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How Do I... Create a custom Web user interface for my Flash video?

-[Reshipment]Authorship by John Lee, a consultant specializing in design and illustration and a freelance technical writer

Adobe Flash’s video technology is all over the Web and is an example of how Internet video has finally arrived after overcoming many technological hurdles during the past decade. (Have you ever been to YouTube.com? You may have heard of it.) The latest version of Flash, CS3, makes it extremely easy to build a custom flash video player to show off your Flash Video (.FLV) files.

If you have never used Flash before, don’t be intimidated. Building a custom FLV player is largely a matter of dragging and dropping Flash’s Component objects into a document and scripting only a line or two of very simple ActionScript code. In fact, don’t be surprised if you find yourself jumping head first into ActionScript authoring after you see how easy it is.

If you don’t own a copy of Flash CS3, you can download a fully functioning 30-day trial. Also, you’ll be using a royalty-free FLV file to complete the exercise.

Let’s start by opening Flash CS3 and creating a new file. From the File menu, select the New… option. In the dialog box that appears, select the Type: Flash File ActionScript 3.0. This is important; Flash’s video components are more limited if your Flash File is an ActionScript 2.0 type.

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Your layout should look like Figure A.

Figure A



The default layout of the Flash CS3 workspace

At the top of the screen, you will see the Layers palette. It is widely considered a good idea among Flash developers that you should keep the objects in your Flash file on a layer that is separate from an empty layer that will hold your ActionScript code. This makes it easier for another developer to look at your file and know where to look to modify the code. It also prevents you (or someone else, for that matter) from accidentally deleting ActionScript code if you need to throw away a layer that contains objects you wish to delete.

At the bottom of the Layers palette, click the New Layer button. Then, rename the top layer “ActionScript” and rename the bottom layer “Objects.” On the ActionScript layer, click the dot under the padlock icon. This will lock the ActionScript layer and prevent you from placing objects on it, as in Figure B. This is also a good time to save your file. Be certain to save it in the same directory as the sample_movie.flv file you downloaded earlier.

Figure B



Arranging and locking layers

Time to build your video player. Select the “objects” layer to make it the active layer, then go up to the Window menu at the top of the screen and select the Components option. The Components palette will appear, as in Figure C. Click the cross to expand the Video Component tree, if you need to.

Figure C



The Components Palette

From the Components palette, click and drag the FLVPlayback component to the stage. A large black box with some controls should now sit on the stage (Figure D).

Figure D



The FLVPlayback component

Flash was kind enough to provide you with a set of controls, but hey… we’re building our own custom video player, here! Let’s get rid of those things. Click on the video component on the stage to select it and then go down to the Properties palette at the bottom of the screen and click on the Parameters tab. In the dialog box that appears, double-click the Skin option to bring up the Skin selector dialog box. From the Skin pull-down menu, select None and click OK to remove the generic controls on our FLVPlayback component (Figure E).

Figure E



Removing the default video controls from the FLVPlayback component

Next, your video component needs an instance name, which will allow ActionScript to call it. With the Video still selected on the stage, click on the Properties tab and in the field labeled , click and type the name “myvideo” (without the quotation marks) and press the Enter key. (Figure F)

Figure F



Giving the FLVPlayback component an instance name

Now we need to tell the FLVPlayback component which FLV file to play. With the video still selected, click on the Parameters tab again and scroll down to the property labeled “source.” Double-click in the empty field to bring up the dialog box that will let you point the FLVPlayback component to the FLV file you downloaded earlier. Be sure to select the Match Source FLV Dimensions check box. Click OK (Figure G). When you return to the stage, you will find that the FLVPlayback component has resized itself to match the size of the sample movie.

Figure G



Setting the Parameters of the FLV component

Now let’s look at the Components palette again. All of the objects under the Video section are components that can be used to control the FLV on the stage. We can use any or all of these to make our custom player, but for now, just click and drag the PlayPauseButton, SeekBar, and VolumeBar components to the stage, directly under the video (Figure H).

Figure H



Dragging the buttons from the Components panel to the stage

Let’s modify these controls a little more. First, select the SeekBar component. Then right-click on the SeekBar and from the pop-up menu that appears, select the Free Transform option. Then hold down the Alt key, click on the right-hand center anchor, and stretch the SeekBar over to the right to make it take up the length of the video up to the VolumeBar (Figure I).

Figure I



Enlarging the SeekBar

Nice, but we can still modify it a bit more. Click on the PausePlayButton to select it and in the Properties panel, go to the Color pull-down menu and select the Tint option. From the color selection menu, choose a nice blue and keep the effect at 50 percent. (Figure J) You could also repeat this step for the VolumeBar and SeekBar and customize their colors as well.

Figure J




Giving the Play/Pause button a different color

Your button components now need instance names — just like the FLVPlayback component — so that ActionScript can call them and link them to the FLV movie. Click on the PlayPauseButton to select it and in the Properties panel, give it an instance name of “playpause.” (Don’t include the quotes.) Repeat this process, giving the instance names of “seekvideo” to the SeekBar component and “volslide” to the VolumeBar component (Figure K).

Figure K




Giving instance names to all of the video control components

Here’s the part where you get write some ActionScript. Go to the top of the screen and in the Layers palette, select the ActionScript layer. Then, go to the Window menu and select the Actions option. A large pane will appear. This is where you will write your ActionScript code (Figure L).

Figure L



The ActionScript layer selected and the open ActionScript Window

Recall that we gave the FLVPlayback component an instance name of myvideo. We’re going to refer to that in our ActionScript code, as well as referring to the instance names of each one of the three control components.

Click in the right-hand (blank) side of the Actions window and type the following three lines of code. Note: Lettercase is important here — type the code exactly as you see it below, or the Control buttons will not work!

myvideo.playPauseButton = playpause;

myvideo.seekBar = seekvideo;

myvideo.volumeBar = volslide;

Your ActionScript code should display in your Actions panel, as shown in Figure M.

Figure M



The completed ActionScript code


Save the file and test your handiwork by going up to the Control menu and selecting the Test Movie option. When the video loads, be sure to play with all of the controls to make sure that they work. (Figure N)

Figure N



Testing the Flash movie

This is a very simple demonstration of the variety and ease of customization that Flash CS3 and ActionScript 3.0 give you over Flash Video content. Experiment with the other video control components — their placement, colors, and sizes — and go wild!

How to Customize a Flash Video Web Player to Enhance Online Auction on website like eBay and Yahoo

With the number of online auctions growing daily, how can you improve the success of your auctions? Auction Flash Video Web Player is the answer. With the flash video player, now you can explain what the selling item is, why people will want it, demonstrate how it works, and show its authenticity on the auction. Auction video played on the platform of eBay and Yahoo greatly enhances your item listing and sales volume.

The development of the web shows that the Flash Video web player provides a way for matching video and the Internet. With the advent of the file player, Flash Video player, and with the ubiquity of Adobe Flash Player, you might expect that thousands of compelling websites are integrating video with data, content, and interactive controls to create rich experiences for peoples who visit your cyber space with the flash video web player.

With the latest Flash Video web player customizing technology to process video clips, play them on the flash video web player and create links for your use on online auctions, we are aiming to revolutionize the way auction users sell items by providing a way to merchandise their products, demonstrate how it works, and show its authenticity.

We propose that you can find ways to make yourself creative and distinguish yourself and your products. We encourage you to create a personalized "About Me" video to help build trust and connect with your auction customers, which is to deliver your message in a personal way that is powerful and different. Explained in this article is the solution for common auctioneers.

As auctioneer, you might be experienced with the application of Flash video player, or you are a newbie, Moyea Web Player (it is free) will help you create customized Flash video player for your online auction and presentation with Yahoo, eBay, etc.

We know that photos displaying in auction descriptions usually boosts sales, let alone displaying flash videos which related to your company, products, and knowledge related to the products rolling out soon is something that can just vault us to the next level of seller credibility, and this is flash video displaying on auction platform eBay and Yahoo.

Initially developed for the business men to enhance the business outstanding achievements, Moyea Web Player is empowered with the strong functionality to customize a flash video player that can be installed on any social sites to play both local or online flash video files in FLV, MP4, MOV, 3GP, 3G2, H.264 formats. Thus business presenters, web designers, instructors, etc. can obtain personalized Flash Video file in multiple formats for online auction with the program Moyea Web Player.

This article is to demonstrate to you how Moyea Web Player could help you to customize flash video files web player for posting on your own sites to play flash videos related to your company and products for auction just like auctions on the eBay, Yahoo, and other auction websites. This article is not designed as a tutorial and thus a step by step how-to is not included here. For further information and the wonders of this newly software of Web Player, please explore the member sites of Moyea Software at http://www.playerdiy.com/.

Add flash video file

There are two ways to add two different source of flash video file: add flash video file from local computer by clicking “Add video” button and add flash video file from the online via its URL by clicking “Add URL” button.

After imported flash video file into the program, we should test if the imported flash video files are supported or not, although the program has automatically tested when importing file. To test the file, just manually double-click the file to see if it can be played on the right preview. No playing means unsupported format to this web player, then use the correspondent encoder listed in the program to convert it to the supported format FLV or MP4.

Moyea Video4Web Converter: Convert video in all formats to flash video FLV and MP4 format with H.263 encoder.

Moyea DVD4Web Converter: Convert DVD to flash video FLV and MP4 file with H.264 encoder for Moyea Web Player.

Moyea SWF4Tube Converter: Convert SWF to flash video FLV and MP4 file with H.264 encoder for Moyea Web Player.

Moyea PPT4Web Converter: Convert PowerPoint to flash video FLV and MP4 file with H.264 encoder for the Web Player.

Step 2: Target settings

After imported flash video and confirmed the video file is the supported ones, it’s time to make some target settings for the flash video to play in the web. Generally, the target settings contain the following points: basic settings of caption setting and image specifying, navigation at end of end URL, style of target, and end target; navigation on click of click URL and click target.

Templates style and Player settings

To customize a flash video player, the absolutely necessarily step is player style and elements customizing.

Player style specifying: Currently, Moyea Web Player provides 11 player templates style for you to choosing as your web player style, they are: none, Common, Crystal, Gentle, Iron, Plastic, QuickTime, Simple_black, Simple 2, WMP10, and YouTube. Just click to choose or change.

player settings options: This part contains all elements settings on a player, such as easily changing the templates of web flash video player, control buttons easy to turn on and off, playing styles easily to customize, promote setting of load flash video style and mode, player size flexible changing, functional web flash video player, add external URL support (get back the traffic), advanced settings. These player style and elements settings are set depending on each specific need. Just free to check and choose to meet the specific needs.
Misc: Click “Misc” tab enables you to specify the background color for the web player.

Step 4: Publish
Once all the settings and options are completed, it’s time to publish a YouTube flash video web player for the web.

In the publish interface, if you are using Moyea Web Player Pro trail version Moyea Web Player Lite version, the “Embedded” option for Xml file is only allowed to publish. In other words, only the web player Pro version allows generating independent Xml file for playlist editing, customizing player from the generated html file, and with no quantity limit in the playlist for a single player. Just click “More Info” for more info; just click “Purchase” to purchase software.
Later, specify a publish path for saving the published files.
Click “Publish” to publish a flash video player for the web!

After customize the web player that links flash videos related to your company and products, you can upload them to any sites you can and you want to start auctions with other competitors. As to how to upload, please refer to Moyea flash video player for the web in http://www.playerdiy.com/!

No more than one month later, I can sure that the auction your products would be enhanced greatly and sales volume would be increased a lot!
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