still camera or digital video to express their stories through unique camera angle and composition. I prefer to hook up a cheap digital video camera to a computer and use Adobe Premiere Elements to capture our images. The reason I like this method is that the software provides us with a couple invaluable tools:
• Onion skinning – this is the ability to see a ghost images of the last couple moves you make when shooting your scene. This makes your shots smoother and easier to shoot.
• Preview and delete – this is the ability to watch a sequence of shots as a video clip to judge the pacing and smoothness of your shots. If you accidentally got your hand in one of the shots you can easily delete just that one frame.
• Save as video clip – this is the ability to save a sequence of shots as a video clip that you can then apply effects and adjust the speed to easily.
• Editing environment – once you finish shooting you have a powerful video editing environment that allows you to work with up to 99 video tracks and 99 audio tracks!
I just have one twelve foot firewire cable for each pod of four computers in my room. This gives the students enough room to setup their camera and set, but is close enough to work with the computer operator easily.
One of the cool things about stop motion animation is that your students have complete control over the small world they will be shooting within and it will cost you very little! We usually use three sides of an old card board box as our set and either legos, clay or pipe cleaners for our characters. For lights we simple purchased the 8 inch clamp light for around $10. This really makes your colors and images pop and allows the students some creativity with shadows.
This is where those digital communication skills come into play. I usually break up the group into three parts. One group is the editor(s) that will put the scenes into the right order, adjust the speed of some clips and usually adds titles. Another group is the sound designer(s) that will create the voice overs, sound effects and find copyright free music or create their own if it is called for. The final group is the graphic designers that will create the movie posters, DVD labels/covers or invitations to the movie premiere.
Once you and your students have made your stop motion animation master pieces make sure to share them with your community. Ask your local theater if they will have a special showing, make DVD’s for the families of your students or post them online at web sites like School Tube. Last year a few of my students earned an award of excellence at the Northwest High School Film Festival for their stop motion film “Kichinjo”. Enjoy.
Now it is your turn to get out there and have some fun with stop motion animation. I have posted a bunch of video tutorials that will walk you and your students through the process at: http://www.mountsihighschool.com/directory/_dockeryj/conferences/storytelling/05session.html
Learn how to create green screen student TV newscasts, classroom video projects and more this summer as Adobe Education Leader Rob Zdrojewski teaches the basic and advanced features of Adobe Visual Communicator 3. New this summer are workshops for existing users, where we will examine features like live flash web streaming and sharing your productions online.
Summer 2009 Workshop offerings:
-School TV Made Easy with Adobe Visual Communicator 3 (Beginners)
-Perfecting Your Adobe Visual Communicator Shows (Advanced Users)
-Using SchoolTube to Safely Share Videos Online
-Create Teacher Websites
Join us as hundreds of teachers, media specialists, and administrators have for an exciting look at using Adobe Visual Communicator for green screened school TV newscasts and more!
Learn more here:
I was browsing my neighborhood grocery store looking for a turkey to fry when I glanced down and discovered a Turducken! Now, I had always thought a turducken was something conjured up in fables and fairytales; but there it sat, like some sort of monster from a Mary Shelley novel, all packaged up and ready for holiday consumption.
The first thought that crossed my mind was “YUCK”, the second thought was, “This would make one heck of a Photoshop project!”
Watch the tutorial. (You may need to resize your browser window to adjust the size of the video)
Source Image Links > Make sure to read the Creative Commons Usage Rights
http://flickr.com/photos/66164549@N00/2653229700/ – duck
http://flickr.com/photos/voght/2441818832/ – turkey
http://flickr.com/photos/66176388@N00/446141165/ – hen
The all new Ask Mr. Z Blog on SchoolTube.com is intended for educational users of Adobe Visual Communicator. Hosted by Adobe Education Leader & Community Expert Rob Zdrojewski, the video episodes and blog articles are based on user questions about creating school TV newscasts and class video projects across the curriculum. New episodes are released each month. Take a look and see if you have a question to Ask Mr. Z!
Episode 4- Preparing The Morning Newscast
Have a question or show suggestion? Ask Mr. Z HERE
If you haven’t had the opportunity to sign up for a FREE Acrobat.com account I suggest you do so in the near future. You get a handful of some really fantastic tools which include Buzzword, Adobe Connect Now, a PDF tool, and some online storage space. Buzzword is the perfect application for laying out a document that will eventually be turned into a PDF interactive form in Acrobat 9.
Acrobat 9 is Adobe’s newest PDF publication tool and the Adobe “wizards” have made it easier than ever to turn a simple document into an interactive PDF. In this tutorial I’ll demonstrate how to:
- layout a form using Adobe’s free Buzzword service (really cool)
- export the file to PDF
- convert the PDF to a digital form using Acrobat 9′s “Form Field Wizard”
- configure the fields to calculate form data
Nobody wants to get caught with their “digital pants” down. Unfortunately there may be times when you accidently send out a document to the “big cheeses” while it is still in draft form. Stamping “Draft” on every page of a document can help save you the embarrassment of sending the wrong file…and possibly your job!
If you choose to use the stamp tool you will have to tediously visit each page of the document. Imagine having a 50 page document that needs a “Draft” stamp on each page…not much fun. However, adding a “Draft” watermark to the document would be far more efficient method of adding the document’s review status.
1. Open the document in Adobe Acrobat
2. click Document > Watermark> Add
3. Type “Draft” in the text area
4. Adjust the opacity of the text using the Opacity slider
5. Add a bit of Rotation using the Rotation radio buttons
6. Click OK
To remove the watermark click Document > Watermark>Remove
I have to admit, for a long time I thought that Acrobat was a boring (but useful) application. Acrobat sat on my computer like an obedient dog and, on my command, turned my Word and Excel documents into PDFs. Boring…but useful.
As I started to learn more about Acrobat I realized that it contained a slew of “hidden gems” under the hood. I also learned that you can make a button in Acrobat that can do just about anything.
- Submit a form via email
- Print button
- Open a file
- hyperlink to a web site
- Play, Pause, and stop a movie
- and more…
To get you started here is a simple tutorial for creating a print button:
1. Open or create a PDF document
2. Click Tools > Forms > Show Forms Tool Bar
3. Click the button tool (the “OK” button)
4. Drag out a button onto your document, the Button Properties dialogue will open
5. (General tab)Name the button – this is not the label that will appear on the button
6. Click on the appearance tab and select desired colors
7. Click on the Options tab and add a label – this is the text that will appear on the button
8. Click on the Actions tab. Make sure the “Select Trigger” dropdown displays the “Mouse Up” value
9. Make sure the “Select Action” dropdown displays the “Execute a menu item” value
10. Click the Add button and choose File>Print
11. Click the OK button and click the Close button.
12. DONE! Test the button by clicking on the Hand Tool (it looks like a white glove)
13. When the end user clicks the button the print dialogue should open, just as if they clicked File>Print
I often find it necessary to single out various pages from a PDF document and combine them into another. For example, I may need to combine pages 3, 5, and 10 from a fifty page document into a new PDF.
Acrobat provides an “extract pages” option that allows you to extract a range of pages, but this option does not allow for the combination of discontinuous pages. However, you do have a couple of options.
Option 1 – Use the “drag and drop” method as described by the Acrobat for Legal Professionals blog.
Option 2 – Use the “Create PDF from Multiple Files” option using the directions below (my preferred method)
Directions for Option 2
1. Open Adobe Acrobat 8
2. Click on the Create PDF button
3. Select the “From Multiple Files” option
4. The Combine Files dialogue box will open. Click the Add Files button
5. Find the PDF file with the pages you wish to extract and click the Add Files button
6. The PDF will appear in the Combine Files Dialogue, now to select the specific pages.
7. Click the Choose Pages button
8. The Preview and Select Page Range dialogue box will open. This will allow you to type in both a range of pages and non discontinuous pages. For example, if you wished to include pages 1 through 5 and pages 10, 11, and 15 you would simply select the Pages radio button and type 1-5,10,11,15. Cool!
9. Acrobat also provides a Preview tool to help select the correct pages.
10. Click the OK button.
11. The Combine Files dialogue will open and provide an overview of the pages that you selected.
12. From here, decide if you want to combine pages from another document or proceed forward by clicking the Next button.
13. Make sure the Merge files into a single PDF button is selected and click the Create button.
14. Sit back and watch Adobe Acrobat works its magic!
The new school year is upon us. The year will bring new students, new experiences, and new memories. Of course you will want to preserve your memories using a digital camera.
The way digital cameras name photographs has always bugged me. DC45000.jpg offers little clue to what event was being photographed. Renaming the photo to something like soccer-001.jpg offers a more descriptive name that will also prove more helpful down the road when you want to find the photos. Of course you can use the camera to set up the file name, but have your tried navigating your camera’s preferences to do this? What a pain!
I often take multiple pictures of a single event (say…a soccer game) and the Adobe Bridge helps me easily and quickly batch rename the files.
1. Open Adobe Bridge
2. Navigate to the folder that contains the images that you wish to batch rename
3. You can select all of the images (Edit > Select All) or you can be more selective by Ctrl + Clicking (CMD + Click -Mac) on specific images.
4. After you select the images that you want to include in the batch rename select Tools > Batch Rename. You can also right click (CMD + Click) on any of the selected files and choose Batch Rename.
5. The Batch Rename dialogue box will open.
6. Select your Destination Folder. I almost always use the Rename in same folder option.
7. Create a filename. I like to use a text field followed by either a date or sequenced number (or both). You can add or subtract filename choices by clicking the plus or minus buttons. Look at the bottom of the dialogue for an example of how the new filename will look.
8. The following example will create a file name that looks something like this: July_4th_2006_001.jpg
9. Don’t worry about the Options section of the dialogue. I have never had to use any of these options.
10. Click the Rename button.
11. Done! That was easy. Now…get to renaming.