Monday, October 17, 2011

A peek at things to come?

I had the good fortune to attend Adobe MAX 2011 two weeks ago in Los Angeles. My head is stuffed full of all kinds of new stuff that I learned at this amazing event.

A highlight of the conference was the "Sneak Peek" presentations, where Adobe engineers shared bits of technology that "may, or may not, make it into future versions of Adobe products."

These amazing sneak peeks have now been posted here for anyone to view.

Don't miss "Image Deblurring", "Local Layer Ordering" and "InDesign Liquid Layout". Cool!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Compressing video for use in DPS

Use the following checklist to ensure that video content is optimized for tablet apps you create with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS).

[ ] Save the video in .mp4 format with .h264 encoding

[ ] Scale and crop the video to the exact size that you want it to play in your DPS app before placing it in InDesign. Do not scale or crop video content in InDesign.

[ ] Video compression is always a tradeoff between playback quality and file size. Compress the video as aggressively as possible while still maintaining the quality you desire. Video that is larger than necessary greatly impacts the size, and thus download speed, of DPS apps.

[ ] Consider whether you want the video to play full screen or in a smaller window alongside other page elements. DPS allows you to configure video either way. But creating video that looks good full screen will result in a larger file than video that runs in a smaller window. Think about your content...if the video is just a "talking head" perhaps full screen isn't necessary.

Adobe Media Encoder is included with both Mac and Windows Adobe InDesign. This program lets you convert, crop, resize and compress video. The number of options available to you in this program can be daunting to people that aren't video pros.

As one who has a very limited knowledge of the world of video, I've had really good luck using the free, open source program Handbrake to convert, resample, and compress video for use in DPS. I've found it easier to choose correct, repeatable settings than with the Adobe Media Encoder.