Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Brief 15 // DFGA // Adding Video Content

As alot of the students within the DFGA course work with video formats and create videos as final outcomes, being able to display the video as content within the PDF document was essential. Before taking on this brief, I had previously tried embedding video content within a PDF and I could never get it work, so I therefore wanted to test some pages and make sure it did work.

There were two ways in which we could work with the video content. The first is to embed the videos into the PDF, this would make the document a larger file size, but it would all be one file and packaged together. The second is to link the videos within the document and this would link out to youtube or vimeo through a hyperlink.

Out of the two I wanted to get the embedding of the video to work as this would look much more professional and be easier to distribute the full document and the student work.

Testing the Embed method. 
From looking online and reading up on the proper method of embedding videos into the document I set out at testing a video on a A4 PDF file.

With the first attempts of doing this, whenever the document was exported to the interactive PDF nothing was showing within the document, even though I followed all the steps online, the video wasn't embedding within the document and just produced a blank A4 document. 

Not getting anywhere with this, I spoke to Mike Flowers and found out that in order to embed the video files within the document they had to be a certain file type and be opened with Acrobat Reader. The files had to be FLV / FL4 which are adobe flash files, I could easily export the files to this type through using adobe encoder so that wasn't a problem. 

Finding out the the document has to be opened within Acrobat Reader wasn't the best news, as I myself didnt have acrobat reader and I don't think that, that many people will have it, or know the fact that you have to open the document within this specific program. 

After getting everything right, I tried the to export the document again with the video and opened it with acrobat reader. This time we had a positive result. 

As you can see above the video is now being displayed within the document as it has been embedded successfully.  Hovering over the video brings up the following controls on a rollover action with the mouse, here you can access all the controls to play the video. 

These document shots show that the video is playing within the document and it plays within the frame it is placed in, which is good as I can resize all the videos to the size of the containers within the layout of each spread. 

I am happy that I have figured out how to embed the videos and get them to work within the document, my only concern with it is that it is quite restrictive. Only being able to open the document within acrobat reader for the video content to play is a downfall. Even if people had adobe reader they wouldn't know to open it within that preview, most people would just use preview. 

With this worked out I can now go back to Mike and show him the document with the videos embedded, telling him the information about the restrictions to doing it in this way, will bring on the decision wether to carry on in this way or to use the hyperlinks for the videos. 

Testing PDF with Links
The second option of creating the document is to use hyperlinks within the PDF file which will link out to display the video on youtube or vimeo. 

Within the PDF document the link to the video will be displayed next to the project number within each spread. 

When the link is clicked on it will open the users browser and send them to the linked page to view the video. 

This way of displaying the videos is much simpler and will make the document size a lot smaller, but it doesn't look as professional as full product. I would prefer to have the videos playing within the document itself as I think this displays better and works as a full product is a much more efficient way as you don't have to be redirected to other programs or have to be online to view the content. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to each method, but it's not down to me to decide, so I will leave that up to Mike to choose which option he prefers. 

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